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The Zodiac


** The suspect in the photos above is Jack Tarrance. Jack has been the focus of the Zodiac investigation which was reopened in 2000. Jack Tarrance passed away on August 26, 2006, in Olympia, Washington, at age 78.

** Here are the links to the recent media coverage of this story. VIEW VIEW VIEW VIEW VIEW VIEW VIEW VIEW VIEW VIEW VIEW

New evidence is begining to surface that Jack Tarrance may be responsible for other infamous crimes, one of these crimes is the murder of Elizabeth Short who was killed in 1947 in Los Angeles California. This case is refered to as "The Black Dahlia Case" There have been movies made and books written about this unsolved murder. After Elizabeth was murdered her killer wrote letters to local newspapers taunting police, and it is these letters that can be linked to Jack Tarrance. Recently some of Jack's film was developed and on one of the rolls of film was a photo of what I believe to be Elizabeth Short while she is being tortured. Warning this is graphic!CLICK HERE

This image believed to be Elizabeth Short is almost identifiable now thanks to a few people who helped clean it up. To view the photo CLICK HERE CLICK HERE

Here is the smoking gun. You can see blood coming from her nose and everywhere else in this photo. I was able to bring this out with color enhancement and shading. To view CLICK HERE

I ran across this newspaper article from July 1947. The article is about a man by the name of Fred Woodley being arrested for being a witness to the murder of Elizabeth Short. Mr. Woodley claimed he and his girlfriend met with Elizabeth Short right before she was murdered. That night Elizabeth was with a man named "JACK" and this man also had "J.W." tattooed on him according to Mr. Woodley. Here is a link to the article.CLICK HERE

It has also been confirmed by Nanette Barto that Jack Tarrance is the author of the Zodiac letters. Unfortunately her credibility has been called into question. Here is a link to a recent article of the events that have taken place. CLICK HERE The follow up article.CLICK HERE

To discuss this case with others check out the message board

Many people claim to know the identity of the Zodiac, yet fail to provide any proof. I can assure you that before I accused someone of being a serial killer, I would have to be absolutely certain. I can say for certain that Jack Tarrance was responsible for the Zodiac murders, as well as many others. The reason that Jack was never arrested for the Zodiac murders was because of departmental jealousy amongst law enforcement -- mostly the San Francisco Police Department. On October 5, 2000, I met with FBI Special Agent Ken Hittmeier, and spent a couple of hours presenting my case. A couple of days later, Mr. Hittmeier called me and asked me to bring my evidence to the FBI -- they believed that Jack Tarrance was the Zodiac Killer. Some of the items they wanted from me were letters Jack had sent to me over the years so they could try and get Jack's DNA from under the stamps. I met with Mr. Hittmeier and Special Agent Chris Hopkins, and provided them with the items they requested. The FBI contacted the SFPD and asked them for an original Zodiac letter so they could test it in their lab for DNA. They informed the SFPD that I had compelling evidence linking Jack Tarrance to the Zodiac crimes, and they assured the SFPD that their lab could have results within thirty days. The SFPD refused to send them any evidence and told the FBI that they would do the testing themselves. The FBI agreed to send SFPD the evidence I had provided them with so they could do the DNA testing and see if Jack Tarrance was a match. After two long years, the SFPD comes back with only a partial DNA profile of Zodiac. I found out later that the SFPD had lost all the original Zodiac letters. Three of them were found in the garage of one of the investigators who worked on the case (I won't mention his name). Once evidence leaves the evidence room, it is no longer admissable in court. I would like to thank the folks at the FBI for their efforts in this matter. I would also like to thank the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department and the South Lake Tahoe Police Department for their efforts as well.


My name is Dennis Kaufman, and I am Jack's stepson. Jack is the only father I ever knew. He met my mother in South Lake Tahoe in 1970, when I was five years old. Jack was married to my mother for twenty-seven years until she finally became his victim in February, 1999. My mother tried to tell me that Jack was trying to kill her, but I refused to believe her until it was too late. To read about my mother's death CLICK HERE; to continue reading CLICK HERE; to continue CLICK HERE. Here is my mother's DEATH CERTIFICATE. I realized that the man I had grown to know (since the age of five) did not exist. It was all just a disguise to hide the monster that lay beneath it!

