Monthly Mysteries: Zodiac Killer mystery may be solved

ZODIAC-C-14DEC99-SC-HO--Police sketch of the man suspected of being the Zodiak Killer, 1969.


ZODIAC-C-14DEC99-SC-HO–Police sketch of the man suspected of being the “Zodiak Killer,” 1969.

Jacey Sola

During the 1960s-1970s, a series of five murders reported in California was believed to be caused by the mysterious killer known as the Zodiac Killer. For over 40 years, the mystery of the identity of the killer has remained unknown, until findings this month may point to a suspect. The case still remains opened by the FBI and law enforcement, but has the long mystery finally been solved?

The first victims of the Zodiac Killer were a teenage couple who were shot near their car in San Francisco in 1968. In 1969, just a year later after the first murder, another couple was shot at. The female victim had died but the male victim survived. After this attack, the killer had sent a letter to the San Francisco Examiner which contained a coded message that said, “I like killing people because it’s so much fun.” Later in 1969, another couple was attacked, and the male again survived. The final murder reported was the murder of a taxi driver who was shot in Oct. of 1969.

While only 5 murders were reported, it is believed that the Zodiac Killer had killed at least 37 people during the 1960s to the 1980s. The killer had continued to send letters to the press with the recurring use of coded messages and ciphers. In his fourth letter, he called himself “Zodiac” which led people to call him the Zodiac Killer. The chilling thing about this killer was that he was willing to go out of his way to send these encrypted messages to the press to provide information about the murders, which could have gotten him caught.

This mystery sparked groups from around the U.S. to be captivated by the ciphers made by the Zodiac Killer and many code breakers banded together to decipher the messages.

After 40 years, many suspects have been investigated, but none were definitively proven to be the Zodiac Killer. The Case Breakers, a collective group of former police investigators, journalists, and specialists, have been working together and believe they have discovered the identity of the Zodiac Killer.

The Case Breakers point to a man named Gary Francis Poste, an Air Force Veteran who died in 2018. The group’s evidence is that there is a shocking similarity between a photo of Poste and the police sketch of the Zodiac Killer from 1969, and solutions to the ciphers and encrypted messages also hint to Poste being the killer.

While their evidence seems plausible, the FBI is still reluctant to close the case. According to CNN, the FBI said, “The Zodiac Killer case remains open. We have no new information at the moment.” The San Francisco Police Department also addressed the issue and said, “We are unable to speak to potential suspects as this is still an open investigation.”

Despite the recent investigations and series, the true identity of the Zodiac Killer is still unknown. It remains a mystery to this day.