December 11, 2004

True Crime > Saturday Morning Mystery: Who is Zodiac Suspect Mr. X

Melissa and her mom are out Christmas shopping while I stay home with the baby. I've got some time on my hands, so I'm going to try to solve a little mystery: who is Mr. X, the new suspect in the Zodiac Killer mystery? Last year, I wrote a little about Mike Rodelli's new suspect, and the novel way he found him:

He knew that Zodiac liked sending letters to newspapers. He surmised that Zodiac might have written letters to the editors of California newspapers using his real name prior to committing any murders. Rodelli found a letter to the editor that matched Zodiac's writing style, researched its author... and found a picture of him in a magazine that matched the police composite sketch of Zodiac. The 81 year old suspect is still living.

For background on the theory, read this San Francisco Chronicle article. Now, some people have since thrown cold water on Rodelli's theory. Webmaster Tom Voight has interviewed Mr. X, and doesn't believe he's Zodiac. Mr. X also volunteerily provided a DNA sample to compare against the Zodiac letters, and the test came back negative.

Rodelli isn't doing himself any favors with some of his behavior, either - he's so intolerant of any criticism of his theory that he wound up removing the message board from his Web site. When pressed, he often asserts that he has evidence to counter the criticism, but claims he can't reveal what it is.

Still, I'm curious who the guy is, and I'm curious to see if I can figure it out. Here are the clues I have about Mr. X:

  • He was a pilot in the Navy.
  • He's a multi-millionaire.
  • He owns "a high-end, image oriented retail business in the San Francisco market."
  • He's a member of the Bohemian Club.
  • In April, 1970 he bought a company that has the same name as the surname of one of Zodiac's victims. lists the confirmed victims's surnames are Faraday, Jensen, Farrin, Mageau, Shepard, Hartnell, and Stine. The contested victims' surnames are Domingos, Edwards, Bates, Johns, Lass.
  • He still owns the same Pacific Heights home he owned in the 1960s during the Zodiac's reign. The home is near the site where Zodiac victim Paul Stine was murdered. Some of the Zodiac's victims are disputed, but not Stine. Zodiac removed part of Stine's bloody shirt and mailed a piece with his letter to the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • He's approximately 85 years old, which means he was born around 1919.

If I do figure out who X is, I won't post it. In part, that's out of respect for his privacy, and in part that's because he's made it clear that he's willing to pursue a case of libel in court.


Found a band called The Zodiac Killers. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the odd tie-ins they've had to the killer.

OK, I think I found him. The guy I think is Mr. X owns a San Francisco-based retail chain and is a member of the Bohemian Club (or was). He's seven to eight years younger than reported, but that could have been an error or deliberate obfuscation in my source. I'll check the other facts tomorrow. This only took about an hour and a half of Googling to find.

UPDATES December 12

I told Melissa who I thought Mr. X was. She did a little searching and found a biography. My guy was never in the Navy. So between that and the age difference, I think I had the wrong guy. I'm back to square one.

The Bohemian Club article I linked above was pretty neutral, but there are some way-out, conspiracy-oriented views of the club. This one, from the Knoxville Greens, is typical of the conspiracy flavor.

LATER: Who is Zodiac Suspect Mr. X, Part 2

Posted by lesjones


That's not the actual Knoxville Greens website. The guy that site belongs to started a KG website in 2000, but left right before the election after they got sick of him posting stuff about Victor, Victor's relationship with tow truck companies and the Mafia, Victor and Bohemian Grove, etc. etc. He's a one-man splinter group who has some obvious problems.

Posted by: steve K. at December 13, 2004

Good on the Knoxville Greens for kicking that guy out. He was muy loco.

Posted by: Les Jones at December 13, 2004

I think that the Zodiac killer was someone who had a history of killing things as a child or a history of hurting people ro animals. You shouldn't give up. I'm doing a report on him for school keep me up dated.

Posted by: A at April 17, 2005

The Zodiac killer prefered to kill young couples so I think he did out of jealous rage because girls and young women shunned him and a girlfriend was something that he could not have. Hartnells's statement that he stabbed Cecelia Shephard with more force than himself seems to show that.

