Fairfield man identified by an author as the Zodiac Killer
VALLEJO, CA - EXCLUSIVE A former California Highway Patrol officer who is certain he knows the identity of the Zodiac Killer learned one more thing about him Wednesday: The man is dead.
Lyndon Lafferty has just published a book containing what he claims is overwhelming evidence pointing to an elderly Fairfield man as the notorious serial killer who terrorized Northern California in the late 1960's.
Until contacted by News10, Lafferty assumed the man was alive and still living in the modest three-bedroom home he had owned since 1976.
Lafferty, now 79, first came into contact with the man in 1970 at a roadside rest stop on Interstate 80 just outside Vallejo and was startled by his resemblance to the Zodiac composite sketch.
"I looked into his eyes and saw the eyes of death," Lafferty said of his initial encounter.
In his book "The Zodiac Killer Cover-Up," Lafferty claims authorities refused to act on his suspicions about the Fairfield man because of powerful political forces protecting him.
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Lafferty didn't name him in the book for fear of retaliaton, both legal and physical, even though the man would have been 92 when the book was published.
"He would have become enraged and he knew all about our family," Lafferty said.
News10 learned the identify of the man through another source and was told by a neighbor the man had recently died.
The Solano County coroner confirmed the man's death on Feb. 2 at age 91 from a fall resulting in a broken neck. The coroner said the man also had a heart condition that may have contributed to his death.
Lafferty was stunned when News10 shared the news late Wednesday afternoon because he said the Solano County Sheriff's Department had promised him he would be notified if the man died.
Lafferty says the man, whose wife died in 2007, had no children.
News10 is not identifying the man because he hasn't been publicly named as a person of interest by any law enforcement agency.
Lafferty said one reason he wrote the book was to try to force a confession from the man and he expressed disappointment the confession would now likely never come.
On the other hand, Lafferty said he was now free to release even more evidence that he was reluctant to put in the book, including decrypted documents sent by the Zodiac Killer that he claims spell out the Fairfield man's name.
"I hate to say this, but it's a great relief to me," he said.
By George Warren, GWarren@news10.net