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NATION : Dragnet for N.Y. Zodiac Killer Fails to Flush Out Gunman

<i> From Times wire services</i>

An elaborate police dragnet fanned out across the city from midnight to dawn today in vain as the Zodiac killer who targets his victims by their astrological signs did not strike.

Hundreds of plainclothes officers were forced to extend their 4 p.m.-to-midnight shifts Wednesday by six hours. Uniformed officers assigned to Operation Watchdog questioned at least one suspect but failed to flush out the gunman and called off their search at 6 a.m.

“This guy didn’t strike,” said Sgt. Diane Kubler, a police spokeswoman.

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The astrology-obsessed gunman, who has struck only in the pre-dawn hours on Thursdays at 21-day intervals, has shot four men at close range since March 8, killing one.

Investigators from the special 50-detective Zodiac Task Force questioned one suspect who resembled a police sketch of a man believed to be the killer. After releasing the man, police gave him a letter certifying that he had been questioned and he was “not the Zodiac.”


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