Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z Is for the Zodiac Killer

This month I'm participating in the A to Z ChallengeMy theme this year is Unsolved Mysteries. Today's letter is:




It began on December 20, 1968, when teenagers David Arthur Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen were shot to death in Benicia, California.



There were three more incidents that same year, all in California. Each time, couples were targeted and all died but two survivors. Here is the full list of the deaths he was confirmed to have caused.



Unlike many serial killers, the Zodiac Killer liked to draw attention to himself. He repeatedly sent letters to area newspapers taking credit for the killings. Each letter contained part of a 408-symbol cryptogram, along with a demand that the paper print the symbol on its front page to avoid another person being killed.



In 1970, a reporter linked the killer to another murder three years earlier. Cheri Jo Bates was a student at Riverside City College in Riverside, California. 


After the possible connection made news, the killer disappeared. Police were eventually able to crack the cryptogram, finding it read that the killer was collecting slaves for the afterlife. Giving his identity away would stop his progress on that, he said.



A number of suspects have been named over the years, including this man:



But to this day, it remains a mystery. Perhaps one of the most puzzling unsolved serial murder cases of all time.

Thank you so much for sticking with me through my last A to Z Challenge. It's been a blast the past few years. The fun won't end here. I'll still be sprinkling some unsolved mysteries into my blog posts, including some that I couldn't get to this month.

⬅️ Y Is for Ylenia Carrisi

56 comments:

  1. "Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer"

    This has become a popular meme lately. He's too young to be the real one, but I've had a few laughs out of it.

    I think the first cryptogram was solved for the police by a pair of high school teachers. The others remain unbroken but I doubt he left any real clues. He never wanted to go to prison.

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    1. Yeah, who does?! He's probably dead by now--or in prison on some other crime.

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  2. It's interesting how many different suspects have been identified. I suspect it will never be solved.

    I've really enjoyed your A to Z blog posts this month and getting to learn more about so many different kinds of unsolved mysteries.

    Cheers - Ellen | thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Ellen! I had a blast writing them.

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  3. I've heard of this story but I had no idea they never actually caught the guy!
    I've loved reading your posts and I would love to stay in touch after the challenge :)
    Debbie

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    1. So sad that they never caught him. And that there are many other serial killers that haven't been caught.

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  4. The strange thing is that the killings stopped. Serial killers usually don't give up and go home, which leads one to suspect something happened to him. We may never know.

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    1. I agree...there have been other serial killers who weren't caught, so it's possible he just changed up the way he did things. Or he could have died or been put in jail for another reason...

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  5. I wonder if they would've caught him if it happened today?

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  6. I guess the Zodiac Killer is our Jack the Ripper. Congrats on finishing the A to Z Challenge. I've enjoyed (which sounds strange considering we're talking about deaths)the mysteries you've posted.

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    1. Yes, a dark subject, but you never know... Maybe someone will read one of these someday while searching around out there and realize they know one of the missing women and she's living happily somewhere under a new name.

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  7. I'd heard about the Zodiac Killer. I've enjoyed your A to Z posts and I've learned about a lot of unsolved mysteries I didn't already know about.

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    1. I did, too. Many of these I didn't know much about before writing about them!

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  8. Collecting slaves for the afterlife? Crazy guy. If he's in the afterlife today, I bet he's surprised.
    Thanks for the great posts this month. It's hard to realize how evil some people are, but the facts. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Is that not the craziest? There are some delusional people out there.

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  9. Stephanie, it's been a pleasure A to Z-ing with you, even if your topics sometimes gave me the creeps! You're an awesome blogger all year round.

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    1. Thank you, Susan! It was a blast A to Z-ing with you, too!

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  10. Enjoyed popping over to your blog this month. Thanks to you I can never leave the house again and I'm having new locks fitted! See you soon :)
    Fran
    @FranClarkAuthor
    Writing Women’s Fiction

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  11. One of the most famous murder mysteries of the last century, great way to finish! :) Well done getting all the way through the A to Z.
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

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  12. I've so enjoyed your A to Z Challenge. I've looked forward to each and every post.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  13. You ended in fine style. Great meeting you. Enjoyed your A to Z and also your comments on mine. I look forward to future posts.

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  14. I remember hearing of the Zodiac killer but didn't realize it the deeds were still unsolved murders

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  15. Maybe one day someone will figure something out and it'll all be obvious, until then we just have to hope there are no repeats of such killings. Thank you for all your great posts this month, I have enjoyed reading about all the unsolved mysteries.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  16. Yes, I vaguely remember the Zodiac Killer as I lived down in So. Calif. in those days. It was quite a mystery. I look forward to hearing your other mysteries.

    Congratulations on completing the A to Z Challenge. Excellent job. Thank you!

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  17. Thanks Stephanie to your contribution to the A-Z! I've some catching up to do on your posts which I look forward to! Well done for completing it - whew!

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  18. I seem to remember bits and pieces of this story, Stephanie. Tragic. One of the forever mysteries.
    Congratulations on completing the Challenge. Now, a well-deserved break!

