A team of former police officers, investigators and others say they have identified a “very strong” suspect as the infamous Zodiac Killer.
Though, law enforcement has yet to confirm their idea and immediately shot down the group’s claims.
The Case Breakers announced this week they’ve been stymied in efforts to connect their suspect to a nearly 50-year-old murder case where the victim might have been killed by the Zodiac Killer.
The Zodiac Killer worked in Northern California in the late 1960s and has several confirmed victims — though there could be more. The killer got his name for a series of letters he sent to media outlets, often with ciphers.
While the case became famous, police have yet to arrest the suspect in connection to the decades-old crimes. His cases files remain active with several agencies.
Case Breaks consists of former police officers, federal officials and others. They say they believe Gary F. Poste, who recently died, is a strong suspect in the case. No police agency has named Poste, officially, as the suspected killer.
The group’s claims are based on evidence they say they found in Poste’s darkroom. They also say Poste has a scar on his forehead that matches one in an artist’s renderings of the Zodiac Killer. The group also stated they’ve tried to test Poste’s DNA against evidence found at the scene of Cheri Jo Bates’ homicide.
Some say she was killed by the Zodiac Killer.
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Bates was found dead on Oct. 30, 1966, in California. The Riverside Police Department kept evidence from the time. But, Case Breakers said Riverside police are sure Bates was killed by someone else and they refuse to compare the DNA evidence with Bates’ DNA.
“Fifty-five years ago this month, RPD chose to ignore the obvious. It would take just minutes to quickly and quietly compare Poste’s DNA,” Team Organizer Thomas J. Colbert said in a news release. You’d think the pain Cheri Jo’s family and her old friends have been living with would be Priority #1. Here’s to hoping the next chief finds the courage to act.”
The group noted the evidence found at Bates’ murder includes a wristwatch purchased at a military base, and Poste was an Airforce veteran. There was also paint on the watch’s face. Poste worked as a painter for more than 40 years.
However, Riverside police quickly dismissed the group’s claims.
“If you read what they put out, it’s all circumstantial evidence. It’s not a whole lot,” Riverside police officer Ryan Railsback told The San Francisco Chronicle.
Whether the group is correct or not remains to be seen. What can’t be disputed is that the Zodiac Killer has gotten away with his crimes for nearly 50 years.
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