Zodiac Killer

Posted on October 19, 2018 by


“I like killing people because it’s so much fun.”

The self-named Zodiac Killer terrorized the Northern California area from the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s. With five confirmed kills, two surviving victims, and claims to over thirty murders in total, Zodiac is one of the most elusive serial killers of our time.

The worst part? After 50 years, investigators still don’t know his identity.

Zodiac’s first confirmed kill took place on 20 December 1968, in Benicia, California. High school students Betty Lou Jensen, 16, and David Faraday, 17, were on their first official date together and decided to stop at a local “Lover’s Lane.” Shortly after 11:00pm, their bodies were found on the side of the road. Jensen had sustained five bullet wounds to her back and Faraday one bullet to the head. Shell casings found on the scene confirmed they were shot with a .22 caliber pistol.

Flash forward to 4 July 1969. Darlene Ferrin, 22, loving mother and wife, picked up her friend, Michael Mageau, 19, and stopped at a parking lot near Blue Rock Springs Park. There, Ferrin was shot several times, and Mageau was shot in the jaw, shoulder, and leg. Ferrin died on arrival to the hospital, and a very lucky Mageau managed to survive. About half an hour after shots were fired, an anonymous call to the police came in, with a man taking responsibility for the crime as well as the shooting from the previous year.

One month later, on 4 August 1969, the San Francisco Examiner received a letter from the suspected killer, in which he referred to himself as “Zodiac” for the first time.

On 27 September 1969 at Lake Berryessa, twenty-year-old Bryan Hartnell and twenty-two-year-old Cecelia Shepard were found with six and ten stab wounds respectively. Hartnell managed to survive the attack, but Shepard died two days later. A message was left on the car window, depicting the dates of the two previous murders, confirming Zodiac had struck again.

Finally, on 11 October 1969, twenty-eight-year-old Paul Stine was doing his rounds as a taxi driver and picked up a man, later known to be Zodiac himself. Stine was shot point-blank in the back of the head and died immediately. At first, police thought it was a routine robbery until a man sent an envelope to the police containing a letter confessing to the crime as well as a blood-stained portion of Stine’s shirt.

It’s been almost fifty years since these terrible events happened, and investigators still don’t know the identity of the Zodiac killer. Investigators are beginning to use a similar genealogy site to the one used to find the Golden State killer to find Zodiac. Using saliva and DNA they plan to obtain from the stamps and envelopes he sent to the police, they hope to find the Zodiac very soon.

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