In June of 2000, I made a startling discovery after watching a documentary called "Case Reopened" by Lawrence Block, about a serial killer who had eluded police for over thirty years. This killer would murder people and then write letters to Bay Area newspapers to taunt the police for not catching him. His reign of terror began in 1966, and after 1974 he was never heard from again. This killer was known only as "The Zodiac". As I sat and watched this documentary, everything that happened in my life that never made sense to me suddenly made perfect sense. Things like why I went to thirty different schools when I was growing up, or why Jack told me just after I met him that he did not want to live with us, but "I have no choice," as he stated. Every aspect of the Zodiac profile fit Jack so perfectly, so I began searching for something that could prove Jack wasn't Zodiac. If I could find just one thing about Jack that did not match, then there would be no reason to continue with this. But the more I searched, the more I found linking Jack to Zodiac.

Click here to read the background of Jack.


Let me begin with Zodiac's description which was given on October 11, 1969: A white male 35-45 years old, height of around 5'10" to 5'11", 220 - 240 pounds, with a paunch. Zodiac was described to have been wearing brown, pleated pants with shiny shoes.

At that time, Jack was 41 years old, height of 5'10- 1/2", 225 pounds, with a paunch (VIEW #1). Here is a photo of Jack in 1975 with brown pleated pants and shiny shoes: (VIEW #2). A composite was made of the Zodiac after he was seen that night in 1969, and here is Jack's photo from 1971: (VIEW #3). Here are some other photos of Jack from around that time: (VIEW #4), (VIEW #5). Another composite of the Zodiac was made in Sonoma County in 1975, and here is Jack's photo from 1973: (VIEW #6).


Zodiac was said to have been driving a white Renault Caravelle, a car similar in appearance to the Corvair. Here is a photo of Jack's second wife standing in front of Jack's car in 1968: (VIEW #7). Zodiac was seen in an ice blue two-door Chevy Impala at Lake Berryessa the day of the attack. Here is a photo from 1971 taken at Stevens Creek of Jack with his ice blue two-door Chevy Impala: (VIEW #8). A white Chevy Impala was seen the night of the Lake Herman murders on December 20, 1968. Here is a photo, taken in 1969, of Jack's white Chevy Impala: (VIEW #9).


Here is a comparison of Jack's writing to the Zodiac's: (VIEW #10). The Zodiac and Jack both used an odd splitting of words: (VIEW #11). Here is another odd characteristic that you find in the Zodiac letters -- The letter Zodiac sent in January of 1974 starts out "I saw and think The Exorcist was the best saterical com-idy that I have ever seen." The last word on the second line is "com-" and the third line begins with the remaining portion of the word "idy". In Jack's writing we find this same characteristic: (VIEW #12). The letter "a" is what Jack tried to disguise, but on occasion he forgot and wrote it like he did on the Zodiac letters: (VIEW #13). Here is some of Jack's cursive writing where he makes all of his letter a's like he did in the Zodiac letters: (VIEW #14 NEW). On most of the Zodiac letters, the letter "u" has a tail; however, in Zodiac's Red Phantom letter, the letter "u" has no tail. Here are two examples of Zodiac's letter "u". The first example is from Zodiac's button letter -- you can see that all of the letter u's have a tail. The second example is from Zodiac's Red Phantom letter -- you can clearly see the letter "u" has no tail. The third example is of Jack's writing from the early 1970's -- Jack makes his letter "u" with a tail and without a tail on the same document: THE LETTER U. Here is more of Jack's writing from the early 1970's: (NEW); (NEW); (AN INTERESTING DOCUMENT).


Donna Lass disappeared on on September 6, 1970, in South Lake Tahoe. She was living at 3893 #6 Pioneer Trail, South Lake Tahoe, in the Monti Verdi Apartments. Jack was living with us during the time Lass disappeared, and we lived about one mile from her at 3715 #7 Blackwood Road, South Lake Tahoe, in the Leawood Apartments. Jack's daughter Lana worked at the same casino as Donna Lass, at the same time she disappeared.

The San Francisco Chronicle received a postcard from The Zodiac on March 22, 1971, and at the bottom it said "Peak through the pines pass Lake Tahoe areas.": (VIEW #15). Jack was living in Lake Tahoe then: (VIEW #16) (VIEW #17)

After Zodiac mailed the postcard that the S.F. Chronicle recieved on March 22, 1971, he went silent for three years. Something must have happened in Zodiac's life. On March 22, 1971, Jack was put on probation for one year, and was given specific orders from the court that he not possess any guns. Jack was ordered to appear on March 17, 1972, for further evaluation: (VIEW #18).

