Sunday, March 25, 2012

Zebra: A San Francisco Tale Part IV

Welcome to part IV of my examination of the Zebra murders. The prior installments, which can be read here, here. and here, have been a long, strange trip in which we navigated the underbelly of post-WWII San Francisco with a special emphasis on the legendary 60s counterculture that once thrived there. One simply cannot fully appreciate the Zebra murders without putting them in their proper historical time and place for it was a time of Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army, of the Weather Underground and the SLA, of Zodiac and Charles Manson, of the Church of Satan and the Process. It was a weird scene to say the least, as were many aspects of the Zebra killings, such as the investigating officers, the dates, and even some of the victims. Then there was the fallout from Zebra, especially the proto-War on Terror-like tactics employed against San Francisco's black community.

Yes, we've examined much thus far, but we're getting down to the real nitty-gritty. Let us now consider the killers themselves. But, to do that, we have to start with the chief witness in the prosecution's case, a human known as Anthony Harris. How Harris came to break the case wide open for the SFPD was in and of itself bizarre. One of the lead detectives on the case, Gus Coreris, ordered police sketches of two the alleged Zebra members based on mental images he had pieced together from various descriptions the surviving victims had given him. One of these sketches looked strikingly like Harris.
"An even greater source of frustration was the lack of a solid description from any of the witnesses. Scores of people had seen the shooting. Yet no one witness had a clear enough recollection of a killer's face for them to feel comfortable with a sketch artist making a drawing from the person's memory...

"Neither Coreris nor Fotinos wanted to run that risk. Coreris, however, had been considering another option. What if he and Fotinos worked with a sketch artist? They knew all the descriptions, either from listening the witnesses themselves or by reading the descriptions that had been taken down by others. The more Coreris thought about it, the more he was certain it could work.

"There was only one problem. If they got it wrong and the killer they arrested looked nothing like the sketch, they could be even worse off than if the sketch had come from a witness. A good defense lawyer could take a fact like that and twist it into 'exculpatory evidence,' showing that even in the minds of the investigative officers the killer looked like someone other than their client."
(The Zebra Murders, Prentice Earl Sanders & Bennett Cohen, pg. 199)

Coreris' skethes

The detectives made their play at roughly the same time as the infamous Zebra sweeps discussed in part three were going into effect across San Francisco. A few days later Mayor Joseph Alioto found himself at the center of a political firestorm as opposition to the sweeps began to break out not only in San Francisco, but across the entire nation. The ACLU and NAACP brought forth lawsuits and District Judge Alfonso J. Zirpoli soon ruled them unconstitutional.

Mayor Alioto facing protests over his controversial 'Zebra sweeps' policy

Mercifully for Alioto and the San Francisco PD, Harris came forward with enough evidence to spur arrests before the public could become to outraged at the total failure that was the city's response to Zebra. Upon seeing the sketches in a newspaper Harris, who was living in Oakland at the time after he had left the Nation of Islam, began panicking and eventually contacted the SFPD. Shortly thereafter officers began to believe that Harris was legit on account of details he gave concerning the murders that had not been released to the public.

Harris was not, however, the most credible of witnesses. He was an ex-con and drug addict that had even been institutionalized at a young age. A palm print of his found at the Erekat murder scene and other details of his statement strongly indicated that Harris had actively participated in several of the murders. The Los Angeles Sentinel reports:
"Who is Anthony Harris? According to public sources, he has been in and out of jail all his life. His mother had him committed to a mental hospital because of his violence. He also had serious drug problems. According to his fiancĂ…½ at the time, Carolyn Patton, he came in one night covered with blood and told her he had been out killing devils. His testimony was he never participated in any of these murders nor did he witness them. Does this sound like someone who sits on the sidelines as these horrors took place?"


Harris only agreed to testify in part because of a cash reward and after Mayor Joseph Alioto himself promised Harris immunity from prosecution. What's more, his behavior was widely erratic during the trial, resulting in frequent disappearances.
"Yet the volatility Harris had displayed after turning himself in to he police persisted in the days before the trial. He disappeared so often that eventually he had to be kept in protective custody so rigorous it was prisonlike. One particularly unnerving pretrial twist for the prosecution came when he wrote a letter recanting all the claims he had made about Zebra and mailed it to everyone from President Ford to Minister John Muhammad of Temple No.26. Harris subsequently recanted his recantation, claiming that the reason he had written the letter was that he had not yet been given an attorney to represent him. Once his complaint was addressed, Harris reaffirmed his original statements, and the prosecution was able to resume building its case.

"Harris's antics were not limited to the preparatory stages of the trial. On the day he was to testify about the murders of Quita Hague and others and name Cooks, Green, Simon, and Moore as coconspirators, he arrived in court wearing a Nehru jacket and with his hands folded in prayer, as if he was about to perform a holy act. After the trial, even one the jurors characterized his manner as 'flaky.' Besides that, it has to be admitted that Harris's version of the events was if anything self-serving, which made him vulnerable to the defense, as did the fact that his testimony was contingent on the quid pro quo of immunity and the reward. Harris's account conveniently exculpated him from the worst crimes, namely murder..."
(The Zebra Murders, Prentice Earl Sanders & Bennett Cohen, pg. 252)
Based on all accounts, few would dispute that Harris was more than a little unstable. His frequent disappearances, ever changing stories, bizarre and erratic dress, and so forth may even be indications of a multiple personality. Certainly he seems to have suffered more than his fair share of abuse over the years. It would be interesting to know what hospital his mother had him committed to. Harris served time at San Quentin Prison where a Dr. Leo Stanley had performed a number of experiments on inmates from 1913 to 1951. Were some types of experiments still being conducted by the time Harris was there?

The mystery surrounding Harris continued even after his part in Zebra was over with. Once the trials were over and done with Harris seemingly disappeared from the face of the Earth.
"The thirty years that have elapsed since the attacks have created one new mystery. Anthony Harris, whose testimony was so critical to the killers' convictions, has disappeared. There was talk during the trial that he was being given a new identity by federal authorities, along with a new place to live and a job. Yet if he did take another identity, many believe that, like everything in Harris's peripatetic life, it was temporary, and that he returned to using his original name. Although he was constantly in need of funds before and during the trial, he did collect on the thirty-thousand-dollar reward once it was over. There are several rumors about his life in the years following Zebra. One had him back living a life of petty crime in southern California, and possibly using drugs again, though no one has found reports of such in any police records. Another rumor claimed that his last known residence was a homeless shelter in Los Angeles. Yet another asserted that he had left California and moved to Texas. But the source that may be most reliable claims to have heard through the prison grapevine that Anthony Harris is dead..."
(ibid, pg. 266)
So, to recap briefly: At the same time the grossly unconstitutional Zebra sweeps were being devised, the lead detectives have their own police sketches made based on their description of the killers rather than an actual witness. Just as the Zebra sweeps are brought to a crashing halt by a District Judge and political opposition is mounting against Major Alioto, Harris makes the scene and provides police with enough evidence to make arrests on Beltane.

the Zebra killers were arrested on May 1, Beltane, one of the two most important holidays in Celtic paganism

As payment for his testimony Harris, a career criminal and drug addict with a history of mental illness, is promised immunity from prosecution and a $30,000 reward. Harris goes on to become the state's star witness despite displaying wildly erratic behavior throughout the entire trial. Once the trial comes to an end, Harris seemingly drops off the face of the Earth, which seems to be a strong indication that he died under mysterious circumstances. The police apparently had little concern over Harris' fate, despite the fact that was ample evidence that Harris himself participated in the murders and could still be a danger to the public.

