(work in progress)
San Francisco Chronicle Journalist Paul Avery
In this post I am going to attempt to obtain all the known facts about the Halloween card the Zodiac sent to journalist Paul Avery and collect them all in one place. This project will take a little time to complete like all of my projects, but it is just the way I work. I am also going to attempt to break down the card and show what was original to the card and what was altered and added. I will also point out a few interesting things along the way. I am working on a couple other posts about the card. I will put links to them here where they are relevant.
This card was mailed to San Francisco journalist Paul Avery from Zodiac Killer on October 27, 1970.
The card also came with a bloody piece of shirt from the crime scene of the cab driver Paul Stine...or so they say... I recently found out that was a movie myth. On zodiackillerfacts.com they have a post called "Facts vs. Fincher". They stated that the card in fact did not come with a bloody piece of Paul Stine's Shirt. I am goingto link that article here . It is very informative about a few things. This is very complicated work and takes time to research it all. I have read a lot on the Zodiac , but I don't know it all.. In fact I am far from a expert. That is one of the reasons I am doing this project. It is for me to learn and put everything I learn in these posts. One of the things I don't like about most article and sites is that they are either too short and don't have in depth information or every thing it to spread out and it is hard to put together. I want to put it all together the way I would like to see things and hopefully someone else may find it interesting or useful .
The card that everyone is used to seeing is a replica used for the movie "Zodiac". It is a beautiful piece of art but the scale and size of it is all wrong. Some think this may not be important , but depending on the cards purpose it very well could be. This is one of the things I intend to clear up in this post.
Here is the replica of the Halloween Card used in the movie "Zodiac". They are almost exact replicas but the scale and size are different from the original. The replica that is seen on the internet and in the movie has been cropped off and blown up. I cover all of that in another post so I am not going to into to much detail on that here. I supply a link to all of that a little further on in this post.
Here is a Scan of the actual card and envelope.
Using the info above I determined the scale of the Halloween card. Here are the originals with markers for scale that added.
Below are examples of the card and enveloped with scale.
The Scale of the envelope is 6 3/4 inches by 4 1/16 inches.
Here is a link that shows to whole process of working out the scale of the card an envelope for anyone who is interested.
I cleaned it up to give people a look at it . I used parts of the reproduction card for this to keep it scale. The reproduction card used for the movie Zodiac is bigger than the original card.
Here are some highdef images of the stamp on the envelope. It is an Apollo 8 stamp. I am going to post a few different examples of it. I may use them later for something.
The stamp was taken from an Apollo 8 mission by astronauts Anders, Borman, and Lovell.
I am going to put a video of the earthrise and the "In the beginning speech" here.
Here is the original Halloween card scaled with a ruler.
The card itself is 6 1/2 inches by 8 inches. Once again here is a link for anyone interested about how these were scaled.
Here is a photo of the original card posted by Tom Voigt on his site.
He had some insights about this photo that interested me . I will try some photo tricks later to see if I can get some "unseen" info from this image. Here is a link to where this was posted.
For comparison I posted a couple of screen shots of the replica card from the movie "Zodiac".
Here is something I found on a forum of zodiackillersite.com I think who ever noticed it had good eyes. The devil is in the details. There are two skeletons on the Halloween card. The one on the cover of the card is a female while the skeleton sticker which was added to the card by the Zodiac is a male. My hats off to who ever noticed that. I will link it up later. Does it mean anything? Maybe..maybe not..who knows.. but it is a fact..so it could be important.
The skeleton on the inside of the card was added to the card by the Zodiac. The question it.. Why? That is a pretty important question. I don't think he did it just for decoration. I think there is a reason behind it. The sticker is overlayed onto to the card so it could be a hint to overlay or perhaps the sticker may even have a function yet to be discovered. . This is just stuff to keep in mind, Below is an image of the skeleton sticker.I took this from the replica card.
Just for fun I added it to the original card.
By the time I am finished we nay have a to scale in color example of the Halloween card. Maybe....we will see...but i seriously doubt it . If i do it it would take many hours of work and still not look perfect, but you never know. For now all I can do is illustrate the differences between the original and the replica. Some might wonder why it matters and that is a good question. There is a form of sending secret messages called "Masking". The founders of the United States used masking quite a bit in their spy games during the revolutionary war. What makes them so effective is that they can not be cracked without the mask. If the eyes on the card are some sort of overlay masking key then the size and scale of the card could be very very important. The replica card that everyone likes to use is no where near the same size as the original card. It is quite a bit bigger and part of the original is cropped out. I have done a few examples on other posts showing this. Below is a fade between the two, I had to shrink the reproduction a couple inches to make this work . I aligned the skull of each card perfectly as a reference point to allow you to see just how different they are. Even when the original is shrank and matched it is still nowhere near the same scale.
