January 11, 2018

OH, MAN, THE MOVIES...:

SF cop who hunted Zodiac killer dies. Dave Toschi was 86 (Kevin Fagan, January 10, 2018, SF Chronicle)

His penchant for bow ties, snappy trench coats and the quick-draw holster for his .38-caliber pistol drew the attention of Steve McQueen, who patterned his character in the 1968 movie "Bullitt" after Toschi. Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" character was also partially inspired by him.

But it was the Zodiac case for which Toschi was best known. He worked the clues until 1978, when he was taken off the case after admitting he sent fan notes with fictitious names to then-Chronicle writer Armistead Maupin praising himself. Toschi told the San Francisco Examiner that the notes were an "ill-advised indulgence."

In the brouhaha that resulted, there were suspicions that he might have also written a letter to The Chronicle that purported to be from the Zodiac. However, nothing was proved, Toschi denied it and he remained with the department as a homicide inspector until his retirement. He was portrayed by Mark Ruffalo in the 2007 movie "Zodiac."

"I always looked up to him because he was this Italian guy who got this crazy case," said Gianrico Pierucci, who retired in November after being the latest in a long line of homicide inspectors to head up the still-alive Zodiac investigation. "He was a good cop. He said he was always happy to get up and do his job."

Of the Zodiac case, Pierucci said: "Dave did the best he could. He was always very pleasant and charming, and dapper, and Zodiac is a tough case."



Posted by at January 11, 2018 12:11 PM

  

« ...AND CHEAPER...: | Main | SEEMS ODD THAT hE'D HATE CARPENTRY...: »