But then again, its likely well for many involved in the Zebra case that Harris is no longer around to answer questions. Certainly there were numerous holes in his story, most notably his description of the secret society he called the Death Angels, of which to date not a shred of evidence has turned up to document such an organization. And the fact that he appeared to break the case at a time when political fallout was mounting against Mayor Alioto and the SFPD is rather opportunistic, to say the least.

As tempting as it is to dismiss Harris' claims outright, the men that he accused don't fair much better. From the time of the arrest, the individuals accused of the murders seemed off. Much like the zombie-like followers of Adolfo Constanzo, whom I've chronicled before here, here, and here, the Zebra suspect were oddly complacent about the arrests.
"The raids went like clockwork. Despite Harris's warnings, none of the suspects resisted arrest. Only one, Manuel Moore, was even preparing to flee. The others seemed oddly complacent, as if they had succeeded in outwitting the police for so long that they expected to do so in court as well. The raids, which began at dawn, were completed by the time the sun had fully risen."
(ibid, pg. 239)
Seven individuals were arrested for the murders that day, but four were ultimately released for lack of evidence. One of them was a Nation of Islam member named Dwight Stallings, who had been a close friend of Rotea Gilford, one of the chief investigators on Zebra and partner to Earl Sanders. Another link the Nation had to the SFPD came in the form of Officer Jesse Byrd, another member of the Nation. While there was no evidence that Byrd had direct knowledge of the killings, there were indications that he was advising the Nation as to the progress of the SFPD's Zebra investigation. Once Harris came forward with evidence concerning Zebra he was moved to a safehouse and Byrd even tried to locate this safehouse for the Nation.

Dwight Stallings, one of the men arrested for, but never charged with, the Zebra killings; he was also a long time friend of Rotea Gilford, one of the chief investigators on the case

Ultimately there were four men indicted for the Zebra killings. Two of them, Manuel Moore and Jessie Lee Cooks, were small time criminals with little to no formal education. Cooks was himself already serving time for murder when Harris tipped off the police, and was not part of the Beltane arrests. The other two were human beings known as J.C. Simon and Larry Green. In most accounts Simon is generally portrayed, if not as the leader of the group, at least as the dominate personality. Clark Howard's historical novel, Zebra, even has Simon flying to Chicago to meet with the upper brass of the Nation of Islam itself. Yet he comes off as being even more unstable than even Harris in his court appearance.
"Although Simon denied Harris's claims that he wanted to start a race war in his own testimony during the trial, his denials were fraught with statements so bizarre that they seemed to beg the question of his sanity. He claimed under cross-examination that he had come to California from Texas not by way of car or bus or train, but by riding 'a snake' halfway and 'a tornado' the rest. Then, when asked by the prosecution about the binder that he had in his possession at the time of his arrest, which contained Lesson No. 10 among its contents, he claimed that he had received the material 'from Allah' in 1971 at a park in San Francisco's Fillmore district."
(ibid, pg. 254)


Of the four arrested, Green, a former Berkeley student from a solid middle class background, comes off as by far the most together member of the outfit. Green's parents and many who knew him before the killings were shocked that he could have been involved with the murders. As such, some have speculated that Green's involvement in the killings may have been over exaggerated by Harris, if not outright fabricated. Yet his close relationship with Harris and Simon seems to strongly indicate he had some knowledge of the killings. What's more, several of the surviving Zebra victims were able to identify Green in lineups. In general, Green comes off as a highly intelligent, but weak-willed individual that was more content being a part of the group than the leader.


Despite the fact that the Zebra murderers were able to operate in a major American city for almost seven months without the police being able to turn up a single solid lead before an informant magically appeared to wrap the case up for them, it is not generally believed that there was an organized structure behind them. They were simply disillusioned Nation of Islam (the bulk of whom were ex-cons with no real formal education) members that hit upon the idea of killing whites as a form of political retaliation, and then carried this plan out to pinpoint precision. While its generally acknowledged that none of the men convicted displayed the kind of leadership skills necessary for such an operation authorities are quick to offer a simple explanation to explain the Zebra killers' success: Luck. They simply got lucky, month after month, murder after murder, despite the entire city mobilizing against them.

One thing that there seems to be little dispute over, however, was the ultimate objective of the Zebra killers: to incite a race war.
"...the Zebra defendants, such as their hating whites and objectifying them as 'devils' or trying to start a race war, were corroborated by others both in the course of the trial and in the years since. During the trial, as mentioned earlier, the woman Cooks raped two nights after the Hague assault testified that among his ranting remarks were predictions of indiscriminate slaughter, that 'people are going to be killed and the streets would be lined with blood.' In addition, Harris testified that Manuel Moore had wanted to be taught kung fu so he could kill whites in just such a struggle. Harris also told the court that J.C. Simon spoke repeatedly about killing whites in a variety of ways, using the Nation of Islam's Lesson No.10 as his justification.
"... More than twenty-five years later, both Green and Cooks would confirm during separate parole hearings that they had embraced a doctrine of hate toward whites during the time of the Zebra murders, which took them years to get beyond. Yet perhaps the most chilling evidence that they viewed the killing as part of a longer, ongoing struggle came from a statement that Cooks, after the verdicts were handed down, made to someone involved in the investigation, who was so unnerved by the threat that he till wishes not to be named. In a voice quiet enough that the judge couldn't hear but firm enough to be frightening, Cooks simply said, 'This isn't over.'"
(ibid, pgs. 253-254)
With the kind of random killings and ideology driving these murders, the Zebra killers ultimately more closely resemble a terror outfit than a cabal of 'serial killers,' as they are most commonly described. There are indications that they may in fact have been a small part of a broader network acting throughout California (and possibly the entire nation) at the time. Yet none of the men convicted of the killings, outside of Green, come off as the types of individuals capable of guiding such an organization, or even operating for as long as they did, without 'help from above.' There has been speculation that someone within the Nation of Islam's upper brass was actively directing the campaign. What's more, there's the curious fact that both Green and Simon, who were living together at the time of the arrests, were both residing within blocks of some of the most notable members of the SLA.
"Up until the Zebra arrests, members of the SLA had been holed away on Golden Gate Avenue, just off Divisadero and not far from where Green and Simon lived. Nervous because of all the police activity, the SLA finally cleared out, moving from the San Francisco ghetto of the Fillmore to L.A.'s South Central. There, on May 17, the LAPD and the SLA engaged in a furious gun battle, trading shots for over an hour as America watched on live TV and stopped only when everyone who had been in the hideout was dead."
(ibid, pgs. 243-244)

