The Zodiac Revisited

Welcome to The Zodiac Revisited. This site is dedicated to analysis and discussion of one of the most enduring mysteries in American criminal-justice history: the case of the Zodiac Killer.

The serial killer known as “the Zodiac” terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He definitely murdered five young men and women and critically injured, while attempting to murder, an additional two young men. Furthermore, the same man may have been responsible for multiple murders in Southern California, the abduction of a young mother and her infant child near Modesto, and an unspecified number of other murders. The killer eventually claimed to have killed 37 people; but, law enforcement only definitively linked him to the five murders.

Tragic and intriguing as they are, the killer’s murderous deeds tell but a part of the story. The truly fascinating dimension of the case is the ongoing conversation the killer had with law enforcement and the general public of San Francisco by way of a plethora of hand-written letters sent to multiple Bay-Area newspapers, most often the San Francisco Chronicle. The letters eventually numbered over twenty pages of taunting threats and often-cryptic ramblings. Included within the content of these letters, the killer crafted a total of four cryptograms, three of which remained unsolved to this day.

Within a year of the Zodiac’s first murders, the killer had committed all of his “definite” crimes. The killer’s bizarre letter writing campaign continued for another year and half, through early 1971. It then all but disappeared, only to re-emerge, albeit briefly, for a few months in 1974.

A new letter in 1978 refocused the city on the killer, but soon after most experts concluded the letter was a hoax. By that point, the actual Zodiac had long-since ceased communication and, in so doing, begun his gradual fade into oblivion. A fade that has, thus far, deprived all involved from any sense of resolution.

Despite numerous claims to the contrary, no one has ever – to any meaningful degree of certainty – identified the man who was the Zodiac…