Ted Cruz spurs "Zodiac Killer" jokes with prediction of coming Supreme Court vacancy

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — That was Sen. Ted Cruz speaking here at CPAC, but a bunch of wiseacres on Twitter seemed to hear The Zodiac.

The Texas Republican and 2016 presidential also-ran set off a firestorm of tweets when he predicted to an audience of grassroots conservatives here outside Washington that "we'll have another Supreme Court vacancy this summer."

Ironically enough, the supposed connection to The Zodiac, who terrorized California in the late 1960s, sprouted from Cruz's 2013 appearance at CPAC, an annual gathering of young right-leaning activists. 

At the time, the Guardian reported, it was an anonymous tweet that launched 1,000 memes:

This year, some social media users seemed simply aghast at Cruz's comment, with the takeaway appearing to be that a sitting justice would have to die to vacate a seat.

"Wow. Anticipating the death of a SC judge. Classy AF," one user tweeted.

Others went directly to The Zodiac based on Cruz's comment about the high court, which has been one jurist short since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia — even though a number of sitting members of the Supreme Court are getting up there in age.

"What more proof do you need sheeple?! @tedcruz = the zodiac killer [knife emoji]," one critic tweeted.

Twitter yammering aside, there is no proof (obviously) that Cruz is The Zodiac, and his appearance scored some of the best crowd reactions of the day by far.

Cruz has also been targeted by conspiracy theories before — notably when now-President Donald Trump tried to tie Cruz's father to President John F. Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.