the Symbionese Liberation Army

Rumors of an SLA/Zebra link had been bouncing around the SFPD months before the arrests. At one point, the SLA even sent a letter to an ABC affiliate taking credit for the shootings on the night of January 28 (the bloodiest night of Zebra, featuring five, maybe six victims).
"Then another letter to a news organization, this time KGO-TV, the ABC affiliate in San Francisco, seemed to take credit for the shootings. This one purported to be from the Symbionese Liberation Army, the same group that had claimed responsibility for slaying Marcus Foster. Postmarked on January 30, two days after the attacks, it predicted, 'Any day now there will be more killing and more shootings,' and went on to call for the release of Joseph Remiro and Russell Little, the men charged with Foster's murder. Nothing in the letter indicated any knowledge of the shootings beyond what one could read in the newspaper, so in the minds of most investigators there was little reason to think it was anything other than a hoax or an attempt by the SLA to add to their notoriety.

"Even so, the seeds were sown in the minds of some that a connection might exist. Although the SLA was unknown before the murder of Marcus Foster, since then they had been using letters and communiques filled with incendiary rhetoric to gain increased media exposure, joining the legion of other shadowy, secretive groups in the Bay Area like the Weathermen and the Black Liberation Army. Like the latter group, the SLA was believed to be an alliance of black and white radicals. Most in Homicide did not take the letter seriously, but others, especially in the SFPD brass, felt it was worthy of serious consideration."
(ibid, pg. 154)
The prosecution's star witness, Anthony Harris, even claimed to have met SLA leader Donald DeFreeze and Patty Hearst. Like every other possible tie between the SLA and Zebra, this claim was not taken seriously by Sanders in his account of the murders.
"Supporting the notion that Harris took at least some clues about how to couch his activities from news articles is a statement he made in his meeting with Alioto, in which he claimed that he had met Patty Hearst and Donald DeFreeze at Temple No. 26. No one has ever given much, if any, credence to this claim. But it is revealing that he made it to Alioto, who more than once stated publicly that he believed there was a connection between the SLA and Zebra."
(ibid, pg. 258)

Patty Hearst during her SLA days

While it does seem likely Harris' claim of meeting Hearst and DeFreeze is bogus, a possible link between Zebra and the SLA is not as far-fetched as Sanders would have us believe. As noted earlier, the two Zebra 'masterminds,' Larry Green and J.C. Simon, were living in the same neighborhood as the SLA at the time of their arrest. In fact, it was the Zebra arrest that drove the SLA out of San Francisco. Is it possible that they fled San Fran not just because of the heightened police presence in their neighborhood, but also because they were afraid someone associated with Zebra would tip off their hideout?

Let us now briefly consider the SLA before continuing with their possible links to Zebra. The SLA first made waves with the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst, who later participated in SLA operations after allegedly being brainwashed by the group. As such, they have long since been an object of fascination in conspiracy circles, with some researchers linking them to the CIA and their MK-ULTRA experiments.
"The SLA was a bizarre revolutionary militant group, whose claim to fame was the kidnapping of publishing heiress Patty Hearst on February 4, 1974 only a few eeks after Reagen's controversial 'violence center' announcement, and it has been a favorite subject of conspiracy theorists for decades, who believe that the SLA was a front for a domestic CIA operation. The mere fact of the kidnapping itself, with Patty Hearst being subjected to brainwashing by the SLA cadres and then sent out to help them rob a bank, was headline-grabbing news for weeks, even though many people could not understand what it all represented...

"Much was happening between 1973 and 1975. Donald DeFreeze, the commander of the SLA, had earlier been a prisoner at the Vacaville facility that was used by the CIA as part of their mind-control experimentation program. At Vacaville, an organization was set up to raise black consciousness -the Black Cultural Association, or BCA --which was under the direction of Professor Colston Westbrook. Westbrook has since been identified as a former intelligence officer who served in the Far East during the 1960s and, in fact, worked for AID --the same agency that provided cover for Dan Mitrione and, perhaps, Jim Jones in Brazil --during the same years that Mitrione was with them. It is tantalizing to speculate about a handoff of Jones from Mitrione to Westbrook; or perhaps after the murder of Mitrione, Westbrook simply picked up where he left off. We know now that Jones spent time at the Langley-Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute during the 1960s and 1970s; Westbrook had been a psychological warfare officer in Vietnam, Japan, and Korea. At Vacaville, he may have been involved in the MK-ULTRA testing and manipulation of violent inmates. Therefore there may be connections between these men, but Jones is dead and Westbrook isn't talking...

"The existence and actions of the SLA are so strange, and so illogical, and so out of context that the organization has been subject to the full-court press of the conspiracy theorists. The leader of the SLA --Donald DeFreeze, or 'Cinque' --was black. Virtually everyone else in the SLA was white. (This is a mirror-image of the Peoples Temple, where the leader was white and the congregation black.) The group was believed to be Maoist, but the evidence for this was flimsy. Further, they claimed responsibility for them under of Dr. Marcus Foster -Superintendent of the Oakland school system --in 1973... by two white men who had used makeup during the commission of the crime, making themselves look black. This attempt to incite a race riot had been prefigured, of course, by the Manson Family attacks on the Tate and LiaBianca households in 1969.

"DeFreeze himself was a police informant who spent very little time in prison, even though he had a record of arms-dealing, among other felonies. When he left prison, he simply walked out, leading many to assume that his escape was an inside job. This was after prolonged contact with known intelligence officer Colston Westbrook. Although the SLA was painted in the worst possible colors as a violent revolutionary group, their record as violent revolutionaries is rather weak. They made so many mistakes, and reveal themselves to so many people during the course of their life 'in hiding,' losing large quantities of arms and ammunition at various poorly-dis safe houses, that it is possible to view these actions as those of agents provocateurs and not as genuine revolutionaries. At one point they even hijack a car and driver, drive around for a few hours introducing themselves, and then let the driver free..."
(Sinister Forces Book Two, Peter Levenda, pgs. 204-207)


There is a lot to take in here, which is why I'm going to wrap things up for the time being. In the next installment we will more thoroughly examine the connections between the Zebras and the SLA as well as both outfits relation to to the notorious Peoples Temple founder, Jim Jones, who would have an interesting relationship with the Nation in San Francisco by the mid-1970s. Jones is of course most well known for inducing nearly a thousand of his followers to commit suicide by drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid at Jonestown in 1978. Jones' followers would also be involved in the assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan, who incidentally was investigating the connections between the SLA and the CIA shortly before his assassination.

