"People of San Francisco,
This is the Zodiac speaking..."
In Mid-October 1978, the infamous and mysterious Zodiac serial killer, who had stalked
the public in the Bay Area for well over a decade, wrote the San Francisco Chronicle one last time, threatening to strike
and kill, that weekend. That Saturday and Sunday came and went. Silence. Later the following week the writers/editors of the
San Francisco Chronicle stated in print that they thought the letter must have been written by an imposter, as no one actually
wound up dead as he had threatened. However, after that fateful weekend, he disappeared forever. Whatever happened to the
Zodiac Killer? What seemed to be silence to the police and the newspaper writers, was really not. He did appear in full force,
ready to kill. This screenplay is based on a true story of the couple who chased him off the planet forever...the facts are
real, only some names have been changed.
THE CHASE WAS INITIATED AT VISTA POINT
“After church, and a late night dinner, my husband John wanted to pull over to some ocean lookout spots
on the way home. Ironically, as fate would have it, the Zodiac had also chosen to stop by looking for someone who was alone.
After seeing the Zodiac stalk couples at two other lover’s lane locations in the space of 25 minutes, we had traveled
over the Golden Gate Bridge on 101 at about 11:30 PM, taking the exit for Vista Point immediately after crossing the bridge. As
we entered the parking lot, we immediately noticed the same lone man wearing a medium gray wool jacket, and matching
pants with a white turtleneck sweater, and black dress shoes. He was in his mid 50’s or early 60’s, having
light or gray thinning hair, and large light colored rimmed glasses. The man had left the old white
car, with red stripes on the sides, and was headed straight toward a couple whom he had finally discovered alone,
clasping hands, facing each other. It looked like an imminent marriage proposal.”
“My husband had intended to circle around and pull into a parking place about where the white car had
parked. Upon seeing the suspicious actions of the man, I noticed he was reaching into his left pocket
as if for a gun, headed straight forward toward the couple, we realized he had evil intentions. He turned around
and saw us looking full view at him. His face suddenly became filled with terror, and the intense emotional pain of
discovery. Upon seeing us observing him the third time in less that 30 minutes, the stalker panicked. He must
have thought we were undercover police. My husband said, ‘That’s the Zodiac…let’s
get him! ‘” The man who was the Zodiac quickly abandoned his plan, ran to his car, quickly
jumped in, and dashed off, leaving through the Vista Point entrance, not an exit…back to the freeway. We
were close on his tail, and the chase began!” (See Panoramic Earth-Vista Point to see the actual layout of the encounter.)
“Initially, we entered the Vista Point parking lot on
the right, traveling left. The Zodiac parked where the cars had parked in this photo, slightly right. He
was walking toward the couple standing out front where people view the water and the city. He had waited to find
somebody who was alone. We looped around facing his car, but did not park. Probably about 20 feet away in front
of us, as he headed straight for the couple, he turned around and saw us still in our car, staring squarely at him.
He stopped. Then decided to run. As we saw him fearfully dash back to his car, we suddenly accelerated forward
after him initiating the chase, and exited with him through the entrance only, back to the freeway.
He shot ahead at great speed. Apparently, the ‘old ‘ white car with the red stripes on the side, was a
disguise, much like him. It was a car with a big engine, obviously designed for the escape. We were driving
a late model Subaru Sedan, but it was no match for the Zodiac escape car.”
John FitzPatrick, the man who chased the Zodiac Killer in Mid-
October 1978. Deceased of cancer in 2008.
“We travelled at high speed, pushing
up over 110 mph, but the Zodiac’s car must have been traveling at up over 120 mph. My husband who was an engineer, and
a precision driver, was dodging in and out trying to get up close for the license plate.
‘Can you see it...can you see it?’ I strained
my eyes to try to see it. It was close to midnight now, and the only light was that of the moon, and neighboring
motorist's headlights. I was blessed with 15/20 vision, but just when I could have seen the license plate
a car trying to take an exit on the left, got in between our car, and his car. We were forced to slow up
to avoid hitting the car. The Zodiac shot ahead with the ‘Phantom advantage’ he was so famous for, and disappeared.
We could not see which exit he took. “’Great!’ my husband said. ‘We had him, but he got away!’
I was secretly glad, as we could not have risked following him off an exit, and potentially being shot at if he felt closed
we saw an exit off the freeway for the California Highway Patrol, and took that. The light was on in the
building, and someone was still on duty. We rushed inside, and told the Officer our story.
He immediately believed us as all Officers had been put on alert due to the letter the Zodiac had written to the newspaper
threatening to strike and kill that weekend. Right away, the Officer got on the police radio and put out an All
Points Bulletin, and dropped a surveillance net."
‘That's all we can do right now. Fill this out. Someone from the Francisco Police Department will
get a hold of you in the morning,’ he said. The phone rang early on Monday morning.“
‘This is Sergeant Tedesco,” he said.
‘I’ve been a detective on the Zodiac case for the last ten years. So you saw a white Volkswagen?’
he asked. My heart sank.
"'No...that was the ‘Son of Sam’ (a serial killer from New York). I remembered
the newspaper stories about the 'clone' on the east coast. ‘Did you spend all night looking for the wrong car?’
I moaned. I never was sure if he was just testing me, or was just mis-informed. I
went through the whole story again with him in great detail. Then he responded: "'Most people who think they saw the Zodiac…we don’t
think they saw him, but I’m quite sure that’s who you saw!”
