In the 1960s and 1970s, two phenomenons were happening at once. The era of television was truly kicking off across the globe with shows like Lost in Space, Doctor Who and Star Trek. At the same time, the most infamous era of serial killers was occurring with the likes of The Zodiac Killer, John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy.
In this period, a small venn diagram can be seen, merging the two worlds. As the beloved sci-fi show Star Trek was taking over the world, the Californian horror of The Zodiac Killer entered the frame. It turns out that the two are more connected than most people know.
The History of Gorgon
In 1968, Star Trek: The Original Series would release its final season. For many, this was a bittersweet moment. After all, fans had fought vehemently to get the show back on the air, but one more season was all they would get.
During the third and final season, an episode titled “And the Children Shall Lead” aired. This episode sees five children with mysterious powers come onboard the Enterprise. It turns out that the children are possessed by a being known as Gorgon.
In the episode, Gorgon is played by famous lawyer and writer Melvin Belli. The lawyer was infamous for representing celebrities in court, such as The Rolling Stones and Muhammad Ali. Additionally, the lawyer ended up representing Jack Ruby, the man who killed the apparent assassin of JFK — Lee Harvey Oswald.
However, this wasn’t Belli’s only interaction with a killer. In fact, the Star Trek guest star had a haunting relationship with one a still-unsolved serial murderer: The Zodiac Killer.
How Star Trek and The Zodiac Killer are connected
In 1969, one year after his appearance in Star Trek, Melvin Belli was specifically named by The Zodiac Killer. A man called the local police as Zodiac, telling them that he would call the talk show A.M. San Francisco if he could talk to Belli or defence attorney F. Lee Bailey.
The alleged Zodiac called Belli and Bailey 54 times. Each time, the caller spoke a few words and then hung up so as to not have the call traced by police.
However, this was not Belli’s only time interacting with the infamous serial killer. In fact, for Belli, things got more personal between the two.
Around Christmas of that year, Belli received a letter from The Zodiac Killer. The letter said the following with the same mistakes:
“Dear Melvin. This is the Zodiac speaking I wish you a happy Christmass. The one thing I ask of you is this. Please help me. I cannot reach out for help because of this thing in me won’t let me. I am finding it extreamly difficult to keep it in check I am afraid I will lose control again and take my nineth and posibly tenth victom. Please help me I am drownding. At the moment the children are safe from the bomb because it is so massive to dig in + the trigger mech requires much work to get it adjusted just right. But if I hold back too long from no nine I will loose all control of my self + set the bomb up. Please help me I can not remain in control much longer.”
Of course, Melvin Belli’s interactions with The Zodiac Killer did not end up solving the case. While Zodiac is still investigated to this day, many still don’t know who the killer is, despite many theories.
News still pops up regarding the infamous serial killer. For example, in 2020, one of the killer’s mysterious ciphers was deemed solved by the use of a highly tuned code-breaking program. Additionally, in 2021, a French engineer solved another cipher that hinted at the killer’s name being Lawrence Kaye, a suspect in the original case.
If it is indeed Lawrence Kaye, which is still unconfirmed, the suspect will not end up paying for the crimes. Lawrence Kaye died in 2010 under a slightly altered alias of Lawrence Cane.