After almost three years of silence, Zodiac sent a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle on January 29, 1974: (VIEW #19). The following month, the Chronicle received another letter from Zodiac: (VIEW #20). Three months later on May 8, 1974, Zodiac mailed another letter: . Then, just two months later on July 8, 1974, Zodiac mailed a letter once again to the San Francisco Chronicle: (VIEW #21). Zodiac was never heard from again. On March 17, 1974, Jack was arrested for poaching in Eldorado County, and was sentenced on July 10, 1974. He was taken right from court into custody where he spent the next thirty days. This is the first time Jack had to do time in jail: (VIEW #22).

Zodiac quoted phrases from The Mikado in some of his letters: (VIEW #23). The Mikado is the Emporor of Japan. Jack was sent to Japan in 1955 while in the U.S. Navy: (VIEW #24). Jack met a woman in Japan and married her under Japanese law. Her name was Iko. Shortly after Jack married Iko, he was sent back to the U.S. without notice and was never able to return. It is a good possibility that Zodiac was at Treasure Island at some point and was inspired by a movie that was playing there called "Charlie Chan at Treasure Island". In the movie, there was an evil villian called Dr. Zodiac who enjoyed taunting the police. Jack was sent to Treasure Island in 1954 for twenty-six weeks while serving in the U.S. Navy: (VIEW #25).


Zodiac sent bomb diagrams with some of his letters -- notice the jumpers: (VIEW #26). This is one of the diagrams found in Jack' s storage. It is very similar to Zodiac's bomb diagram -- notice the jumpers: (VIEW #27). Here is Zodiac's bomb diagram next to one of Jack's diagrams that was found in his storage: DIAGRAM COMPARISON. Here are some more diagrams found in Jack's storage: (NEW); (NEW).


In one of Zodiac's letters, he used the phrase "fiddle and fart around": (VIEW #28). The FBI had determined that this phrase had originated in or around Lubbock, Texas. Jack was from Lubbock Texas: (VIEW #29).

In October of 1970, Zodiac sent a Halloween card to the San Francisco Chronicle. At the bottom of the card was a strange symbol: (VIEW #30). The police eventually learned that the symbol was found on large steel flange beams. The police felt that Zodiac may have worked around these steel beams at some point. Jack worked for a large steel company in 1950: (VIEW #31).

Some of the Zodiac letters were written on Eaton Bond paper. Blank pieces of old Eaton bond paper were found in Jack's storage in July, 2001. These items were turned over to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department: (VIEW #32).

Zodiac sent ciphers written in code with some of his letters: (VIEW #33). Zodiac had knowledge in code. Police believed that there was more than a fifty-percent chance that Zodiac was a HAM radio operator. The bomb diagram Zodiac sent with one of his letters came from the schematic of a UP 15 TELEPRINTER. These machines were used by HAM radio operators. One of the requirments for obtaining a license to operate HAM radio is mastering Morse Code. Jack was a HAM radio operator for years: (VIEW #34).

Zodiac left shoe prints at Lake Berryessa that were a Size 10-1/2. The prints were clear enough to determine that the shoes that Zodiac was wearing were a rare military shoe called "Wingwalkers". They were designed for walking on the wings of airplanes, and they were not sold to the public. Jack wore a size 10-1/2, and would have had access to these rare military shoes when he was an aircraft supply Sergeant in the U.S. Airforce: (VIEW #35)

Zodiac's profile stated that he was perversely in love with his mother. Jack always had a very strange relationship with his mother. Jack had his mother's first name (Flova) tatooed on his right arm beneath a heart. Jack told me she was the only woman worthy of being tatooed on him.

Zodiac had some knowledge about explosives. Jack had purchased a large quantity of dynomite in October 1976, in northern Minnesota: (VIEW #36), (VIEW #37). We lived in Cotton, Minnesota only a few months until it got so cold we had to leave. In December 1976, we moved to Austin, Texas and Jack brought the dynomite with us. Eventually it became unstable and had to be removed by the bomb squad.

Here is Jack's camping list from the 1970's: (NEW TAKE A LOOK).


