The Trailside Killings

ABSTRACT. David Joseph Carpenter, a misfit turned random serial killer, brutally took the lives of seven persons in Marin and Santa Cruz Counties, near San Francisco, California, during the years 1979 through 1981. He is now on death row at San Quentin Prison awaiting execution. My experience concerning him is best described as bizarre and psychically complex.  Daemon, as originally used throughout the text was really Eidolon, the mawkish thwarting from within.  In a two fold entity, daemon, I was to learn, is akin to the SELF  but with one major exception. Daemon was a plurality of  forces that came from without.

Detective Charles (Charlie) Numark of the Marin County Sheriff’s Department, in trying to solve five murders in just that county alone, screened over 300 “psychic enthusiasts” for assistance. He worked in the District Attorney’s office on temporary assignment to the task force to aid in the manhunt of a notorious killer. Although I do not consider myself a psychic and dislike the label, I am sensitive to phenomenal happenings along psychical lines and took part in the hunt. That was after I shared an unusual psychical experience with him.

I had telephoned Marin County Sheriff’s Department to provide my input on the trailside killings that were occurring in the Mt.Tamalpais area in Marin County, California. My call was transferred to Detective Numark’s desk. I described a scene in the general area of the latest murder and gave a portrayal of a man I saw there. He asked if I felt the individual was the killer. I was nervous and spontaneously said ‘no’. I commented that I was not sure why he was there or, for that matter, why I made the call. I was to learn I had described Numark himself, and his interest was peaked. We corresponded frequently in the months to follow and I phoned him frequently to give him leads that I thought were psychical. Inasmuch as my experiencing was selective, I focused on the killer daily and had become obsessed with him. These obsessions were not much different than any of those before of serial killers and mass murders, except for the increased frequency. I now had the cooperation of an influential member of the police department, who was phoning me in return.  I wanted this to work.

It wasn’t long after that initial phone call that I described to Charlie the brutal stabbing murder of Barbara Schwartz, pseudonym for Cynthia Mooreland, 18, from Cotati, California, whom the news media related as being shot to death. Details of the murder had not only been kept from the public, but as a tactical maneuver the media was intentionally given a distortion of the facts. I was told later by another source that it was to isolate crank phone calls and to catch the killer off guard. Additionally, I was told it is common practice to protect the family from the reality of the horror. Many individuals were phoning the sheriff’s department, claiming to be the killer and for any number of reasons, but mostly to get attention and/or out of guilt. Even after all the years following Carpenter’s capture the media never reported the true facts.  Morality and truth took a back seat.  Public-spirited cries had calmed so why revive a dead issue.

A fabricated untruth was the media NEWS that Cynthia Mooreland was shot to death (See attached article appearing in the San Jose Mercury News 5 January 1988). Moreover, I never learned why I had not become a suspect. Maybe I had but, if so, I never heard anything about it when I questioned Charlie. As I recall, he simply brushed it off as laughable. Cynthia Moreland was, in fact, repeatedly stabbed. In his frenzy, Carpenter had lacerated his hand and afterward went to a nearby hospital for emergency treatment. He claimed he was cutting meat and injured himself when he had the accident. It seems odd that this fact was overlooked in the investigation. A forensic analysis of the crime scene was clearly incomplete or not pursued at all; otherwise, samples would have revealed more than one person’s blood at the site of the crime Still, the fact of ‘frenzy’ should not have been overlooked as to for where it could lead.

As an experiment and by mutual consent with Numark, I witnessed the graphic horror during hypnosis, an oddity of experiencing a visual reality that was comparable to many of my visions. However, I never saw the killer’s face. I saw only his actions and the victim during the horrible attack. Mooreland was in my plain view. She was kicked to the ground, where on her back she lay with her legs folded at her knees and with her thighs pulled back nearly to her chest. Her arms were drawn together at the elbows and pulled tightly against her body in an attempt to shield her chest and face. With clenched fists, she pretended the horror was not happening, as he began slashing her across her left shoulder and chest.

Let me point out that we are actually able to see and hear not only with our eyes and ears, but also with our minds. Human beings truly have the inborn capability to perceive all that is happening by  becoming attune to the psychical world, conceivably the collective unconscious. I could even read her thoughts but, ironically, not his. She thought him ridiculous, when on the trail he confronted her and demanded sex. She began turning her back on him and walk past him. He became enraged and brutally attacked her.

