The Zodiac Killer

The Most Dangerous Animal of All by Gary L. Stewart

Quote: “I know that sometimes things should be left in the past, that knowing isn’t always better. Sometimes the truth is so horrible that it must be uncovered in bits and pieces, snippets here and there, absorbed slowly, as the whole of it at once is simply too shocking to bear. And sometimes the truth changes everything…” – Stewart


The quote initially appealed to me because of the depiction of fear in the text. The fear however is not fear of future events, rather it is the fear of knowledge. Knowledge is a very powerful component of human existence. Knowledge can be explained in terms of a continuum or spectrum. On the left side of the spectrum is unclarity or confusion and on there other side is meaning and understanding. Even more interesting is that there is not just one spectrum of knowledge, rather there is an infinite amount of spectrums. Knowledge can pertain to a single event, or a collected number of events. Knowledge can also be associated with skills or a set of skills. The possibilities are endless. When a spectrum of knowledge is initiated, the individual starts at the far left hand side, and as they gain more knowledge about the subject they progress towards the right until that have reached meaning. The progression of knowledge is not what the author fears however, it is the reaching the point of meaning that is so petrifying. The author also describes this journey in terms of a slow progression. But only unveiling minuscule quantities of information at a time, it reduces the pain experienced. The final point the author makes is that the truth can change everything. This can be interpreted that truth and/or meaning is a good thing, or that it is a bad thing. The uncertainty of knowing the outcome is what the author states is so scary. That the after of your future is bound by knowledge.


Stewart, G., & Mustafa, S. (2014). The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for my Father … and Finding the Zodiac Killer. New York City: HarperCollins Puplishers.

The Composite in Paul Stine Forum. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2015, from