1968 – a hooded mass murderer terrifies the city of San Francisco and the Bay Area with a series of apparently random and vicious killings. From his first teenage victims, shot dead in a lover’s lane, he goes on to kill at least six people, though the real figure could be as high as fifty. Working on the San Francisco Chronicle at the time of the murders, Robert Graysmith tells the story of the Zodiac’s reign of terror.
If the tale sounds familiar, it may be due to the influence it had on movies like Clint Eastwood’s ‘Dirty Harry’, made while the real killer was still active, as well as more recent productions, such as David Fincher’s ‘Zodiac’, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Graysmith. The book, with its subtitle, ‘The Shocking True Story of the Nation’s Most Bizarre Mass Murderer’ tells the story of a destroyer of lives who has never been caught. During his study of the case, the author identified many potential suspects and although when the book was originally published in 1986 he had changed the names of those he suspected, it was later revealed that Arthur Leigh Allen and Don Cheyney were the main focus of his attention.
The book is a chilling and thought-provoking account that goes into great detail, revealing much information that at the time of the murders had not been released to the public.
At the time of writing (2019), the Zodiac remains unidentified.