THE ZODIAC KILLER
They always say that there are no perfect crimes, because the law enforcement authorities around the world in general and the United States of America in particular would get the criminal by “hook or by crook”. Most of the serial murders in the United States have been solved with the killer or perpetrator of the crimes either ultimately ending up on the electric chair of dying by lethal injection.
Some of the more infamous and notorious serial killers who met their waterloo would come to mind, like Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, among many others. They killed so many that they themselves lost tract but with painstaking police work they were brought to justice and executed.
In all probability the killers had a better death than what would have been experienced by their victims who would have undergone some very painful and agonizing moments before they breathed their last. Whatever that would be the killer did die or were incarcerated for life for the murders, most foul that they committed.
The perfect crime
When such accolades are being bestowed on the law enforcement authorities in the United States, there is one serial killer who comes to mind named the Zodiac Killer, this was one fish that got away. This serial killer just vanished into thin air leaving no trace even after five confirmed murders, two injured victims with possibly unconfirmed but estimated as 20 to 28 total dead.
The sad thing about the issues surrounding the Zodiac Killer is that all the above murders known to total around 37 are all unsolved up to date. These victims have been murdered but their killers have never been found. They are all attributed to the Zodiac Killer because they all happened around the same time and within a certain geographical area.
The modus operandi was the same and the law enforcement authorities piecing the puzzle together assumed after much deliberation that these 37 unsolved murders were committed by the same murderer and it was the Zodiac Killer, They could be right or they could be wrong because till the Zodiac Killer is brought to justice we may never know.
The possibility exists that there could be others who were impersonating the Zodiac Killer and committing the murders and that the law enforcement authorities have got their knickers in a twist as far as the Zodiac killer is concerned.
The first murders by the “Zodiac Killer”
It dates back to December 20, 1968 on Lake Herman Road, within the city limits of Benicia, a water side city in Solano County in the sunshine State of California. Young High School students Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday were on their first date and were enjoying their moment of togetherness. They were on the way to a Christmas concert at the Hogan’s High School about three blocks from Jensen’s home.
Instead of proceeding to the concert they stopped at a friend’s home on the way and then stopped at a restaurant and were driving on Lake Herman Road. The time was estimated later to be around 10.15 PM and in a moment of youthful zest David stopped his mother’s Rambler after turning into a gravel road which was a well-known place as a lover’s hideout.
What happened next has been discussed and contemplated but with no evidence to back up it remains a mystery to this day. A nearby resident Stella Borges who happened to drive saw the car and the two bodies outside of it. She called the Solano County Sheriff’s Department and they opened an investigation which has not gone beyond the scene of the crime. Every possible angle has been looked into but the two murders remain unsolved and with five decades lapsed the chances are that the killer would be either dead or in old age today.
The big question to ask would be whether this was the first murder of the Zodiac Killer or was it not? The answer to this question is unlikely to be ever found. These two murders were conveniently blamed on the Zodiac Killer and the reason for that was just the others that were attributed to this serial killer all having some similarities. This would not show for certain that it was the same killer and this was his or hers first murders.
Murders after that
The 35 murders that happened after that were around the same area and had the same modus operandi but one pertinent aspect stood out which investigators claimed was the same murderer. The Zodiac Killer taunted the populace and the investigators by writing letters to the press signing them as “Zodiac”. It was this that gave the name which was frightening for all those who lived in the area.
The Zodiac Killer targeted Benicia, where the first two murders were committed and to other areas like Vallejo, lake Berryessa, and San Francisco between December 1968 and October 1969. These murders shook the communities in these areas and with 37 murders occurring in just under a year it was frightened indeed. The matter became more intense as the Zodiac Killer was never identified or arrested.
Many were taken into custody and questioned but the investigators drew a blank and time went on with the files still being kept open in the respective jurisdictions. The Zodiac Killer could be one or many that too is still being argued and with no concrete evidence to go on the murders would remain unsolved forever.
Most of the serial killers before and after the Zodiac Killer, did keep telltale signs at the scene of the crime which gave investigators breakthroughs to solve the murders and arrest the killers. In the case of the Zodiac Killer he or she never left anything or in all probability the investigators failed to find them. How a killer could get away after murdering 37 of his fellow human beings is in itself beyond anybody’s comprehension.
There is no pre-emptive investigation possible to stop such murders hence what the investigators could do is the use all their skills to solve such crimes as soon as possible before another is committed.