Who Was The Zodiac Killer?

Photo: getty
Who Was The Zodiac Killer?
Entertainment And News

The Zodiac Killer is one of the most famous serial killers of all time, and he has yet to be found.

The Zodiac Killer has also been mentioned in many books, television shows, and movies.

David Fincher even directed a mystery thriller in 2007 called Zodiac starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo.

Who was the Zodiac Killer?

No one really knows the identity of the person responsible for five murders committed by the Zodiac Killer.

RELATED: 5 Gruesome Unsolved Murders That Armchair Detectives Still Try To Solve Today

Some true-crime theories for this unsolved mystery claim that the Zodiac Killer is a serial murderer from California who is known by the pseudonym, George Russell Tucker.

Others think that the Zodiac Killer was a man named Arthur Leigh Allen, a prime suspect for the crimes committed by the Zodiac serial murder, but nothing was proved.

Robert Graysmith wrote "Zodiac Unmasked", a book attempting to piece together the mystery behind the Zodiac Killer, to no resolve.

Gary L. Stewart from Louisanna claims that his father was the Zodiac Killer —the late Earl Van Best, Jr.

His search became another Zodiac Killer book, The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for My Father ... and Finding the Zodiac Killer," profiling the backstory but still not solving the case.

The Zodiac Killer inspired three other copycat killers that wanted to follow in his footsteps.

Since his letter where he implied that he murdered 37 victims, no new victims have been found out since 1969.

Some believe that he stopped murdering or has just found a more discreet way to harm others.

In a letter from November 12, 1969, he states, "I shall no longer announce to anyone when I commit my murders, they shall look like routine robberies, killings of anger, & few fake accidents, etc."

Authorities and detectives are still working on figuring out the identity of the Zodiac Killer but have not been successful.

Even his three other coded messages have still not been decoded.

Hopefully, they will not get discouraged and continue trying to discover who the Zodiac Killer is.

Why is the Zodiac Killer one of the most famous killers?

The identity of the Zodiac Killer remains a mystery and the cases remain unsolved.

The Zodiac Killer attacked seven people in the years 1968 and 1969.

These attacks took place in four different areas in Northern California and it is still talked about to this day.

The Zodiac Killer initially attacked three couples but two of these victims survived.

His last victim was a taxi driver who was murdered in San Francisco on October 11, 1969.

Around the time of the killings, he would send letters, coded messages, and threats to news outlets, authorities, and the general public.

RELATED: 11 Best Crime Documentary Movies To Watch On Netflix So Far In 2017

Who were the Zodiac Killer’s victims?

It may be possible that the Zodiac Killer has committed other crimes but there have been five murders that are known to be his doing.

Not only that, but there were also an additional two attempted murders by him.

The Zodiac Killer’s first murder took place in Benicia, California.

Betty Lou Johnson and David Faraday were the Zodiac Killer's first two victims.

On December 20, 1968, the Zodiac Killer successfully killed his first two victims without getting caught.

Two high school students, 16-year-old Betty Lou Johnson and 17-year-old David Faraday went on their first date.

Investigators noted that Betty Lou and David had no relation to the Killer and were merely random targets for his first official kill.

The Zodiac Killer shot Faraday and Johnson close to their car parked at a lovers’ lane area located on Lake Herman Road.

RELATED: What Kind Of Killer Would You Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Betty Lou was shot five times in her back.

David was still breathing next to the car with one bullet in his head.

Darlene Ferrin and Michael Mageau were the Zodiac Killer's 3rd and 4th Victims.

On July 4, 1968, the Zodiac Killer successfully killed one more victim and injured another, without getting caught.

TRENDING NOW on YourTango

Seven months later, after killing his first two victims, the Zodiac Killer struck again, but this time in Vallejo.

22-year-old Darlene Ferrin, a 22-year-old waitress was driving her friend Michael Mageau in her car when they stopped at Blue Rock Springs Park when they were both shot at in the car.

Michael survived but was injured in the jaw, leg, and shoulder.

Darlene was shot multiple times in various places and did not survive the incident

The Zodiac Killer made his first contact with the authorities claiming his role in the murders.

The night that Ferrin and Mageau were attacked, the Zodiac Killer called the Vallejo Police Department stating that he shot Darlene and Michael as well as Betty Lou and David.

The Zodiac Killer reported the murder of the location of his last two victims.

RELATED: 6 Zodiac Signs Who Are Fascinated By Murder & True Crime, According To Astrology

Victims Cecilia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell were the final victims of the Zodiac Killer

On September 27, 1969, Cecilia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell, two college students, were stabbed by the Zodiac Killer on Lake Berryessa.

A man in a costume with a hood, that also had a symbol of two crossed lines in a circle, came up to them holding a gun.

Shepard died and Hartnell survived.

Paul Stine is the last victim identified as being killed by the Zodiac Killer, himself.

In San Francisco, on October 11, 1969, Paul Stine was shot in the head. A part of his shirt was also torn off.

The Zodiac Killer would send letters to newspapers.

The Zodiac Killer began to reach out to newspapers with letters that had information on the cases that only the killer would be aware of.

The authorities believed that Stine's case was just a run-of-the-mill burglary until The San Francisco Chronicle got a letter from “The Zodiac.”

In the letter, the killer wrote, “I am the murderer of the taxi driver” along with a bloody part of Stine’s shirt.

Also, in that same letter he wrote, "School children make nice targets. I think I shall wipe out a school bus some morning.

Just shoot out the front tire and then pick off the kiddies as they come bouncing out."

He often called the police after his murders from payphones to give them information and confess to the crimes.

After he sent that letter about the taxi driver's death to authorities on October 13, 1969, he also called the police a couple days later to tease them.

On August 4, 1969, he wrote a letter to The San Francisco Examiner and said, "This is the Zodiac speaking," which was the first time he called himself that nickname.

In his letters after that, he then usually started with that introduction.

Most of his letters also had the symbol of two crossed lines in a circle, which was meant to look like a rifle target.

RELATED: 4 Most Bizarre Conspiracy Theories About The Zodiac Killer

The Zodiac Killer seemed to like the spotlight because he would take great measures to make sure that his letters were getting shared publicly.

He would even threaten to go on a killing spree if the newspapers did not print his messages.

In a letter he sent on November 9, 1969, he boasted, "The police shall never catch me, because I have been too clever for them."

The Zodiac Killer sent four coded messages and although it was hard to figure out, a married couple deciphered the first coded message.

In his first message, he wrote "I like killing people because it is so much fun."

In the first message, he even taunted that he would reveal his identity in one of his other messages.

However, even to this day, no one else has been able to crack the code on any of the remaining messages.

In March 1971, he sent a letter that said, "the more slaves I will collect for my afterlife."

After that letter, the Zodiac Killer disappeared and stopped communicating with the press until January 29, 1974, when he wrote, "me – 37, SFPD – 0" which implies he killed 37 people.

RELATED: 8 Best True Crime Podcasts For People Who Just Love Being Scared

Subscribe to YourTango's newsletter to keep up with us for FREE

- Our best articles delivered straight to your inbox
- The latest in entertainment and news
- Daily horoscopes and love advice

Jaycee Levin is an Instagram influencer and writer who covers astrology, spirituality, love and relationships.