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 finally 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 Streets, behind the Veterans Hospital. Although this took place approximately two years prior to this letter on June 29th 1971, despite the location being very close to the Albany Medical Center. The suspect in this case was thought to be known to police, but without any solid evidence against him regarding the murder, they were unable to make a case.
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. A rock had been used to inflict severe head injuries, subsequent to the killer failing to shoot the woman, when the bullet he fired failed to penetrate her skull. Again, this location was 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 2.00 am, 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 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 the Zodiac Killer is simply being credited for crimes far and wide, with little 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 another location. They had been stabbed over 50 times and their eyes 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 claimed to have been sent by the Zodiac Killer.