Article by Melissa Chapman, WCPL Cataloging Supervisor
I must admit I wasn’t surprised when I heard early last week that a man has come forward claiming to know the identity of the infamous Zodiac Killer.
Every few years someone comes forward with information on the identity of this boogeyman who terrorized San Francisco during the late 1960’s early 1970’s. Most claim the Zodiac killer is their father! Gary Stewart is no different than the other sleuths in naming his father, Earl Van Best, Jr. However, there is a slight difference in what Stewart claims versus what others have claimed; he has quite a bit of substantial proof as to the identity of the Zodiac Killer and has documented his findings in a book entitled The Most Dangerous Animal of All.
I am a true crime fan and the Zodiac case has always haunted me. I have read several books by people claiming some connection to this serial killer and generally have been unimpressed with their efforts in naming this elusive character that has escaped detection for more than 40 years. Gary Stewart’s book is quite impressive. It is well written, professional and has a national publisher, HarperCollins, attached to it. (Anyone who has ever tried to get something published with a reputable publishing company knows it is not an easy task).
Gary Stewart’s story is compelling and it held my interest so much so that I couldn’t put it down. The evidence that is laid out in the book comes down to a few key pieces that might be only circumstantial to some, nevertheless, it is worth taking a second look by the San Francisco Police Dept. Stewart has even gone as far as submitting a DNA sample to be compared to the DNA sample of the Zodiac Killer.
Stewart does take some liberties inserting his father’s name in the historical narrative, even so, the documented evidence he provides is quite persuasive. I am normally a skeptic, and after finishing this true crime novel, I believe this text to be the most credible and believable account of the zodiac killer’s identity. This book will probably be as close as we will come to learning the true identity of the most fascinating case in the ledgers of unsolved crime. I recommend giving it a shot! I dare say you will be thinking about it for a while after finishing the book.