I like killing people because it is so much fun. It is more fun than killing wild game in the forest, because man is the most dangerous animal of all ... I will not give you my name because you will try to slow down or stop my collecting of slaves.
Questioning the Story:Did suspect Arthur Leigh Allen really wear a watch with the Zodiac's symbol on it?
- Zodiac Killer's Cipher Decoded, 1969
Yes. The movie shows Zodiac suspect Arthur Leigh Allen (John Carroll Lynch) wearing a watch that bares the killer's symbol and the brand name Zodiac. The real Arthur Leigh Allen wore an identical watch, the Zodiac Sea Wolf watch (pictured below). Robert Graysmith commented on this in an interview, "To use the symbol ... to wear that watch, and to be at the crime scenes and to know the victims ... he would have to be the Zodiac."
What prompted Robert Graysmith to begin working on his Zodiac book?"I saw it going into obscurity," Graysmith said during an MSNBC interview. "And I thought, 'Well, wait a minute. Nobody is sharing, all the different jurisdictions, all this information. They are not going to tell each other, even within departments. What if, as a private citizen, I went around and got all the information?' Well, it took a full 10 years. I put it all together." The initial print of Robert Graysmith's Zodiac book hit store shelves in 1986, and it became a national bestseller.Did writing the Zodiac book really cost Robert Graysmith his marriage?
A Zodiac Sea Wolf watch similar to the one worn by suspect Arthur Leigh Allen.
Yes. In the movie, we watch as Robert (Jake Gyllenhaal) becomes obsessed with his amateur Zodiac investigation, which eventually results in the destruction of his marriage to Melanie (Chloë Sevigny). In real life, the Zodiac book took Robert ten years to complete, and it cost him his marriage. When asked if he regrets his obsession with the Zodiac killer, Graysmith responded, "it affected my life in one bad way because I got divorced, but on the other hand I have the greatest kids ... As far as the personal relationship [with my children], that was not good. Zodiac was number one, that just took over." In a separate interview, Graysmith summed up his staunch devotion to the case, "In the end, it wasn't all bad. I think, had I to do it over again, I probably would do it. Probably would. But it does grip you. It takes over your life."
How many people did the Zodiac claim to have murdered?
Jake Gyllenhaal's character is based on author Robert Graysmith, who wrote the book that inspired the David Fincher movie.
In his letters, the Zodiac serial killer claimed to have murdered 37 people. However, there are only five known victims: David Faraday (17), Betty Lou Jensen (16), Darlene Ferrin (22), Cecelia Shepard (22), and Paul Stine (29). The attacks occurred as follows: David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen on December 20, 1968 along Lake Herman Road in Vallejo, Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau on July 4, 1969 in a parking lot in Blue Rock Springs Park in Vallejo, Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell on September 27, 1969 at Lake Berryessa near Napa, and taxi driver Paul Stine on October 11, 1969 in the Presidio Heights neighborhood of San Francisco.
Did the two Zodiac survivors want the movie to be made?Michael Mageau, the lone survivor of the July 4, 1969 Zodiac shooting that killed his friend Darlene Ferrin, expressed strong reservations about viewing director David Fincher's Zodiac movie. "Why would I want to see that?" Mageau said during a phone call interview. "I don't want to remember that time anymore." Darlene Ferrin, 22, and Mike Mageau, 19, were shot in the parking lot of the secluded Blue Rock Springs Park in Vallejo, California. As portrayed in the film, the suspect exited his vehicle and walked towards their car with a flashlight pointed in their direction. He then began shooting a 9mm semi-automatic pistol at them. After firing five shots, the man turned and headed back towards his car. Michael screamed in pain, and the suspect returned and fired two more shots into each of them. Michael was hit four times, Darlene five.
The Zodiac killer's five known victims. He claimed to have murdered 37 people.
