Zodiac Killer

Demographics

Bibliography

TitleAuthorSources
Corroborating Evidence IIWilliam T. RasmussenAmazon
Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac, and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hill HodelSteve Hodel and Ralph PezzulloAmazon, Kindle eBook
Sleep My Little Dead: The True Story of the Zodiac KillerKieran CrowleyAmazon, Kindle eBook
This Is the Zodiac Speaking: Into the Mind of a Serial KillerMichael D. Kelleher and David Van NuysAmazon
ZodiacRobert GraysmithAmazon, Audible.com, Kim Cantrell Review
Zodiac Killer Cover Up, The: The Silenced BadgerLyndon E. LaffertyAmazon
Zodiac Killer: Terror and MysteryBrenda HaugenAmazon

Videography

TitleSources
ABC News Primetime: Zodiac KillerAmazon (DVD)
Cold Case Files: The Zodiac Killer
True Crime with Aphrodite Jones: Zodiac Killer (Episode 1x05)
ZodiacAmazon (DVD), Amazon (Blue-ray)

The Zodiac Killer’s known murder series began in 1968 and ended in 1969, though some believe it started in 1966 ended in 1972. There was no preference for the sex or body type of victims. The first confirmed victims of the Zodiac Killer were 2 couples who were shot to death while parked at different areas, which were considered to be lovers’ lanes. In one instance, a male, Michael Magneau, survived the attack after being shot more than 4 times. Magneau described the Zodiac Killer as heavyset male, was around 5″8 in height and claimed that the shooter was driving brown car. It is thought that the murderer would use a bright light so that it would be difficult for victims to see his face. Most of the Zodiac Killer’s victims were shot to death, but in one instance a couple, who were picnicking, were stabbed. The female, Cecelia Shepard, died but the male, Bryan Hartnell, managed to survive. Although most of the victims were couples, the Zodiac was also known to have murdered a taxi cab driver.

On August 1, 1969, after 2 attacks had taken place, the Zodiac Killer began to write letters to the Vallejo Times Herald, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Francisco Examiner. These letters claimed that the person who was writing them took responsibility for the attacks and murders. In each of the letters was one-third of a cryptogram, in which the killer demanded be printed on the front page of each paper. On August 7, 1969 the killer wrote a second letter and referred to himself as the “Zodiac”. He gave many details about the murders which were unknown by the public.

In total, there are 5 known victims and 4 suspected victims of the Zodiac Killer, though he claimed to have murdered 37 people. Although detectives have a small list of potential suspects there have been no formal charges pressed against anyone. The case was marked inactive in 2004, but reopened in 2007. Much of the evidence, which has been brought forward against suspects since 2007, has been deemed inconclusive.

Blog Posts

Episode 040: Modus Operandi, Ritual Behavior, and Signature

on August 5th, 2011 in Law Enforcement, Podcast Episodes, Pop Culture, Psychology, Serial Killers by | 2 Comments

Charles Albright removed the eyeballs of his victims. The Zodiac Killer signed his letters with a distinctive mark that included a cross and a circle. Richard Ramirez drew Satanic pentagrams on the walls of his victims’ homes, and sometimes on their bodies. The Boston Strangler tied his ligatures into birthday…

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Episode 039: Odds & Ends

on July 29th, 2011 in Podcast Episodes, Serial Killers, Unsubs by | 7 Comments

I’d like to apologize for not having a full-blown episode this week. I spent ten days touring the United Kingdom, and brought home some sort of Welsh head cold with me. Fortunately, it didn’t hit me until the last night we were there, but I have to say, that a…

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Zodiac Cypher may be Cracked

on July 26th, 2011 in Unsubs by | 2 Comments

The serial killer dubbed Zodiac sent several encoded messages to San Francisco area newspapers. Most have been cracked over the years, but his most infamous message, sent November 8, 1969, has never been decoded. Corey Starliper, an amateur codebreaker from Massachusetts, believes he has cracked the code. His solution reads:…

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Episode 016: ViCAP

on February 11th, 2011 in Law Enforcement, Podcast Episodes, Serial Killers, Unsubs, Victimology by | No Comments

The Violent Criminal Apprehension Program is a unit of the United States FBI responsible for the analysis of serial violent and sexual crimes. It is located within the Critical Incident Response Group’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. At its core, ViCAP is a database where records of…

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Episode 005: Power/Control, Hedonistic, Mission-Oriented, Visionary

on November 26th, 2010 in Law Enforcement, Podcast Episodes, Psychology, Serial Killers by | No Comments

Ronald M. Holmes and James Deburger developed a system for categorizing serial murderers in 1998. Stephan T. Holmes joined them in developing later versions. The system is now referred to as the Holmes Typology. It was based upon the analysis of case material and interviews from 110 serial murders. Their…

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Victims of The Zodiac Killer

on March 22nd, 2010 in Serial Killers, Unsubs, Victimology by | No Comments

The Zodiac Killer is known to have murdered five victims, is suspected of murdering another four victims and has claimed to have murdered thirty-seven people. Although there are some suspects, no one has been charged for these murders. We currently have information on all of the Zodiac’s known and suspected…

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