LaFargeville man, claiming to be ‘Chinese Zodiac Killer,’ takes plea deal

Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 3:41 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A LaFargeville man, who called himself the “Chinese Zodiac Killer,” pleaded guilty Wednesday to a weapons charge in Jefferson County Court.

Jesse Bartlett was indicted in March on 8 counts of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm.

According to the indictment, Bartlett possessed two assault rifles and large-capacity magazines in May 2022.

The court says he pleaded guilty on Wednesday to third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Bartlett will be sentenced on October 4.

Bartlett pleaded guilty last December in federal court 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 sentenced in March in federal court in Albany to 16 months behind bars.