Catherine Bouris

Legal

Group of cold case investigators claim they’ve identified the Zodiac Killer

Group of cold case investigators claim they’ve identified the Zodiac Killer

A group of 40 former law enforcement investigators that calls itself The Case Breakers is claiming to have discovered the identity of the Zodiac Killer. The group, which works independently from law enforcement agencies and focuses primarily on cold cases, said they discovered his identity using new physical and forensic evidence and information from eyewitnesses.

According to a press release, the man in question is Gary Francis Poste, who they believe passed away in 2018. CNN’s attempts to contact members of the family were unsuccessful. The group has reportedly filed court affidavits and secured decades’ worth of pictures from the man’s former darkroom. Their proof includes a furrowed forehead on the sketch artist’s drawing that matches Poste’s brow scarring, an allegation that one of the Zodiac’s mysterious ciphers could possibly be unlocked using Poste’s full identity, and claims that Poste may have killed a waitress named Cheri Jo Bates, an assumed (but not confirmed) Zodiac victim.

Social media users have found traces of Poste online, including a memorial post made by a friend of his in November 2018 accompanied by a caption that includes ‘Zodiac?’, as well as a forum post also made in November 2018 by seemingly the same man, identifying Poste as the Zodiac killer.

In response to the news, the San Francisco Police Department confirmed to CNN that the investigation is still open, saying in a statement, "We are unable to speak to potential suspects as this is still an open investigation.” The FBI also did not acknowledge the claims, writing in a statement shared with CNN, "The Zodiac Killer case remains open. We have no new information to share at the moment.”

Meanwhile, at least one Zodiac expert has called the identification ‘hot garbage’, with Tom Voigt, writer of Zodiac Killer: Just the Facts and owner of ZodiacKiller.com telling Rolling Stone, “It’s all bullshit, by the best way, simply to get that out of the best way. This is sizzling rubbish. I don’t know why it received any protection in any respect. It was principally a press launch.”

The Zodiac Killer is believed to be responsible for at least five murders that occurred in Northern California between 1968 and 1969. He gained notoriety, including the nickname ‘Zodiac Killer’, by writing letters to police and local news outlets boasting of committing the murders, including letters written in code.

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