The main operations day of the Good Times newspaper, when its staff were on heightened workload, was the only day of the week the Zodiac Killer failed to mail a letter to authorities. That day was Wednesday.
Richard Gaikowski trained as medic in the army, interesting on two fronts, firstly, military style 'wing walker' boot impressions were found to and from the crime scene in the Zodiac Killer's third attack at Lake Berryessa on September 27th 1969, and after the brutal murder of taxicab driver Paul Stine in Presidio Heights on October 11th 1969, the killer tore off a neat, rectangular tailpiece of the victims shirt. This was a practice medical personnel were taught in the field, especially during war, when bandages and tourniquets were at a premium and not a practice that would have been familiar outside of this field.
The Good Times Newspaper Collective was located at 2377 Bush Street, approximately 1.5 miles from the intersection of Mason and Geary Street, the approximated area where Paul Sine was thought to have picked up the Zodiac Killer on his fateful last journey and also close to the intersection of Washington and Cherry Street, where Paul Stine's body was ultimately found.
The body of Rosa Vasquez (20) was discovered close to the Arguello boulevard entrance of the Golden Gate Park on May 29th 1973. She had been strangled and thrown from the nearby road. Almost three years earlier Donna Ann Lass disappeared from the Sahara Tahoe Hotel on September 6th 1970 after finishing her shift as a nurse. A few months earlier in June she had moved to South Lake Tahoe, from San Francisco, where she had previously been employed as a nurse at the Letterman General Hospital in the Presidio, near the Paul Stine murder scene. Curiously Rosa Vasquez was also employed at the Letterman General Hospital as a keypunch operator. A keypunch is a device for delivering punch holes at specific locations on a card face, to carry information for a relevant task. This was apparent on two cards possibly sent by the Zodiac Killer, when the 13 Hole Postcard was received on October 5th 1970, along with the Pines Card on March 22nd 1971, albeit prior to the murder of Rosa Vasquez. She lived at 834 Bush Street, close to the collective of the Good Times newspaper at 2377 Bush Street, where Zodiac suspect Richard Gaikowski worked as an editor for the publication, although the Good Times had produced its last offering by the turn of 1973.
It has also been suggested that Richard Gaikowski was present at the funeral of Paul Stine, the final confirmed victim of the Zodiac Killer.
He also abbreviated his surname to Gaik and Gike, providing a source of the four letters found in the cipher sent to the San Francisco Examiner on July 31st 1969, albeit with the insertion of the letter Y and therefore could be merely statistical coincidence.(see below)
He resembles closely the famous composite sketch of the Zodiac killer, and upon hearing his voice in later years Nancy Slover, the police dispatcher who took a call from the killer at 12.40 am on July 5th 1969, approximately 40 minutes after the murder of Darlene Ferrin and attempted murder of Michael Mageau at Blue Rock Springs Park, said that it was the same voice that had spoken to her way back in 1969, and although many years had passed until she eventually heard the recording of Gaikowski's voice, she has good reasons not to forget it, with the killers voice indelibly etched into her brain.
But despite several more interesting connections, nothing concrete ties Richard Gaikowski to any of the crimes.
Michael Butterfield is one of the foremost Zodiac experts, having been an adviser for the film Zodiac and questions any link to Gaikowski as tenuous, with the credibility of 'Goldcatcher' under scrutiny as a reliable source, despite having gained high profile advocates such as Tom Voigt from the hugely successful website Zodiackiller.com.
Butterfield stresses his interviews with leading detectives as most compelling, such as Ken Narlow and his involvement with the Lake Berryessa case, Ed Rust's connection with Blue Rock Springs and Pierre Bidou on the Lake Herman Road murders and firmly believes Tom Voigt has railroaded Gaikowski in as the prime suspect off the back of a host of dubious claims and the ever changing stories of the so-called 'Goldcatcher'.
Despite this suspect continuing to be put forward off the back of ever vague links, the SFPD have ruled Gaikowski out, despite claims their failure to pursue evidence lines, as tantamount to some sort of conspiracy.
Michael Butterfield stresses even when a suspect is ruled out either by DNA or fingerprints, the Zodiac theorist fails to be convinced, claiming tests were never conducted, or conversely dream up ever incredulous theories to explain away how their suspect circumvented their capture by fantastical explanations, as did Robert Graysmith in his conviction that Arthur Leigh Allen was the Zodiac despite increasing evidence to the contrary.
Recently Bode Technologies in Lorton, Virginia, have performed touch DNA on letters sent by Richard Gaikowski, but when the results came back they produced two mixed DNA profiles of a male and female assumed to be Robert Loomis and his wife, who had also handled the letters being friends of the suspect, so further tests were undertaken on the sealed part of the envelope ie:an area protected from extraneous handling and it produced a partial male DNA profile.
In 2002 the San Francisco Police Department extracted a partial DNA profile from a letter sent to the San Francisco Chronicle and believed to be that of the Zodiac's.
Mystery Quest requested the DNA profile from police for a comparison but they refused, and as a result Mystery Quest have sent their results to police, in the hope they will check for any match and either incriminate or eliminate Richard Gaikowski from this long running investigation.
