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on december 20th 1968 David Arthur Faraday, 17, and Betty Lou Jensen, 16, are murdered in a car on lake herman road in benicia, california. it would be the assumed beginning of the mythos of the Zodiac Killer, fueled by taunting letters with an odd graphic arts bent( he created his own ' logo' and in one instance his own fanciful high executioner murdering outfit), randomly chosen victims and MOs, self absorbed crime 'biographers', and the fact that to this day he has never been caught . his total number of victims has never been ascertained. Zodiac was the ruthless killer of strangers as self created and promoted rock star celebrity par excellence at a time when such glorification of criminality was still considered tasteless and cruel. now we revel in it, trading serial killer cards and buying art work made by sadistic child murderers and those who think killing women was their 'career'.

faraday and jensen were on a first date and had just returned from a christmas concert at a local high school. they appeared to have been forced out of their car, perhaps driven out by gun shot. faraday was shot at close range at the car door. jensen fled, was chased, and then gunned down. it was night time in an isolated ' lover's lane' type area. there were no witnesses. the couple were discovered dead by a passing motorist who called the police. although he did not send one of his signature taunting letters concerning this crime, the creature calling himself zodiac later provided details that indicated he was the killer.

the movie about zodiac is deeply flawed in terms of being a factual reporting of the zodiac crimes and the investigations. this is because it is based on the books by robert greysmith which contain much questionable content by someone who was not involved in the cases and was not even a reporter (he was a political cartoonist for a newspaper.). it is hard to tell how much damage fanciful accounts and accusations built on conjecture, no matter how elaborate, and outright fabrications does to a case like this: a notorious and brutal series of unsolved crimes by someone who exhibited a highly attuned craving for public notice and the fawning of a vulture-like media to whom he addressed most of his notes; a criminal who reveled in his ability to remain at large and often opined on the stupidity of law enforcement "pigs". sometimes serial killers appear to want to be stopped and exposed. zodiac is not one of these. having attention drag away from himself and shifted onto a 'suspect' who was creepy but nevertheless innocent of the zodiac killings would only fuel his perverse nature and nurture his inflated sense of self, confirming his superiority and invulnerability.

and zodiac was right-he was never caught. the suspect touted as most likely by some was ruled out by DNA testing.

all the killings related to the Zodiac killer remain open and unsolved but 'inactive'. david faraday and betty lou jensen would be approaching retirement age today if only they had never crossed zodiac's path. zodiac, who was seen by witnesses leaving a scene, which produced a sketch, was estimated to be in his mid 30s to mid 40s would perhaps be over 80 years old today. he left a fingerprint ,and, also, perhaps his dna behind on the stamps of his letters. zodiac stopped mailing out missives and ringing up the cops around 1971. he resurfaced briefly in 1974 dropping notes filled with film criticism and quotes from "the Mikado". perhaps he made good on his oft repeated threat that he would never again reveal when he had killed- but would keep doing so- although no crime since 1969 has been officially linked to him. there are two known living survivors, both male, of zodiac attacks.

a very good website with a lot of information about zodiac including a fairly good deconstruction of the many fables about him: http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/

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