Someone might think the link between water and Zodiac is irrilevant. A series of coincidences, not a series of acts of will of the killer’s mind. But that’s not true.

According with Robert Graysmith, for example, it’s certain that the man behind the Zodiac mask copied “his killer’s identity” from the swiss brand Zodiac Watches, whose advertising in the ’60s was principally based on the water-proof skill of “one of the first diver watches manufactered and marketed to the masses”.


Not only his identity is linked to water. The presence of water has a rate of recurrency of 100% in all 8 official and unofficial attacks of Zodiac. From Riverside to South Lake Thaoe, the mass murder always killed close to water holes, and, a part of San Francisco, in locations directly linked by name to a rivers, creeks and lakes: Riverside, Lake Herman Road, Blue Rock Springs, Lake Berryessa, Cherry and Maple streets (Lake Mountain Park), South Lake Tahoe. The murder of Sgt Richard Radetich (June 19, 1970), for wich Zodiac claimed his responsabilty, was committed 300 ft away from a street that was named after a river: Potomac.


In his correspondence, Zodiac used the word “water” directly only two times, but interesting fact, he used that word for describing his method of shot “I spray them like it was a water hose” and for one of his tortures “I shall listen to their pleass for water”. By the way Zodiac not so cryptically mentioned water several times. “I am crack-proof…” and “I am crack-proof like I alway said” are only two examples.

The citation of the movie Yellow Subarine (“Blue meanies”) in the same letter where Zodiac wrote “I was swamped out by the rain” is indicative that his allusions are closer to the action of being submerged and dying by water than to the water element.


Zodiac might have quoted Eliot and The Waste Land when he decided to drawn his Halloween Card. One of the elements I’ve found in trying to understand what one of his symbol means (the letter Jay), is just the phoenician alphabet, the language of Phlebas. Quite certainly the card contains a big citation of Tim Holt and the Death Wheel (Tahoe27 – zodiackillersite.com). It’s intriguing that “death by water” is the only “death by” of five wich Zodiac didn’t copy and past from the comic’s cover to his card. And it’s also intriguing that the most famous “death by water” is a chapter of the Waste Land of Eliot.

Finally, it’s not just the sentence “I am drowning” written to Melvin Belli, or all those hints, to say “death by water” is the real signature of the serial killer, but his last signature itself. In the so called “exorcist letter” there is no “Zodiac” no celtic cross as signature, but a quote of the opera Mikado of Arthur Sullivan ad W.S. Gilbert: a drowning (here recited by Mitchell Butel, min 1.38).


Do you think the mysterious symbol at the bottom of the letter could mean “TO KILL“, like Richard Grinell says?
On page 22 of Tim Holt and the Death Wheel, you can find exactly the sentence to whom Zodiac seems to refer: “Go to drink water – we kill”.
In fact his real signature is just “drink-water“.


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1 Who are you?
My name is Francesco Amicone. I am a writer and a journalist. Between 2017 and 2018 I investigated the Monster of Florence case. My enquiry was published between 19 May 2018 on the website of the magazine Tempi and on 29 May 2018 in the newspaper Il Giornale.

2  What have you discovered?
Zodiac and the Monster are two “nick-names” of the same person.

3 The smartest criminal of the history, discovered by an “anonymous” journalist?
The Zodiac Killer and the Monster of Florence cases are the most well documented criminal cases of the history of crime. Thanks to blogger, forums and people who writes on the them and their crimes it has been possible to obtain all the informations needed to start a good investigation. And “luckily” the murderer chose to be also a witness.

4 How did you start to think to a connession between Zodiac and the Monster?
If you go to Florence and ask something about the Monster,  many of the older citizens don’t answer you. What happened on the lover’s lane around the city thirty years ago casted a shadow that arrives to the present days. People of Florence don’t like to talk about it. What I did it was a research of a “dark heart” wich belongs to a human, old and free mass murder. The link between Zodiac and the Monster was born just by switching mentally from a suggestion to an hypothesis.
The thing more striking of them is that they were both very attracted by celebrity. Not only. For example, they liked both to terrify the population of the countries where they killed with a sort of propaganda of themeselves. One did it with words, the other one with actions. Besides they are quite similar in a lot of ways.
FBI had hypotized that the Monster might have stopped to kill temporarily in some years for job reasons. And it is possible also for the Zodiac. An “american” killer could explain all the anomalies of the Monster case. He could  have left the United States in the summer of ’74. With a couple of flights he could arrive from San Francisco to Florence in two days, at the time. Gradually, this hypotesis became less fantastic and more realistic. It could explain, for example, why the disappearance of the killer in the USA before the summer of 1974 was followed few months after by the Monster’s first official apparition in Borgo San Lorenzo. When I saw that on the Monster’s letter to the prosecutor Silvia Della Monica the serial killer had divided a word with a line misspelling a word exactly in the same way of Zodiac, I started to think seriously that they could be the same person. Then I found the name of Joe Bevilacqua.

