Zodiac Killings

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

Zodiac Killings

About the show

George Knapp welcomed Tom Voigt, an expert on the Zodiac killings, for a discussion on the case, the victims, and the suspects behind the infamous slayings. "It's ridiculous that so much evidence can exist and so many clues can exist and yet we still don't know this guy's name," he lamented. Despite it being over 40 years since the Zodiac killer struck, Voigt was confident that the case will eventually be definitively solved. To that end, he revealed that the Napa County sheriff's department have recently taken a fresh look at the case and are hoping to extract the killer's DNA from the physical evidence they have from his crimes. "After all these years," Voigt marveled, "there might be some actual evidence that will point to his identity."

In looking at what may have been the motivation behind the Zodiac killer, Voigt suggested that his habit of writing taunting letters to the press may be a critical clue, since the actual murders do not fit the classic mold of a serial killer. "He only had a handful of victims, but he had 20 letters," Voigt said, "it tells me that what was really important to him was what he put in his letters." As such, he observed that these letters served to mock the police, frighten the public, and, ultimately, create "a whole big mess." While this motivation may suggest that the Zodiac was merely an egomaniac driven by the desire to gain perverse notoriety for his crimes, Voigt was skeptical of this theory. Conversely, he surmised that the killer stood, somehow, to gain from both occupying police resources and attention as well as making law enforcement look inept.

Regarding who may have been behind the Zodiac killings, he pointed to former journalist and politician Richard Gaikowski as one of the strongest suspects. After detailing a number of elements which connect Gaikowski to the murders, Voigt shared one particularly eerie clue. He noted that the first cipher sent by the Zodiac contained the letters 'gyke,' which was Gaikowski's pen name when he was a counter culture journalist. Once the cipher was solved, Voigt said, the letters 'gyke' were revealed to be 'ause,' the second syllable of Gaikowski's name. "But you don't get that unless you know the cipher key," he explained, "so 'gyke' becomes 'ause' with the 'key' ... Gaikowski, it's brilliant." Calling Gaikowski an "amazing suspect," Voigt was so confident in the man's guilt that he declared "if I had any savings, I'd bet it on Richard Gaikowski being the Zodiac."

RFK & MLK Assassinations

During the first hour, attorney William F. Pepper provided an update on his investigation into the RFK assassination as well as his work researching the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. On his efforts to get a new trial for Sirhan Sirhan, Pepper said that their legal brief, which includes revelations about fraudulent ballistics evidence in the original trial, will likely be denied, but they will take the case "as far as we can to get justice for this man." Regarding the murder of MLK Jr., Pepper detailed how alleged assassin James Earl Ray had been "profiled" by the FBI as a potential patsy long before the murder and was carefully moved around the country in order to place him in Memphis when the crime was committed. Ultimately, Pepper mused that " the ruling forces of this republic had their interests served by all of these assassinations," since RFK and MLK as well as Malcolm X threatened "business as usual" for the establishment.


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Check out some recent items of interest that have caught George Knapp's attention, including videos of Dan Rather interviewing MLK assassin James Earl Ray, a look at Norway's unique island prison, and a CGI depiction of the Titanic sinking...

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