The Zodiac Killer Facts and Cover Songs

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The Zodiac Killer investigation leaves so many questions open leaving an audience wanting The Zodiac Killer Facts. Here we’ve answered some of your questions about the infamous serial killer.

“I hope you are having lots of fun in trying to catch me. I am not afraid of the gas chamber because it will send me to paradice (sic). all the sooner because I now have enough slaves to work for me,” the decrypted message reads, without throwing any light on the killer’s identity.

Introducing the Zodiac Killer

Serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez, David Berkowitz, and John Wayne Gacy captivate audiences. Human beings are fascinated by the destruction that these people have left in their wake. The Zodiac killer is another example of audiences being enthralled with death and destruction. It’s morbid but fascinating in a way.

Facts About the Zodiac Killer

This is still an active case.

Napa County, Solano County, and the California Department of Justice have maintained an open file on this crime spree. As well, there are several people, professionals and civilians alike that are working together to solve this mystery (CNN).

They are getting new leads in the investigation.

Thanks to the work by the San Francisco Police Department, the FBI, and a team of private citizens, one of the ciphers has been cracked and finally understood. This ‘trio of code breakers” includes a trio of code breakers — David Oranchak, a software developer in Virginia, Jarl Van Eycke, a Belgian computer programmer, and Sam Blake, an Australian mathematician (CNN). The FBI said in a statement, “Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, and out of respect for the victims and their families, we will not be providing further comment at this time.”

In a comment to New York Times, Blake describes that “Not only were we lucky enough to find the needle in the haystack, but we were lucky enough to pick the right haystack to start searching for the needle.”

There may be more victims.

There are only 7 confirmed victims by the names of David Arthur Faraday, Betty Lou Jensen, Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin, Cecelia Ann Shepard, Paul Lee Stine. In the killer’s letters and cards, he admits to killing 37 people. There are up to 37 probable victims including Ray Davis, Kathleen Johns, and Donna Ann Lass and several others (Zodiackiller.com; Graysmith).

Crime writer Robert Graysmith argued that the Zodiac killer remained active through the 1980s and murdered dozens of more people (Britannica).

There have been thousands of Zodiac suspects.

Since 1968 there have been countless suspects including Gaikowski, Allen, Marshall, and Kan (Zodiackiller.com). Russell Johnson, known for his role as Professor Roy Hinkley on the sitcom Gilligan’s Island, was rumoured to be the infamous Zodiac killer. This was found to be untrue as it was originally printed on a satirical and amusement website Empire News (Snopes).

There’s still a lot we don’t know about the Zodiac killer.

There are a lot of unanswered questions about his motives, his methods, and most of all the letters. The Zodiac Killer gained notoriety by writing cryptic letters to law enforcement and local media. This is what set him apart from other killers (The Varsity). The Zodiac never clarified his symbols or the letters, although there are many ideas about what it meant (Zodiackiller.com).

The original sketch of the Zodiac killer is futile.

It’s useless due to how nondescript it is. Over the years there have been countless people that know someone that matches the sketch whether it’s a neighbour, brother, father, grocery clerk, real estate agent. They simply look like a generic young-to-middle-aged white man in the 1960s. Add to this, even in optimal circumstances, sketches done from memory aren’t very reliable or accurate (SFGate).

Covers of Hurdy Gurdy Man by Donovan

Here’s the original for your viewing pleasure. Let us know in the comments how the covers compare to the original. Did they do better? Or worse?

Below are numerous covers of Donovan’s Hurdy Gurdy Man, a song that is intertwined with the film, Zodiac (2007). that investigates the infamous Zodiac killer murders.

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” Cover By The Phantoms

 

 

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” Hurdy Gurdy Cover By Daniel Mantey

 

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” Cover By Jimmy Ether and family

 

 

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” Cover By Eartha Kitt

 

 

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” Cover By Arthur Horeanu

 

 

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” Cover By Azzmeir

 

 

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” Cover By Maša Gjerek

 

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” Harp, Sitar, Guitar & Harmony Cover By Teak Wood Gallows

 

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” Cover By Eric Mercury

 

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” Cover By Reflective Detectives

 

 

Final Thoughts: Who Is the Zodiac Killer?