5 Who is Joe Bevilacqua?
Giuseppe Bevilacqua, called Joe or Joseph, is the former superintendent of the American Military Cemetery of Florence. He was born in Totowa, New Jersey, United States of America, on December 20, 1935.
Bevilacqua is a former US military, with a twenty-year career in the US Army. In the late 60s and early 70s, Bevilacqua was an agent for the Criminal Investigation Division of the Military Police, for wich he worked several years inside and outside the United States. He know very well Tuscany and California. He is also a Vietnam veteran. At the time of the murders of Zodiac, official and unofficial, Bevilacqua was in the same places of the killer.
In 1974 Bevilacqua retired from the army and joined the American Monuments Battle Commission. On 1st July “was reported for duty” in the American Military Cemetery of Florence. Here he began the training for cemetery superintendents.
Bevilacqua lived in the American Cemetery of Florence between 1974 and 1989, in the same years of the Monster case. Later he became the director of AMBC South Europe and moved to Rome.
Bevilacqua actually  lives in a town near Florence.

Giuseppe Bevilacqua 1974

AMBC annual report, fiscal year 1975, Florence Cemetery – Annex B.

6 Why did Bevilacqua become so interesting for you?
The superintendent of the American Cemetery of Florence  tried in all the ways to testify in the Monster trial. And he did it. That’s strange because he was protected by a diplomatic immunity and because, commonly, strangers don’t want get involved with italian justice. But according to FBI, the killer might have tried to contact detectives in some way.
Bevilacqua testified on 6th june 1994 in the Monster’s trial. Listening to his testimony, it was possible to discover he lived close to the last official crime of the serial killer (300 meters far away), in a spot in the country side near Florence. He stated also he saw the victims two times in their last days. And it was him who said he should be the first person to be heard by the Carabinieri after the murders.
Moreover, Bevilacqua was wrong about the day when he heard on the radio the report of the crime: “I heard the news on Monday morning, the day after the crime. My dogs had barked all the night” he said in the trial. But it was “impossible”, because the news of the crime was not yet public on Monday morning.
Finally, Bevilacqua arrived in Florence in the summer 1974, like Zodiac had should be, if it was also the Monster.
When I discovered that the 408 cipher of Zodiac and on My name – letter too could contains Bevilacqua’s name and his identity (Joe and Giuseppe) and that he was born on 20 december (possible birthday of Zodiac) I began to think: “Ok, I shall meet him”.

7 When did you meet Bevilacqua for the first time?
I met Bevilacqua for the first time in May 2017, when I was already working full-time on the Monster case by four months. I must say that he have already understood why I was there. But I think he liked to play a sort of game with me. During the summer, I investigated Bevilacqua, in the while I  became his biographer, until he admitted his responsibilities.

8 Did Bevilacqua admitt of being Zodiac and the Monster of Florence both?
Bevialcqua admitted his responsability indirectly but clearly during a phone conversation on September 11, 2017. I had called him and said immediately: “It was found your name on the letters of Zodiac”. I showed him that one of the cipher was “cracked” just following his suggestions he gave me some weeks before. Bevilacqua, scared, told me that his colleagues at CID (whose names he mentioned) “knew” that “there is his identity” in the correspondence of the Zodiac Killer. “Are you crazy? You must hand you over to the Police”. “Do you know how many years ago it happened?” he told me. “Why did you not give yourself over?”. He replied: “For the others, not to get them in trouble”. Then I asked him to go to the Police again. “What have I to take to the Police? The gun?” he asked me. Later, he talked with a lawyer and changed idea.

9 Why don’t you publish the registration of the Bevilacqua’s admissions?
Personally I didn’t record the conversation. An interception of the call is not in my possession.

10 Is Bevilacqua under investigation in Italy?
On 1st March 2018 I made a complaint about Bevilacqua. In Italy there is the obligation to investigate in case of a formal charge like mine.

11 Did the detectives in charge of the Monster case believe you?
I was summoned twice by the Florence Public Prosecutor’s Office in 2018. In April I met the detectives who led the investigations and in June I was questioned by the Ros of Florence. I met other detectives on september, but they asked me to not talk about the meeting. They just do their job.

12 Did you inform the american Police about Bevilacqua?
I personally informed the american authorities in charge of the Zodiac case months before my enquiry was published.
The Vallejo Police was informed also by person (not me).

