Tag Archives: harris savides

Harris Savides | Director of Photography


Graysmith, Robert. Zodiac: The Shocking True Story of The Nation’s Most Bizarre Mass Murderer. New York, NY: Berkley, 2007.

“The right front door of the Rumbler was still open; the hum of its heater was audible in the stillness.” p. 7

“The couple [Jim and Darlene] had hitched to St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands, panhandling, diving for shells, sleeping on the beach.” p. 22

“The words “hacked,” “stuck,” “testified,” and “seen” were on the edge of the envelope in Darlene’s handwriting. Lynch could make out a series of partial words as well. They made no sense to him. They were “acqu,” “acci,” “calc,” and “icio.” p. 42.

“none of it came from Dean. It came from whatever she was doing with this man in the white car.” p. 43

“Oscar Wilde and the nineteenth-century British painter Walter Sickert both claimed to know who jack the Ripper really was. Wilde planted clues in his Picture of Dorian Gray and Sickert hid references to the killer in his portraits of knife murders.” p. 47-48

“Greek symbols, Morse code, weather symbols, alphabet characters, navy semaphore, and astrological symbols.” p. 49.

Secret and Urgent by Fetcher Pratt

“The most common double letters in English are L, E, and S. The letters most frequently occurring together are TH, HE, and AN… the most common three-letter combination (trigrams) were THE, ING, CON, and ENT.” p. 52

“Bettye was of the opinion that the killer was such an egomaniac that he would start out with “I.” p. 53

It’s virtually impossible to write a message without repeating words, so the pair looked for four-letter patterns that would fit in with the word “kill”… (Battlefield cryptoanalysts, for example, scan any captured ciphers for patterns of symbols that might stand for “attack.”) p. 54

“First he had used the symbol of a backwards Q fifteen times to lure the codebreakers into thinking it was the letter E, the most commonly used letter. For the true letter E, he had used seven different symbols.” p. 54.

Codes and Ciphers by John Laffin

The Zodiac Alphabet

Anton LeVey p. 60

The Most Dangerous Game, 1932. (based on the story by Richard Connell) p. 60

After the movie, I stopped in the soft night air outside the theater, looked down the black streets wet with fog, and wondered if the inspiration for the Vallejo murders had been a children’s code book and a movie.” p. 61

Steve McQueen and Dave Toschi p. 96.

“Fingerprints are divided into general types: plain arches, tented arches, plain looks, plain whorls, central pocket loop whorls, radical whorls, double loop whorls, accidental whorls.” p. 99

Line-cut illustration of Zodiac in Costume by Robert Graysmith.

“Psychosis is the gradual blotting out of the ego, a terrifying loss of one’s own image of oneself.” p. 110.

Seer ‘DeLouise, known as the “prophet of specifics,”‘ and the Zodiac case. p. 131.

Katherine Johns
“She was the one to break the silence. “Do you always go around helping people on the road like this?” she said sarcastically. “When I get through with them they don’t need any help.,” said the man, his tone changing as he looked off at the dark woods in the distance.” p. 137.

“the string of thirteen characters that Zodiac claimed made up his name.” p. 144.

“the dynamite bombing of the Golden Gate Park police station on February 16,” p. 145.

Zodiac letter: “Well it would cheer me up considerbly if I saw a lot of people wearing my buton. Please no nasty ones like melvin’s” p. 148

“He concluded the Lord High Executioner‘s aria with another Zodiac symbol, which took up three-quaters of the last page. Below this he wrote a hint about the Mt. Diablo map and cipher of exactly on month earlier” p. 155.

“‘Thinking the real Zodiac might be curious and vain enough to see the film, a huge carton was set up in the lobby for deposit of entries,” write Jennings, “and inside it crouched a man who read each card as it slipped through the slot at the top. Ostensibly, he was to alert theater management via intercom when he spotted a suspicious entry from someone claiming to be the actual killer.” p. 179.

“The best Zodiac movie was made by Warners in 1971. Called Dirty Harry, it starred Clint Eastwood as an Inspector Toschi-type” p. 179-180.

Zodiac quoting the Mikado in his letters:

“He plunged himself into
the billowy wave
and an echo arose from
the suicides grave
titwillo titwillo
titwillo” p. 183

Zebra killings p. 184.

“Author producer William Peter Blatty based his 1983 Exorcist sequel, Legion, on the Zodiac Killer, calling him the Gemini killer.” p. 184.

Andy Walker and the highway patrolman “cat-and-mouse game” p. 185.

Syracuse Research Institute report on Zodiac p. 198.

“Comparison between horoscope book and Zodiac’s cipher symbols.” (Oken) next to page p. 207.

“The Killer would have had access to a private photo darkroom for the considerable periods of time it would take to draft one letter.” p. 219.

“Zodiac had started by creating a substitution cipher, symbols substituted for alphabet characters, and then transposed these symbols, creating a substitution-transposition cipher.” p. 240.

“Zodiac messages are homophonic ciphers… using multiple substitutes for a single letter” p. 242

Book As Above, So Below by Alan Oken

“Zodiac had  used two of the five major symbols of astrology, the Circle (spirit) overlapped by the Cross (matter), to signify not only himself but the days on which he was to kill.” p. 248.

Richard Trenton Chase, the Sacramento Vampire Killer p. 258

“Starr… still lives in the basement… And he stills has live chipmunks running around the house.” p. 271.

‘They found him in the center of his basement room howling and shrieking, live chipmunks crawling all over him and “squirrel shit dripping from his shoulders.”‘ p. 275.

The Phantom of Cordelia p. 304.

selected references p. 326.

On David Fincher’s Zodiac

“We need to construct Zodiac from its emotional truth as opposed to its factual truth.” p. 338.

Paul Schrader’s Auto-Focus (Graysmith’s book on “Hogan’s Heroes’ star Bob Crane”) p. 339.

19th Century dip pens and Radiograph #2 p. 341

Zodiac Art Director Keith Cunningham

“I have the therapist who says, “‘The trick is to learn you can’t corral all the rattlesnakes,’ says Fincher. “‘You just got to know where they are.'”” p. 347.

DP Harris Savides

Shooting the squirrel scene p. 350-351