‘ ZODIAC IS THE UNABOMBER’
Investigator Mark Hewitt digs out evidence on the Zodiac Killer cold case that points to a familiar figure
For decades the Zodiac killer has remained as enigmatic as his ciphers, but a new investigation has yielded evidence that points to a very familiar figure
The devastating aftermath of the Zodiac killings have long haunted the state of California. Beginning on a brisk autumn evening in the late 1960s, the unknown serial killer targeted his victims in the shadows of local lovers’ lanes, leaving behind barely a shred of evidence. Not satisfied with his slaying, s he terrorised the public with a series of threats and enigmatic clues in the form of letters and codes, which spurred fear into the hearts of people everywhere. In the early 1970s the Zodiac apparently ceased his hunting, prompting people to ask if he had died or been caught for another crime when the trail went cold. Californian author Dr. Mark Hewitt has speculated that perhaps the Zodiac did not disappear, but simply evolved.
His latest book, Exposed: The Zodiac Revealed, is the last in the series of his research- driven trilogy on the long- standing cold case that after more than a decade has revealed the identity of the Zodiac killer as none other than ‘ Unabomber’ Theodore Kaczynski. The domestic US terrorist is serving eight consecutive life sentences for three murders committed during the commission of a university and airline mail- bombing spree between 1978 and 1995. Speaking to Real Crime, Dr. Hewitt reveals why several pieces of evidence link Kaczynski to one of the world’s most infamous crimes and why, despite the case’s high- profile status, Kaczynski will never claim responsibility for the Zodiac killings.
What alerted you to the theory that Kaczynski could be the Zodiac?
In 2007 I decided to go in full- time and throw myself into the case completely. I decided I was going to read everything I could possibly read, and one of the books that I came across was entitled The Unabomber And The Zodiac [ by Douglas Oswell]. When I first got the book I thought, “Somebody obviously is picking on one serial killer and plugging him into the identity of another one,” and I didn’t even see the tie between the two.
I thought about it a little bit and I realised, “Oh yeah OK the bombings” – the Unabomber was into bombings and the Zodiac used two bomb diagrams in his letters. After reading the book, a couple of items mentioned within paragraphs really caused me to stop and think, and so I did more research into it. I was working with a friend at the time on it and it was like picking at a ball of wool – pulling on an end here and pulling on an end there and starting to make connections. The more I looked the more it became clear that Kaczynski was responsible.
There have been many theories as to the Zodiac’s identity, why should the public sit up and take note of this one more than the others?
Why indeed? That’s the drawback of the whole case because there have been so many books written and so many theories thrown out. All I can say is it’s the conclusions of my research, 11 years worth of study into the case, and the other theories kind of fall short. There’s been a cottage industry
over the last decade of people putting together books claiming, “It was my father” or “It was my uncle”, etc. and all of them seize upon one or two little pieces of information, little items, [ such as] “The way the Zodiac wrote an ‘ e’ in the third page of the ‘ More Material’ letter [ 4 August 1969] looks like the way my father wrote an ‘ e’ back in 1972.” And that passes for ‘ evidence’.
What I found in my research was six or seven clusters of evidence that I found to be extremely compelling, to the point where it invited me to look at the case from a whole new angle. Now I’m at the point of saying, “How is it possible to understand the case without identifying that match?”
The timelines of the Zodiac and the Unabomber seem to slot together, but couldn’t that be true of plenty of other potential suspects?
A lot of other suspects have been looked at in that way and none convincingly. I think for a lot of people it’s an unknown individual so it’s hard to put together a timeline, but with Kaczynski not only do the timelines match, but the times that Kaczynski can’t be identified or located, that’s the times when the Zodiac is present, and the times when the Zodiac is absent, then we have all of the information on Ted Kaczynski’s life.
In your book you say the Zodiac’s signature symbol directly correlates with a mathematical equation that was part of Ted Kaczynski’s published mathematical papers, if that was true why hasn’t anyone mentioned this before?
Oswell does make that point in his book but nobody was very convinced. I think I do a better job of fleshing out exactly what it means and how it fits. A hunter, when he draws the crosshair symbol, usually omits the middle of it because there needs to be a place to line up to shoot whatever game [ they’re hunting]. But a circle with a complete cross is a diagram of the mathematical equation X2+ Y2= 1 and that’s very elemental to mathematics and was used extensively in Kaczynski’s research. When the Zodiac first used that symbol everybody took it to mean a gun sight because he had
above- left Although striking comparisons can be made between the Zodiac and the Unabomber, after he was arrested in 1996 Kaczynski was cleared by the FBI and San Francisco Police Department of having any connection to the Zodiac case
below Kaczynski when he was an assistant professor at UC Berkeley in 1967. He was a mathematical genius and was more than capable of creating impenetrable ciphers
middle- left With seven confirmed victims and a potential total of up to 30, investigators have tirelessly searched for the Zodiac killer, but after the killings ceased in 1971, the trail has become frozenleft Both Kaczynski and the Zodiac contacted newspapers to threaten further attacks unless their messages were published