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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  11,466 ratings  ·  343 reviews
"SHE WAS YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL BUT NOW SHE IS BATTERED AND DEAD. SHE IS NOT THE FIRST AND SHE WILL NOT BE THE LAST." Few cases in the history of true crime are as colorful and intriguing as that of Zodiac, the bizarre gunman in an executioner's hood who hunted the streets of San Francisco in the late 1960s and sent dozens of taunting letters to the police. Robert Graysmith p ...more
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published 2008 by Levné knihy (first published January 1st 1986)
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In 1978 the San Francisco Chronicle received a letter.

"I'm waiting for a good movie about me. Who will play me...? This is the Zodiac. I am now in control of all things."

The letter was sent ten years after the first murders. The Bay Area contined to assign unsolved murders to the Zodiac into the 1980s.

The case has never been solved.

Highly Recommended!
Let's say you're a serial killer. Now let's say what gets you off more than anything except your killings, is to taunt the cops with letters that mock their inability to catch you. You, of course, do not want to be caught, but there is always the possibility.

Now let's say you just happen to work at a famous newspaper, one of the papers to which you like to send your letters. How lucky for you, or how wonderfully designed, because as a member at the paper you are insinuated into the investigatio
The facts of the Zodiac case are like the worst urban legends sprung to life. As any true crime fanatic knows, real life is where the real nightmares come from and boy, did Zodiac make many nightmares reality.

He was the hooded executioner who tied up and pretended to rob a young couple, then came back to stab them over and over in front of each other, throwing their money and car keys back at them before leaving. He rigged single women's cars so that their batteries would run down or their tire
A very thorough recounting of the Zodiac killings and the long investigation, told by a newspaper cartoonist who became obsessed with the case and involved with the major players. Graysmith lays out the known facts, reproduces the full text of the Zodiac letters for the first time, and conducts his own investigations of the major suspects.

Man. I’d forgotten, but this is a hell of a story. It reminds me not to be too hard on a lot of thrillers and cop shows, because in fact you cannot make this s
I will admit, I picked up this book after seeing David Fincher's Zodiac. I found the case both horrifying and intriguing and I knew I wanted to know more. The Zodiac murders happened long before I was born, but Robert Graysmith did a great job at laying out all the facts from the case in an easy to read format. However, it was quite obvious that Graysmith was not a writer (he was a cartoonist) by the unpolished way that he writes at times. I gave Zodiac four stars instead of five because the mat ...more
Ted Leon
Be careful if you read this book. It has a very high potential to get you addicted to the case and try to figure out who the Zode is.
Brad H
What i really like about this book was how it was told and how it was layed out.
Mr. Graysmith was a Newspaper cartoonist who later became involved in the Zodiac case. Not by his volition but, by the Zodiacs.

He lays out the facts. Gives you the time line and how things were investigated. How things happened. Precise and to the point.

He includes reprints of the letters that the Zodiac sent to the police and newspaper. Some of which to this day are unsolved and undecoded.

what is good about this boo
I don't think you can watch the film adaptation and remain unmoved by Graysmith's story and his obsessive quest to uncover the identity of the Zodiac killer. There was no question that I had to read his book. Graysmith was a cartoonist by occupation, not a journalist, and it shows. He makes the number one blunder of any amateur writer of either fiction or non-fiction -- he tries to include every last detail. Graysmith's obsession with the Zodiac killer means every minutiae of the case is deemed ...more
Mar 05, 2015 Kirk rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Zodiac completeists only
[2.5 stars, rounded to 3 for hometown bias.]

The merciless Goodreads statistics might show that I started this book in 2011, but while yes, I am a slow reader, I’m not that slow. I wasn’t on the page-a-day diet, rather I threw this book aside numerous times for months on end out of sheer frustration, but always determined to come back to it. It. Was. A. Slog. The thing with true crime, sometimes you get lucky and Truman Capote writes one, but that’s not the rule. I have genuine admiration for wha
♥ Marlene♥
I have read this book years ago.
Trying to add some books on Shelfari I discovered I had never registered this book on BC.

