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Infamous San Francisco Zodiac Killer has been identified 55 years later, died in 2018


Odd.

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A cold-case task force claims it has identified the notorious Zodiac Killer, who terrorized Northern California in the late 1960s and taunted authorities with cryptic notes.

Investigators with the Case Breakers told Fox News that the group — led by former FBI agents and retired law enforcement officials — has identified the infamous killer as Gary Francis Poste, who died in 2018.

They also tied the infamous serial killer to a sixth murder in Southern California.

The Zodiac Killer had already been linked to five murders in 1968 and 1969 in the San Francisco area by the FBI.

During his spree, the madman sent a series of letters to local newspapers, in which he coined his nickname and threatened more slayings if they weren’t printed. Some letters included ciphers — with some puzzles still unsolved decades later.

One cipher received by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1969 was finally cracked in December, revealing a message that said he wasn’t scared of being executed if ever caught.

But years of digging led to new forensic evidence in the case, including photos from Poste’s darkroom that show scars on his forehead match scars on the sketch of the Zodiac, the team told Fox News

Gary F. Poste

Deciphering letters sent by the Zodiac also revealed Poste as the killer who had claimed to have slaughtered as many as 37 people.

In one note, the letters of Poste’s full name were removed to reveal an alternate message, a Case Breakers investigator told Fox News.

“So you’ve got to know Gary’s full name in order to decipher these anagrams,” former Army counterintelligence agent Jen Bucholtz said. “I just don’t think there’s any other way anybody would have figured it out.”

The team also believes Poste killed Cheri Jo Bates on Halloween in 1966, some 400 miles away from San Francisco and two years before the first slaying was linked to the Zodiac Killer.

Bates, 18, was found dead with more than 40 stab wounds in an alleyway on the campus of Riverside City College after her father reported her missing, according to Fox News.

Authorities got a handwritten letter the following year that led them to later believe Bates’ slaying might be tied to the Zodiac Killer — until investigators got another anonymous letter in 2016 claiming the earlier note was a “sick joke,” Fox News reported.

“The author admitted that he was not the Zodiac Killer or the killer of Cheri Jo Bates and that he was just looking for attention,” Riverside police said.

The Zodiac Killer was ultimately never linked to Bates’ murder — and the case still remains open, Riverside police told Fox News.

However, the Case Breakers believe Poste is a “very strong suspect” in Bates’ murder and are urging investigators to compare her DNA to his.

 

https://nypost.com/2021/10/06/zodiac-killer-identified-linked-to-sixth-murder-cold-case-squad/

 

Some crazy stuff. He was alive to even watch his movie about him like 16 years ago.

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  • Odd. changed the title to Infamous San Francisco Zodiac Killer has been identified 55 years later, died in 2018

That's a crazy story - I enjoyed the movie with Downey Jr./Ruffalo/Gyllenhall.  I like those fact-based crime stories - don't' know why, but I find them fascinating. 

 

It creeps me out thinking about how many other psycho's are out there. 

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5 minutes ago, Coconuts said:

He taunted law enforcement to the grave, wild how got away with it for all those years. 

 

 

I doubt he would have been able to get away with it today.

 

there were a lot of things that went wrong in the investigation. False reports, departments fighting over who’s leading the investigation, and their obsession in some guy (forgot his name) rather than following leads that they have that they have. 
 

I’ve always been fascinated about this guy I guess due to morbid curiousity

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11 minutes ago, Odd. said:

I doubt he would have been able to get away with it today.

 

there were a lot of things that went wrong in the investigation. False reports, departments fighting over who’s leading the investigation, and their obsession in some guy (forgot his name) rather than following leads that they have that they have. 
 

I’ve always been fascinated about this guy I guess due to morbid curiousity

Probably not, technology alone has come a long way

 

And I don't think that's uncommon, there's a mystique to serial killers that people have been sucked in by for decades, kinda like how people really dig mafia/crime related subjects 

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34 minutes ago, ken kaniff said:

Haven’t they said this before a couple years ago? Maybe it’s just my mind playing tricks but I swear they said they found out who the zodiac killer was in like 2015 (not sure the exact year) and it was someone else, not this guy. 

