My Thoughts On “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer”by Tom VoigtSite Owner — Zodiackiller.com
Television is like that friend you used to have, right up until you realized that every time he looked into your eyes, smiled, and shook your hand, he was also stealing your wallet.
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Once you understand that, you'll never again be disappointed by anything you see on television.
In reality, commercial television is not your friend, it is not an educational tool, it is not a public service; it is simply a money-making endeavor, not unlike a used car lot. How it works is simple: The better the ratings for a show, the more a network can charge for commercials to air.
This is nothing new. As a kid I used to watch “Gilligan's Island” and it was always just before the commercial break that someone would step into the quicksand, and then I'd have to wait through the commercials to see if the poor castaway had suffocated. Of course, nobody ever died, not Ginger, not Mr. Howell, but they still fooled me every time and I never, ever switched channels for fear of missing something monumental.
Fast forward to this age of formula “reality” television, shows like “The Curse of Oak Island,” “Finding Bigfoot,” and yes, “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer.” How many times did Finding Bigfoot fool me into waiting through the commercials, all because at the very last second, the people in the woods FREAKED OUT like something amazing had just happened. Two minutes and four commercials later, it was revealed that Bobo had found a stick. Or Marty had found a leaf floating in the money pit on Oak Island. Not monumental. But it still works every time, or at least often enough that television keeps producing such shows, hence the formula.
You may note that several paragraphs into this article, I really haven't dealt with “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer” (which I will refer to from now on as THFTZK). That is because even after five episodes and five hours, THFTZK produced so little results that I need to ration them, or this would be a very short piece.
Fast editing, dramatic music, explosions, backup dancers, shiny things. I'm sure MTV was happy, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
A more accurate title for the show would have been “The Hunt for Vallejo and San Francisco,” because going to where Zodiac was known to be was not a priority for THFTZK. Imagine a Jack the Ripper mini series where the on-screen detectives only visited London briefly, and not until time was almost up.
THFTZK featured a cipher “team” that proceeded to make a mockery of cryptography. I hope the face time was worth it, guys. And that Z340 “solution”? Google “Corey Starliper” for something just as credible.
Male DNA found on the pants of Cheri Bates is new and exciting, but THFTZK is such a dishonest show (don't get me started) that I must question the find in its entirety. We are supposed to believe that Ken Mains (partnered on screen with Sal LaBarbera) noticed an odd blood pattern on Cheri's pants that nobody had ever noticed in 50 years. Then, male DNA was recovered from the area of that particular blood. However, the final episode was sneaky; was the male DNA in the form of blood? If so, that would almost surely mean it was from the murderer of Cheri, wounded during the attack…and that would be huge. Or was the recovered male DNA something besides blood, such as sweat or saliva? Keep in mind that Cheri lived with her father and brother, and all of the detectives working her case were male. Non-blood DNA wouldn't really be all that unusual or compelling. All things considered, had the male DNA been blood, I have to think THFTZK would have made it abundantly clear. It didn't.
*No detail about the type of DNA recovered from her pants*No DNA comparison to Zodiac evidence*No DNA comparison to Zodiac suspects*Not even a no-brainer comparison to Riverside's top Bates suspect (no, it's not Ross Sullivan), who already had his DNA taken back in 1998 or so
And nary a mention from the show as to why nothing was done along those lines.
After five episodes and five hours, we are left with a nothing burger and no fries.
Oh well, I'm certain that ALL of our questions will be answered in season two. After all, television is our friend.
The more things change, the more television stays the same. Which begs the question: Would anyone have been surprised if Sal had stepped into quicksand up on Mt. Diablo???