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A San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac killer.
Robert Graysmith: Does anybody ever call me names? Paul Avery: What, you mean like retard? Robert Graysmith: Yeah. Paul Avery: No.
Robert Graysmith: I... I Need to know who he is. I... I need to stand there, I need to look him in the eye and I need to know that it's him.
[from trailer] Robert Graysmith: I've been thinking... Paul Avery: Oh God, save us all.
Paul Avery: What do you do for fun? Robert Graysmith: I love to read. Paul Avery: Mhmm. Robert Graysmith: Umm, I enjoy books. Paul Avery: Those are the same things.
Dave Toschi: [bedside phone rings. In a tired attempt to answer the phone, accidentally knocks over a lamp, which shatters] [into phone] Dave Toschi: Whoever this is, you owe me another lamp.
[last lines] Mike Mageau: [after identifying Arthur Leigh Allen as his shooter] The last time I saw this face was July 4th, 1969. I am very sure that's the man who shot me.
Robert Graysmith: Doesn't it bother you that people call you Shorty? Shorty: Doesn't it bother you that people call you retard? Robert Graysmith: Nobody calls me that. Shorty: Right.
Robert Graysmith: I've been thinking. Paul Avery: Yeah? Robert Graysmith: Somebody should write a book. Paul Avery: Somebody should write a fuckin' book, that's for sure. About what? Robert Graysmith: About Zodiac. I've been thinking, if you put all the information together, maybe you could jog something loose. And then I thought, who better than you? I mean, you know all the players, and you have all of the files. Paul Avery: Yeah, I lost them. Robert Graysmith: You lost them? Paul Avery: Or I tossed them. I don't know, I moved onto a boat.
Paul Avery: Do you know more people die in the East Bay commute every three months than that idiot ever killed? He offed a few citizens, wrote a few letters, then faded into footnote... Not that I haven't been sitting here idly, waiting for you to drop by and reinvigorate my sense of purpose.
Robert Graysmith: [Both are brushing their teeth] Spit. Aaron Graysmith: I swallowed it. Robert Graysmith: Why? Aaron Graysmith: It was minty.
Zodiac 3: Before I kill you, I'm going to throw your baby out the window.
Paul Avery: Hey Bullitt, it's been almost a year. You gonna catch this fuckin' guy or not? Dave Toschi: Go fuck yourself! Paul Avery: Gladly.
Robert Graysmith: [arriving to their date] How late am I? [he knocks over a drink] Melanie: Just a few minutes really. I just got here myself. Robert Graysmith: Traffic was bumper to bumper. I was at the gun range. Melanie: Glynis said you were a cartoonist. Robert Graysmith: Oh,yeah. Melanie: What were you doing at the gun range? Robert Graysmith: Reading.
Robert Graysmith: Tell me about this painting party. Linda del Buono: I told the cops about that so long ago. Darlene always had a lot of boys around, even though she was married. This one guy was weird though. He used to bring her presents from Tijuana. I don't know why she was friends with him. She once told me he'd killed somebody. Robert Graysmith: Really? Linda del Buono: I think maybe when he was in the service. Robert Graysmith: Navy? Linda del Buono: I think so. Robert Graysmith: Was he into movies? Was he a movie buff? Linda del Buono: I can tell you that he was not into people. The party that Darlene threw, people were just supposed to show up, drink beer, help paint, but this guy showed up in a suit, and just sat in a chair all by himself all night long and didn't talk to anyone. And Darlene told me to stay away from him. She was scared of him. Couple weeks later she was dead. Robert Graysmith: I'm sorry. Do you remember his name? Linda del Buono: It was short. Like a nickname, like Stan. Robert Graysmith: Rick? Linda del Buono: No, I don't think so. Robert Graysmith: Are you sure? Linda del Buono: Yeah. Robert Graysmith: How can you be sure? It was a long time ago. Think hard. Linda del Buono: I am thinking hard. Robert Graysmith: It was Rick. It was Rick Marshall. Say it! Linda del Buono: It wasn't Rick. [thinks for a moment, as Graysmith prepares to leave] Linda del Buono: It was Leigh.
Dave Toschi: Suspect's negro male adult, who also happens to be a stocky, crew cut caucasian.
Robert Graysmith: Just because you can't prove it doesn't mean it isn't true. Dave Toschi: Easy, Dirty Harry.
Dave Toschi: Hey, how do we know that this lead is real? Inspector William Armstrong: It's very real. How do I know? Because I saw it on TV.