The most bizzare part of the Zodiac case is the geographical aspect. Zodiac sent a map of the Bay Area with one of his letters, and on top of Mt. Diablo was his zodiac symbol. Mt. Diablo is used as a center point for longitude and lattitude. Zodiac ended one of his letters with "P.S. the Mt. Diablo code concerns radians and inches along them": (VIEW #38). Zodiac used the term "radians". Not many people even know what what a radian is: (VIEW #39). Several years later, a man named Garth Penn took a map and connected the murder in San Francisco to the top of Mt. Diablo, and the connected the murders near Vallejo to the top of Mt. Diablo, and it made an angle of 57.3 degrees, a perfect radian angle: (VIEW #40). Jack used to take me camping when I was very young, and I remember the first thing he always did when we found our campsite was take his a.m. radio, his compass, and a map, and pinpoint our location. I never understood why pinpointing our location was so important until now. I took the radian theory a step further because Zodiac used the term "radians", indicating more than one. I realized that six radians + 16.2 degrees make a complete circle, and when placed on top of Mt. Diablo in accordance with the first radian discovered by Garth Penn, Jack is connected to the Zodiac murders: (VIEW #41). It even goes a step further. I began going through the list of possible Zodiac victims that Robert Graysmith had listed in his book, and other unsolved homicides that could have been the work of Zodiac. When I took a map of Northern California and marked the locations where these victims' bodies were found, I couldn't believe what I saw! Approximately eight out of ten of the victims' bodies were found along Zodiac's radians. It was just like Zodiac stated, "radians and inches along them": (VIEW #43). In July of 2001, this is one of the items found in Jacks storage. They are formulas referring to radians: (VIEW #44).

Most of the items I found in Jack's storage I logged in as evidence with the Sonoma County Sheriff: (VIEW); (VIEW) .

Here is a photo of Jack pointing a shotgun at someone in 1971: (VIEW).

Here is a photo of Jack in 1974: (VIEW).

This is Jacks hypnosis symbol, in his own writing: (VIEW).

Jack worked at General Electric as a test foreman in the atomic energy department in the 1960's. Jack was making around fifty thousand dollars a year while he was employed at G.E., and five years later in 1970, he was working for minimum wage washing linen in South Lake Tahoe. Here is a photo of Jack when he was employed at G.E.: (UPDATE).


The most compelling piece of evidence are the conversations I had with Jack on May 12, 2001, and again on May 15, 2001. When I finally decided to call Jack and see if I could get him to talk about him being the Zodiac killer, I had to find away to make Jack comfortable enough to talk to me about his past. I told him that I discovered who he was and that I wanted to write a book about his life and it wouldn't be published until after his death. It worked. Here is our conversation: NEW LISTEN; (LISTEN); (LISTEN); (LISTEN); (LISTEN).

Here is the transcript of my conversation with Jack on May 12, 2001, then another conversation we had three days later on May 15, 2001: (TRANSCRIPT ONE); (TRANSCRIPT TWO); (TRANSCRIPT THREE); TRANSCRIPT FOUR.

After months of gathering evidence, I felt I had enough to getlaw enforcement to listen. On October 5, 2000, I went to the FBI in Sacramento Ca. and met with Special Agent Ken Hittmeier, with whom I spent a couple of hours there presenting my case.

I have personally witnessed the politics surrounding this case, and it is such a high- profile case that it seems every agency wants to say, "I'm the one that solved it." During my personal investigation, I made some bizzare discoveries that are almost unbelievable. Yet, the facts found are accurate and completely undeniable! Once I discovered the "truth" surrounding this case, the"truth" became more mysterious than the mystery itself! This is a real-life tragedy for the victims' families, as well as myself. When I am able to tell my life story, you will realize that this is a situation where the truth is by far stranger than fiction!! Dennis Kaufman

Message Board

After the murders that took place on September 27, 1969 at Lake Berryessa, a composite was drawn that looked nothing like the Zodiac. The description was that of a young man who was seen acting suspiciously, lurking about and watching people all day. The voice on the phone when the murder was reported was also described as a younger man's.

The above photo is Denny, Jack's biological son. Denny may have been his accomplice. One of the things that led me to believe this was a letter Denny sent to Jack from Vietnam. The letter ended with, "dad you would love it over here, it is hunting season all year long."

All materials within this site are copyright by Dennis Kaufman. For comments or questions contact me at (530) 354-0734, or (530)391-7403, or by e-mail at dennisk95610@yahoo.com?subject=zodiac. Thank you.