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Zodiac, The Mysterious Serial Killer of 1960-1970s

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Zodiac, The Mysterious Serial Killer of 1960-1970s essay
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In California during the 1970s and the early 1970s, the zodiac killer was active, he is a mysterious serial killer which used symbols as his thing. The zodiac killer was very well known, there was only confirmed of 5 killings, but there is suspected for committing about thirty-seven murders but it wasn’t confirmed for sure. With the zodiac, there wasn’t much information on the zodiac’s story and/or background due to he was never found or been caught. The only information is that with some of the evidence they think that the zodiac was profiled by John Douglas and other FBI agents that he might be Naval background and they think he might be British because of the grammar and spelling.

The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer, whose identity unknown remains. He operated in Northern California in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The killer got his name “Zodiac” because in all the letters he sent to the local Bay Area press, had four cryptograms, and only one was completely solved. The police investigated over 2,500 potential suspects, but the case was never officially solved. Although there were a few suspects that stood out, the technology of the time was not advanced enough to pin down only one of the suspected killers.

Numerous suspects have been named by law enforcement, but no conclusive evidence has surfaced and “The Zodiac Killer” still remains unknown. In April 2004, the San Francisco Police Department marked the case “inactive,” but they reopened the case in 2007. The case also remains open in the city of Vallejo, Napa County, and Solano County.In October 1966 the killing began, a ghoulish series of murders panicked the people of San Francisco. For years the Zodiac taunted the police with weird ciphers, phone calls, and cryptic messages. Before it was all over, this clever killer changed the lives of eight people, only two of whom lived to tell the story.

The Zodiac claimed thirty seven murders in letters to the newspapers, investigators agree on only seven confirmed victims, two of them survived. He Confirmed Victims: David Arthur Faraday, seventeen, and Betty Lou Jensen, 16: shot and killed on December 20, 1968. Michael Renault Mageau, nineteen, and Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin, twenty two: shot on July 4, 1969. Mageau survived the attack. Bryan Calvin Hartnell, twenty years old, and Cecelia Ann Shepard, twenty two years olds was stabbed on September 27, 1969, at Lake Berryessa. Hartnell survived with eight stab wounds to his back. Paul Lee Stine, twenty nine was shot and killed on October 11, 1969. Suspected Victims: Robert Domingos, eighteen, and Linda Edwards, seventeen: shot and killed on June 4, 1963. Both were possible Zodiac victims because of similarities between their attack and the Zodiac’s attack. Cheri Jo Bates, eighteen: stabbed to death and nearly decapitated on October 30, 1966. Bates’ possible connection to the Zodiac only appeared four years after her murder when a San Francisco Chronicle reporter received a tip. Donna Lass, twenty five: last seen September 6, 1970, in Stateline, Nevada. A postcard was received at the Chronicle on March 22, 1971, and is that the Zodiac claiming Lass’ disappearance as a victim.

Each letter included one-third of a 408-symbol cryptogram which the killer claimed contained his identity. The killer threatened to kill twelve people that weekend if it was not printed on each paper front page. The Zodiac Killer started most of his cryptic letters with: This is the Zodiac speaking. A number of suspects have been named. Arthur Leigh Allen was named a suspect based on certain evidence. The brand of typewriter used to type a letter sent to the Riverside Police Department from Cheri Jo Bates’s killer was the same brand of a typewriter which was found during a search of Allen’s residence in February 1991. Allen owned and wore a Zodiac brand wristwatch. He lived in Vallejo and worked minutes away from Darlene Ferrin. Although the killer has not been identified, according to the Holmes Typology, we believe the killer to be “mixed.” He has characteristics of both an organized and disorganized killer.

He was organized because he follows news media, doesn’t keep a hiding place contacts police to play games, leaves a controlled crime scene. He was disorganized because he was not very educated, based on letters, leaves the body intact, attack in a “blitz” pattern. (Suddenly & intensively), leaves physical evidence. The Zodiac killer is a thrill seeker are serial killers that see outsmarting the law as some sort of amusement. They like the attention from the people and they also like playing games with the police. They can be categorized from other serial killers because they send messages and/or they keep records of their killings with an object or some sort.

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Zodiac, the Mysterious Serial Killer of 1960-1970s. (2019, February 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 24, 2022, from
“Zodiac, the Mysterious Serial Killer of 1960-1970s.” GradesFixer, 27 Feb. 2019,
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