The Zodiac Killer: California’s Jack the Ripper

By Sarah Norman | November 10, 2023

The Zodiac Remains California's Boogeyman

The case of the Zodiac Killer is one of the most infamous unsolved serial killer mysteries in American history. Active in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Zodiac Killer is believed to have murdered at least five people in the San Francisco Bay Area, and claimed responsibility for many more in a series of taunting letters sent to local newspapers. The killer's identity remains unknown to this day, but there have been several suspects and theories over the years.

test article image

One of the most infamous serial killers in history, Jack the Ripper terrorized London during the late 19th century. Nearly eighty years later, Northern California faced a similar threat when the Zodiac committed several murders between 1968 and 1970. Both killers sent letters to the newspapers, boasting their crimes, and neither killer was ever caught.

Zodiac Has Five Confirmed Victims

test article image
public domain

Like Jack the Ripper, the Zodiac killer had five confirmed kills, though he also had two victims who survived his attacks. The first victims were high school students, David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen, on a date at a popular make-out spot in Benicia, California on December 20, 1968. They were gunned down while attempting to flee their attacker.