People Accused of Being the Zodiac Killer

People accused of being the Zodiac KillerThe number of people accused of being the Zodiac Killer is simply mind boggling. In the interest of exploring the subject, I'm creating this post where we, as a community, can maintain a collection of accusers and/or accused. Note that I'm purposefully avoiding the label "Zodiac Killer Suspects" because a large number of them are not suspects in any real sense of the word.

In my estimation, everyone on this list honestly believes (or believed) in his or her respective accusation. One of the key takeaways, however, is that only one of these people can possibly be correct. A more likely situation, in my humble assessment, is that none of these accusations are correct. Any way you slice it, the result is a large collection of people who are simply wrong about the Zodiac Killer's identity...

So, if you are aware of an accuser or an accused person who is missing from our little list, or if you have suggestions in terms of updating an existing entry, please provide your input through a comment or by way of the contact page. If I agree, I will update the list.

Guiding Principles

  • Entries are limited to people who have made non-trivial, public accusations. Your neighbor Joe who told you that his strange uncle is the Zodiac Killer one time after overindulging in his vice of choice does not qualify.
  • The actual name of the accused does not necessarily have to have been made public.
  • When multiple people advocate for the guilt of a particular person - as is often the case - I will select one person as the representative accuser.
  • If I have a question mark below, I would appreciate additional information from anyone who has knowledge of the accusation.

The List

30 and counting...

Accused Representative Accuser Earliest Known Date Link
Arthur Leigh Allen Robert Graysmith 1986
Michael O'Hare Gareth Penn 1987
Rick Marshall Robert Graysmith 1986
Berta Margoulies [1] Ray Grant 1990 internet archive
Michael O'Hare [1] Ray Grant 1990 internet archive
Gareth Penn [1] Ray Grant 1990 internet archive
Hugh Penn [1] Ray Grant 1991 internet archive
Jack Beeman William Beeman 1991
Bruce Davis Howard Davis 1997
Ted Kaczynski Douglas Oswell 1998
Lawrence Kane Harvey Hines 1999
Mr. X Mike Rodelli 2000 internet archive
Ross Sullivan Howard Davis? 2001
Albert Guy Hollingsworth Terri Williams 2004
Jack Tarrance Dennis Kaufman 2006? internet archive
Richard Gaikowski Tom Voigt 2008
Guy Ward Hendrickson Deborah Perez 2009
[unnamed] Robert Tarbox 2009
George Hill Hodel Steve Hodel 2009
William Grant Lyndon E. Lafferty 2012
[nobody/hoax] Thomas Horan 2012
Donald Lee Bujok Kevin Robert Brooks 2012
Warren Earl Estes Marianne Koerfer 2012 forum
Peter Stephen Plante Judith Chapman 2012
Donald & Bettye Harden Zeppelin196818? 2013
Louis Myers Randy Kenney 2014
Earl Van Best Jr. Gary L. Stewart 2014
Edward Wayne Edwards John A. Cameron 2014
[unnamed] Katherin B. FitzPatrick 2014
Dennis Rader Kimberly McGath 2015


[1] This accusation involved a collaboration of multiple accused people.

Michael Cole


  1. Mike Morford 23 April, 2015 at 12:13 Reply

    Great Article! Lots to think about. Great thing is, a lot of these names aren’t well known to many people, so it gives people some alternatives. My Favorite is Ross Sullivan for sure.

    • Zodiac Revisited 23 April, 2015 at 19:17

      Thanks Mike. Sullivan is interesting. I wish there were more “good,” legitimate suspects on the list instead of so many people who clearly were not the Zodiac.

    • Zodiac Revisited 26 April, 2015 at 20:55

      Thanks Amy.

      It’s very interesting to watch the Accuser become the Accused… The circumstances have a Most-Dangerous-Game-type vibe. I wonder if Penn ever stops and thinks to himself: so, this is what it feels like to be accused of being the Zodiac.

    • Huru Guru 25 June, 2015 at 13:59

      Did the principal associated with “” just change in the last few months? The name prominently given now is “Joao Fernandes” when it had been a “Nash” (with photo) living a retired leisurely life in the South of France — for reference, I maintain page downloads of various theories that pop up. 😉

      Perhaps there’s big business we’re missing out on in building up pretty Zodiac Killer sites with lots ‘a bells and whistles (little of probative value) only to auction them off on Facebook.

