July 31, 1967 |
New York City, New York
|Other names||The Brooklyn Sniper
The Copycat Zodiac Killer
The New York Zodiac Killer
|Criminal penalty||232 years imprisonment|
|Number of victims||3 killed, 5 wounded|
|Span of killings||March 8, 1990–October 2, 1993|
|Date apprehended||June 18, 1996|
Heriberto "Eddie" Seda (born July 31, 1967) is an American serial killer who struck New York City from 1990 to 1993. Before being caught on June 18, 1996, Seda killed three people and critically wounded four. Seda is believed to have admired San Francisco’s Zodiac Killer for avoiding capture. Seda was convicted in 1998, and sentenced to 83 years and 4 months in prison. He will be eligible for parole when he is 113 years old.
Seda gave the impression of being a very religious man and attended church regularly. He lived with his mother and half sister in East New York, where he was unemployed and often kept to himself. At the age of 16, Seda dropped out of high school when he was caught carrying a weapon.
On November 17, 1989, East New York’s 75th Precinct began receiving letters with the heading: "This is the zodiac". The first letter contained a warning of 12 murders, one for each sign in the Zodiac. The letter also claimed that one murder had already taken place, but with no evidence the police dismissed the letter as a hoax, which the police are accustomed to receiving. The letter contained a drawing of a circle with lines through it dividing the circle into 12 sections, each part representing a sign in the zodiac.
Seda was mentally and physically abusive to his half-sister, Gladys Reyes. During a confrontation with her and her boyfriend, Seda pulled out a weapon and began threatening the couple. While Reyes' boyfriend hid in the bedroom, she tried to escape through the front door, but Seda shot her in the buttocks. Wounded but not incapacitated, she made her way to her neighbor’s apartment where she called the police. After a standoff with the police, Seda was arrested. When asked to write a report on what had happened, Seda wrote in a fashion which one of the detectives, Daniel Powers, found strikingly similar to that of the Zodiac killer, especially due to the signature symbol that he wrote at the end of all of his letters, which he claimed signified God. He was later convicted and pleaded guilty to several counts of murder and attempted murder. Seda is housed at Great Meadow Correctional Center and will be eligible for parole in 2081.
|March 8, 1990||Mario Orozco||Scorpio||Survived||Shot in the back. The bullet stayed lodged next to his spine.|
|March 29, 1990||Jermaine Montenesdro||Gemini||Survived||Shot in the left side of his lower body. The bullet went through his liver.|
|May 31, 1990||Joseph "Joe" Proce||Taurus||Died||Shot in his lower back, hitting his kidney. He survived attack, but died in the hospital on June 24, 1990|
|June 19, 1990||Larry Parham||Cancer||Survived||Shot in the chest. The bullet missed his aorta and exited his body through his right armpit.|
|August 10, 1992||Patricia Fonti||Leo||Died||Shot twice and then was stabbed over 100 times.|
|June 4, 1993||James "Jim" Weber||Libra||Survived||Shot in the buttocks.|
|July 20, 1993||John Diacone||Virgo||Died||Shot in the neck at close range.|
|October 2, 1993||Diane Ballard||Taurus||Survived||Shot in the neck. The bullet missed vital arteries but lodged against her spine.|
In popular culture
- The crimes committed by Seda were the subject of an episode of Forensic Files as well as an episode of Psychic Detectives. In the early hours of March 2, 2007, truTV aired these episodes back-to-back to promote the film Zodiac.
- Seda's crimes as well as his capture are written of in the Kieran Crowley true crime book Sleep My Little Dead.
- Richardson, Lynda (June 22, 1996). "Suspect Is Charged in 4 Zodiac Cases in Queens". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-07. "A Brooklyn man who the police say is the Zodiac killer -- a gunman who fatally shot three people and wounded five others in twin crime waves in the early 1990s -- was formally charged in the case yesterday."
- Curry, Jack (June 25, 1990). "3 Weeks Later, A Victim Shot By 'Zodiac' Dies". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-07. "The gunman who calls himself Zodiac became responsible for his first death yesterday morning when his third shooting victim, a 78-year-old man, died at Jamaica Hospital, the police said. Joseph Proce was shot in the back about 2 A.M. on May 31 as he walked in front of 74-27 87th Road in Woodhaven, Queens, the police said. Mr. Proce later told the police that the gunman asked him for a glass of water and then shot him in the back as he walked away."