Donald Lee Bujok, a former army veteran and railroad worker, uttered the words "Guilty your honor", before being led away to serve his time in Old Montana State Prison - that became forever etched in the public psyche for the infamous Jerry's Riot that took place on 16th April 1959.
Deep inside the Montana walls of correction, it appeared that Donald Lee Bujok was learning little of value, becoming a disciplinary problem, while surrounded by hardened criminals of an even less forgiving nature than the schoolchildren that preceded them. But it was the writings of another prisoner, Edward Wayne Edwards, which suggested that the man who started life ridiculed on an almost daily basis, was starting to forge his own manifesto of evil. Edward Wayne Edwards would later reveal in his book Metamorphosis of a Criminal that "An inmate who particularly stood out in my mind was the man who killed a deputy sheriff. When the posse found him hiding out in an outhouse, he told them "You can't convict me because I swallowed the evidence." He had swallowed the bullets. This demented individual showed an overwhelmingly interest in science fiction and Egyptian literature. He believed that anyone he killed would be his slave in the next life. He was generally disliked and distrusted by the other inmates. I personally felt that he was one of the most deranged and potentially dangerous persons in the prison. You never knew when he was going to erupt. Unfortunately, this inmate idolized me, for the simple reason that I had earned the respect of the population- something, deep down, he desperately wanted to do. He had an uncanny knack for making your skin crawl. Today, when I think about all the different types I met in that excuse for a penitentiary, this man remains my most uncomfortable memory".
Donald Lee Bujok served only eleven years of a life sentence, before being released from Old Montana Prison on December 17th 1968. Three days later the Zodiac Killer announced his arrival to the world, as the lonely turnout on Lake Herman Road would testify to, one dark night in Northern California. Kevin Robert Brooks believes that the young man taunted as a child, hardened in the walls of confinement and further isolated from the clutches of reality, had now embarked on a mission of evil from which there was no turning back, with his collection of slaves for the afterlife now underway.
However, the day the killer shuffled away from the crime scene at Washington and Cherry, may have been indicative of a man whose failing health was to finally curtail his brief but deadly reign of terror. Since that day, the Zodiac Killer bombarded the newspapers with a multitude of letters, ciphers and postcards in order to keep his legacy alive, and possibly inherent of a man that yearned the attention he so clearly lacked during his formative years. But is that life that of Donald Lee Bujok?.
Fingerprinting has since ruled out Donald Lee Bujok to those held on file, after samples sent to the investigatory bodies by Kevin Robert Brooks apparently failed to provide a match - as it has done so for many previous suspects before him. It appears that DNA could be the final hope for this 20th century crime in becoming a 21st century resolution. But the wait continues.