The Zodiac Killer
The Zodiac Killer has been referred to as the most "elusive serial killer" in the State of California.
The Zodiac killings started on the 30th day of October in the year of 1966 in the area of Riverside. An eighteen year old female who was a freshman at the Riverside City College by the name of Cheri Jo Bates left the educational establishment to discover that her vehicle was experiencing some sort of mechanical failure. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the coil to the distributor had been disconnected. The investigators determined later that the Zodiac Killer likely cut the coil and then approached young Bates and offered her assistance. It is then believed that he pulled her behind some nearby shrubs and had a physical altercation with the victim. It was then that she was stabbed in the area of the chest, and her throat was slashed.
The crime puzzled investigators. While they actively searched for the killer, the local newspaper received an ominous threat the following month. It stated that the victim "Is not the first and she will not be the last". Things remained quiet for a while. Then on the 30th day of April in the year of 1967, the newspaper, the police, and the father of the first victim received a message stating: "Bates had to die. There will be more". While the investigation for the crazed Zodiac
Killer continued, no more murders took place until the 20th day of December in the year of 1968. A young couple by the names of David Faraday, 17 and Betty Lou Jensen, 16 were shot by a .22 semiautomatic just east of Vallejo, California. These victims were considered to be part of the Zodiac killings.
On July 4th of the year 1969, another young couple was out for a date. Their names were Michael Mageau and Darlene Ferrin. Michael was 19 years old and Darlene was 22 years old. Eventually, they parked at the Blue Rock Springs Park. A vehicle entered the park, and then the driver shot at them using a .9mm pistol. Michael was hit a total of four times, but lived. Unfortunately, Darlene was hit nine times and died. Less than an hour after the crime was committed, the police of Vallejo, California received a call that informed them where the crime
had occurred and the caller also stated "I also killed those kids last year". Once more, it appeared as if the Zodiac Killer was up to his old tricks again.
Apparently by the 31st of July in the year of 1969, the serial killer got bored waiting for the police to figure out the crimes he had committed and why. As a result, he sent three letters out to various newspapers. He included what is considered part of a "Cryptic Cipher" and he wrote: "I like killing people because it is so much fun". He then proceeded to explain that he needed to "collect slaves" that would serve him in the afterlife. On August 7th, he informed officials by a letter of his "Zodiac Killer" trade name. Based on the evidence that the police had from all the previous crimes, they truly believed that this mysterious individual performed all of the Zodiac murders.
On the 27th day of September that same year, a 20 year old male by the name of Bryan Hartnell and his 22 year old friend, Cecilia Shepherd decided to picnic at the beautiful Lake Berryessa. They were approached by the Zodiac killer, bound by clothesline, and stabbed violently over and over again. The male survived and was able to provide some details to the police regarding the crime. On the 11th day of October, a man named Paul Stine was shot in the head while driving a cab in the San Francisco area. On the 22nd day of March in the year of 1970, a woman named Kathleen Johns and her small infant were driving in the area of Modesto. She was flagged down by someone that said her tire was loose and he attempted to tighten it. However, as she drove away, it fell off.
Once the tire fell off, the man caught up with her and offered a ride to a garage. Instead, he drove her around continuously threatening her and her child. She eventually escaped by taking cover in a drainage ditch. By the year of 1975, it was believed that the Zodiac Killer was responsible for a total of 40 unsolved murders. The man responsible for the Zodiac killings was never found. Is he still alive? Could he have been caught for another crime? To date, this is still considered one of the greatest unsolved mysteries when it comes to murders.
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