Zodiac Killer and Btk

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  • Topic: Zodiac Killer, Dennis Rader, Paul Avery
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  • Published : October 17, 2008
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The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who operated in Northern California for ten months in the late 1960s. He coined his name in a series of taunting letters he sent to the press until 1974. His letters included four cryptograms or ciphers, three of which have yet to be solved. The Zodiac murdered five known victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa, and San Francisco between December 1968 and October 1969. Four men and three women between the ages of 16 and 29 were targeted. Others have been inconclusively proposed to be Zodiac victims as well. The killer's identity remains unknown. The San Francisco Police Department marked its investigation "inactive" in April 2004 and reopened it some time before March 2007. Although the Zodiac claimed in letters to newspapers that he murdered as many as 37 people, investigators agree on only seven canonical victims, two of whom survived. They are: •David Arthur Faraday, 17, and Betty Lou Jensen, 16: Shot and killed on December 20, 1968 on Lake Herman Road just within the city limits of Benicia. •Michael Renault Mageau, 19, and Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin, 22: Shot on July 4, 1969 at Blue Rock Springs Golf Course parking lot on the outskirts of Vallejo; Darlene was DOA at Kaiser Foundation Hospital, while Michael survived. •Bryan Calvin Hartnell, 20, and Cecelia Ann Shepard, 22: Stabbed on September 27, 1969 on what is today locally referred to as "Zodiac Island" at Lake Berryessa in Napa County; Hartnell survived six stab wounds to the back, but Shepard died of her injuries two days later at Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa. [1] •Paul Lee Stine, 29: Shot and killed on October 11, 1969 in Presidio Heights in San Francisco. [edit] Suspected

Many others have been identified as potential Zodiac victims, although evidence is inconclusive and none are universally accepted as Zodiac victims. The more well-known suspected victims are: •Robert Domingos, 18, and Linda Edwards, 17: Shot and killed on June 4, 1963 at a beach near Lompoc, California. Edwards and Domingos were named as possible Zodiac victims due to the specific similarities between their attack and the Zodiac's attack at Lake Berryessa. •Cheri Jo Bates, 18: Stabbed to death and nearly decapitated on October 30, 1966 at Riverside Community College in Riverside, California. Bates' possible connection to the Zodiac only came to light four years after her murder when San Francisco Chronicle reporter Paul Avery received a tip regarding similarities between the Zodiac killings and the circumstances surrounding Bates' death. •Kathleen Johns, 22: Abducted on March 22, 1970 on Highway 132 by I-580, west of Modesto, California. Johns escaped from the car of a man who drove her and her infant daughter around on the backroads between Stockton and Patterson for some three hours. After escaping to the police station in Patterson, she saw the Zodiac's wanted poster and identified him as her kidnapper. •Donna Lass, 25: Last seen September 26, 1970 in South Lake Tahoe, California. A postcard with an ad from Forest Pines condominiums (near Incline Village at Lake Tahoe) pasted on the back was received at the Chronicle on March 22, 1971 and has been interpreted by some as the Zodiac claiming Lass' disappearance as a victim, despite an incorrect count (in his July 26, 1970 letter, the Zodiac was already claiming thirteen victims; Lass should have been the fourteenth, not the twelfth, as the Pines card suggests). The postcard has not been conclusively linked to the Zodiac nor has Lass' body been found. There was no official investigation conducted due to jurisdictional disagreements between the South Lake Tahoe Police and the Sheriff's Department, and it is unknown whether a crime was even committed. [edit] Timeline

[edit] Lake Herman Road
The Zodiac Killer came to police attention for the apparently random murders of Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday on December 20, 1968, just inside the Benicia, California city limits. The...
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