Dec 13, 2021 I Paul Seaburn

“Chinese Zodiac Killer” Threatens Albany, New York

Just two months after a group calling themselves the Case Busters claimed to have busted the long-running case of California’s infamous cryptogram-writing Zodiac Killer, a newspaper in New York is getting threatening letters from someone using the name ‘Chinese Zodiac Killer’. Although they’re on opposite coasts and the letters are over 50 years apart, there is a strange connect-the-dots relationship between San Francisco’s Zodiac Killer and Albany’s ‘Chinese Zodiac Killer’. Is it just a copycat or could they possibly be related?

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Letter from the California Zodiac Killer

“The FBI’s office in Albany is investigating after several area television stations received a letter from someone claiming to be the "Chinese Zodiac Killer.

 

The field office sent a notice to local media outlets Wednesday night asking them to be on the lookout for more letters, and to not open them in order to preserve any possible DNA evidence. The Times Union has not received one of the letters.

 

In a statement, the bureau said there is no threat to the community; it would not comment further while the investigation is ongoing.”

Although it did not receive any of the letters from the ‘Chinese Zodiac Killer’, The Albany Times Union, based in the New York state capital, was the first media outlet to break the story. As of this writing, no other information has been released about the letters, why the sender is using that terrifying name, if any cryptograms were sent, or what the threats were. However, the Times Union did uncover two scary connect-the-dots relationships between Albany and the original San Francisco Zodiac Killer.

“YOU Were WRONG I AM NOT DEAD OR IN THE HOSPITAL I AM ALIVE AND WELL AND IM GOING TO START KILLING AGAIN Below is the NAME AND LOCATION OF MY NEXT VICTIM But you had Better hurry because I'm going to kill her August 10th at 5 P.M. when the shifts change. ALBANY is A nice Town."

The original Zodiac Killer’s murders took place between December 1968 and October 1969 in the Northern California area, but written communications with the media and police continued until 1974. No one was ever identified by the police as the Killer but the case remains open with the San Francisco Police Department, the California Department of Justice and in some local jurisdictions.

The Albany Times also provided this local link to the Zodiac Killer:

“One of the victims, Elizabeth Ferrin, previously lived in Albany with her husband, a Times Union employee. A man who was considered a suspect for a period of time, newspaper editor Richard Gaikowski, previously worked at the Knickerbocker News. (He died in 2004.)”

While the History Channel television series “MysteryQuest” claimed Gaikowski worked for Good Times, a San Francisco counterculture newspaper, during the time of the murders, he resembled a composite sketch of a possible suspect, and a police dispatcher contacted by the Zodiac Killer identified a recording of Gaikowski's voice as being the same as the Zodiac's, he was never charged.

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Sketches of the California Zodiac Killer

Because of the intense media attention, the frustration over the lack of closure, and especially the extreme difficulty in deciphering the Zodiac Killer’s coded messages, a number of independent investigations have been conducted over the years. The most recent ended in October 2021 when the Case Busters -- a team of over 40 detectives, journalists and military intelligence officers – claimed they solved the case and identified Gary Francis Poste as the Zodiac Killer. The FBI and other independent investigators dispute the Case Busters’ claim and the case is still open.

Is the ‘Chinese Zodiac Killer’ in some way related to the original Zodiac Killer or just a name copycat? Let’s hope we find out before the “killer” takes a victim.

Paul Seaburn
Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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