The story of the Zodiac killer has a very interesting relationship with archives. The main character and all other individuals/police involved had a very specific perception of the murders. This showed the power of the records that each one saw. Each archive that was brought to attention changed the case and brought new perspectives. Different police departments focused on different evidence, from the one that focused on the finger prints, to the one that focused on the hand writings, and the one that focused on the military grade boot print. Therefore, each department had their own unique view of the case, and believed a different person committed the crime. This really shows how you can create a collection of work or archives and dictate what someone will induce from it. You can shape/dictate how people will see your collection based on how you create/organize it. I think in order to find the killer, the main character had to view all the content of the evidence he found, AND pay close attention to how he found them and what medium they were shown through. Materiality is just as important as the content. I wondered why the killer decided to hand write all letters instead of type them. I feel like the cops could have addressed this and found interesting information. The character dissected the archives and was able to realize what was most relevant to the case.

I was also thinking that the reason the case hadn’t been solved was the fact that all the archives were spread throughout California across those different police departments. I imagine that it would have been so much easier to solve if these departments could all have all of the information. I imagine that in this day and age, a digital archive would have been very helpful.

In David Fincher’s Zodiac, the impact that the current technology and archival methods had on the case were apparent. The evidence often took far too long to transfer from department to department, whether it be caused by lack of fax machines, lack of willingness to share knowledge, or just lack of knowledge that it hadn’t been shared already. In intricate cases with careful and knowledgable criminals, knowledge of all facets is imperative to discovering the few connections that are left behind, and that was very hard to achieve in that time. Just watching Graysmith struggle to collect all the pieces for so long just to fill his apartment with uncountable stacks and boxes of papers that could be ruined or disorganized as easily as a spilled tea cup or kicking a stack to the floor while trying to rush through the house made me feel hopeless and exhausted. The disjointed nature that the technology of the time and the lack of cooperation from the archons brought to the investigation was brought to my attention many times throughout the movie, and that lack of technology was actually what brought me back to the time of the movie at one point because surprisingly enough I found myself forgetting it was based in the past. All in all this movie did a great job displaying the limitations of technology at the time as well as highlight the problems that arise from the inability to easily access archives that hold relevant and related information.