Dennis Kaufman has been claiming, since 2000, that Jack Tarrance is the Zodiac Killer. Jack Tarrance is Dennis's stepfather. Last summer, Dennis turned over some items to the FBI for investigation. The FBI has been investigating. Dennis has once again been in the media spotlight, not that the light is very bright when it comes to cases that have been unsolved for 4 decades. Still, he's getting some publicity, and he has some wares to sell.
On Saturday morning, February, 21, Dennis Kaufman left the following announcement on his message board:
The DNA from the Zodiac belongs to someone that was with Jack when the known Zodiac murders took place, his name is Danny T Reynolds. Danny Reynolds is Jack's step-son from his second wife Doris.
At first glance it looks like pretty big news. "The DNA from the Zodiac." "With Jack when the known Zodiac murders took place." "Danny Reynolds." All of Dennis's critics will have to start eating crow.
Wow! Very intriguing! The FBI has proven Dennis right! After all of these years, the Zodiac has been identified. Jack Tarrance and his stepson Danny Reynolds. Team Zodiac. Dennis drops this bombshell on those members of his message board that have been waiting patiently for news, which always seems to be left in crumbs, and much like the infamous recorded phone call "confession" of Jack Tarrance, are anything but straight-forward. Perhaps, Jack Tarrance is the Zodiac. That would explain where Dennis learned to be so cryptic.
So, those who have put their faith in what Dennis has had to say, those who have invested their time and money in support of not only Dennis's claimed but in Dennis himself, are left high and dry –waiting, as always. Of course, they tried to get answers. They asked for clarification: "do you expect that police will be holding a press conference or coming out with a statement?" "And what was it compared to? The dna from the stamps? Please clarify, as everyone has been patiently waiting." "…what Z stuff was matched to Reynolds…and how did they get the DNA…?"
So, that afternoon, Dennis responds with another non-answer. He writes: "I cant give all the details at this point because it is an open investigation. I will probably get hell for releasing the information I just did. I know you all have many questions and they will all be answered eventually." Eventually. How hard would it have been to clarify just a little bit? If it's an open investigation and he's afraid of catching hell, why say anything at all? I mean, it's not like Jack is going to be leaving the coutnry –he's dead. If Dennis was worried about Danny Reynolds eluding further investigation, or even capture, why would he mention his name on the Internet for the world to see? Dennis's announcement of stepbrother's name seems to indicate that Danny Reynolds is not a murder suspect. By all appearances, it looks as if this investigation is winding down, and Dennis is just prolonging the inevitable: that once again, just as way back in 2000, there is no solid evidence linking Jack Tarrance to the Zodiac murders.
I did try to ask Dennis personally. There was a time when Dennis and I did communicate, even though I was skeptical of his claims. But then, as is typical of those who have trouble with the tough questions, Dennis stopped responding to my inquiries. I admit, I do have a way of irritating those with whom I find disagreement, but it's nothing personal –I just have this thing for facts and logic. I did think that Dennis actually believed that Jack Tarrance was the Zodiac –initially. Now I'm beginning to wonder. I'm trying hard not to think that this is just a way to make a few measly dollars off of a man that Dennis still holds a grudge against. Dennis's convenient timing of DVD releases along with supposed "new evidence" doesn't tend to help his credibility. Dennis always resorts to his old standby which he directs at any of his critics –that they're goons for Tom Voigt. Dennis has even went as far so to say (in so many words I can't recall off-hand) that I'm just another of Tom's minions. This just isn't true, and Dennis knows it. For the most part, I've stayed out of their personal feud. I do believe that Zodiac research owes a lot to Tom Voigt. He's provided a wealth of information that we just wouldn't have and has presented many differing views and theories on his site concerning the identity of the Zodiac Killer from various sources. But, that doesn't make me an ass-kiss or a goon. I've had my disagreements with Tom, too. Again, this is nothing personal. I've expressed some big differences of opinion at times. I've never been afraid to express those differences. I certainly can't be accused of pandering or fawning. So, Tom Voigt is not really the problem Dennis has with me. The problem is that I keep asking the questions that he just can't answer. This is what Dennis calls "bashing."
I've had disagreements with practically everyone I know, and many people I don't. It's an uncontrollable part of my nature. I'm always looking at things a little bit differently than everyone else and I'm not always quiet about it. I've even found myself questioning my own beliefs just to see how well they hold water. Being an opinionated sort, I can dish out a lot of criticism; I sometimes wind up pushing a lot of buttons. But, on the other hand, I can take the same in return –and I have from many different people. Dennis can't take criticism and the reason he can't is very simple. He has nothing to counter it with. His story is a sham. It's a subterfuge for his real agenda, which is the grudge he has for Jack Tarrance, his wicked stepfather.
I often ask myself why I even bother writing about Dennis. Am I that desperate for content? The answer is simple: I am a Zodiac researcher interested in the facts of the case. Dennis is using the mass media to promote the idea that a certain man is the Zodiac killer, when he has displayed no real foundation for such an extraordinary claim. He makes these claims while making promises of future revelations that never really pan out. This is a cycle that plays over and over.
Whenever I do write about Dennis and Jack Tarrance, I always have people telling me to give him a chance before I express my doubts. Well, he's had the chance. From the year 2000 down to this very date, there has been nothing linking Jack Tarrance to the Zodiac murders. Nothing.
Now, once again, Dennis is hinting at some new revelation. Meanwhile, once again, we hear nothing from official sources. Nothing.
I emailed Dennis Saturday night. I asked him if we could expect a press conference. I told him that if a press conference, or even a press release, was coming up, I would hold off writing my post until such a press conference were concluded. Dennis didn't respond. Maybe he was too busy helping with the investigation. Maybe he just doesn't like me. Maybe I'm too small to mess with now that he has TV press again.
Maybe he knows it'll soon be proven that he's been telling the truth: That Jack Tarrance was the Zodiac killer. Or maybe now it's another evil son or stepson of Jack's. But, let's be sure and not get confused. Remember Denny, Jack's biological son that Dennis thinks was Jack's helper? Well, this new guy is Danny, with an "A." So Team Zodiac would have consisted of at least three people –unless Dennis has some more stepbrothers out there. So, perhaps this is the revelation that is too come. The FBI has worked a long time on this evidence of Dennis's. Now it's all going to pay off.
Maybe one of these days we'll know just what the FBI has concluded, if anything. Until then, I wish they'd hurry up already. This crow isn't getting any fresher.