Mystery Quest have also sent their findings to the Napa County Sheriff's Office so they can rule in or out any connection to the Lake Berryessa Attack, when compared to DNA possibly lifted from the bindings used to tie up Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard on September 27th 1969.
Richard Gaikowski, a medic in the army for a couple of years, had traveled to Albany, New York in 1966 to work for the Knickerbocker News, having become captivated by the authenticity of such a small town, at a time where racial tension permeated the very breath of American society on almost a daily basis. Darlene Ferrin, murdered on July 4th 1969, had moved to Albany just prior to Richard Gaikowski, and as it turned out, her husband worked in the very same building as Gaikowski, for the Albany Times Union newspaper. The Albany Times Union newspaper received a letter some years later, postmarked August 1st 1973, pertaining to be from the Zodiac Killer and threatening to murder his next victim on August 10th at 5.00 pm. SEE HERE for accompanying story or CLICK HERE for letter on Zodiackiller.com.
Richard Gaikowski worked for the Albany - Knickerbocker News until the second half of 1968, before leaving for Europe, eventually writing an article on the struggles of Northern Ireland sectarianism, he witnessed first hand as violence during a march from Belfast to Derry on Wednesday 1st January 1969. However this timeline will be countered by many, including Tom Voigt, who has previously stated there is no record of Richard Gaikowski out of the country until the February of 1969.
Here we have a newspaper article from the Knickerbocker News in Albany, New York, dated Friday, January 31st 1969 (see right) suggesting otherwise. It states 'Special Report from Belfast : The bricks are flying in Northern Ireland. The Catholics are singing "We shall overcome" and a vociferous Protestant group rallies against "popery". The situation is explosive. Richard Gaikowski, former reporter for The Knickerbocker News, has been on the scene of the protests and rioting. He tells about them in an article that will appear tomorrow on the editorial page of The Knickerbocker News'. An extract that seems to suggest he indeed was out of the country prior to February 1969. SEE HERE and scroll to the bottom.
The following timeline is a chronology of the main events detailing the People's Democracy March from Saturday 5th October 1968, through to Wednesday 15th January 1969. SEE TIMELINE.
People's Democracy March - January 1st 1969 to January 4th 1969.
Belfast to Derry.
The attack at Burntollet.
More videos from the People's Democracy march
He made a seven minute short film entitled Deaf Punk in the late 1970's and in 1985 he founded an electronic bulletin board called Newsbase.
Richard Gaikowski died of lung cancer at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Center in 2004 aged 68.
*Attribution:The March to Belfast photograph courtesy of Keresaspa. Image changed to black and white.
Go to the 20th line on the 408 cipher, symbols 4 to 7 and transplant these four letters GYKE onto the 20th line, symbols 4 to 7 of the 340 cipher like so, to form GYKES ZODIAC or GYKEAUSEKEYS ZODIAC.
It is now possible to see the correct abbreviation of his name, GAIK, in order across the line.
1963 June 4th-The Domingos/Edwards Murders
1966 October 30th-The Cheri Jo Bates Murder
1966 November 29th -The Confession Letter
1966 December- The Riverside Desktop Poem
1967 April 30th- Bates Had to Die Letter
1968 December 20th-The Lake Herman Murders
1969 July 4th-The Blue Rock Springs Attack
1969 July 31st- Vallejo Times Herald Letter and
408 Cipher Page1 (solved)
1969 July 31st - Chronicle Letter and
408 Cipher Page 2 (solved)
1969 July 31st- Examiner Letter and
408 Cipher Page 3 (solved)
1969 July 31st-The Complete 408 Cipher
1969 August 4th- Debut of Zodiac Letter
1969 September 27th- The Lake Berryessa Attack
1969 October 11th-The Presidio Heights Murder
1969 October 13th-The Paul Stine Letters
1969 October 22nd-Call to Chat Show
1969 November 8th-The Dripping Pen Card and
340 Cipher (unsolved)
1969 November 9th-The Bus Bomb Letter
1969 November 28th-The Betsy Aardsma Murder
1969 December 16th-The Fairfield Letter
1969 December 20th-The Melvin Belli Letter
1970 Feb 21st- The Hood and Garcia Murders
1970 March 22nd-The Modesto Attack
1970 April 20th-"My Name is" Letter,
Cipher 3 (unsolved) and Bus Bomb Diagram
1970 April 28th-The Dragon Card
1970 June 26th-The Button Letter
Cipher 4 (unsolved) and Map
1970 July 4th-The Sleeping Bag Murders
1970 July 24th-The Kathleen Johns Letter
1970 July 26th-The Little List Letter
1970 Sept 6th-The Donna Lass Disappearance
1970 October 5th-13 Hole Postcard
1970 October 27th-The Halloween Card
1971 March 13th-The Los Angeles Letter
1971 March 22nd-The Pines Card
1974 January 29th-The Exorcist Letter
1974 February 14th-The SLA Letter
1974 May 8th-The Citizen Card
1974 July 8th-The Red Phantom Letter
1974 December 27th- Christmas Card
1978 April 24th-The 1978 Letter
1987 October 28th- The 1987 Letter
1990 December-American Greetings Card