The circumstantial evidence lined up against Richard Gaikowski, as it is with many suspects, is a simple case of choosing the facts that fit and blatantly disregarding anything that casts doubt on the suspect's perceived guilt by not presenting it for public consumption. The questionable movements of Richard Gaikowski from the latter part of 1968 to the early months of 1969 has come under widespread scrutiny, on whether he was even present in Northern California, or for that matter the USA during the Zodiac Killer's first confirmed attack on December 20th 1968, resulting in the double murder of David Faraday (17) and Betty Lou Jensen (16) in a remote Lake Herman Road turnout. Surely, before you project a suspect into notoriety, it must be imperative you know without doubt that your charge was even in the same country during each or any of the confirmed murders. This is, at the very least the first thing you do. Not being 100% sure is not enough.
Two notable dates were firstly, the beginning of the troubles on Saturday October 5th 1968, when members of the Derry Housing Action Committee and the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Action Association were prevented from marching by the Royal Ulster Constabulary, when they baton charged the crowd in Derry.
The second important date was the four day Belfast to Derry January 1st 1969 march by approximately forty members of the People's Democracy. Interestingly, this march was styled on the 54 mile Martin Luther King Selma to Montgomery march of 1965, that prided itself in peaceful protest. However like the first Selma to Montgomery gathering on March 7th 1965, the Belfast to Derry march on January 1st 1969 erupted into violence when they were attacked many times by loyalist crowds along the route- the worst of which took place on January 4th 1969. Richard Gaikowski, in part a civil rights journalist, in all likelihood drew parallels with the struggles in America, the connection of a Martin Luther King style march and as had occurred many times previously feared violence would yet again rear its ugly head. He felt compelled to cover it.
In the newspaper clipping above, dated Friday January 31st 1969, it says 'Special Report from Belfast : The bricks are flying in Northern Ireland. The Catholics are singing "We shall overcome" and a vociferous Protestant group rallies against "popery". The situation is explosive. Richard Gaikowski, former reporter for The Knickerbocker News, has been on the scene of the protests and rioting. He tells about them in an article that will appear tomorrow on the editorial page of The Knickerbocker News' . It is clear from the article, it mentions Richard Gaikowski has been on the scene of the protests. The question being, was he present in Northern Ireland for the entire month of January 1969- it appears a distinct possibility. He left for Europe in late September 1968, the troubles in Northern Ireland began on October 5th 1968 and the four day march between Belfast and Derry, indicated in 'My Albany Sojourn', took place on January 1st 1969.
If he remained in Europe and Northern Ireland for this period, then Richard Gaikowski could not be responsible for the Lake Herman Road murders on December 20th 1968 and all but ruled out as the Zodiac Killer.
If he was the Zodiac Killer, we would have to assume, that after murdering and depriving two teenagers the freedom to enjoy the rest of their lives just before Christmas, he then boarded a flight to Northern Ireland to cover a freedom march for a better tomorrow. It certainly makes a good cover story. Possibly his newspaper articles were forged and he was never in Northern Ireland. Enter the conspiracy theorists.
Belfast to Derry.
The attack at Burntollet.
More videos from the People's Democracy march