Zodiac: Fact vs. Fiction Skyler Clark

The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer in the late 1960s to early 1970s in Northern California. Although the cases have yet to be officially solved, many have taken it upon themselves to try and solve the gruesome murders that left people fearing for their lives.

I chose this movie because I have always been intrigued by serial killers and their mindsets. I wanted to know more about these killings, and even try to come to my own conclusion about who the true Zodiac Killer was.

Robert Graysmith, who used to be a political cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle, became obsessed with the killings. HIs fascination would ultimately lead to his failed marriage, near death experiences, and eventual best-seller Zodiac, which would go into great detail in the findings of the cases, and speculation of the true identity if the killer.

The Zodiac would send many newspapers ciphers and letters, taunting the media and supposedly revealing his identity to whomever would solve the intense puzzles.

In 2007, David Fincher released the historical thriller that allowed the world's fascination to resurface. This film is said to be extremely accurate to what happened in the San Francisco area, and accurately represents the horrifying events that shook America to its core.

The film was incredibly accurate, yet balanced in opinion as to who the killer was. It is widely believed, and portrayed in the film, that Arthur Leigh Allen was the killer. Allen's connections to the letters, mannerisms of the killer, and witnessed crimes are all too similar for it not to have been him. Although never officially accused, Allen was the top suspect and eventually died of natural causes in 1992.

There were two definite survivors out of all of the cases. Bryan Calvin Hartnell, who was stabbed six times, and Mike Mageau, who was shot four times. Hartnell gave police a description of the masked attacker, who was draped in a black hood, and was later portrayed in an episode of American Horror Story: Hotel. Mageau, however, identified Allen as the shooter in 1991, only to have Allen die the next year.

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Skyler Clark
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