Links to this review were posted at the ZodiacKillerFacts forum, Reddit, Twitter and other social media sites. Since the publication of his book, Gary Stewart has made the rounds with various media, including People magazine, radio interviews and television appearances. Stewart routinely claims that he has solved the case, yet he has consistently failed to provide any credible evidence to substantiate these claims. The evidence Stewart has offered can be politely described as lackluster at best.
According to a church source, the writing on the marriage certificate was that of Reverend Edward Fliger, the man who had presided over the marriage ceremony of Earl Van Best and Judy Chandler. Wakshull claimed that the writing on the marriage certificate was that of the Zodiac killer. Therefore, certain letters of the alphabet were not available in the Best signatures to compare with the same letters which appeared in the Zodiac writings. Three signatures were not sufficient to form a valid conclusion.
Without handwriting evidence, Stewart had little to implicate his father in the Zodiac crimes. The only way to link Earl Van Best to the crime relied on assuming that the print was left by the killer and then reversing the image of that print. The reversal only changed the placement and alignment of a line which may or not be a scar.
The faint line which appears to run through the fingerprint in question could have been produced by some feature or indentation on the surface of the cab where the print was obtained.
The methods used to achieve the favorable results were unreliable and self-serving. Stewart and Mustafa had no reason to believe that experienced police officers had somehow reversed the fingerprint. The authors simply assumed that such a reversal had occurred and then reversed the image to suit their needs.
Without the fingerprint and handwriting matches, Gary Stewart had virtually nothing to link his father to the Zodiac crimes or the Zodiac letters.
This list was not conclusive or compelling. Gary Stewart does not respond well to criticism. Since the publication of his book, Stewart has posted statements on various websites, defending his claims and attacking his critics. He repeatedly boasts that he has made a lot of money and that he has gotten a lot of attention, indicating his true motives behind the accusations against his father.
Like most people who are peddling false claims to have solved the Zodiac mystery, Gary Stewart blames everyone else for his failure to convince the world. This explanation may sound satisfying to some, but Stewart once again fails to address important facts and reality itself.
Stewart wrote. To date, Gary Stewart has not presented any credible evidence that he has solved the case. No law enforcement agency has accepted his evidence as valid and virtually all of his evidence has been debunked. Stewart has not presented any other credible evidence to implicate his father in the Zodiac crimes and he has repeatedly failed to address the many serious problems with the evidence he has already offered. I would gladly accept Earl Van Best, Jr.
To date, no one has presented any credible evidence to implicate Earl Van Best, Jr. Critical thinking skills are crucial when assessing the value and validity of claims made by Gary Stewart and others. Fact-checking is also crucial. This fact alone demonstrates the many problems with the methods and claims made by Stewart and his associates. This level of incompetence renders their claims permanently suspect and demonstrates that they are not reliable sources of information or experts with authority.
Apparently, Stewart never noticed that article and, instead, focused on the publication date of the new updated posting of the original blog entry which was dated November This update occurred when the website switched to a new format.
Once again, Gary Stewart was wrong on a simple and easily verified matter of fact but he still demands that the world accept his claim that he has solved the most notorious unsolved serial murder case in American history using a few bits of trivia.Inspired by the apparent success of DNA searches in the Golden State Killer case, detectives at the Vallejo Police Department have sent decades-old letters from the infamous Zodiac Killer to a forensics laboratory with the hope of getting a genetic profile they can use to identify a suspect, investigators said.
The Zodiac sent letters with cryptograms and taunts to newspapers, including The Chronicle, as he attacked seven people, killing five, throughout the Bay Area in one of the most notorious unsolved murder cases in American history. The genetic material had been handled so much in those pre-DNA times, or compromised in other ways, that it has long been considered all but useless.
However, DNA technology has improved to the point that investigators believe there may now be a chance something could be extracted from the flaps of envelopes or the inside of stamps where they were licked by the killer — or from items not considered viable before.
The hope is to get a good profile, and then try to match it to the expanded DNA files now available through open-source databases, such as public genealogy sites, or to government files that contain ever-expanding logs of criminals and their DNA. Even if the Zodiac is dead, his relatives might make a match, and the case can finally be closed. The database gets larger and larger every year, and technology improves, so there is always a possibility of something coming up.
The stamps and adhesive areas of the envelopes were also tested about 10 years ago, but the DNA indicators were too small to be considered useful. The new hope is that improved techniques for separating glue from saliva will yield better samples.
