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  • - This week on BuzzFeed Unsolved we're covering

  • the Zodiac Killer.

  • Right now we are at the scene of his first crime which,

  • at the time, seemed like a good idea,

  • but now that we're here, it's fucking pitch black.

  • This is a horrible idea so let's just get this over with.

  • - Sounds good, let's do it.

  • - [Voiceover] So, in the late 60s and early 70s,

  • the Zodiac Killer terrorized Northern California.

  • Killing at least five people and claiming to have killed

  • 37 people in total.

  • - [Voiceover] 37?

  • - [Voiceover] He claims to have killed 37 people.

  • - [Voiceover] Like, he wrote a note?

  • - Yeah, he was a, he was a douche bag.

  • On December 20, 1968 around 11 PM near Vallejo, California

  • 17 year old David Faraday and 16 year old Betty Lou Jensen

  • were shot and killed while sitting in a parked car

  • in a gravel parking area off of Lake Herman Road.

  • In the exact spot we are sitting right now.

  • - The exact spot, like right here?

  • - Like right here.

  • - Its' just the wind.

  • - Yes, right here.

  • (yells) - It's the wind!

  • - You're not freaked out a little right now?

  • - What the fuck, dude?

  • - It's the wind.

  • You don't want me, we can close the windows.

  • - Yeah, let's close the windows, fuck this shit.

  • - If anything, though, it would make it somewhat easier

  • to hear footsteps that sneak up on us.

  • - Fuck, you're right, let's open the windows.

  • (laughing)

  • By the time police arrived, Betty was found dead

  • on the ground 30 feet away from the car,

  • but David was still alive.

  • However, David would die on the way to the hospital.

  • At this time, nobody knew that this was the work

  • of a serial killer.

  • - [Voiceover] Oh, 'cause it was the first murder?

  • - 'Cause it was the first time.

  • Can we leave now?

  • - Should I grab the camera?

  • - What is wrong with you?

  • Are you really not scared right now?

  • - Why? Why on earth?

  • - [Voiceover] 'Cause look where the fuck we are, dude.

  • Look where the fuck we are.

  • There's nothing around!

  • - Have you never been in the middle of nowhere before?

  • - [Voiceover] No, I am freaking out!

  • Look at this shit, where the fuck are we right now?

  • There's two of us out here and who knows what the fuck

  • is out in that darkness.

  • Not down to find out.

  • Call me a wiener, whatever, I don't care.

  • The Zodiac's next crime would occur on July 4, 1969

  • at around midnight near Blue Rock Springs Park,

  • only a few minutes away from the previous crime.

  • The Zodiac approached a parked car with a flashlight,

  • shooting 22 year old Darlene Ferrin and 19 year old

  • Michael Mageau before walking away and coming back

  • to shoot them both again.

  • Both were still alive when found,

  • but only Mageau would survive.

  • Mageau was able to make out the face of the man who shot him

  • and described him as a young white man, approximately 26

  • to 30 years old, stocky, 200 pounds or larger,

  • about five foot eight with light brown curly hair,

  • and a large face.

  • Within an hour, the police received a phone call from

  • somebody claiming to be the shooter.

  • He also claimed to be the shooter in the Lake Herman Road

  • murders.

  • Happened right around here.

  • The parking lot was probably empty just like this.

  • I don't like the way this feels either.

  • - I mean, it's eerie 'cause it's night time,

  • but if I was here during the day,

  • it wouldn't feel weird at all.

  • Right behind you is a freaking kiosk that says,

  • "Parking fees are free today."

  • Like, that's not a scary sight.

  • - I guess.

  • On August 1, 1969 the San Francisco Chronicle,

  • the San Francisco Examiner and the Vallejo Times Harold

  • all received identical hand written letters from someone

  • claiming to be the killer.

  • The letters revealed specific details about the murders

  • to prove that the writer was in fact the killer.

  • The letters were signed with a distinct mark,

  • a circle with a cross through it, the mark that would

  • eventually become known as the mark of the Zodiac Killer.

  • Also included in the letters were three different codes

  • that the Zodiac demanded be printed in newspapers

  • or else he would kill again.

  • - [Voiceover] Why did they print them?

  • - [Voiceover] Because he said if they didn't print them,

  • he would kill more.

  • - [Voiceover] That just creates fear and gives the killer

  • what they want.

  • - [Voiceover] But at the same time, I wouldn't want death

  • on my hands either.

  • - [Voiceover] It's not your hand, you're not killing anybody

  • that guy is killing someone.

  • - [Voiceover] True.

  • - [Voiceover] You not printing something has nothing to do

  • with whether or not someone is going to kill someone.

  • - [Voiceover] The Zodiac claimed that the cracked codes

  • would reveal his identity.

  • On August 4, another letter was received that started with

  • the phrase, "This is the Zodiac speaking."

  • Marking the first time the killer referred to himself

  • as the Zodiac.

  • On August 8, 1969 the code was cracked by a couple

  • in Salinas, CA.

  • It reads, "I like killing because it is so much fun,

  • "it is more fun than killing wild game in the forest

  • "because man is the most dangerous animal of all to kill.

  • "Something gives me the most thrilling experience,

  • "it is even better than getting your rocks off with a girl.

  • "The best part of it is that when I die,

  • "I will be reborn in paradise and those I have killed will

  • "become my slaves.

  • "I will not give you my name because you will try to

  • "slow down or stop my collecting off slaves for afterlife."

  • - [Voiceover] Since when do you get to keep slaves

  • in the afterlife when you kill someone?

  • - [Voiceover] Well, apparently that's common knowledge

  • in crazy town.

