Conspiracies against civil society: What the 'Zodiac' and Bin Laden have in common ?

Yesterday I watched the 'Zodiac', a movie by David Fincher on one of the most notorious serial killers in the US. This is Fincher's best movie so far. Factual, meticulous, with attention to details, even though it is based on a one man account written by Robert Graysmith, a cartoonist working for the SFC at the time.

The Killer who terrorised San Francisco and area was never found with certainty. The main suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen was questioned by the police who was unable to charge him - despite a huge amount of coïncidence between him and what the police 'knew' about the killer (technically considered as circumstancial evidence) - because of the graphological expertise. This is where the story became puzzling for me. Most of the evidence the police possessed at the time were the letters and ciphers the Zodiac wrote to the press, the police, and anybody who would gove him media presence and keep him in the public eye. The graphological expertise did however change over time, over more than 10 years, and its changes led the police and the journalist working on the story to suspect different people, taking suspicion away from Leigh Allen, only to focus on Leigh later. It was amazing how the struggle of the police turned around letters and graphology, a very uncertain evidence, if we judge the standards of graphology at the time. It was somehow a doomed trail.

And this was not the only obstacle in the Zodiac story.
The absence of a clear pattern in the killings, except their savagery, absence of motive, and the will to inflict terror on the population by calling the police and sending ciphers and letters;
The dispersion of the killings on different administrative police areas and different jurisdictions;
Their duration over a ten month period, which is a long period if we judge by the weight of the threat at the time (the killer was thretening to kill a whole load of a schoolbus), during which the killer identification was made increasingly difficult;
The duration of the police investigation extending, under partial information, in both directions, to connect the murders to past unresolved killings, and present and future threats from the Zodiac which went on until mid 70s,
The despair of the police who weregoing from one piste to another without being able to dig deep in the investigation...

Something in this story made me think of l'affaire des 'tueurs fous du Brabant' who terrorised Nivelles and the region of the Brabant in Belgium between 1982 and 1985. Les tueurs du Brabant was a larger scale crime and terror operation involving disgruntled members of the police (gendarmerie) as well as Neo nazi and extreme right groups. The killers were never found and identified but there is police evidence that they were more than one, at least three, and they had links to various groups. But the more consistent interpretation of such an operation came from Le Monde Diplomatique in 2001. According to Le Monde Diplomatique, it was probably an operation to destabilise the weak Belgian government.

A small scale terror operation like the Zodiac killings could not be meant to destabilise the US, but to keep the population in a state of terror, definitely yes. One of the obstacles to the investigation about the Zodiac killings is that the police never assumed the theory of more than one killer operating under an umbrella group and I think this might have been the case in the Zodiac killings. This is an irony because for the 9/11 attacks, the US government rushed to conceptualise the foundations of Al-Qaida as a terror group or network, while we know that Al_Qaida networks operate loosely and 'by inspiration'. However, serial killings like the Zodiac's were clearly orchestrated to strike the imagination and provoke terror and the fact that there were many serious suspects in the investigation should have led to a conspiration done by a group, mainly against civil society in the US, because civils were the main target.

I think the most accurate interpretation of the Zodiac killings comes, in this regard, from Spike Lee in his movie 'Summer of Sam'. Spike Lee insists in his movie, not on the trail followed by the police and not on the affair itself but on the results of such a terror climate on the population in a special neighbourhood, and on the psychology of some of the movie's characters. I find that Spike Lee's 'Summer of Sam' is a good complement to Fincher's movie if you were to watch the 'Zodiac' on video.

Reflecting on this story, I found many similarities between the US's main serial killings operations and the present climate of terror. Major serial killings in the US, including killings of officials, were never resolved, and their main results were the production of a climate of terror. Thanks to Bin Laden, the US does not need its serial killers now. One has to consider Bin Laden as a super Zodiac with a wide media international coverage and much more people terrorised day and night by the idea of him.

Conspiarcy theorists beware !

Fellow blogger Conspiraloon Stef has posted an interesting article recently on the subject of Terror and its relation to major state conspiracies against their own civil societies.

Listen to the talk mentioned by Stef in his post. It was given by Nafeez Ahmed recently in London. There are many interesting parallels that Ahmed draws between the present security-political climate and WWII known archives, in terms of public opinion manipulation.

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Since March 29th 2006