      You gotta love a subject in which the “investigators” create more intrigue surrounding their motives and identities than the forensic case itself. Oooooh! Look at all the flashing video lights and rune/map overlays!

  2. Huru Guru 27 April, 2015 at 14:39 Reply

    Aren’t you forgetting the suspect of “entropy” (aka, “Deoxys”, “iago galdston”, etc.):
    BRUCE GULDNER CONNER (Don’t Panic! He’s dead and has a Wikipedia page!)

    Look how many posts entropy made about that suspect on ZKS and other sites over the years… or would they rather conveniently forget about that?

    Last year, entropy suddenly posts a community “retirement” declaration. Poof! He’s MIA without informing us (on the edge of our seats) about his research conclusions. Now THAT sounds like the intellectual dishonesty that entropy was quick to ascribe to others – Don’t you think so? Morford?

    • Zodiac Revisited 28 April, 2015 at 13:49

      Huru Guru,

      To be clear, for the purposes of this discussion, I do not care about things such as: (a) is the accuser correct, (b) is the accuser reasonable, etc. All I’m trying to do is enumerate the people who have legitimately made such accusations. In this sense, the most reasonable person on this list is equivalent to the most unreasonable person.

      Regarding including somebody whose accusations have been limited to one or more Zodiac Killer Forums, I’m on the fence. It’s certainly public and it may well be nontrivial, but it’s not on par with publishing a book, creating a website, otherwise seeking out media attention, etc. I suppose such a person could end up on the list, but it sounds like something we should evaluate on a case-by-case basis. In general, I’m inclined not to put such a person on the list. Although, given the right set of circumstances, I’m sure I could be talked into it.

    • Steve 19 August, 2015 at 16:00

      Hello, Huru. For the record, some of us don’t want to make the list of “Representative Accusers” for a variety of reasons. For me, the primary reason is that I have always realized that I may well be WRONG and have no desire to publicly accuse anyone of being the Zodiac Killer. I had hoped that some folks would be interested enough and discrete enough to continue my research while allowing him to be as “anonymous” as he preferred to be. Clearly, I overestimated the interest and underestimated the willingness for anyone to pursue the idea without shouting out his name. Retirement was to force myself to more clearly focus on real life such as my kids, work etc. If you wish to define that as intellectual dishonesty, I won’t debate it with you. For the record, my “research conclusions” are that he should be researched further. Also for the record, I’m not “iago galdston”. Take care…

    • Iago Galdston 3 February, 2017 at 14:14

      Um, this is Iago Galdston from Tom Voigt’s board. May I ask what this has to do with me? I was a regular there probably 10-12 years ago, got bored with it. But I’m curious as to why I’m being referred to

    • Steve 22 March, 2017 at 15:40

      Hi Iago…

      I believe HG probably referenced you here because you posted some interest in the POI he references above and mistakenly believed that I was posting under your screen name to support my own ideas. That’s not my thing. I’ve posted under a few different names only because I prefer that folks consider the ideas on their own merits.

  3. wolF 11 May, 2015 at 00:18 Reply

    “Uncle Bubba” and unnamed cousin by Terri Williams 2004.
    Donald G.Harden by some nutjob on youtube 2014.
    Troy Houghton 2010.

    • Travis Bennett 13 May, 2015 at 15:18

      Fantastic article, I too have been accused of starting a Zodiac Rortesch test for suggesting Donald Gene Harden and his wife should be considered suspects. Only a small amount of hard evidence but some coincidences that are very interesting. Cheers Travis

  4. Rob 13 July, 2015 at 14:18 Reply

    The killer lived in Napa, was involved in media as a court and crime beat reporter and radio DJ, hence his closeness to the investigation.
    The Zodiac has no intention of offering any real leads, His cryptograms were merely a ruse to throw the dogs off the scent.
    The killer developed an addiction to alcohol and so did his wife. When his wife ran to Harry Martin of the Napa Sentinel, scared that her husband was going to kill her after she threatened to expose his secret, Harry listened, and then broke down, as two days later, the wife died in an unexplained fall down the stairs, with only the husband as a witness.

