Police to interview alleged daughter of Zodiac

June 17, 2009 1:37:04 PM PDT
San Francisco police may be taking a big step towards solving one of the most notorious mass murders in recent American history. Investigators will be interviewing the woman who claims her father was the infamous Zodiac killer.

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Deborah Perez certainly grabbed headlines in April when she claimed that she was the Zodiac killer's daughter. Her stepsister says it's untrue and that their father went through periods of mental illness and was sometimes violent, but could never have killed anyone. Now the task of proving any connection will be up to San Francisco homicide investigators when they begin interviews on Wednesday.

Police believe the Zodiac killer murdered at least five people, possibly as many as 36, during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Now a Southern California resident, 47-year-old Perez claims the killer is her late father Guy Hendrickson, who died in 1983. She says that as a young girl, she was with him when he committed two of the murders.

Perez, who is involved in an ongoing documentary about the crime spree, says she started researching the Zodiac killer in 2007 after she saw a composite suspect sketch that looked like her father. Perez says there is evidence that will link her to the Zodiac killings, including the eyeglasses her father took off a victim, a San Francisco cab driver killed in 1969.

She also claims to have helped write and mail some of the letters the Zodiac killer used to taunt police with codes and clues of his crimes and identity. To prove her connections, she says she can reveal facts about those letters which are not publicly known.

After so many decades, Bay Area residents would surely welcome closure in this killing spree that terrified the region. Police are now tasked with determining whether there's enough evidence, DNA or otherwise, that can confirm her claims.

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