From Library Journal
From 1968 to the early 1970s, the self-styled "Zodiac" killer made headlines in the San Francisco Bay Area. In random attacks, he is known to have murdered six persons; in a series of letters to newspapers, which sometimes included cryptograms, he boasted of many more. To this day, the infamous case remains unsolved and surprisingly little has been written
I'm really rather embarrassed to have read this, but the recent film (all thirteen hours of it!) sufficiently intrigued me. Graysmith, as several people cautioned me, is not a very good writer; he has an odd tendency to sensationalize not especially sensational moments, and then describe parts that are naturally fantastic or terrifying in a strangely flat tone. In a way it served as a compliment to David Fincher, who included some legitimately nail-biting scenes in his 26-hour-long adaptation. I ...more
I have a great fascination with the turbulent history and weirdness that was the California bay area during the 60's and 70's. Beatniks, hippies, Sonny Barger and the Hells Angels, the Black Panthers, the S.L.A, riots and civil unrest, SF evolving from hippie mecca to homosexual mecca, multitudes of nutty political and religious groups, and way too much other lunacy for me to list. Even today in spite of the yuppification of the area you can still feel the ghosts of the past in the air. On top o ...more
Zodiac by Robert Graysmith
It what reads more like a collection of small collections of thoughts about various aspects of the Zodiac kills, Graysmith gives his opinions about the case. He should be commended for being the first to bring most of the information together, but his narrative of the events is in no way a true narrative. It jumps around too much.
I found the topic to be interesting, but the book was poorly written. Graysmith is truly passionate about the identity of the killer, and he s
Darbi Simmons
I would have scored it lower if I wasn't a true crime freak! But Zodiac is an okay read if you are interested in the Zodiac case, but Graysmith is in NO way a competent writer. He notes 'this name has been changed' that by the end of it yo are wondering what if ANY of his facts are true. Not a hard read and if you have nothing better to do.
I found that this book was written very well; but it reminded me too much of a dissertation or a Police report. I found it very interesting as I did a Criminology and Sociology degree while I attended the University of Northampton. When I received this book in the NSS; I knew that I would enjoy it…however; this was not the truth. I found that it took my a while to get into the novel and to understand what was occurring throughout the book. I know that this book was turned into the film, starring ...more
I listened to Zodiac on audio. The production value was really high, and the narrator was straight-forward and poignant. This is probably the most factual book I've ever read. Even though Graysmith puts out some theories on the identity of the killer, he keeps all of his conjecture grounded really firmly in the facts of the case. I wondered at the end if I would feel satisfied with a book based on a case with no resolution. I thought Graysmith did a great job of creating probable cause for a few ...more
I have always enjoyed reading true crime stories, and after renting the movie Zodiac a few years ago wanted to read the book. It offered a chilling read, as most of these books do since the average person cannot imagine the messed-up mind of these sociopaths. So on that level, it was a good book.

The author, Robert Graysmith, was a newspaper cartoonist at the time the Zodiac killer started sending letters and ciphers to San Francisco newspapers. The letters and ciphers are presented in the book i
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth K.
Well this was a trip and a half. I don't read very much true crime, but I had to run out and pick this up because we rented the recent Zodiac movie, and there was a part about one of the suspects that seemed not fleshed out enough in the film and it was burning a hole in my brain and I assumed that the book would have more detail (no joy on that call, it didn't have much more information). A quick aside about the movie -- it wasn't especially great overall, but there were these small elements th ...more
this book is a true story of a californian serial killer that taunted the police and killed over 50 people. This serial killer killed his victims and sent letters taking blame for their murders. he ordered the newspapers to publish his letters or he would kill more people. The victims that survived reported him to the police. yet they feared for their lifes in fear that he would attack them again. people that lived around the area where the attacks took place became scared. the police tried thei ...more
Robert Graysmith has produced a well written and interesting book about the notorious Zodiac killer. He does an extremely good job of presenting the information and facts on the killings, including some never before printed information. Unfortunetly after he has given all of the factual details he then goes off and tries to solve the case himself. Graysmith does have a couple of suspects who he reels off pages of circumstancial and exaggerated evidence on, one of which he names as Robert Hall (D ...more
holy crap. this book was SO HARD TO READ.
robert graysmith is a terrible, terrible writer. whoever was his editor needs a good smack, too: the times and dates and names are all terribly confusing; the chronology makes no sense; there are grammatical errors and random facts floating everywhere...
still, this was one scary book, mostly because you knew that everything in the book actually happened. and...they just never caught the guy.
it's turned me off the movie. after i closed the book, i lay awa
David Schwinghammer
Robert Graysmith is no Vincent Bugliosi, but he does know more about the Zodiac killings than anybody else on the planet. The detail about each of the five known killings is incredible, and Graysmith unearths another killing that occurred in Riverside prior to the Zodiac killings that may have been committed by the same person. And he does come up with a likely suspect.

