Things I overlooked


The post before this got me thinking about the things I saw in his house that made me wonder about his identity. I wasn’t thinking at that time that he was anything but a little old man that was a loner and had no family. I didn’t think even once that he could have been a serial killer. I didn’t really believe he could be involved in the crimes the Zodiac Killer committed until 2017 when I finally went through each document I have of his and began to notice the similarities. I never took the time to do any research on the Zodiac Killer cases until 2017 either. I then realized the many connections there are in what I saw in his house.

  • Postage stamps: his desk drawer was filled with so many postage stamps in every denomination. Most of the stamps on the bottom were very old. I had never seen someone with so many stamps before unless they were in a book as part of a collection. This was different. He had them all messy in his drawer as if he still used them.
  • Journals: he had an entire handmade bookcase against a wall in his dining room that was filled with his handwritten journals. They were dated from the 1940s through to the early 2000s. I thumbed through a couple of them looking for info about his family but I only saw his handwritten daily logs. They were all the same. Very strict with the date, time, and event or activity. He recorded what time he woke up each day, what he ate and what time he ate, what he watched on TV, what he heard on the radio, who called on the phone and what they wanted, what time he took a nap, if he mailed anything, what he ate for dinner, the weather and how he was feeling. All very detailed and always recorded with the specific time.
  • Empty gun boxes: in his garage, high on a shelf, hidden from view, were 2 empty boxes that were for guns that he no longer possessed. One was a .38 and the other was either a 9mm or a .22 pistol. There was also some ammo boxes as well. Also empty. I knew the guns would not be found in the house. He told me many times that he told his caretaker to destroy the guns. He had had the guns up until about 2000. He told me they needed to be destroyed. He led me to believe something bad may have happened with those guns. I never pressed him for more information. That’s just not my nature to pry into something like that.
  • Newspaper press: there was an old rusty antique newspaper press in his garage. He told me he had once made a newsletter and he used this press to create the pages for it.
  • Recording equipment: his guest bathroom in his hallway was not used for any guests. He used it as a recording studio for tapes he made that I’ve never heard. I have no idea where those taped recordings went but I never saw them. I have no idea what type of components he had in the bathroom. I do know that I saw a large microphone on a stand set up in there and many components attached to it but nothing that looked like anything I could recognize. It all looked old and nothing like the electronics I had seen in my lifetime. They were large pieces with lots of wires.
  • Clothing: there wasn’t much in his closets. He had maybe a couple of pairs of jeans, a few white t-shirts, a button up shirt and a heavy jacket. Only one pair of boots. He had always worn the same thing over and over. His clothes were filthy. He always wore a cabbie type hat. It was made of wool. He had 2 of those. I bought him some new clothes when I first began to be his caretaker but he never used them. I found them still in the same place with the tags on as when I first gave them to him. He was not the type of person to care about his appearance. He mostly stayed covered up with his dark glasses and hat and heavy, messy, facial hair. His fingernails were unusually long. I offered many times to take him to the barber but he never allowed me to.
  • His anger: this is something that makes more sense to me now than it did when he was alive. Given the fact that I had no idea why someone would be so afraid of the police coming to his door, so afraid that he would come to the door with a gun and threaten whoever was there that he will shoot them, that is just not normal behavior for someone that is innocent with nothing to hide. I never thought that he was trying to avoid being identified for several high profile murders. It makes sense now. But I just thought he was scared of intruders because he was just a little old man alone in his house. I was blind to the reality of his reactions.
  • In the hospital: two weeks before he died, the police came to my door and wanted to check on Harvey. They knew I took care of him so they came to me to allow them to get inside since he wasn’t answering his door for them. I tried to protect Harvey and refused to unlock his door at first. He told me to never ever let the police in his house, so that’s what I tried doing. When they told me I would be arrested if I didn’t let them in, I quickly got his key and walked next door with them. I knocked on his door first and tried to warn him I was coming in but I didn’t hear anything inside. I reluctantly unlocked the front door and slowly opened it, announcing to him that I was entering his house and that the police were there to talk to him. He heard me and yelled to me from the back bedroom to not let the police into his house. I went into the hallway where I could still be seen by the officers but was able to talk to Harvey as well. He was mad! He was yelling to not let them in! I explained to him that they needed to make sure he was ok since they hadn’t made contact with him for some time (they did welfare checks on the elderly that lived alone on a regular basis in Pleasanton at that time). I assured him that it would be ok and that he needed to talk to them so they know he was ok. I told him to just answer their questions. He still yelled at me to get them out. I told him they told me that if they couldn’t see him and talk to him that they were going to arrest me. I told him that I was not willing to go that far for him to protect him from the police. He was mad but agreed to speak to them. I pointed in the direction of his bedroom and the officers all made their way to his bedside. I went outside. The next thing I knew was they were bringing in a guerny and he was being wheeled