A group of “case breakers” led by a former FBI agent believes they have figured out, who the Zodiac Killer is and located another victim that law enforcement had overlooked. A serial murderer going by the moniker “Zodiac” murdered at least five people in California in the late 1960s and early 1970s. After sending taunting notes to the press during his spree, the killer attracted significant notice. These are written using a cipher, in which different letters or digits are substituted for one other (or in the case of the Zodiac killer, a series of symbols).
Amateur sleuths and professional detectives have attempted to crack the ciphers over the years, with one claiming to reveal the killer’s identity. Several people have claimed to deduce the killer’s identity solely by using the cipher. The communications used in this new research, but a substantial part of it based on traditional evidence-gathering procedures, such as discovered DNA and witness testimony. Former law enforcement officers, prosecutors, intelligence officers, and private investigators are among the “case breakers” who claim to have discovered new proof proving the killer was Gary Francis Poste.
Part of the evidence they offer comes from a separate murder in October 1966 that not yet linked to the Zodiac Killer: that of Cheri Jo Bates. Bates was stabbed to death on the grounds of Riverside City College when she was 18 years old. A letter “confessing” to her murder was submitted to the local police a month after she died. The team notes similarities between the letter and messages submitted by Zodiac to the San Francisco Chronicle in previous years, including similar language and typographical problems.
Other evidence collected at the time, including a paint-splattered wristwatch (Poste was a house painter for 40 years), a heelprint of a military-style boot in the same style and size as prints found at Zodiac crime scenes, and hair found in Bates’ clenched fist, points to Poste being Bates’ killer, according to the team.
Witness testimony acquired by the case breakers from “Outlaw-Turned Zodiac Whistleblower, Wil” is more persuasive. Wil claims to have seen Poste burying murder weapons and knows where they are. “He had a fantastic side to him.” He simply lacked a conscience. He had the ability to kill indiscriminately. And, you know, he’s pretty much shown that over the years, even when he moved up here,” Wil explained to the team.
“Uh, even if it was tiny animals, he had to keep killing to make himself feel better.” I have witnessed him slaughter bears, deer, otters, and, well, ferrets. He liked to shoot marmots and anything else that moved, and then watch them fall down. When he was through, he loved to muck around with the carcasses. He’d simply gotten a little bloody.” Another witness informed the investigators that Poste taught her how to use guns and that she had watched his aggression against his wife over the years. “I’m sorry that I didn’t notify the cops about his [Zodiac] past,” his wife allegedly remarked on a recent phone call, according to her.
Poste died in 2018, but the team believes they can at least show he is the killer of Bates if DNA is extracted from her hair. The Riverside Police Department, on the other hand, believes Zodiac was not involved in her murder. “Our Homicide Cold Case Unit has found that Cheri Jo Bates’ 1966 murder is unrelated to the Zodiac Killer,” the police department told Fox News. “We recognize the public’s fascination with these unsolved murders, but all questions about the Zodiac Killer should be sent to the FBI.”
The team claims that eliminating Poste’s name from the cipher reveals a hidden message, albeit they have not specified what that message is. Many more guesses have been made over the years, including one by a codebreaker who claims to have revealed his identity using the ciphers earlier this year.