Question about the movie ZODIAC

I watched the DVD of Zodiac last night and had a question: I don’t quite understand what happened in one scene and probably won’t have the chance to watch it again. It’s the scene where Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) is terrified over being in the basement with Bob Vaughn, the theater operator he’s become convinced is either in cahoots with the Zodiac killer or else is the Zodiac killer, who the (drunken) handwriting expert has said has very close handwriting (not close enough to identify but too close to rule out), and who claims he lives alone yet footsteps are heard overhead. It’s a very nervewracking scene (especially when Graysmith is stupid enough to go into the guy’s basement) but then it’s totally dropped- he goes back to the Arthur Leigh Allen investigation and Vaughn and his unseen buddy Rich are completely dropped from the plot.

Was Vaughn strictly a red herring? Or was he supposed to be a copycat murderer? Just a weird-ass? If anybody’s read Graysmith’s book I was wondering if they could shed some more light.

I own the book but it’s been some time since I read it - I don’t specifically recall this part from the book, but it seems to me that at some point every single suspect becomes the One True Suspect in Graysmith’s eyes, and I think this scene was used in the movie just to demonstrate his paranoia as well as how his obsession with the case was leading him to put himself into the same dangerous situations he witnessed…uh, forgetting his name, Robert Downey Jr’s character, putting himself in years earlier.

I assumed much the same as NailBunny. His life has become consumed by the case and he’s putting himself further and further out there to find out the truth. In addition to that, it underscores his paranoia that just about anyone could be the killer at that point.

Same movie, different questions:

Did they truly believe that it was the Zodiac who terrified the woman and her baby (and they miraculously escaped?) or was this another crackpot?

Also from reading the Zodiac website, I see that the guy who was stabbed at the beach actually survived. Was he the guy who later was 80% sure it was Leigh who was his attacker? For some reason, I thought that this guy survived a gunshot wound.

I also see from the website that there were 3 campers who were hacked to death with a sickle, also thought to be the work of the Zodiac. I am so glad that Fischer did not include this in the film. The three scenes he did include were plenty. Plenty.

Man, were there a lot of wackos back in the late 60’s/early 70’s. I’m surprised my parents had kids.

Same guy. You didn’t exactly misremember. A lot of the more poorly researched true crime accounts of this attack say it was a shooting and not a stabbing.

No, different guy. The guy at the end was from the shooting at the very beginning of the film (the one where he and the woman were in the car and were blocked in).

I seem to recall that in reality, this WAS a Zodiac attack, and, yes, they miraculously escaped.

Joe