Thanks to an anonymous viewer/researcher recognizing artist’s distinctive “style” we have more answers
My earlier blog post (Zodiac Police Composites) has led to a tentative identification of well-known comic-book artist, NEAL ADAMS as the creator of Composite #2. (Originally seen on the 1974 cover of true-crime book, Great Crimes of San Francisco. (Ballantine, NY)
It appears (I have emailed and am awaiting direct confirmation from Mr. Neal Adams himself) that we have an answer which may contradict ex-San Francisco Chronicle reporter, Duffy Jennings memory that, “it originally came from law enforcement.” (Understandable since Mr. Jennings was attempting to recall a source from 40-years ago.)
I say “may” because I am still unaware of what Mr. Adams original source was for this composite drawing. We can’t completely rule out law enforcement until I hear back from him. I voiced my original skepticism in my comments on this in Chapter 9 of MOST EVIL .(see below) Could this composite simply have come from the imagination of an unidentified, unknown artist ? Knowing now that it was done by a civilian and not a police artist, we have to ask: What was the artist’s source for the likeness? If purely imaginary, why would the publisher put it on an official SFPD Wanted Bulletin, and use the actual case number?
Hopefully, Mr. Adams will contact me and we can discover the facts behind the sketch.
If it turns out that Neal Adams drawing was purely imaginary, and if it turns out that a full profile DNA links George Hodel as ZODIAC, I can guarantee you Mr. Adams will be able to get a gig anywhere, anytime as, “Psychic Artist Extraordinaire” and write his own ticket to his own Network Show. (*s* joke)
After initially seeing the book referenced on the Internet I was able to locate and order an original copy from on-line. Upon receipt, I noted that the book provided no cover-art credit, which weighed in favor of Duffy Jennings recollection that it “came from law-enforcment.”
A second printing of GCSF in May, 1981 did credit an artist, “Bill Yenne” with new cover design.
TO BE CONTINUED…..
(See full blog- here- Zodiac Police Composites)
The above composite appeared on the cover of a book, Great Crimes of San Francisco (Ballantine Books, NY 1974.) The book is an anthology of San Francisco area true-crime essays edited by Dean W. Dickensheet.
I quote from my book, MOST EVIL, Chapter 9, page 107, where I reference the above drawing:
…The original police source of this composite drawing (one of several) is still in question.[emphasis mine] To my knowledge, it first appeared publicly on the 1974 paperback cover of Great Crimes of San Francisco. The book was an anthology of San Francisco area true-crime essays written by various authors and edited by Dean W. Dickensheet. The crimes spanned eight decades. The essay on Zodiac was entitled “This is the Zodiac Speaking…” and was written by then San Francisco Chronicle reporter Duffy Jennings, who had replaced Paul Avery. In January 2007, a confidential source of mine contacted Duffy Jennings who verified that the composite originated from law enforcement. Jennings could not recall which agency; however SFPD would be the most likely, as their name is shown on the bulletin.
(SKH Note- In MOST EVIL, despite Mr. Jennings clear statement that “it came from law enforcement” In my book, I document my skepticism and my attempts to further establish provenance on this composite. The fact that it had never appeared in any of the official police reports bothered me. In my follow-up investigation to Ballantine Publishers I determined that the editor, Dean Dickensheet had died in the 1990’s. Ballantine staff could not provide any direct knowledge relating to the 1974 publication, but expressed doubt that the 1974 editor would have an imaginary artist rendition created and placed on what appears to be a real SFPD police bulletin in a true-crime story. To further my efforts, I also obtained an actual printed copy of the original 1974 book and noted that there is no accreditation for the jacket cover “artwork.” Mr. Jennings is a highly reliable journalist and an expert on the Zodiac investigation. He also was in possession of a vast amount of Zodiac material which he inherited from Paul Avery, which is likely his original source of the composite in question. Absent a denial from law enforcement, or a change or modification from Mr. Jennings on this, I stand by his statement.)