Ted Cruz just killed the Zodiac Killer meme
It was fun while it lasted.
Ted Cruz is obviously not the Zodiac Killer – an infamous uncaught serial killer who was active in California during the 1960s and ’70s – but that’s never stopped the internet saying he is.
Since sometime in 2013 there’s been a joke that the Republican senator is the Zodiac Killer – a person whose last confirmed murder was in 1969, one year before Cruz was born – for no reason other than it’s a bit funny.
The joke reached its peak during the 2016 Republican primaries, with Cruz spending a lot of time in the spotlight. But on Wednesday night he acknowledged the joke for the first time, and killed one of the truly great memes.
Cruz, who Donald Trump branded “Lyin’ Ted” during the US election build-up, replied to a tweet with one of the cryptograms sent to the police by the Zodiac Killer.
The killer sent four letters taunting the police, each of which included a cipher, and only one of which has been solved.
But despite being aware of the joke, and ignoring it publicly until this point, it was a tweet by Republican senator Ben Sasse that caused Cruz to acknowledge it for the first time.
Sasse had tweeted about accidentally spilling a drink in Cruz’s lap during a Senate hearing, to which someone responded “if I were sitting with the son of the guy who killed Kennedy I might do worse than spill some Dr Pepper” – referencing an old claim by Trump about Cruz’s father having known Lee Harvey Oswald.
full disclosure:— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) October 18, 2017
i was wearing my "Lee Harvey Oswald Was Framed" t-shirt https://t.co/93lKIizkVO
The Nebraska senator joked that he was wearing a T-shirt suggesting Oswald, the man convicted of assassinating President John F Kennedy, was framed.
And amazingly, after all this time, that was what caused Cruz to break his silence on the Zodiac Killer.
He’s also making sure Sasse no longer has access to the Dr Pepper fridge at their office… (who has one of those?!)
The fact that the meme was finally referenced was too much for some people.
Half of Twitter when Ted Cruz tweets the Zodiac cipher pic.twitter.com/pj0JmjAH9s— Dusty (@DustinGiebel) October 18, 2017
People did think it showed good humour on Cruz’s part.
I, for one, am glad Ted Cruz has such a good humor about Weird Twitter accusing him of being the Zodiac killer and the President of the United States suggesting his father assassinated Kennedy. https://t.co/1mWE1nIu2Y— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) October 18, 2017
But also wondered whether he’d just given his true identity up.
If this whole social network was just an elaborate sting operation, i guess it was worth it https://t.co/t8jcZNm1A0— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) October 18, 2017
The Zodiac speaks https://t.co/qRYWCYVu93— Dom DiFurio (@DomDiFurio) October 18, 2017
And of course, the death of a really good meme had to be mourned.
it is with deep sadness I must report that the Ted Cruz Is The Zodiac Killer meme has died after a long and happy life https://t.co/yDdzadNkG6— Hannah Jewell (@hcjewell) October 18, 2017
The Zodiac Killer is still unidentified.