A criminology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, is offering 16 percentage points in extra credit to any student who identifies the infamous Zodiac killer. Professor Jim Ferguson, who has a history of providing extra credit for unconventional tasks, issued his proclamation on the heels of a revelation that amateur codebreakers cracked a mysterious coded message sent to the San Francisco chronicle in 1969.
“I’m asking that we go one step further,” Professor Ferguson told a classroom of students on Tuesday. “If any of you guys or gals identify the Zodiac killer by name, I’ll add 16 percentage points to your final grade at the end of the semester. So go out and find him. I’ll take him dead or alive.”
National pundits and social media critics are confident Professor Ferguson’s directive will lead to the Zodiac killer’s unmasking. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, however, says 16 percentage points in extra credit is not enough, as it won’t provide enough motivation for some students.
“If we’re going to solve this thing, we can’t settle on a one- or maybe two-letter-grade increase,” said a spokesman for the San Francisco division of the FBI. “It might sound crazy, but any student who identifies this killer should automatically pass the Professor’s class with an A++.”
Sources say Ferguson is currently considering the FBI’s advice.