Sent to the Albany Times Union newspaper postmarked August 1st 1973 and obtained by Tom Voigt from Zodiackiller.com, the letter threatens to kill on the precise date of August 10th at 5.00pm on a shift change, just nine days later. An FBI cryptanalysis unit formulates the material at the foot of the letter to
This may or may not be a Zodiac letter, and despite the threat, nothing materialized immediately around this date that spiked any great interest.
Rumblings of a Richard Gaikowski connection surfaced, due to his familiarity with Albany, having worked for the Knickerbocker News from 1966 to the latter part of 1968, before traveling to Europe, then Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco.
There were however notable crimes in the months and years surrounding the August 10th 1973 timeline, relative to the Albany Medical Center. The first was the murder of prostitute Gloria South (18), shot once behind her left ear with a .25 caliber pistol, her body was found close to Morris and Lark Street, behind the Veterans Hospital, but this took place approximately two years prior to this letter on June 29th 1971, although it was very close to the Albany Medical Center. The killer was thought to be known to police, but without solid evidence they were unable to make a charge stick.
The second was a lot closer to the timeline, but on this occasion it occurred four and a half months after the said date of August 10th, on December 27th 1973, when Barbara Smith (24), of Hamilton Street, was murdered close to the St Philips Day Care Center on Road Street. She had severe head injuries inflicted by a rock, after the killer had failed in his first attempt, when the bullet he fired failed to penetrate the woman's skull. Again these locations are close to the other murder, along with the Albany Medical Center.
On November 2nd 1974 Kathleen Kolodziej vanished after leaving the Vault Bar in Cobleskill, having turned down the chance to return to her dormitory with a roommate, last seen heading along Main Street. The village of Coblekill lies approximately 40 miles west of Albany. According to a witness she was last seen getting into a yellow Volkswagen Beetle just before 2.00am, although this is far from certain. Twenty six days later on November 28th 1974 she was discovered on MacDonald Road, Richmondville, lying on a stone wall. She was partially clothed, having been brutally stabbed in the back and shoulders numerous times.Kathleen Kolodziej's autopsy was carried out at the Albany Medical Center.
These murders occurred from June 1971 to November 1974. The Zodiac's hiatus in confirmed correspondence occurred between March 1971 with the Los Angeles Letter or questionable Pines Card and January 1974 with his last reputed contact in the form of an Exorcist Letter. But as likely, is that the 1971 Zodiac letters marked the end of one era, only for a new one to begin. Is it possible the Zodiac switched from one location to another during this timeline or may'be the Zodiac is simply being credited for crimes far and wide, beyond the realms of reason. Many researchers question the nature of certain crimes as UnZodiaclike, in their modus operandi, but he did once claim in the November 9th 1969 Bus Bomb Letter that he would 'change the way the collecting of slaves. I shall no longer announce to anyone. When I committ my murders, they shall look like routine robberies, killings of anger, + a few fake accidents, etc.'. So who knows !
The murders of Doreen Gaul (19) and James Sharp (15) provided another link, but in a different way, in that the Gaul residence was located in Myrtle Avenue, Albany, within touching distance of the Albany Medical Center. Gaul and Sharp had been brutally murdered and disfigured, their bodies found on November 21st 1969 in a Los Angeles alley between Arapahoe Street and Magnolia Avenue, although they had been killed at another location. They had been stabbed over 50 times and their eyes slashed.
Doreen Gaul had been currently residing at the Scientology Thetan Manor hippie commune, having graduated one year earlier from high school in Albany, switching from a Roman Catholic upbringing to the relatively new movement of Scientology.
A note found in her room claimed to have been sent by the Zodiac Killer.