- NAME: Zodiac Killer
- OCCUPATION: Serial Killer
Best Known For
The Zodiac Killer is believed to be responsible for at least five killings between 1968 and 1969 in and around the San Francisco area.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, an unknown assailant, who called himself Zodiac, terrorized the San Francisco area, attacking couples in secluded areas. The Zodiac Killer is believed to be responsible for at least five killings between 1968 and 1969, during which time he sent letters about the killings to a local newspaper. Suspects have surfaced, but the killer has never been apprehended.
Serial killer. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, an unknown assailant terrorized the San Francisco area. The Zodiac Killer is believed to be responsible for at least five killings between 1968 and 1969. While the police have had several suspects over the years, the killer has never been apprehended.
It is believed that his first victim may have been Cheri Jo Bates, a college student in Riverside, California. She was murdered outside her school's library on October 30, 1966. There were reports of a white male driving old car in the area at the time of the murder and police found a man's watch at the scene. A month after the attack, a letter was sent to a local newspaper allegedly written by the killer. Months later, letters were sent to the newspaper, the police, and the victim's father by the killer, all with the same chilling message: "Bates had to die there will be more."
On the evening of December 20, 1968, the killer made good on his threat. He shot a teenage couple out on a date in Vallejo, California. They parked at a local lover's lane when the killer shot David Faraday in the head while he sat in the car and Betty Lou Jensen in the back five times outside of the vehicle.
On July 4, 1969, the Zodiac Killer is believed to have attacked another young couple, Mike Mageau and Darlene Ferrin, in Vallejo. Mageau survived the shooting, but Ferrin died at the scene. Also around this time, the killer wrote letters to three area newspapers with details of the crime. He also wrote a cipher, or coded message, and each newspaper received one part of the message. Told them to print the cipher in the newspaper or he would kill again. The letter also featured a strange symbol that would become part of his calling card—a circle with two intersecting lines running through it.
The Zodiac's code was cracked by a high school teacher from Salinas. While the killer failed to reveal his name in his message as he had earlier promised, the note did provide some disturbing insights into his personality. "I like killing people because it is so much fun," the message read in part. He also stated that all of the people he killed would be his slaves in the afterlife.
In August 1969, the killer began to call himself "Zodiac" in a letter to the San Francisco Examiner. On September 27, 1969, the killer struck again, choosing yet another young couple out in a remote area at the night. Rather than shooting them, the killer stabbed them repeatedly. Bryan Hartnell survived the attack, but his girlfriend Cecelia Shepard died two days later.
profile name: Zodiac Killer profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Many of the most horrifying acts of violence are committed by serial killers. Always looking for next victim, these murderers kill again and again, never fully satisfied by their bloody deeds. Their twisted motivations—and even more twisted techniques—land the people in this group among the most frightening criminals in history.
Infamous Serial Killers 35 people in this group