The Zodiac Killer: MYTHS & LEGENDS

The story of the unsolved “Zodiac” murders has been plagued by sensational reporting, rampant speculation, factually inaccurate accounts, and persistent myths and legends. Theorists and others selling suspects and solutions to the mystery have produced newspaper articles, books, websites and other media reports which provide a biased and often-distorted version of the Zodiac story and confuse those seeking reliable information. This presentation focuses on the major myths which have endured to this day.

* The life and death of Zodiac victim Darlene Ferrin remains clouded in myth and rumors which have created the false impression that there is credible evidence to indicate that Darlene was stalked by a mysterious stranger before her death and argued with this stranger on the night she was killed, and, that she had known other Zodiac victims, belonged to a satanic cult and had witnessed one or more murders. Darlene’s sisters Pam and Linda helped to create many of these myths which were later reported as facts by many reporters and writers, including Robert Graysmith, author of the best-selling book ZODIAC. These myths were also spread by Geraldo Rivera and his tabloid television show NOW IT CAN BE TOLD and were later repeated in the film adaptation of Graysmith’s book. The facts tell a very different story. Read more in the new section titled DARLENE FERRIN MYTHS.

* The film ZODIAC and other descriptions of the shooting at Blue Rock Springs Park depict the Zodiac using a gun with a silencer attached to the barrel. The facts demonstrate that the Zodiac did not use a silencer. Read more in the article The SILENCER MYTH.

* Director David Fincher and screenwriter Jamie Vanderbilt adapted Robert Graysmith’s book into the 2007 film ZODIAC. This version of the Zodiac story focused on Graysmith and his revisionist account. The film also includes many distortions, factual errors, and debunked myths regarding Graysmith’s amateur investigation, Darlene Ferrin, suspect Arthur Leigh Allen and other subjects. Read a scene-by-scene breakdown of the film and its factual accuracy in the article FACT vs. FINCHER.

* The film ZODIAC also features a myth created by Robert Graysmith, who claimed that the Zodiac had placed a telephone call to the home of famed attorney Melvin Belli. The caller reportedly stated, “Today’s my birthday.” According to Graysmith, this call was made on December 18, 1969– the birthday of Graysmith’s favorite suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen. This myth was bolstered by Fincher’s fictional depiction of Graysmith investigating this call and investigators repeating the claim that the call was made on December 18. In his book, ZODIAC UNMASKED, Graysmith stated that an FBI report supported his claims regarding the call, but, once again, the facts tell a very different story in the article BELLI & THE BIRTHDAY CALL.

* Graysmith and others have repeatedly claimed that the investigation was somehow hindered and effectively stalled by a lack of cooperation between the various law enforcement agencies drawn into the Zodiac case. Like most theorists, Graysmith cites this failure to cooperate as one of the major reasons why authorities failed to arrest his favorite suspect. While the myth that investigators refused to cooperate continues to spread, the actual police reports and other official documents tell a very different story. Read more in the article The MYTH OF BUNGLING COPS.