For decades now, the Zodiac Killer has retained his spot as one of the most notorious serial killers in history whose reign of terror is enough to send a shiver down one’s spine even today. He is majorly connected to five killings that took place across Northern California in the late 1960s though it has been often claimed that his list of victims has more than 30 names. But while to date, the authorities have been unable to discover the Zodiac identity the killer gave himself, a cold case team has put forward its findings and claimed that they have finally cracked the decades-old mystery.
The serial killer had shared many complicated clues in the form of ciphers and taunting letters with regional newspapers at the time. Over the years, only two of the four ciphers he sent have been decoded. This hasn’t been enough to reveal the Zodiac’s identity. Now, The Case Breakers, a team that includes former law enforcement investigators, military intelligence officers, and journalists, has claimed that they have solved the cold case and identified the Zodiac Killer as Gary Poste, who lived in the Sierra foothills and died in 2018.
The team has shared that they have “physical and forensic evidence” that discloses the Zodiac Killer’s identity. They have put forward many pieces of evidence that they have uncovered in the years spent investigating the case. One such discovery is that the scars on the forehead of Poste match the scars on the sketch of the Zodiac killer. They have also found some photos in Poste’s darkroom which connect him to the murders committed by the Zodiac. Jen Bucholtz, a former Army counterintelligence agent working on the case, shared with Fox News that one of the letters sent by the Zodiac includes his full name as an anagram.
Apart from claiming to know the Zodiac killer’s identity, the team also believes that contrary to police reports saying he only had five victims, there were more. He is also linked to the murder of Cheri Jo Bates, 18, on Oct. 31, 1966, in Riverside, California. Tom Colbert, another member of The Case Breakers, shared with The Chronicle that they are absolutely sure that they have not only ended the mystery of Zodiac’s identity but also solved the Bates murder case. In fact, the authorities also deemed Bates as the Zodiac Killer’s sixth victim as per a 1975 FBI memo to Riverside Police recovered by the investigating team. But they are allegedly not willing to pursue the link even when The Case Breakers attempted to have the DNA found at the site of Bates’ murder tested to that of Poste.
“The real portion here has everything to do with ego and arrogance,” Case Breakers team member Bill Proctor, a former police officer shared with Fox News. “They’re not talking about what they have which means that anybody else who comes to the table might have a reasonable argument that an outside organization’s information is as valuable, if not more valuable, than what the police department has already done.”
The team has also put forward many factors that link Bates and Poste while confirming the latter’s identity as the Zodiac Killer. For instance, a wristwatch splattered with paint was discovered at the murder scene and Poste painted homes for over 40 years. A heel print was also discovered that not only matched the print found at the confirmed Zodiac Killer murder scenes but also fit Poste’s heel print. But neither the FBI nor the police officials have backed The Case Breakers claims and have stressed that the Zodiac case is still an unsolved mystery that is being investigated.
“Our Homicide Cold Case Unit has determined the murder of Cheri Jo Bates in 1966 is not related to the Zodiac killer,” the Riverside Police Department’s Homicide Cold Case Unit told Fox News. “We understand the public interest in these unsolved murders, but all inquiries regarding the Zodiac Killer should be referred to the FBI.”
“Is there a chance that (the Case Breakers suspect) killed Cheri Jo Bates? No,” Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback said to The Chronicle. “If you read what they (the Case Breakers) put out, it’s all circumstantial evidence. It’s not a whole lot.”
Over the years, the police and FBI have tried to uncover the Zodiac Killer’s identity and narrowed it down to several suspects but they were never able to fully confirm anything. But even though the case remains open and unsolved, it is apparent that the authorities are not willing to even consider the possibilities put forward by this new breakthrough. Thus, until it gets an official stamp of confirmation, all this latest discovery will be is another sensational theory around one of America’s most infamous serial killers.