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 Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?

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PostSubject: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:29 pm

Rand,

It has been noted by several witnesses that Zodiac was 'barrel chested'. The man seen by Fouke and Zelms was very similar to the suspect observed by the three witnesses. He was white, 35 to 45 years old, 5'10", between 180 and 200 pounds, barrel chested, with light-colored, crewcut hair and wearing glasses

Witnesses at Lake Berryessa said a man they saw "chain smoked." A symptom of a person with COPD is a condition called 'barrel chest' when the chest becomes enlarged due to lack of oxygen. Read on... The question is did any of the known suspects die of COPD? I posted this on Tom's site as well. Troy Houghton was barrel chested.... also remember Officer Fouke saying "Zodiac walked with a lumbering gait or a shuffling lope? " Lack of oxygen?

What causes barrel chest?

Answer
from Edward C. Rosenow III, M.D.
The term "barrel chest" describes a rounded, bulging chest that resembles the shape of a barrel. Barrel chest isn't a disease, but it may indicate an underlying condition.

For example, people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — such as emphysema — often develop a slight barrel chest in the later stages of the disease. It occurs because the lungs are chronically over inflated with air, so the rib cage stays partially expanded all the time. This makes breathing less efficient and aggravates any existing shortness of breath.

Barrel chest also can be related to osteoarthritis affecting the joints where the ribs attach to the spine. These joints tend to stiffen and become fixed in their most expanded position — causing the appearance of a barrel chest.

Generally, barrel chest isn't treated.

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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:29 pm

....good point!!

Also, for the record, a very high percentage of schizophrenics chain smoke... (approx. 85%)
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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:04 pm

Z's distinctive voice may also have been the result of heavy smoking and COPD. It all reminds me of Blake Edwards's memorable movie, Experiment in Terror, featuring an asthmatic psychokiller in San Francisco:

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Bank teller Lee Remick is accosted in her garage one dark night by asthmatic psycho Ross Martin. He forces her to go through with an elaborate robbery scheme, threatening to kill Lee's teen-aged sister Stefanie Powers if the police are summoned. FBI agent Glenn Ford suspects that something is amiss and advises Lee to play along with Martin, hoping in this way to capture this dangerous criminal with a minimum of bloodshed. Unfortunately, Martin is as clever as he is deadly, always managing to stay one step ahead of Ford. The now-famous climax of Experiment in Terror finds the feds closing in on Martin during a crowded night baseball game at San Francisco's Candlestick Park. Experiment in Terror is based on the Gordons' novel Operation Terror.

Here's the opening scene and trailer: http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/16358/Experiment-in-Terror/trailers

If you haven't seen this movie, RENT IT!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:42 pm

good point as well, Rand!!

Sadly, so many people were such heavy smokers back then, that that particular behavior would not have looked as "odd" back then as it would look now...

I have not seen that movie, so now I will rent it, and watch it late at night on a weekend; I know I will scare the hell out of myself!! LOL
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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:17 pm

True. I just asked Harry Jones, Jr. if he remembers if Troy Houghton was a smoker. He responded:

"In those days, everyone was a smoker. No, I was too busy sucking on my own coffin nail to notice."
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PostSubject: probably would have been hard   Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:41 pm

Probably would have been a rough task to walk all the way down to the lake and then have the wind to stab BH & CS if he had serious COPD. I wonder if they had medicines that would have controlled it back then? On the other hand he was seen lumbering away from the Stine scene (if that was Z?) Just a thought! Houghton was barrel chested as Z was described. Maybe an arthritic condition could have caused the barrel chest as well? Could have just been just his girth? Enough said....I'll quit before I look like a complete idiot!
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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:04 pm

It's unlikely. I've seen tons of COPD patients at the hospital I work, and people with COPD under the age of forty are virtually non-existant.
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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:45 pm

Nachtsider wrote:
It's unlikely. I've seen tons of COPD patients at the hospital I work, and people with COPD under the age of forty are virtually non-existant.

I too agree with Nachtsider, it is almost never seen in a hospital setting in a patients under 40 due to smoking UNLESS they have other conditions long existing as well. The only exception I have seen were service men who were in explosions early in life. Of course other diseases such as asthma or pulmonary fibrosis could also cause the physical characteristics of barrel chest and clubbing of the fingernails of a person under 40; it is possible, I just didn't see them in house.

TH of the Minutemen did have back problems and back surgeries which can affect the walking gait. But then so did Jack Tarrance and some of the other POI's.
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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:13 am

Would a "barrel chest" be a symptom of someone with tuberculosis?
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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:11 am

If he had tuberculosis, Zodiac would've been severely emaciated, and hardly the husky individual witnesses reported him to be.
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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:50 am

Barrel chested can also apply to a stocky guy, or muscular guy too, right?
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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:32 am

Yes, many male athletes are "barrel chested", e.g.:



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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:08 pm

I think the difference of a medical person describing a person who is "Barrel Chested" vs a lay person describing a person of interest as being "Barrel Chested" needs to be considered.

I know my Grandpa was barrel chested, as well as all of his brothers, and were similar to a silver back gorilla by their 30's. BUT he was a Navy frogman, boxer, wrestler too...so that of course made his statue even more dramatic compared to less active brothers.

SOOOOO I'd say barrel chested described by a witness would go hand in hand with a stocky build to most lay persons and probably was a characteristic a witness would notice back in the 60's since most folks were pretty slim compared to current times. But that witnesses description may have no connection to a typical "barrel chest" medical description in charting.


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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:18 pm

You know when you are young, you are smaller n young... everyone looks larger, bigger an older to you. When you are in a situation where you are scared for your life, the
person who is attacking you or scaring you is going to seem bigger. Not saying this is the case, but it could be the case of different descriptions even. I'm sure all of us where
smaller in our late teens, early 20's, so if someone walks up to you, scares you or starts to attack you, you would think they are bigger then life.... you are scared S___ less.

Just thinking out loud.
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PostSubject: Re: Could this have been a clue to whom Zodiac was?   Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:18 am

I play rugby and as a result have had to do a fair amount of upper body weightlifting to gain strength and bounce off tackles. I've always considered myself as fairly slim and of average height and whilst talking about sport/rugby to an old schoolfriend in a bar, he mentioned amongst other things that I was chunky and barrel chested.

I picked up on that phrase and thought at the time he was implying I was fat or something Laughing - but when I laughed and queried what he meant he said that I looked quite muscular with big chest/shoulders and meant that he wasn't surprised I was still training and playing rugby. I left hoping that he was paying me a compliment and not telling me that I was overweight or that my legs were underdeveloped!!

I have never seen myself as a big, powerful bloke as many guys in the gym have always been bigger and many of the other rugby players on the teams I played were seriously big and up to 6'7" tall. The old friend I was talking to in the bar was a very thin guy so I probably looked a bit bigger than him and feel that he was just commenting that I looked like I was into my benchpressing or something like that.

Make of this what you will but my take on this is that I've always interpreted Z as probably being a fairly strong, big chested type of guy of average height. Chunky, stocky, beefy, husky, barrel chested could possibly describe this type of person IMO so I've always thought Z either pumped a bit of iron or was involved in a manual labour kind of job which would keep his upper body looking strong.
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