In the Shadow of Mt. Diablo: The Shocking True Identity of the Zodiac Killer
by Mike Rodelli
“It is no exaggeration to call the identity of the Zodiac Killer the most maddening unsolved crime in American history…But it is also no exaggeration to say that Mike Rodelli’s case stands above them all” – Tom Zoellner, Author and Former Reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.
In June 1999, Mike Rodelli had an idea that had never occurred to a generation of detectives in the San Francisco Bay Area. This led him to a new suspect in the Zodiac case and began a twenty-year odyssey to prove that this man was the Zodiac Killer. In the Shadow of Mt. Diablo: The Shocking True Identity of the Zodiac Killer is filled with original information about the mystery, including DNA and behavioral profiling that resulted directly from his twenty years of intensive research. Rodelli provides the reader with an objectively researched, fully documented book that is meticulously footnoted, and which shows that, against all odds, he has solved a case many said would never yield its dark secrets.
My thoughts: Having read books about the Zodiac Killer, and watched various things on TV as well, I’ve wondered who this elusive killer is during the years. So I was eager to dive into this newest, possibly revealing, book on Zodiac with a new suspect. I recently read how some of the Zodiac’s impossibly difficult codes from his letters had recently been cracked after all these years. So is it possible that his identity has been figured out as well? That is why I read the book. You will have to decide for yourself if you think Rodelli got it correct or not. Its certainly well-researched, with about 20 years spent chasing an answer. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Mike Rodelli, and the publisher.
Publisher: Indigo River Publishing – 496 pages
Publication: May 11th, 2021
My rating: 4/5 STARS
About the author– Mike Rodelli was born in Woodside, Queens, New York. In the 1960s he spent a good part of his youth playing sports in schoolyards. When Mike was a teenager, he saw a TV show about Jack the Ripper, which prompted a lifelong interest in puzzling over unsolved mysteries. Little did he know that, some thirty years later, his interest in serial killers would reshape his life and send him on a quest to bring the Zodiac Killer to justice. Mike holds a BA in biology from Montclair State University and a master’s degree in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. When a controversial DNA sample in the Zodiac case appeared to rule out his suspect in 2002, his background in natural science proved to be critical in assessing and eventually overcoming that decision. His interest in thoroughbred horse racing likewise would serve him well in both understanding and gathering evidence on his suspect, an entrepreneur and a wealthy horse owner. Since 2000, Mike’s research on the Zodiac has been covered in several articles in the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2002 he appeared on the ABC News program Primetime Thursday. In May 2018 his book, The Hunt for Zodiac: The Inconceivable Double Life of a Notorious Serial Killer, was the subject of an article in the Los Angeles Review of Books by Tom Zoellner, The Serial Killer as a Marketing Genius. In addition, Mike was a contributor with screen credit on the acclaimed 2007 feature film, Zodiac, by David Fincher/Warner Brothers, which starred Robert Downey, Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal. Mike currently lives in Atlantic City, NJ. When not chasing serial killers, he is an avid New York Mets and Rangers fan. He enjoys tackling the Sunday New York Times crossword and occasionally declares victory over it. Mike also reads voraciously and eclectically and is working on two new true-crime books.