The Zodiac gunned down his first victims, teenagers David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen, in Benicia — which is next to Vallejo — as they sat in a parked car on a date nearly 50 years ago in December Mageau survived his wounds.
The Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist, committed at least 12 slayings and 45 rapes in California frommostly in the Sacramento area, and decades went by with no true leads until investigators ran DNA samples from crime scene evidence through a genealogical website.
They got a hit leading them to Joseph James DeAngelo. The year-old former cop was arrested April 24 at his home in a quiet Sacramento suburb, and prosecutors are now assembling cases up and down the state to take him to trial. The main items being re-evaluated by investigators in the Zodiac case include the door of a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia used by a couple that the Zodiac attacked at Lake Berryessa in Napa County in September The killer stabbed Cecelia Shepard, 22, and Bryan Hartnell, 20, killing Shepard; then wrote with a pen on the car door, giving dates of his attacks and scrawling his symbol, a circle with a cross in it.
Could Any of These Men Have Been the Zodiac Killer?
Also still in storage is a bloody glove retrieved from the scene of the one confirmed San Francisco killing, and the last authoritatively attributed to the Zodiac — the shooting of cabdriver Paul Stine, 29, in October Earlier tests on both the car door and the glove were unproductive, investigators have told The Chronicle.
Pat McMahon, who has worked the Zodiac case. The items included the clotheslines used to tie up Shepard and Hartnell, and a green glass bottle found at the murder scene. The main suspect in the case has long been considered to be Arthur Leigh Allen of Vallejo, a convicted child molester and former elementary school teacher who died in at age However, the list of potential suspects veers into the hundreds, and tips on them as well as other possible victims continue to pour into all three police departments and The Chronicle.
But the sample was so thin, with few markers able to be extracted, that it was considered inconclusive. Just send it all to a lab. Kevin Fagan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: kfagan sfchronicle. Now Playing:.Thursday, 03 May PM. Detectives still trying to identify Northern California's infamous Zodiac Killer who targeted victims in the late s and taunted investigators with letters say they hope to try the same DNA tracing technology recently used to arrest a suspect in another string of cold-case serial slayings — those blamed on the Golden State Killer.
Several months ago, the Vallejo Police Department sent two letters written by the Zodiac Killer to a private lab in hopes of finding his DNA on the back of the stamps or envelope flaps that may have been licked. They are expecting results soon. Poyser said he hopes a full DNA profile will be found that will enable detectives to try the same DNA sleuthing techniques that were used to arrest Joseph DeAngelo last month.
Authorities suspect he committed at least 12 murders and 50 rapes in California between and Investigators uploaded DNA collected at one of the crime scenes to an open-source genealogical website and found a partial match to a distant relative of DeAngelo's.
From there, they painstakingly constructed a family tree dating back several generations before they zeroed in on DeAngelo. Some privacy advocates say they are concerned with the process and worry about future abuses, but detectives investigating the Zodiac Killer say they hope the technique will help solve one of the most vexing cold cases in the country.
Another man, Craig Coley, was recently cleared of those crimes after spending 38 years in prison in the murder of a year-old college student and her 4-year-old son in The Zodiac Killer fatally stabbed or shot to death five people in Northern California in andand then sent taunting letters and cryptograms to the police and newspapers.
Why the Zodiac Killer Has Never Been Identified
The Vallejo police are the lead investigators because the first two victims were killed there. The suspect was dubbed the Zodiac Killer because some of the cryptograms included astrological symbols and references. Various pieces of evidence, including a rope used to tie a victim as well as the letters, have been tested unsuccessfully for the killer's DNA profile. Poyser said recent advances in DNA testing prompted investigators to seek a match on two of the killer's letters.
Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan said the samples were sent to the lab as a matter of routine. Sampayan, a former homicide detective, said police submit samples every couple of years in hopes that advances in DNA testing will finally yield a profile detectives can use.
One of those amateur sleuths, Tom Voigt, said the key to solving the Zodiac killings is mimicking the Golden State Killer investigation, which included forming a full-time task force dedicated to the case and exploiting publicly accessible DNA databases.
Voigt said the Zodiac case was being investigated part time by a Police Department in a city that filed for municipal bankruptcy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Keep discussions on topic, avoid personal attacks and threats of any kind.A mountain of circumstantial evidence once made this dead Vallejo pedophile the best suspect for the still-unsolved murders that terrorized the greater Bay Area in Voigt writes that this information comes from an unnamed retired San Francisco Police Department inspector and was confirmed by Holt.
