Zodiac unmasked The identity of America's most elusive serial killer revealed

Robert Graysmith

Book - 2002

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Subjects
Published
New York : Berkley Books 2002.
Language
English
Physical Description
535 p., [32] p. of plates : ill
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9780425212738
0425183327
Main Author
Robert Graysmith (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Graysmith was employed at the San Francisco Chronicle in 1968, when the serial killer known as Zodiac began methodically brutalizing and murdering random victims across California. Zodiac, who was something of an egomaniac, communicated with authorities via the Chronicle. In addition to gloating over the inability of law enforcement to capture him, he would often describe how he intended to kill his next victim or would recount in chilling detail the last moments of someone he had savagely slain. At least 37 gruesome murders were attributed to him in the state of California; however, competing investigations (because the murders happened in several different counties) and other mishaps led to his consistent evasion of authorities. In this excellent study of the case, Graysmith provides never-before-published photos, a complete reproduction of the Zodiac letters, and a scary and disturbing account of pure evil. Libraries with a readership interested in true-crime tales will definitely want to stock up on this probable best-seller from the author of the widely read Zodiac (1986), which was his first book on the subject. Now readers can learn all that he has learned in investigating the case further, including the chief suspect. ((Reviewed March 15, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Rarely have the crimes of a serial murderer captured the imagination and fears of the entire country as did the unsolved "Zodiac" killings in the Bay Area in the 1970s. Close to the investigators and long obsessed with the case, Graysmith reputedly knows more about the killer than anyone else. His popular 1986 Zodiac offered such a thorough account that even a lead investigator used it as a reference. In that book, , seasoned true-crime author Graysmith identified the most likely suspect though only under a pseudonym, Richard Starr, hoping the book would trigger a reader to come forward with incontrovertible evidence. The suspect died in 1992, and in this follow-up to Zodiac, Graysmith now identifies "Starr" by his real name, Arthur Leigh Allen, a terrifying sociopath and convicted pedophile whom police long considered the prime suspect. Culled from official records and new interviews conducted in recent years, the latest book excavates the still burgeoning 30-year history of investigations into the Zodiac murders six confirmed and dozens of others that the killer claimed to have committed, and who spawned a score of copycat killers, most recently a 15-year-old from Kobe, Japan. The Zodiac case is convoluted at its heart and though Graysmith's evidence against Allen plays solidly, the narrative often gives way to unexpected segues and jumps in time. To keep track of this case that has more facets than a diamond, readers will need a scorecard. Photos and other supporting material in the book were not seen by PW. (Apr. 2) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A former San Francisco Chronicle reporter continues his account of the series of murders committed in California beginning in 1968, in which letters were sent to the Chronicle announcing the crimes and signed with a symbol from the Zodiac, by revealing the final solution to the crimes, which baffled investigators for more than thirty years. Reissue. (Tie-in to the new Paramount film, directed by David Fincher, starring Jake Gyllenhaal & Robert Downey, Jr.) (True Crime)

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A former "San Francisco Chronicle" reporter continues his account of the series of murders committed in California beginning in 1968, by revealing the final solution to the crimes that had baffled investigators for more than thirty years.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Robert Graysmith reveals the true identity of Zodiac—America's most elusive serial killer.Between December 1968 and October 1969 a hooded serial killer called Zodiac terrorized San Francisco. Claiming responsibility for thirty-seven murders, he manipulated the media with warnings, dares, and bizarre cryptograms that baffled FBI code-breakers. Then as suddenly as the murders began, Zodiac disappeared into the Bay Area fog.After painstaking investigation and more than thirty years of research, Robert Graysmith finally exposes Zodiac’s true identity. With overwhelming evidence he reveals the twisted private life that led to the crimes, and provides startling theories as to why they stopped. America’s greatest unsolved mystery has finally been solved.INCLUDES PHOTOS AND A COMPLETE REPRODUCTION OF ZODIAC’S LETTERS

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Robert Graysmith reveals the true identity of Zodiac—America's most elusive serial killer.Between December 1968 and October 1969 a hooded serial killer called Zodiac terrorized San Francisco. Claiming responsibility for thirty-seven murders, he manipulated the media with warnings, dares, and bizarre cryptograms that baffled FBI code-breakers. Then as suddenly as the murders began, Zodiac disappeared into the Bay Area fog.After painstaking investigation and more than thirty years of research, Robert Graysmith finally exposes Zodiac’s true identity. With overwhelming evidence he reveals the twisted private life that led to the crimes, and provides startling theories as to why they stopped. America’s greatest unsolved mystery has finally been solved.INCLUDES PHOTOS AND A COMPLETE REPRODUCTION OF ZODIAC’S LETTERS