Surely that, like everything else mentioned in this series, is mere coincidence. Stay tuned and make up your mind for yourself.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fred Crisman, Fort Lewis, and March 33 -UPDATE: 17 Rising

On March 11, 2012, the latest instance of US barbarism in Afghanistan was unveiled to the public. It came in the form of a human being known as Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who allegedly murdered 16 Afghan civilians, including five children, in cold blood, then preceded to burn and desecrate several of the bodies. Naturally, much controversy already revolves around the killings, least of all how many shooters were actually involved. While the Army is going with the typical 'lone nut' scenario, witnesses have already come forward claiming that there was more than one shooter. Some have even begun to speculate that the attacks were planned. The New York Times reports:
"Mr. Hadi said there was more than one soldier involved in the attacks, and at least five other villagers described seeing a number of soldiers, and also a helicopter and flares at the scene. But that claim was unconfirmed — other Afghan residents described seeing only one gunman — and it was unclear whether extra troops had been sent out to the village after the attack to catch the gunman.

"In a measure of the mounting mistrust between Afghans and the coalition, however, many Afghans, including lawmakers and other officials, said they believed the attacks had been planned, and were incredulous that one American soldier could have carried out such attacks without help. In his statement, Mr. Karzai said 'American forces' had entered the houses in Panjwai, but at another point he said the killings were the act of an individual soldier."
An Afghan parliamentary probe believed that up to 20 US troops may have been involved, not that such an angle will be given serious consideration by the authorities in the near future. Even if we stick with the lone nut scenario, this story is very strange. According to the Daily Record, Sgt Bales was wearing Afghan clothes when he set out to commit the murders. Unfortunately, he was witnessed leaving his combat outpost by Afghan forces shortly after heading out, who in turn notified the US authorities. One wonders who this attack may have been blamed upon if Bates was not spotted by Afghan security forces.

Bales, the poor bastard taking the fall for the killings

The date of March 11 will be immediately recognizable to conspiracy buffs as several notable modern tragedies have played out on that day. It was in 2004 on 3/11 when the Madrid train bombing occurred, which has been widely suspected of being a false flag operation. In 2009 a human known as Tim Kretschmer murdered 16 students at a secondary school in Winnenden, Germany. In 2011, a 9.0 earthquake striking off the coast of Sendai, Japan, triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the second largest nuclear accident in history.

the Madrid train bombing (top) and Fukushima (bottom)

As far back as 222 AD the date March 11 has witnessed tragedy. On that date the Roman Emperor Elagabalus was assassinated. Elagabalus was one of the Syrian emperors and was responsible for introducing the sun cult of Sol Invictus, which would eventually become the official imperial cult before Constantine's conversion to Christianity. If Christopher Knowles' compelling theories revolving around the Phoenicians (who had several colonies in Syria and gained favor during the reign of the Syrian Emperors) are correct, then Elagabalu's assassination may be one of the chief reasons why significance is attached to this date.

the Emperor Elagabalus

There are several other factors to also consider concerning 3/11, however. From what I have been able to find, it was not the date of a significant pagan holiday. However, the numbers of this date are themselves significant in the occult. Three is of course highly esoterically significant to numerous religions the world over.
"Three is regarded universally as a fundamental number, expressive of an intellectual and spiritual order in God, the cosmos of mankind, and either synthesizes the three-in-one of all living beings or else results from the conjunction of one and two produced, in this case, 'from the marriage between Heaven and Earth. The Tao produced one; one produced two; two produced three... However, it is more generally accepted that three, being the first odd number, is the number of Heaven, while two is the number of Earth, since one pre-existed their polarization. The Chinese called three the perfect number (ch'eng) as an expression of wholeness and fulfillment --nothing can be added to it. It is the culmination of manifestation, since Man, the son of Heaven and Earth, completes the Great Triad. Three is also the perfection of divine unity to Christians, God being One, in three Persons. Buddhism finds its fulfillment in the Triple Jewel, or triratna (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) and this was appropriated for their own uses by the Taoists as the Tao, the Books and the Community. Time is threefold (tribhuvana) --Earth, atmosphere and sky (bhu, bhuvas, swar). Again, in Hinduism, manifestation of the godhead is threefold (trimuri) as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the creator, preserver and destroyer, corresponding to the three gunas, or modalities..."
(Dictionary of Symbols, Jean Chevalier &Alain Gheerbrant, pg. 993)
By contrast, Aleister Crowley held that eleven was the number of magic. Chevalier and Gheerbrant write:
"The number eleven, which would seem to have been one of the keys of the Divine Comedy, also derives its symbolism from being the sum of the numbers five and six, these being the microcosm and the macrocosm, or Heaven and Earth. In China, eleven was the number which 'in its totality... comprised the way of Heaven and Earth.' It was the number of the Tao."
(ibid, pg. 349)

Even more interesting, when three and eleven are multiplied by one another they equal 33. Thirty-three is one of the most important numbers in Freemasonry, being the highest grade in Scottish Rite masonry.
"The first temple of Solomon stood for thirty-three years in its pristine  splendor. At the end of that time it was pillaged by the Egyptian King Shishak, and finally (588 B.C.) it was completely destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the people of Jerusalem were led into captivity to Babylon... Also King David ruled for thirty-three years in Jerusalem; the Masonic Order is divided into thirty-three symbolic degrees; there are thirty-three segments in the human spinal column; and Jesus was crucified in the thirty-third year of His life."
(The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P. Hall, pg. 238-239) 
In truth I have yet to come across a solid explanation for the Masonic obsession with the number thirty-three. I suspect it probably has something to do with the merger of the divine (three) with the magical (11). Regardless, 33 is a number conspiracy lore alleges shows up time and again when occult workings are being undertaken. Probably the most famous theory concerning 33 is the Downard-Hoffman chain that linked the Kennedy assassination and the first atomic bomb exploded at Trinity, New Mexico to the thirty-third parallel north latitude line. But I digress.

the symbol of the thirty-third degree in Scottish Rite masonry

The most striking thing to me about the Bales shooting was the military base Bales was stationed at before being redeployed to Afghanistan: the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, located in Washington state near Tacoma. For those of you with a long memory, you will remember the 'kill team' operating in the Maywand District during 2010 which claimed the lives of at least three Afghan civilians was also from Fort Lewis. Its likely that far more deaths were involved, as it has been suspected the Army embarked upon a large scale cover up to protect the officers that were aware of the killings.