Here are the other things that have been added to the card.
Peek a Boo
This eye is original to the card.
I am working on an example of what the original unaltered card would have looked like. I have to do this in phases before I have a finished product. I am going to post the different phases from my work here so I don't lose them or get them mixed up. I will finish with a fade. These are rough examples and my final product will be the best I can do. When I am finished I will take this section out and put the process in a post of its own to show how it was done. Then leave the information that is relevant to this post here. This post is just about the facts of the card, but I wanted to show how the card was altered. It is a question of my own that I sought answers for.
That example isn't bad but I can do a little better.
I can't make any promises , but I am going to try to take the sticker out. I am also going to do an example of the outside of the card. When I am finished I will post two still examples and two fade animations of before and after. It would help me with perspective to know exactly what was altered and what the card looked like before it was altered.
Paint the sticker out and fill in the words. I have a few tricks up my sleeve for this. I have to post my work so I don't lose it. When I post a final example these will be taken down.I understand they look rough , but keep in mind it is a process and has to be done a little at a time to do a good job. I could half ass it , but I want to do a good job and that will take time . The forst step is just to simply paint the sticker out .
I know a few blending tricks. I have to fill in the missing letters then add them to the card. I can then use that example and mix it with an original example and make a good looking example of what the card would have looked like before it was altered.
No one said it would be easy , but nothing worth doing ever is.
Fixing the words behind the sticker.
Here are what the words under the sticker might look like. I can use this to finish my example.
Painting out the sticker.
Fixing the words.
The image above is close , but I still have to polish it.
I am going to try to a few different things to polish it up before I make the final fade comparison. One thing I am going to try is simply printing it out and scanning it again to see how it looks. It may take a few days. Still here is an animation of the whole shabang.
I am still going to polish up a final still shot as much as I can , but I have to admit. I surprised myself with the job I did with this. After seeing this I convinced myself that I can make a scale size color example of the original Zodiac Killer Halloween Card. Going to work on a final example and rewrite this a little. I was going to take some of this stuff off and put the process in a seperate post , but then I decided to leave it all here because it may come in handy in the future and it is good to show people the process of making what the original card would have looked like. I still don't see how in the hell we can't know what company made this card. I found out secret pal cards were made by many companies and some were custom made and are collectors items. I said it before and I will say it again. Who makes a card like this, stalkers'r'us ?
The pumpkin on the front of the card was also added , and 14 was written on the hand.. This was made from a combination of the original and the reproduction card from the movie Zodiac just to give a better idea of alterations made to the card. I may polish it up a bit more later. I just thought it would be nice to have an actual scale color image of the outside if the card.
Here is a fade animation between the image above and the known black and white image of the Halloween card to show you they are to scale. Pretty much anyway. I think I can do just a little better and later I may try. I may be a bit too much of a perfectionist, but I think it would just be something good to everyone to have. These are still right and to scale.
Here is what the outside of the card would have looked like before it was altered.
Here is a fade animation.
I am making a fade animation with the two images you see above. Here is a still side by side shot comparison of the card with and without the pumpkin.
I took the original black and white scan of the card an colorized it and also did a little cleaning up on it to make it as clear as I could.. This is what I got...so far
Here is an example that is a little more polished of what the unaltered card would have looked like before it was changed by the Zodiac.
I recently colored a black and white scan of the original Halloween card. Then I made an example of it that would show what the card looks like unaltered. Later I am going to clean this pot up and take some of this stuff off.
The original black and white scan of the Zodiac killer Halloween card sent to Journalist Paul Avery colorized.
Here is what the card would have looked like before he changed it . As far as I know from the research I have done.
Here is a fade animation between to two.
Richard has sent me links to more info that will help me out on this mission. I need to pour over it before I add anymore to this section. I would like to know what company originally made the card. I am on the hunt for an original unaltered card , but chances are slim. I will still search.
Here is a link to zodiac ciphers.com. They help me out a lot with information and other things. Check them out.