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zodiac killer named

The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who operated in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The killer sent a series of taunting letters to the police and the media, claiming to have murdered 37 people. His identity has never been definitively established, although we may finally have some answers.

The Zodiac Killer’s first known victim was David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen, who were shot and killed in their car on December 20, 1968. Michael Mageau and Darlene Ferrin were the second victims, who were shot and wounded in their car on July 4, 1969. Mageau survived the attack and was able to provide a description of the killer to the police.

Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell, who were stabbed and wounded in their car on September 27, 1969. Shepard died from her injuries. Hartnell survived the attack.

The Zodiac Killer’s fourth and final known victim was Paul Stine, who was shot and killed in his cab on October 11, 1969.

A series of taunting letters were sent to the police and the media, where the killer claimed to have murdered 37 people. The killer also included cryptograms in some of the letters, which the police and the public were unable to solve.

The Zodiac Killer was named because he signed his letters with a symbol that resembled a circle with a cross through it. He also referred to himself as “Zodiac” in his letters. The symbol is believed to be a reference to the Zodiac, a constellation that is associated with death and mystery.

His first letter was sent to the San Francisco Chronicle on July 31, 1969. In the letter, he claimed to have killed two teenagers in Benicia, California, on July 4, 1969. He also threatened to kill more people if his demands were not met.

The Zodiac Killer sent several more letters to the media in the following months. In these letters, he taunted police and the media, and he provided details about his crimes. He also included ciphers, or coded messages, in some of his letters.

While the Zodiac Killer’s ciphers have never been fully decoded, some experts believe that they may contain cryptic information about his identity or possibly his motives.

Motivations of a Serial Killer

The Zodiac Killer’s motivation for killing people is still unknown. He never gave a clear reason for his crimes, and he taunted police and the media with letters and ciphers, making it even more difficult to understand his motives.

Some experts believe that the Zodiac Killer was motivated by a desire for power and control. He enjoyed the feeling of being in control of his victims, and he took pleasure in their fear and pain. Others believe that the Zodiac Killer was motivated by a desire for attention. He craved the notoriety that came with being a serial killer, and he used his crimes to get attention from the media and the public.

It is also possible that the Zodiac Killer was motivated by a combination of factors. He may have been driven by a desire for power, control, and attention. Whatever his motivations, the Zodiac Killer was a dangerous individual who caused a great deal of pain and suffering.

Here are some of the theories about the Zodiac Killer’s motivation:

  • He was a psychopath, an individual who lack empathy and remorse. They are often motivated by a desire for power and control.
  • He was a sociopath, an individual who have difficulty following social rules and laws. They are often motivated by a desire for attention and excitement.
  • He was mentally ill and may have suffered from a mental illness that caused him to act out violently. This is a common serial killer factor.
  • He was a copycat killer and may have been inspired by other serial killers. Media sensationalism at its best.
  • He was a terrorist and may have been motivated by a political or religious ideology.


It is important to note that these are just theories, and there is no way to know for sure what motivated the Zodiac Killer. He may have had a combination of motivations, or his motivations may have been complex and difficult to understand.

Self-Defense Tips Against Zodiac Killer

Self-defense tips against serial killers like the Zodiac Killer

The Zodiac Killer’s MO was to target couples in secluded areas. He would typically approach the couple and then shoot them both. In some cases, he would also stab the victims. The Zodiac Killer was also known to be very intelligent and manipulative. He was able to gain the trust of his victims before attacking them.

Here are some tips on how to defend against the Zodiac Killer or any other serial killer:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to people and vehicles around you, and avoid walking or driving in secluded areas.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, don’t be afraid to leave.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you see someone who is being attacked, call 911.
  • Carry a personal alarm or pepper spray. These can be used to deter an attacker or give you time to escape.
  • If you are attacked, fight back. Use whatever you can to defend yourself, and don’t give up.


The Zodiac Killer was a very intelligent and cunning individual. He was also very good at blending in and appearing to be harmless. This made it very difficult for his victims to identify him and escape.

If you are ever in a situation where you think you may be attacked by a serial killer, it is important to remember that your best chance of survival is to fight back. Do not give up, and do not let him take you alive.

Here are some additional tips that may help you outsmart a serial killer:

  • Don’t be predictable. If you always follow the same route to work or school, a serial killer may be able to anticipate your movements. Try to vary your routine as much as possible.
  • Be observant. If you see something that doesn’t seem right, pay attention to it. A serial killer may leave clues at the scene of his crimes, and these clues could help to identify him.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to the police. If you have any information about a serial killer, please contact the police. Even if you think your information is insignificant, it could be the break they need to catch him.


The Zodiac Killer is a dangerous individual, but he is not invincible. If you are aware of his MO and take steps to protect yourself, you can increase your chances of survival.

The effectiveness of using self-defense weapons against serial killers is a complex issue with no easy answer. There are several factors that can affect the effectiveness of a self-defense weapon, including the type of weapon, the skill of the user, and the circumstances of the attack.

In general, self-defense weapons are most effective when used in close-quarters combat. This is because serial killers typically target their victims in secluded areas where they can easily overpower them. Weapons that are easy to conceal and can be used quickly and effectively in close quarters, such as knives or pepper spray, are often the most effective against serial killers.

However, it is important to note that even the most effective self-defense weapon is not always a guarantee of survival. Serial killers are often highly skilled and experienced in violence, and they may be able to overpower their victims even if they are armed. Additionally, self-defense weapons can be used against the victim, so it is important to use them with caution and only as a last resort. Although given the choice, I would 100% of the time rather have something, than be totally unarmed.

If you are considering using a self-defense weapon to protect yourself from a serial killer, it is important to do your research and choose a weapon that is right for you. You should also receive training on how to use the weapon effectively. It is also important to remember that self-defense is not always about using a weapon. In some cases, the best way to protect yourself from a serial killer may be to run away or to fight back with your bare hands.

Gary Francis Poste?

The recent claims by cold case investigator Gary L. Stewart that the Zodiac Killer has been identified as Air Force veteran Gary Francis Poste. Poste died in 2018 at the age of 80. These reports have sparked renewed interest in one of the most notorious serial killers in American history.

Stewart, who has been investigating the Zodiac case for decades, believes that Poste is the Zodiac Killer based on a number of factors, including similarities between Poste’s handwriting and the Zodiac’s ciphers, as well as Poste’s military service and his physical appearance.

The FBI has not yet confirmed Stewart’s claims, but they have stated that they are “reviewing the information” that Stewart has provided.

If Stewart’s claims are true, it would bring to a close one of the most famous unsolved murder cases in American history. The Zodiac Killer terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s and early 1970s, killing at least five people and claiming to have killed dozens more. The Zodiac never identified himself, and his identity has remained a mystery for over 50 years.

The identification of the Zodiac Killer would be a major breakthrough in the case, and it would provide closure for the families of the victims. It would also be a significant victory for Stewart, who has dedicated his life to solving the case.

However, it is important to note that Stewart’s claims have not yet been verified by the FBI. It is possible that Poste is not the Zodiac Killer, and that the real killer is still out there. If that would be the case, an 80-ish years-old serial killer would not be as much of a threat as he was in his 30-something-year-old prime. But he would still be able to walk up to a secluded car and fire off some shots. Not that it has happened, that we know of, since the early 70s.

Only time will tell if Stewart’s claims are true. In the meantime, the investigation into the Zodiac Killer continues.

As always, be safe and be prepared.


See More of our Serial Killer Profile series:

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