Later, I was asked to look at true rogue’s gallery. A large board mounted on a wall had posted pictures of suspects. In the center of the room, members of the task force were gathered around a large table. They did not seem pleased by my presence and one in particular was vocal about saying so: “What the hell is he doing here?” Surprised, and thrown off balance, I simply wanted to leave then. However, I did look at all the pictures, coming up with nothing definitive.

Most of my inputs to Charlie Numark in the months to follow did not seem altogether relevant to the case. Two were meaningful; one of which was cryptic. They were (1) the name ‘David’ and (2) six alphabetic letters, A U J O S T. I had clearly witnessed the latter in a vision. The six letters as two words posed a challenge in terms of numeric synchronicity; defined simply as numeric relating instead of event linking to mutually related occurrences. {See Numeric Synchronicity, below)

My visions, combined with data from police records, were enough to have identified David Joseph Carpenter six months before two additional killings. As a recent parolee, he was confined to the Bay Area and it would not have taken much to identify him; the paranormal gave much more, though. It was extraordinary, straightforward and consistent, wherein logic in a hierarchy of numeric synchronicity produced results. Deduced after the fact, as explained in the section titled “AU JOST”, the paranormal revealed what should have been perceptible, but we were missing it. A strange and remarkable truth stared us in the face when the facts surfaced. (See Numark’s comment, as the last page)


I had been concentrating on the trailside killer and trying to get a mental image and/or a name. I got the name Chapman but ruled it out as coincidence, because I had known Ed Chapman, a former IBM manager. Moments later, I got the name David. David Chapman! Something different was being pointed out. After further concentrations, a second name came to mind, Karl Mencke or Karl Menke. I was not sure of the spelling, but for the purpose of this writing I am going to assume the former. Two weeks later, a Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon, a member of the Beatles musical group who were widely acclaimed in the 1960’s.

I now believed the trailside killer was Karl Mencke. I was convinced that Chapman and Mencke shared something in common, largely because I had gotten the two names at essentially the same time in a dual, psychical experience called a duet. Duets encompass two or more psychical experiences in a single paranormal encounter. In discussing this with Detective Numark, I felt that because Chapman was involved with an Asian woman and John Lennon was married to Yoko Ono, an Asian woman; the killer was likely involved with or married to an Asian woman. This was not to be the case. What the two men had in common was the same name ‘David’ (Mark David Chapman and David Joseph Carpenter). A same name had not occurred to me, but, even so, why the first and second names? The paranormal is intent on being efficient and making us reach higher.

As already mentioned, soon after getting the name Chapman, a second name, Karl Mencke, came through while still concentrating selectively on having specific psychical experience. Mencke was the name that was to become the focus of my input to Detective Numark in what was to become a dead-end street. Ironically, an imaginary Karl Mencke and a very real Karl Wencke relate in a bizarre way. Sometime prior to the episode I had seen a picture of Karl Wencke in a FBI “Wanted” bulletin posted at the Fremont Branch of the Sunnyvale Post Office in California. I had seen the name only once, as I recall, and not again until a totally unrelated Carpenter, the very real trailside killer was arrested, and I do not remember seeing the bulletin again in between those times. The experience was bizarre and far-reaching, but I could not ignore the strange connection.  It was odd that the letter ‘W,’ an upside-down ‘M’, insinuated another likeness. Karl Wencke and David Joseph Carpenter, although seemingly strangers to one another, were the same classic archetypal likeness. What was the paranormal revealing in the uncertainty of two unrelated criminal episodes? I believed the paranormal to be playful in this revelation, as the AU JOST vision to follow illustrates, but I no longer feel that way and the reasons will be made clear. There is more to the anomaly than that and hinges on the confusion of Mencke and Wencke. Why would the paranormal reveal a real David Chapman, only to go adrift with an ambiguous and unreal name? It defies common sense, and is introductory to eidolon that was originally and incorrectly described as daemon. Eidolon was still to make another bizarre appearance and not the last.

