Everything to know about the Zodiac Killer Case


As another body hits the ground, a man is shaking with adrenaline. 5 confirmed murders haven’t been accounted for as of 1969. The zodiac killer, named himself, sent ciphers and cryptograms to regional newspapers, threatening to kill more people if they were not printed. The killer claimed that he was “collecting his victims as slaves for the afterlife.”
It all started in the 1960s and 1970s, the Zodiac Killer terrorized Northern California. Although the Zodiac claimed to have committed 37 murders in letters to the newspapers, investigators agree on only seven confirmed victims. Two of whom survived, the victims include:

David Arthur Faraday, 17, and Betty Lou Jensen, 16: shot and killed on December 20, 1968, on Lake Herman Road, within the city limits of Benicia.

Michael Renault Mageau, 19, and Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin, 22: shot on July 4, 1969, in the parking lot of Blue Rock Springs Park in Vallejo. While Mageau survived the attack, Ferrin was pronounced dead on arrival at Kaiser Foundation Hospital.

Bryan Calvin Hartnell, 20, and Cecelia Ann Shepard, 22: stabbed on September 27, 1969, at Lake Berryessa in Napa County. Hartnell survived eight stab wounds to the back, but Shepard died as a result of her injuries on September 29, 1969.

Paul Lee Stine, 29: shot and killed on October 11, 1969, in the Presidio Heights neighborhood in San Francisco.

The actions speak louder than words, no matter what letters the Zodiac would send, his first murder is the loudest statement. The first murders widely attributed to the Zodiac Killer were the shootings of high school students Betty Lou Jensen and David Arthur Faraday on December 20, 1968 on Lake Herman Road. The couple were on their first date and planned to attend a Christmas concert at Hogan High School, about three blocks from Jensen’s home. They instead visited a friend before stopping at a local restaurant and then driving out on Lake Herman Road.
At about 10:15 p.m., Faraday parked his mother’s Rambler in a gravel turnout, which was a well-known lovers’ lane. Shortly after 11:00 p.m., their bodies were found by Stella Borges, who lived nearby. The Solano County Sheriff’s Department investigated the crime but no leads developed.
Utilizing available forensic data, Robert Graysmith postulated that another car pulled into the turnout just prior to 11:00 p.m. and parked beside the couple. The killer may have then exited the second car and walked toward the vehicle, possibly ordering the couple out of it. It appeared that Jensen had exited the car first, but when Faraday was halfway out, the killer shot him in the head. The killer then shot Jensen five times in the back as she fled; her body was found 28 feet from the car. The killer then drove off.

These were kids, who lost their lives and never got justice. However because of the low amount of confirmed cases, there may be other victims. One of the ways Zodiac got away with the brutal violence was with ciphers.
On August 1, 1969, three letters prepared by the killer were received at news companies in the United States. The nearly identical letters, described by a psychiatrist to have been written by “someone you would expect to be brooding and isolated”, took credit for the shootings at Lake Herman Road and Blue Rock Springs.
Each letter also included one-third of a 408-symbol cryptogram which the killer claimed contained his identity. The killer demanded they be printed on each paper’s front page or he would “cruse around all weekend killing lone people in the night then move on to kill again, until I end up with a dozen people over the weekend”.

Only until October of 2021 did we crack the last code. The following is a letter written by the Zodiac killer, his name is hidden in symbols.

The man who wrote this letter was identified by law enforcement as Gary Francis Poste. A retired Air Force man with a wife and a son.