A man from Louisiana has written a book that claims his own father was the infamous Zodiac Killer of northern California, who is still being hunted by the police, stated book publisher HarperCollins on Tuesday. It is believed that the Zodiac serial killer killed five people back in the late 1960’s and received notoriety when he wrote numerous letters to the authorities bragging about the murders, with strips of bloody cloth as evidence of what he had done.
The serial killer laid claim to have murdered nearly 40 people but has never been caught. Now Gary L. Stewart, who works as the vice president at a cleaning company in Baton Rouge, is recitation his decades search for his biological father and has decided that the man, who is now deceased, but in life was known as Earl Van Best, Jr., was the Zodiac Killer.
On Tuesday, the northern California state police stated that they were not aware of the book or what it claimed inside. A San Francisco police spokesperson told the media that the case is both active and open so they do not comment on it. Many people have claimed to be the child of the Zodiac killer. Never the less, it is certainly something the homicide unit will be taking a look at.
Captain Steve Blower, who works at the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, stated that the department has talked to numerous individuals over the years. They have gotten many reports over the years from people who have not panned out. The case remains open and the department still accepts leads that might lead to any involvement with the case.
Bryan Hartnell, who was only one of two survivors of the Zodiac Killer, was a college student over 40 years ago at a university north of San Francisco. He and a girlfriend at the time, Cecilia Shephard, were both attacked while on a picnic. They were attacked by a man in a strange costume: he was wearing a black hood and shirt which had a white symbol on the front which looked like crosshairs from a gun sight. This image would become the Zodiac’s trademark.
Hartnell expressed hesitations about the newest claim in the unsolved situation. He stated that he somewhat follows the news about the Zodiac killer, but there has not been any time in the past four decades when someone was not messing up the pot. Hartnell was stabbed nearly 10 times, and Shephard, almost 20 times. She died 24 hours later while in the hospital.
Stewart was born in New Orleans and abandoned while a newborn inside a stairwell of an apartment building in Baton Rouge. He was adopted and experienced a very nice childhood. Around a decade ago, when he was nearly age 40 his birth mother, Judy, got in contact with him for the first time. After that, he started looking for his biological father.
His book, The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for My Father … and Finding the Zodiac Killer, was also written by journalist Susan Mustafa.
The publisher stated that Stewart and Mustafa had written a chilling psychosomatic profile of Stewart’s father, as a child with disturbing fascinations, as a frustrated intellectual with affectations to high culture and as an unsuitable suitor and then ditched lover not able to handle his rage.
The Zodiac Killer wanted attention and penned many letters to newspapers wanting credit for his evil crimes. He also sent cryptograms that he stated would help give light to his identity. However he was never found.
There have been many others, who have also claimed to know who the killer was over the years, but Stewart’s publisher says that his book’s case is “legally sound.” Supposedly Stewart says that he discovered the words EV, Best, and Jr in one of the cryptograms that the killer sent to the police, claiming it held his identity. That name also showed up backwards in a different code, and the odds of that being a fluke is astronomical, stated Stewart.
Stewart also stated that his father’s fingerprints matched those discovered at one of the crime scenes, where both had a specific kind of scar. Stewart’s book claims his own father was the infamous Zodiac Killer of northern California, who is still being hunted by the police, stated book publisher HarperCollins.
By Kimberly Ruble
The N.Y. Magazine