On May 6th 1986, the Zodiac Killer or a hoaxer mailed a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle claiming the April 22nd 1986 murders of Koy Ien Saechao and Choy Fow Salee, who were brutally gunned down in similar fashion to the attack on Michael Mageau and Darlene Ferrin at Blue Rock Springs Park on July 4th 1969. The killer had approached their vehicle from the rear and fired off 15 small-caliber rounds into the vehicle, blowing out both front side windows. The author of the letter wrote "This is the Zodiac speaking. I am still out here an crackproof. I want you to know about my latest slaves that I have collected about two weeks ago up by Sacramento Ca. I will give you clue to help you with the mystry. They were killed by a freeway. The Blue Meannies almost caught me. The body count is growing now 100+ all over the state of Ca and Na". This letter is a complete outlier to the barrage of communications from 1969 to 1971 - so what inspired a lone communication such as this, if not the release of the Robert Graysmith Zodiac book in the January of that year. The 1986 letter would be belatedly followed by another correspondence on October 28th 1987 referencing the movie The Car - and it is this latest letter that would mimic one crucial detail from another outlier communication from 1978.
The letter began with "Dear" and ended with "yours truly" (placed midline), in similar design to the Dear Boss letter, mailed and accredited to Jack the Ripper on September 27th 1888. This may not be wholly convincing on its own, unless we can discover the inspiration for why the Zodiac Killer decided to resurrect his contact with the Chronicle newspaper in 1978, akin to the release of the Zodiac book by Robert Graysmith in 1986. It may have been a newspaper story that he had followed closely over the preceding months or years. But one that inspired the Ripperesque style approach and the desire for his name to be up in lights.
On January 21st 1978, the Yorkshire Ripper claimed his seventh victim, that of Yvonne Pearson (21). Peter Sutcliffe repeatedly bludgeoned her about the head with a hammer, then jumped on her chest before stuffing horse-hair into her mouth from a discarded sofa under which he hid her body near Lumb Lane. On January 18th 1978, Helen Rytka (18) was struck on the head five times as she exited his vehicle - and after stripping many of the clothes from her body, he then repeatedly stabbed her in the chest. Her body was found beneath railway arches in the timber-yard to which he had driven her three days later. The body of Yvonne Pearson was not discovered and reported in the newspapers until March 26th 1978. One month later, the Zodiac Killer reappeared and wrote to the San Francisco Chronicle, in a communication bearing hallmarks of the Dear Boss letter of 1888. Did the Zodiac Killer keep abreast of the news from England and resurrect the Ripper for the newsrooms of the San Francisco Chronicle, or was there another reason he resurfaced in the April of 1978?