The Zodiac Killer
On the cold night of December 20th, 1968, two high school sweethearts are on their first date. Everything seems to be going great, they are planning on going to a Christmas ball at the school. It’s seems to be a harmless night full of fun for the kids, but the night’s about to get cut short. They pull up to Lake Herman Road, or Lover’s Lane.
Around 11:00 p.m the kids are having a good time until a mysterious car pulls up next to them. They are at first unfazed, but the car just sits there not moving. The boy gets out to confront the driver, to the dismay of the girl. To the kid’s surprise the driver gets out first. The boy opens his mouth but sees a glint of light come from the man’s hand.
The kid turns around to get back in the car, but is stopped short. He falls to the ground like a rock. The woman hears the shot and gets out of the car. She sprints away from the scene and gets 87 feet away before being terminated.
This is the first killing in a string of murders that will baffle police and bring chaos to northern California. The police arrive at the scene not too long after the murder. All they find is a grisly scene with no evidence of the murderer’s identity.
July 4th, 1969, another murder occurs four miles from the original murder of the high schoolers. Except this time it was Darlene Ferrin and Michael Mageau, a couple from the area. Reportedly a car parked next to them, then left 10 seconds later. After another 10 minutes the same car parks behind them. The driver then exits the vehicle and walks towards the car.
A glint of light appears in the man’s hand. It’s too late before the couple notices, and the driver shoots Michael, and some of the bullets hit Darlene too. The driver of the car is satisfied and takes his leave, but when he hears moaning from the car he turns around and unloads another magazine into Mageau.
Someone hears the shots and calls the police not too long after. The ambulances arrive and take the couple to the nearest hospital. Sadly, Darlene dies but Michael survives the twisted assault.
Later the police get a call from a man who claims to be the murderer of both couples and is proud of what he’s done. The police track the signal, but only find a phone booth outside a gas station, not even a full mile from the police station.
A while after 3 newspaper publishers got letters from the killer. It said that if they didn’t put the letters into the newspaper he would go on a killing spree the next weekend. They obeyed his orders then the police chief Jack E. Stiltz demanded that the killer send another letter with more information.
The killer then wrote to the officer with more information and a coded message saying that when the police decoded it they would already have him. On August 8, 1969 Donald and Bettye Harden cracked the code. The coded message included the killer talking about how killing was fun and he was collecting slaves for the afterlife.
Not even a month after another murder, a second one occurs, this time a taxi driver. The taxi driver was driving to Maple street in Presidio Square. For no exact reason the driver went one street farther than the destination. The passenger then took out a 9mm pistol and shot the driver, took his wallet and keys then left the scene.
Some teenagers saw the man wiping down the car and called the police. Somehow the details got mixed up and the police started looking for a black male, instead of a white, and drove right past him. The police still don’t know how the details got so mixed.
Another attack March 20, 1970. Kathleen Johns is driving to her mom’s with her 10 month old daughter. Johns is also 7 months pregnant. As she is driving, behind her a car is honking and flashing its lights. Johns pulls over and the man tells her that one of her wheels is wobbling. The man offers to fix the bad wheel.
After he is done she gets back on her way to her mom’s house. But then the whole wheel falls off. The man offers for them to get in his car and drop them off at the nearest gas station. They get in, but the man drives back and forth next to a gas station for 1 hou but he doesn’t answer the question. Eventually, Johns asks him to pull over and she gets out of the car. She sprints into a field and hides in the grass. The man gets out holding a flashlight looking for her claiming to not want to hurt her. He gives up after a while and drives away.
Johns hitchhikes a ride to the police station. She tells them and they show her the sketch of the supposed attacker, and she instantly recognizes the man as the attacker.
About four months afterwards, the Zodiac sends another letter to the police. The letter features a diagram for a bomb he claims he will use on a school bus. He then sends a letter to the newspaper Chronicle threatening to use the bomb if they didn’t publish the exact words he used in the letters.The zodiac killer then went on to claim responsibility for many other murders. Police still don’t know the identity of the murderer.