Want to find the Zodiac Killer? Cold case detective has his eye on it

By: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki, CNN (CNN) — For 44 years, no one was able to find a murderer. But a nearly $1 million reward, a mass outcry and a top-notch team of investigators has…

Want to find the Zodiac Killer? Cold case detective has his eye on it

By: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki, CNN

(CNN) — For 44 years, no one was able to find a murderer. But a nearly $1 million reward, a mass outcry and a top-notch team of investigators has given crime-weary Connecticut some hope of finally solving the double murder case.

Brian Richards: The author of “A Long Goodbye: The Long Way to Murder and Heartbreak,” hopes the public can help solve the mystery of the notorious Zodiac Killer of California, who has gone unsolved since 1969.

The Zodiac, also known as the East Coast Gypsy-Phrenic Killer, is believed to have killed at least 10 people, including six college students, in a serial spree in the 1960s and 1970s.

Richards, a freelance journalist, has been following the case for some time and joined Connecticut’s cold case unit in February.

But things changed in mid-April, when the man suspected of being the killer, and who has been dubbed The Golden State Killer, appeared in court on charges in multiple murders. That suspect’s name was Mark Allen Goudeau.

After his arrest, some law enforcement experts were quick to downplay the similarities to the Zodiac Killer.

Still, the threads between the two cases were hard to miss. The Zodiac Killer, also known as Paul Alvin Patton, was a Vietnam veteran who killed himself during a police raid in 1972. Goudeau grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a rough neighborhood.

He had previously been arrested for attempted murder in 1968, according to The Guardian.

Worse for the killer was the fact that prosecutors also discovered that a registered sex offender had gone missing a few years earlier — the same age group that the Zodiac Killer targeted his victims.

The most important link between the two was the film “The Crying Game” which deals with a serial killer (played by Viggo Mortensen).

The Zodiac Killer and Mark Allen Goudeau. File photo.

He died in prison before any more details of his history could be known. Richards says the late Zodiac’s murder victim, Paula Bargas, could have been the same woman.

“The woman in ‘The Crying Game’ has a number of characteristics of the Zodiac Killer, and the Zodiac Killer comes from the Fresno area. I think that they are connected,” Richards told CNN affiliate WTNH.

Cold case detectives, who recently learned that Goudeau was working as a private investigator in 1986 when two San Francisco Metropolitan Police Department officers were murdered, matched the interview notes he wrote to the death of the victims.

The hope now is that forensic experts will finally be able to compare the composite sketches Goudeau gave them in 1986 with the Zodiac Killer.

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