The only other known survivor of the Zodiac attacks, Bryan Hartnell, was also not in favor of the movie being made. Hartnell changed his mind a little after meeting with director David Fincher. "It became pretty clear that he didn't want to do something sensational or inaccurate," Hartnell said. "He was going to recreate things just the way they happened." This included the September 1969 attack at Lake Berryessa in Napa County, California, during which the Zodiac killer hogtied Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard, 22. The Zodiac, who was disguised in a black hooded outfit, stabbed Hartnell seven times in the back, "I was positive I was going to die," said Hartnell. Cecelia Shepard passed away three days later as a result of her injuries from the Zodiac's knife. Hartnell, 57, currently lives in Redlands, Washington. During his time as an advisor on the film, he struggled emotionally with memories of the attack. He has found the movie too difficult to watch. Yet, he admits that David Fincher was the right person to tell the story. "...I knew that, sooner or later, someone was going to tell this story again," he said. "So you want to put it in the hands of someone you trust. David wants to get it right. That's all you can ask a person." Hartnell was especially impressed with David Fincher's re-creation of the attack by the lake, "He went to the same spot on the lake, on the same day it happened."
Did a woman narrowly escape the Zodiac by jumping out of his car while holding her baby?In the movie, Kathleen Johns (Ione Skye) is driving on the highway when a man starts honking his horn and blinking his lights at her to get her to pull over. He tells her that her wheel is wobbling and that he can fix it. However, instead of tightening the lug nuts on her right rear wheel, he actually removes them. When Kathleen tries to drive away her whole wheel spins off. The man then tells her that he can give her a ride to a nearby service station. In real life, the man took her to the Richfield station at Chrisman Road, but it was closed.
According to Kathleen, the man then drove around for an hour and a half or more, passing station after station. Whenever Kathleen would tell him to pull in, he replied by saying that it was not the right one. A police report states, "She said she was very scared of this man, did want to get out, but did not tell him to stop the vehicle or let her out." When Kathleen asked the man if he always went around helping people like this, the man apparently responded as he did in the movie, "By the time I get through with them, they won't need my help." After more driving, Kathleen made her escape when the man stopped the car short of a stop sign. Holding her baby tightly, she ran across a nearby field and up an embankment where she hid in the shadows. After about five minutes, the man drove away. Kathleen was soon picked up by a passing Samaritan and taken to the local police station in Patterson. There she recognized the man from a composite sketch of the Zodiac killer on a WANTED poster. The Zodiac WANTED Poster 1 is shown above (Version 2 is shown here). A Sheriff's Deputy found her car completely burned and still smoldering. In his July 24, 1970 letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Zodiac claimed responsibility for these events, including setting fire to Kathleen's car. The July 24, 1970 Zodiac Letter is displayed below.
Over the years, Kathleen's account of her experience on the evening of Sunday, March 22, 1970 has varied. Initially, she told two separate police officers shortly after her abduction that the man simply closed the car door and drove away. Eight months later, she changed her story for a San Francisco Chronicle newspaper article written by Paul Avery. His article has the man blatantly threatening the woman and her baby, and getting out of the car with a flashlight after her escape. This is the version of Kathleen's story that has since appeared in Robert Graysmith's bestselling 1986 book Zodiac, and in director David Fincher's 2007 film (although the film doesn't recreate Kathleen's escape).Did the Zodiac really call Melvin Belli on a KGO-TV talk show?Yes. You can watch a video clip from the 1969 program here. The caller, who is believed to have been the Zodiac, wants to be addressed as Sam. Melvin Belli, who is portrayed by Brian Cox in the movie, was a famous personal injury lawyer. He can be viewed below next to the actor talking to the Zodiac killer in the movie. Melvin Belli's clients included celebrities like Zsa Zsa Gabor, Muhammad Ali, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Lana Turner, Tony Curtis, Mae West, and Sirhan Sirhan, the convicted assassin of Robert F. Kennedy. Melvin Belli also appeared in numerous films and television shows, and he was perhaps best known for his 1968 role as the evil being Gorgan on the television series Star Trek.
Did a police officer really spot the Zodiac killer after the Taxi cab murder?
The real lawyer Melvin Belli (left) and actor Brian Cox (right) in the film.
Yes. The officer who was inside the police car, Don Fouke, told ABC's Primetime in 2002, "When the headlights hit him I took a look at him. It was a white male and [I] continued on. He came down ... the north side of the street and turned and went up a flight of stairs into a courtyard." As revealed in the movie Zodiac, Officer Fouke didn't stop the man because the initial police bulletin reported that the suspect was black. Moments after Don Fouke passed the man, the dispatcher corrected her description of the suspect to say that it was a white male. In a letter sent to the San Francisco Chronicle approximately one month later on November 9, 1969, the Zodiac murderer confirmed that Officer Fouke had spotted him, "Hey pig! Doesn't it rile you up to have your nose rubbed in your booboos?"Did the Zodiac murderer really mail a piece of the taxi driver's shirt to the San Francisco Chronicle?
