In the movie Zodiac, the character Robert plays a large role in piecing together many of the pieces. His fascination with the case seems to almost stem from his love of books and mysteries. He references and relates many of the questions back to literature and is able to easily pull facts from his memory.

Paul: “What do you do for fun?”
Robert: “I love to read.”
Paul: “Mhmm.”
Robert: “Uhmm, I enjoy books.”
Paul: “Those are the same things”

For the majority of the movie’s setting, the detectives and reporters aren’t able to access archives and information as easily as today. The San Francisco Chronicle’s office is filled with typewriters and the different police stations even have trouble faxing information to each other. Robert’s extensive knowledge comes in handy many times – he is a human archive of information. Perhaps this case would have been easier to handle today, or maybe it would present a whole new set of problems.

A modern serial murderer with the same set of intentions could accomplish the same goals in a different set of media. Rather than handwritten notes and codes, a modern Zodiac killer could use emails and encryptions. It’s easy to forget how distant some of these events are in time because the same thing could take place today. Technology cannot eliminate crime because crime evolves with it.

This idea relates to many of the overall themes of this class involving the challenges we face when archiving information. As new forms and media inherit our attention, new problems in archiving arise as well. It is in our nature to seek to save and share our stories, records, works of art, etc. and crime is also in human nature. Today we see a rise in hacking and cyberterrorism, a dangerous side effect to the evolution of technology and connectedness. Both evolve side by side and will always present a new set of problems.

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