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The Zodiac Revisited, Volume 1: The Facts of the Case


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A insightful and intriguing view of the reign of terror that unfolded for nearly a decade in San Francisco.

In October 1969, the autumn leaves were still freshly hitting the ground. Halloween was approaching, costumes being sought for the fun filled day & night. However, another sort of terror was fast encroaching on the Bay Area in the form of a ruthless killer. A shooting of a cab driver in San Francisco had links to seemingly unrelated attacks. No link was known until a letter turned up at the San Francisco Chronicle. The man soon to be known as "Zodiac" had begun his correspondence, his hypnotic grip on the public was just beginning.

The previous attacks involved couples being shot and/or stabbed. The brutality in the attacks was apparent, a perverse scorecard noted on a victim's car door. The killer called a 911 operator and while giving the locations of his victims, also relayed his culpability. The shooting of Cab Driver Paul Stine led to an incorrect identification being relayed over the police frequencies, resulting in the suspect's getaway. In his letters, Zodiac gave puzzles which offered alleged clues to his identity. One of the cryptograms was only recently decoded in December, 2020.

The letters offered evidence of the suspect's guilt, while also hinting at further murders if his wishes were not acted upon. Zodiac upped his body count with subsequent letters. As time went on, Zodiac's spree may have included an attempted abduction and more death. Police investigations in multiple jurisdictions focused on earlier homicides that shared similarities with the 1968-69 SF area killings. However, as time elapsed, the correspondence began to dry up, the media interest would wane, and the case became cold. Persons of Interest have surfaced over the past 50 years, but no definitive case has been made.

Author Michael Cole has penned a readable narrative that blends drama along with a police procedural. The alarm caused and stirred up by this individual lasted well over a decade, sparking scores of media coverage, movies and books included. Cole captures this and conveys it palpably. Even with the countless works dedicated to this subject, this new work shows promise of discovery. A fascinating read.

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I love books and have been writing book reviews since 2015. I have worked for San Francisco Book Review since March 2015, reviewed over 300 books. I have reviewed mainstream publications along with self published books.


About the author

Michael F. Cole is a Principal Engineer at Intel Corporation where he has contributed to the design and implementation of numerous GPUs, CPUs, and chipsets over the last twenty-five years. In The Zodiac Revisited, Michael draws on more than a decade of research into the case of the Zodiac. view profile

Published on December 20, 2020

50000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: True Crime

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