Term Paper: Zodiac Killer Criminal Profile

Pages: 7 (2346 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] The assailant left a message on the car's door in which he inscribed the dates of his previously confirmed murders (Lake Berryessa -- The Evidence, 1969). There were also size 10 1/2 Wing Walker shoe prints recovered at the scene, which suggested that the assailant weighed approximately 210 lbs. Also found at the scene were "one set of tire impressions approximately 20 feet to the rear of the Victim's vehicle" (Napa County Sheriff's Dept. Supplement Crime Report, 1969).The assailant then left the scene without taking keys or money. At approximately 7:30 PM, the assailant placed a call to the Napa County Sheriff's Department taking credit for the double stabbing (Snook, 1969). Shepard did not survive the attack.

October 11, 1969 -- Presidio Heights, San Francisco, CA. Approximately 9:55 PM.

Victim: Paul Stine, age 29. Single gun shot to the back of the head.

According to Stine's fare log, he picked up the assailant at the intersection of Mason Street and Geary Street and transported him to the intersection of Washington and Maple where the assailant proceeded to shoot Stine in the back of the head with a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, which was not the same weapon used in the Mageau-Ferrin assault. Unlike his previous assault, the assailant took Stine's keys and wallet, as well as a large portion of Stine's shirt, which he would subsequently include in a letter that was mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle on October 13, 1969 (Excerpt of Department of Justice Report, 1969; Paul Stine, n.d.). There were three eyewitness accounts that helped to create a criminal sketch that was subsequently released to the public. Police incompetence may have played a part in failing to capture the assailant as it was first reported that Stine was assaulted by a black male (The Zodiac Killer, n.d.).

Criminal Profile

Based upon a BRACE analysis conducted by Russell L. Smith (2005),

Zodiac has the characteristics of a simplistic psychopath who desires to be the center of attention, but his style of interpersonal interaction so insensitive, intrusive, and controlling that, over time, others tend to avoid and reject him. He is not trusting of others, does not relate easily or well, and is a social loner. The more of himself he shares, the less others like him. He anticipates being rejected and evaluated negatively by others and essentially does not understand the nature of intimacy. Zodiac substitutes power and control for intimacy and affection. Zodiac is rather reserved in demeanor and avoids attracting attention to himself. He wants absolute control and absolute obedience as opposed to a mutual relationship.

This analysis is supported by the letters and cryptograms that he sent to various San Francisco area newspapers including the Vallejo Times Herald, San Francisco's Chronicle, and San Francisco's Examiner from July 31, 1968 to July 8, 1974 (Zodiac Killer Facts, n.d.). Moreover, this is demonstrated through the two phone calls that he made following the Mageau-Ferrin and Hartnell-Shepard murders. Eye witness accounts made during each investigation, including testimony made by Mageau and Hartnell, reveal that the assailant was white, 35-45 years old, 5'8"-6' in height, 180-210 lbs, wore glasses, had a crewcut, and was barrel-chested (Excerpt of Department of Justice Report, 1969).

Conclusion

It is unlikely that profiling would have been useful in this case as the assailant was unspecific in geographic targeting and would approach his victims in different ways. Furthermore, his departure from the modus operandi that was beginning to form after the first three confirmed assaults was completely disrupted with the fourth assault, Paul Stine. Additionally, the assailant continuously provided evidence and correspondence to law enforcement officials and the media, suggesting that he wanted to be the center of attention, however despite his flagrant boasting, only one of the four ciphers that he included with the correspondence sent to the San Francisco Chronicle has ever been deciphered.

References

Ariggo, B. (2006). Criminal Behavior: A Systems Approach. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Excerpt of Department of Justice Report. (1969, October 11). from Zodiac Killer Facts.

Accessed 9 May 2012 from, http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/gallery/

Lake Berryessa -- The Evidence. (1969). from Zodiac Killer Facts. Accessed 9 May 2012

from, http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/gallery/

Napa Valley Sheriff's Department. (1969, September 27). from Zodiac Killer Facts.

Accessed 9 May 2012 from, http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/gallery/

Napa Valley Sheriff's Dept. Supplement Crime Report (1969). from Zodiac Killer Facts.

Accessed 9 May 2012 from, http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/gallery/

Paul Stine. (n.d.). ZodiacKiller.com, Accessed 9 May 2012, from http://www.zodiackiller.com/Stine.html

Rust, E. (1969, July 6). Michael Mageau interview. from Zodiac Killer Facts. Accessed 9 May

2012 from, http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/gallery/

San Francisco Police Department. (1969, October 11). from Zodiac Killer Facts. Accessed 9

May 2012 from, http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/gallery/

Smith, R.L. (2005, March 31). BRACE Character profile analysis of Zodiac Killer. Accessed 9

May 2012, from http://www.zodiackiller.com/Stine.html

Snook, H. (1969, October 5). Napa Valley Sheriff's Department. from Zodiac Killer Facts.

Accessed 9 May 2012 from, http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/gallery/

Solano County Sheriff's Office Report. (1968, December 20). from Zodiac Killer Facts.

Accessed 9 May 2012 from, http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/gallery/

Vallejo Police Department Report. (1969, July 5). from Zodiac Killer Facts.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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