The Unexplained: Who is the Zodiak Killer?
November 13, 2021
Early in October, there was a press release that may have slipped by you. It seems the Zodiac Killer was named—after all these years. Not a whole lot of fanfare was made of it—not so much as you might expect. Most of us have wanted to know the answer to this since 1969.
A group of 40 impressive sleuths, former journalists, police officers and military intelligence officers known as The Case Breakers broke the news—working diligently in the background. They claim The Zodiac is Gary Francis Poste. I follow Zodiac updates and I am not familiar with the guy.
Gary has been deceased since 2018. He lived in Groveland, in the Sierra foothills of California, and was in the US Air Force. He worked for over forty years as a house painter.
What are the reasons The Case Breakers think that Poste is the man? He bears a striking resemblance to the police sketches. He has owned and worn Wingwalker footwear. Wingwalker imprints have been found at some of the Zodiac crime scenes. The letters of Gary’s full name appear as elements of some of the Zodiac’s ciphers.
The Case Breakers based their decision on these factors: forensic evidence, coded notes sent to the SFPD and SF Chronicle, and photos found in Poste’s own darkroom. One photo is of a scar on Poste’s forehead—the result of a 1959 Indiana auto accident. This scar seems to appear in the police sketches.
The Case Breakers have also done cold casework on the D. B. Cooper case and the Jimmy Hoffa case.
Not so fast, says I—not so fast says I and the FBI.
Something does not feel right—and the FBI said on Twitter, “The FBI’s investigation into the Zodiac Killer remains open and unsolved.”
In case you don’t know who The Zodiac is, he is a mysterious character that definitely killed five people in The Bay Area between 1968 and 1969. He is a probable for another killing in Riverside before that. He may be responsible for many more murders, and he actually claimed credit for thirty-seven total, in some of his taunting messages to the police.
“This is the Zodiac speaking!” That his how he often announced his taunting phone calls and ciphers to the police.
Zodiac mailed several coded ciphers, with double postage, to police promising they contained clues and promising they also contained his real name.
What is a promise from The Zodiac worth? Is it believable?
It has taken some real talent to decode the ciphers and one of them is still not considered cracked. Some solutions have been offered up, but not agreed upon by authorities. Zodiac even sent some scraps of victims’ bloody clothes from his murder scenes to prove to police he was the real Zodiac. Two of his victims lived through the attacks, and they pretty much went into hiding.
It was like this. One night in 1968, Zodiac began his reign of bizarre terror. He killed by gunshot and stabbing. He even threatened to take out a school bus and in one of his letters to the police. He drew a diagram of his school bus plans. The public was traumatized.
Then one day in 1969, he just ceased his diabolical activity—as far as we know. Did he have a stroke? Die? Was he incarcerated for another crime? Leave the country? No one knows and there has been no further communication.
Over the years, a list of suspects has been constructed, Poste was never on the list. Some people felt a friend or relative was The Zodiac and begged for an investigation. Some of them were convincing.
A friend of the elderly Poste put pictures of himself with Poste on social media, labeling him as Zodiac. His posts have been scrubbed.
Neighbors of Gary Poste offer up mixed feelings. One neighbor Gary and his wife used to babysit with her. She has come to believe he is The Zodiac. When she got older, Poste gave her firearm training. This neighbor said that he was mean and abusive toward his wife—he could also be kind and helpful. There is an incident report of Gary shoving his elderly wife down some stairs.
Other neighbors say Poste formed a neighborhood posse. They dished out punishments and harassments to those they had disagreements with, including vandalism. One of the people suspicious of the posse said he had witnessed Gary burying weapons in the woods. Poste seemed to serve as a father figure for several neighborhood boys who seemed to be drifting aimlessly.
Law enforcement’s long-time candidate for The Zodiac is Arthur Leigh Allen, also deceased. There is a mountain of circumstantial evidence against him. He did not resemble the police sketch very much. A witness that saw Zodiac at the Stine/cab driver murder said Arthur Leigh Allen was not the man. Also, palm prints and DNA at that scene were not a match.
When forensics took some DNA from envelopes sent by The Zodiac they could not get a conclusive DNA Match with anyone, either.
So the question remains.
Who is The Zodiac?
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