Wednesday, January 13, 2016

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE ZODIAC KILLER? - Kathie Fitzpatrick - One Free Book

Welcome back, Kathie. It's been a long time since you were here.

What would you like our readers to know about you personally?
I have been a professional level writer since my high school days. My English teachers did submissions of my creative writing and short stories to contests in which I wound up winning awards but then I was challenged with: “It must be plagiarism because this is too good to have been written by a high school student,” they would say. Of course they were wrong about that! It seemed like I was always writing. I loved to write poetry in my teen years and young adult life. With poetry one can condense important thoughts or a great story into a very short form. I loved that! I also tried my hand with combining artwork and stories. I had been an Advanced Art student in High School, as well. Some of my teachers put my art work in exhibits, and I did participate in art exhibits later as an adult as well. I had set a strong foundation for creativity as a youth for my later professions.

In my adult life, this led to a long stretch of time working in journalism in the news media and as a Television Producer and writer with a large television network in Northern California. My then husband, John FitzPatrick, was also a Producer and Technical Director, and we often worked together. (He was deceased in 2008) Our lives and careers were very demanding, and we finally made a decision as parents of young children to change our lifestyles. Since 1990, I have lived in Washington State. Like many Californians, our family moved to the Pacific Northwest to cash out on a house, change professions, and live a more relaxed family lifestyle. I’m not sure I can say the ”more relaxed family lifestyle” lasted beyond the first few years, as I was met with dramatic life circumstances that led me to write other works based on those stories.

In 1997, I helped form the dramatic faith based Young Lion’s Youth Ministry Program, a youth detention ministry still in operation today. In 2001 I released a work that was taken from my inspired messages that I prayed earnestly for God to reveal to me each and every week as I faced girls, and teen felon boys, often charged with violence and even murder! He came through. After four years, I put together a compilation of work taken from my actual messages, and letters and poems taken down from the teens themselves entitled Extreme Teen Rescue. The work is taken largely from my personal notes and experiences and is used by many others who seek to achieve dynamic ministry presentation in the youth detention setting. See

Many people around the USA, and some foreign countries, use Extreme Teen Rescue, the Young Lion’s Youth Ministry Manual, as a primer for their work with these challenging youth. This in itself will one day be a book and/or screenplay called Rumblings. Although, not finished, I chose the title because gangs rumble, and so do the powers of hell when that many kids are missing! The challenging part is choosing which stories to tell, and then weaving a plot with a beginning middle and an end, when the real story is so on-going!

In 2001, I lost my 18 year old daughter, the youngest teen firefighter who perished in the infamous and historic Thirtymile Fire. This was a huge catastrophic event and was very widely covered on all the major news stations in the USA and around the world. The unnecessary loss
of four very bright and talented young firefighters, Karen lee FitzPatrick, 18, Jessica Johnson 19, Devin Weaver, 21, and Tom Craven, 30 was a heartbreak to our nation and the entire firefighting community in the USA and even made waves internationally! The controversy of risking the young people too greatly instead of just leaving the fire early, became a huge national controversy that ultimately changed and improved the whole safety structure and accountability of the U.S. Forest service which had been unchanged and unchallenged over the past 100 years.

The book I wrote concerning this was entitled, Angel Promises…Remembering the Youngest Firefighter, which came out through Wine Press Publishing Co. in 2007. Currently the title is available through Deep River Books. The book reveals many of Karen’s first person writings, her journey toward a deep walk with God, my thoughts as her mother, Karen’s teen poems and my teen and young adult poems. There were many supernatural stories before, during and after the fire which are included. God definitely was not sleeping that day. It was Karen Lee’s “appointed time.” She prophetically knew it, “but it was okay.” The reader finds out this amazing insight regarding a time clock she had inside her spirit, and how this fact was revealed to me through another Christian woman who did not even know us! The Lord had prophetically revealed it to her, and she contacted me shortly after Karen’s death! God is amazing! Karen was also one of the primary characters in John Norman Maclean’s book, The Thirtymile Fire, which also did its debut in 2007. We did some events together in bookstores and with various radio programs.

Tell us about your family.
My Mom Ruby is currently almost 94. Her side of the family has a past deeply rooted in the development of early America. “Ruby Lee Garrison,” was related to the very colorful Isaac Garrison clan. In early American days Isaac Garrison rode with Daniel Boone helping to chart the wilderness regions, and was first cousin to the third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. The family came over from Scotland in the 1600’s. The Garrison’s had migrated there from France where they were related to the French Huguenots who were banner wavers of the faith during and after the reformation. Due to persecution, they were forced to flee to other countries.

