Mystery – Zodiac

We may never find out the answers to life’s mysteries, who killed the Black Dahlia? Who killed Epstein? Why do we lose socks in the dryer? Was 9/11 an inside job? And who is the Zodiac killer? This last one, we at least can read about today.

ZODIAC-C-14DEC99-SC-HO–Police sketch of the man suspected of being the “Zodiak Killer,” 1969.

In the late 1960’s to early 1970’s, The Zodiac, went on a murder spree. He had killed 5 that have been confirmed, injured 2, and bragged about killing 37. But he was never identified by his surviving victims, nor by police. His hunting grounds were San Francisco and the surrounding areas. The Zodiac Killer remains an open case.

The Zodiac killer may have claimed to kill 37 people, but investigators have agreed upon seven known victims, two of which survived.

David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen
  • David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen, murdered on December 20, 1968
  • Michael Mageau and Darlene Gerrin, shot on July 4, 1969, Michael survived.
  • Bryan Harnell and Cecelia Shepard, stabbed on September 7, 1969. Bryan survived.
  • Paul Stine, murdered on October 11, 1969.

While on their first date, it is suggested that the killer ordered the two teens out of the car and then shot David in the head. Betty fled for her life and was shot five times in the back, 28 feet from the car.

July 4, 1969, an American holiday, Darlene and Michael, while parked four miles away from the first murder location, noticed a second car park behind them, and the driver exited the vehicle. Shooting five times into the vehicle, both victims were hit, and then they were each shot one more time. Not more than an hour later a man phoned the local police department to report and claim responsibility for the attack. The caller also took responsibility for the murders of David and Betty Lou. Michael survived the attack, despite being shot three times. He was able to describe the attacker, a 26-30 year old white man, about 200 pounds, 5 foot 8 inches tall, with light brown curly hair.

Less than a month later, the local newspapers received letters from the killer. They were nearly identical, and they took credit for the shootings. Each letter contained 1/3 of a 408 symbol cryptogram which the killer claimed contained his identity. The killer demanded they be printed on the front page, or he threatened to kill up to a dozen people over the weekend. The threatened murders did not happen, the police asked for another letter to prove his identity as the police were not satisfied that the letter was written by the murderer. All three parts were eventually printed.

September 1969, Bryan and Cecelia were picnicking on a small island when a white man about 5 foot 11 inches, weighing more than 170 pounds approached them with a hood covering his face. After tying them up, he stabbed them both repeatedly. Then wrote a message on the couple’s car door. Bryan survived the attack.

October 1969, two weeks after the last attacks, a man got into a taxi cab, the cab drove a couple blocks and then the driver was shot in the head. The passenger was observed by three teenagers across the street who called police while the crime was in progress. Police responded quickly and police believe they may have seen the killer for 5 to 10 seconds as he was walking on the sidewalk. The Zodiac claimed the two police officers responding to the Stine murder, actually stopped and spoke with him for 3 minutes. The driver of the cab, Paul, didn’t survive. This was the last known murder attributed to The Zodiac.

Numerous people have been investigated as possible suspects in this case, and authorities had hoped they would solve this one, similarly as they did with the Golden State Killer. One person who was a potential suspect based on circumstantial evidence was Arthur Leigh Allen.

Arthur was interviewed number times, and the subject of several search warrants. One of the detectives on the case said of Arthur, “As soon as that guy walked in the door, I knew it was him.” Unfortunately they didn’t have a solid piece of evidence.

What are your thoughts? Is the Zodiac Killer still alive? Do you think Arthur Allen was the Zodiac? I would love to hear your thoughts and theories as well.

Be ever alert, make good choices, stay safe

Zodiac Movie, 2007, starting Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, and Jake Gyllenhaal

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