Jerry Weissman. The Zodiac Killer (1979) 240 pp. [pbo]
A novel based on the infamous serial killings that occurred in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1968-1969. In this version, there is no mystery about the identity of the killer who calls himself “Zodiac.” Robert Bennett is a troubled young man whose sexual frustrations lead him to murder. He begins a twisted correspondence with the police and the newspapers, creating ciphers that purport to contain his identity. When San Francisco Chronicle reporter Paula Avery (based on real-life Chronicle reporter Paul Avery) starts writing about the killings, she attracts Bennett’s attention and becomes a target. Although, just like the real case, the police never learn the killer’s identity, Weissman offers an interesting reason for the cessation of the killings.
Setting: San Francisco, Sausalito, Novato