“I am an artist of sorts," I told him, and I offered to do a drawing of the face.
I drew my sketch and sent it to him. Tedesco called back a few days later.
‘Your drawing matches other drawings and
descriptions we have. It was him. We are sure of it.’ I begged the police from the very first day,
to keep the story out of the newspapers, as I did not actually see his license plate. If he ever found
out, he would come back and kill again. The police agreed. The effort to block the story from
the media was successful. The San Francisco Chronicle thought the letter must have been written by an imposter,
as no one turned up dead as he had threatened. Unfortunately as a result, the letter...a real letter, was not preserved.
Ten years of silence went by."
" A well known television network based out of San Francisco did a documentary, ‘The
Zodiac, Ten Years Later.’ We received calls from a few friends on our inner circle who had seen the
TV program. ‘Did you know they re-enacted you two chasing him? That was the last he was ever seen
alive, they said.’” The secret had leaked out through a couple we'd known since their high school years who later
became TV Producers.
“We had always told our kids, nieces, nephews and the
whole family group…'don’t go telling your friends and teachers at school your Mommy and Daddy chased the Zodiac
Killer. If he ever finds out we didn’t actually see his license plate, he could come back!' They were pretty good at
keeping the secret."
"Then one day my high school aged daughter, ‘Yvonne,’ in the story…comes
home and drops a bombshell.”
"Mom, I talked to my friend Tony about you and Dad chasing the Zodiac.’”
”'This time it’s different. Tony’s
grandfather who was another key detective on the case for many years, passed away. But Tony followed the details of a case
as a boy, up until the present. He’s going to call you and tell you what happened that night after theZodiac escaped
from you and Dad on the freeway.'
That he did. Remarkable. Leave it to a high school kid to put it all together!”
“I have thoroughly reviewed various sources of research on the Zodiac Killer, and still believe
our story bears strong consideration of what ultimately did happen to him! There are strong facts that suggest
he is dead, and took his own life as early as the next day after the chase, rather than bear the humiliation of
being picked up by the police, whom he mocked for years. How it all happened unfolds later in the story.”
This delightful screenplay, based on our true story, (some names have been changed)…is
filled with intrigue, suspense, and even humor at times. The ending is fiction based on things we theorize happened to him according
to certain evidence that was revealed by the grandson of the detective who worked on the case, but his grandfather died
before certain points could be actually authenticated.
That night we saw him leaving the scene at an ocean inlet where
four couples were walking on the sandy beach, then shortly after that unwittingly chased him off, sparing the lives of two
different couples who were only moments away from being gunned down. After the dramatic chase scene, the
main part of the film is a warm hearted story about the family who held the secret for so many years. Yes, we do tell the
secret. But we are guarding the ending for now!
"Yvonne," the real life teenaged daughter who brought home the
missing piece to the puzzle of this mystery through her high school friend who was the grandson of one of the key detectives
on the Zodiac case, who has passed away years prior. As a result, missing facts were left disconnected.
This is the real life family who held the secret of "Whatever Happened
to the Zodiac Killer?" In the screenplay, their names are Russell, and Tina George, children are Lindy, and youngest,
Screenplay characters, Lindy and rising athletic star, Kerry Lee, add much
warmth and humor to the story. These are the real life characters who have different movie names.
Screenplay characters, Lindy and Kerry Lee, hug "Uncle Jere",
who brought the family to Yakima, WA. to start a new life away from the heavy demands of their Mom and Dad, and all them
working long hours in the television production world. Even there, new encounters with the Zodiac story would continue
to follow them!
Kerry Lee surprises everyone by rising to become a soccer champion, when
her team takes the prestigious "American Cup" in Seattle. Known for racing toward the ball with a 'no fear'
attitude and taking body shots on her arms, back and upper chest much to the delight of the cheering crowd, these sports scenes
will be sure to delight the viewing audience! Be prepared to search for an athletic and very talented double to do these
Near the close of the film, screenplay couple, Tina and Russell George,
take a trip to Southern California, where while walking on the beach to the sound of the rythmic waves gently rolling up on
the shore, they make some important conclusions about their family knowledge and secret of what happened to the famous
San Francisco serial killer, the Zodiac, some twenty five years prior. The film has a delightful surprise ending as well!
This script has a facinating look into the supernatural realm, and the warfare that goes on
between angels and demons over the lives of humans. The Zodiac talked about in his letters a monster demon who drove
him to do the hideous acts he is so famous for. In keeping with this real idea, the spirit of the Zodiac becomes an
actual character in the story.
Some of my family who lived this story are now deceased. After some
40 years of the public of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the world wondering whatever happened to the Zodiac Killer, I have
made the decision to tell this story. People should know that they can walk out and enjoy looking at the stars, or take a
walk on the beach with their sweetheart, without wondering if this phantom killer is still around. He is dead.
This is the true story.
In a day and age when investors wonder what kind
of film they can invest in that will bring sure popularity at the box office...this is it. "The Zodiac Killer"
has held the fascination of the public for over four decades. Any film, book or documentary about him has always been
very poplular...but there has never been a Zodiac movie like this one!
You can register to view the Screenplay, "Whatever Happened to the Zodiac Killer?" if you are
a major Studio,film entity, Film Producer or Investor in films.