I had difficulty coming up with a suitable name to describe the negative side of my psychical experiences. It is a side that is disruptive and thwarts meaning, seeming to originate from within. The phenomenon is something akin to the demonical eidolon. In past episodes I referred to the numinous character of this bizarre influence by using a variety of descriptive words, all amounting to the same thing. These included mawkish, deceiving, demoniacal, and so forth, but most of all, eidolon was intent on thwarting the awareness which came from psychical experiences. I backed away from any reference to demon because of the Christian belief that demons are not part of our natural being, but rather abnormally apart; for example, the casting out of demons, which is exemplary of the fundamental Christian belief. I believe eidolon to be part of us and not external and, therefore, I wanted a name akin to demon in both spelling and likeness. I considered the Socratic demon in which Socrates expressed an inner voice that never urged him to act but was prompting to alter his course. However, that is as far as I ever got with it. The duality of daemon is somewhat reminiscent of Janus, the two-faced Roman god. (Koestler, 1978)

I believe it was in Reflections that Carl Jung wrote, “I have had much trouble getting along with my ideas. (Jung, 1965) There was a demon in me, and in the end its presence proved decisive. It overpowered me and if I was ruthless at times it was because I was in the grip of daimon.” Jung’s (description) of daimon falls short of my reality, which relates it to the complex paranormal rather than simply conflicting with our ideas. Purpose and causality were not factors in Jung’s summation, and in that regard I wonder if purpose is not to strengthen our conviction in the formulation of new thinking. In my experiences, eidolon hints of horrifying reality for requiring that we as people rise above our natural selves. Conceivably, humanity is no match for the spiritual power of eidolon without drawing upon an equivalent or greater spiritual (positive) force.


I focused on the killer many times prior to Carpenter’s capture and in one particular instance, six letters appeared in a vision. They spelled out “AU JOST” in two words. A punctuation mark, known as an “umlaut,” appeared as a ball and was bouncing back and forth over the tops of the letters and came to rest over the ‘T’. I asked a linguist, Marcell Greathouse, if she could shed any light on the meaning of the two words. She indicated that “JOST” was a common Swiss name of German origin and that “AU” means “Attention! Hearken! Hear me! Pay attention to that name!” She said the umlaut was stopped in the wrong place, however, and had to be over a vowel. The umlaut bouncing back and forth and finally coming to rest over the ‘T’, suggested a search for other letters following the “S”, and in particular, a vowel before the ‘T’. There were missing letters, maybe even words, but more important was the fact that it was being pointed out.

Missing letters were reminiscent of an earlier experience I’d had concerning Jackie Robinson, the first black man, then called Negro, that was ever permitted to play baseball in the major leagues. I had a dream of him on the night or early morning of his death in 1972. The dream sequence was discontinuous, as was J O S T with the missing letters. Notably, there were gaps or breaks in the Robinson dream sequence. That morning while driving to work, I learned of his death from a news report on the radio. Had I not learned of it through the media, there might not have been any recall of the dream, which is interesting as it conceivably pointed to the terrible eidolon. This dream is relayed below in the present tense:

The dream opens with the letters R O B I N S O N shown in lights, that is, each letter is made up of light bulbs. I think it is a sign on Broadway. A figure or statue of a black man is below the sign and is a figure that is sometimes seen on estate lawns in old movies. The statue is dwarfed by the enormity of the sign…

(break in dream sequence)

A voice from within says, ‘there is no white baseball player.’

(break or gap)

Anger and urgings begin to enter my mind from without. The urgings pulsate and translate into the image of a black man. His face occupies my entire field of view. As these outside urgings form, I see a composite of Jackie Robinson as pictured in “Time” magazine when he first signed as a major league baseball player in 1947.

Why a picture of Robinson 25 years before he died 24 October 1972? That was the year 1947, when he won the “Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award,” ostensibly the most important year of his life. What exactly was the paranormal revealing in the dream, or was it something that he himself was revealing? Occasionally, when I think about the experience, I wonder if I wasn’t dreaming a dying man’s dream of his past.

“There is no white baseball player,” continues to be haunting. The statement is capricious and mocking but was not stated in that tone. The words were spoken matter-of-factly, without pretense and with no hint of guile. Then why the deception of a white man portrayed as black? Who or what was being targeted for the chicanery? More will be said later, but for now it suffices that eidolon  had made a first appearance.

I believe AU JOST stands on its own merit along the lines suggested by Marcell. Other meanings are not ruled out, of course, as much like dreams, which can have many levels of meaning. Marcell also indicated that the crossed ‘J’ is modern, whereas, uncrossed is archaic and dates back. The ‘J’ was crossed.

Hindsight offered a solution after Carpenter was captured. The missing letters appeared as shown below in an attempt to complete his name. Synchronicity identifies the exact placement of the letter ‘T’ in the intrigue of numerics in a consistent framework, as explained under Numeric Synchronicity.