In the end, we’re still left with the same question “Who is the Zodiac Killer?” This is the main question that everyone is still asking. Still, we have no answers.

Although they had a suspect in mind and have an ongoing investigation, authorities are still looking to hold someone accountable for 7 possibly more murders. The Zodiac killer is responsible for the deaths of David Arthur Faraday, Betty Lou Jensen, Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin, Cecelia Ann Shepard, Paul Lee Stine that we know of. May they rest in peace.

Learn More About the Zodiac Killer at These Following Resources.

Dowd, K (2021, January 6). Why has the Zodiac Killer never been caught? SFGATE; SFGATE. https://www.sfgate.com/sfhistory/article/why-has-Zodiac-Killer-never-been-caught-15847923.php

Fagan, K (2021). Zodiac ‘340 Cipher’ cracked by code experts 51 years after it was sent to the S.F. Chronicle. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Zodiac-340-cypher-cracked-by-code-expert-51-years-15794943.php

Graysmith, R (1976). Zodiac (1st ed.).

Leah Asmelash and Cheri Mossburg, C (2021). After 51 years, the Zodiac Killer’s cipher has been solved by amateur code breakers. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/11/us/Zodiac-killer-cypher-340-code-trnd/index.html

Sarah Moon and Cheri Mossburg, C (2021). Group claims it has solved the identity of the Zodiac Killer as law enforcement investigates. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/06/us/Zodiac-killer-identity-law-enforcement-investigation/index.html

Snopes (2019). Hollywood Shocker: “Gilligan’s Island” Star Turns Out to Be Zodiac Killer. Snopes.com; Snopes. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/russell-johnson-Zodiac-killer/

Voigt, T (2021). Homepage – ZODIAC KILLER .COM. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://Zodiackiller.com/

Wang, H (2021). Half a century later, the Zodiac Killer’s identity is still a mystery. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://thevarsity.ca/2021/10/24/Zodiac-killer-discovery-unsolved/

Watchmojo.com (2021). Top 10 Things Zodiac Got Factually Right and Wrong. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn9Jdc8fEQ4

Zodiac Killer (2021). Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/Zodiac-killer

Zodiac killer | History, Murders, Movie, Letters, Suspects, & Facts (2021). Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Zodiac-killer

Categories
Reviews

Reviewing Zodiac (2007)

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The Zodiac killer film brings forth a murderous mystery in film form. Switching styles is bringing you everything you wanted or needed to know about the film’s soundtrack in this article Reviewing Zodiac (2007).

“I like killing people because it is so much fun. [from segmented cipher, or coded message, sent to three local newspapers following the 1969 murders of Mike Mageau and Darlene Ferrin.]”

—Zodiac Killer

Introducing The Film as A Film

Zodiac killer is a film about, well, the serial killer. Directed by David Fincher and based upon a screenplay by James Vanderbilt, Zodiac brings a horrifying cold case file to light. Based on the novel by Robert Graysmith, The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr.

Fun Fact: Jake Gyllenhaal was David Fincher’s very first choice for the starring role. If he had declined the role, the second choice was Orlando Bloom.

The film follows the Zodiac killer, a case that’s been described as the most famous unsolved murder case in American history. Hunting in the San Francisco Bay Area between December 1968 and October 1969, the Zodiac killer murdered five victims that we know of. The name Zodiac killer came from the murderer himself. This is what he called himself in a series of letters and cards that he sends to regional newspapers. This was his way of taunting both the public and the police. These letters stopped in 1974. However, in his letters and ciphers, he claimed to have murdered 37 people.

“The Zodiac usually targeted young couples in secluded areas. He used both guns and knives as weapons. On at least one occasion he wore an unusual costume. On two occasions he telephoned the police afterward to report his murders” Tom Voigt, the curator of Zodiackiller.com explains the killer’s M.O. or the modus operandi.

