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Convicted ‘Zebra Killer’ Jessie Lee Cooks dies in prison at 76

A 76-year-old man known as one of San Francisco’s “Zebra Killers” from the 1970s died in a state prison facility in Solano County on Wednesday night, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Jessie Lee Cooks was found unresponsive in his bed in California Medical Facility’s hospice unit and was pronounced dead at 10:26 p.m. His cause of death is under investigation by the Solano County coroner’s office.

Cooks was sentenced in 1976 to a life sentence with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery charges after being convicted along with three other men for multiple killings in San Francisco from October 1973 to April 1974.

Two of the men, J.C.X. Simon and Manuel Moore, died at other prison facilities in 2015 and 2017, respectively, while the third man, Larry Green, 69, remains incarcerated at California State Prison Solano, CDCR officials said.

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