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THE RED PHANTOM
Untill yesterday, I had been putting off going back to reading the two chapter's of Kellehers & Van Nuys 'This is the Zodiac Speaking' (If I am enthrawled i a book and enjoy reading it, then I try and put off finishing it. Idiotic and counter intuative I know). Anyway, here's what Van Nuys pointed out that I found captivating was the following.
The author of the letters claimed adopted the moniker 'Zodiac' in mid 1969, and used it all the way through his murderous rampage, even continuing to do so on occasion post 1970. Van Nuys point out that only when the author is writing as 'Zodiac' does he consistantly make basic spelling & grammar errors. The writer appears to also only seems to be menacing & threatning when he writes as 'Zodiac'. Then, in 1974, after a three year hiatus, he writes four letters in 7 months (Jan - July of 74). The first is the 'exorcist letter'. Zodiac writes this letter without his customary opening tagline 'This is the Zodiac Speaking', nor does he end it by identifying himself with either te cross hair symbol, or the more formal 'Zodiac', but elements of his sinister nature are clearly present. Then, in the following three letters of 1974, he seems to be a far different personality than the one people had become accustomed to.
Feb 14, he opens with a rather polite 'Dr Mr Editor' before asking one question; "Did you know that the initials SLAY (Symbionese Liberation Army) spell "sla," an old Norse word meaning kill." He then signs it, 'A Friend'.
May 8, this time he even seems respectful in his addressing of the Editor. He wries: Sirs -- I would like to express my consternt consternation concerning your poor taste + lack of sympathy for the public, as evidenced by your running of the ads for the movie "Badlands," featuring the blurb: "In 1959 most people were killing time. Kit + Holly were killing people." In light of recent events, this kind of murder-glorification can only be deplorable at best (not that glorification of violence was ever justifiable) why don't you show some concern for public sensibilities + cut the ad?" This time, he signs of with 'A Citizen'.
July 8, final letter of 1974 reads "Editor-- Put Marco back in the, hell-hole from whence it came -- he has a serious psychological disorder -- always needs to feel superior. I suggest you refer him to a shrink. Meanwhile, cancel the Count Marco column." He ends by saying "Since the Count can write anonymously, so can I -- The Red Phantom - (red with rage)."
As Van Nuys point out, the 'Zodiac' identity seems to have gone, along with the personality. Van Nuys points out several things about these letters that are very interesting.
1. After a three year silence, he resumes his communication with the press in Jan of 74, but his evil alter ego 'Zodiac' has vanished.
2. There are also no signs of the consistant spelling and grammar mistakes.
3. He doesn't demand anything be published, threaten any harm, and the taunting braggat is nowhere in sight.
Van Nuys suggests that it's possible that the three year hiatus (1971 - 74) could be explained as the man being committed to a psychiatric hospital due to his seemingly to be far more social and normal in these latest letters. Van Nuys suspects that the man was taking medication for his problems and at this time, in his opinion, 'It's working'.
I instantly, and prematurely, jumped to the conclusion that because the author could spell perfectly when he wrote as someone other than 'Zodaic', and the spelling and grammar only seemed to become fairly bad when 'Zodiac' took over the pen that this obviously settles the argument of 'Intentional vs unintentional spelling mistake', and that it was obviously deliberate. However,reading on, Van Nuys stated the he saw this as evidence that the spelling errors were not deliberate. Dr Van Nuys recognised these characteristics and symptoms as being associated with A Dissociative Disorder. There are Five Known Dissociative Disorders and when reading the symptoms associated with this disorder, I now question whether his spelling errors were deliberate or not. Of the five disorders, here are three of which Zodiac may have suffered with brief description of symptoms.
Depersonalization disorder: periods of detachment from self or surrounding which may be experienced as "unreal" (lacking in control of or "outside of" self) while retaining awareness that this is only a feeling and not a reality .
Dissociative fugue (formerly psychogenic fugue): reversible amnesia for personal identity, usually involving unplanned travel or wandering, sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity. This state is typically associated with stressful life circumstances and can be short or lengthy.
Dissociative identity disorder (formerly multiple personality disorder): the alternation of two or more distinct personality states with impaired recall among personality states. In extreme cases, the host personality is unaware of the other, alternating personalities; however, the alternate personalities are aware of all the existing personalities.
The final letter from Zodiac (albeit controversial as to it's authenticity) came in 1978, four years after the last and seems to see the return of the evil alter ego with the opening trademark;
"Dear Editor This is the Zodiac speaking". The letter went on "I am back with you. Tell herb caen I am here, I have always been here. That city pig toschi is good ' but I am smarter and better he will get tired then leave me alone.I am waiting for a good movie about me. who will play me. I am now in control of all things. Yours truly: (Zodiac Symbol/cross hairs)."
This letter, if authentic, is one of the more iteresting because of the clear conclusions it allows the reader to draw. The first one being that the 'Zodiac' persona/alter ego has returned. "I am back wit you. Tell herb caen I am here, I have always been here". He states 'I am back with you' before instatly telling the readers he's always been here with them and never gone anywhere. It does seem as thought he implies that the Zodiac personality is back with us, and that the Zodiac personality has always been there within the man himself, 'He' has just simply been repressed and controled and kept dormant, possibly by anti-pyschotic drugs for example.
source: Welsh Chappie
|Title||"Dead Eyes In The Sky"|
|Material, Technique||Mischtechnik | Wacom Intuos Pro Grafiktablett | auf spezialbeschichtete Leinwand | Unikat|
|Dimension||100 cm x 100 cm x 2 cm|
|Year, Location||2011 - 2013|
|Info||813 8 8 3 5.8 by 6 - 6 Votes|