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* UPDATE: November 22, 2013 - In November 1969, the Zodiac mailed one of his most baffling clues and a letter including one of his most controversial claims. The killer sent a greeting card along with his second cipher consisting of 340 symbols. In his next communication, the Zodiac wrote that he was angered by the "lies" told by police who claimed that he had left fingerprints at the crime scene and had been seen by witnesses. The Zodiac announced that he would change his "way of collecting slaves" and disguise his future murders as routine robberies, accidents and other random crimes. The killer also claimed that San Francisco police had stopped him near the scene of his last murder but had inexplicably allowed him to escape justice. Two new blog entires examine the Zodiac's November 1969 communications: ZODIAC HISTORY: Shadows and Fog examines the Zodiac's claims and The 340 CIPHER: Dead Ends examines some of the solutions offered by amateur code breakers.

* UPDATE: OCTOBER 30, 2013 - 47 years ago, Cheri Jo Bates was murdered near the campus of the Riverside City College library. One month after the murder, someone mailed an envelope to the offices of the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper. The envelope contained a typed letter titled "The Confession" which included an account of the murder and the warning that more victims were to come. Six months after the murder, someone mailed three handwritten notes to the newspaper, the police and the father of Cheri Jo Bates. The author wrote, "Bates had to die. There will be more." Three years later, the Zodiac surfaced in Northern California with bizarre letters sent to newspapers and a horrific series of seemingly inexplicable murders. Riverside police contacted Zodiac investigators with the suspicion that their unsolved case was linked to the Zodiac crimes. Many investigators believed that the Zodiac had killed Bates and some handwriting experts concluded that the Zodiac was responsible for the Riverside writings. In November 1970, San Francisco Chronicle reporter Paul Avery revealed the so-called "Riverside connection" and Cheri Jo Bates became known as the Zodiac's first known victim. In one letter, the Zodiac wrote, "I do have to give them credit for stumbling across my riverside activity, but they are only finding the easy ones, there are a hell of a lot more down there.” The Riverside Police Department later declared that Bates had been killed by someone she had known and officially denied that the Zodiac was responsible for the crime. The RPD then discovered that DNA evidence found at the murder scene did not match their suspect, but the department continued to insist that the suspect had killed Bates and the Zodiac was not involved. Decades after the murder, the case remains unsolved and the shadow of the Zodiac still haunts this mystery. Read more in the ZodiacKillerFacts blog entry RIVERSIDE ACTIVITY: Unsolved Mysteries.

* MEDIA UPDATE: August 30, 2013 - Former KGO-TV reporter Richard Carlson shares his memories of the Zodiac case in a new article posted at WeeklyStandard.com titled Signs of the Zodiac. Highlights include:

* Carlson recalls visiting the scene of the Stine murder in San Francisco on the night of the crime.

* A behind-the scenes account during the now-infamous televised exchange between attorney Melvin Belli and the Zodiac impostor known as "Sam" on The Jim Dunbar Show.

* A look at the events surrounding the proposed meeting between Belli and Sam after the television broadcast.

Find a link to the story and read more at the ZodiacKillerFacts Forum or go directly to the article Signs of the Zodiac.

* UPDATE: July 26, 2013 - Forty-three years ago today, the Zodiac mailed one of his most baffling clues and inspired one the most persistent myths in the history of the case. Read the ZodiacKillerFACTS article THE RADIAN THEORY: Mistakes in the Myth-Making and learn how to debunk this myth using a map, a protractor and the facts.

* UPDATE: July 22, 2013 - San Francisco's Old Mint recently hosted a special screening of the 2007 film ZODIAC. Inspector Pamela Hofsass attended the screening and reportedly told the audience that the SFPD has obtained a partial profile of Zodiac DNA. The SFPD had previously reported the same news more than a decade ago but the latest rumors indicate that investigators are still working to obtain new evidence which could finally solve the Zodiac mystery. Read the ZodiacKillerFacts blog entry ZODIAC DNA: A Question of Answers or visit the ZodiacKillerFacts Forum to discuss this and other case-related issues.

* UPDATE: June 7, 2013 - Dave Oranchak's site ZodiacKillerCiphers.com features a new article about Zodiac theorist Gareth Penn and math and science writer Martin Gardner, the author of the column Mathematical Games for the magazine Scientific American. The article, titled Gardner and Penn, Jekyll and Hyde, focuses on Penn's writings and Gardner's opinions regarding Penn's theories about the Zodiac ciphers and other material. The ZodiacKillerFacts Blog page has been updated with a new post regarding Oranchak's article which includes links to various articles related to Penn and his theories. [NOTE: Thanks to Dave Oranchak for obtaining and sharing the collection of Gardner documents.]

