A cold-case task force claims it has identified the notorious Zodiac Killer, who terrorized northern California in the late 1960s and taunted authorities with cryptic notes.
Investigators with The Case Breakers told Fox News that the group — led by former FBI agents and retired law enforcement officials — has identified the infamous killer as Gary Francis Poste, who died in 2018.
They also tied the infamous serial killer to a sixth murder in southern California.
The Zodiac Killer had already been linked to five murders in 1968 and 1969 in the San Francisco area by the FBI.
During his spree, the madman sent a series of letters to local newspapers, in which he coined his nickname and threatened more slayings if they weren’t printed. Some letters included ciphers — with some puzzles still remaining unsolved decades later.
One cipher received by San Francisco Chronicle in 1969 was finally cracked in December, revealing a message that said he wasn’t scared of being executed if ever caught.
But years of digging led to new forensic evidence in the case, including photos from Poste’s darkroom that show scars on his forehead match scars on the sketch of the Zodiac, the team told Fox News.
Deciphering letters sent by the Zodiac also revealed Poste as the killer who had claimed to have slaughtered as many as 37 people.
In one note, the letters of Poste’s full name were removed to reveal an alternate message, a Case Breakers investigator told Fox News.
“So you’ve got to know Gary’s full name in order to decipher these anagrams,” former Army counterintelligence agent Jen Bucholtz said. “I just don’t think there’s any other way anybody would have figured it out.”
The team also believes Poste killed Cheri Jo Bates on Halloween in 1966, some 400 miles away from San Francisco and two years before the first slaying was linked to the Zodiac Killer.
Bates, 18, was found dead with more than 40 stab wounds in an alleyway on the campus of Riverside City College after her father reported her missing, according to Fox News.
Authorities got a handwritten letter the following year that led them to later believe Bates slaying may be tied