Zodiac Killer Wiki

Richard Gaikowski (March 14, 1936 - April 30, 2004) was a suspect in the case of the Zodiac Killer.

Early Life[]

Richard Gaikowski was born in Watertown, S.D., on March 14th, 1936. He went to Webster High School and then went to Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen, S.D.

In the military[]

Richard served as a stint in the Army in the 1950s and he trained as a medic.

Activity in 1960s and 1970s[]

In October 1965, Gaikowski was arrested for refusing to sign a traffic citation following a routine stop in Contra Costa County in California.


Richard died of lung cancer at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center on April 30, 2004.

Evidence of Richard being the Zodiac Killer[]

  • Some argue that he looks like the sketch, in spite of lacking a widow's peak and having a wider nose.
  • Nancy Slover said that his voice is the same as the Zodiac.
  • Richard was in the military, but records were burned in a fire so we have no idea how long or any other details.
  • He was trained as a medic to rip wounded soldier's clothing off, which the Zodiac did to Paul Stine after killing him.
  • When Gaikowski was committed to a mental asylum, the Zodiac Killer didn't write for nearly 3 years.
  • In one of the Zodiac's cryptograms, the word "GYKE" can be seen among the letters. Some allege that Gyke was a nickname for Gaikowski.
  • It has been alleged that he attended one of the victim's funerals, even though he had no idea who they were.
  • He followed a surviving victim to New York after she remarried and worked in the same building as her husband for some time.
  • He had a basement which not many people had. Zodiac mentioned having a basement in one of his letters.

Criticism of Richard being the Zodiac[]

  • Richard's friends said that Richard was in Albany, New York during the time of the murders, therefore making it impossible for him to commit the murders. Michael Butterfield also dismissed Richard. His friends lied about this, however, and Richard was never in New York.
  • Cleared via fingerprints by the FBI in 1989. However, fingerprints are not always accurate.