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The Zodiac Killer
Transcript of The Zodiac Killer
While the Zodiac has claimed responsibility for 37 victims, only seven have been confirmed by police investigators. The Zodiac, for a time at least, targeted young couples parked in secluded areas.
The Zodiac gained notoriety in the 1960's - 70's with a series of unsolved murders spanning the Northern California Bay Area. The Zodiac sent letters to local police and newspaper agencies, claiming responsibility for, and containing details of the crimes not released to the public. In his letters, he often made threats, and taunted the police. He also sent out several ciphers, only one of which was ever solved. In the end, Zodiac claimed 37 victims, although police were only able to positively confirm seven.
David Faraday & Betty Lou Jensen, Darlene Ferrin & Mike Mageau,
Cecelia Shepard & Bryan Hartnell,
and Paul Stine
Robert Domingos & Linda Edwards, Donna Lewis,
and Cheri Jo Bates.
White, male, late twenties or thirties, short brown hair, thick rimmed glasses; described by some as heavyset.
Seen driving a light colored, four-door sedan.
Possible suspects: Arthur Leigh Allen, Richard Gaikowsky, Rick Marshall, Lawrence Kane, Michael O'Harr, Ted Kaczynski, Bruce Davis.
October 30, 1966:
Cheri Jo Bates
is stabbed to death in Riverside, Ca. It is still under debate whether this is the first of the Zodiac's killings.
December 20, 1968:
Betty Lou Jensen
are shot in their car on Lake Herman Road in Benicia-Vallejo.
"I like killing people because it so much fun."
The Zodiac Killer
David Faraday &
Betty Lou Jensen
Darlene Ferrin & Mike Mageau
& Bryan Hartnell
July 5, 1969:
are shot in their car in Vallejo.
September 27, 1969:
are brutally stabbed at Lake Berryessa in Vallejo.
October 11, 1969:
is shot in his taxi in San Francisco. This murder broke the Zodiac's typical MO; prior to this, he went for couples parked in secluded areas.
"The Zodiac's" debut letter, sent to the 'SF Examiner' on August 2, 1969.
Cipher solved by high school teacher in Salinas.
Kathleen Johns escaped a man who many believe was the Zodiac. On March 22, 1970, she was able to jump from his car and hide in a cornfield. When she made it to the police station, Johns recognized the man in the "Wanted" poster on the wall as the man who had tricked her. Police later found her car torched.
General Strain Theory
Strain caused by
*failure to achieve positively valued goals
*removal of positively valued stimuli from the individual
*the presentation of negative stimuli
: To "abandon society's goals and concentrate only the means."
: "A conscience so weak that it cannot control the individual's impulses." In a 1969 letter to Melvin Belli, Zodiac pleads "...Please help me I am drownding...I can not remain in control for much longer..."
As the identity of the Zodiac is still unknown, one can only guess (using clues from his letters, his MO, etc.) at his motivations. In his own words (from the only cipher to be solved), "To kill gives me the most thrilling experience. It is even better than getting your rocks off with a girl."