Both Bales and the members of the kill team belonged to 2nd Infantry Division currently stationed at Fort Lewis. And while these are by far the most high profile deaths linked to Fort Lewis, they are hardly the only ones. The Washington Post reports:
"It remains unclear what prompted the shootings or whether anything in the suspect’s medical history could have led to his alleged actions. But the disclosure this week that he was from Lewis-McChord has refocused attention on trouble at the base, where a string of high-profile incidents had already raised questions about the scale of the mental health problems here and how the military is responding...

"Two soldiers have been accused of waterboarding their children — one because the child couldn’t recite his ABCs and another because his foster son wet his bed. A 24-year-old Iraq war veteran fatally shot a ranger at Mount Rainier National Park. In April, David Stewart, 38, a decorated combat medic with two tours in Iraq, killed himself after leading police on a high-speed chase down Interstate 5 near Tumwater.

"His wife, 38, who had been shot in the head, was found in the car beside him. Their 5-year-old son was found dead at their home.

"And on Tuesday, a lieutenant colonel at the base was charged with felony harassment in connection with allegedly threatening to kill his wife, with whom he is going through a divorce, and his superior officer."
Beyond that, Fort Lewis has witnessed at least 12 suicides in the past year in addition to an AWOL soldier from Fort Lewis dying in a gun fight with police in Salt Lake City. Clearly, the war is coming home.

The common explanation for the rash of violence associated with Fort Lewis is PTSD, posttraumatic stress disorder. The base's medical facility, Madigan Army Medical Center, has come under especially heavy fire for allegedly under diagnosing PTSD in returning soldiers. While I don't doubt that PTSD is a big part of the killings, its hard to find another military installation, aside from Fort Hood, that's more dysfunctional that this base. Is there something else in play at Fort Lewis?

the Madigan Army Medical Center

John Marks' groundbreaking work The Search for the 'Manchurian Candidate', based upon declassified CIA documents and interviews with former employees of the Company, asserted that the CIA and US military had been actively trying to create a kind of programmed assassin, or 'Manchurian Candidate,' as part of the notorious MK-ULTRA experiments since at least the 1950s. During the course of this endeavour experiments were conducted upon prisoners, mental patients and military personnel. I've found no evidence linking Fort Lewis to such experiments, but then again, the US Intelligence community has gone to great lengths to cover up which institutions these experiments were conducted in, or whether they ever ended. Is such an experiment currently being conducted at Fort Lewis? Certainly it would not be out of character for US black opts.

Naturally we the public will not learn about what is going down behind the scenes at Fort Lewis for several more decades when documentation will finally be declassified and the vast majority of the public will no longer care. But for the time being, we can note an especially sinister piece of black opts that was run near Fort Lewis over 60 years ago.

It was on June 24, 1947 (St. John's Feast Day and the date historically that the Summer Solistice was celebrated) that Kenneth Arnold reported nine UFOs flying near Mount Rainer, where a soldier from Fort Lewis would shoot a park ranger many years later. This was the beginning of America's obsession with flying saucers and aliens. Regular readers of this blog know that Recluse believes that the bulk of UFO encounters are nothing more than PSYOPs and that the modern UFO movement was started as a disinformation campaign. The entire UFO field has been in the hands of the US Intelligence community since its very inception in 1947. I've chronicled this belief in much greater depth before here, here, here, and here. There is no finer example of this than the Arnold sighting itself.

Yet, Arnold was not the first America to witness a modern UFO. That dubious honor fell upon a human known as Harold Dahl, who spotted six UFOs over Maury Island (located near Tacoma) three days before the Arnold sighting. He was even able to acquire some evidence of this event --a camera and film, plus some metallic slag which came from one of the crafts that was damaged. Dahl then immediately turned the evidence over to his boss, Fred Lee Crisman.

In conspiracy circles Crisman is a rather notorious figure, in no small part due to his speculated role in the Kennedy assassination.
"No matter what side of the Kennedy assassination one finds oneself --a believer in the Warren Report, or a believer in a conspiracy --the Fred Crisman element strains credulity. More than twenty years after this event, Crisman will be subpoenaed by District Attorney Jim Garrison as a suspect in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Crisman, a former OSS officer, a man with a CIA file, a man friendly with Clay Shaw... in at the birth of the twentieth century's UFO experience?"
(Sinister Forces Book I, Peter Levenda, pg. 169)

 Crisman would go on to investigate Dahl's UFO encounter along with Arnold on behalf of Raymond Palmer, the legendary editor of Amazing Stories. Arnold would return to Tacoma where he met with Crisman and Dahl and examined some of the evidence Dahl had salvaged from his encounter. Not long after his arrival Arnold began to suspect that he was being played.
"At this point, Arnold felt he was being had. The whole story sounded very suspicious, very artificial. He asked a friend, another pilot --United Airlines Captain E.J. Smith --for his take on the affair. They came to the conclusion that either the story was a simple hoax, or it was part of an intelligence operation. They distrusted Crisman completely, and felt that he was trying to control the investigation. Either Crisman was a hoaxer, or a spy...

"Then, as if in confirmation of their suspicions, it was reported that United Press International had received verbatim transcripts of their interviews and discussions, the ones held in Arnold's mysteriously-booked hotel room! Suddenly, it was all becoming clear. Arnold's presence in Tacoma had been part of a larger plot; his hotel room was selected in advance and bugged; the information he extracted from Dahl and his conversations with Smith, were sent to the news agency (for what purpose can only be imagined). It seemed as if there was an operation underway to discredit the Maury Island UFO report and to do that with Kenneth Arnold, a much more credible witness that either Dahl or Crisman. Two birds with one stone?"
(ibid, pg. 172)
At this point Arnold insisted on bringing in his contacts in military intelligence, Captain William Davidson and Lieutenant Frank Brown of Fourth Air Force, Hamilton, California. Both men flew out to Tacoma at once and talked with Arnold and Smith. Neither officer seemed to give much credence to the story and soon returned to the airfield to return home. There, Crisman appeared with a heavy box which he claimed was filled with debris from the damaged UFO. The two men accepted the box and took off. They never made it home, their B-52 crashing under rather odd circumstances.

But the Arnold and Dahl sightings had already been cemented in the popular consciousness and it all happened in Tacoma. One of the strangest aspects of the Arnold and Dahl sightings I've encountered is that the McChord Air Force base, which is linked with Fort Lewis, is seemingly never mentioned. This is rather odd considering that it was assigned the Air Defense Command, making it one of the main Air Force bases in the entire United States. Why then were officers sent from California to interview Arnold in the first place? Is it because whatever Arnold and possibly Dahl witnessed had to do with the crafts stationed at McChord?


