Paul Avery
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Paul Avery

Zodiac

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About Him

Grew Up… in Honolulu and in the Bay Area, where at a young age he began a career in journalism. He was appointed to several good positions before joining the staff of the San Francisco Chronicle. 

Living… in California in a constant state of fear. After linking the Zodiac killer to another murder in Riverside, California, Paul received death threats from the killer at his workplace and became extremely paranoid.

Profession… crime reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle. Paul is a well-respected journalist, who initially doesn’t have any time for lowly cartoonists like Robert Graysmith. Soon he begins inviting Graysmith to drink with him, and the two of them bond over an interest in catching the killer – even though neither of them is a police officer. 

Interests… drinking, smoking, and having his name in bylines. Paul and Graysmith are especially determined to crack the case of the Zodiac killer, but it’s causing him a lot of stress. Paul begins carrying a .38 revolver, and wearing a campaign-like button that says “I am not Paul Avery,” in hopes that the Zodiac killer will mistake his identity and not kill him. Whether he does this facetiously or not becomes more and more questionable as Paul sinks further into his paranoia. Paul has a big ego when it comes to his reporting, and this may ultimately be his downfall.

Relationship Status… he was married with two daughters, but now he's leading a single life. His paranoia and obsessive behaviors are too much for anyone else to handle on a regular basis. 

Challenge… survive the terror of the Zodiac killings. He believes himself to be a direct target of The Zodiac, and this makes his quest to catch the killer all the more terrifying.

Personality… flashy, stuck up, and egotistical. Initially a fashionable and self-absorbed reporter until his paranoia takes over and Paul loses his loud-mouthed cynicism. He remains a neurotic wreck, becoming more of a mess by the day. When asked by Grayson if he is alright, Paul answers with a straight-faced, “No.”

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