Richard Gaikowski, was born on March 14th 1936 in Watertown, South Dakota, but Webster, South Dakota shaped his formative years, before eventually he exchanged it all for the counter culture extravagance and free thinking expressionism of San Francisco, where he moulded himself a niche as a talented writer and filmmaker.
Gaikowski, a medic in the army for a couple of years, traveled to Albany, New York in 1966 to work for the Knickerbocker News, becoming 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. He worked for the Albany - Knickerbocker News until the latter 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.
Then he returned stateside, to Haight - Ashbury, San Francisco, recognized as a haven of counterculture and remembered
In 1974 Gaikowski, entranced by his theatrical leanings resurrected the Roxie Theater in Mission District, built in 1909, which was home to adult themed productions and alongside Robert Evans transformed the theater for the showing of Independent films and art based productions.
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.
But was Richard Gaikowski the Zodiac, with near certainty, no, as are most of the high profile suspects in this case unlikely to be Northern California's elusive killer, as there is greater probability mathematically of it being an unnamed suspect as a known one, with DNA and fingerprints having yet to rule any of the main contenders in to the crimes, although not being ruled out of the crimes should not viewed as potential guilt or a hidden agenda by authorities.
Those familiar with the Zodiac crimes and correspondence have attached the Richard Gaikowski timeline to suggest some disturbing coincidences, including the Zodiac's later years affinity to movies, the areas he committed his crimes, various publications from the Good Times Newspaper and links between the victims and Richard Gaikowski's movements in Albany and San Francisco. But what people fail to dwell upon is the overwhelming evidence that contradicts a particular suspect to a particular crime and when faced with something unpalatable that throws doubt on their prime suspects guilt, it is simply not presented for public consumption, leaving their prime target riding high on the billboards of suspicion, especially when that billboard has been erected by the camera shy protagonist, parading by the name of Goldcatcher.
It is human nature to select a suspect and then start looking for reasons to tie this suspect up in a neat bundle of circumstantial evidence, rather than looking for reasons to rule the suspect out, which is altogether less rewarding, characterized by some investigators blinkered obsession to target a particular subject throughout, as opposed to keeping an open mind to the facts of the case, as a whole.
There is no evidentiary value tying Richard Gaikowski to any of the Zodiac crimes and he is not alone in this respect, but unfortunately for some, he will always be guilty until proven innocent, which in all probability he is.