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Zodiac Killer Essay

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Introduction

In this paper, I will describe who the Zodiac Killer was, how a serial killer is different from a normal homicide suspect. In addition, I will explain what the Zodiac Killer’s criteria was for selecting his victims and whether forensic psychology or criminal profiling provided input into this case. Finally, I will express my thoughts on why the Zodiac Killer was never captured and what else, if anyhing, could have been done to help find the infamous Zodiac Killer.

In order to explain how a serial killer is different than a normal homicide is to first understand how a serial killer operates. The Zodiac Killer story began in the sleepy town of Benecia, California after the December 20, 1968 murder of a teenage couple was
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The Zodiac killer struck again on September 27, 1969, where he approached a couple at Lake Berryessa with a gun, then had Cecelia Shepard tie up her boyfriend, Bryan Hartnell. The Zodiac then tied up Cecelia Shepard, withdrew a knife and stabbed her then Hartnell several times. The Zodiac left and wrote on Hartnell’s car with a felt pen the dates of the last two shootings and this stabbing. Sadly, Cecelia Shepard died but Bryan Hartnell lived and was able to tell police and the press about his story. The final confirmed murder by the Zodiac was on October 11, 1969, in San Francisco, of a cab drive named Paul Stine. He used a nine-millimeter to shoot Stine in the head, then proceeded to swatches of Stine’s shirt, which he later mailed to the Chronicle along with another chilling letter (Butterfield, 2012). The Zodiac continued to correspond with police and the Chronicle with letters and postcards until 1971, then remained silent until January 29, 1974 where the Zodiac spoke of the movie The Exorcist and a verse from The Mikado, and signed the letter with the unexplained symbols, but also claimed a score of 37 (murders), San Francisco Police Department 0 (Butterfield, 2012). In examining a serial killer, such as the Zodiac Killer, and a normal homicide suspect there are several factors that are considered. A homicide is the killing of another person, but it
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