One of Russia's most famous spies, Mikkel Novikov, confessed to stealing information and data from the American government in order to feed Russia with highly detailed intelligence between the years of 1984 and 1999. He was subject to a prolonged international tug-of-war between U.S and Russian governments for many years, until the U.S government announced that he would be sentenced to two death penalties, after it emerged that he was also responsible for the killing of former U.S senator, Todd Hochsprung in a poison scandal that shook America to its core.
Novikov was to be executed in July of 2012, but before his execution, however, Novikov escaped from custody. In September of 2008, on the 11th no less. Novikov was to be transferred to the mysterious, and little known, Zuma Prison, the highest security prison in North America.
However, the transfer would never be completed, after a group of men electronically targeted the vehicle Novikov was being transferred in, and surrounded the van. With guns and tasers, the armed men unshackled Novikov and placed him in another vehicle before taking off with the Russian criminal, never to be seen again.
The Zodiac claimed full responsibility. The guards responsible for transferring Novikov were bound and gagged, and in each of their pockets was a small note containing the now infamous "Z", that the Zodiac group love taunting the police with.
Americans were rightfully furious at the lax security protocols undertaken in the transfer of Novikov. It was finally revealed by the Novikov commission in 2014 that U.S intelligence agents had ordered for Novikov to be transported by a single vehicle, using only four armed guards.
The idea behind this was simply to treat him like any other prisoner in custody, so as to not raise any suspicions that Novikov was the one inside being transported. Simultaneously, several police cars and vans were accompanying a "false" transfer vehicle four miles away, in order to create the illusion that Novikov was there instead. This proved to be the wrong move, and the American public were disgusted and shocked at why such a poor decision was taken.
Many other Americans, and people across the world, have developed and shared conspiracy theories around the whole debacle, with many claiming that the U.S government either killed Novikov years prior and this was all a charade, were working with the Zodiac, or were simply using them as an entity to put the blame on.
Novikov has never been seen again, and his body has never been recovered. No members of the Zodiac have ever been identified, and the whole event seems to have been completely whitewashed from all American media sources.