And now, 60 plus years on down the line, Tacoma once again finds itself at the center of some serious high strangeness. Are the assorted killings in the United States and Afghanistan committed by soldiers stationed at this base the result of something more than mere PTSD? Certainly this whole area would not be a stranger to some serious black opts, if the Arnold saga is any indication.

And what of the use of March 11? Clearly this date has witnessed a staggering number of tragedies in recent years. The 16 murders committed in Afghanistan on 2012 of that date may not even be remembered as the greatest tragedy to occur. Of late the shooting committed by a motorcycle driving assailant on March 19 outside the Ozar Hatorah Jewish day school has now been linked to a similar murder that occurred on the eleventh. On that date an off duty member of a French parachute regiment was shot at point black range by a gun firing a .45 caliber bullet matching one of the weapons used at the Ozar Hatorah shootings. The victims of these killings have either been Jews or Muslims, implying that they're racially motivated. Strangely, these shootings bare similarities to a wave of shootings that occurred in San Francisco in the mid-1970s known as the Zebra murders, of which I've been writings a series on of late. The segments that have been published can be read here, here, and here.

If the .45 shooting now occurring in France go down like the Zebra shootings, then things could get very interesting in deed. And it all began on March 11, along with the brutal murders of 16 Afghan civilians by an alleged rogue US soldier. Clearly, March 11 is living up to its Masonic value.


Well, the Midi-Pyrenees shootings turned out a bit differently than was expected. Rather than being committed by a radical European nationalist, a la the 2011 Norway attacks, they were in fact committed by a radical Muslim allegedly working for al-Qaeda. Officals claim:
"A 23-year-old French citizen of Algerian origin, he had long been known to the French authorities as a petty criminal but latterly his links to Islamist extremism drew attention.

"The man who reportedly told police negotiators he was a member of al-Qaeda had recently made visits to Pakistan and Afghanistan, where he was found in the Taliban heartland of Kandahar.

"He reportedly admitted the shootings in which three unarmed French soldiers were killed, as well as a rabbi and three small children at a Jewish school. Merah reportedly held one little girl, Myriam Monsonego, by her hair to shoot her in the head."

Mohammed Merah

Naturally Mr. Merah will never get a chance to tell his side of the story as he was shot in the head by French authorities on March 22, after a 30+ hour siege. And thus, the saga of one of the 3/11/12 shooters comes to an end, at least for the time being. Meanwhile the case of the other 3/11/12 shooter, Sgt. Robert Bales, grows even more occultic.

Also on March 22, 2012, it was announced that Bales' victim total had been raised to 17. Unsurprisingly, authorities are not entirely certain of how they arrived at 17.
"Two senior U.S. defense officials confirmed Thursday that 17 Afghan civilians were killed in the shooting in Panjwei on March 11.

"Thursday morning, Gen. John Allen told the Senate Armed Services Committee that 16 civilians were killed, but now defense officials put the number at 17

"Why the discrepancy?

"One senior U.S. defense official said one of the injured has died in the past few days, but the other senior U.S. defense official believed the U.S. military has evidence there was a 17th body at the scene.

"Either way, the death toll is now at 17."
Regular readers of this blog will know that 17 is highly significant to the occult. 17 is the number of Sirius as well as having a strong association with the Egyptian god Osiris, one of the chief gods of the Mystery schools. The neophyte is advised to read my post on the Tarot, which thoroughly examines the Sirius connection to 17. From there, check another of my postings on 12/17, which explains the Osiris association with 17. Enjoy.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Zebra: A San Francisco Tale Part III

In the mid-1960s, for a few brief years, San Francisco was transformed into a psychedelic city-state with the scent of revolution in the air. Signs of positive change, of a more enlightened era, seemed to be everywhere. Then, just as the Summer of Love was reduced to a grotesque tourist trap, things began to get weird. A wave of serial killers, beginning with the legendary Zodiac killer, began to breakout across the Bay area and nearby Santa Cruz. They were soon followed by a wave of radical groups such as the Black Panther Party, the Black Liberation Army, the SLA, and the Weather Underground. Combined with such local fixtures as the newly opened Church of Satan and the notorious Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels, it was a trip even without the CIA-sponsored LSD. Such was the scene that we examined in parts one and two.

Just as I was wrapping up part two I began to address the focus of this series of blogs, namely the criminally under-reported Zebra killers, a group of militant black revolutionaries who killed at least 14 mostly white victims in San Francisco between October 19, 1973 and May 1, 1974. The Zebra killings are officially attributed to a group within the Nation of Islam known as the Death Angels. The thing is, only one individual, Anthony Harris, has ever spoken of the existence of such an order. Harris was the prosecution's chief witness in the Zebra case and is of rather dubious credibility, as we shall examine in the next installment. Beyond Harris, evidence of the Death Angels is slim to none.
"However, one key element not corroborated at trial or ever thereafter was Harris' description of the group he called the Death Angels, the supposed secret clique within the Nation of Islam. According to what Harris told both the police and the court, membership in the Death Angels was the primary motive for the attacks...
"No police investigator who worked on Zebra has ever heard the Death Angels mentioned by anyone other than Anthony Harris --not one. That is true, too, of the lawyers who worked on Zebra, both for the prosecution and the defense.
"Among Harris's claims about the Death Angels was that pins affixed with wings were given out to those who became members. Not one such pin has ever been found, nor has a photograph of one ever emerged. Harris also purported that Jessie Lee Cooks was high up in the Death Angels, and that this was the reason he could shave his head. Yet shaved heads had absolutely on relation to status inside the Nation of Islam. Roger Pierucci, Cooks's lawyer in the Zebra trial, who once it was over had no doubt of his client's guilt, discounts the shaved-head story as absurd. Harris claimed that photographs of victims were taken to document each kill for the purpose of getting credit for it with the Death Angels, but not a single such photograph has ever been found. Harris also asserted that there were scores and possibly hundreds of Death Angels in groups located across the nation, yet in over thirty years not one of these supposed members has ever come forward in the hope of trading information about the infamous group as a way to curry favor in an arrest or prosecution."
(The Zebra Murders, Prentice Earl Sanders & Bennett Cohen, pgs. 254-255)

On the other hand, there was evidence of dozens of execution-style murders occurring across the entire state of California that bore striking similarities to Zebra and were also potentially committed by black Muslims.
"At the state capital in Sacramento, plans were being made in the Division of Law Enforcement, California Department of Justice, to conduct an interpolice department meeting as early as possible for the purpose of establishing a task force to investigate an ongoing series of execution-style killings throughout the state. For the purpose of obtaining budgetary approval of the plan, a presentation was being made to department heads by Richard Walley from the Intelligence Analysis Unit, a group whose purpose was to correlate and cross-reference all known criminal activity throughout the state.

