This serial killer named himself Zodiac. He claimed to have murdered 37 peoples, but only 7 were confirmed by the authority. What made this killer sensational? First: the fact that his identity was never revealed to this date. Secondly his actions of making contact with the police and the media using letters written in cryptogram, three of which were never successfully deciphered until today. Third: his infamous threats to do a mass killing, the threats which were never realized, but nonetheless had caused hysteria and made him even more famous. Fourth: the emergence of many false claim of the Zodiac,including a sensational claim made by a man from Sacramento accusing his stepfather to be the Zodiac. Lastly: the latest DNA test result that cannot confirm the police’s main suspect as the Zodiac.
The first confirmed killing occurred in 1968. The victims were David Arthur Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen. Both were shot on Lake Herman Road, Benicia. The second murder took place on 4th July 1969 at Blue Rock Springs, Vallejo when 2 victims, Michael Mageau and Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin were shot. Mageau survived. The third murder occurred in Lake Berrynessa, Napa County. Bryan Calvin Hartnell and Cecilia Ann Shepard were stabbed to death. The latest confirmed victim was Paul Lee Stine who was shot and killed in Presidio Heights, San Francisco on 11 October 1969.
There were others that were suspected to be the victims
In 1969 The Zodiac started to write letters in symbol to the media. In several of his letters which had been deciphered, the Zodiac admitted the killing and claimed that he had murdered others. In his letter, Zodiac challenged the police to decode his letter; if they suceeded, they will find the Zodiac’s true identity. However, no name appeared in the letters. To authenticate his claim the Zodiac included details in his letter which were unknown to the media. The final letters came in 1974. Afterward, several letters were received by the media which suspected to be written by the Zodiac but never confirmed.
The Zodiac certainly loved publication and he seemed to do anything to get caught: sending letters, calling the police station after he murdered his victims, and did the killing of Stine in front of 3 witnesses. However, he always found his way to get away. Arthur Leigh Allen was arrested and become the prime suspect due to the fact that the survivors of the attack recognized him as the Zodiac. However, he was never charged. In 2005, a DNA examination cannot give a definite conclusion on whether Allen was the real Zodiac killer.