Date of Birth: ?
Date of Death: ?
Victim Count: 5-37
The Zodiac Killer is still unknown and although the case is deemed "inactive", it was been reopened many times. The killings spanned from 1966 to 1972. Zodiac claimed to have killed 37 people, though only 5 of them have been confirmed along with two survivors.
The first attack associated with Zodiac occurred in 1968. A couple had left a concert and arrived at a local lover's lane at 10:15pm. Their bodies were found at 11pm by a woman who lived near by. The male had been shot in the head and the female shot five times as she tried to flee. Seven months later in 1969, only four miles from the first murder, a couple pulls into a park around midnight. A car pulls in, drives away, and returns only ten minutes later. The driver gets out and shoots the couple still in their car. 12:40, a man calls the local police reporting the shootings and taking responsibility along with the previous killings the year before.
Just a month later, three newspapers recieved almost identical letters claiming responsibility for both shootings. Each letter was signed with the same symbol. Each paper also recieved one third of a 408-symbol cryptogram which the killer claimed contained his identity. Zodiac demanded they be on front page or he'd cruise around all weekend killing up to a dozen people. All parts were eventually published and the killings did not occur. A week later, one paper recieved another letter in which the Zodiac Killer first named himself as such. The following day, a couple cracked the cryptogram.
September 1969, another couple was attacked while on a picnic. A man with a black execution style hood with sunglasses and the same symbol from the letters pinned to his chest. He claimed to be an escaped convict and made the woman tie up her date before tying her up and stabbing them both. He walked back to their car, drew the symbol, and wrote the following: "Vallejo/12-20-68/7-4-69/Sept 27-69-6:30/by knife. 7:40pm, the killer called the police 27miles from the scene to report his crime. The police found the phone hanging from the booth and were able to obtain a print. A father and son fishing nearby had heard the screams and found the couple. The alerted the park rangers for help and were able to get a detailed description of the attacker from the still conscious woman, who later slipped into a coma and died. The gentleman lived and told his story to the media. Just a month later in October, a man entered a cab. Once the cab reached its destination, the passenger shot the driver in the head and stole both his wallet and car keys. The killer also ripped off part of the driver's blood stained shirt tail and wiped down the cab with it before walking away. Three teenagers witnessed the shooting and reported it to the cops, unfortunately they thought he was black.
Three days later, a newspaper recieved another Zodiac letter with the ripped shirt tail to prove he was the killer. Later that month, he called a police station and demanded one of two prominant lawyers appear on a local morning talk show. One lawyer did go on the show and Zodiac called several times and claimed his name was Sam. The lawyer agreed to meet, but the suspect never showed. In November, Zodiac mailed another 340 character cryptogram and a seven page later telling how two policemen had spoken to him just three minutes after shooting the cab driver. In December, the lawyer recieved a letter with another piece of the ripped shirt claiming Zodiac wanted his help.
March 1970, a pregnant woman was driving with her 10 year old daughter. While traveling down a highway, the car behind her begins flashing his lights and honking in an attempt to get her attention. Once she pulled over, the driver told her the back tire was close to falling off and offered to help her. When he was finished, she pulled away only to have the wheel fall off. The male driver who assisted her offered to drive her and her daughter to a service station. Once in the car, he drove up and down backroads for an hour and a half threatening to kill her. When he finally stopped at an intersection, the woman took her daughter and hid in a field. She was eventually able to hitch a ride to a local police station to report her attempted abduction.
For the remainder of 1970, Zodiac sent several letters and post cards to the media. The letters took credit for certain killings and threatening others. Many included a score such as the following: = 12, SFPD = 0. SFPD referring to the San Francisco Police Department. In October of that year a reporter recieved a letter from Zodiac telling him he was doomed. A few days later, he recieved an anonymous letter citing simularities between the Zodiac killings and an unsolved murder from four years prior.
Letters and disappearances continued into 1971. The woman abducted was never found, nor was evidence linking the disappearance to Zodiac. A reporter published a story in 1972 that suggested Zodiac was responsible for a murder in 1963. After this point Zodiac remained silent for three years, not sending another letter until 1974. This one raved on about The Exorcist being the best comedy he'd seen and leaving a new score: Me = 37 SFPD = 0. Letters came in sporadically throughout the rest of the year commenting on different movies and daily observations.
There was one suspect for the killings, Arthur Leigh Allen, but it was never proved. DNA analysis that was performed in 2002 ruled him out. The case was labeled inactive in 2004. A possible suspect was brought forward in 2007, but a 2010 DNA test was inconclusive. Yet another possible suspect was brought to attention in 2009, but the witness wasn't deemed credible based on mental capacity. A picture surfaced in 2011 of a man who closely resembles the composite sketch and police are still hoping someone can id the man.