The Zodiac Killer

Topics: Zodiac Killer, Vallejo, California, Paul Avery Pages: 10 (2034 words) Published: April 24, 2015
The Zodiac Killer

The Zodiac Killer
Brittany Anderson
Fort Hays State University
This paper will discuss the Zodiac killer and the crimes that were committed. I will provide you with detailed information regarding the crimes, who the victims are and how the crimes were committed and there locations. I will also provide you with a profile of the killer and why I believe this profile fits this specific person based on what I have learned in our text. The Zodiac Killer

The Zodiac Killer is believed to be responsible for several murders in the San Francisco area, between 1968 and 1969. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, citizens of the San Francisco Bay area and the rest of California were represented with terror, fear and death. The bizarre and theatrical and still unresolved serial murders by an unknown assailant who called himself “Zodiac”, who claims in letters that he is responsible for 37 murders (Voigt, 1998), but police have focused on five murders and two attempted murders between 1968 and 1969, during which time he sent letters and made taunting phone calls to the local newspaper and police departments. Many suspects have surfaced over the years, but the killer has yet to be apprehended.

First Murders
Friday December 20, 1968, a young couple, David Faraday 17 who was a scholar and varsity athlete, and Betty Lou Jensen 16 a hardworking student with a good reputation, were out on their first date when they were shot on a gravel parking area along a well-known “lovers lane” among teens at Lake Herman Road. The couple had been approached by a man who shot at the teens while they had been occupying Faraday’s station wagon. This is believed to have been done in order to force the couple out of the car. David was shot in the head at point-blank range as he exited the car. David died within minutes after the attack. Betty was shot five times in the back and killed instantly. It had appeared Betty had attempted to escape on foot because her body was found 20-30 feet of the car (Voigt, 1998). The weapon was a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

Second Murder

Months after the Faraday and Jensen murders, on the night of July 4, 1969 a second young couple had been shot near Blue Rock Springs Park, Northwest of the crime on Lake Harman Road. Darlene Ferrin 22, died from multiple gunshot wounds, but her friend Michael Mageau 19, survived with wounds to his leg, neck and jaw. Mageau reported that Darlene had picked him up and they were headed to Ed’s diner (Butterfield, 2011), but they decided to go to the park instead. Darlene and Michael were talking when a vehicle drove by and parked behind Darlene’s car after driving off once before. The two occupants believed the individual was a police officer, but the assailant approached the passenger side of the car and pointed a gun, fired several shots hitting both victims. The gunman began walking back to the vehicle, but turned and pointed the gun at the wounded victims once more. The gunman climbed into his car and drove away. Later, he used a nearby pay phone and made a phone call to the Vallejo Police department. In a calm voice the man reported the shooting. He provided the location and description of the car along with the description of the weapon which was a 9-millimeter Luger. Toward the end of the phone call he stated, “ I also killed those kids last year.” The surviving victim Michael Mageau was able to provide a description of the gunman when interviewed by police detectives. Michael described t suspect as a white male adult, “short, possible 5”8”, very heavy set, beefy build, not blubbery fat, but real beefy, possibly 195 to 200 pounds or larger. He had short curly hair, light brown almost blond with a large face.”


Twenty-six days after the Blue Rock Springs Park shooting, three envelopes arrived at the newspaper offices. Each envelope contained a hand written and a piece of coded messages. The letters...
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