June 14, 1933, Edwards born, Akron, Ohio.
August 2, 1938 Edwards’ mother Lillian Cecelia Myers is shot in the stomach, she dies of Septicemia on August 8.
January 1940, Edwards sent to Parmadale Catholic Orphanage. [ It’s Me, page 385 says October, page 284 says January – see also comments, apparently the October date is correct ]
1944 Edwards runs away from Parmadale Catholic Orphanage. Age 11, starts “Life of Crime” ( It’s Me page 73. ) A December 1946 evaluation gives the date as March 1945. ( It’s me page 284 ).
June 5, 1945, Chicago, Illinois, murder of Josephine Ross.
October 5, 1945 Mary Ethel Edwards dies.
Late 1945, Edwards molesting young girls in Akron, Ohio, sex acts with pre-teens ( It’s Me page 285 )
December 11, 1945, Chicago, Illinois, murder of Frances Brown. Authorities link it to Josephine Ross. A note was written on the wall in lipstick, “For heavens sake catch me Before I kill more I cannot control myself”.
January 6, 1946, Chicago, Illinois, murder of Suzanne Degnan, Edwards was age 12, Suzanne was age 6.
June 26, 1946, a burglar William Heirens, detained, and later convicted for murder of Ross, Brown and Degnan.
January 1947, murder of Elizabeth Short, age 22, Los Angeles, California. Edwards was age 13. In 2002 Edwards made a website about the case: blackdahliasolution.org
1948: Edwards is sent to reform school in Pennsylvania.
1950: Edwards returned to Akron, started committing burglaries; left juvenile detention to join the Marines; went AWOL from Camp LeJeune, North Carolina; arrested in Jacksonville, Florida; dishonorably discharged from the Marines.
April 1952: Edwards is sentenced to a federal reformatory in Chillicothe, Ohio, for two years for impersonating a Marine and interstate transportation of a stolen car.
July 4, 1954 : Edwards murders Marilyn Reese Sheppard, in Cleveland Ohio, her husband Dr.Sam Sheppard is wrongly convicted after a sensational trial.
March 9, 1955: Edwards arrested for burglary.
April 7, 1955: Edwards breaks out of Akron jail while being held on burglary charges.
April 28, 1955 Stephanie Bryan last seen, San Francisco, California. Her body is found 2 weeks later, Burton Abbott convicted and executed in March 1957, after the Governor’s last minute stay reached the prison warden too late.
October 1955 Edwards murders 17 year old wife “Verna“.
1956: Edwards is caught in Montana after a series of armed robberies, sentenced to penitentiary in Deer Lodge.
July 1959: Edwards is released in Montana, taken to Portland to stand trial for two armed robberies in 1956, sentenced to five years of probation.
1960: Edwards broke out of jail in Portland, where he’d been arrested for turning in a false fire alarm. Questioned in connection with a double murder of a young couple (Larry Peyton and Beverley Allan). Traced to Colorado, where he cashed some checks on a Portland Bowling Club of which he was a member.
November 10, 1961: Edwards is added to FBI’s 10 Most Wanted fugitives list. A federal warrant charged him with unlawful interstate flight to avoid confinement after a robbery conviction.
January 22, 1962: Edwards is captured at an apartment in Atlanta,Georgia with wife, Marlene Harmon, by Detective L.N. Bradley. It’s Me page 174.
May 18, 1962: Edwards sentenced to 16 years in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary.
1967: Edwards transferred to Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania; paroled from federal prison.
June 25, 1968 Richard Robison, his wife Shirley Robison, and their four children are murdered in their Lake Michigan cottage just north of Good Hart, Michigan.
July 20, 1968, Edwards marries Kay Hedderley in Akron, Ohio.
December 20, 1968, first confirmed Zodiac killing in Northern California.
July 4, 1969, second confirmed Zodiac killing.
September 27, 1969, third confirmed Zodiac killing, survivor says Zodiac said he was in Deer Lodge Prison, Montana.
October 11, 1969, last confirmed Zodiac killing, Paul Lee Stine.
~December 25, 1970, Edwards photographed with relations Annabelle Myers, Edith Myers Bellett, John Bellett, Kay Hedderley. It’s Me page 87.
1971-1973: Edwards touring as a speaker on prison reform, published book (autobiography) on his rehabilitation.
February 4, 1972 Maureen Louise Sterling and Yvonne Lisa Weber, both aged 12, are murdered, the first of the “Highway 101 murders”, also know as the Santa Rosa hitchhiker murders. Note: the wikipedia article lists the Zodiac killer as a suspect.
August 1, 1973 A Zodiac letter is sent from New York. Edwards was in New York in 1973, promoting his book on a TV show “Dialing for Dollars” with host Lee Leonard (It’s Me, page 146).
October 31, 1975 Martha Moxley found murdered.
February 16, 1976 The first of the Oakland Child murders in Michigan. The sites of the murders circle the area where the Robison family lived and were buried (Lathrop Village and a cemetery off Beverly, at the intersection of Bates).
August 8, 1977 Edwards murders Billy Lavaco and Judy Straub in Ohio (confirmed murder).
1979 – 1981 The ~23 Atlanta child murders.
