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. The following will outline some notable crimes in the months and years surrounding the August 10th 1973 timeline in relation 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 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. Although investigators did have a prime suspect in this case, they failed to find any solid evidence tying him to the crime and were subsequently 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, but having failed to penetrate her skull he 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.
These murders occurred from June 1971 to November 1974. The Zodiac's assumed hiatus in confirmed correspondence is claimed to have been between March 13th 1971 with the arrival of Los Angeles letter (or the March 22nd 1971 Pines card) and January 29th 1974, when his supposed last confirmed mailing to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper arrived in the form of an Exorcist letter. However, it can be shown that there were at least two more communications mailed by the Zodiac Killer in May and July of 1971, with the 1973 Albany letter also shown to be a genuine Zodiac communication.
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 letter found in in Doreen Gaul's belongings read: "SO YOU THINK YOU CAN FOOL THE OLD KILLER HA HA. I KNOW ALL YOUR MOVEMENTS AND THE TIME THEY ARE MADE. TIME IS SHORT, ENJOY LIFE WHILE YOU CAN. YOU ARE TO BEAUTIFUL TO LIVE AND I MUST KILL YOU. THE ZODIAC KILLER".
(full stops added for clarity).
WHY THE ALBANY LETTER IS GENUINE ZODIAC CORRESPONDENCE