Yes. Three days after the murder of the taxi cab driver on October 13, 1969 in Presidio Heights, the Zodiac killer mailed a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle. Included in the envelope was a piece of the taxi driver's shirttail. "This is the Zodiac speaking. I am the murderer of the taxi driver ... To prove this here is a bloodstained piece of his shirt." On the night of the murder, three young witnesses had observed the killer from a nearby window as he entered the front passenger side of the cab. The police believe that this is when the killer took the pieces of the driver's jersey. He sent two more pieces of the taxi cab driver's shirt to other newspapers.
Did the Zodiac killer really threaten to kill school children?Yes. In his October 13, 1969 letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Zodiac wrote, "School children make nice targets. I think I shall wipe out a school bus some morning. Just shoot out the front tire and then pick off the kiddies as they come bouncing out." The 2007 movie's director, David Fincher, grew up in the Zodiac area of San Francisco during the time of the attacks. As a 7-year-old boy, Fincher can remember police escorting his school bus. "I know what it's like to be afraid of your neighbors," Fincher said in a USA Today interview. This same scenario of a serial killer preying on school children was brought to life in the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie Dirty Harry. In the film, a serial killer named Scorpio kidnaps a bus-load of school children and demands a ransom.Did Robert Graysmith really come face-to-face with Arthur Leigh Allen at a hardware store?
Lawyer Melvin Belli (Brian Cox) holds up a piece of the taxi driver's bloody shirt in the movie. Inset: The real piece of taxi driver Paul Stine's shirt that the killer mailed to the Chronicle
Yes, but not exactly how the film portrays it. At the end of the movie Zodiac, Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) comes face-to-face with his prime suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen, inside of a hardware store where Allen works. Graysmith described the real encounter during an interview with RopeofSilicon, "...I'm following [Allen] around in an orange VW Rabbit and I park outside of Ace Hardware and obviously he's seen me from the big window and so I'm parked and he pulls alongside me so I can't get my door open and he gives me this look like you wouldn't believe." In addition to his parking lot encounter with Arthur Leigh Allen, Graysmith attempted to obtain a sample of Allen's handwriting by sending friends in to buy things at the hardware store in Vallejo. Allen worked at the Ace Hardware in Vallejo for over a decade until complications from diabetes forced him to quit prior to his death in 1992.
How can the case ever be solved if Arthur Leigh Allen died in 1992?
The real Arthur Leigh Allen (left) and actor John Carroll Lynch (right) in the movie.
In 1992, the health of Robert Graysmith's prime suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen, had begun to deteriorate. Allen quit his job at the hardware store. To earn money, he began renting the upper section of his home to a young woman, while he continued to reside in the basement. Diabetes had caused his kidneys to fail, and he had to undergo renal dialysis on a regular basis. Diabetes complications had also left Allen legally blind and with a large abscess on his foot. This made it hard for Allen to work or to leave his home. On August 26, 1992, Allen's kidneys succumbed to his disease. Brain tissue was preserved from Allen's autopsy, and it remains available for DNA testing.How does Graysmith explain the 2002 DNA test not matching Arthur Leigh Allen?While working in a San Francisco crime lab in 2002, Dr. Cydne Holt discovered a fingerprint on a stamp affixed to one of the Zodiac's letters. "I found a partial DNA fingerprint from a male individual who, at some time, has had contact with the stamp," Holt said. When she tested the partial DNA from the stamp against Arthur Leigh Allen's DNA profile, she discovered that Allen was not a match. This result did not convince Robert Graysmith, who believes that the letters may have been tainted by investigators who handled them over the years. Graysmith also believes that the Zodiac letters were not accurately preserved for DNA testing, given that they endured 100-degree summers in plastic envelopes for a duration of approximately 30 years. "Even in those days," Graysmith said, "if I were going to write an anonymous letter, I'm guaranteeing, especially if Zodiac wore gloves, [he] would never lick a letter." Graysmith's reasoning for this is that although there was no DNA test back then, there was a saliva test that could determine a suspect's blood type.
