REVIEW: “The Zodiac Walks on the Moon” by Will Ludwigsen

Review of Will Ludwigsen. “The Zodiac Walks on the Moon”, Nightmare Magazine 62: Read online. Reviewed by Winnie Ramler.

The concept of the Zodiac Killer fascinates me. The use of incomprehensible symbols and clues leading the police on a chase- the mystery of it all is intriguing and spooky. A story from the perspective of this killer detailing his first kills and his desire to move from the darkness of obscurity into the light of fame allows for a lot of speculation. What drives a person to serially murder other people may not always be clear, but exploring these motivations can be and interesting foray into the human psyche.

For me, this piece turned into a meditation of sorts on our need as a society to sensationalize mass murderers. More specifically, I think about how we discuss the ever increasing number of deadly shootings and the detailed exposes on the shooters themselves. It makes me wonder how many other killers we create based on the fame they would receive alone. Although in this case it was the moon landing which drove this fictional representation of the Zodiac killer to crave the lime light, I think the core is the same.

I really enjoyed reading this piece. As much as they terrify me (which is kind of the point), I love reading serial killer stories. Monsters are one thing, but these are real people who could live right next door to you. There is a sense of safety involved in reading about terrifying creatures that you don’t find with serial killers. Anyone can make that shift. “All it takes is one small step.”