* UPDATE: June 2, 2013 - The Benicia Herald featured a story about former Benicia police Chief Pierre Bidou discussing the Zodiac case with students of the Benicia Citizens Police Academy. Read the article: Citizens Police Academy: Signs of the Zodiac.

* UPDATE: On April 17, 2013, the Napa Valley Register reported the death of Napa Police officer David Slaight. On the night of September 27, 1969, Slaight was assigned to dispatcher duty and received a telephone call from an individual who claimed to be responsible for the stabbing at Lake Berryessa. Slaight described the phone call attributed to "the Zodiac killer" in his interviews for the 2003 television documentary COLD CASE FILES as well as the 2007 documentary THIS IS THE ZODIAC SPEAKING. Slaight died at the age of 68 after he was diagnosed as suffering from ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Vallejo Police dispatcher Nancy Slover Earp had also received a phone call from an individual who claimed to be responsible for a previous attack attack at Blue Rock Springs Park as well as two other murders. She appeared in several television documentaries including HAUNTING EVIDENCE and MYSTERYQUEST. Nancy Slover-Earp died in 2012. The passing of both Nancy Slover-Earp and David Slaight closed a chapter in history as they were the only two people to have allegedly spoken to the Zodiac killer by telephone. Bryan Hartnell, the man who survived the stabbing at Lake Berryessa, remains the only living person believed to have spoken with the Zodiac killer.

* UPDATE - ZODIAC BOOKS: Several new books focus on the unsolved mystery of "the Zodiac killer."

* FRINGE: The ZODIAC PARADOX features characters from the popular FOX science fiction television series FRINGE. In an interview posted at Suvudu.com, author Christa Faust offered this description of the plot. "It starts in the late sixties, when young graduate students Walter Bishop and William Bell are testing a special blend of perception-altering chemicals at Reiden Lake. Their artificially enhanced minds accidentally open a rift between universes and allow a vicious serial killer to escape into our world. The killer is profoundly changed and unnaturally enhanced by their psychic encounter, but it isn’t until 1974 that Walter learns the true nature of the monster they have unleashed. It’s up to him, along with Bell and Nina Sharp, to find a way to stop him."

* HUNTER AMONG THE STARS by John Robert Jordan is described as "A Critical Look at the Zodiac Killer as Serial Killer, Occultist, and Speller." Amazon.com offers the following description of the book: "Hunter Among the Stars is a critical re-examination of the Zodiac Killer's tragic murder spree. Beginning with a "blitz attack" restatement of the "Zodiac Mythos", the author quickly establishes his own premise; the Zodiac Killer's unique pathology and it's interface with his hitherto unidentified occult practice. After meticulously reconstructing each crime and deconstructing each investigation, the author provides the first systematic diagnostic analysis of the Zodiac's Killer's spelling errors in forty years. Critically evaluating the modern technique of profiling, Hunter identifies the fallacies inherent in all Zodiac profiles, and concludes by revealing the personation or "signature" on a "Zodiac kill" linking it to the killer's use of occult astrology and belief. Hunter offers investigatrs and readers alike the first testable hypothesis forever answer the twofold question of how many victims Zodiac murdered and whether the killer moved his homicidal enterprise elsewhere." [Note: All spelling errors contained in the original text.]

* TIT WILLOW: THE STORY OF THE ZODIAC KILLER by Judith Chapman presents yet-another "I-knew-the-Zodiac-killer" tale. Chapman accuses her now-deceased husband Peter Plante. Amazon.com offers the following summary of Chapman's book: "This book details the murders of the Zodiac Killer of the San Francisco Bay Area of the 1960's. The author describes twenty years of terror, living with the man she believes to be the Zodiac. The book includes handwriting evidence and a solution to the "My name is .." cipher."

* ZODIAC CRACKED: THE MANIFESTATION OF A KILLER presents yet another solution to the Zodiac mystery. Amazon.com offers the following information regarding the author: "Marianne Koerfer is a retired Police Secretary and a native Chicagoan. She is the author of two civic articles, Creating Opportunities for The Employee Who is Disabled and Law Enforcement Opportunities. Her current focus is directed toward reviewing, researching, and writing about cold cases. She strives to bring long neglected cases out from the archives and back into the open case status by developing a fresh profile of a viable suspect through an intense reinterpretation of the evidence and circumstances of these dark crimes."

* UPDATE: August 20, 2012 - Mike Morford of the website Zodiackillersite.com has obtained more than 900 pages of FBI documents via a Freedom of Information Act request and he generously shared these documents with the research community. Information regarding these files and links to view the documents are available at the ZodiacKillerFacts Blog page.

