The Zodiac Killer: Unleashed


Annotated Bibliography

Avehd30qxwyh5-Large. 20 Apr. 1970. Vallejo, California.

The Zodiac Killer sent this letter to the San Francisco Chronicle on April 20th, 1970.  In this letter, the Zodiac explained that he was the bomber at the police station and that he would kill children on a school bus. He claimed that he killed 10 people to date and that it would’ve been more.  We used this primary source because it shows how the Zodiac Killer told false statements and how he harassed the police.

Graysmith, Robert. Zodiac. New York: Berkley, 2007.

The book, Zodiac, written by Robert Graysmith, explains the time of the Zodiac Killer in full detail.  Robert Graysmith, the author, was a writer in the 1960’s and 1970’s for the San Francisco Chronicle and at the time, he was writing the latest stories on the Zodiac Killer for the newspaper.  Graysmith was also working with Paul Avery, one of the police reporters on the Zodiac case, so Graysmith has a lot of background information on the Zodiac.  Robert Graysmith put all of his gathered information from the detectives themselves that were working on the Zodiac case in his book, which is why we chose to use this very informational source.

Graysmith, Robert. Zodiac Unmasked : The Identity of America's Most Elusive Serial Killers Revealed. New York: Berkley, 2007.

Zodiac Unmasked : The Identity of America's Most Elusive Serial Killers Revealed, written by Robert Graysmith is book that unravels all of the facts about the Zodiac.  It discusses possible Zodiac suspects as well as evidence left behind the Zodiac.  All of the evidence that is linked to the Zodiac Killer is shown though pure evidence.  The reason why we chose this source is because it has very solid evidence and is very reliable and we used to find out about the Zodiac himself and not the people he killed or any other aspect in this case.

Kelleher, Michael D. Suspect Zero. Rochester: Dead End Street, LLC, 2003.

In Suspect Zero, Michael D. Kelleher introduces the Zodiac as a serial killer in the in the 1960’s-1970’s.  Soon after the Zodiac completed his proven murders, Byron Avion was suspected to be one of the Zodiac’s suspects.  Byron lived in Santa Rosa at the time, 50 miles to the north of Vallejo, California, where the Zodiac killings took place.  Byron seemed to be obsessed with the Zodiac.  Investigators Mick Millian and Manny Bruin found that Avion “Suspect Zero” took young female hitchhikers, tied them in nylon rope, and left the women selfless in ditches to die.  We used this source because it explains that other killers were inspired by the Zodiac, and therefore, the Zodiac killer left a legacy.

Newton, Michael. The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers: A Study of the Chilling Criminal Phenomenon, from the Angels of Death to the Zodiac Killer. Facts On File, Inc, 2000.

The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers reviews many serial murder cases including the infamous Zodiac case.  This book explains the impact of the Zodiac case, the evidence, the murders, the main Zodiac suspects, and the connection between the Zodiac and other serial killers like Jack the Ripper, the Sniper Killers, BTK Strangler, Axe Man of New Orleans, and many more.   The great connections and information had drawn us to use this book as a source.

1978 Letter. 24 Apr. 1978. The San Francisco Chronicle, Vallejo, California.

The Zodiac Killer sent this letter to the San Francisco Chronicle on April 24th, 1978.  In this letter the Zodiac acts like he’s in control of the environment at this point in time, stating that he wants a movie written about his killings and saying that the police need to search harder to find him.  We chose to use this primary source because it shows the spelling and grammar of the Zodiac.  Also, the letter shows how the Zodiac craved for attention from his killings.

Penn, Gareth. Times 17: The Amazing Story of the Zodiac Murders in California and Massachusetts. Foxglove P, 1989.

Penn’s book, Times 17, best focuses on the background knowledge and understanding of the Zodiac Killer. Penn explains the 7 murders that took place between 1966 and 1969 by the unidentified killer known as “The Zodiac”.   Not only does Gareth explain the murders but the taunts to the police, claims of identification, letters, ciphers, and threats made to the San Francisco Chronicle and to the Vallejo Police Station.  Times 17 takes a closer look to Robert Graysmith’s book The Zodiac and goes into more puzzling detail and possibilities then that of Graysmith’s book.  We felt that this book would provide us with alternate answers to the Zodiac killings, which is why we shoes to use Times 17 as a source. 

Still Searching for the Zodiac Killer 20 Feb. 2007. ABC News. 2 Jan. 2009 <>.

A couple of years ago, the Zodiac case was getting high on publicity because of the movie, Zodiac, that just released and ABC News did a news special on the puzzling case and the movie.  In this news special, ABC interviewed detective Robert Graysmith himself and actor Jake Gyllenhaal who played Robert Graysmith in the movie.  ABC gives details on the hunt for Zodiac evidence and the investigation.  This source gives a summary on the Zodiac case and that’s why we used it to do our project.

Wark, Jake. "The Zodiac Killer / Zodiac Murders - Full Story - Crime Library on" Not Reality. Actuality. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. A Time Warner Company. 09 Feb. 2009 <>.

In his article, Jake Wark shows his great understanding for the Zodiac investigation.  Jake separates this puzzling case into understandable categories such as: Zodiac’s phone calls, victims, evidence, crime scenes, police threats, letters, etc.  These categories are well documented with primary sources and overflowing with information, which is why we chose to use this source.

Z-Letter. 26 June 1970. Vallejo, California. By Humby.

The Zodiac sent this letter to the San Francisco Chronicle on June 26th, 1970.  In this letter, the Zodiac killer show’s that he has control over whoever he kills; where he threatens again that he’ll kill a school bus full of children if the police don’t do what he’s commanding them to do.  Also, the Zodiac killer admits to killing a man in a parked car.  We chose to use this primary source because it gives an example of the Zodiac’s ciphers/codes and how the Zodiac is aggressive towards the police.

The Zodiac. Dir. David Fincher. Perf. Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., John Carroll Lynch. DVD. Paramount Pictures, 2006.

Director David Fincher displays great understanding and perspective in his movie, The Zodiac.  The point of view in the movie is from Robert Graysmith (one of the writers on the case and the main character), the Vallejo Police Department, and the writers at the San Francisco Chronicle.  Everyone at the Police Department and San Francisco Chronicle are searching for the notorious Zodiac Killer and it illustrates how the killings were probably performed.  We chose to use this source because the movie is very visual and it shows the everyday basis during the search for the Zodiac murderer.

Zodiac Killer | The Zodiac Movie | Zodiac Murders | California Serial Murder. 09 Feb. 2009 <>.

Tom Voigt built and designed to inform people of one of the first major serial killers, the Zodiac, and of the unsolved case that questions investigators to this day.  Tom used resources such as: police reports, crime-scene photos, newspaper articles, video libraries, visits to all crime scenes, and interviews with more than 100 people who have involvement with the Zodiac case to come up with all the evidence of the Zodiac case.  He informed us on every major aspect of the case and also made his website with very reliable information, and that’s why we used his website as a source. We used this source to find out about the case from many different people working on the case at the time, and used the information to infer back to.

Zodiac Killer Facts. 09 Feb. 2009 <>. provides information on Fincher’s and Graysmith’s books on the Zodiac killer.  The website wants to explain that the Zodiac is not just a killer that you read about, but the Zodiac killer is a fact.  The website gives myths and legends about the Zodiac killer and gives the facts about each one; changes each false statement to a correct and true statement.  The website really lets you know the truth about the Zodiac and gives you reasons and evidence to back up the statements and theories, which is what we needed to really complete our project.

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