Eventually the Garrisons migrated to early America in the late 1600’s. During the generations that followed it seemed that many of the Garrisons were strong Christians and even Pastors, due to these strong family foundations of Christian faith!

My Mom, Ruby has been a strong Christian woman who spent a lifetime encouraging her children and the entire extended family to live for God.

My dad, Henry Horacek, passed away in 2002 at the age of 88 years old. He was born in America, but his Mom (Kathryn Cobler) was from Prague and his father Frank Horacek was from Vienna Austria. There was a link to the famous Austrian royal family, The Hapsburgs. It was a time in history when Lenin was in power in Russia, and the Straus waltz was becoming popular in the royal Palaces and dance halls of Vienna. I can picture my grandmother and grandfather dancing, and whirling to the graceful waltzes played by the Viennese orchestras.

My grandfather, Frank (Fran-ti-cek,) rode with the famous Austrian Riding academy who became world famous for training the Lipizzaner dancing horses. His older brother Frank Jr. was a small child when the Russian Bolshevik Revolution began, and eventually became a threat to their family in Austria. Frank was at the riding academy when he saw the Russian soldiers approaching. Some of the other men tried to escape into the woods by riding their horses and jumping the fences, racing off into the thicket. The Revolutionary soldiers shot both the men and their horses dead. Frank slipped quietly away, and was able to collect his pregnant wife (pregnant with my Dad, Henry) and some family belongings in their suitcases, and leave the country by ship to America. This meant walking away from a big house in Vienna, but at least they had their lives!

Settling into a lowly migrant and much less ideal situation in Chicago, the family eventually became owners of a local gas station. Younger sister, Helen, was born during these years. The boys grew up helping with the family business after school. This led to good work ethic among the children as they grew up that lasted all of them a lifetime!

Although my dad, Henry went to college at AC Berkley and graduated with a degree in B.S. Chemistry, he did not pursue that avenue of work. About the time he married my mother in 1945, he decided to become a Realtor! His first sale brought him $2,000. This was a great deal of money back then, and inspired him to stay in Real estate for the long term. I still remember me growing up seeing my dad work as both a Realtor and Broker of a small Real Estate company in Northern California where we lived for many years. As a young woman I didn’t think I wanted to work in Real Estate. It was far more interesting to pursue music, and singing in programs and being on tour with Christian concert groups. Later, it was television producing that was more interesting! Little did I realize at the time, my day to work in Real estate would come years down the road when I was married and moved with my family to Washington State. As I left the world of TV Producing I went eventually went into a new profession in 1994….it turned out to be Real Estate! I’ve been a Realtor-CRS for 21 years now! The writing of screenplays and other creative works has become a strong companion interest. Though, I can’t say I write for fun. There is always a strong cause behind what and why I write, and a very important reason to tell the story!

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
Not officially. I am currently exploring the possibility with an Amazon Kindle consultant of converting my illustrated children’s book, The Wish, into a Kindle version. It is currently available in a soft cover print version on Amazon. Search under The Wish FitzPatrick, if interested.

What kinds of hobbies and activities do you enjoy?
I enjoy Power walking around the neighborhood, exploring new healthy recipes, enjoying movies at home with my young adult daughter, Jaina. I’m working on promoting a movie treatment of my latest book, Whatever Happened to the Zodiac Killer? based on our true encounter with him back in 1978, and the unfolding events after that. See the video trailer for the book at:

Why did you write the featured book?
In Mid October 1978, myself and my husband, John FitzPatrick found ourselves in some unusual circumstances that led us face to face with the infamous Zodiac Killer. The dramatic Zodiac had just written the San Francisco newspapers threatening that he “would strike and kill this weekend,” the killer warned. He appeared right on time. It was late Sunday night.