Posted by: Mack at May 24, 2005

true... i agree with this as the early motive. it's obvious though, that z's motivation shifted throughout his reign. he became more interested in the publicity than the punishing of women or couples. that can be seen with the increasing frequency of communications, threats on a school bus full of children, and then the murder of Paul Stine.

Posted by: zhunter at July 12, 2005

The name of the person your looking for is Robert E. Hunter Jr.

Posted by: ___--------_____-------- at October 05, 2005

The real zodiac killer died on Aug 26, 2006, in
Olympia Washington at age 78. Here is his identity...(

Posted by: Dennis Kaufman at October 01, 2006

Kaufman get over it. Jack was not the Zodiac, everytime someone brings up the mounds of evidence to dispute your claims you flip out and wont listen or answer any direct questions.

Posted by: UBPClaw at February 08, 2007

I learned from the person investigating Mr. X that Robert Hunter is not Mr X

Posted by: UBPClaw at February 16, 2007

Really, I can't Mike Rodelli to e-mail me back.
When did he tell you it wasn't Robert E Hunter?

Posted by: lisa at February 27, 2007

AT TIMES YOU MAY SEE THE SIGNS...I AM WITH YOU UNTIL HE END...Cable & Plough till my blood in years to the end.

Posted by: YELLOW BUS at March 01, 2007

I always thought you were in the Army, not the Navy - as others thought.

Please give more info., so everyone will know it's really you...

Posted by: Need more info at April 08, 2007

Question for you, Yellow Bus:
Does this sound familiar?

Universe Marvel Universe
Base of Operations Unrevealed

First Appearance Captain America #449
Significant Issues “First Sign”
(Captain America #449, Thor #496, Iron Man #326, Avengers #396)

organization: Zodiac

Zodiac hoped that by SURROUNDING New York (replace with SF) CITY with a force field,
it might turn the night black in order to sever the stars' influence on humanity and thus enable them to TAKE OVER THE CITY
and, eventually, the world.

The Zodiac had created an army to help accomplish their mission, but the army was confronted by members of the Avengers.

After gaining help from their erstwhile ally, the Enchantress, the Avengers followed the trail to the dimensional portal causing the force field, forcing their way through growing darkness and legions of Zodiac soldiers. The remaining Avengers managed to breech the force field to join their teammates in a final pitched battle against the ZODIAC ARMY
and their COSTUMED LEADER, Libra

When the Zodiac's plans were thwarted, Libra escaped, but not before DETONATING SMALL BOMBS
in the Zodiac army's costumes and intimating that there may be other costumed leaders waiting to strike.
To date, however, this version of the Zodiac has yet to reappear.


The ZODIAC was the name of a criminal organization whose members were NAMED AND COSTUMED AFTER A SIGN OF THE ASTROLOGICAL ZODIAC.

Over the years, there have been various incarnations of the organization.

THE ANDROID ZODIAC WAS CREATED by Jacob Fury, a member of the human Zodiac Cartel, in hopes of creating a team that would operate under his control.

Jacob Fury, as Scorpio, was believed to have died in a previous attempt to kill his brother, Nick Fury, the public director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Scorpio wielded an ankh-shaped extra-dimensional power object called the Zodiac Key, which could fire energy bolts and teleport people and objects, even from one dimension to another.

The Key originated in another dimension where conflict, especially between the forces of good and evil, in which neither side entirely and permanently defeats the other, is prized above all else.

However, when conflict had waned there over time, A CULT OF BEINGS KNOWN AS THE BROTHERHOOD created the Zodiac Key and sent it to Earth, believing that the Key would perpetuate the struggle between good and evil, as the battle was more intense on Earth than in their own world. The Key appeared to Jacob Fury, drawn to him by his great potential for doing evil, motivated by his INTENSE HATRED OF THE SOCIETY AND GOVERNMENTAL SYSTEM that Nick Fury worked to protect.

Jacob Fury had not died in his last defeat, and he recovered the Zodiac Key after it had been sent back to Earth by the Brotherhood. Fury again assumed the role of Scorpio and used the Zodiac Key as an energy source for his "Theater of Genetics."