What is the current status of the Zodiac case?
Three Zodiac letters that were lost for 20 years surfaced in 2002 during research conducted by ABC for its Primetime news program. The letters are going to be tested for DNA, and if a DNA profile can be built, it will be compared with millions of other profiles in national databases. Detective Mathew Meredith in Vallejo, Ca believes that the DNA from the lost Zodiac letters could finally lead to some answers. "Hopefully, it will turn something up," Meredith said. "And if it doesn't, this is kinda stirring the pot, and we'll see what floats to the surface."
Are there any other likely Zodiac suspects besides Arthur Leigh Allen?
Yes. As the movie Zodiac emphasized, there were 2,500 suspects in all. What initially drew Robert Graysmith to Arthur Leigh Allen was something that a Stanford professor had told him. Dr. Lunby at Stanford said that whoever the killer is he will have offered to catch himself. When Graysmith called investigator Dave Toschi, he asked Toschi if he had ever received that type of letter. "Toschi replied, 'I only got one, I just got it!' He takes it out and it's from Arthur Leigh Allen from prison and it says, 'Sorry I wasn't your man, blah, blah, blah...'" Circumstantial evidence then began to mount against Allen. David Fincher's movie, which is based on Robert Graysmith's Zodiac books, concludes with Graysmith's belief that Arthur Leigh Allen is the man responsible. It should be noted here that other high profile Zodiac suspects have existed since 1968.
Some of these suspects are briefly focused on in David Fincher's 2007 Zodiac
movie. They include former San Francisco movie projectionist Rick Marshall and others. In the movie, Robert Graysmith is alerted to handwriting similarities between Rick Marshall's movie posters that he drew and the handwriting in the Zodiac letters. You can view one of Rick Marshall's movie posters below. Marshall's association to classic films (old movies were played weekly at the Avenue Theater where he worked) could also link him to the Zodiac, whose costume at Lake Berryessa was similar to the costume worn by Dr. Zodiac in the 1933 film Charlie Chan at Treasure Island
. In the movie, the killer sends messages to local police and news media. Like the real-life killer, the character also wears the symbols of the Zodiac around his neck. In addition to this classic film, the Zodiac signed one of his letters as "the Red Phantom," which was also the title of a silent film that Rick Marshall had at one time invited guests at his apartment to watch.
Did Robert Graysmith really visit the home of a man who had been friends with Zodiac suspect Rick Marshall?Yes. In the movie, Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) visits the home of a man who supposedly knew Zodiac suspect Rick Marshall. He goes there in search of film canisters that may contain Zodiac murder footage. When Graysmith is in the man's home, he asks him about the movie posters that Rick Marshall drew. The man tells Graysmith that it wasn't Marshall who drew the movie posters, it was him. He then takes Graysmith into the basement where Graysmith hears footsteps above him, even though the man had told him they were alone. This is all true and really happened to Graysmith, even the footsteps. Some investigators who have researched the case believe that this man and Rick Marshall may have been working together.
Interview with Zodiac Survivor Bryan Hartnell
Rick Marshall's movie posters like the one above have handwriting similarities to the Zodiac's letters.
The following is a transcript of a KCRA-TV Channel 3 news report, which aired at 12 noon on Tuesday, October 7, 1969. In the segment, KCRA's Bill Harvey interviewed Zodiac survivor Bryan Hartnell at Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa, California. The interview was conducted ten days after Bryan's near-fatal encounter with the Zodiac killer, or "code killer," on Saturday, September 27, 1969 at Lake Berryessa. Bryan's female companion at the lake, Cecelia Shepard, parished from her injuries. Cecelia and Bryan had dated two years prior to the attack. She had come to his school to visit some friends and the two got to talking during dinner at the school cafeteria. They decided to take a drive out to the lake. The original news segment ran for a duration of 6 min 47 seconds.