* UPDATE: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - The release of a new book by long-time Zodiac theorist Lyndon Lafferty has sparked a wave of media coverage announcing that the Zodiac killer has been identified. Those who are new to this story, and Lafferty's history, may be tempted to believe that the case has finally been solved, but the facts tell a very different story. Lafferty has been accusing his suspect for decades and has never presented any credible evidence to implicate his suspect, the man identified in Robert Graysmith's book ZODIAC as "Andrew Todd Walker." Lafferty is a retired law enforcement officer, but law enforcement agencies have dismissed his claims and theories and authorities have no interest in pursuing his solution to the case. According to Lafferty and his book, the investigation of his suspect was thwarted by a biased judge and others, including Pam Huckaby, sister of Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin. Pam now claims that Lafferty's suspect is the man who allegedly stalked Darlene in the months before she was killed. Lafferty claims that Pam betrayed his confidence, leaked sensitive information to irresponsible parties, and destroyed any hope to ever charge and prosecute Lafferty's suspect. "Andrew Todd Walker" died in February, 2012, shortly before the release of Lafferty's book, THE ZODIAC KILLER COVER-UP. For more information, including links to the related news stories featuring excerpts of a recent interview with Pam Huckaby, read the ZodiacKillerFACTS blog entry The ZODIAC KILLER COVER-UP: A Bad Case of Deja Vu.

* TV ALERT: The case of the Zodiac killer and other California crime stories will be featured on the Travel Channel series "Hidden City" hosted by writer Marcus Sakey. The Hidden City webpage offers this synopsis of the broadcast: "Marcus examines the infamous murder of Harvey Milk, rides along with the San Jose police to uncover the fear and greed which created the Vigilance Committee during the gold rush, and gets inside the mind of the Zodiac killer." The show will air on Tuesday January 10, 2012 at 10:00 PM and again at 1:00 AM in the Mountain Time Zone. Check your local listings for the Pacific, Central and Eastern times zones, or, consult the Travel Channel schedule.

* UPDATE: January 3, 2012: ZodiacKillerFACTS.com has been updated with four pages designed to provide basic information about the Zodiac case. The Case Summary has been revised, expanded and updated with more information on various aspects of the case. A Reference Information Page has been added which provides basic information such as the names of the victims, the law enforcement agencies involved, the recipients of Zodiac communications, and a list of Zodiac-related books, films and television broadcasts. A new section titled Zodiac: UNSUB offers two pages featuring information regarding The Eyewitness Descriptions and The Psychological Portraits of the Zodiac killer. The site has also been revised for easy access to basic information with a link to The ZODIAC CASE FILES, including the police reports and other official documents regarding the original Zodiac investigation. This new page features a filing cabinet approach to the files produced by the Benicia Police Department, the Solano County Sheriff's Office, the Vallejo Police Department, the Napa County Sheriff's Department, the San Francisco Police Deparment, the California Department of Justice, the FBI and other official agencies involved in the investigations of the known and suspected Zodiac crimes.

January 2012 marks the fifth anniversary since ZodiacKillerFACTS.com was first launched in 2007. Throughout the new year, other areas of the site will be revised, expanded and updated to include more information about the case and other material which may be of interest to regular visitors and new visitors. The Mysteries of the Mt. Diablo Map contains several pages devoted to the Zodiac's so-called "Mt. Diablo map" and other clues. The first article serves as a basic introduction to this enigmatic piece of the Zodiac's legacy. The second article Radians & Inches focuses on the Zodiac's mathematical clues. The Mt. Diablo Map provides a unique look at one of the Zodiac's most cryptic clues. Zodiac researcher Ed Neil obtained a copy of the same road map used by the Zodiac. Ed's photographs may be useful to those with questions about the Zodiac's map. Radians: By the Textbook features pages from an 11th year high school textbook which explain the use of radians and inches in mathematics. The ZodiacKillerFACTS Document Gallery features a collection of FBI files about the Zodiac case which is presented in chronological order, organized and listed by month and year for easy reference (the remaining sections will be added soon). This site also features a comprehensive list of links to the original police reports, crime scene sketches, official documents, photographs, videos and other material which is organized by each of the four known Zodiac crimes as well as other cases possibly linked to the killer. The Document Gallery includes a collection of the Zodiac letters, other possible communications, and suspected forgeries. The ZKF Blog page features periodic updates and articles about new developments, media reports, and case-related issues. This page also includes a list of links to reliable Zodiac websites and sources. The ZodiacKillerFACTS forum offers a place for discussion about the case, the exchange of information, and the examination of theories (membership is free). Credible tips, case-related information and legitimate inquiries should be directed to info@zodiackillerfacts.com.

