photo from Forgottenfiberglass
After reading Mike Rodelli’s book ‘The Hunt For Zodiac’, I have to face the fact there’s no getting around addressing his compelling theory that auto importer Kjell Qvale was the Zodiac. I’m an amateur researcher. Mr. Rodelli is an amateur researcher. Though he’s been assisted by some amazing authorities in the field in his roughly 20 year search for the Zodiac, it’s still the case he’s an amateur, despite his best efforts to convince us otherwise. For examples of great research in true crime writing IMO see: ‘They All Loved Jack- Busting The Ripper’ by Bruce Robinson, or ‘Black Dahlia, Red Rose: The Crime, Corruption, and Cover-Up of America’s Greatest Unsolved Murder’ by Piu Eatwell, this latter being one of the finest true crime books I’ve ever read and I’m a voracious reader. Still, I would highly recommend Mr. Rodelli’s book as essential for any Zodiac researcher, particularly the middle half.
The huge misstep I think Mr Rodelli makes in his research lies not in the research on his subject but in not seeing how his pet suspect- a very successful, high-profile, even famous man- might have been vulnerable to a jealous attack or frame up. He doesn’t even consider it in his book. To his question ‘who else could it be’ the answer is quite simply someone in his own social circle, another immigrant social climber, perhaps a little younger, who might wish to put a spoke in Qvale’s wheel.
There is much salient discussion in Mr Rodelli’s book about the profiling of a serial killer. But the reason Z has never been correctly profiled as I’ve been blogging here- Zodiac was NOT a serial killer. He’s a faked serial killer. The murders are committed with the ultimate goal of protecting Larry Kane from being arrested for Cheri Jo Bates’ murder. The motive: cooperation with the mob in order to get their blessing and support in breaking into the extremely lucrative Nevada Casino biz, and by so doing getting around prejudice against certain immigrant groups trying to chase the American Dream- just as Q had, though with his Nordic advantages. And chasing after it by any means necessary even if it meant heartless, even senseless murders, to overcome the societal prejudice of the era- insurmountable by almost all other law-abiding but downtrodden immigrants.
Was Xenophon Anthony, an independently wealthy Greek American, of Jackson Street, Presidio Heights, jealous of his famous neighbor Kell Qvale? Did he propose the Stine murder plot and assist fellow Greek and ringleader George Karadanis in trying to frame Qvale as the Zodiac? (Again, continuing the cover-up)
Xenophon Lusby Anthony, import/export man, ______ Jackson Street. Identified by a 9 yo witness at the Stine crime scene. An actual suspect! Cleared by fingerprint evidence. But Mr Rodelli himself shows how the cab fingerprints may not be reliable.
Kjell Qvale, importer of foreign cars, ________Jackson Street. Spoken to near the crime scene by Officer Pellisetti the night of the murder.
The two move to Jackson St. around the same time- 1965/66? The younger man Anthony might have suggested to his wife that they move closer to ‘the sweet smell of success’ ie: Qvale, the successful immigrant. They move from San Marino in LA. Coincidentally both Xen and Q have roots in Seattle. Their fathers both live in the metro area. Excellent cocktail party chat up perhaps? The Norwegian gets the ‘broads’, fast cars, horses and of course the swinging 60’s jet-set high-life. Think Bond, James Bond!
It’s Xen Anthony perhaps who sees early on a way of framing Qvale (at least as a way of diverting attention from Kane). He reads about Qvale’s racing, particularly a 1966 Riverside race near his LA home in wealthy San Marino: it’s big news in his social circle. Then Karadanis, in November of that year- (before the ‘Confession Letter’ is sent)- approaches him with the Kane cover-up plot. ‘The 4 Horsemen’ as I like to call the group is born: Kane, Karadanis, Anthony and Maloff.
Xen Anthony files away in his memory that hapless victim Cheri Jo owned a brand new ‘Hitler’ car: a VW Beetle, imported by Qvales company. The car was designed by Dr. Porche and Adolf Hitler in the pre-war years. The company name Volkswagen, or ‘the people’s car’ was another Hitler creation. It might have really irked Xen that an immigrant like Qvale could become successful importing this ‘evil little car’. And here was he, with a Harvard education, struggling to find his footing, ten years out of college?
Both men have summer places out of SF, North of town. Xen is quite aware of Qvale’s compound near Lake Berryessa. The strongest point in Mr Rodelli’s book is to make us aware of the primary theme running through all the murders- the emphasis on cars/vehicles. In particular he notes two really glaring car connections: one- the fact that the Lake Berryessa victims’ VW Carmen Ghia was purchased from a Qvale showroom in Oregon; two- the fact that Q had very publicly put his ‘signature’ on cars. I believe it was Xen Anthony’s idea to target this couple as victims- for a couple of reasons. He wanted to continue making it seem their fake serial killer Zodiac was seen as a lover’s lane type serial killer. Whether by luck or planning he was able to find a convenient female victim in Cecelia Shephard, (remember it’s all about the women) with many similarities to Cheri Jo Bates, and with ties to the Riverside area (Loma Linda). In so doing he thought it might create a connection in the minds of investigators between the Riverside and Lake Berryessa crimes (which failed to happen). And, to further confuse the ‘profile’, it might plant the idea that the suspect was a stalker. With the car- and the car door message- he wanted to throw suspicion on Qvale- out of jealousy and hatred.
Images: thecrimemag.com; true-crime-story.de above; and Zodiac.ciphers.com below
It would mean Anthony himself must have stalked this couple for a time. The idea might have come to him through his skills obtaining data in his own import/export business. He knew the area well from his own weekend jaunts. On one of his own back road drives he may have spotted the VW. Was he the actual attacker, was this his first- somewhat reluctant somewhat awkward- murder, with the carefully embroidered disguise worn just in case he was spotted in daylight – with Karadanis possibly acting as the getaway driver and car door message-writer/score-keeper.
Previously I’ve written that Larry Kane was the likely perpetrator at the Lake. But since he was such a ‘loose cannon’ the ‘Horsemen’ might have thought it better to keep him ‘out of the loop’.
When it didn’t implicate Qvale as they’d planned…did it build resentment in Joe K? Did Xen Anthony then suggest bringing a murder almost to Qvale’s doorstep (Stine Murder- Presidio Heights, SF)? Which again failed- almost fatally for them. Was this enough to make Joe Karadanis want to turn on Xen implicating him in the 340 Cipher?
“Minardos remarried in 1965. He and his wife Julie had two children together, a son named George and a daughter named Nina. Minardos reputedly lived with the actress Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s and also with the actress/dancer Juliet Prowse before she moved to Las Vegas to be with Frank Sinatra.” Wikipedia
“In 1975, Minardos starred in and produced Assault on Agathon  based on the book by Alan Caillou. It is the story of a revolutionary from World War II, the mysterious Agathon, who is committing terrorist acts in Greece and Albania. Minardos stars as Cabot Cain, [emphasis mine] a Western agent assigned to stop Agathon and locate a missing Interpol agent. Minardos obtained financing for the film from Kjell Qvale, a Bay Area-based automotive entrepreneur who was then the majority shareholder in Jensen Motors. Minardos had approached Qvale for a product placement deal to use a Jensen Interceptor during filming but ultimately convinced Qvale to finance the entire movie.” Wikipedia
• Greek /Norwegian (Qvale) connection
• Greek / Italian (Sinatra again) connection