Mario Vanni

Mario Vanni

13 Who is “Ulysses, Nero, the American”?
Ulysses is a nickname of the real Monster of Florence, according to Mario Vanni, a postman alleged of being an helper of the farmer Pietro Pacciani in the monster’s murders. Nowdays few persons think they were the Monster. By the way, they could know something.
On June 30, 2003, Vanni was speaking in prison with a friend. The conversation was intercepted. Vanni confessed to his friend that the real serial killer was not Pacciani but an American who called himself “Ulysses”. “Nero” (black). Vanni said Pacciani had met Ulysses in the woods and that Ulysses told him he was the mass murder. It is the first and the last time that Vanni said something about the monster’s identity. When detectives asked him to talk about Ulysses, Vanni refused to do it.

15 Someone says Ulysses was a fashion designer named Mario Robert Parker (who died for AIDS in 1994).
“Someone” is Gabriella Ghiribelli, dubbed by the Italian detective “Gamma”, like the third letter of the greek alphabet. Gamma was considered completely unreliable by all specialists of the case, including the former General Attorney of Florence. By the way she didn’t indicate Parke, but one other man. Later, the Police just gave the name Ulysses to the only african-american who appeared in the list of suspects in the Monster inquiry. That happened because it was not clear if Vanni with the word “Nero” mean a black-skin man or what else. Parker’s mother denied his son was called “Ulysses” and Vanni didn’t confirm. If the detectives opened their greek vocabulary on the word “nero”, they would find this word in greek means “water”.

16 Does “nero” mean “water”?
The pronunciation of the Italian word “nero” is the same as the word that in Greek means “water”, that is one part of the Bevilacqua’s lastname (“bevi l’acqua” means “drink the water”).

Water in greek

Water in greek is “to neron”

17 Vanni at some point of the conversation said Ulysses was “a negro”.
At the beginning of the conversation Vanni talks about “Nero” like it was a name and not like it was the skin’s colour of Ulysses. He talks about “Nero”, the American, Ulysses. The man whom Pietro Pacciani had told Vanni he had met in the wood. The anecdote is perfectly understandable and logical, up to this point. Only later, after the insistence of his friend, Vanni changes the italian word that means “black” in “negro”, a sign that he didn’t know what this term refered to. But in that moment of the conversation it seems that Vanni was really confused.

18 Why would Ulysses be Bevilacqua?
After I read out loud in a meeting with Bevilacqua this conversation, Bevilacqua said with rage: “I think that someone will kill Vanni”. The former CID agent’s home was located 300 meters below the crime scene of the last Monster’s double murder. It was on american territory, on the edge of the wood of Scopeti, where Bevilacqua himself stated more than once that here he had met Pacciani (La Repubblica, June 7, 1994).

19 Is there any correlation between Ulysses and Zodiac?
In the “My name is” cipher of April 20, 1970, Zodiac put two letters, K and M. In the Bevilacqua’s decryption it comes out the name of an actor who played Ulysses in an Italian tv show in 1968, Bekim Fehmiu.
Ulysses is the letterary descendant of Phlebas of T.S. Eliot, author quoted by Zodiac and also by an anonymous Monster of Florence. Movies and readings cheat out him.

Odissea Bekim Fehmiu

“Ulysses” played by Bekim Fehmiu

20 Some criminologist has said Zodiac can’t be the Monster.
I am a journalist not a psycologist. Facts don’t say the Monster can’t be Zodiac, but the opposite. Facts are killing method, shot method, typology of victims, locations of murders etc. All of those things said the Monster and Zodiac are quite similar.
Facts don’t say Zodiac send letters and the Monster not. Facts say only that they send letters both, doing the same mistakes.
Facts don’t even say the Monster killed only couples in the Florence’s province with a .22 LR gun: those are investigative simplifications, at best.
The only difference between the two interpretations (probably more) of the same killer seems to be the mutilations of the female’s victims. But Zodiac announced his obsession since 29th november 1966, in the “confession letter”, where he wrote: “I shall cut off her female parts and deposit them to the whole city to see”. And nobody knows if Zodiac didn’t mutilate his victims never found, like Donna Lass, for example.

21 Don’t you think Bevilacqua is a mythomaniac?
A former CID agent named Joe Bevilacqua put his finger on the only key ever found in 50 years for cracking the Zodiac Killer’s name from only 13 symbols who nobody has decrypted before a journalist asked him an help, and the name that comes out is Joe Bevilacqua. It’s a matter of probabilities.

