LaFargeville man, claiming to be ‘Chinese Zodiac Killer,’ pleads guilty

Surveillance photos included in court documents allegedly show 46-year-old Jesse Bartlett of...
Surveillance photos included in court documents allegedly show 46-year-old Jesse Bartlett of LaFargeville mailing threatening letters signed by the Chinese Zodiac Killer.(FBI via court documents)
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 4:38 PM EST
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - A 46-year-old LaFargeville man who allegedly claimed to be the “Chinese Zodiac Killer” and sent threatening letters throughout the Northeast has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Jessie Bartlett faces up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when he’s sentenced on April 13.

He pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Albany to mailing threatening letters.

As part of the plea, Bartlett admitted that from about April 2021 to May 2022, he mailed threatening communications to media outlets, government offices, houses of worship, and private businesses throughout New York, as well as in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.

In the letters, which he signed as the “Chinese Zodiac Killer,” Bartlett wrote that he killed people, ate their flesh and that he intended to kill more people, including an unnamed bus driver.

WWNY-TV received one of the letters in the fall of 2021. It was accompanied by a sheet of some sort of code or cipher.

Bartlett was arrested on May 19, 2022.