UPDATE: I’ve removed links and images from this blog because the website has been taken down. Commenting has been disabled.
The Internet is a microcosm of the world, only with a greater concentration of weirdos.
Most often, web weirdos are harmless, funny or otherwise entertaining.
Sometimes they are like the person running a website that claims the Zodiac Killer lives near Tucker.
I learned about the website from a Reddit thread where someone said fliers (see photo inset) were being distributed in a DeKalb neighborhood that said “one of your neighbors is the Zodiac Killer” and “DeKalb police know who he is” but “refuse to investigate him.”
I contacted DeKalb police. I am sure they initially thought I was pulling a prank.
The police spokesperson asked investigators if they knew of the ZodiacFinders website or of any local investigation into the “Zodiac Killer.”
The answer was no. So rest easy Tucker, there is no evidence this particular serial killer lives amongst us.
I also wrote the owner of ZodiacFinders.com some questions via his website’s contact form and he wrote me back.
He said DeKalb police are “giving me the runaround.”
Say what you will about DeKalb police, but I think they’d be quite happy to be the ones that solved the Zodiac Killer case.
The website author also alleged in emails and phone conversations that the GBI and FBI know who the killer is, but they too refuse to solve one of the nation’s biggest murder mysteries.
After an exchange of emails, the website author finally identified himself as Doug Sarrett, from McRae, Georgia, and said he worked with a man for 15 years who he now believes is the Zodiac Killer.
I will refer to this man as “P” because I think Sarrett’s allegations are unfounded, untrue and highly unfair.
Why does he believe his former co-worker is a killer? Because, while Sarrett was watching a movie about the Zodiac Killer in 2009 he thought the handwriting of the killer was similar to handwriting of P’s he’d seen in 1994.
But if you compare handwriting from the real Zodiac Killer to handwriting samples on Sarrett’s site, I think you will scratch your head. One is in print writing and the other is cursive. The one example that may be similar is probably that of a DeKalb mailman, not P.
What is most disturbing about Sarrett’s website is how he does not reveal his own name, face or location, but he shows pictures from P’s college yearbook and a map pinpointing where he lives.
And what about P? I was able to track him down and we had a long phone conversation. He said none of his neighbors have asked him about the fliers or website. He described the behavior of the man he once called “friend” as “completely bizarre.”
“I am not the Zodiac Killer,” said P, who said he first started getting weird letters from someone in February. He took the letters, usually a photocopy of something the Zodiac Killer had sent a newspaper, to postal inspectors, but they there was no “direct threat” and didn’t investigate further.
He wasn’t able to figure out who was sending the letters until “about 10 days ago” when a copy of the neighborhood flier was mailed to his home.
The envelope had the ZodiacFinders website on it, and as soon as P visited it he said he knew who had been sending him the crazy letters.
“I should have moved faster [to alert authorities],” said P, who said he has never lived in California and retired in the mid-1990s.
Is he worried about his physical safety?
“Yes, to a degree. I don’t know what is in that mind of his. He may think that since the police won’t do something, maybe he should.”
Who was the Zodiac Killer?
The Zodiac Killer is a serial murderer responsible for a series of killings in the San Francisco area of California in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Police say the Zodiac Killer only had seven definite victims. One of the victims survived being shot and one survived being stabbed.
A person thought to be the killer sent of a series of taunting letters sent to the media, including four cryptograms, only one of which was definitely solved. The letter writer demanded the puzzles be printed on the front page of multiple newspapers or he would continue to kill “lone people in the night.”
The letter writer identified himself as “Zodiac” and drew a symbol that looks like rifle cross-hairs.
The final letter was received in 1974 and concluded with what looked like a score: “Me = 37 SFPD=0.”
The murder cases are still being investigated by various California police departments.