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.
Of course, the article addresses Lafferty's relationship to the Zodiac Killer. Tom Voigt — owner and operator of www.zodiackiller.com — 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.
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.