* TV ALERT: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - Director David Fincher's movie version of the Zodiac story airs tonight on the Independent Film Channel. The IFC website states that the film will air at 12:30 AM Eastern Time (late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning). Check your local listings for times in your area or check the schedule at IFC.com. A scene-by-scene examination of the film and its factual accuracy is available in the ZodiackillerFACTS article titled FACT vs. FINCHER.

* ANNIVERSARY: October 11, 2011 - Tuesday marks the 42nd anniversary of the Zodiac's last known killing, the murder of San Francisco cab driver Paul Stine. To learn more about this case and view original police reports, other official documents and photographs, click here.

* TV ALERT: August 4, 2011 - Director David Fincher's movie version of the Zodiac story airs tonight on the Independent Film Channel. The film be will be repeated twice in a back-to-back broadcast. Check your local listings for times in your area or check the schedule at IFC.com. A scene-by-scene examination of the film and its factual accuracy is available in the ZodiackillerFACTS article titled FACT vs. FINCHER.

* UPDATE: August 1, 2011 - Recently, several news reports have stated that the Zodiac's infamous "340 cipher" had been solved by a resident of Tewksbury, Massachusetts named Corey Starliper. The alleged solution ends with the line, "MY NAME IS LEIGH ALLEN," an obvious reference to the once-prime suspect Arthur Leigh Allen. The overwhelming majority of those who have examined Starliper's solution have deemed his work invalid and critics have challenged his questionable methods. Starliper contacted me in late June 2011, and I have added a new blog entry about this issue titled, "The STARLIPER SOLUTION." This blog page also features links to news stories about Starliper's claims and links to articles which critique and debunk Starliper's methods and findings.

* RADIO INTERVIEW: July 27, 2011 - I was a guest on the Ireland radio show hosted by author and broadcaster Sean Moncrieff. After a basic run down of the case itself, Sean and I discussed several issues, including the recent claims by amateur "code-breaker" Corey Starliper. You can listen to the segment by clicking on the following link; the interview starts just before the 5 minute mark. The Sean Moncrieff Show.

* UPDATE: July 21, 2011 - The ZodiacKillerFACTS.com Document Gallery has been updated to include the infamous "code key" sent to the Vallejo Police Department on August 10, 1969. This "key" was mentioned in the Vallejo police reports but has never been available to the general public. The individuals known as "morf" and "AK Wilks" sent a Freedom of Information request to the FBI and received copies of the original envelope, the note card and the key itself. [Note: Special thanks to "morf" and "AK Wilks" for their persistence and generosity.]

* UPDATE: May 28, 2011 - The ZodiacKillerFacts.com Document Gallery has been updated to include two suspected "Zodiac" forgeries: A card sent in October, 1970 which read in part, "YOU ARE NEXT," and the so-called "Equinox" letter sent in 1972. Neither letter is included on the list of authenticated Zodiac letters. These messages are presented with the corresponding pages from the FBI files regarding the Zodiac case. View the "You Are Next" Card or view the "Equinox" letter. [Note of thanks: The letters were obtained by morf (of zodiackillersite) via the Freedom of Information Act and were provided to ZodiacKillerFacts.com by AK Wilks.]

* UPDATE: March 29, 2011 - ZodiacKillerFacts.com and the Document Gallery have been updated to include the suspected Zodiac forgery mailed in Atlanta, Georgia during the notorious "Atlanta Child Murders." The letter was postmarked March 8, 1981. The author claimed to be the Zodiac and signed the message with a crossed-circle symbol. CLICK HERE to view the letter and corresponding pages from the FBI files regarding the Zodiac case. [Note of thanks: The letter was obtained by morf (of zodiackillersite) via the Freedom of Information Act and was provided to ZodiacKillerFacts.com by AK Wilks.]

* TV ALERT: March 28, 2011 The AMC network broadcast a new series of documentary vignettes titled The UNSOLVED. WATCH THE VIDEO. The first segment focused on the Zodiac case and featured brief interviews with author Susan Milano Murphy, author John Gilmore (Severed), author Michael Connelly, and FBI profiler Jim Clemente. Host Dan Abrams introduced and narrated the segment which included a brief synopsis of the case as well as briefs clips of vintage news footage featuring Det. Les Lundblad, Bryan Hartnell and others. In a melodramatic introduction, Abrams said: "The ideals of the 1960s were born in California's Bay Area, and that's where some would argue they died, smothered by a costumed serial killer who worked in shotguns, hunting knives and cryptograms. Local police forces clashed, careers ruined, and a new kind of monster emerged. He took five confirmed victims with as many as two dozen more suspected but never proven. The series of lover's lane murders committed by the man still only known as the Zodiac remain unsolved." The Zodiac did not use a shotgun in any of his known or suspected crimes, and claims of police clashes have been greatly exaggerated by the media and others over the years. The program did not include any new or important information. AMC's limited series of vignettes will continue throught the last week of March leading up to the April 3rd premiere of the new series The KILLING. On Tuesday, March 29, AMC will broadcast the film ERASER along with another UNSOLVED vignette about the unsolved murder of Jon Benet Ramsey.