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  19. Some people really need help. It's too bad they don't receive that help before they start a killing spree.

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  20. I've heard of the Zodiac Killer. It's sad that he was never identified. You've had some interesting cases with this theme, and it makes me want to never walk out the door alone again!

    Congrats on completing the Challenge!

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  21. And they never found him. Horrible and he sounds so creepy. I wonder if he died. I sure hope so. Thanks for creeping us out and intriguing us with your mysteries this year Stephanie. Congrats on finishing the A-Z!

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  22. Slaves for the afterlife? What cult or culture promotes that? Gads, for some reason, I always thought they caught this guy. How frustrating. I've truly enjoyed your posts on a highly intriguing theme! And now that you've mentioned it, I do look forward to more on the subject;-)

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  23. I don't know why I thought they caught the Zodiac killer. I'm hoping he's long gone by now.

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  24. That is so creepy. Thanks for all the interesting mysteries. This was one of my favorite stops.

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  25. You've done a great job with your A-to-Z posts, Stephanie. Loved them!

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  26. Oh, yes. I know this one. My husband's family used to camp in Lake Beryessa and lived near this area. Horrific and chilling movie about these horrible crimes.

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  27. The Zodiac and Jack the Ripper are probably the two most prolific unsolved cases. It would be amazing if one day someone cracked either of them.
    Congrats on making it to the end.

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  28. I remembering hearing about this serial killer when I was a kid. Chilling.

    Congrats on finishing the challenge.

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  29. Congrats on finishing the challenge

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  30. Big Finish!!!!! I remember the Zodiac Killer. Creepy stuff and more so since he was never caught.
    Stephanie, I loved reading all your intriguing and eerie posts. You put a lot of work into them.

    Congrats!!!

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  31. One of the creepiest mysteries ever. Congrats on finishing.

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  32. This time around I can measure how time flies with how fast the challenge comes to an end. Wow!

    Once again a good read. A little creepy, but really good.

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  33. Well, this one was a good one to end on. Creepy guy with his afterlife slave idea. I hate that he might still be in the wind, but hoping he might have been permanently stopped somehow.

    You did a fantastic job with your A to Z posts. Fascinating stories you posted on. Thanks!

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  34. I do hope they eventually catch him. Those poor victims. Stephanie, thank you for all your great posts this year. Congratulations on completing the Challenge. It has been a pleasure to pop by and read your thought provoking mysteries. Have a lovely weekend.

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  35. I've heard about this particular case.

    Stephanie, you did a really nice job collecting all these different stories for A to Z this month. I can tell you spent a lot of time on this project.

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  36. This was a very interesting theme. While I've certainly heard of the famous ones, like the Zodiac killer, there were many others I never knew of before the challenge. Although, being as they were so dreadful, maybe that is a good thing. Congrats on finishing the challenge.

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  37. This is a killer I have heard of. I even watched a movie about the Zodiac Killer this year. It amazes me that they still never solved this one. So sad!

    Congrats on finishing A-Z! :)

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  38. Congrats on surviving the challenge! Crazy that the killer has never been caught after all this time. I've enjoyed reading your posts this month. :)

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  39. I wonder if this so. Is still alive. Usually they don't stop unless they are incarcerated or died. I saw the movie a couple of years ago. He is certifiable but deserves to be put to death.

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  40. A great Z! I loved your theme. Congrats on completing another A to Z Challenge!

    Yvonne V

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  41. Very interesting - I've read bits and pieces about the Zodiac Killer, but not the full version like this. I do find it interesting that he was never caught and it seems like he just stopped. Someone like that, it doesn't seem like they would just stop doing that. Hmm.

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  42. I have really enjoyed reading all these unsolved mysteries! I am going to miss them each day. It has been great to meet you and thanks for a month of great reads!

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  43. This case is sort of like Jack the Ripper to me. One of those things that never gets solved and grows and grows because of it. Just scary that anyone can get away with it and weird that the killing seem to stop.

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  44. Did you ever see the movie Zodiac? It was really interesting and well done. I remember seeing Mark Ruffalo in an interview around the time it came out and he said he got to see everything the police have on the case and he was pretty convinced of who it was. But yeah...they'll never be able to definitively solve it.

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  45. Wow, those poor people, and the towns must have felt so scared when threatened. Hope he either died or has been caught for something else. I missed your A-Z for some reason, just going through and catching up with the ones that are still orange! ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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  46. PS Forgot to say, I'm also a published children's author, but a poet.

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  47. Quite a harrowing subject you chose for the challenge but interesting. We have similar cases here in the UK. The most famous in recent years is the Madeleine McCann case. Madeleine is believed to have been abducted from a holiday home in Portugal 9 years ago. She has never been found. It must be awful for parents in these circumstances. On
    ly this week there have been renewed efforts to trace another child, Ben Needham who disappeared in Greece in 1991 aged 21 months. The not knowing must be unbearable at times.
    Thanks for visiting my blog and good luck with the fitbit!

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