Numeric Synchronicity

Numeric synchronicity defines as simply the association and linking of numbers as meaningful, instead of events. Utilizing numeric three’s, an argument is presented that the exact placement of the letter ‘T’ in his last name further identifies David Joseph Carpenter as the serial killer. Initially, an assumption is made that the first three letters of J O S T are the first three letters of the name Joseph. There are not that many possibilities and only one that seemingly offers consistency in numeric synchronicity.

J O S in combination with E P H establishes a hierarchical pattern of three’s. Three ‘known’ letters appear on the left in an implied combination, and three ‘unknown’ letters on the right.

Consistency is in three, three letter groups, where ‘T’ must be in the third group of the killer’s last name. ‘T’, as a known, finds its rightful place to the left in the third group for fulfilling three’s-synchronicity as illustrated below. Underscores are used to maintain letter alignment

J O S – E P H____ C A R – P E N – T E R

J O S_____________________T

This is all that was needed, because a search through police files would have revealed the killer by name. Routinely, a search for suspects begins with known felons, particularly those who are on probation. It extends from there, whereas law enforcement in the Bay Area in California could have produced his name quickly. David Joseph Carpenter was a recent parolee living in San Francisco.


Information from psychical experiencing linked Carpenter as the killer six or seven months before his arrest, and ‘David’ and ‘AU JOST’ attest to it. The unfortunate reality is two more lives were lost. Ellen Hanson and Heather Scaggs, both 20 years old, became his last victims. They were murdered in March and in early May of 1981. Carpenter was arrested in his San Francisco home on May 15, 1981. He was sentenced on 16 November 1984 to die in San Quentin prison, where he remains on death row at the time of this writing.

The paranormal had revealed the names David and Joseph in two different psychical experiences at different times.  Later, eidolon surfaced to muddle issues with Mencke in the confusion of Wencke. Most remarkable was eidolon  had also usurped control for creating gaps (breaks) in the Jackie Robinson dream in an earlier episode. Recall that in the dream, eidolon was mawkish and I was not responding to “there is no white baseball player.” I knew who Robinson was, so why the pretense?  I was mute with no will or ego of my own and incidental in a scenario for witnessing an uncanny happening. I do not believe this was about me, at least not initially, this was about them in a quest of power versus force, confusion versus enlightenment. I became a part of the struggle only afterward, when  urgings began to form the picture of Robinson in my mind.

The struggle for power is to impede our getting closer to the paranormal mystique. Perhaps the mystique is our only hope now to counteract humanity’s going far adrift of reason.  That would explain the many anomalies leading to confusion. Conceivably, eidolon has that power and until recognized for what it is, continues to remain a threat.

Post note: I was forming an identity with Carpenter, which was something I expected because of prior experiences with serial killers and mass murderers.  It was a foreboding by as much as 12 hours.  In Carpenter’s case, the pattern was somewhat the same, differing only in intensity of feelings and in the length of time.

Carpenter shifted his murderous escapades to Santa Cruz, CA. One week before the murder of Heather Scaggs I experienced a familiar foreboding and telephoned the Santa Cruz Police Department on Friday, April 24, 1981, at 4:30 PM. I expressed my concerns to Investigator Steve Fitzgerald in Homicide, but nothing of the kind happened that weekend.

The same feelings pervaded the next weekend, but I deliberately avoided telephoning Fitzgerald again out of embarrassment and self-doubt.  Heather Scaggs was murdered that weekend.  After Carpenter’s arrest, I learned from an article in the San Jose Mercury News that she had cancelled plans made with Carpenter the week before to look at an automobile that he insisted was a good buy for her.  Apparently they knew one another, but from what I learned later, she had misgivings about him. It was the final sting for Heather Scaggs for not going with her intuition.  She became his final victim, and with that the final chapter of another victim had closed.

Upon being arrested by the FBI, he was to beg, “Please don’t hurt me.”  It was ironical, considering the cruel maneuvers he used against those unfortunate individuals who pleaded for their lives – in vain.

Note.  In this writing  I have adopted the thoughts of Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy of the twofold Daemon and Eidolon. In that sense Eidolon fits the mawkish thwarting from within. Daemon is akin to the good and mystique from without.


Jung, C. G., Synchronicity, An  Acausal Connecting Principle, Bolligen. 1973

Storm, Lance,  Synchronicity, Causality and Acausality, Journal of  Parapsychology, September 1999

Koestler, A.,  JANUS, A Summing Up, 1978

Jung, C.G., Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Edited by Aniela Jaffe. Vintage, 1965


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