Has The Zodiac Killer Mystery Been Solved (Again)?

Author Jarett Kobek believes he’s uncovered the true identity of the Zodiac Killer: an eccentric man named Paul Doerr, who died in 2007. Doerr’s daughter, Gloria, isn’t so sure — until Aaron Gell suggests that the two of them come together to meet. In this chilling story for Los Angeles magazine, Gell describes how Kobek’s research led him to Doerr, and how the evidence against Doerr is strong, especially after conversations with Gloria about her father, her childhood, and their relationship. But is Kobek just another amateur sleuth claiming he’s cracked the case?

As Jarett is quick to point out, the timing of the incident seems important. Gloria was only allowed to date on Friday nights, and she remembered this life-changing moment occurring at the beginning of Christmas break. Assuming her memory is accurate more than 50 years later, a quick glance at the 1968 calendar narrows down the date to one possibility: December 20. “You know why that’s interesting?” Kobek asks. It dawns on me slowly, although every halfway decent Zodiac researcher will likely know the answer: It was the night the killer claimed his first victims.

Indeed, the first three attacks took place at teen hangouts, places that, as Paul well knew, Gloria herself frequented, either on dates, as with the makeout spots at Lake Herman Road and Blue Rock Springs Park, or when cutting school with friends to swim at Lake Berryessa. Moreover, they were all places, Gloria confirms, where drugs could be procured.

Whether or not Paul Doerr crossed the line from domestic abuser to murderer that night, it’s easy enough to imagine him out looking for her, a tormented parent in search of his unruly daughter.

Author: Aaron Gell
Published: Sep 22, 2022
Length: 24 minutes (6,235 words)

Unlucky Charms: The Rise and Fall of Billion-Dollar Jewelry Empire Alex and Ani

“Astrology, private equity, a $1.1 billion gender discrimination lawsuit, and a precariously built bangle behemoth.”

Author: Aaron Gell
Source: Marker
Published: Jul 8, 2020
Length: 43 minutes (10,868 words)

An Anti-Gay Crusader and Her Gay Son Were Making It Work. Then Came Trump.

“A portrait of a modern family undone by the political zeitgeist.”

Author: Aaron Gell
Source: GEN
Published: May 6, 2020
Length: 24 minutes (6,000 words)

Did Brian Easley Have to Die?

A desperate veteran, missing his disability payment, walked into a bank and took several people hostage. This is how he got there.

Author: Aaron Gell
Source: Longreads
Published: Apr 9, 2018
Length: 36 minutes (9,230 words)

The Inside Story Of How Greenpeace Built A Corporate Spanking Machine To Turn The Fortune 500 Into Climate Heroes

How a “bunch of commies” are forcing the world’s biggest corporations to stop destroying rain forests, overfishing, and burning fossil fuels.

Though they too wore business suits and what looked like P&G employee badges, they didn’t work for the consumer-goods giant. They were from Greenpeace, and they’d come to save tigers.

Wordlessly, the nine activists made their way past the security desk and headed for two rendezvous points — one, in a 12th-floor office suite in the iconic building’s north tower, the second, in an office just opposite, in the east tower. There, the two groups jimmied open several windows, attached rappelling gear to the window-washing stanchions, and climbed out into the chilly air.

Author: Aaron Gell
Published: Jun 4, 2014
Length: 30 minutes (7,570 words)

Chow vs. Chow: The Story of an Epic New York City Food Fight

A New York Chinese restaurant loses a former member of its kitchen staff—who then opens his own, very similar restaurant. Inside the legal battle:

“In essence, the suit claimed, they’d tried to become Mr Chow—the Invasion of the Body Snatchers of haute Chinese cuisine. ‘They want to not just clone me, they want to take the whole thing,’ Mr. Chow testified on the stand, sporting his trademark owlish glasses and a bespoke Hermés suit. ‘They want to wipe me—just replace me completely, including my personal identity.'”

Author: Aaron Gell
Published: Feb 28, 2012
Length: 15 minutes (3,893 words)