A young Pacific Union College student who survived a knife attack at Lake Berryessa a week ago Saturday, in which his girl companion was killed, is now in satisfactory condition at a Napa hospital and was able to talk about his ordeal. The police suspected Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard were victims of that so-called "code killer" believed responsible for three previous murders in the Vallejo area. Bryan talked about the events of that Saturday afternoon with KCRA's Bill Harvey. It all started while Hartnell and Cecelia were sitting and talking quietly along the shore of the lake:
Bryan Hartnell: I happened to hear some rustling behind us and I asked her to look because she was facing that direction and I was facing toward the water, and I asked her to note, you know, what was going on and she said, "Oh, there's a man walking around there," and she became concerned about it. And I said, you know, "Well, actually don't worry about it, there's a lot of people, picnickers, etc.," and, you know, if he kept coming to let me know. She kind of kept watching. I noticed she wasn't following my conversation, and she told me he was stepping behind a tree. The tree was about 30 feet behind us. And when he came out she said he's got a mask on. That was my first inkling there was anything actually wrong going on.
Bryan Hartnell recovering in the hospital after the attack.
He came, I turned around, and we were both still sitting down and he told me that just to come up slowly and hold up my hands, that he wanted our money. And I actually laughed at the moment because I told him, I said, "I've only got 75 cents in my pocket," and I said, "You're welcome to have it. But if you need help I'm sure I could give you help otherwise." I asked him what his problem was and he mentioned that he was a convict trying to get to Mexico and needed money and transportation. And I offered him assistance. I told him what I was doing in school and that if I could be of any assistance whatsoever--I offered him my phone number, anything like this, but this just wasn't what he wanted. He said he wanted money. I was real sorry, I said, "Would you like a check, I'd really like to help you if you'd be willing to accept help." He said, "Well, what I need right now is to get you tied up."
And so he had the girl tie me and, of course, she was real nervous and tied me rather loosely, and he came and he tightened the knots up. Then he tied her up. And we continued to dialogue along most of this time. He told me to get down now, and he wanted to tie my ankles to my wrists and I offered some objection because I, you know, it was one thing being, sitting out there tied up and another thing having to lay out there tied up. I didn't know when help would come. I still suspected this was still a robbery case and there was no reason for concern. I mean, I was cooperating with him. There was no reason why he would be acting otherwise. Bryan Hartnell (Transcript Page 2):
So, I finally, after he threatened me with the gun to get down, I did get down. He tied us both up separately but beside each other on our faces. He asked me to put my wrists tighter and he tied us up then. I did look around and he was messing with his gun and I got to see what the gun looked like, and he put it away and I was convinced this was the end of the episode and I just rolled over on my face again, you know, just waiting for him to leave and to muse in my mind what we were going to do next, and how we were going to get away and how I was going to untie her, etc., etc. The next thing I can remember is the knife being put in my back. Did you, after he attacked you, he then went and attacked the girl, did you see that? Bryan Hartnell:
Well, yeh, because as soon as he started getting me, the girl, of course, I don't know what her, what she thought, but she started calling asking him to stop and almost trying to reach over and stop his blows, because of course she was tied up and she could only just move, and he kind of put her on her side, I think, and as soon as he had given me about six or seven blows, he went on to her and I looked and I saw he was stabbing her and it just really made me sick to see the fellow and there was nothing I could do. So I just turned on my face and lay real still, you know, because there was nothing I could do.
Can you describe for us what your attacker looked like? Bryan Hartnell:
Cecelia Shepard lost her life when she and Bryan Hartnell were tied up and stabbed by the Zodiac killer.