Holt is now chief scientific officer of Verogen, a forensic science startup. While the husky Allen does not resemble the famous police sketch depicting a thin-faced Zodiac, Allen is the only publicly-known suspect with ties to so many of the sites where the Zodiac murders took place. He was a longtime resident of Vallejo, where the murders started. Allen even told police investigators that he planned on going to Lake Berryessa on the day of the stabbings but went up the coast instead.
He also dismissed the bloody knives that he was seen with at the time as being used to slaughter chickens. Allen may have even been in Riverside, Calif. He wore the same Wingwalker shoes worn by Zodiac — a somewhat uncommon brand that was sold at Travis Air Force Base where Allen worked in Last but not least, he even confessed to a friend that he was going to murder people and call himself Zodiac.
And inZodiac survivor Mike Mageau picked Allen out of a photo lineup as the man who shot him on the outskirts of Vallejo in With so many coincidences linking Allen to the crimes, news that the DNA test cleared him undid any closure Graysmith attempted to bring to the legions of amateur sleuths obsessed with the enduring mystery. Skip to content.Could DNA website help identify the Zodiac Killer?
A police sketch of the Zodiac killer, and Arthur Leigh Allen. Link copied to clipboard!
Load Comments. Older Posts.A suspect calling himself the Zodiac Killer is believed to be responsible for at least five killings in Northern California in and The suspected murderer mailed taunting letters and cryptograms to two San Francisco newspapers in Now the question for pursuers, experts say, is whether or not saliva-derived DNA that might be on stamps and flaps from envelopes can still provide usable scientific markers. Ballard of California State University, Sacramento.
The April 25 arrest of year-old Joseph James DeAngelo in the Golden State Killer case has renewed interest in the state's Zodiac serial killer saga, which was the subject of a movie "Zodiac. In a bid similar to the one undertaken by Golden State Killer investigators, police in Vallejo, California, sent two letters connected to the suspect to a private lab months ago, Detective Terry Poyser said. He added that the results of the newest DNA testing were expected soon and that detectives hope to submit them to a familial DNA service.
Investigators in the Golden State Killer case uploaded DNA to an open-source genealogical website, where they claim to have found a partial match to DeAngelo's distant relative. Police who collared the former police officer said they had to produce a family tree dating back several generations before they zeroed in on DeAngelo, suspected in at least 12 murders and 50 rapes between and Ballard is optimistic about the odds of catching the Zodiac Killer.
She said the science of extracting DNA from everyday items continues to accelerate. Gary Harmor, director of a private lab known as the Serological Research Institute, said he's concerned the letters are too old to produce usable markers. Experts say another question is whether or not the evidence in the Zodiac file was stored in a cool, dry place or in a freezer.
Because advances in DNA technology didn't start to change investigative protocols until the s, the samples kept by Zodiac detectives would have had time to degenerate and take on bacteria. Harmor said detectives chasing the elusive Zodiac Killer will still need a lot of luck.
First of all, the DNA has to be good enough to use. Most importantly, any database would need to include a relative of the suspect to produce a match. News Business World Sports Podcasts. Follow NBC News. Breaking News Emails Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings. Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings. Prosecutors used genealogy website to track down 'Golden State Killer' April 27, In and '69, the Zodiac Killer attacked seven people in four different Northern California locations.
His first three targets were couples in secluded areas; two of these people survived. His last known victim was a taxi driver killed on October 11,in San Francisco.
During and after his killing spree, Zodiac received attention and spread fear as he shared ciphers, letters, information and threats with authorities and the public. No murder has been officially linked to the Zodiac Killer since Octoberbut the unsolved case continues to fascinate.
Though the Zodiac Killer may also be responsible for other crimes, there are the five murders and two attempted murders officially attributed to him. On December 20,in Benicia, California, year-old David Faraday and year-old Betty Lou Jensen were shot while parked on a lovers' lane during their first date. Police initially had no idea a serial killer was responsible for these deaths.
Therefore the investigation followed more standard steps, such as checking out Jensen's ex-boyfriend. Jensen's best friend later told SF Weekly"All the detectives thought it had to be because of drugs. They refused to hear anything else. Ferrin was killed, but Mageau survived the wounds to his jaw, shoulder and leg. Less than an hour following the attack, Zodiac phoned the Vallejo police department to report the crime.
They were approached by a man wearing a hood that bore a symbol of two intersecting lines in a circle. The man used a gun to threaten Shepard and Hartnell, tied them up, then stabbed the pair. Both Shepard and Hartnell were alive when help arrived.
