A group of self-proclaimed investigators called Case Breakers say they have unraveled the mystery of a serial killer nicknamed the Zodiac. The identity of the killer, who was credited with at least five victims, remained a mystery for half a century. San Francisco police admitted that an investigation into the case was still open, although they had not commented on the group’s findings.
At the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, a series of murders took place in Northern California, committed by a man nicknamed the Zodiac. It is believed that he killed at least five people and seriously injured two who miraculously survived. They were key witnesses in the case. It is possible, however, that there were more victims. Zodiak himself claimed that he had murdered 37 people.
At the time of the killings, the serial killer sent letters to the local press, including the San Francisco Chronicle. Most of them started with the sentence “This side of the Zodiac.” Some were coded. One of them was a 340-character message sent in November 1969, which became known as the “Cipher 340”. Its content was deciphered only half a century later.
“I hope you have fun trying to catch me. (…) I am not afraid of the gas chamber because it will send me to paradise sooner. Because now I have enough slaves to work for me and everyone else has nothing, when they go to paradise, so they are afraid of death. I am not afraid because I know that my new life will be easy in Paradise death. “
The zodiac has never been caught, and its identity has never been established for five decades. Over the years, investigators have selected several suspects, but no charges have been brought against them. The unsolved case has intrigued the public opinion for years. Many amateurs on their own tried to unravel the mystery and find the answer to the question of who was behind the mysterious nickname.
Zodiac mystery unraveled?
The Zodiac case has been investigated for years by a group called Case Breakers, consisting of 40 retired investigators, including former FBI agents, National Security Agency (NSA) code breakers, and professors of criminology. The “elite team that solves the biggest criminal mysteries” – according to their website – claims to have established the true identity of the serial killer. According to them, it was a former American aviator and room painter named Gary F. Post. The man died in 2018.
The key to unraveling the case was the alleged sixth victim of the Zodiac. Case Breakers said he was the one who murdered 18-year-old Cheri Jo Bates in Riverside in 1966. Independent investigators based their theory on eyewitness testimony and new evidence.
Among the clues that Case Breakes have blamed Poste is a paint-stained watch bought at a military base that police found after Bates’ murder, a heel print the same shape and size as those found at the crime scenes of three other Zodiac victims, scars on Poste’s forehead similar to those in the Zodiac’s memorial portrait taken by the San Francisco Police Department, as well as the link between Poste’s name and the coded messages the killer sent to the police.
Police response to Case Breakers findings
Case Breakers said in a statement that they wanted to pass the evidence found to the Riverside Police Department. The policemen were to say they were “one hundred percent” certain that the Zodiac was not behind the Cheri Jo Bates murder. However, they did not address the group’s findings as to the identity of the Zodiac.
Case Breakers believe that the comparison of the 18-year-old’s killer’s DNA with that of their suspect may dispel doubts.
In response to a Case Breakers statement, the San Francisco Police Department said the investigation into the Zodiac was still open. “We do not have any information to share at the moment,” the police said in a press release.
The suspect’s daughter-in-law is in no doubt
Gary F. Poste’s former daughter-in-law, Michele Wynn, told the San Francisco Chronicle that, in her opinion, Case Breakers chose the right person.
As she stated, “there is no doubt” that her ex-father-in-law was the Zodiac. She admitted that the first warning signal for her was a police sketch made in 1969.
“I was with him, I knew his character, his darkness and twistedness – I have intuition, I can read people,” Wynn said.
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