The Zodiac Killer taunted police with clues
The “Zodiac Killer” was no ordinary murderer. Rather than avoiding the spotlight, he craved media attention and seemed to enjoy taunting police with cryptic notes and clues as he left a trail of death behind him.
The Zodiac Killer murdered five people — seemingly at random — in northern California in 1968 and 1969. He claimed in letters to police that there were dozens more victims, although that was never confirmed. His deadly rampage began in December 1968, when two teenagers were shot to death in a parking lot. About seven months later, another two people were shot in a parked car, although one survived. That’s when local newspapers started getting letters from someone anonymously claiming to be responsible for the slayings, according to the San Francisco Examiner, which had received the cryptic notes.
The newspaper said the letters contained coded messages explaining the killer’s motive, as well as a key to help readers decipher his identity. “This is the Zodiac speaking,” he wrote in an August letter.
“I like killing people because it is so much fun,” he added, according to FBI records. “It is more fun than killing wild game in the forest because man is the most dangerous animal of all.”
Authorities did not crack the code revealing his name, and the Zodiac Killer went on to stab two more people in late September. One of the victims survived, and the other died. About two weeks later, the killer struck again, fatally shooting a 29-year-old taxi driver, according to the Examiner. Days later, the Zodiac mailed a piece of his latest victim’s bloody shirt to the Chronicle newspaper.
To this day, no suspects have been confirmed in the case. The San Francisco Police Department said the investigation is ongoing.