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A team of independent cold case investigators believes they may have identified the Zodiac Killer, one of the nation’s most notorious and elusive serial killers.
The Case Breakers, a team made up of more than 40 private investigators, forensic experts, FBI agents and detectives, point to a man named Gary Francis Poste, who died in 2018, as the infamous murderer.
“After a statewide examination, the renowned sleuths have recovered new physical and forensic evidence, signed up eyewitnesses, filed court affidavits, and secured decades of pictures from Poste’s former darkroom,” the team states in a press release. “That includes photographic proof, as a former FBI agent put it, of ‘irrefutable’ scars on our Zodiac’s forehead – spotted by 3 witnesses and an observing cop, then later passed on to the 1969 SFPD sketch artist.”
The Zodiac Killer has been linked to five brutal murders between 1968 and 1969 in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, the Case Breakers believe he is also responsible for a sixth: Cheri Jo Bates, who was murdered on Halloween of 1966, in Riverside, California, located more than 400 miles away from the Bay Area. They cite a 1975 FBI memorandum in which an agent refers to Bates as a victim of the serial killer. Additionally, the memo notes that the Zodiac confessed to the slaying in a 1971 letter.
However, Riverside police maintain the case is completely unrelated.
"Our Homicide Cold Case Unit has determined the murder of Cheri Jo Bates in 1966 is not related to the Zodiac killer," a spokesperson for the Riverside Police Department's Homicide Cold Case Unit told Fox News.
Still, the Case Breakers want police to compare DNA at the crime scene to that of Poste.
The Zodiac was infamous for taunting the public and the media about his crimes through coded messages and ciphers. The Case Breakers believe that some of these letters have revealed Poste as the killer. Jen Bucholtz, a former Army counterintelligence agent who has been working on the case, told Fox News that after removing the letter of Poste's name from one cipher, an alternate message was revealed.
"So you've got to know Gary's full name in order to decipher these anagrams," Bucholtz said. "I just don't think there's any other way anybody would have figured it out."
The Case Breakers have not immediately responded to Oxygen.com's request for comment.
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