Cold case team claims to identify Zodiac Killer

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In this May 3, 2018, file photo, a San Francisco Police Department wanted bulletin and copies of letters sent to the San Francisco Chronicle by a man who called himself Zodiac are displayed in San Francisco. A coded letter mailed to a San Francisco newspaper by the Zodiac serial killer in 1969 has been deciphered by a team of amateur sleuths from the United States, Australia and Belgium, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (WJW)– A team of experienced cold case investigators say they know the identity of the Zodiac Killer.

The serial murderer was linked to at least five killings in Northern California in the 1960s while taunting law enforcement with letters and codes sent to area newspapers.

The Case Breakers, formed a decade ago and led by retired FBI agents, said they now believe the Zodiac Killer was Gary Francis Poste, FOX News reported on Wednesday. Poste died in 2018.

The team spent years combing through forensic evidence and photos from Poste’s darkroom. The Case Breakers said one photo shows a scar on his forehead matching a sketch of the Zodiac Killer. Hidden messages in the murderer’s letters also tie Poste to the crimes, according to the FOX News report.

The group said they also believe Poste is responsible for killing 18-year-old Cheri Jo Bates on Oct. 31, 1966 in Riverside, California.

However, police refute their claim. Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback told Nexstar, “Unequivocally, we are saying that the Cheri Jo Bates case and the Zodiac Killer case are not related.”

Meanwhile, San Francisco police and the FBI told the San Francisco Chronicle that the case of the Zodiac Killer remains open.

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