In this laboratory he created eleven sophisticated androids known as Life Model Decoys (LMDs) to serve as members of his own Zodiac organization. The Capricorn and Pisces androids, however, died due to imperfections soon after their activation, and the Virgo android proved to be impossible to activate. Fury again went after his brother, but the Defenders and their ally, Moon Knight, defeated the Zodiac LMDs. Jacob Fury, engulfed by despair at the failure of his plans, committed suicide by shooting himself. Nick Fury came to the scene and found his brother's corpse.

But this was not the end of Jacob Fury. The sentient Zodiac Key constructed an LMD in his form. This LMD believed itself to be the original Jacob Fury and that the original Jacob Fury's spirit and consciousness were transplanted by the Key into this android form. The Jacob Fury LMD, retaining the identity of Scorpio, found the Zodiac androids that had escaped from the Defenders and created new ones to replace Capricorn, Pisces, Virgo, the Zodiac androids that had been destroyed by S.H.I.E.L.D. after their capture.

The new android Zodiac first appeared having been organized by the Avengers’ then-renegade member, Quicksilver, although the exact details of Quicksilver’s recruitment remains unrevealed. Quicksilver, who was then temporarily insane, ordered the Zodiac to defeat the Avengers in revenge for imagined wrongs. However, the Avengers defeated them all before escaping to regroup.

Most of the androids were placed in federal custody.

The android Zodiac were soon released, and the Scorpio LMD rebuilt a number of them.
Scorpio used the Zodiac Key to create LMDs that exemplified the forces and personalities inherent in each sign, hoping to create great strength in the combination of all twelve traits of the Zodiac.

At some point the android Zodiac captured and presumably killed the human Scorpio, Jacques LaPoint. Jacob Fury's Scorpio android then impersonated him and infiltrated the original, human Zodiac organization.

He arranged the ambush in which the android Zodiac killed ALL OF THE REMAINING HUMAN ZODIAC LEADERS EXCEPT Cornelius van Lunt, alias TAURUS.

Immediately afterward, Van Lunt sought out the services of the Avengers' West Coast branch to confront and defeat the android Zodiac. In their initial foray, the Avengers failed, although several androids were destroyed. Sagittarius, in particular, was destroyed and replaced with an LMD replica of the Avengers’ Hawkeye. Hawkeye's LMD was used to infiltrate the Avengers' headquarters, and Scorpio also made a Leo LMD in the form of the Avengers’ Tigra for additional infiltration.

IN DEATH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, but the first android Leo took offence at being replaced. He battled Scorpio directly, seemingly destroying him.

The Zodiac Key immediately resurrected the Scorpio LMD. Claiming superiority and believing that the Zodiac would eventually kill the Avengers as the androids could never be stopped, Scorpio wanted to use the Key to transport everyone on the scene to the Key's native dimension where the conflict, he believed, could be prolonged indefinitely. However, when the androids were in the other dimension, they ceased to function because each of them were aligned with a particular zodiacal energy, energy that did not exist in the other dimension. The Avengers found Hawkeye and Tigra had been sent to the same dimension and, reunited, the team was sent back to Earth by the Brotherhood. However, secretly the Brotherhood waited so that someday they could also send the Key to Earth again and create new conflicts for them.

Posted by: Need more info at April 08, 2007

"Cable & Plough"

(Looks like we are back to "British" again?):

Cable Plough & The Electric Telegraph
To carry the cable forward on land, ...were provided with two telegraph wagons, a cable cart and plough, ...

The Cable Wagon
Armoured Command Vehicle · Cable Plough · Cable Wagon ... The British Army...

...Only in 1854, thanks to the efforts of 25 British sappers leading an apparatus called a cable plough, did her majesty's army unreel its first 21 miles of ... chronicle/archive/2004/10/05/DDGDQ92TFS1.DTL -

Posted by: Need more info at April 08, 2007

As you were in the Army, I am sure you are also familiar with a "zodiac", which is an inflatable-type boat used by the military.

Posted by: Need more info at April 08, 2007

I now turn the podium over to you.
Good Day, Sir.
I await your statements...

