‘Chinese Zodiac Killer’ revealed to be school bus driver with multiple guns, messages for the FBI at home
A New York man accused of sending threatening letters identifying the sender as the "Chinese Zodiac Killer" is a school bus driver who possesses multiple firearms, prosecutors say.
Jesse Bartlett, 45, was arrested May 19 and charged with mailing the letters to multiple locations in the Northeast, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Recipients have included private companies, places of worship, the media, and government agencies, including the White House.
At a detention hearing Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Wentworth-Ping said investigators found five rifles, two shotguns and a high-capacity magazine at Bartlett's home in LaFargeville, Jefferson County. They also allegedly found messages for the FBI on its walls, but the details of their contents were not disclosed.
Bartlett reportedly admitted to sending the letters claiming to have killed people and eaten their flesh. He also threatened to murder others, including an unidentified bus driver.
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Months after the first letters were sent, authorities began to turn their attention to Bartlett. On May 12, the FBI filmed Bartlett throwing 21 envelopes in Watertown and Clayton and another 21 in the same Watertown trash can on May 15. Killer."
Bartlett didn't always refer to himself as the "Chinese Zodiac Killer". The May 12 letters were signed "Aleister Crowley," an apparent reference to the late British occultist, consistent with investigators' discovery of Bartlett's interest in black magic.
This isn't Bartlett's first run-in with the law. In 2010, he fatally shot a former friend who allegedly "broke into his home and threatened to kill him," and was acquitted on the grounds of self-defense.
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Bartlett was charged with sending threatening letters, which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release. He is being held in the Albany County Jail awaiting a psychiatric evaluation.
Featured image via the FBI
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