Shepard ended up succumbing to her wounds, but Hartnell recovered. While in the taxi, Zodiac shot Stine in the head. Witnesses saw Stine's murder, so police were soon on the scene. The witnesses had described the murderer as white, around 25 to 30 years old, wearing glasses and sporting a crew cut. Police, who assumed the killing was a robbery, spotted a man matching this description — but a dispatcher had mistakenly told them the suspect was black.
The man was allowed to leave, and the Zodiac Killer was not caught. After his July attack, the Zodiac Killer began to contact newspapers via letters that included details only the killer would know. And in addition to phoning the police after the murders he committed in July, he made a phone call confession to law enforcement in September. The Zodiac Killer took responsibility for Stine's death in a letter postmarked October 13,enclosing a piece of the driver's bloodied shirt.
He also reached out to the police by phone several days following that crime.
In a letter The San Francisco Examiner received on August 4,he wrote, "This is the Zodiac speaking," marking his first use of the name "Zodiac. His messages also often included a crosshairs symbol, which resembled the sight on a rifle — the same symbol on the hood worn during his September attack.
Zodiac seemed to enjoy the publicity he received. He took steps to ensure messages were widely shared, such as threatening to go on a "kill rampage" unless a cipher was printed in the San Francisco Chroniclethen issuing a separate threat to have a cipher published in The San Francisco Examiner. In a letter postmarked November 9,he taunted his pursuers, saying, "The police shall never catch me, because I have been too clever for them.
Of Zodiac's four coded messages, a married couple was able solve the first cipher to reveal that Zodiac had writtenamong other things, "I like killing people because it is so much fun. Yet despite decades of trying, no other Zodiac cipher has been officially solved. The letter Zodiac sent taking responsibility for Stine's murder also declared, "School children make nice targets. I think I shall wipe out a school bus some morning.Zodiac has four confirmed murder victims there were three others who survived those attacks and is suspected in several others he claimed even more.
Like Jack the Ripper and Son of Sam, Zodiac taunted police and media with letters outlining details of his past and future crimes. To add to his creepy mystique, he sent coded messages in bizarre ciphers and committed one attack while dressed in a bizarre hood with his signature crosshairs symbol emblazoned across his chest, like a comic book supervillain come to life.
But in the wake of the recent capture of the Golden State Killer thanks to DNA evidence, investigators are hoping for a similar break in the long cold Zodiac case. The hope is that a match can be found via submissions to various public genealogy sites like Ancestry. Ad — content continues below. Without it, you have nothing. There have been several books written about the Zodiac Killer some more credible than othersand his crimes were mirrored in the movies, notably in the original Dirty Harry film, which focuses on a killer named Scorpio terrorizing San Francisco and sending letters to the police.
Graysmith, who is portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal in the film, wrote two books on the case, Zodiac and Zodiac Unmasked. While Graysmith spotlights several suspects in the course of his work and to be sure, there are problems with the case he builds in his booksthe one who gets the most attention is Arthur Leigh Allenwho had a significant amount of circumstantial evidence pointing his way. There was never anything conrete enough for authorities to bring charges against Allen, who died in The DNA profile created from that genetic material was not a match for Allen or several other suspects.
Its webmaster, Tom Voigt, has kept Zodiac sleuths up to date on every new development in the case for over 15 years. Voigt wrote in January. Apparently Dr. Holt was clear about which parts of the envelope the DNA was collected from, but that was lost in the editing process for the ABC special. The DNA profile built from that genetic material could have been from a postal employee or anyone else who handled the envelope in its journey, not necessarily the killer. Get the best of Den of Geek delivered right to your inbox!
Of the more recent developments, Voigt shed more light on the DNA currently being analyzed on his website, indicating that these are envelopes and stamps that were tested 10 years ago, and failed to provide a match for Arthur Leigh Allen. It would now appear that Arthur Leigh Allen and other suspects thought to be disqualified can once again be considered viable suspects.
Allen in particular remains one of the most intriguing. Keep an eye on happenings at ZodiacKiller. Mike Cecchini wayoutstuff. He's a man with a deep and abiding love of comics published before he was born, low-budget…. Skip to main content area.
The case remains unsolved to this day, and his identity remains a mystery. Join our mailing list Get the best of Den of Geek delivered right to your inbox! Share: Share on Facebook opens in a new tab Share on Twitter opens in a new tab Share on Linkedin opens in a new tab Share on email opens in a new tab Comment: Comments count: 0. Tags: Zodiac True Crime.
Written by Mike Cecchini wayoutstuff. Read more from Mike Cecchini.