New York author claims his father was the notorious Zodiac Killer in new book

The murders carried out in the late 1960s have never been solved

“You’ve never read anything like this,” says one reviewer optimistically in the publishing blurb for the latest in a long line of a books, investigations and even films about the Zodiac Killer – arguably the most puzzling murder investigation in US history.

The series of killings, which have never been solved, have fascinated the United States since the late 1960s when the killer – so-called because of the cryptic clues and coded letters he sent to local newspapers – killed at least five people, perhaps more, in the San Francisco area.

Today, another theory about the identity of the killer emerged. New York magazine reported that a new book being published by HarperCollins, called the The Most Dangerous Animal of All, would allege the book’s author, Gary L Stewart, had discovered that his father was the Zodiac Killer.

Police say the crimes remain “unsolved” with the only credible suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen, having been cleared by DNA evidence before his death in 1992.

New York magazine reported that “for months” staff at HarperCollins in New York kept the existence of the “explosive new book” quiet. It describes Mr Stewart’s 10-year search for his biological father, leading to a chilling discovery. “His father is one of the most notorious and still at large serial killers in America. It was a quest that would lead him to a horrifying truth and force him to reconsider everything he thought he knew about himself and his world.” the publishers state.

Written with award-winning author and journalist Susan D Mustafa the book is said to have finally unmasked the serial killer.

Tina Andreadis at HarperCollins told the New York magazine: “If you look at Gary’s photo next to the sketch of the Zodiac, next to his father’s mug shot, you can see that there is very clearly more than just a passing resemblance.”

She added that Mr Stewart had not wanted to believe his estranged father was a murderer. According to Ms Andreadis, the book was vetted by HarperCollins lawyers who felt it was “legally sound”.

The development will open yet another chapter in a case that has fascinated Hollywood for decades, providing the loose inspiration for the Clint Eastwood hit Dirty Harry and the 2007 thriller Zodiac, among others. The Zodiac killer first struck in 1968, when he shot high-school students Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday in a “lovers’ lane” in the city of Benicia. He was blamed for a string of further attacks.

According to the Los Angeles Times, some 1,200 people have claimed to know the identity of the true killer. However, many are viewing the latest theory with scepticism.

The mystery has been said to have been solved twice before.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator - Financial Services

£32000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, inte...

Recruitment Genius: Supply Chain Administrator

£8000 - £10800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Supply Chain Administrator is ...

Recruitment Genius: Client IT Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client IT Account Manager is ...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor