In the counterculture revolution of the 1960s, a new breed of expressionism emerged, in alliance with the already existing forces of cinema and theater that permeated the San Francisco culture and provided the backdrop for a diverse cocktail of literary and visual freedom.
From an early age, it is possible the Zodiac Killer longed to take the leading role, but rejected from his yearnings, took solace in the wings and waited, knowing that one day his time would come. When it arrived the 'performance' was brief, and the final act was never far away, as tragedy would have it, when Paul Stine picked up his final passenger from the theater district, near the intersection of Mason and Geary Streets on October 11th 1969. Many researchers have suggested a plausible link to the theater due to traits in the Zodiac Killer's correspondence.
The Lamplighters, hailed as one of the oldest companies in the Bay Area and specializing in Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas, performed at the Harding Theater throughout the 1960s - and were performing The Mikado in San Francisco in 1969, opening on April 20th. Many have speculated that the Zodiac Killer may have been a cast member or had viewed the production, prior to his version, when he mailed the Little List letter to the San Francisco Chronicle on July 26th 1970. However, it is equally likely he may have been a theater technician, employed in the area of stage management, lighting, electrics or quite possibly wardrobe. He could have trained in costume design, as a tailor, or more specifically wardrobe crafts involving masks and disguises.
One thing evident throughout his correspondence, was his use of the word shall, leading to speculation that he may have been of British origin, as the word shall, is infrequently used in American English. However, another option exists. As a member of theater production, his exposure to the word shall would have been far more frequent in the performance of stage plays, particularly in traditional works of English origin, which he would seek to take to the next level when he started crafting his own scripts. Embittered by rejection, he mailed his work to the heart of the American people via the San Francisco Chronicle, seeking literary recognition, but sadly only succeeded in creating a tragedy of epic proportions, while hiding behind a pseudonym and mask of sanity.
In his fourth and final act, the Zodiac Killer departed the theater district of Union Square on October 11th 1969 for the short journey to the intersection of Washington and Cherry Streets in Presidio Heights, with the unsuspecting taxicab driver Paul Stine at the helm. Thirteen minutes later the final act was upon us, when the brutal slayer claimed his fifth and final confirmed murder victim.
The killer was observed by three teenagers from a house across the street, as he wiped down the vehicle to remove any incriminating evidence. He then calmly walked away into the night. His 'exit stage left' was complete, but the memories he left behind, still haunt us today.