Robert Graysmith: This is a case that's covered both northern and southern California with victims and suspects spread over hundreds of miles, would you agree? Dave Toschi: Yeah. Robert Graysmith: Darlene Ferrin worked at the Vallejo House of Pancakes on Tenneessee St. Arthur Leigh Allen lived in his mother's basement on Fresno St. Door to door, that is less than 50 yards. Dave Toschi: Is that true? Robert Graysmith: I've walked it. Dave Toschi: Jesus Christ.
Robert Graysmith: Did he say they got a print? Paul Avery: A partial. Robert Graysmith: Whoa. Dude, he wears his gun like Bullitt. Paul Avery: No, McQueen got that from Toschi. Robert Graysmith: Does he think that Zodiac's gonna send another code? 'Cause I think Zodiac's gonna send another code. Paul Avery: Jesus Harold Christ on rubber crutches, Bobby, what are you doing? You're doing that thing. The thing that we discussed, the thing that I don't like, starts with an L... Robert Graysmith: Oh, looming. Paul Avery: Yeah.
Paul Avery: Well, it looks like the real Zodiac Killer... was friendship
Robert Graysmith: We met at the movies once. Dave Toschi: I'm sure it was magical.
Paul Avery: Methinks our friend's a tad bit fuckered in the head.
Arthur Leigh Allen: Oh. "The Most Dangerous Game." Inspector William Armstrong: What? Arthur Leigh Allen: "The Most Dangerous Game." That's why you're here isn't it? It was my favorite book in high school. It's about this man who waits for these people to get shipwrecked on this island. Because he was tired of hunting animals, he hunted the people for the challenge. Dave Toschi: And man is the most dangerous animal of all? Arthur Leigh Allen: That's the whole point of the story.
Officer George Bawart: Who was that? Sgt. Jack Mulanax: That's Graysmith. He's a cartoonist. He thinks he's going to solve the Zodiac. Officer George Bawart: Well, good for him.
Arthur Leigh Allen: Can I help you? Robert Graysmith: No.
Arthur Leigh Allen: I am not the Zodiac. And if I were, I certainly wouldn't tell you.
Robert Graysmith: Paul, are you okay? Paul Avery: No... but thanks for asking.
Paul Avery: Okay, this can no longer be ignored. [points at Graysmith's drink, which is blue. Graysmith looks confused] Paul Avery: What is that?
Robert Graysmith: Are you sure no one else is in the house?
Paul Avery: Someone should write a fuckin' book, that's for sure.
Paul Avery: Welcome, please put your stuff down. You're going down five rows and left. You're looking for the Modesto Bee from March. I'm going to stand here and attempt not to vomit. [Graysmith turns right] Paul Avery: Left. Robert Graysmith: Left. What I am looking for? Paul Avery: Kathleen Johns. Also, you might want to pull the Chron from - never mind, I'll see to that. [pulls out Zodiac letter] Paul Avery: Okay, now tell me what facts he gives. Robert Graysmith: Woman and her baby abducted. Paul Avery: Mm-hmm. Fact. Robert Graysmith: The car on fire? Paul Avery: Anything else? Robert Graysmith: Everything in the letter already appears in the article. Paul Avery: Yep. And he's done it before. [pulls out a newspaper article] Paul Avery: Officer Richard Raditech, shot sitting in a parked car. Robert Graysmith: Zodiac claimed he shot someone in their car. Paul Avery: Yeah, a couple days after this article came out. Zodiac didn't do it, but he took credit for it anyway, because he's in it for the press. Robert Graysmith: How can someone who's killed thirteen people... Paul Avery: He claims he killed thirteen people, but which ones can we actually confirm? There's three in Vallejo, one in Berryessa, the cabbie, that's it. [Graysmith looks confused] Paul Avery: Bobby, you almost look disappointed.
Dave Toschi: [to his new partner] You wouldn't happen to have any animal crackers, would you?
Robert Graysmith: [reading] I like killing people because it is so much fun. It is more fun than killing wild game in the forest, because man is the most dangerous animal of all. To kill something is the most thrilling experience. It is even better than getting your rocks off with a girl. The best part of it is that when I die, I will be reborn in paradise and all that I have killed will become my slaves. I will not give you my name because you will try to slow down or stop my collecting of slaves for my afterlife.
Mike Mageau: [to Zodiac before being shot] Man, you really creeped us out.
Paul Avery: [to Toschi] Hey Bullitt, it's been a year, you gonna catch this fucking guy or not?
