Function Order: Ti-Ne-Si-Fe
INTPs are skilled in understanding complex patterns and have a great need and desire to get to the bottom of something, by picking it apart. This is what allows Robert to form logical conclusions ahead of the police working on the Zodiac killing spree. He immediately takes an interest in the code the Zodiac sends to the newspaper where he works, and “breaks” the code by comparing it to the code he learned in Boy Scouts. He also runs to the library to load up on code breaking books, sensing that the Zodiac may have done the same thing. He theorizes about what the Zodiac might do next, and says even if they break the code, the Zodiac won’t reveal his true name to the police. He realizes the Zodiac is copying a lot of his ideas from things that already exist, even his symbol and title, and draws a broad comparison to a movie he saw a year earlier about a similar character. Ne is good at cross-contextual thinking, which Robert shows on many occasions, as he thinks outside the box, follows up on the clues, and proposes ideas that others haven’t considered. He also cares deeply about figuring out the “why,” and tells his wife that he can’t give up on this case, even if it’s dangerous, because he needs to look this man in the eye and know who he is. He hates leaving it unsolved, which is why he continues to bear down on it hard years after everyone else has moved on to other unsolved cases. He is even innovative in odd ways, when talking casually to other people – tells Paul Avery that he should sell “I am not Paul Avery” buttons – “you could do quite well,” he half-jokes. He also tells Paul he should write a book about the Zodiac, and when Paul shoots down that idea, decides to do it himself – but not without an immense amount of details and research. He becomes a living expert on the Zodiac killer, a minefield of accurate, detailed information that tells him where to look next. This causes him to make major breakthroughs like thinking about how he checked code books out of the library, which means the Zodiac might have done the same thing – which he did, only he stole them to leave no record he ever looked at them. The detail-seeking is Si, but the carelessness with his life, and his naïve assumption that he will be fine and not get in the killer’s crosshairs, is the result of his idealism. He’s so focused on solving the mystery,he’s not being rational about the potential fallout. He shows relatively decent Fe in how affectionate he is to his son, and how he tries to protect him from hearing scary things on the news, but he doesn’t have good boundaries and continues to pester the police detective long after Dave tells him to let it go and move on.
Enneagram: 5w6 sp/so
Enneagram 5s often have unusual interests and theories, and develop an intense fascination in a particular field of interest, as a way to block the outside world; and they have total faith in their own conclusions. This is true of Robert. He is an intense, serious, and focused cartoonist who spends actual years of his life investigating a crime spree everyone else has moved on from, after the Zodiac ceases to contact the police or take responsibility for the murders. Even though others urge him to give up, he continues to unravel the mystery, track down information, pour over code books, follow leads, and care about finding out who the Zodiac killer is, even when it becomes dangerous to himself, because he needs answers and to understand! He’s so sure of himself, he’s also somewhat oblivious to the danger he is in, and continues to insist he needs to know the truth even after he starts receiving calls from the Zodiac (the person just breathes slow and loud to scare him, and then hangs up). Robert tells his wife she is too paranoid, but also becomes easily rattled when he feels he is in danger – he about has a panic attack when fleeing a basement, when he suddenly has the prickling sensation that he might be in the same room with a killer, and finds the door locked. After the Zodiac threatens to stop a bus full of kids and shoot them as they are getting off, he decides to drive his son to work. He also works with and wants Dave to affirm his theories and help him find information, as he outsources to others in the hopes of using them to substantiate his claims.
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