I’ve finally had an opportunity to read Lyndon Lafferty’s book, cover to cover. In a nutshell, it just doesn’t work for me. He has not presented any evidence that works to my satisfaction and, therefore, I cannot recommend it to anyone interested in the factual side of the Zodiac saga. It does, however, hold some interesting moments as a kind of personal journey from the author. However, that just wasn’t enough for me. I was looking for something more factual, more tangible.
Two aspects of the Lafferty episode of the case stick in my mind. The first is the way in which the media presented his book to the public. This was a classic example of “creating news” instead of “reporting news.” I have yet to read (or hear, or see) an objective review of the book. It emphasizes a sad state of affairs among the media, but certainly not anything surprising, given the past several decades of media behavior. Media reliability is obviously a myth in our Country, sad to say.
The other disturbing aspect is the furor Lafferty’s book has created among the amateur community. He has been attacked with ferocity and viciousness that is stunning. This kind of reaction speaks volumes about those who enjoy the sport of personal attack without any need for objectivity or, often, good sense. It is a sad commentary on what was once a vibrant community in search of facts. That time has obviously passed and Lafferty is merely the latest victim. I have never seen such vitriol in my rather long life and it troubles me that the Zodiac story has degenerated to this level of behavior on such a wide scale. I can only imagine how others, perhaps with something important to say, will simply remain silent rather than face the kind of madness that Lafferty has encountered.
I suspect that Lafferty has sold a fair number of books, despite it’s high price. It’s no easy task to write a book and it’s not cheap to self-publish one. At least he has put his opinions out there for the rest of us to take or not take as we see fit. It’s shameful that his words, right or wrong, have brought such relentless personal attacks in their wake. He made a theory, it doesn’t hold together, and that’s pretty much the end of the story. The rest of this ugly chapter in the Zodiac saga is, in my opinion, far more disturbing than Lafferty’s work.
About Michael Kelleher
Author in the true crime, mystery, and Native American genres. Co-author of the book: This is the Zodiac Speaking: Into the Mind of a Serial Killer. Media consultant and freelance journalist.