A team of independent investigators says it’s finally unmasked the Zodiac Killer, but legal authorities are unconvinced.
The group, which calls itself the Case Breakers, says it has uncovered a “goldmine” of evidence that could link the unsolved 1960s murders to Gary Francis Poste, a California house painter who died in 2018.
“When The Case Breakers approached officials about a new Zodiac suspect last spring, five police and state agencies would not cooperate,” the team told Fox News. “But last week, the man who runs the 10-year cold case team, Thomas J Colbert, received a tip from his long-time sources in the remote town of deceased Gary Francis Poste: They had verified the existence of an evidentiary goldmine.”
From 1968 to 1969, at least five people died at the hands of an unknown serial killer in the San Francisco area who taunted police with coded messages, calling himself (or herself) “the Zodiac.” The murders were never solved.
Now, the Case Breakers – who include over 40 people with backgrounds in law enforcement, according to their website – say they’ve identified Mr Poste as the killer.
Among their evidence is a paint-splattered watch found after one of the murders, a heelprint from some of the crime scenes that apparently matches Mr Poste’s shoes, and the fact that facial markings in a police sketch of the killer appear to match scars from a car accident Mr Poste was in.
Before Mr Poste died, the group says, he began giving away his collection of guns and ammunition to people in his town. Thanks to some helpful tips, the Case Breakers have now gathered it all up. As they sift through the items, they’re hoping to find DNA or ballistic evidence linking Mr Poste to the killings.
“Old associates of the housepainter/alleged serial killer claim that, a few years prior to Poste’s 2018 death at 80, he had quietly given away his weapons, pistol parts, gunpowder, bullets and shell casings – more than a thousand, involving 25 different calibers – to his favourite locals,” the group said. “And most of these peculiar ‘gifts’ have remained in basements and closets, untouched, ever since.”
But official law enforcement groups are sceptical, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation still describes the Zodiac case as “ongoing.”
“The FBI’s investigation into the Zodiac Killer remains open and unsolved,” the Bureau said in a statement. “Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, and out of respect for the victims and their families, we will not be providing further comment at this time.”
Sheriff Bill Pooley of Tuolumne County – an area involved in one of the Zodiac murders – was also dismissive.
“To be quite honest, once I saw it didn’t come from a law enforcement agency, I just quit reading,” Mr Pooley told The Union Democrat.
But the Case Breakers remain optimistic.
“It’s about finding answers and justice for the families, and in this case, there are about 20 siblings still alive,” the group said. “If our efforts also take a bit of the workload off the men and women in blue, that’s a bonus.”