Posted by: Need more info at April 08, 2007


Mike Rodelli is a regular poster at, thats probably the best way to contact him. He has a rule of not responding to emails asking if a certain person is Mr X

Posted by: UBPClaw at April 10, 2007

i don't get it, what's the point of it all?; some asshole wanting recognition for killing?, or for not getting caught, I mean, seriously?, there are about 300.000, people, who have killed and no one knows yet who did it, does mr. or ms. "Zodiac" get off at killing or is he/she a wannabe celebrity; anywho, just leave it the fuck alone!!!!

Posted by: at October 11, 2007

So, was it Robert E. Hunter?

Posted by: Z at January 17, 2008

The zodiac is richard Gaikowski just watch and see. All the evidence is there. His name is in the ciphers well gyke is and he used several nicknames when he wrote for the san francisco good times. He mentions good times in vallejo several times in his letters. This is the guy. There is so much evidence its him. :)

Posted by: jeff at April 06, 2008

Mr. X or the Zodiac killer is James "Whitey" Bulger. I believe he was also responsible for the Green River, BTK, etc. reigns of terror. It may sound far fetched to you, but I'm 99.99% positive he's your man.

Posted by: P. Beckman at May 07, 2008

P Beckman: James Bulger may or may not be Zodiac, but he is definitely not the Mr. X Mike Rodelli describes.

Posted by: Les Jones at May 07, 2008

all suspects are too ridiculous ; this is offense to real zodiac

Posted by: titzs at June 29, 2008


Posted by: YELLOW BUS at July 03, 2008


Posted by: YELLOW BUS at July 03, 2008

If it's Richard aren't you dead?

Posted by: Monkey at July 15, 2008

Yellow bus, you are a liar ! Who do you think you are kidding ? Lets say you are who you claim you are, prove it by telling us something that only you and perhaps the police know about Darlene Ferrin ? Did she or didn't she see you kill someone ? and who was that victim ?

Posted by: sandy betts at August 11, 2008

Look Zodiac (allegedly)...
4 me (& others) to take u seriously...u have to provide something 2 prove its u...period, & not just rehashed quotes from the latest film...
i dont think thats asking 2 u?

Posted by: wixter at August 15, 2008

Yellow Bus:
I imagine the true Zodiac would not give his age (20?) in 1969, or his exact base posting as the Presidio. It would take two seconds to find you. The base is closed, but the records of the (6th?) Division could be easily looked up. I passed by the sign so many times-it was the 6th in 69', right?
Your choice of weapons seems interesting in view of your military background. I would think an MP would want a good old .45. Not so much work as you seemed to have gone through to collect your..ah..slaves. Was that a K-Bar that what you call them? I know you could have used your bare hands, so why the pop guns big guy? Don't you think that's kinda underkill for the 'Most Dangerous Game'.
I just wonder why you think you were such a great killer? 4-maybe 5 people? That's not many slaves for the afterlife, eh? Kinda of a small labor force for a guy like you. Where do they hang while they await your demise?
In one year of the sixteen I spent in SF, there were more deaths on the Bay Bridge from idiots getting out of their cars. You don't even rank up there with Son of Sam. A blip on the radar..or radian...or whatever floats your boat.
So either get busy or STFU.

Posted by: Tim at September 05, 2008

Yellow Bus:
I have given you clues to who I am. I'll give you another. I live in So. Cal. AGAIN and Tim is my real name.
Why not play your old game? You know, The Most Dangerous Game. Can you hunt me down? How good are your eyes old man? Does your hand shake? Can you see in the dark? Move without sound?
MP's? Please.
I'll even play in your yard-The Bay. Name a date and a park and I won't even be armed. A true challenge to such a warrior as you!

Posted by: Tim at September 05, 2008

It was the 7th Division-right? Know a guy named Johnny M. (famous bartender in SF) who was based there at the time? He was an MP and he does not remember a thing about anyone, "who was a sack of nuts."

Posted by: Tim at September 05, 2008

Yellow Bus' first name is Mike.

He currently resides in Riverside.

Posted by: SherlockHolmes at October 25, 2008

Yellow Bus' first name is Mike.

He currently resides in Riverside.

Posted by: SherlockHolmes at October 25, 2008

Yellow bus name is mike but who he is ?

Posted by: rob at December 06, 2008

All of you are morons. Too bad Z didn't kill your parents and save us the trouble of supporting your welfare lifestyles.

Posted by: wh0cares at December 23, 2008
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