Alex Constantine - August 31, 2008
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. authorities are running tests on items allegedly belonging to the infamous Zodiac killer, who had taunted police for more than a decade in Northern California, a report said Friday.
The articles were given to the FBI by a Californian man who claimed his stepfather was the serial killer who had murdered five people and maybe some more in the San Francisco area in the 1960s and 1970s and thus inspired many Hollywood producers.
The killer calling himself Zodiac sent to press a series of taunting letters with cryptograms related to his identity, challenging police's wisdom. Most of the cryptograms are yet to be solved.
San Francisco Police Department marked the Zodiac killer's case "inactive" in 2004, but reopened it some time before March 2007.
The man who claimed to be the stepson of the killer told FBI investigators that he found a black hood with a zodiac on it along with a knife stained with blood when going through his late stepfather's belongings, reported local TV station KTVU.
FBI May Be On The Verge of Identifying The Real Zodiac Killer
... According to CBS13 in Sacramento, the FBI is now running lab tests on the belongings of a man named Jack Tarrance, who died in 2006. Tarrance’s stepson, Dennis Kaufman, has spent eight years trying to prove that Tarrance was the Zodiac killer.
For those that don’t remember the film Zodiac, it chronicled the attempts of San Francisco Chronicle employees Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) and Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), in addition to detective Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo), to find the identity of a serial killer who brutally murdered several people in Northern California during the late 1960s. The killer sent letters to the Chronicle in the form of strange ciphers and codes, hence the Zodiac moniker. One of the main suspects of the film, Arthur Leigh Allen (who died in 1992) was positively identified in a mugshot by a Zodiac murder victim during the film’s closing scene. However, other elements implicating Allen never added up and the case has remained one of the country’s most infamous unsolved murders.
Perhaps no more. While going through his late stepfather’s belongings, Kaufman discovered a number of incriminating items, including a knife covered with what could be blood, a black hood with a zodiac on it (which conceivably could have been used in the 1968 Lake Berryessa murder) as well as rolls of film, at least one of which contained gruesome images that “[a]ppeared to be people who were murdered,” according to Kaufman.
Kaufman also believes that Tarrance’s handwriting and photo match the handwriting and composite sketch of the Zodiac killer. I’ve embedded the handwriting comparison and the headshot comparison in this post, but for the full write-up and some more photos, head on over to CBS13. According to the FBI, they could get the results of their tests any day. We’ll report more updates as they become available.