22 “The solution of the Zodiac cipher make no sense, you can find the name of the whole humanity!”
Who says that, talking about the letter of Zodiac of April 20, 1970, doesn’t know what he is talking about. He can’t explain why in the same letter Zodiac used the word “cid” instead of “kid” and in several months has not found a single name of someone else.
By the way, there is not one, but a lot of solutions of four “rebus” of Zodiac that indicate Joe Bevilacqua as the author of the letters. Not only: the theme of the whole correspondence of Zodiac is the “death by water”; his nickname and his symbol are the same of a diver watch; his final explicit signature is a quote of a drowning
There are few doubts that the surname of Zodiac is “drinkthewater” regardless of the ciphers solutions. It’s not the same for all the others suspects.

My name is Joe Bevilacqua

My name is – Joe Bevilacqua

23 The “birthday call”. Someone says Zodiac didn’t call the attorney Melvin Belli and telling his domestic it was his birthday – according to the San Francisco Police Department. And if it happened, it was not on December 20th, Bevilacqua’s date of birth.
At the end of December 1969, someone who said he was Zodiac made a phone call to the house of the attorney Melvin Belli. The real killer had just sent a letter to the lawyer asking for his help. “I am drowning”, he had written. Zodiac didn’t find the lawyer, but the maid: “Belli is traveling to Europe” she answered. The interlocutor stated: “I cannot wait, it’s my birthday”. The date of the phone call was never published by SFPD.
Data: A) until the end of December only the real Zodiac knew he had mailed a letter addressed to Belli; B) on 20th December, according to the Chronicle journalist, Paul Avery, Belli was in flight to Europe; C) on 20th December of the previous year Zodiac had killed a couple in Vallejo; D) on 5th January FBI agents wrote to SFPD they’d screen later the suspects with similar dates of birth sent by SFPD on 29 December.
Question: when did Zodiac make a phone call to Belli’s house? Probably the real Zodiac made at least a phone call to Belli’s house between 20th and 29th december. If Zodiac didn’t lie and he had to kill someone because it was his birthday, Zodiac was probably born on 20th December, the date of the 1968 double murder, the same date of birth of Bevilacqua.

24 The “debunker” Max Bosco says: “Bevilacqua can’t be Zodiac because the “Red Phantom – letter” was sent in July 1974, when Bevilacqua was already in Florence”.
The “Red Phantom – letter” is not attributed to Zodiac. Furthermore, it is not possible to state that the letter was sent on the day of the postmark or that Bevilacqua was already in Florence on 1st july, even if is officially indicated by the Annual report of the ABMC published in 1976.

25 According to your solution, the 18 final symbols of the 408 cipher contain the name “Bevilacqua Giuseppe”. Bevilacqua, however, says that his name is not Giuseppe but  Joe.
In the 408 cipher Zodiac didn’t put his name (like he wrote in the cipher) but his identity (like he wrote in the letter). The solution of the riddle is that for Zodiac his name is not his identity.  Bevilacqua’s identity is “Bevilacqua Giuseppe” – Joseph is just the english translation of Giuseppe –  but his name (for him) is Joe. In fact, in the My name is – letter he put Joe and not Giuseppe.

Zodiac watches logo


26 Did Bevilacqua really told you that Heavenly Valley is the place where he would have hidden Donna Lass’s body, if it had been the Zodiac Killer?
After Bevilacqua had demonstrated his knowledge of Lake Tahoe areas, where he was in 1970 – according to him – he made a circle around Heavenly Valley, saying that he would take the body of the victim to Heavenly Valley, because it means “paradise”.
The sentence of the stamp affixed by Zodiac on the card “dedicated” to the murder of Donna Lass contain the first words of the Bible: “In the beginning God…“. The sentence continues: “created the Heavens“.

27 In what era did Bevilacqua fight in Vietnam?
According to his stories Bevilacqua fought in Vietnam between 1967 and 1968 for the 25th infantry division.

28 Someone says that in a picture Bevilacqua wear a Navy uniform.
Someone are talking about the ABMC uniform.

29 He says also you don’t know anything about the Monster investigation because you once wronged the name of a witness on Facebook.
The former prosecutor in charge of the Monster’s case, Paolo Canessa, in a trial, during the deposition of the expert Giovanni Iadevito, said a wrong date of a crime several times. So?

30 “Bevilacqua doesn’t know the Monster case because, according to your story, he crippled the surname of a suspect”.
Bevilacqua called a man Raggianti instead of Vigilanti. The snippet of surnames is simply the result of his sarcasm. Like when he wrote Paul Averly instead of Avery. Or like saying “Orphy” instead of “Ophy”.

31 What is Ophy?
She is the bulldog of Bevilacqua, Ophelia. The diminutive of the most famous female name on track with the killer’s obsession, the “death by water”.

Ophelia John Everett Millais

Ophelia, by John Everett Millais

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