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THE ZODIAC REVISITED (Volume 1: The Facts of the Case)

By Michael F. Cole

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IR Rating:
4.5
THE ZODIAC REVISITED (Volume 1: The Facts of the Case) is an extensively researched and faultlessly edited book that provides a compelling introduction to the infamous, unsolved case of the Zodiac Killer.
IR Approved

Michael F. Cole’s THE ZODIAC REVISITED (Volume 1: The Facts of the Case) considers three fundamental aspects of the Zodiac Killer case, in which the serial killer was deemed responsible for five murders and two attacks in the Northern California area in the late 1960s/early 1970s and suspected of several more. The killer himself claimed responsibility for a further thirty-two slayings. The author revisits the crimes (both attributed and suspected), the communications from the killer and the contemporary reporting of the facts. The book is presented in a polished style with a clearly structured layout; each chapter has a number of sub-headings which concisely delineate the area that Cole is examining and references are neatly evidenced at the end of each chapter. The prologue was informative yet nicely succinct and the quotes placed at the chapter beginnings were thoughtfully included.

Understandably, there are a wealth of books and conjectures concerning the identity of the Zodiac Killer; none have ever conclusively unmasked him. Cole is frank in stating that while advances in technology may still solve the case, any possible breakthrough is racing against the passage of time. There are no sensational claims in this book but, as the sub-title suggests, a clear-eyed assessment of the factual evidence of which there is a surprising amount. Large swathes of primary source documentation were never cogently assessed and Cole attempts to redress this. The Zodiac Killer’s prominence is partly due to the fact that he corresponded prolifically with the press; sending letters, cards and cryptograms. Mr Cole’s scrutiny of these communications, even those that are unsure to be from Zodiac, is thorough and provides some much-needed objective coherence. Contemporary investigation had its obvious strengths through immediacy but far too many weaknesses that both obscured and threatened detached, unbiased reporting and Cole assesses these flaws with clinical efficiency.

Although analysis is dealt with in the second volume of this series and Cole is careful to point that out, it does mean that at times in this volume, the examination of the Zodiac’s missives can seem a little two-dimensional. More comment would have been beneficial on, for example, the Zodiac’s idiosyncratic spellings and any inferences gleaned there from. Where Cole discusses the crimes, he provides a vignette of the victims–their backgrounds and salient information. These passages have a deceptively easy, readable tempo that cleverly builds subtle tension despite the reader knowing the unfortunate outcome. On occasion, Cole’s keen reporting style lends a touch too much emotive subjectivity to the victim facts. Conversely, however, this compassion does make for absorbing reading. The discussion of those murders suspected but not formally assigned to the Zodiac are a little scattered; it would have been more coherent for them to have all been discussed in their own separate chapter. Notwithstanding, this volume does give the reader an excellent foundation of case knowledge.

THE ZODIAC REVISITED (Volume 1: The Facts of the Case) is an extensively researched and faultlessly edited book that provides a compelling introduction to the infamous, unsolved case of the Zodiac Killer.

~Rose Auburn for IndieReader

Publisher:
N/A

Publication Date:
N/A

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
978-0-9963943-0-7

Binding:
Paperback

U.S. SRP:
N/A

THE ZODIAC REVISITED (Volume 1: The Facts of the Case)

By Michael F. Cole

THE ZODIAC REVISITED (Volume 1: The Facts of the Case) by Michael Cole is the fascinating start of a series based on the elusive Zodiac Killer, along with interesting insights and theories.