Robert Graysmith: Dave, he made a mistake! The birthday was the one time that he was weak, the one time he gave something away! Dave Toschi: Robert... Robert Graysmith: It's Arthur Leigh Allen! Dave Toschi: Where did you get that name? Robert Graysmith: December 18th. He called the Belli's house. "I have to kill. Today is my birthday." It was his birthday. Arthur Leigh Allen was born on December 18th. Dave Toschi: Get in here.
Informant: Have you ever thought Paul Avery might be the Zodiac? Dave Toschi: Frequently.
Drag Queen: Only a little rat bastard like Andre could have done something like cut off all the victims' hands. Inspector William Armstrong: Zodiac didn't cut off any of the victims' hands. Drag Queen: Are you sure? Inspector William Armstrong: Yes, sir.
"Suspect": I'm the Zodiac. Inspector William Armstrong: And how did you kill your victims? "Suspect": With a gun. No... with a hammer.
Robert Graysmith: It's ok... Avery has a gun.
Cecilia Shepard: Someone else is here. Bryan Hartnell: It is a public park. Cecilia Shepard: I think he's watching us. Bryan Hartnell: Well, we're very good looking. Cecilia Shepard: Where'd he go? He went behind that tree. Bryan Hartnell: All right, so he's taking a leak. Cecilia Shepard: He's coming towards us. Oh my god, he has a gun!
Robert Graysmith: I knew it! "Man is the most dangerous animal of all." I knew that I heard that from somewhere before. "The Most Dangerous Game." Paul Avery: The most what? Robert Graysmith: It's a movie about a count who hunts people for sport. People. "The Most Dangerous Game." Paul Avery: Who's that? Robert Graysmith: That's Count Zaroff. Paul Avery: Zaroff? With a Z?
Templeton Peck: [looking through Graysmith's cartoon samples] Horrid. Horrid. Not so horrid. Horrid. I'm thinkin' we go with not-so-horrid.
Bryan Hartnell: If there's anything else I could do for you... Maybe I could write you a check.
Robert Graysmith: Did he say they got a print? Paul Avery: A partial. Robert Graysmith: Whoa. Dude, he wears his gun like Bullit. Paul Avery: No, McQueen got that from Toschi. Robert Graysmith: Does he thinks Zodiac is gonna send another code? Cause I think Zodiac's gonna send another code. Paul Avery: Jesus Harold Christ on rubber crutches Bobby, what are you doing? You're doing that thing. The thing that we discussed, the thing that I don't like, starts with an L... Robert Graysmith: Oh, looming. Paul Avery: Yeah.
Robert Graysmith: Not many people have basements in California. Bob Vaughn: I do.
Robert Graysmith: I just want to help. Ken Narlow: What are you, some kind of boy scout? Robert Graysmith: Eagle Scout, actually... First class.
Paul Avery: What's your angle, here? This is good business for everyone but you. Robert Graysmith: What do you mean, "angle"?
Paul Avery: I cover crime in Vallejo? [pause] Paul Avery: Yeah, I cover crime in Vallejo.
Melvin Belli: Inspector, he sent this letter directly to my residence, since he couldn't get through to me here or on the Dunbar show. Dave Toschi: He tried to contact you here? Melvin Belli: Once, I was out. He spoke with my housekeeper. He didn't leave a number. Inspector William Armstrong: Yeah, he's kinda crafty like that.
Paul Avery: So Robert, what are your hobbies? Robert Graysmith: Well, I like to read. Paul Avery: Uh-huh. Robert Graysmith: Uh, I enjoy books. Paul Avery: Those are the same things.
Melvin Belli: Inspectors, he sent this letter directly to my residence. It is a cry for help intended as a private communique. Dave Toschi: Which is why you contacted The Chronicle. Melvin Belli: The people have a right to know. Toddy?
Captain Marty Lee: You got any hard suspects? Dave Toschi: Uh, about 90 an hour. I'm up to about 500.
[after the shooting of Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau] Police Officer: [over the phone] Vallejo Police Department. Zodiac 1 & 2: I wanna report a double murder. Police Officer: May I have your name and...? Zodiac 1 & 2: [interrupting] If you go one mile east on Columbus Parkway, to a public park, you'll find kids in a brown car. They were shot with a 9mm Luger. I also killed those kids last year [referring to David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen] Zodiac 1 & 2: ... Goodbye...
Robert Graysmith: You lost them? Paul Avery: Or misplaced them. I moved onto a boat.
[first lines] Mike Mageau: Where have you been? I've been waiting since 7:00.
Robert Graysmith: Dave! He made a mistake! [pointing frantically at the case files in his hands while standing outside Toschi's window] Dave Toschi: Get away from the window! Robert Graysmith: I'll meet you around front! Dave Toschi: No, you won't!
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