The Zodiac Killer terrorized the San Fransisco Bay Area from 1968 to 1969 when he killed at least five people. There was never an arrest, though law enforcement officials followed dozens of clues that all went cold. The killer would routinely send newspapers letters that taunted police and cryptograms that were so complicated that some have still not been solved to this day. In the letters, he claimed that he killed 37 people. 'The police shall never catch me, because I have been too clever for them,' the Zodiac wrote in a letter sent to the San Francisco Chronicle. His young victims were either stabbed or shot to death in Northern California and were between the ages of 16 and 29.
The San Francisco Police Department closed the case in 2004, but reopened it in 2007. Numerous people have claimed they have identified the killer, but none have ever been confirmed by the police department. The main suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen, was cleared after DNA evidence taken from the saliva of the Zodiac's sealed letters exonerated him. Mr Lafferty, who went to High School with Mr Allen, claims that the identity of the Zodiac killer has been known since March 15, 1971.
The 'Mandamus Seven,' a group of retired law enforcement officers, federal agents, a minister and a District Attorney banded together to prove, once and for all, who the Zodiac really is. The motive for the killings, Mr Lafferty says, was adultery. 'Mind and body ravaged by years of severe alcoholism, his blood-lusting revenge turned him into the most shocking and vicious killer in our 20th century,' Mr Lafferty writes.
'Through his tauntings of the police, his codes, ciphers, and letters, he was on a mission to redeem his shattered ego, to prove that he is better, smarter, and more clever than all the judges and police put together.' Mr Lafferty says that the Zodiac started his killing spree after his wife had an affair with a Solano County Superior Court Judge, according to the Daily Republic. Mr Lafferty locked onto the Zodiac case in 1970 when he became suspicious of a man he saw parking at Vellejo Highway rest stops, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He tracked the man, who drove a white Chevrolet sedan and looked just like the wanted posters, and decided he had to be the one.
One time, Mr Lafferty said, he even confronted the killer. 'I looked into a quivering, snarling face like I was looking to the face of death,' Mr Lafferty said to the Daily Republic. 'It scared the hell out of me.' Mr Lafferty, who said he worked as a code breaker during the Korean War, even claims that the name of his suspect appears in the Zodiac's codes. Some have questioned Mr Lafferty's zest for the Zodiac, as so many before him have claimed to have solved the case.
Reviews of his book on Amazon.com complain of numerous research inaccuracies and question Mr Lafferty's use of an alias to hide the name of his person of interest. But Mr Lafferty is so convinced that he knows who the killer is that he thinks the killer has his eye on him. Mr Lafferty says he may have been threatened by the Zodiac himself in his own cryptic letter, out of retaliation for publishing his book. 'Many innocent people could spend the rest of their lives in prison if the truth were told,' a letter addressed to Mr Lafferty reportedly said.
The letter contained 'evidence' that it was indeed from the Zodiac and was signed 'A Concerned Citizen.' Undaunted, he decided that it was time to blow the whistle. 'I had to wait until some people, including the suspect's wife, finally died,' Mr Lafferty said to the San Francisco Chronicle. 'But that has finally happened recently, and now it's time to tell the story.' Mr Lafferty does have one prominent believer of his theories:
Pam Huckaby, the sister of the Zodiac's third victim. 'I am sure Lyndon has the right guy,' Mrs Huckaby said to the San Francisco Chronicle. She claimed that her sister, Darlene Ferrin, was being stalked by a man that resembled the sketches of the Zodiac killer for months before her death. When Mr Lafferty showed her a photo of his suspect, she recognized him instantly. 'It's him,' she said.
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