CLEANED UP VERSION OF THE ALBANY LETTER BELOW.
Mailed to the Albany Times Union newspaper and postmarked August 1st 1973, this correspondence was secured by Zodiac researcher Tom Voigt of the hugely successful website Zodiackiller.com. The letter suggested an impending threat of murder on the precise date of August 10th at 5.00 pm during a shift change at the Albany Medical Center. An FBI cryptanalysis unit deciphered the material at
This is a debatable Zodiac letter, in which the author failed to follow through on his threat of murder.
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 and then returning to America, relocating in Haight-Ashbury in 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. However, this murder was committed approximately two years prior to the Albany letter, on June 29th 1971, despite the location being very close to the Albany Medical Center. Investigators had a prime suspect in this case, but without any solid evidence tying him to the crime, they were unable to make good on their suspicions.
The second was a lot closer to the timeline, occurring four and a half months after the said date of August 10th 1973, on December 27th 1973, when Barbara Smith (24) of Hamilton Street, was murdered close to the St Philips Day Care Center on Road Street. The perpetrator had shot the young woman in the head, although it had failed to penetrate her skull. He had then used a rock to inflict the severe injuries noted at autopsy. This location was also 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. Although not a confirmed sighting, she was last seen getting into a yellow Volkswagen Beetle just before 2.00 am. 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 the March 13th 1971 'Los Angeles' letter or questionable March 22nd 1971 'Pines' card, and January 29th 1974, with his last confirmed mailing to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, in the form of an 'Exorcist' letter.
Is it possible the Zodiac switched from one location to another during this timeline, or is it more likely that the Zodiac Killer is simply being credited for crimes far and wide, with little other than letters as evidence.
Many researchers question the nature of certain crimes having been committed by the Zodiac Killer, despite the fact 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."
The murders of Doreen Gaul (19) and James Sharp (15) provided another link, in that the Gaul residence was located on Myrtle Avenue, Albany, within touching distance of the Albany Medical Center.
Doreen Gaul and James Sharp had been brutally murdered and disfigured- their bodies found on November 21st 1969 in a Los Angeles alleyway, between Arapahoe Street and Magnolia Avenue- although it was thought they had been killed at a secondary location. They had been stabbed over 50 times and their eyes were slashed.
Doreen Gaul had been resident at the Scientology Thetan Manor hippie commune, having graduated one year earlier from high school in Albany.
A note found in her room was claimed to have been authored by the Zodiac Killer.