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The Zodiac Killer's Identity Is Investigated in Myth of the Zodiac Killer Trailer

The two-part series will explore a theory that the Zodiac Killer was a hoax.

By Cydney Contreras

The upcoming Peacock documentary Myth of the Zodiac Killer presents an interesting new theory that would explain why the elusive killer has yet to be caught.

"The identity of the serial killer known as 'The Zodiac' has been confounding investigators for nearly fifty years, but an unlikely and unconventional theorist may have finally shed light to America’s most famous cold case by asking a question that no one else has ever dared ask: what if the reason the Zodiac has never been caught...is because he never existed in the first place?" a press release for the two-part series reads.

In a trailer, Thomas Horan points out that the "ballistics don't match, the fingerprints don't match, the witness descriptions and survivor descriptions of the killer don't match." In all, Horan said the assumption that the Zodiac Killer is real just "doesn't make sense."

RELATED: The Zodiac Killer Theories in Based on a True Story, Explained

To prove this, Horan and documentarians will review the case and interview new individuals with ties to the victims. In addition, the Zodiac's letters have been analyzed by AI for the first time.

The Zodiac killings took place in the late '60s, beginning with the shooting deaths of David Faraday, 17, and Betty Jensen, 16. The teens had gone to a remote road known as a lovers lane in December 1968, when they were attacked. 

Michael Renault Mageau, 19, and Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin, 22, were attacked more than a year later in July 1969. Mageau survived the attack and offered the first description of the assailant, saying it was a white male around 26 to 30 years in age and standing at 5-feet, 8-inches tall.

Two months later, Bryan Calvin Hartnell, 20, and Cecelia Ann Shepard, 22, were similarly attacked by someone as they picnicked at a lake in September 1969. Hartnell was found by a man and his son, who called police to the scene. However, his description of the killer differed from that of Mageau, telling officers that his attacker was at least 5-foot, 11-inches tall. Moreover, the assailant had worn a black hood and sunglasses, as well as a black bib bearing the Zodiac symbol.

The last victim, cab driver Paul Stine, stood out in stark contrast to the prior victims in that he was alone and in a populated area of San Francisco. On the evening of October 11, 1969, a man had gotten into Stine's cab and shot him in the back of the head before escaping on foot.

Stine's death is the last murder that the Zodiac Killer took responsibility for, though true crime fans theorize that the serial killer committed at least 20 more murders. This is due in part to the Zodiac Killer's continued correspondence with law enforcement and San Francisco Chronicle reporter Paul Avery. 

It's believed that the final letter from the Zodiac was sent in 1974.

To learn what documentarians and Thomas Horan discovered during their investigation, watch The Myth of the Zodiac Killer when it premieres on Peacock July 11.