A Letter from Susan Mustafa — 4 Comments

  1. First, what an amazing story! Your mention in the blog about the Zodiac’s post-killing-spree life prompts me to ask for further details – there really wasn’t much in the book about why his killing stopped. All I can surmise is that his alcoholism took over his life to the extent that his search of the next drink replaced his search for victims. I would love it if you could comment further.

    • Thank you for your question, John. I truly believe that he came so close to being caught at the Paul Stine crime scene that it scared the hell out of him. I also believe that when he came home to his wife, she finally discovered what he had done and who he was. I believe this is when she left my father and took their two sons, even though she was seven months pregnant with their third child, to Austria to escape my father. I believe she chose not to tell what she knew to the authorities for fear he would harm her and/or her children, and as a result, he stopped killing. I also believe that once my mother married Rotea Gilford, the object of my father’s obsession was now officially ‘unavailable,’ so he wrote his last letter to the Chronicle and ‘officially’ ‘killed the Zodiac Killer.’ I do agree with you that his drinking took over and ultimately destroyed his life, and his return to each city where he committed his crimes, validated by his DUI charges in those places later in the 1970s, portrayed a ‘now deceased, once infamous serial killer,’ reliving his ‘days on the front pages of all of the bay area newspapers.’
      Thanks again for your questions.

  2. Question: Did any of the law enforcement agencies responsible for the investigation of the Zodiac murders acknowledge that Gary Stewart’s investigation had identified Earl Van Best as the Zodiac killer?

    • Hello Bill,

      Thank you for writing. Of course, the San Francisco Police Department has acknowledged that my investigation has identified my father Earl Van Best, Jr., as the Zodiac Killer. What they haven’t said is that they, the San Francisco Police Department, have proven by forensic evidence, that my father was the Zodiac Killer. I believe there is enough forensic evidence available to finally prove my case, with the use of modern DNA technology. My father is considered a suspect in the Zodiac Killer case by the San Francisco Police Department. But I believe it’s much larger than that. I believe, based upon the evidence I’ve presented to the SFPD, that my father Earl Van Best, Jr., is the top suspect, if not the only suspect in the Zodiac Killer case.

      Best Wishes,


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