Amazon wouldn’t print my review. I can’t tell if it’s because I’ve mentioned too many names, or because there are too many spoilers or because I’m not a member of their subscription service. So anyway, here it is: for your edification and delight (or not).
| from CJ Karas
Reviewed as a book rated against any other book I’ve got to give it 3 stars. I would like to give it 4 but just cannot for that reason. The first quarter is written like a high school term paper. It feels like the author is forcing himself to present the descriptions of the murders. And it seems there was no editing at all in these chapters. We all know what happened by now- there’s nothing new here. There is a masterpiece of a film we can watch, Zodiac. Why not condense this material to a few pages? The last quarter of the book could be similarly condensed. The author is simply repeating himself and his best evidence in a lame attempt to twist the reader’s arm into accepting his suspect.There is a real book here in the middle half, a very good book, though it still suffers from poor editing. With the story of Officer Pelisetti and suspect Qvale we get some real investigation going on, and this chunk- I have to say, really is indispensable for any Zodiac researcher. It’d be quite a thrilling read even for those not so familiar with the case I’d bet. But at the end of it I have to ask the following questions.1: Why didn’t Mr Rodelli check Mr Qvale’s ALIBI for the Stine murder? If he says he was out of the country it would likely be easy enough to find out by going to England- this will be KEY to a revised edition of the book.2: Why weren’t more comparisons made to other suspects, particularly Larry Kane, a suspect even the History Channel thought was one of the most intriguing?
3: Information about Xenophon Anthony could have been addressed. I believe it was available before this book was published. He was identified at the scene of the Stine murder by a child witness. He was a Jackson St. neighbor and a peer of Qvale’s. He was cleared by fingerprint evidence but Mr Rodelli himself makes a good case for that evidence being in doubt.
4: It seems obvious nowadays that celebrities can be stalked and harassed and possibly as a result mightily harmed- so why not consider that one of Qvale’s peers might try to cut this 60’s 007-like California celeb down to size by implicating him in the murders, out of spite and as a way of confusing investigators? One surefire way to do that would be to bring a murder right to Qvale’s doorstep. Think- variations on Hitchcock’s ‘Strangers on a Train’!Concluding with a few random notes here. Most would agree the ‘Exorcist’ letter is genuine. It doesn’t take a handwriting expert if you’ve read all the letters that came before. The ‘car’ theorizing is one of the best things- really makes one think- even if you have another suspect in mind. The ‘profiling’ information is interesting and quite well presented, but there is another possibility and it’s the reason Zodiac was never caught: there was no profile- he was not an actual serial killer at all but a ‘Frankenstein-like creation, an attempt by suspect/s unknown to make it look like he was. References in the letters to the Ripper, The Lipstick Killer, The Moonlight Murders in Arkansas and others bear this out. Someone was studying the history of serial killers because they needed the Zodiac murders to appear to be the work of a lovers’ lane type killer- to take the heat off of someone else- and I suspect that ‘someone else’ was the murderer of Cheri Jo Bates in ’66. When the first confirmed Zodiac letters appeared they appear to be a somewhat flakey attempt to deflect from what was decidedly a crime of passion. The DNA discussion in the book is also very well presented. It seems doubtful that it will ever provide us with a suspect, but who can tell now, with the recent GSK breakthrough. I wish more information had been presented though explaining why certain suspects were so clearly eliminated, including Allen, in the early 00’s. Then there’s the disconnect between graphic material lumped together in the last few pages and the analysis of it stuck way back in the text. Even so I don’t buy much of Mr Rodelli’s map analysis or his ideas about Qvales use of symbols, speaking as a visually-oriented person (I’m an architect). I’m not convinced by his descriptions of runes, Qvale’s factory facade symbol in Italy, the target symbol being Viking, the bus bomb map and others. Clues that seem to point to Qvale: 6 volt foreign car batteries, the ‘Dragon’ card, even the provenance of the Carmen Ghia- could just as easily be part of a frame job. I’m also disappointed to see very little discussion of the cryptograms which to me and many other researchers are the most fascinating piece of the puzzle. If the DNA is in doubt as Mr Rodelli states, we may only be able to solve this strange and fascinating case when the unsolved cryptograms are broken.
As I write it’s been 50 years since the date of the Lake Herman Road murders. May the victims, all the victims, and their families soon find peace- with the case closed.