Well we might finally find out the identity of the mysterious and infamous Zodiac Killer, via a new book from Harper Collins of course. The book, titled The Most Dangerous Animal Of All, is Gary L. Stewart’s assertion that his father is the notorious killer that plagued the San Francisco area and murdered five people from 1968-1969. From New York Magazine:
The book’s official plot summary is intriguing, but lacks specifics:
An explosive and historic book of true crime and an emotionally powerful and revelatory memoir of a man whose ten-year search for his biological father leads to a chilling discovery: His father is one of the most notorious-and still at large-serial killers in America.
Not mentioned in the summary: Stewart, a vice-president at a cleaning company in Baton Rouge, alleges that his father was the Zodiac Killer, who is believed to have killed at least five people in Northern California, and famously sent letters and cryptograms to Bay Area newspapers. The murders were never solved.
Stewart reached the conclusion that his father was the serial killer after twelve years of research, Tina Andreadis, a publicist at HarperCollins, told me today.
Now it is easy to get swept up in this sort of news because trying to solve the unsolvable is a great pastime of society as a whole. We are still trying to uncover the identity of Jack The Ripper and D.B. Cooper while digging holes in backyards in search of Jimmy Hoffa. And all coming years after the fact.
Now I’m not saying that Stewart is wrong without even reading the book, but I am a bit wary to step into his world after reading several other books revolving around the same subject. Anything short of his father wearing the Zodiac get up at the family barbecue and hanging pictures of his kills in the den won’t fully convince me that the guy is the Zodiac Killer.
It isn’t like the BTK murders or DC sniper incidents, where there is a bonafide monster at the end of the story. Here we just have that sketch and the other drawings involving a costume. And we have the crimes. Apart from that, anything solid is long out of focus. If we’re basing all of our decisions off of the photograph you see above, I’m sure I can find you ten other photos of different men that look exactly the same.
But maybe this is the break. Maybe this is the book that will change it all and force us to open our eyes and put a name to the crimes from 45 years ago. I doubt it, but I’ve been wrong too many times to count at this point.