out, buck naked, and loaded into an ambulance. The whole time he is yelling at them to let him go. He was saying he was being taken against his will and that he was going to sue them and I was trying to understand what had happened in his room? Why were they taking him away? The officer in charge, Officer O’Neill, told me he was being taken to the hospital. They said his home was unfit for him to live in and that they needed to see if he is healthy enough to live the way he was living. They also wanted to have him evaluated mentally. I talked with these police officers extensively that night and the next week about who Harvey was and how I became involved. Basically I was being investigated for what I had to do with this man and his living arrangements. He was in the local hospital for a week. During that week, I had to get his home cleaned up in order for them to allow him to return to it. They were not going to allow him to return until his house was clean. And let me tell you, his house hadn’t been cleaned since he moved in. The carpets were worn through in the higher traffic areas to the wood subflooring. I had never even been in any other part of his house besides the front living room/TV room/office area and the kitchen which was attached to the living room. The table where he made his daily meals was covered in rat droppings and there were holes in his walls from the rodent infestation. His windows were all blocked off with foil and heavy blankets that it was always pitch black inside his house. The floors were covered with cardboard boxes, paper grocery bags, artists canvasses, garbage, old newspapers and mail. He always told me they were all placed there on purpose because he used them to feel his way around his house since he wasn’t able to see well. I just left everything alone. He seemed to need things to stay the way he wanted them. He never allowed me to help in any way. But when he went to the hospital, I finally saw how he had been living for 40 years and it was awful. His bedsheets hadn’t been changed in so long that not only had they worn through in spots, the mattress underneath was worn through to the metal springs. He still slept on it every night. I had no idea it was that bad. So, while he was gone, I got it all cleaned up. The doctors did their tests. But he refused to eat or drink anything there. He just begged to be able to go home. We talked on the phone every day and I explained what I was doing to get him home. He cried to me. He was scared. I worked as fast as I could then called the detectives out to check my progress on the housework. They were pleased and let the hospital know he could go home. The hospital had one more evaluation to do and they finally approved his release. I had durable power of attorney and they let him go. The police escorted his ambulance ride back home and they placed him back into a new bed in his room that I had gotten for him. New sheets, new blankets, new pillows. Everything was clean and fresh. He now had a walker and commode close to his bed and his TV in his room where he stayed for the next week before he died. The autopsy revealed that he died from pneumonia. I believe he caught it when he was ripped from his bed and taken out into the cold rain naked and brought to the hospital. It had to happen that way since he shouldn’t have ever had to live in such filth. Why would anyone need to be so private that they wouldn’t allow anyone inside to clean up a bit for him? So much so that they were fine with rat droppings on the table where they prepare their meals everyday and laying in a bed of metal springs against your skin? This is not normal behavior by a normal person. He was scared and so guilty of what he’d done that he had to live this way out of fear of being identified. That’s my opinion.
  • The bible: there was a very large, very old bible in his bookcase. This bible was beautiful. A family member had written inside the cover and had dedicated it to the family. The pages inside were colorful, there were large colorful pictures and the writings were done in a really fancy font. Once I had found a family member, she called me and right away asked about the bible. I confirmed the bible was there and she told me she wanted it. I told her that I could not give anything away to anyone since she was not his next of kin. This family member did not understand me and instead got on a flight from Chicago to San Francisco the very next day. She showed up at my front door demanding that I let her into his house. She said she was there for this bible. I told her again that she was not going to get the bible. She eventually left. The bible went missing. I assume now that she broke into his house and stole it before she flew back to Chicago. It was never found. Sad.
  • Also in his desk: hidden in one of the many drawers was an envelope. It was closed, not sealed, when I opened it, the contents inside looked like skin and fingernails. The skin resembled eye lids with lashes still attached. I put it back into the same drawer and left it there.
  • On top of the desk: he kept a small cardboard box with rubbing alcohol, rubber cement, cotton balls, sponges and a small round plastic container that had a liquid in it that had dried up. He also had an ink well and many different old calligraphy pens. The kind you had to dip into ink to use.
  • He seemed to write a lot although I never saw him write anything other than checks to pay Bill’s.
  • Braille: since he was legally blind, his bank had his checks made in braille for him so he could pay for things without anyones help. He would use his fingers to find where to write the payable to information, the dollar amount, the amount written out and his signature and the memo area. Eventually he no longer wanted that task anymore and I began helping him pay his Bill’s. I wrote the payments out on those same checks and he would sign them. He had made me his power of attorney and we managed everything quite effortlessly together. I’d never seen braille checks before. I hadn’t realized he was really unable to see well enough anymore. He didn’t act blind. I wondered if he might have been making it up for sympathy. I still wonder.

2 thoughts on “Things I overlooked

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