The NBC Today Show is the latest entity to drink the Kool-Aid of Lyndon Lafferty's book: The Zodiac Killer Cover-Up: The Silenced Badge. This segment is from yesterday's show (May 26, 2012).
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The inability of media to differentiate between meaningful vs. meaningless developments in the case of the Zodiac Killer leaves me feeling more pessimistic than I've felt in quite a while. Between all the hype that people like Lyndon Lafferty and Corey Starliper get, truly important yet less sensational developments are likely to get lost in the noise. And whatever collective patience the public has for this case is sure to be left worse for the wear.
The above segment and other sources mention that Lafferty has accumulated more than 150 points of circumstantial evidence pointing to his suspect. After some point, this type of argument by number loses its effectiveness when dealing with provable facts.
In some ways, it reminds me of the book 100 Authors Against Einstein in which 100 scientists went on record declaring Einstein's Theory of Relativity to be invalid. Of course, the intention of the book was to convince the public that it was not possible for 100 learned people to be wrong and Einstein be right. When asked for comment about the book, Einstein, quite wisely, pointed out: "If I were wrong, one would be enough."
Admittedly, circumstantial evidence in a criminal case is a bit different. But, exactly how many points of circumstantial evidence about a provable fact should one expect to be able to accumulate without actually finding proof of the fact itself?
I also was interested to hear Lafferty declare his certainty regarding the guilt of his suspect to be 98%. The problem with this case, however, is the number of people who have at least 98% certainty in their respective suspects...