It happened so fast! The news that he was alive JUST came out and now it has been announced that he is dead….
*insert eye roll here*
The man fingered as the Zodiac serial killer by a retired California Highway Patrol officer in a new book has died – leaving the mystery as alive as ever, and adding yet another figure to the long list of deceased men associated with the case.
The man was a 92-year-old former real estate salesman who died in Fairfield in February. The Chronicle is not naming him because law enforcement agencies do not consider him a suspect, even if former CHP Officer Lyndon Lafferty does.
I feel so cheated! Lied to!
Lafferty, 79, wrote in his new book, “The Zodiac Killer Cover-Up: AKA the Silenced Badge,” that he first encountered the man in 1970 while on patrol in Vallejo. He gave the man the pseudonym George Russell Tucker in his book, and went to check up on him at his home four months ago – spotting him in the driveway – before sending his book to press.
Sounds like Lafferty was stalking the guy. LOL
Lafferty wrote that he focused on “Tucker” while working with the late Solano County sheriff’s Sgt. Leslie Lundblad. He wrote that the man’s wife had been having an affair with a judge and that the affair had led officials to halt investigations of the man in the Zodiac killings.
So, because the guy’s wife was sleeping with a judge they just let the Zodiac Killer go? Yeah, makes perfect sense to me. I don’t doubt the story at all.
*insert head shake and face palm*
The judge and the wife are long dead, Lafferty said.
Of course all the other people who knew about this just keep on lying even though almost all the key people are dead. I am getting a headache and I did not even read the whole book! Not looking like I am going to either, even if it is free!
Lafferty learned this week that “Tucker” is also dead – as of Feb. 2. A Solano County sheriff’s investigator said he died of a heart attack.
“I can’t say my suspect is absolutely the Zodiac, but I am 98 percent sure we have the right man, and he’s been our suspect for 40 years,” Lafferty said. He researched his book with seven fellow sleuths, including other law enforcement officials who investigated the case at its height.
The man he named is in the Napa County sheriff’s database of people of interest in the case, but was not considered a serious enough candidate to list as a suspect, said Napa police Detective Todd Schulman, who is on a cold case task force in the county.
“We get two or three tips a week,” he said.
Even that cop sounds as if he is saying “Yeah, we put this right up there with all the other Nopes we get.
Solano County and San Francisco investigators also said the man is not a suspect.
In the Fairfield neighborhood where the now-deceased man’s tidy blue house sits empty, residents said they couldn’t imagine their affable neighbor as a killer.
Nora Del Ross, who lives across the street, said the man moved in the same week she did about 40 years ago. She said he was kind to her children and brought gifts to newcomers.
“No, there’s no way he would have been the Zodiac killer – not the way I knew him,” she said. “I’m blown away. It’s utterly ridiculous.”
“He never seemed like a psycho killer or anything like that,” said Ana Braselton, 25, who moved in next door to the man two years ago. “He was a good man, at least from the outside.”
To be fair I can not take the neighbor’s words as proof for or against. It is all to often that a serial killer is described as a nice, quiet guy, family man, hard worker, good husband / father and ‘great guy’. I still give Lafferty NO credence. I do not think his theory is valid at all.
“Tucker” joins the pantheon of people named in the case over the years by amateur sleuths. New names still pop up every week on Internet forums, ranging from people’s uncles and fathers to some whom authorities have actually investigated.
Foremost among them in terms of police interest is Arthur Leigh Allen, a convicted child molester from Vallejo who died in 1992 at age 58. He was named as the Zodiac in former Chronicle cartoonist Robert Graysmith’s 2002 book, “Zodiac Unmasked.”
There was a DNA test that disqualified him as a suspect. Zodiac unmasked has quite a few errors and stretches of ‘truth’ in it.
Kevin Fagan and Demian Bulwa are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers.