For almost two months we waited anxiously for the results. Finally, on December 9, 2012, we got our answer. Wakshull had generated a sixty-five-page report, complete with comparative exhibits and analysis, and had concluded that he was virtually certain that the person who filled out the marriage certificate was the writer of the Zodiac letters. He explained that he couldn’t say he was absolutely certain, because the rules of his profession do not allow him to make that determination without original documents. “Strong probability” and “virtually certain” were the strongest words he could use to encapsulate his professional opinion.
As I stared at the exhibits he’d generated, I got chills. He had overlaid my father’s handwriting onto the Zodiac’s, and the results were stunning.
I had that final piece of evidence—forensic evidence that would stand up in a court of law.
A few weeks later, Wakshull sent another exhibit. He had decided to overlay my father’s face onto the two pictures in the Zodiac sketch to see how closely they matched. The result was indisputable.
When Susan finally told him my whole story, he went a step further. He noticed that the signature on the Cheri Jo Bates letters—the Z with the squiggly top line—looked like an E and a V. He compared the E’s from Van’s signature on his marriage licenses against the squiggly line and got another match.
By this time, he was getting just as excited as we were.
“You realize you are going to have to defend your findings,” Susan told him.
“I would defend them in a court of law,” Wakshull responded, and he put it in writing.