    Harry personally recounted this to me 3 years back. He told me he had chased false leads and finally, well after the wife had died, he interviewed neighbors who overheard the fight prior to her death. She was drunk and screaming “wait until all your VIP friends, and the paper and station find out who you are, Zodiac!” So Harry investigated a former newspaper guy who worked for the Napa register and to this day, is obsessed with the Zodiac. I asked him why cops did not follow up. he said “sleeping dogs lie”
    The killer plays music, is keen on germanic and Norse mythology, and especially Knights Templar lore. The wife had said the “costume” the Zodiac wore was a version of a Knights Templar battle uniform. It was Deep purple and the scope cross hair was actually a Knights Templar cross. She also said her husband would always try and point people to possible “Zodiac suspects” and was actively involved in being friends with some of the cops investigating the murders. This behavior is not unknown for serial killers. Finally, the Zodiac did have “friends in high places, locally” Happy hunting. Harry is dead now, and maybe his kids can shed some light on this. Harry did have a signed letter from the wife, and other evidence, which must be still in his effects. Rob

    • sandy 2 December, 2015 at 18:33

      Rob, The killers costume was solid black cotton not deep purple. It was made in two parts, the bottom half was about 36 inches wide , with his 3 inch white Zodiac logo on the mid-chest area.
      The top which was the “hood” was a painted black sack with the eyes cut out in large round circles , not slits as told in Graytsmiths book. For what ever reason , it was put in the back seat of my “brown car” in Napa a day or two after the Lake Berryessa stabbings.
      I thought it was left by someone who made an early Halloween costume, I had no idea what I had , because it was not described in the newspaper correctly. The idea that some court reporter had one that was deep purple, could not be the Zodiac’s costume.
      I knew Harry Martin and for sure he would have given his information to the police, they would have checked out that suspect regardless of him knowing some of the investigators.

    • John 25 January, 2016 at 04:18

      This is a very funny thread, kind of like “You say tomayto, I say tomarto, let’s call the whole thing off”.

      If people can’t even agree on what color the hood is, there is not much hope that any amateur sleuth will uncover the true identity of the Zodiac.

  5. Jeff 30 July, 2015 at 21:36 Reply

    I worked with Arthur Leigh Allen at Spectrachrome Graphics (Print Shop – Benicia, CA) in the late 70’s-early 80’s. I became friends with Leigh, and one day he asked me to come over to his moms house to check out the single seat plane he was building in their garage. I checked it out, and spent a couple of hours in the basement where his room was drinking soda and talking about work and stuff. Never knew he was a suspect until years later. Jeff S.

    • Robert P. Ackerman 1 August, 2015 at 13:21

      Jeff, thanks for posting first-hand experience of Arthur Leigh (Lee) Allen. You say it was a printshop: (1) What type of projects/tools did Allen work on? (2) Do samples of his work exist? (3) What abilities/skills were required for his position? Thanks!

  6. Michael Cole
    Michael Cole 23 October, 2015 at 20:31 Reply


      Jack Beeman
      Donald & Bettye Harden
      [unnamed] accusation from Katherin B. FitzPatrick
      Dennis Rader

    Again, I’m not passing any kind of judgment on these accusations; I’m just recording them…

  7. kim 31 January, 2017 at 14:39 Reply

    Golden Sturgell, he was interviewed twice by the police and then let go. He was the last person to be seen with 2 of the victims. He also lived on California street in S.F. He also owned the laurel street apartments. He was a US Navy shipping Captain and was totally in to maps, time. He invented the Greenwich time finder in 1954. Didn’t get any recognition for it what so ever- He was also the mastermind behind the Alcatraz escape in 1962 which he never got any recognition for once again. Why do you think his answer to one of Bryon Hartells questions was, “I’m an escaped prisoner trying to get to Mexico”… That’s exactly where he took the 3 prisoners to was to Mexico. For the cab driver who got killed on Washington and Maple street, > By foot to his Sisters house located at 548 Arguello in S.F. is an 8 minute walk. 5 if you take shortcuts. I believe his cyphers could possibly be solved with using his Greenwich timefinder..>(?) I’m not in to the cypher thing. But..who knows it may have the answers…

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