By: Michael F. Cole
Publisher: Twin Prime Publishing
Publication Date: December 2020
Reviewed by: Skyler Boudreau
The Zodiac Revisited is a three volume series exploring the terror that gripped the nation in the wake of the Zodiac Killer crimes. Author Michael F. Cole draws on an abundance of research on the history of the crimes to take his audience down this horrifying journey and into the mind of this terrifying man. In this book, Volume 1: The Facts of the Case, the author goes over everything the authorities currently know about the Zodiac Killer events in preparation for a deeper dive into speculation and analysis in the second and third volumes.
In this initial volume, Cole compiles all the known facts of the case in one book. He goes over everything from the locations of the murders to the strange letters and experiences of the press as competing newspapers were pitted against each other to publish these letters and cover the updates. One key point of Cole’s research is in separating the useful facts from the distracting ones. In a case this old, there are bound to be leads that have been either proven useless or are so disputed it’s impossible to make sense of them. Cole’s approach is systematic and logical; he takes care to move through the case chronologically, taking into account other cases that at first seemed unrelated to the Zodiac crimes but later proved to have some level of association. As he lays out the facts of each incident, he points out which pieces of information are more useful than others and explains why. The readers feel like they are sitting beside Cole stitching together the story of what happened alongside him and reading through old case files.
The Zodiac Killer cases were incredibly multifaceted on their own. Together, they combined into a single, larger mystery. It’s easy to get lost in all the pieces but Cole doesn’t allow that to happen. Instead, he lays out everything in a straight-forward and easy to follow manner. He goes in-depth in exploring how the Zodiac letters were interpreted and the taunts the police faced from the composer of those letters. Cole also introduces each case individually and then explains how they were either directly attributed to the Zodiac Killer or suspected to be associated with him and his crimes. By approaching this larger mystery in bite-sized chunks, he is able to dive deeper into the case as a whole, eventually tying together everything he has discussed in the final chapters.
This book’s strength lies in the clear dedication of author Michael F. Cole to studying this case. His fascination with it shines through on the pages and draws his audience in. His descriptions of how each event unfolded will keep his readers on the edge of their seats. For those familiar with the Zodiac Killer and his associated crimes, it will be more of a review before diving into the other volumes. The Zodiac Revisited, Volume 1 is also a good introduction to true crime as a genre for a reader who has little to no experience with the genre.
Quill says: The Zodiac Revisited is a terrifying and intriguing recollection of a decades old mystery for prospective true crimes fans.
For more information on The Zodiac Revisited, Volume 1: The Facts of the Case please visit the website: www.zodiacrevisited.com