Well, when he was standing up he would kind of shift around. He acted like a very nervous person. He was of medium to short height, kind of pouchy, real casually, I don't want to say sloppily, but real casually dressed and, of course, a little dusty from the lake, and he had this black hood on that came clear down to here. Just little slits in the eyes and wearing these clip-on glasses, they were clipped into those little loops. See Robert Graysmith's Zodiac killer sketch. You remained conscious through the entire ordeal. How long was it until help finally came? Bryan Hartnell:
Well, as soon as he got us, of course, CeCe and I prayed that whatever the Lord wished that it could be expedient and that we would be willing to do whatever He had in mind. But we also realized that half of the battle was going to have to be ours, that we were going to have to help ourselves. And, I got till I was able to untie one of her hands, but she was too weak to untie me at that time, so I scooted into a position where I could be looking out across the lake, and after calling several times, I found one position that had a little more Bryan Hartnell (Transcript Page 3):
echo to it that I thought was a little louder, and I called and several boats went by but they didn't stop. I don't know if they thought we were joking, or what. But finally, one fisherman who was going a little slow, he stopped and shut off his motor, and we cajoled and called and we did everything to try to get him to come. He sat there for about fifteen minutes, and he did finally come closer but wouldn't come to the shore. I guess he was afraid the man might still be around. And he said he'd go get help. But I assumed he was like a lot of people you read about, he just didn't want to get involved. So I decided that we were going to have to do this on our own. So I encouraged her enough to get me untied. I got one wrist loose so that I could get the rest untied. Then I untied her. She was still so weak she couldn't move. How were you finally found? Bryan Hartnell:
Well, she was found down on the blanket still. I made it up about 300 yards, up almost to the road. It was a slow process because I kept blacking, I couldn't see. I kept blacking out and my legs kept getting weak, but I was making progress. I think I could have made it to the road, but a pickup truck was coming along one of the dirt roads. Apparently, this man had called for help and he picked me up and took me back down to the girl. Bryan Hartnell's attacker is still at large, and a murderer. The Napa Sheriff's Office reports it is still checking out numerous leads.Zodiac News Footage & Movie Interviews:
Watch Zodiac related video clips below and see authentic news footage from when the Zodiac killer held the San Francisco Bay Area in a perpetual state of fear. Listen to what is suspected to be the Zodiac's voice when he called KGO-TV to speak with lawyer Melvin Belli on the air. Then, view several interviews with real-life amateur investigator Robert Graysmith and the actor who portrayed him in the 2007 movie Zodiac, Jake Gyllenhaal.
WATCH Robert Graysmith & Jake Gyllenhaal Interview
Author Robert Graysmith and his onscreen
counterpart Jake Gyllenhaal talk about the
movie and Gyllenhaal's portrayal.
Graysmith says that he didn't know that he
was obsessed until Gyllenhaal portrayed
him. The interviewer questions whether
people will be yearning for more of a
resolution at the end of the film.
WATCH Jake Gyllenhaal Discusses Zodiac on the Early Show
Harry Smith of CBS News interviews Jake
Gyllenhaal about the movie Zodiac. They
reveal that the director of the film,
David Fincher, grew up in the area at the
time of the killings and remembers police
cars following his bus to school after the
killer threatened to shoot school children
getting off the bus.
WATCH Zodiac Victim Bryan Hartnell Interview - 1969
Watch various news clips from
September/October 1969. The most notable
piece of footage is an interview with
victim Bryan Hartnell, who was gravely
injured during an attack at Lake Berryessa
in Napa Valley when the Zodiac took the
life of his female companion Cecelia
Shepard. Sergeant William White and Chief
of Inspectors Martin Lee are also
WATCH Zodiac Speaks to Melvin Belli - October 22, 1969
On October 22th, 1969, a man claiming to
be the Zodiac killer calls lawyer Melvin
Belli on a KGO-TV morning talk show. News
anchor Walter Cronkite introduces the
story. Belli was supposed to meet the
killer later in the day, but he never
showed up. During the call the killer
says that he has headaches that started
when he killed a kid. Do you think it's
real? Is the caller a fake, or is it all
WATCH Zodiac Killer ABC Primetime News Segment - 2007
This ABC Primetime segment aired during
the week before the 2007 movie was
released. It features clips from the
film, along with brief interviews with
author Robert Graysmith as well as actor
Jake Gyllenhaal. The segment goes on to
explore whether the murders can ever be
WATCH Hunting the Zodiac Documentary Trailer
This is the trailer for the 63-minute
documentary "Hunting The Zodiac"
filmed from 2001-2002. The documentary
chronicles the investigation and countless
hours that amateur detectives have spent
trying to crack the case. The film also
includes archival footage from early on in
the case, in addition to interviews with
the last two San Francisco homicide
detectives to be assigned to the case.
WATCH ZODIAC trailer
A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay
Area taunts police with his letters and
cryptic messages. We follow the
investigators and reporters in this
lightly fictionalized account of the true
1970's case as they search for the
murderer, becoming obsessed with the case.