For a film about a serial killer, this was a great film. This specific murder case inspired this critically acclaimed dramatic film Zodiac (2007), and the influential 1971 action film Dirty Harry, starring Clint Eastwood. Despite this film being a fantastic crime drama, it doesn’t bring much authenticity from the case. Voigt explains that “Zodiac” is an entertaining film. However, it’s only about 35% accurate.” For example, Robert Graysmith and Paul Avery were not friends. their amicable relationship was fictionalized for the film.

Reviewing Zodiac (2007) Soundtrack

This Is a film that you’d expect drama, intensity, and horror. One thing you may not expect is a soundtrack that is on fucking point.

Originally, the director wanted the soundtrack to have more of a vintage feel by using popular movies during the nearly three decades of the investigation. Fincher and the music supervisor George Drakoulias explored songs of the era such as Three Dog Night‘s cover of “Easy to Be Hard“.

The starting introduction song, “Easy to Be Hard” by Three Dog Night sets the mood for the film. It’s certainly a poignant first song with the lyrics, how can people be so heartless? How can people be so cruel? Easy to be hard Easy to be cold”.

Adding in music that’s upbeat is chilling. That’s what the soundtrack adds to the film because this isn’t a horror movie. This film isn’t a story about a fictional serial killer like Michael Myers or Jason Vorhees. This is the Zodiac Killer that has killed 7 people within our lifetime. It’s real-life horror.

Final Thoughts: Who Is the Zodiac Killer?

In the end, we’re still left with eh question “Who is the Zodiac Killer?” If you’re like me, then having a story as scary and real as the Zodiac killer, you need closure. That’s what adds to the horror of these killings. There’s no one to hold accountable.

Although they had a suspect in mind, authorities were never able to directly connect him to the crime. That’s what adds to the horror. It’s unsolved. There are many theories and many more questions to this case. It remains an unsolved murder. As of the April of 2004 was closed and remained inactive until March 2007. Though Napa County, Solano County, and the California Department of Justice have maintained an open file on this crime spree.

The Zodiac killer is responsible for the deaths of David Arthur Faraday, Betty Lou Jensen, Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin, Cecelia Ann Shepard, Paul Lee Stine that we know of. There are over 30 potential victims of which we aren’t aware. May they rest in peace.

Photo by Aviz from Pexels

Want to know where I got my facts for Reviewing Zodiac (2007)? Check out my citations list below to learn more about the Zodiac Killer.

51 Years Later, Coded Message Attributed to Zodiac Killer Has Been Solved, F.B.I. Says (2021). The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/11/us/Zodiac-killer-code-broken.html

Fagan, K (2021). Zodiac ‘340 Cipher’ cracked by code experts 51 years after it was sent to the S.F. Chronicle. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Zodiac-340-cypher-cracked-by-code-expert-51-years-15794943.php

Graysmith, R (1976). Zodiac (1st ed.).

Leah Asmelash and Cheri Mossburg, C (2021). After 51 years, the Zodiac Killer’s cipher has been solved by amateur code breakers. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/11/us/Zodiac-killer-cypher-340-code-trnd/index.html

Sarah Moon and Cheri Mossburg, C (2021). Group claims it has solved the identity of the Zodiac Killer as law enforcement investigates. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/06/us/Zodiac-killer-identity-law-enforcement-investigation/index.html

Voigt, T (2021). Homepage – ZODIACKILLER.COM. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://Zodiackiller.com/

Wang, H (2021). Half a century later, the Zodiac Killer’s identity is still a mystery. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://thevarsity.ca/2021/10/24/Zodiac-killer-discovery-unsolved/

Watchmojo.com (2021). Top 10 Things Zodiac Got Factually Right and Wrong. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn9Jdc8fEQ4

Zodiac Killer (2021). Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/Zodiac-killer

Zodiac killer | History, Murders, Movie, Letters, Suspects, & Facts (2021). Retrieved 28 October 2021, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Zodiac-killer