"'Gentlemen,' said Walley, 'as of last Friday there have been sixty-four execution-type murders in California during the past three calender years. That figure is up forty-two percent since the last quarter, when the total was forty-five --an indication that the incidents are rapidly increasing. All of the victims of these incidents have been killed by shooting at close range, or by hacking with a machete or meat cleaver. The incidents have occurred primarily in San Francisco and the East Bay area of Oakland and Berkeley, as well as in the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas in the southern part of the state. They are not exclusively limited to these metropolitan areas, however, there have also been incidents in the counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Diego. The suspects, as described and identified by witnesses and survivors, have been exclusively black."
(Zebra, Clint Howard, pg. 169)
Sanders and Cohen also confirm Walley's briefing. Even during the last leg of the Zebra killings in San Francisco, other murders of whites by Nation of Islam members were occurring in the state capital, Sacramento.
"Tension rose even more when members of Sacramento's Nation of Islam temple were arrested the afternoon of April 24 for what was described as the 'random slaying' of a twenty-four-year-old white man, who was killed by a shotgun blast through a picture window. Another member of the temple was accused of shooting an off-duty Sacramento cop... Two other motiveless shootings were said to have occurred in Sacramento since the Zebra sweeps began, and the sheriff told the press he thought they had been 'fostered' by the Zebra attacks."
(The Zebra Murders, Prentice Earl Sanders & Bennett Cohen)
In a press conference shortly before the mass arrests of multiple Zebra suspects, then-San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto asserted that there had been at least 80 killings across the state of California linked to Zebra.
"The next day, April 29, determined to calm the fear and put a stop to the killings, Joseph Alioto held a press conference to lay out what he believed he knew about Zebra. Never one to do anything halfway, he didn't limit his comments to the attacks in San Francisco. Rather, he laid out a huge collection of speculative intelligence, claiming that more than eighty killings across the state going back to 1971 could be linked to Zebra, and implying that those responsible for all the crimes might be tied to the Nation of Islam."
(ibid, pgs. 235-236)

Mayor Joseph Alioto

While Alioto's numbers have been hotly debated ever since, it seems clear that Zebra not was limited to just San Francisco. So, while there seems to be no hard evidence of the existence of a group known as the Death Angels, there was clearly someone mobilizing young black males with a revolutionary bent. And the Nation of Islam was a major player in all of this. The extent to which the upper brass of the Nation were aware of the killings has also been hotly debated for decades. In Zebra, author Clint Howard implies someone within the upper echelons of the Nation was aware of the murders and was even encouraging them. Sanders and Cohen never give any serious consideration to the extent of the Nation's involvement at the upper levels. While it seems likely that someone in the Nation's command structure had some knowledge of the killings, where the loyalties of this individual or individuals lied is the real question. We shall return to this a bit later.

For now I would like to briefly consider the dates of several of the murders and a few of the more notable victims. The killings began on October 19th, 1973 while the last murder attributed to the Zebra killers happened on April 16th, 1974, just a few days shy of the seventh month anniversary. Sanders believed that several of the murders were revenge killings for what the Zebra folks saw as attacks against the black community in the Bay area.
"One indication of this can be found in a written statement Harris gave to police on the night of January 28 as 'revenge for the shooting [sic] of Larry 3X.' By 'Larry 3X' Harris meant Larry Crosby, who had been shot by Berkeley police a few days earlier.

"Random acts of revenge were intended to create terror among whites  in what killers saw as an ongoing struggle. Other assaults also had possible triggers motivating revenge. Just prior to the attack on the Hagues in October, members of the Black Liberation Army were convicted for the murder of SFPD sergeant John Young. Just before the shootings in December, an FBI agent shot a young black man, George Session, in the back in San Francisco's Federal Building soon after the Chronicle reported that the FBI had been trying to infiltrate the Nation of Islam. The very day of the attacks on Thomas Rainwater and Linda Story in April, the Chronicle began a two-part story praising the work of the SFPD's Homicide Bureau."
(ibid, pgs. 259-260)
SFPD Sgt. John Young, who was murdered by the Black Liberation Army.

Sanders explanation of the dating sounds rather flimsy, to say the least. The reasons for the deaths in October and December are some what plausible, by why would the Zebra killers opt for a revenge killing over a positive article in the Chronicle concerning SFPD's Homicide Bureau? No, revenge does not seem to have been a primary motive.

There are, however, several fascinating overlaps with major occult dates in the Zebra murders. The second killing occurred two days before Halloween, one of the two principal fire holidays of the ancient Celts, some of whom called the holiday Samhain. Two victims were dispatched of on December 22nd, which was the date of the winter solstice in 1973. The winter solstice, typically celebrated on December 25th, was one of the two chief holidays (along with Midsummer) in most non-Celtic branches of European paganism. When the killers were finally arrested, it occurred on May 1st, the same date of the other major Celtic fire festival, Beltane. That the beginning and end of the killing spree would revolve around Samhain and Beltane is most curious to me as they were the two key holidays of Celtic paganism.

Samhain and Beltane, the two principal holidays of Celtic paganism, the dates of which the Zebra killings revolved around

The dates of two of the other murders also stand out to me. As noted before, the first murder, that of Quita Hague, occurred on October 19, 1973. On October 12th, 1974 (a week shy of the one year anniversary of Zebra) Stanford University (which was a big part of the CIA's experiments with LSD and remote viewing) student Arlis Perry was brutally murdered in a highly ritualistic fashion in the Stanford Memorial Church, in the shadows of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Perry, whose murder still remains unsolved, has long since become a minor figure in conspiracy culture after David 'Son of Sam' Berkowitz linked her killing to a cult he claimed to have been a member of. This link may same tenuous at this point, but we shall return to Son of Sam a bit later.

David Berkowitz

The other date that really got my attention was December 20th. There were two separate shootings on this date, including one the few surviving Zebra victims. Five years earlier, in December 1968, David Arthur Faraday and his girlfriend, Betty Lou Jensen, would not be so fortunate. They have the dubious honor of being the first official victims (there were probably a few others before this date) of the legendary Zodiac Killer. This is just one of several striking overlaps with Zebra.

What was believed to have been the final letter written by Zodiac was received by the Chronicle on January 29th, 1974, the day after the bloodiest night (featuring five, possibly six shootings) of the Zebra killings. It was in this correspondence that Zodiac referred  to the film The Exorcist as "the best saterical comidy that I have ever seen." Two of the San Francisco detectives working Zebra, Bill Armstrong and David Toschi, were also the lead investigators on Zodiac. Strangest of all, the M.O. of several of the Zodiac murders, where isolated victims were shot by an individual with a small caliber revolver, bare striking similarities with the Zebra killings. But more on that later.

the Zodiac

For now, let us consider the victims. Many of the Zebra victims were not the types of people that would normally warrant much attention from the press. Several of them were senior citizens with little to nothing in this world. Others were college students from humble backgrounds. Two were Salvation Army cadets that were shot on April Fool's Day. One, Paul Dancik, was a small time criminal and junkie.

