A Review of… 👎 Nope: With Sigmund, Alex and Richard 05152019

Appears there’s some interest in my book reviews, whether positive or not. So I think will try another one soon. Maybe Greysmith… or Hodel, just for kicks.

Oh fuck it, what’s the use. I can’t express myself nearly as well as these ZodiacCiphers.com contributors:

Sigmund:

“Mike, [Rodelli] I guess the problem is we have all seen numerous suspects being put forward with piles of circumstantial evidence attached.

I must have put several possible suspects under the microscope myself and managed to compile almost 100 pages of circumstantial evidence on any one of them. What seems to amount to a lot of “compelling and overwhelming evidence” to me may in fact be just a house of cards without the all essential DNA, multiple witnesses, and fingerprint evidence to back it up. From my experience huge piles of circumstantial evidence can in fact become illusory – they lead us to believe things about a suspect that may really have no foundation – so all that effort ends up amounting to nothing. Piles of circumstantial evidence can become more like products of our own mind’s reasoning (based on premises) than what may have actually been the case. This is why the Zodiac’s identity will always be in doubt, at least until such time as DNA can prove otherwise, and we all see how slow that process has been. There may never be any closure on the Zodiac’s DNA.

My guess is if anyone had door-knocked and did a survey of San Francisco back then, they could have come up with 100 or more suspects from the nearby area based on similar kinds of circumstantial evidence. He looked like the sketch (check), wrote on a certain style of paper (check), did things that suggested he was of “incriminating” character (check), sought attention (check, because San Francisco was packed full of people chasing the ideal of individual freedom at that time, so it had numerous artists, poets, writers, singers, songwriters, and even the odd millionaire with a sports car fetish).

So really, you cannot blame people for thinking your circumstantial evidence is “ambiguous, uncertain, unclear, subjective and intuitive”, as you put it, because in reality it is. By your own words, it is “circumstantial”, so I am not quite sure what you expect from other people?

The thing is you could be right, then again you could be completely wrong. This will be the case no matter how much you try to argue in support of your circumstantial evidence. Other people will always find cause to reason, question, and doubt if a theory is based solely on circumstantial evidence. That is just human nature. Add to this the fact that the crime took place a great many decades ago, and it should not be difficult to see the problems. Time is a great eraser and corrupter of evidence, and the longer the time the more subjective a case will inevitably become.”

Alex Lewis:

4/19/2018 04:19:56 pm

“Hey Mike, its been a while! Congrats on the release of a book.

I am curious to know if, before i purchase your book, do you acknowledge in your book that Qvale eas [was] approached bu [by] ABC’s documentary film makers who put the allegation to Him and upon His denial to the allegation put, did agree when asked, supplied His DNA for comparison which was tested against a sealed stamp from a Z envelope that had DNA and saliva found under it with a negative, no match, result? 

I don’t ask this Mike to try to discredit or take away from the books suspect and your conclusions, I am simply asking because if you do approach this point in your book, then I would congratulate you on giving potential readers the full and ‘unedited’, as it were, account of the Qvale saga even to the point of addressing issues that may not favor your agenda opposed to simply not addressing facts that are non favorable to your thesis whereby the books credibility and bias can be called to question?”

Last but certainly not least, Richard Grinell:

5/15/2019 03:44:15 am

“Circumstantial evidence (if enough) can be just as powerful as forensic evidence in solving cases – the differences between people involved in the Zodiac case is what value we attribute to each piece of circumstantial evidence. If we are talking about Kjell Qvale, I know Mike places emphasis on Kjell Qvale’s lifelong involvement in cars and links that to cars/motorcycles/buses/firetrucks, etc, that figure prominently in the Z crimes. From my perspective, I interpret the mention of cars/motorcycles/buses/firetrucks nothing more than Zodiac referring to his experience that night, and can see no correlation between Zodiac and cars, other than subterfuge in the August 4th 1969 letter. Mike and I disagree on the BRS phone call, which I maintain was directionally correct. I believe Zodiac was stopped by Fouke etc. I have read Mike’s book twice and the information about the crimes is extremely informative, but I clearly don’t see the circumstantial correlations as compelling as Mike does, and never the twain shall meet. I only hope that differences of opinion are not treated as attacks. I actually don’t buy into any of the suspects, including Arthur Leigh Allen. The question that has to be asked to people who have a strongly held belief that a certain suspect is Zodiac, is what circumstantial evidence would it take for them to doubt their suspect. There is unlikely to be any.

Mike has a strongly held view that Kjell Qvale was the Zodiac Killer and I respect his opinion, but one that I personally don’t share. We can agree to disagree and accept that is the nature of a Zodiac community I would like to see. If we all agreed on the same thing, what a boring world it would be.

I would like to ask Mike about his forum post on the Zodiac Killer message board with respect to Michael Butterfield “His agenda is to make himself relevant as an expert on the case even though he doesn’t have the insight or wherewithal to develop his own suspect. So he compensates by saying that you can’t trust anything a person with a suspect says because they”have an agenda.” He’s a guy who pulls the wool over the eyes of unsuspecting people from the media.”

This reads to me as though anybody who hasn’t got or developed their own suspect hasn’t got any insight or wherewithal. That is like saying “you need to develop a suspect otherwise your credibility as a ‘Zodiac expert’ is compromised”. I don’t agree. What I will say in general about the Zodiac case, is that you learn and develop as a ‘Zodiac expert’ by being prepared to read forum posts, website articles and listening to various podcasts from multiple sources. I recently listened to a Michael Butterfield podcast, where he stated in response to, have there been any new findings of interest in the Zodiac case in recent years, he cited the excellent find by Tahoe and the Alfred Hitchcock gunsight feature – and that was it. The only way to learn about the Zodiac case, is be prepared to wade through an exorbitant amount of shit, until you learn something new and interesting. I am prepared to do that to discover or see new angles, but unfortunately are renowned ‘Zodiac experts’ prepared to do that. Or are they content with either listening to their own voices and only reading articles and forum posts about themselves. In respect to your book Mike, I have read it and therefore I am not one of the disingenuous voices that comments on it without reading it. You make it plain that it is important to read something before making comment regarding the validity of Kjell Qvale as Zodiac. I agree, but unfortunately not everybody will arrive at the same conclusion.

Do I believe people with suspects (whether in book form or not) have implicit bias – absolutely. They see the Zodiac crimes through the lens of their suspect now and when presented with future findings, as Mark Hewitt so exhibited when deleting old videos contradicting his current stance on the validity of the blooded taxicab fingerprints, once his third book on Kaczynski came out. Suddenly his stance on the fingerprints did a 180. He knew Kaczynski’s fingerprints were on file, so effectively had to negate the fingerprint evidence in his mind. Whether the fingerprints are Zodiac or not, is irrelevant. It is the dramatic shift he took regarding this evidence once he aligned with Ted Kaczynski. This shift was suspect driven. I respect Mark Hewitt, Gary Stewart and anybody else who is utterly convinced of a particular suspect and have long realized that no argument (however compelling) will ever jolt this unwavering belief. The harsh reality, is no amount of circumstantial evidence debunking a suspect will ever trump the circumstantial evidence the person uses in favour of their suspect, because people have strong beliefs. You strongly believe in Kjell Qvale and no amount of people supporting your book findings or negating them will change anything. What you believe is what matters.”

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