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The Zodiac Killer, whose serial murders terrorized northern California in the late ’60s, was a man named Earl Van Best Jr., according to a new book by Gary L. Stewart, who happens to be his biological son. Stewart’s The Most Dangerous Animal of All, as we reported Monday, is for sale now from HarperCollins after a top-secret rollout. “I’m really hoping this will bring some closure to the families of my father’s victims,” Stewart tells People.
• “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,” a HarperCollins spokesperson told Elon Green. “They look alike.”
• According to a Daily Mail report on the contents of the book, Stewart found the words EV, Best, and Jr in one of the cryptograms that the killer sent to the San Francisco Examiner, claiming it contained his identity. The name also popped up backwards in a different code, and the odds of that being a coincidence, Stewart claims, are “astronomical.”
Below is the Zodiac Killer’s “my name is” cipher with my solution revealing the decoded message: “Earl Van Best Jr” (actually a reversed “Earl Best” prefaced by “Van” surrounding the word “Jr”). You’ll note that Earl Van Best’s name contains 10 unique characters while the cipher contains 8 unique characters – the reason for the discrepancy could be an ingenious cipher trick.
His claims are purely circumstantial, he is waiting on DNA testing but decided to throw this new suspect in to the mix.
• Stewart says his father’s fingerprints match those found at the crime scene, as both have a diagonal scar.
• A handwriting expert also tied Best’s signature on his marriage certificate to letters the killer sent to media.
• And in the wildest twist of all, Stewart says that his mother, Judy, went on to marry one of the lead homicide investigators on the Zodiac case, Rotea Gilford, after being with Best as a teenager. The author suggests this connection could have embarrassed the San Francisco Police Department and caused them to “shut down” the investigation. The police “knew more than they’re willing to admit,” a HarperCollins spokesperson says.
I believe that your father was arrested in San Francisco for abducting your mother.She was 14 at the time. You were born in New Orleans. I am glad you found your birth mother !
Did not realize Van died. However there is a Earl Best living in San Francisco at this time on 46 or 47th Avenue. He is listed.
This may be you or a relative. Good luck
Yes, you are absolutely right. I was born in New Orleans and I have the police reports on my father from his arrest in New Orleans. Are you part of the "Best" family. How did you know about my father's record? Thanks,
UPDATE: In October 2002, Allen's DNA was compared to DNA obtained from a confirmed Zodiac letter. There was no match. In 2003, due to Allen's alleged habit of having others lick his stamps and envelopes (he claimed the taste of glue made him sick), SFPD obtained a voluntary DNA sample from Don Cheney. The results were negative.
The reason being it doesn't make sense that he would just stop.
Zodiac Killer FAQ
Was top suspect Arthur Leigh Allen proven to be the Zodiac? No. Arthur Leigh Allen was scrutinized by police for years, but no evidence linking him to the Zodiac crimes was ever found. Additionally, Allen's fingerprints, handwriting and DNA do not match that of the Zodiac.
Arthur Leigh Allen was scrutinized by police for years, but no evidence linking him to the Zodiac crimes was ever found.
Additionally, Allen's fingerprints, handwriting and DNA do not match that of the Zodiac.