But mixed with the hodge-podge of seemingly random victims were a few notables. By the far the most famous is of course the politician Art Agnos, one of the few surviving victims. At the time of the attack Agnos, a liberal and champion of civil rights, was a member of the California Commission on Aging. He would go on to become major of San Francisco. He was at a largely black public housing project attending a meeting on building a government-funded health clinic there when the attack occurred.


The final victim was a young man named Nelson T. Shields IV. He was the son of a wealthy DuPont executive. After his death his parents would put their considerable funds towards gun control legislation. Another victim, Saleem 'Sammy' Erekat, was also relatively well-to-do as well. He owned a grocery store in San Francisco and was apparently quite popular with the local community. But there were two things about Sammy that set him apart from all the other victims: He was a Palestinian Arab and a Muslim.

The Zebra killers were allegedly only concerned with dispatching with whites, yet in the midst of their killing spree they would take the time to murder Erekat, who was a prominent business man in the San Francisco Arab community. What's more, his death was much more elaborate than many of the other killings. He was taken into a backroom of his grocery store on a Sunday morning, bound to chair, and then shot execution-style in the face. His family commonly worked with him at the store, but rarely on Sunday mornings, a fact the killers were seemingly aware of. Money was taken from the store in one of the few instance where robbery was also involved in one of the Zebra murders. Police immediately believed the theft was a cover for what the murder really was: a hit.

Probably the strangest victim was Jane Holly. Holly was shot in a crowded laundromat on the night of January 28, 1974, the bloodiest night of the Zebra killings. She was one of five, possibly six, individuals shot that night. Holly was a Wells Fargo employee heavily involved in the female Masonic order known as the Order of the Eastern Star. In point of fact, she was actually the leader of her chapter, holding the rank of 'Worthy Matron,' the highest rank one can achieve at the local level. Her husband, George, was also a Freemason. In fact, he was attending a lodge meeting the night his wife was murdered.

Order of the Eastern Star logo

So much for the victims and the dates. Now we shall turn to the effects the Zebra killings had on San Francisco. As noted before, the killings effectively spurred 'martial law'-lite, with blacks as the primary targets. The San Francisco police described these tactics as 'sweeps.'
"...the biggest dragnets in U.S. history. It was also a plan for one of the broadest and most expansive cases ever of racial profiling, though of course the term wasn't in use yet. Starting immediately, all the available cops were to patrol the streets at night, stopping, questioning, and searching every black male who was out after dark anywhere in the city, but with the focus primarily on the Fillmore and south of Market. The assumption was that the vague description they had from witnesses were ample justification for the stops, discounting any notion that they might be unconstitutional...

"...a 'Zebra card'... these identification cards were to be handed out to blacks who had been searched. With so many cops on the street, chances were some 'suspects' might get stopped repeatedly. But... with a Zebra card, all an individual had to do was show the document to the next officer to stop him, and the suspect would be waved on."
(The Zebra Murders, Prentice Earl Sanders & Bennett Cohen pgs. 200-201)
For years these Nazi-like tactics were defended by the San Francisco police and most commentators on Zebra. This was despite the fact that the Zebra sweeps were considered an utter failure for there intended purpose: to apprehend the Zebra murders. In this regard, they accomplished absolutely nothing. And yet, they still have ample defenders. One of the common justifications was that the sweeps had the in advert effect of dramatically reducing crime in San Francisco.
"By the weekend, more than five hundred young black men had been stopped and searched by the Zebra units patrolling the streets of San Francisco at night. The operation had turned up no leads to the Zebra killers -but it had reduced major crime in the city by nearly a third. Major crimes -homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny over fifty dollars, and auto theft -had been cut back 30.7 percent. Because of saturation by police officers in the large areas considered primary Zebra operation sectors, which comprised some five hundred city blocks, many crimes might have been committed, were not."
(Zebra, Clark Hoard, pg. 333)
Whatever benefits might have been derived by the drop in crime have probably been more than offset over the years by the colossal abuse of civil rights that resulted from the Zebra stops. What's more, some of the worst abuses were never publicized.
"In fact, the SFPD didn't publicize this, but the cards were comprised of two parts, one of which was a copy for the police to keep. It contained personal information about the 'suspect' --name, date of birth, driver's license number, social security number, and the date, time, and place he was stopped --and would be turned in at the end of the shift, to be collated and kept as part of a growing database."
(The Zebra Murders, Prentice Earl Sanders & Bennett Cohen, pg. 206)

Mayor Alioto fleeing from Zebra sweeps protestors

Perhaps this is why the Zebra sweeps are still championed to this day. Despite proving to be totally ineffective in solving the case, they provided the SFPD with an easy means of data-mining the black community. One wonders whatever became of the Zebra 'database' that was compiled during the sweeps.

It is at this point that I would like to wrap things up for the time being. But let us recap briefly. The victims and the dates of the Zebra murders are largely described as being purely random. Earl Sanders speculated in the Zebra Murders that the killings were vaguely politically motivated, occurring around the times of several major events in the San Francisco black community. Yet there was also an overlap in the Zebra murders, as well as the arrests, with major occult holidays. What's more, two of the Zebra shootings occurred on the five year anniversary of the Zodiac killer's first official attack. The Chronicle would receive the final confirmed letter from the Zodiac on January 29, 1974, a day after the bloodiest night of attacks during the Zebra killing spree.

Many of the people attacked probably were randomly chosen as many of them were isolated, elderly or non-imposing younger people --in other words easy pray. On the other hand, several of the other attacks are suspect. The most notable of the victims was Art Agnos, a liberal politician and civil rights advocate working to open a government-funded health clinic in a largely black neighborhood. Another curious victim was Jane Holly, a high ranking member in the Order of the Eastern Star, a largely female Masonic lodge. Her husband, George, was also a Mason and attending a lodge meeting at the time of her murder. I'm curious as to what degree George was. Was he a high ranking Mason? Did one of the local Masonic lodges such as the Prince Hall order hear something?

Regardless, the killings were put to good effect by the SFPD and Major Joseph Alioto. A policy of large scale racial profiling, random and baseless stops, identification cards, and classified data mining, were all put into effect. Then, just as public backlash was mounting against the so-called Zebra sweeps, an individual with a long history of petty crime, drug addiction, and mental illness would step forward as an informant and break the case wide open. Or so the story goes. We will more further examine this human, one Anthony Harris, in the next installment, as well as the men eventually convicted for the killings. Stay tuned.