Yeah there’s actually been quite a few of those over the years. This time though, it’s official. 
 

Originally, there were 5500+ suspects they were looking at and about 350 of them had some sort of connection with at least 1 or 2 of the murders meaning they were around the area when the murders took place, high risk, etc etc. The reason why they had so many suspects is because of the lack of technology and DNA tracing capabilities. I’m pretty sure this Poste guy wasn’t even considered a suspect until decades later.

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2 minutes ago, Odd. said:

Yeah there’s actually been quite a few of those over the years. This time though, it’s official. 
 

Originally, there were 5500+ suspects they were looking at and about 350 of them had some sort of connection with at least 1 or 2 of the murders meaning they were around the area when the murders took place, high risk, etc etc. The reason why they had so many suspects is because of the lack of technology and DNA tracing capabilities. I’m pretty sure this Poste guy wasn’t even considered a suspect until decades later.

Is it actually official tho? It seems like this is just an independent cold case investigation team that’s claiming it because his scars match an eyewitness and they deciphered one of the notes using his name somehow? They mention forensic evidence but don’t say how. Idk none of this seems conclusive to me.

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1 hour ago, ken kaniff said:

Haven’t they said this before a couple years ago? Maybe it’s just my mind playing tricks but I swear they said they found out who the zodiac killer was in like 2015 (not sure the exact year) and it was someone else, not this guy. 

are you thinking of the Golden State Killer?  California sure has it's share of psychopaths.

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18 minutes ago, Dekey Pete said:

are you thinking of the Golden State Killer?  California sure has it's share of psychopaths.

Charles Manson is another one. I agree, the Golden State has its bloody past attached to it for sure.

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2 hours ago, Fanuck said:

That's a crazy story - I enjoyed the movie with Downey Jr./Ruffalo/Gyllenhall.  I like those fact-based crime stories - don't' know why, but I find them fascinating. 

 

It creeps me out thinking about how many other psycho's are out there. 

They figure 20 to 50 active serial killers in the US. Out of 350 million that's not that many. 

 

That said..I lived next door to a serial rapist and suspected serial killer. So you never know? 

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16 minutes ago, EP Phone Home said:

Charles Manson is another one. I agree, the Golden State has its bloody past attached to it for sure.

Seattle for far less population has its fair share too. 

 

Manson doesn't really qualify among serial killers. Psycho sure but didn't anyone and had others do it. 

 

2 hours ago, ken kaniff said:

Haven’t they said this before a couple years ago? Maybe it’s just my mind playing tricks but I swear they said they found out who the zodiac killer was in like 2015 (not sure the exact year) and it was someone else, not this guy. 

They broke the one cipher last year. There was a main suspect that is who they used for the movie (different name used) who they were pretty certain was it but never had the full proof. 

 

This one is based on photos and that his name is needed to break to the other ciphers. 

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3 hours ago, Odd. said:

 

 

https://nypost.com/2021/10/06/zodiac-killer-identified-linked-to-sixth-murder-cold-case-squad/

 

Some crazy stuff. He was alive to even watch his movie about him like 16 years ago.

I wonder if he saw it and what he thought of the movie. Seeing a movie based on your killings and they’re thinking it’s some completely different person would be a huge ego boost. Crazy

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1 hour ago, Nuxfanabroad said:

Was this Gary Poste the same guy the movie basically keyed in on? The guy that Gyllenhal's character confronted(hardware store?) near the end?

No, completely different person. That was the guy I was talking about earlier, the guy investigators were so suspect of. 

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5 hours ago, Gnarcore said:

They figure 20 to 50 active serial killers in the US. Out of 350 million that's not that many. 

 

That said..I lived next door to a serial rapist and suspected serial killer. So you never know? 

Saw an article last week about a serial rapist/killer in Paris from the 80's and 90's, he was know as the Grele killer. Turned out he was a police officer, He killed himself just recently when they got a court order for a DNA sample and confessed in a suicide note.

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