Lyndon Lafferty Passes Away

Lyndon Lafferty, long-time California Highway Patrol officer and author of the 2012 book The Zodiac Killer Cover-Up: The Silenced Badge (see also: Michael Kelleher's thoughtful comments on the book), passed away on March 5th, at the age of 83.

The Vallejo Times-Herald newspaper, once the recipient of a letter from the Zodiac Killer, published an article noting Lafferty's passing, documenting his funeral at the Wayside United Methodist Church in Vallejo, and relating some of the nice things that people who knew him said.

Lyndon Lafferty Funeral

A picture from Lyndon Lafferty's funeral (Vallejo Times-Herald).

Of course, the article addresses Lafferty's relationship to the Zodiac Killer. Tom Voigt — owner and operator of — provides some comments, representing the position of researchers who do not believe Lafferty's suspect was the killer.

As someone who thinks the Zodiac was not any of the known suspects, I'm among those who disagree with Lafferty's theory. Nevertheless, I'm happy he had the opportunity to publish his book. He had something to say, he said it, and now the world has a means by which to form an opinion about it.

The Zodiac Killer Cover-Up

Self-publishing trailblazer and expert Dan Poynter — another man who recently left us — used to say that his goal was to make sure people did not "die with a book still inside them." This sentiment feels apropos in the case of Lafferty. Those close to the man can find some degree of satisfaction in knowing that he published his book before the opportunity disappeared forever.

If there is one thing that a lasting interest in the Zodiac requires of us, it's the necessity of accepting people related to the case dying. Human life is much less durable than the uncertainty that defines the mystery.

Lyndon Lafferty, I did not know you. I do not agree with you. But, we shared a common interest and I'm saddened to learn of your passing.


Michael Cole

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3 Comments on "Lyndon Lafferty Passes Away"

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sandy betts
1 year 1 month ago

Most people don’t know that my dear friend Lyndon did not care for Tom Voigt, who is also a dear friend of mine, which puts me in the middle. I may never know for sure why Lyndon didn’t like Tom, other than they disagreed on their suspects, but I do know why Tom didn’t care that much for Lyndon . That would be because of a remark that was made about Tom in Lyndon’s book. That remark was so unlike Lyndon as I knew him, because he was kind, thoughtful, courageous and usually forgiving. I know that the VTH newspaper reporter didn’t have a clue as to what she did to Lyndon’s family by putting those two names together in her article. When she wrote that Lyndon went to a few of our Zodiac task force meetings at Blue Rock Springs, it gave the impression that Tom and Lyndon were friends. The only reason Lyndon went to those meetings, was to visit with me. He sat far away from the others at the task force meetings. So for Lyndon and his family I am setting the record straight. He would not want to have his name in the same article as Tom , especially on the day he was buried . That should have been Lyndon’s day and no one else’s.

sandy betts
1 year 1 month ago

Thanks Michael, I agree Tom is the number one person to go to for the best collection of Zodiac information . If the reporter was doing a story about Zodiac, I could understand that.
I have a great deal of respect for Tom and all of the hard work he has done for the case. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for Tom and I believe he knows that.
If the Zodiac case is ever solved and I believe that it will be, we can thank Tom for keeping the Zodiac story on the forefront.
Apparently Lyndon’s family wasn’t bothered by the article, thank goodness, according to the reporter. Perhaps Lyndon didn’t express his feelings towards Tom to his family, he certainly did to me and his other close friends.
The reporter told me that she wanted to do the story about Lyndon and that she was told she couldn’t do it unless she included Tom in the article? I felt it was mistake to do it on that particular day. Her second mistake was not spelling Tom’s last name correctly, if she didn’t know how to spell his name , she shouldn’t write about him .