The Zodiac Killer saga: A retrospective

Audrey Miller, Copy Editor

The Zodiac Killer is one of America’s most prominent serial killers, having killed at least five people,  putting himself at the center of California’s serial killer craze in the 1960s and 1970s. The Zodiac Killer has enthralled many by his involvement with the media and coded messages he left to be uncovered. Many of his ciphers have only recently been solved this year. Despite all of the evidence and strong suspects, the identity of the killer has remained a mystery.

The first known murders by the Zodiac Killer began December 20, 1968. Betty Lou Jensen, 16, and David Faraday, 17, were on their first date when they were brutally murdered. He attacked again six months later, this time targeting another young couple. A few weeks later,  newspapers received letters from the Zodiac containing symbols and strange messages demanding to be published. These letters continued for years.

October 6, 2021, the Case Breakers claimed to have discovered who the Zodiac Killer was, and named Gary Francis Poste as the main suspect. However, no confirmation has been given by law enforcement, and the FBI has stated that the case remains unsolved.

Many people have their theories about who holds the identity of the Zodiac Killer. Ross Sullivan, a campus library worker, held a close resemblance to the composite sketch, however police ended up ruling him out, but a majority of people still believe it could’ve been him. Sullivan wore the same military boots that were identified as being worn by the Zodiac. In addition, Sullivan had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Sullivan also carved dark poetry into the library desks that depicted the attack of a woman. Two days after the murder of Cheri Bates, Sullivan completely vanished and wasn’t heard from again.

Arthur Leigh Allen is another popular suspect for the Zodiac Killer. On the same day that Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell were attacked at Lake Berryessa, Allen told his family he was going to the same lake to Scuba Dive, when he returned home he was covered in blood and carried with him a bloody knife. Allen also owned many guns, including the same type that was used in previous Zodiac Killer attacks. Additionally, Allen wore a Zodiac brand watch. Friends of Allen came forward years later and reported that Allen nicknamed himself Zodiac long before the murders took place. Allen was also able to write using both hands, which would explain the different handwriting on letters received by newspapers. Police ended up ruling him out as a suspect when the fingerprints didn’t match up.

The case of the Zodiac Killer remains open and law enforcement is continually putting in the effort to solve it once and for all.

Who do you think the Zodiac Killer is?


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