This is how rumors get started

Posted: August 26th, 2016 | Arts & Entertainment, Featured, La Mesa Reads | No Comments

By Heather Pisani-Kristl | La Mesa Reads

Like most political campaigns, the current presidential race has been replete with hilarious but frankly groundless rumors, easily debunked by a visit to your local library. We’ve gathered the craziest rumors about some of the Republican candidates here, along with books from La Mesa Library’s collection that shed light on the truth.

zodiakThe internet has been buzzing with the “revelation” that onetime Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was the 1960s serial murderer the Zodiac Killer. The root of the rumor seems to be Cruz’s reputation as a “wacko bird” (per Senator John McCain) whose views place him outside the Republican mainstream.

True-crime fans seeking a less-presidential suspect can read the downloadable audiobook “The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for My Father – and Finding the Zodiac Killer” by Gary L. Stewart with Susan Mustafa. Stewart believes that his estranged father — not Ted Cruz — committed the Zodiac murders while hanging out with Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. As the San Francisco Chronicle wrote in their review of Stewart’s story, everyone’s got a favorite for this case, and yet the murders are still unsolved.

Stewart’s memoir is available to download from the San Diego County Library’s website at (click on OverDrive). For accuracy’s sake, we hasten to point out that Cruz was born one year after the last Zodiac murder, and thus his involvement is unlikely. You can read Cruz’s own story in his 2015 memoir “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America.”

ted cruzHaving weathered the Zodiac rumor (although not the primaries), Ted Cruz is now ignoring a National Enquirer story that his father distributed pro-Castro pamphlets in New Orleans with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Readers wanting to refresh their memories of November 1963 can pick up a copy of “Parkland” (formerly “Four Days in November”) by “Helter Skelter” author Vincent Bugliosi. With over 600 pages of analysis and citations, this should reveal whether or not Rafael Cruz ever hobnobbed with Kennedy’s killer. Hint: “Cruz” doesn’t appear in the index.

Speaking of things not appearing… in a campaign photo shot at Chili’s restaurant, Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence’s daughter Charlotte seemed to be absent from the mirror next to her family’s booth, which reflected only her father and mother.

Scholars of the supernatural know that vampires do not reflect in mirrors, so an alert was immediately sent out over the internet to protect good Americans from poor Charlotte. If you were unaware of this vampire quirk, consult “A Practical Guide to Vampires” by Treval Vorgard, a well-illustrated quick read that provides tips for identifying vampires and arming yourself against them. One fact in favor of Charlotte Pence’s alleged humanity: vampires are repulsed by garlic, which is featured throughout Chili’s menu.

All of these edifying books are available in the San Diego County Library system. To request them, go online with your library card at or contact the La Mesa Library at 619-469-2151. And stay tuned as we debunk rumors about Democratic candidates next month.

News from our friends

At their annual meeting on July 28, the Friends of La Mesa Library approved an $8,700 budget for books and movies at La Mesa Library, which will be matched by the County of San Diego to $17,400. In 2016-2017, you’ll find twice as many New York Times bestsellers, box-office hits, picture books for children, new non-fiction, and other titles available for borrowing at your local library.

The Friends also budgeted $6,400 for La Mesa Library events such as the Food for Thought Festival in March, summer reading challenge, Saturday gentle yoga series, and live musical performances. All library materials and events are free to the public, and are made possible through your Friends membership and patronage of the Friends Bookstore.

If this sounds like a bargain, you’re right! Join the Friends of La Mesa Library to support library fundraising, and become involved by volunteering in the bookstore, staffing a table at a community event, or donating your newer, gently-used books at the library. We hope to see you soon.

— Heather Pisani-Kristl is manager of the La Mesa branch of the San Diego County Library. Call the library at 619-469-2151, visit in person at 8074 Allison Ave. or get information online at

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