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Cruz on Wednesday tweeted “Happy Halloween” along with an image of the infamous cryptogram that the Zodiac Killer sent to the San Francisco Chronicle in 1969.
Happy Halloween pic.twitter.com/jIgTaIMzep— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 31, 2018
The true identity of the killer, who killed five people in Northern California in the 1960s and 1970s, has never been discovered. As far back as 2013, people have been joking that it could be Cruz, even though he was born two years after the first killing. His wife once called the theory “a lot of garbage,” according to the Hill.
Some on Twitter weren’t so amused with Cruz’s apparent Halloween joke and condemned him for making light of a serial killer.
Sitting US Senator cracking jokes about being the unapprehended killer of 5 people, including one 16 year-old girl https://t.co/eH0iIR05R8— Dan O'Sullivan (@Bro_Pair) October 31, 2018
can't believe you would flippantly joke about a serial killer, Ted. Not cool!— Kellen (@captainkalvis) October 31, 2018
For others, the joke just didn’t land in Cruz’s favor.
he wishes https://t.co/4fPGpFEvOq— Naomi Fry (@frynaomifry) October 31, 2018
"what's up my fellow kids?? i heard y'all like memes, like how i'm supposedly the zodiac killer! hahaha xD, don't forget to vote for me!!" https://t.co/sHKYsTS4op— //mark (@capnsquishy) October 31, 2018
It’s not the first time Cruz has made a Zodiac Killer reference on his social media. Last October, Cruz tweeted the same cryptogram when Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) referenced President Donald Trump’s false 2016 accusation that Cruz’s father helped assassinate President John F. Kennedy.
Cruz is now facing a tight re-election race against Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D), which nonpartisan Cook Political Report is calling a “toss-up.” Campaign attacks from both sides have brought on old nicknames and memes.
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.