August 30, 1979 Three die after a fire in Pennsylvania. Louis DiNicola is convicted of arson and murder, then exonerated in 1994 after a retrial. Edwards testified against him at the retrial according to this 1998 filing : “(d) that false testimony from Defendant Edwards was used against Plaintiff in an effort to convict him in his second criminal trial”.
August 9, 1980 Edwards murders Tim Hack and Kelly Drew in Wisconsin (confirmed murder).
September 1980: Edwards left Wisconsin after being questioned about the Hack/Drew murders.
July 27, 1981 Edwards abducts and murders 6-year-old Adam Walsh. His father, John Walsh, later becomes an advocate for victims of violent crimes and the host of the television program America’s Most Wanted.
February 27, 1982 Wayne Williams is convicted of killing two men and blamed for the Atlanta child murders.
December 1982: Edwards incarcerated in Pennsylvania prison for arson.
July 1986: Edwards is released from Pennsylvania prison.
October 12, 1986 First “Colonial Parkway” double murder. September 2 1987, April 9 1988, “Colonial Parkway” double murders.
October 12, 1989 Last “Colonial Parkway” double murder.
May 5, 1993 Arkansas, “West Memphis Three” murder.
July 9, 1993 Edwards writes a 3 page letter to the FBI, admitting committing crimes in 19 cities. This letter was recovered in 2010 from his personal files. ( It’s Me, page 126 )
March/April 1996, Burton, Ohio, Edwards murders Danny Boy Edwards (confirmed murder).
December 25, 1996, Boulder, Colorado, Edwards murders JonBenet Ramsey.
January 9, 2000 Michael Skakel arrested for 1975 murder of Martha Moxley. Later convicted, but granted new trial in 2013 and released on bail.
May 1, 2001 Chandra Levy disappears from her apartment in Washington D.C.
May 6, 2001 Chandra Levy’s parents call from Modesto, California to report they have not heard from her in 5 days.
November 1, 2001 Kent Heithholt found murdered in Columbia, Missouri. The next day Edwards blogs about the murder at ZodiacKiller.com, and references the murder of “CJB” ( Cheryl Jo Bates) 35 years earlier.
May 22, 2002 Chandra Levy’s body found. Ingmar Guandique arrested in April 2008, convicted, but granted new trial in June 2015.
December 24, 2002 Laci Peterson, heavily pregnant, disappears from home in Modesto California.
April 13, 14, 2003 Body of Laci Peterson’s son Conner found, Laci’s body found the next day. Laci’s husband Scott Peterson is arrested, convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
November 2003, Charles Erickson and Ryan Ferguson arrested for murder of Kent Heithholt. Later convicted, but Ferguson’s conviction overturned and charges dropped in November 2013.
October 31, 2005, Edwards murders Teresa Halbach in Wisconsin, then frames Steven Avery.
March 31, 2008. Edwards kidnaps/murders Robert Wiles. Body never found. Edwards took Wiles’ cell phone and used it to frame Stobert L. Holt by following him, to make it look as if he had the phone. Holt was convicted in 2012 and sentenced to 30 years. It’s Me, page 370.
June 14, 2008 Megan Lynne Touma, 7 months pregnant, is murdered at Fort Brag, North Carolina. The cause of death was most likely asphyxiation either by strangulation or drowning, according to the autopsy report. She had bruising on her neck and was found submerged in a bathtub, and a Zodiac sign is written on the mirror in lipstick. A week after Touma’s body was found, a Zodiac letter was sent to The Fayetteville Observer newspaper claiming to be her killer. Edwards also went online using his grandmother’s name with information about Edgar Patino, who was arrested and plead guilty to 2nd degree murder to avoid being tried for 1st degree murder. It’s Me, pages 370-377.
July 27, 2008, Washington D.C., Dr. Bruce Ivins supposedly kills himself with Tylenol. On August 6, the FBI say he sent the 2001 anthrax letters.
March 9, 2009 WMTV in Madison, Wisconsin broadcasted a special on the 30-year-old unsolved case of Tim Hack and Kelly Drew. After the show airs, one of Edwards’ children called authorities to say Edwards may have murdered Hack and Drew. The child remembered starting school in Watertown in 1980 but then abruptly leaving Wisconsin, and said Edwards was working at the reception hall where Hack and Drew were last seen. The child remembered Edwards saying the bodies would turn up in a field.
May 5, 2009 Sheri Coleman, 32, and her sons Garett, 11, and Gavin, 9, are found strangled in their Columbia home. On May 6, 2011, Christopher Coleman is convicted of their murder.
June 9, 2009 Edwards interviewed in Wisconsin, DNA swab taken.
June 14, 2009, “bababijan” (Edwards) posts message concerning John and Adam Walsh.
July 30, 2009 Edwards is arrested. He later confessed to the murder of Billy Lavaco and Judy Straub and Danny Boy Edwards.
March 11, 2011, Edwards sentenced to death by three judge panel for the 1996 murder of his last victim, Dannie Boy Edwards, 25, the foster child who regarded Edwards as family.
April 7, 2011, Edwards dies in prison, Columbus, Ohio
Note, this timeline is incomplete, the emphasis here is on wrongful convictions, see other sources ( It’s Me, or http://coldcasecameron.com/killers-timeline/ ) for more information about the nearly 100 murders that Edwards is suspected of committing.
See also Recent Developments for events post-2012.