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Searching for My Father and Finding the Zodiac Killer

Updated On: February 29, 2024

Family Twist Episode 19: Searching for My Father and Finding the Zodiac Killer

Our guest Gary L. Stewart is the author of the best-selling book, “The Most Dangerous Animal of All,” which was the basis for the docuseries of the same name on FX (now on Hulu). The book and series details Gary’s years of research searching for his birth father, who may be the Zodiac killer. (We use the subtitle of the book as this episode’s title.) In this episode, Corey and Kendall talk with Gary about one of our ongoing themes, nature versus nurture with adoption. We also touch on Gary’s disappointment with the final episodes of the docuseries, and we talk about his wonderful relationship with his birth mother.

Explaining adoption to children

Gary: I came from a family where I was actually the third child that was adopted. So for us as infants and then the younger children, we didn’t understand, it was another word that we didn’t know the definition to my parents. My adoptive parents say that all of us books and read about adoption and the reasons why these things happen at a very early.

Insecurity complex

I guess the thing that affected me most, my entire life, because of that was an insecurity complex. Always having to deal with being different. On top of that, as a young kid, I had red hair, freckles, and I certainly wasn’t the epitome of tall, dark and handsome. So you’re dealing with all these things and yeah, the psychological fun house that goes with that. I guess I could write a book just about that.

Can’t deny genetics

There’s so many things that I’ve discovered about my biological mother. Things I’ve heard and was told about my biological father, that you can’t deny those genetics. Everyone else in my family and the Stewart family would probably not choose to search out their true identity.

Not the Hollywood ending

I’ll touch on the documentary lightly. If you’re a newcomer to Hollywood, I could write a cautionary tale about how to approach and how to trust. Unfortunately, being raised in old south Baton Rouge, in part of the Bible belt, you trust everybody.

I was told the world wants to hear your story, and I promised my mother that if we did this series together, that it would be our story. Hollywood needed a more dramatic ending because the bottom line is my book is one story in the docuseries, turns out to be something else. Even during the filming of the docuseries, we discovered new evidence about my father that further seals in my mind that he was absolutely the only suspect.

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