In the Netflix original film “Catching Killers: Night Terror: New York Zodiac Killer,” a ponytailed, Bible-quoting serial killer attempts to imitate the notorious Zodiac Killer who stalked San Francisco between 1966 and 1974. As he preyed on eight victims in New York from 1990 to 1994, Heriberto “Eddie” Seda gained the nickname “The New York Zodiac,” killing three people and injuring five others. We’ve got your back if you’re curious to learn more about the victims and how he was ultimately apprehended. So let’s get started, shall we?
Who Were Heriberto Seda’s Victims?
In New York City, Eddie attacked his victims, taking advantage of them because, in his opinion, “They were bad. They were nasty individuals. He terrorised the cities with two crime sprees that resulted in three fatalities and five injuries each: a brief summertime incident in 1990, and an extended one that lasted from 1992 to 1993. He took his nickname from the elusive “Zodiac Killer,” who haunted San Francisco between 1966 and 1974 and claimed to have killed more than 37 people. He was a superb attention-seeker.
True to his “idol,” Eddie used codes derived from international maritime signal flags to send mocking signals to the authorities and the press following each crime. Journalist Kieran Crowley of the New York Post decoded the cyphers bragging of a twisted scheme to kill people purposely chosen by their astrological sign, one for each of the twelve signs, with the help of his father-in-law, a veteran of World War II cryptography and signals intelligence. The authorities initially thought it was a prank, but were soon shown to be mistaken.
Mario Orozco, 49, who was shot in the back on March 8, 1990, close to the intersection of Atlantic and Sheridan Avenues, was Eddie’s first victim. Mario, a Scorpio, survived the assault and told the investigators that his attacker had on a brown ski mask and gloves. He stopped him, put the gun to his back, shot him, then stood there for a few seconds with the gun pointed at his face before running away. The bullet was still in Mario’s back, right adjacent to his spine. On March 29, 1990, Eddie carried out another attack, this time shooting Gemini Jermaine Montenesdro, age 33.
Six blocks from where he murdered Mario, Eddie shot Jermaine as he was walking home from a late-night party in the Bronx. He was gravely injured when the bullet entered his body from the left side and passed through his liver. He did, however, escape the attack, but he never encountered his attacker. Even though his first two victims were alive, Eddie was successful in killing 78-year-old Taurus Joseph Proce two days later, on March 31. A disguised Eddie approached him when he was standing on 87th Road in Woodhaven, Queens, and requested a dollar.
Larry Parham, who was shot in the chest on June 19, 1990, was Eddie’s fourth victim. The bullet missed his aorta and left his body through his armpit. He was a Cancerian and managed to survive the incident. He went silent for a year before resurfacing on August 10, 1992, when he flirtatiously enticed Patricia Fonti, then 39, to the bank of the Highland Park reservoir. Around 1:30 am, he shot her once with a.22 calibre zip gun before slashing her over a hundred times out of fright. She passed away instantly and was a Leo.
Jim Weber, a 42-year-old jobless construction worker, was shot in the buttocks on June 4, 1993, just outside Highland Park, at midnight. He was Eddie’s sixth victim. He was a Libra by birth, and he made it through the assault. A Virgo man named Joseph Diacone, age 40, was Eddie’s penultimate victim when he was shot dead in the neck on July 20, 1993. Diane Ballard, age 40, was the final victim of the convicted serial killer. On October 2, 1993, she was shot in the neck while seated on a bench in Highland Park. The Taurus was struck by the bullet, which missed her critical arteries but lodged against her spine and partially paralysed her.
Where Is Heriberto Seda Now?
Investigators looking into the early incidents initially believed the attacker’s method of attack involved close-range assaults on elderly white men; two victims used canes, and Jermaine was drunk, which may have given his attacker the impression that he had a physical disability. They were astonished, nevertheless, to learn that each was born under the horoscope of their assailant after conducting a background check. When they discovered a note with his astrological sign at the crime scene of the fourth victim, it confirmed their suspicions.
In response to media speculation about the possible reappearance of California’s notorious unnamed serial stalker from the 1960s, the NYPD established a new Zodiac task group and requisitioned papers from San Francisco. Although the papers noted connections between some of the older California correspondence and the New York letters, the authorities rejected the assertions. The general population was warned by the police to be aware of anyone attempting to find out their birth date, no matter how casually.
However, the culprit began writing letters to the news media in addition to the police, as though they were enjoying the media craze. The investigators remarked that the handwriting did not match, despite his stated claim to be the same Zodiac killer who haunted San Francisco between 1966 and 1974. Due to the widespread media coverage and national headlines, the NYPD received a deluge of tips and leads, and the investigators interrogated about fifty individuals. Before the second round of attacks started, the serial killer had been quiet for two years.
When the New York Zodiac murderer allegedly sent a letter to The New York Post in August 1994 claiming responsibility for the five attacks between June 1992 and October 1994, the authorities were able to link the second wave of attacks to him. The police confirmed four of the attacks as the Zodiac fear returned to the city, but they could not find any evidence of the shooting that was allegedly committed on June 11, 1994, as the letter said. The police were confused as to whether the letter was written by the same author or by someone who knew about the attacks, but they did not rule out the possibility that it was a hoax.
Once more, the serial killer was inactive for around two years when the police were summoned on June 18, 1996, to deal with a domestic dispute in Brooklyn. Gladys “Chachi” Reyes, Eddie’s half-sister, reportedly phoned the police when her half-brother brandished a firearm, threatened her and her then-partner, and even shot the latter in the buttocks as she tried to flee. When Eddie wrote many letters and scribbled a distinctive sign on his police report regarding his domestic altercation, the investigators were able to make the connection.
His fingerprints were taken, and after growing suspicious, the detectives compared them to prints taken from the Zodiac’s crime scenes. He subsequently confessed to the murders and attacks during the subsequent interrogation. Despite the fact that the authorities were unable to uncover any specific justification, one detective claimed, “He said he had to kill them because they were evil.” Eddie resisted helping the police or disclosing how he picked his victims. He doesn’t reply to the whys or wherefores, one detective even said. He simply had the notion that he would choose the victim and go out.
Eddie was upset with his sister because she was spending time with the wrong crowd, according to Sgt. Joseph Herbert. He didn’t like troublemakers or drug traffickers. Officers questioned the neighbours to learn about the extremely devout beliefs of the Bible-toting Eddie and how frequently he reported drug traffickers to the police. He kept preaching about Jesus, good and evil, and salvation, according to one policeman. He never did, however, explain how he went from being raised as a Roman Catholic to becoming a Zodiac serial killer.
When Eddie was detained for gun possession in March 1994, according to police sources, he was just barely connected to the serial homicide. He had one of his zip guns hidden in his jacket pocket when an officer observed a suspicious bulge. But when the authorities discovered the gun was broken, his public attorney had the charges dropped. After the prosecution established that Eddie’s DNA was discovered on a stamp of the letters delivered to the police, he was eventually charged with the murders of three persons and the injury of another.
On June 21, 1996, Eddie was formally charged with a number of offences, including second-degree murder, attempted murder in the second degree, attempted first-degree murder, and possession of a weapon. On June 24, 1988, he was given a prison term of 232 years. He allegedly started a sexual relationship with Synthia-China Blast, a murder defendant, according to news reports. The 55-year-old convicted serial killer is currently serving a life sentence in the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, according to official prison records.