The nation's leading civilian authority on the infamous Zodiac serial killings of the 1960s hopes to raise a $100,000 reward to find the California killer's identity after 45 years.
Tom Voigt, who runs Zodiackiller.com, a dangerous time-suck for anyone remotely interested in the case, has launched a gofundme page, writing, "This reward will be presented to whomever comes forward with evidence that leads to the case being closed and the killer identified."
The inspiration for the "Scorpio" villain in Dirt Harry and the subject of David Fincher's kick-ass 2007 Zodiac, the astrologically christened psychopath terrorized the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1960s after killing at least five people and sending ciphers and ominous messages to newspapers boasting of his crimes.
The unknown killer took a page from the Jack the Ripper playbook and used the media to increase awareness of his brand, which included shooting and stabbing young couples. He was actually better at making headlines than serial killing -- two men survived his attacks, although they were never able to provide positive identification. (In one case, the killer wore a hood as part of a genuinely spooky costume.)
Since his last confirmed killing, the murder of a San Francisco cab driver in 1969, the case has spawned a cottage industry, with armchair sleuths launching websites and writing books championing their favorite suspects. Several authors have accused their fathers (or stepfather, in one case) of the crimes; the latest of these books was released earlier this year. (Two authors also accuse their dads of killing Elizabeth Short, a.k.a. the Black Dahlia, making them the Forrest Gumps of infamous murders.)
While we don't hold out much hope that this crowdfunding will crack the case, we give Voigt props for helping keep the case alive. It's possible the Zodiac is still alive, and if so, it'd be nice to dish out a little justice.
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