The first Best family reunion I attended.

The first Best family reunion I attended.


My father’s best friend, William Lohmus with me at his home

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church where Van married Judy in Reno, Nevada

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church where Van married Judy in Reno, Nevada

Van’s likeness is captured in the figure on the far right with the brown and green cloak.

Grandpa in College

My grandpa as a young man in college.

Family Reunion 05

Best Family Cemetery

Grandpa and Ellie 1960s

Grandpa and his second wife, Ellie, 1960s

Grandpa and Ellie 1983

Grandpa and Ellie, 1983

Grandpa and Ellie 1950 Kentucky Derby

This photo was taken of Grandpa and Ellie at the Kentucky Derby

Grandma and Grandpa Chandler

Grandma and Grandpa Chandler

Best Family Cemetery

Winifred, wife of John James (J.J.) Best, who is my great-great grandfather, is buried in the Best Family Cemetery.

Commander with his coworkers

Commander Earl Van Best Sr. (left) with some of the men with whom he served in the military.

Captain Robert Weiner and Chief Wingate White

Captain Robert Weiner and Chief Wingate White

75) VFW National Magazine Obituary (1)-3

VFW National Magazine Obituary

17) The Wreck-2

The wreck


Roland Fournier (left) and Charlie Jonau, (right), the New Orleans police officers who arrested Van posing here with me

Grandpa at Asbury

Grandpa at Asbury Theological Seminary

Grandma Frank and Mom

Grandma, Frank Velasquez, and my mom, Judy Gilford


My cousins, Hattie, Allison, Pressley, and_Donna at the Best family reunion


PLEASE NOTE: Due to the tremendous volume of comments and email we are receiving, there may be a delay in posting answers to questions. Thank you so much for your patience and your interest in The Most Dangerous Animal of All.


Photos — 7 Comments

  1. I have just finished your amazing book. It is a very good and well written book. I was married for a brief time to a psychopath and the amount of destruction that spreads out from them like ripples in a pond, affecting so many others is extraordinary. What struck me most about your story is the decency and resiliency of the people in your family and your life, and your strength, in dealing with this craziness. Congratulations on your book. I am sure you are very busy so don’t worry about sending a reply. I just wanted to give my support. Tracy

    • Dear Tracy,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to contact me with such encouraging words. I’ve received a handful of letters written from across the globe by complete strangers, and those, and generous comments like yours, are personally appreciated and cherished more than you’ll ever know.

      Sincerely and humbly grateful,

  2. Hi Gary, I heard you speak at the Acadian Writers’ Guild and found your story fascinating. When I told my book club, the No Rules Club, about your book, we decided to make it our February selection. Thanks again for speaking to us at the meeting. Nancy Rust

    • Thank you, Nancy, for reaching out and making The Most Dangerous Animal of All your February selection! It was nice meeting you.

  3. Just finished your book. I read it in two days. Could not put it down. I’m convinced that Earl Van Best Jr. was the Zodiac. The evidence was so creepy! Anyway, great book. I hope the DNA evidence is coming soon. Best wishes, Lee.

  4. Is there any word on SFPD’s work with the DNA? Have you heard from Lt. Hennessy since the book release? Just read it in two days flat. More like a day and a half. Need updates please! thx

    • The ‘word’ on the SFPD and DNA is almost two years old. Sitting in the Hall of Justice with the ‘new’ Zodiac Cop, I am told that he can’t close the case based on 5 genetic markers, and he will spend all of December in the crime lab hoping to extract a full profile from evidence left by my father at the Stine crime scene. All is quiet now.

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