* The Zodiac Killer on AMC's The UNSOLVED - Susan Murphy Milano Tapped for New AMC Network Project “The Unsolved” Produced by Eight Time Emmy Nominated, Jeff Roe - Nationally recognized Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Expert and Author, Susan Murphy Milano has recently been invited to participate in a new project by the producers and host of the short-form documentary series, “The Unsolved.” This nightly series leads the way towards the premier of the new original drama, “The Killing” premiering Sunday, April 3 at 9pm ET on AMC (amctv.com). “The Unsolved” will focus on true-life unsolved crimes such as Jon Benet Ramsey, The Black Dahlia, Natalee Holloway, Marilyn Sheppard, The Alphabet Murders, and The Zodiac Killer. Host Dan Abrams’ voice will guide viewers through the evidence packed presentations of each of these cases along with Murphy Milano’s commentary. Each night the shows will delve into the lives of the people most affected by these crimes, using footage, police reports and news stories, the cases will be fleshed out quickly, but huge in content so viewers will come away with a better understanding of, not only the crime itself, but its ramifications upon friends, politicians, media, detectives and family members whose lives are forever changed. The goal of the series is to produce compelling, not sensationalized, treatments of each case through interviews and visuals that will keep viewers engaged, yet aiming to be sympathetic and respectful to the victims and loved ones left in the wake of the events of the trauma and its inevitable aftermath. Outlaw Laboratories and eight time Emmy Award nominee, Jeff Roe will produce and direct each of the shows in the series, told in a stylistically different approach that won’t rely on re-enactments, but will be chocked full of evidence directly from the case files. NOTE: The AMC series The UNSOLVED is actually a series of vignettes. Each segment will last approximately 3-5 minutes and will be shown during the broadcasts of six true story films over six nights. The Zodiac segment is reportedly scheduled to air during the broadcast of the gangster film GOODFELLAS on the night of March 28, 2011. [See also: SusanMurphyMilano.com and AMC TV Originals "The Killing".]

* NEW: March 21, 2011: A new section titled The Mysteries of the Mt. Diablo Map contains several pages devoted to the Zodiac's so-called "Mt. Diablo map." The first article serves as a basic introduction to this enigmatic piece of the Zodiac's legacy. The second article Radians & Inches focuses on the Zodiac's mathematical clues. The Mt. Diablo Map provides a unique look at one of the Zodiac's most cryptic clues. Zodiac researcher Ed Neil recently tracked down and purchased a copy of the same road map used by the Zodiac. Ed's photographs may be useful to those with questions about the Zodiac's map. Radians: By the Textbook features pages from an 11th year high school textbook which explain the use of radians and inches in mathematics. More information is also available in the article titled Gareth Penn and the Radian Theory.

* TV ALERT: February 19, 2011: NBC's THE TODAY SHOW aired a segment on the Zodiac case which featured Dave Collins and Dick Lonergan of the Napa County Sheriff's Office, FBI profiler Cliff Van Zant, author Robert Graysmith, and Zodiac survivor Bryan Hartnell. WATCH THE VIDEO or read the story at the NapaValleyRegister.com.

* TV ALERT: February 19, 2011: AMERICA'S MOST WANTED aired a segment on the Zodiac case which featured a photograph showing Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin and an "unidentified man." The AMW website states that "police want to know who he is." Read more about the issues surrounding this photograph in the article Darlene Ferrin and the Unidentified Man or join the discussion at the Zodiackillerfacts.com FREE FORUM.

* Featured Blog: Remembering the GOOD TIMES and Richard Gaikowski with “Becky Sharp”

* NEW: The MYTHS & LEGENDS section has been updated with new articles regarding the Ferrin case, including: Darlene Ferrin MYTHS: The Beginning, The Painting Party, The Stalker and "Andrew Todd Walker", and an examination of the 1991 Geraldo Rivera television broadcasts regarding the life and death of Darlene Ferrin, NOW IT CAN BE TOLD: The Rest of the Story, including links to watch the original programs.


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