Confessions of an innocent man  JUN 19 2009

Michael O'Hare shares his experience of being wrongly accused of being The Zodiac Killer by conspiracy theory nut Gareth Penn.

The surreal quality of Penn's dialogue with the facts is captured by the matter of the phone number. At one time in Cambridge I had a phone number with the last four digits 6266. From this Penn, using some sort of gematria, extracted enormous meaning. But what does a number assigned by the phone company say about the person it was given to? Many of the other details Penn has used to launch his voyages of conjecture are equally beyond my control, like my birthday and my mother's name. There was also some fuss made about the fact that I was on the freshman rifle team in college. (At least two of the Zodiac murders were committed with a handgun at point-blank range, so rifle marksmanship doesn't seem germane, but go figure.)

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