Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2320941-The-Zodiac-Killer
by Helen
Rated: E · Essay · Mystery · #2320941
I wrote an essay about the Zodiac Killer and his victims.
The Zodiac Killer was the cause of a string of mysterious murders that occurred during 1968-1969 and he is also a very mysterious and anonymous figure. He also sent letters to the police from 1969-1974.
Throughout the investigation of the murders, there have been 4 main suspects. Gary Francis Poste, Arthur Leigh Allen, Rick Marshall, and Lawrence Kane. Arthur Leigh Allen was the first big suspect of being the Zodiac Killer, though a bit after making him the suspect the police found out that his DNA was not a match and Allen wasn’t a suspect anymore. Gary Francis Poste was the most recent suspect emerging in 2021. Gary Francis Poste was named concluded to be the Zodiac Killer by a group called the Case Breakers. Poste died in 2018 though so we will never get a definite yes that he was officially the Zodiac Killer, we can only speculate now. The Zodiac Killer is significant in the United States because it shows us how even though the United States has progressed in criminology and criminal processes, people can still get away. The Zodiac Killer had sent the police over 25 letters, some detailing how the Zodiac Killer killed people to mysterious ciphers. There were 4 ciphers in all the letters the Zodiac Killer sent. The first of the ciphers had been sent to the police on July 31, 1969, the second had been sent on November 8, 1969, the title of which was the Z340 Cipher. The third cipher was sent on June 26, 1970, and the fourth cipher was sent on March 13, 1971. 2 out of the 4 ciphers have been solved so far, the Z340 cipher and the cipher sent Survivors had also come forward and given the police facial details of the killer. Even with all this evidence though, the police still couldn’t find or identify the killer.
The Zodiac Killer has been connected to 5 murders, although it could have been 7 but 2 people had survived. The Zodiac Killer though, has confessed to over 37 murders. Some of the known victims of the Zodiac Killer are Paul Stine, Cecelia Shepard, Bryan Hartnell, Darlene Ferrin, Mike Mageau, David Faraday, and Betty Lou Jensen. Some possible victims are Cheri Jo Bates, Ray Davis, Kathleen Johns, and Donna Lass. All of the victims were between the ages of 16-30. Mike Mageau had become the first survivor of the Zodiac Killer and then Bryan Hartnell became the second survivor of the Zodiac Killer. This goes to show how deadly the Zodiac Killer was. Mike Mageau and Bryan Hartnell are both now 74 years old.
Bryan Hartnell had survived being questioned by the Zodiac Killer after being questioned the killer hog-tied Hartnell and Shepard and shot them both, then stabbed Hartnell multiple times in the neck. The Zodiac Killer had questioned Hartnell about money and wanting his car. The killer said that he had escaped prison from Deer Lodge, Montana. Mike Mageau survived being shot at close proximity to the face and body because of the adrenaline rush from just being shot Mageau climbed into the backseat getting shot in the knee. As the Zodiac Killer was walking away Mageau had shouted (most likely out of pain) so the killer returned and fired another 2 shots at Mageau.
During the investigation process of trying to find the Zodiac Killer, the case was never considered important enough or big enough to involve the Federal Government, so the FBI was never involved. While the police were trying to crack the ciphers however they did ask for help from some FBI cryptanalysts. The police called on FBI behavioral analysts, and the police used fingerprint analysis and criminal background checks.
The Zodiac Killer has evaded being arrested for over 50 years, since it has been that long since the murders, likely, that the true killer will never be found. For some people that may be a good thing because they don’t want to know, but for other people like the families of the victims they may feel like since the killer hasn’t been sentenced he got off easy.
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