  • Also, this dude must've skipped class the day they taught

  • run on sentences because that shit was ridiculous.

  • - [Voiceover] Also this guy sounds like, just the biggest

  • bro douche ever, right?

  • Killing is better than getting my nuts off with a girl?

  • Like, shut up.

  • - [Voiceover] On September 27, 1969 in Napa, California

  • 22 year old Cecelia Shepard and 20 year old Bryan Hartnell

  • were picnicking on the shore of Lake Berryessa when Cecelia

  • saw a man hiding behind a nearby tree and staring at her.

  • After some time, the man came out from behind the tree

  • wearing an executioner style hood over his head

  • with the Zodiac Killer symbol on his chest.

  • He had a gun and a long knife and used pre-cut rope

  • to tie up Cecelia and Bryan before stabbing them repeatedly.

  • Cecelia died at the hospital, but Bryan Hartnell would

  • survive, despite being stabbed six times in the back.

  • Bryan Hartnell described the man as being five foot eight

  • to six feet tall, heavy set, weighing about 225 to 250

  • pounds with dark brown hair that he saw through the

  • eye holes in the mask.

  • A message was found on the side of Bryan's car

  • with the Zodiac sign, the dates of all three killings,

  • and the words, "by knife" written below the September

  • 27th date.

  • - [Voiceover] What did he use to write on the car?

  • - [Voiceover] Just a little black paint, you know?

  • Maybe he went to Joan's Crafts and supplies.

  • - [Voiceover] Right, Michaels.

  • - [Voiceover] Michaels, he went to Michaels.

  • On October 11, 1969 just before 10 PM in San Francisco,

  • California at the intersection of Washington and Cherry

  • a cab driver Paul Stine was shot in the head by his

  • passenger.

  • A teenage girl from her home across the street heard

  • the shot along with two other witnesses in her home

  • and got a good look at the man as he wiped down the car

  • and walked away.

  • They called the police and described the man as a white

  • male between 25 to 30 years old.

  • Five foot eight to five foot nine tall,

  • stocky, with a reddish-brown crew cut and heavy rimmed

  • glasses.

  • A police car that was nearby came quickly to the scene,

  • but the chaos of the situation would strangely result

  • in the police dispatcher incorrectly identifying

  • the suspect as an African American male.

  • (laughter)

  • - [Voiceover] Classic!

  • Way to go, fucking San Francisco police.

  • - [Voiceover] Yeah.

  • - [Voiceover] Are you kidding me?

  • - [Voiceover] Yeah, when I saw that I was like,

  • "God damn it."

  • - [Voiceover] Oh my lord.

  • - [Voiceover] That incorrect identification would prove

  • to have disastrous consequences.

  • The police car driven by officer Don Fouke and

  • Eric Zelms would come upon a white male walking on the

  • sidewalk described by officer Fouke as five foot 10,

  • 170 pounds, about 40 years old, wearing glasses with

  • reddish hair and a crew cut.

  • Very similar to the description offered by the teenage girl.

  • However, because they were looking for an African-American

  • male, Fouke and Zelms left the man alone.

  • Watching him disappear into (mumbles) park.

  • Brutal right?

  • Right now we're coming up to where the two officers

  • allegedly saw the Zodiac.

  • They turned left onto Jackson right here.

  • And they saw a white guy walking right here.

  • So the officers think he walked down to the park,

  • entered through here, and that's where they lost him.

  • The Zodiac would later comment on this interaction in

  • a later letter in detail.

  • Making it very likely that Fouke and Zelms came into

  • contact with that nation's most notorious serial killer

  • at the time without even knowing it.

  • A composite sketch would be drawn based on the two

  • descriptions that would later become part of a famous

  • wanted poster.

  • - [Voiceover] Is this the Ted Cruz wanted poster?

  • - [Voiceover] Yeah, it is.

  • - [Voiceover] It is the one that everyone looks like

  • Ted Cruz.

  • - [Voiceover] Regardless, the theory is ridiculous because

  • Ted Cruz wasn't even alive when the Zodiac was killing

  • people.

  • Case closed, it wasn't Ted Cruz unless he's a fucking

  • time traveler.

  • - [Voiceover] Unless he changed his birth certificate, man.

  • Remember how obsessed about Obama's birth certificate

  • they were?

  • I want to see Ted Cruz's real birth certificate

  • is all I'm saying.

  • - [Voiceover] Another crucial piece of evidence was a

  • bloody finger print discovered in the cab.

  • However, the Zodiac also claims in a letter that it was

  • planted by him to throw the cops off his trail.

  • Two days later the San Francisco Chronicle gets another

  • letter that claims responsibility for the cab driver,

  • Paul Stine's murder, and includes a piece of Stine's

  • blood stained shirt.

  • Even more horrifying, the letter also included quote,

  • "School children make nice targets,

  • "I think I shall wipe out a school bus some morning.

  • "Just shoot out the front tire and then pick off the kiddies

  • "as they come bouncing out."

  • End quote.

  • He also later included diagrams of bombs that could

  • be used on buses.

  • - [Voiceover] Where is he dropping these letters off?

  • How does he get these letters to the press?

  • - [Voiceover] I don't know.

  • Also, like the image of the Zodiac sitting down in his

  • little desk getting his, like, pen ready--

  • - [Voiceover] I mean he does seem like he'd be into

  • calligraphy.

  • - [Voiceover] Maybe.

  • - [Voiceover] This guy seems crazy enough that he's

  • got a fucking quill pen.

  • - [Voiceover] He has a letter-writing desk.

  • - [Voiceover] What's the name they call letter-writing

  • desks?

  • - [Voiceover] Oh fuck, I don't--