After a late night church service in the City, and a dinner--we ran into him late night San Francisco in three locations in the space of twenty minutes stalking couples obviously with the intent to kill. He was absolutely terrified to be discovered! We wound up in a high speed chase after him that ultimately led to his sudden disappearance forever after that night! The unfolding facts around that night over the following years, and the clincher--how he actually died, make up the story. Much like the evil men in the Old Testament, God had everything to do with bringing down that demonic killer! We just got to be a part of it, and lived to tell the story. The story was concealed from the masses and from the media for public safety reasons, as the reader will soon discover all the reasons for this as they delve into our story. How it was handled after that became the disappointing part! No wonder the crime is still considered to be officially unsolved to this day. The opportunity for him to be positively identified was unfortunately passed over way back then. It would be hard to pull the pieces together today. If old records really could be recovered, it might still be remotely possible.

I wrote the book, and told the story almost four decades later because there is so much misinformation about the Zodiac Killer, that I wanted to tell our experience which I believe points to the truth about how he actually ended. He is dead as a result of becoming so extremely terrified of being discovered, and rushing frantically from the scene that night. He did not just see us, but I believe he saw terrifying warring angels standing behind us! He was so convinced that he was exposed, and would be picked up by the police that he had mocked for years—that he made a dark decision to end his life. The exact details did not emerge until some 10 years later after a decade of silence. Everything about the Zodiac Killer, his letters, his actions his killings…suddenly stopped…literally flatlined after that night. I believe it was God who led us to the missing pieces of the puzzle! The story is true, but we created a fictional ending based on those newly discovered facts and projected the characters into it. So the book is that unusual genre called “Based on a true story,” but it is in fact is almost entirely really true.

What do you want the reader to take away from this book?
Several things…some factual and some spiritual.
This is a true story and a real encounter with one of the most infamous serial killers ever known! Our story is genuine, and is different from many of the other stories about him in that we actually saw him, and know the face very well. Everybody else is just guessing.
It’s really a dark spiritual matter that has spread like a dark deadly cloud across our entire globe!
Jesus is the only answer!

God ultimately helps those who are his beloved triumph over evil!

Is there anything you’d like to tell my readers about your or your book?
This story really happened. In the book I pull back the veil and take dramatic license describing demonic and angelic activity according the kinds of descriptions people have given who have seen them, and from the Word of God. The scene at the church in Chapter three, “Preparing for the Chase,” happened exactly as I describe it. Many scenes are described exactly as they happened throughout the book including our encounter with the man who we believe was the Zodiac Killer, and the chase that quickly occurred after that. The ending was created from the new evidence that we gathered from the grandson of the deceased Zodiac detective some ten years later, and we projected the characters into it. So this book is that unusual genre we that call, “Based on a true story.”

 Where on the internet can the readers find you?
On by the book title, and on my author’s web page:
web page referring to the screenplay:

Thank you, Kathie, for sharing this book with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for a great interview. I am intrigued by this story and would really love to read more. Thank you for the opportunity.

Melanie Backus, TX

BJM said...

I agree that the story is intriguing.

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like it will be interesting. Of course, I remember the case but, I don't dwell on it. Just curious. I'd love to here her perspective.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I lived this story. I was a resident of Vallejo, California, one of the murder sites, at the time of the Zodiac killings. This book would be an amazing addition to my library. Great interview.

Kathie FitzPatrick said...

Thanks for the comment. We lived in Benicia, CA. near Columbus Parkway (one of the murder sites) and Lake Herman Rd (Vallejo, another). For years we lived with the very real possibility that he was still "around." As you will see from our story we learned that after that night, in which he disappeared forever...we really had nothing left to fear! We took the evidence we learned some 10 years after from the grandson of the deceased Zodiac detective and created a fictional ending in which I projected our characters (us) into it. The rest of the story happened pretty true to real life. I hope you will enjoy the story!--Katherin B. FitzPatrick, Author

Connie said...

This sounds like a fascinating story.
Connie from KY

Mary Preston said...

How terrifying, but what an exciting read. One for the daylight hours for me I think.

Mary P


Deanna Stevens said...

Now that was so interesting! Based on a true story.. I'd like to read this one!
Dee S

Abigail Richmond said...

Enter me.
Blanch NC

Kim Amundsen said...

fascinating. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom. North Platte nebraska

Edward Arrington said...

We all try to forget some things but then we see a blog post, an item on Facebook, or whatever and suddenly realize it's something you may vaguely remember hearing about in the past. Or maybe it comes back in blaring technicolor. The Zodiac Killer is something I only vaguely recall but would like to read the book.
Edward A in VA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

Brenda Arrington said...

Thank you for sharing yourself. Good interview. Your book sounds fascinating. Would really like to win a copy. Thanks for the chance.

Brenda in VA