Ted Cruz Tweets Zodiac Killer Confession, Extending the Internet's Favorite Meme

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Ted Cruz got into a Twitter battle with Luke Skywalker on Sunday. Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

Just weeks after "accidentally" pressing "heart" on a pornographic video on Twitter, Senator Ted Cruz posted a screengrab Tuesday of a letter to the police from the unidentified "Zodiac Killer." Conspiracy theorists and internet jokesters have been calling Cruz the actual Zodiac Killer since 2016, and liberal activists capitalized on the meme during the 2016 presidential election, in which Cruz ran.

To those who enjoy the joke, it doesn't matter that Cruz wasn't alive while the real Zodiac Killer was killing people in California and sending cryptic letters to local press and police.

The goal for tongue-in-cheek conspirators was twofold: first, most wanted then-candidate Donald Trump to comment on the false claim, as Trump had already demonstrated a gleeful enjoyment of other Cruz conspiracies (Trump accused Cruz's father of playing a role in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy). Second, linking Cruz, even humorously, to an infamous American sociopath called attention to anti-abortion rights legislation Cruz supported in Texas that his critics called cruel and inhumane. Texas activist Tim Faust designed a popular T-shirt reading "Ted Cruz Was the Zodiac Killer," and donated the full proceeds to the West Texas Abortion Fund, ensuring that those potentially hurt by Cruz's policies were profiting from all the mockery.

If you were to ask a conspiracy theorist or comedian for evidence linking Cruz to the Zodiac murders, which were committed in California between December 1968 and October 1969, most people would simply answer, "He's never denied it." Bizarrely enough, the internet's collective inside joke ballooned to such a degree that Cruz's wife, Heidi, denied the claim in a Vanity Fair profile in 2016.

Has Cruz developed such a self-deprecating sense of humor that he'd tweet a Zodiac joke himself? As of this writing, the tweet has been online for almost 90 minutes, and Cruz's camp has not yet commented.

Ted Cruz Tweets Zodiac Killer Confession, Extending the Internet's Favorite Meme | Culture