SFPD's handwriting analyst cannot conclusively match Kaczynski's
handwriting to the known Zodiac exemplars.
Given the number of handprinted correspondences associated with the Zodiac, it is not
surprising that the authorities have relied heavily on forensic handwriting analysis in
their investigations of various suspects in the case. Working for the SFPD, a handwriting
analyst determined that Kaczynski's writing could neither be ruled in nor ruled out, based
upon the relatively paucity of samples ascribed to Zodiac. There was, however, according
to SFPD "no significant evidence to indicate that Kaczynski wrote any of the Zodiac
Did the Zodiac disguise his writing? It defies logic to assume that an organized
killer would risk his life by composing letters in his own hand that were intended for
widespread dissemination by the media. In his missives, the Zodiac employed three
distinctive modes of printing: the "manic," the "Belli," and the
The first of these styles shows circled i-dots, exaggerated slope, no connecting
lines, and no retracing of lines, which are classic indicators of disguise.
Further, extant copies of the Stine Letter show numerous prominent areas where its
writer has lifted his pen to draw the simplest characters using multiple pen-strokes
yet another indicator of disguise.
In contrast to the manic style, Zodiac's "Belli" style displays a neat,
careful and almost "geometric" construction, which is also typical of disguise.
This style was later merged with the "manic" to produce the third, or
"composite style," best typified by Zodiac's Dragon Card of April 20, 1970. This
missive transitions from the Belli to the manic without retaining all of the latter's
Kaczynski's handprinted characters retain the same "copybook" plainness as
those associated with the Zodiac, as seen here:
The primary difference between the handprinting styles of Kaczynski and the Zodiac
lies in the fluidity of Kaczynski's composition, which causes connectedness between the
characters. Apart from this, the forms are all essentially the same. Moreover, the general
"color" of their writings is identical, as demonstrated practically by blurring
specimens of each killer's writing so that only the qualities of margin alignment,
letterspacing, wordspacing and base alignment can be seen.
To what extent would Kaczynski have been obliged to alter his writing to
produce the hand of Zodiac? The obvious answer is that it would not have been difficult at
all. Because both killers formed their characters identically, the only adjustments
necessary would have been a rightward slant, slower speed, multiple pen lifts and (in the
Belli style) exaggerated neatness. A direct comparison of Zodiac's 1970 Dragon Card with a
prison letter written by Kaczynski gives a good subjective picture of the extreme
similarities between the two productions, even allowing for disguise on the part of