Prior to reading ZODIAC, I rented the David Fincher movie. I was expecting the movie to follow the book pretty closely, but ther
Fascinating but frustrating. I read this in about two days because I just wanted to know who did it but, here's the thing, NO ONE KNOWS. I mean, I knew this already, because I saw the movie (Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo in one movie? Of course I saw it) but still, I was hoping the book would have more info or something. I love mysteries but only when they're solved.

Also, I read this mostly at night, which is just a bad idea all around, in case you're wondering.
Murder is certainly not new or peculiar to the USA, but somehow this is a very American story. The landscapes and the cars and the settings, the vastness, the rituals. This is a helluva book, of the "can't-put-down" variety. Graysmith's certainty of the killer's identity leaves one a little skittish, though. It was funny to see how Graysmith was portrayed as such a guileless idiot in the film version, succeeding mainly by pluck and persistence rather than brainpower. Read the book instead.
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. There was some really interesting chapters but I feel like the closer to the end you got, the more they shoved suspects into your face and tried to get you to believe that this one person was it, and have a whole chapter on said suspect, then at the end of another the author would write about his suspensions have faded about them. It was rather annoying.

However, I really enjoyed learning more about the Zodiac as unsolved crimes (and besides who Jack the
Amanda Alexandre
A few months ago, there was a guy who used to jump over my walls and spy on me. He even masturbated at my porch, sometimes, as he was seeing me study late at night, through my window shutters. Sometimes, he knocked on my windows and whispered things that he would like to do with me. I had curtains put on my windows and contracted a home surveillance service. I have an old bitch at home, but she never alarmed me of his presence. We tried to catch him a few times, but he always ran before we had t ...more


Appendices: Zodiac Attack Victims and Possible Victims, The Zodiac Letters, Riverside Writings, Zodiac's Handprinting, Zodiac's Speech Patterns, Zodiac's Phrasing, Zodiac Descriptions, Zodiac's Cars, Zodiac's Weapons, Zodiac's Materials, Zodiac's Training, Zodiac's Method of Operation, Psychological Profile of Zodiac
Selected References

I liked this book, but Graysmith did have a tendency to either give way too much information (do I really need to know EXACTLY what everyone was wearing where they bought it?), or not enough (was there ever any real investigation as to whether the Trailside Killer is also Zodiac?). I found this book particularly interesting since I live in the general vicinity. It is truly creepy in parts, and since I spend some weekends at Tahoe each year, I have to wonder if Donna Lass is buried out in the woo ...more
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Bookworm Bitches : December 2014: Zodiac 5 45 Dec 04, 2014 12:28PM  
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Robert Graysmith was born in Pensacola, Florida as Robert Gray Smith. He changed his name to Graysmith in 1976.

Graysmith is a true-crime author of the books Zodiac; Zodiac Unmasked: The Identity of America's Most Elusive Serial Killer; Unabomber: A Desire to Kill; The Sleeping Lady: The Trailside Murders Above the Golden Gate; The Murder of Bob Crane: Who Killed the Star of Hogan's Heroes; The Bel
More about Robert Graysmith...
Zodiac Unmasked: The Identity of America's Most Elusive Serial Killer Revealed Auto Focus The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock's Shower Black Fire: The True Story of the Original Tom Sawyer--and of the Mysterious Fires That Baptized Gold Rush-Era San Francisco The Sleeping Lady: The Trailside Murders Above the Golden Gate

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