With tonight being the 52nd anniversary of the Zodiac murdering David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen – the killer’s first action as the persona of the Zodiac – I am happy to announce the publication of my three-volume set of books: The Zodiac Revisited.
The journey to the publication of these books started a long time ago. The path has been neither straight nor easy. The project has often taken a back seat to other professional and familial obligations. And I, at times, have been overly optimistic about my predicted ability to make progress. In this moment, however, all that matters little. This destination may look a little different than the one I had imagined. It may be happening a little later than I had imagined. The circumstances may not be the ones that I had anticipated. But it is, at long last, happening. Ultimately, that’s what matters.
The three volumes of The Zodiac Revisited include the following.
The goal of volume 1 is to review the facts of the case while doing very little in the way of actual analysis. I’ve taken this approach for two reasons. First, it’s important to have a clear distinction between factual description and analysis, especially when the analysis sometimes involves speculation. By using this organization, the distinction is explicit. Second, much of the analysis in the case of the Zodiac requires that subjects be visited in a non-sequential order. By going through nearly everything that happened first, I attempt to establish a foundation that can support the required non-sequential analysis present in Volume 2.
With the analytical foundation established, Volume 2 takes up the task of broadly analyzing the case. This is done by establishing some context, making some general observations across the entirety of the evidence, and then tackling four key subjects: the killer’s use of a “methodology,” the construction of the Zodiac persona, the killer’s use of cipher, and, finally, his obsession with threatening a school bus. There is much to unwrap in each of these subjects, and by the time a reader finishes Volume 2, he or she should have a thorough understanding of the Zodiac and several of his behaviors.
With the key elements of the killer’s behavior understood, Volume 3 seeks to reexplore the evidence in light of the newly developed understanding. In particular, I reexamine the question of whether or not the killer was responsible for a string of murders in Southern California prior to the emergence of the Zodiac persona in the Bay Area. I then revisit the relevant parts of all the killer’s writing and his crimes. In each case, the understandings developed in Volume 2 provide significant insights into the material. To further make sense of the killer, during the review of the crimes I provide a “Speculative Evolution” section where suggest a possible chain of events that could explain the facts as we know them. Unsurprisingly, the insights developed in Volume 2 allow us to glean much additional information from the killer’s written words and his actions.
I wish I could give The Zodiac Revisited the satisfying ending that it deserves, but that part of the story remains yet to be written. Nevertheless, I truly feel the three-volume set of books has a lot to offer people who are interested in the case. I hope the readers of The Zodiac Revisited will agree.
Relatedly, with the cipher team of David Oranchak, Sam Blake, and Jarl Van Eycke having impressively solved the 340 cipher just a small number of days ago, 51 years after it was first published in the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner, I cannot help but feel a renewed sense of optimism. Their work is a testament to the fact that we really can find answers to these questions that have gone unanswered for so many decades. Perhaps the final resolution to the Zodiac mystery awaits us in the not-too-distant future. I certainly hope so…
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