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Zodiac Killer found? Identity of infamous serial killer reportedly discovered

FBI believe they may have finally found out the identity of the Zodiac Killer

San Francisco police circulated this composite of the Bay Area's "Zodiac" killer.
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
18 May 2023
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The FBI believe that they have finally discovered the identity of the Zodiac Killer, a serial killer who was active in the 1960s and murdered five people. Although the killings stopped, the person behind the crimes was never caught.

However, journalist Thomas Colbert has claimed that a FBI whistleblower has confirmed that the chief suspect was an Air Force veteran, Gary Francis Poste. Thomas' organisation, Case Breakers, released a statement which read: "The felon has been secretly listed as the Zodiac 'suspect' in Headquarters’ computers since 2016 – with his 'partial DNA' safely secured at the feds’ Quantico, Virginia lab."

The suspect, Poste, died in 2018 aged 80. He has been allegedly connected to the case via a partial DNA sample, and also matched the description of the killer, including scars on his forehead.

In the statement, Case Breakers wrote: "Like cops, federal agents are dealing with huge caseloads, constant training, odd rules and bureaucracy. But when someone wearing a badge or uniform works with others to avoid or hide materials, sidestep difficult procedures, or lie about evidence, they're hurting our volunteers and the thousands of families waiting for answers."

San Francisco murder victims; Betty Lou Jensen, David Faraday, and Darlene Ferrin© Getty
San Francisco murder victims; Betty Lou Jensen, David Faraday, and Darlene Ferrin

The Zodiac Killer made headlines in the 1960s due to his predilection for sending letters, cards and puzzles to journalists and the police after his murders. The puzzles were shared in the hopes that members of the public would crack his code, which they did, unlocking disturbing messages from the killer.

The murderer has been a figure of fascination as he committed five murders over the space of two years, and subsequently was never caught. Perhaps most notably, the story was the subject of the Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr movie Zodiac, which was released in 2007.

However, the FBI have not verified the claims for the group, stating that the case into the Zodiac Killer is "open and unsolved".

This note was mailed to the local paper along with a piece of cloth believed torn from the victim's shirt© Getty
This note was mailed to the local paper along with a piece of cloth believed torn from the victim's shirt

Thomas previously told Fox News that the DNA found from Poste was a "match", explaining: "My FBI guys say it's irrefutable. It's a match. We also have six people that he's confessed to that he was the Zodiac. Three of them on our court affidavits. So we strongly feel that."

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The murderer's victims included David Arthur Faraday, 17, and Betty Lou Jensen, 16, who were shot in December 1968, Darlene Ferrin, 22, in July 1969, Cecilia Shepard, 22, in September 1969 and Paul Lee Stine, 29, in October 1969. Bryan Hartnell and Michael Mageau were also attacked and left badly injured, with Michael being shot in the face, neck and chest, while Bryan was stabbed six times. 

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