Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Presidential politics is messy, bogged down by personal vendettas, mud-slinging, and endless polls.

So it's nice to see people on Twitter pursuing a real, substantive question about a candidate's past work. Specifically: is GOP candidate and Senator from Texas Ted Cruz also the Zodiac Killer, who terrorized Northern California in the late 60s and early 70s?

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Probably not, as Cruz was born in 1970. However, this past Saturday humorist and Frasier superfan Patrick Monahan was set on the case by a telling Google search.

To which the people demanded answers:

Eventually, the serious investigation and/or joke turned into the hashtag #ZodiacTed. It's true, As Miles Klee points out over at The Daily Dot, someone made the joke as far back as 2013:

But, the full joint investigatory/joking might of Twitter has only been devoted to the idea for the past few days though, with the rise of #ZodiacTed. The hashtag includes some very convincing editing work:

ted cruz is the zodiac, even wikipedia says so cc:@pattymo pic.twitter.com/8xc3gVhVGT

— a big dumbe shithead (@EvilRoySladeDS) January 21, 2016

As well as demands for investigative reporting:

And requests for comment from Senator Cruz, which have gone unanswered.

And, of course, general discussion of Ted Cruz being the Zodiac.

https://twitter.com/TweTro/status/689928626087718912

Last night the hashtag began trending in the United States, and also led to Monahan hinting at other investigators and instigators.

https://twitter.com/pattymo/status/689943325235888128

Naturally, there's also a ZodiacTed account, which has tweeted twice. Its second tweet was sharing an article about the joke. The first tweet, which posted this weekend, speaks for itself:

There's also a more substantially active Facebook page, "Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer," which seems to be operated by the same person. It was started in mid-December, predating ZodiacTed by a month.

Naysayers, often on the Facebook page, point out that Ted Cruz, who turned 45 on December 22, was born in 1970 in Calgary, several years and a country removed from when and where the Zodiac began his spate of murders.

This fails to account for a possible Ted Cruz: Time-Traveling Zodiac Killer scenario, but is otherwise a fair point. As a reporter, it is my job to tell you that the laws of time and space seem to indicate that Ted Cruz cannot possibly be the Zodiac Killer.

As a human being, though? I remain silent.

Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at ethan.chiel@fusion.net