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The Zodiac Killer

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“I like killing people because it’s so much fun. It is more fun than killing wild game in the forest because man is the most dangerous animal of all. To kill something gives me the most thrilling experience.” This is a quote from the notorious Zodiac killer. The Zodiac Killer is responsible for five murders and two attempts of murder. Although he can be linked to seven attempts of murders, he claims to have a body count of 37. He operated in the 1960’s and is unique in two particular ways. One, he has never been found. Two, he wrote letters to the local police and press. “Although the Zodiac Killer remains a mystery, several suspects have been established including Arthur Leigh Allen, Jack Terrance, Louie Myers, and Richard Marshall.” (Zodiac Bio)


‘"To prove I killed them I shall state some facts which only I + the police know.…brand name of ammo Super X, 10 shots were fired, the boy was on his back with his feet to the car."’ (Wiki Source) The Zodiac killer stated this in one of his letters where he claims to have killed a teenage couple. “The Zodiac Killer wrote a total of 26 letters to the press or the police.” (Wiki Source) The letters usually contained a total of a three-part cipher. “They also contained odd drawings, mosaics, astrological charts, and details about the murders that were unknown to the public.” (Zodiac Website) The local California Police handled the case, but they asked the FBI for help in things such as forensics and a profile. “The FBI profiled that he may have a naval background, and may be British due to odd grammar.” (Criminal Minds Wiki) “He is between the heights of 5’8” – 5’10”. He has a medium build with curly, light reddish-brown hair. He also has a heavy walk. Horned rimmed glasses will also be found on him.” (Criminal Minds Wiki) They also declared that the zodiac’s signature was the Zodiac symbol. This symbol was a circle with a cross through it. “The Zodiac displays traits of both a serial killer and a spree killer” (Criminal Minds Wiki) “He also displays traits of an organized and disorganized offender." (Criminal Minds Wiki) “The case was originally worked on in the late 1960's when the murders took place, but was later reopened in 2007 where it was found inconclusive.” (Dodd, Johnny) The Zodiac Killer case is very unique and has remained unsolved to this day. “It was just a warning. Beware...I am stalking your girls now.” said the Zodiac.


Although many suspects were considered by the police, Jack Terrance was one who stood out. “He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Airforce and Navy which fits the profile provided by the FBI.” (Zodiac Killer Ciphers) “He was reported by his stepson who provided several pieces of evidence such as: a hood like the one described by the surviving victims, handwriting samples, undeveloped film reels containing gruesome images, a knife covered in dried blood, and a phone conversation where Terrance possibly calls himself the Zodiac Killer.” (Criminal Minds Wiki) He was considered a very strong suspect until the DNA test results came back as inconclusive. Therefore, even though there was evidence pointing to Jack Terrance, he was cleared of any connection to the murders.


Other suspects were brought in and questioned as well. Two suspects in particular were investagated, but never arrested for the Zodiac murders. “Richard Marshall was one of these suspects.” (Zodiac Bio) “He was a U.S. Navy sailor who had extensive code training which could explain the ciphers in the letters.” (Criminal Minds Wiki) “He was also known for having a bad temper with women.” (Criminal Minds Wiki) “The other suspect was Louie Myers.” (Zodiac Killer) “He went to school with the first female victim, and worked with the second female victim.” (Zodiac Killer) “What made him a unique suspect though was that he admitted on his deathbed in 2002 to being the Zodiac Killer.” (Criminal Minds Wiki) Neither of these suspects are officially considered the Zodiac Killer because no physical evidence was ever found against them.


“Out of all suspects investagated Arthur Leigh Allen was the prime suspect in the Zodiac case.” (Zodiac Killer) “He was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Navy.” (Criminal Minds Wiki) "Allen had bloody knives in the car the weekend of the stabbings in California. He admitted to this, but claimed the blood was from a chicken." (Criminal Minds Wiki) “In 1991 Micheal Mageau, a surviving Zodiac victim, pointed Allen out when shown photos of suspects as the Zodiac Killer.” (Zodiac Killer) To this day he is still considered the most viable suspect in the case. “On the other hand, Allen was in jail during the Zodiacs 1971-74 hiatus.” (Criminal Minds Wiki) “His handwriting, guns, and fingerprints were also checked, but he was cleared. DNA was taken from his stamps which came back negative, but Allen claimed he never licked his stamps as it made him feel sick.” (Criminal Minds Wiki)


All in all, many people have been accused of being the Zodiac Killer, but none have had sufficient evidence to close the case. The chilling stories of the Zodiac Killer remains a mystery. It is unlikely that the Zodiac will ever be caught, but he will remain as one of the most prolific serial killers of all. The Zodiac said, “The police shall never catch me, because I have been too clever for them.”


Works Cited

Dodd, Johnny. “My Dad, THE ZODIAC KILLER,” People, vol. 81, no. 22, pp. 124-126

“The Zodiac Killer - Wikia.” Criminal Minds Wiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.

“Zodiac Killer.” Bio. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

Zodiac Killer Ciphers | Zodiac Killer Codes.N.p,n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.

“Zodiac Killer Letters - Wikisource, the Free Online Library.” Wikisource, the Free Online Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2015.
Zodiac Killer | Zodiac Killer Police Reports | Zodiac Killer Letters | 

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