The alleged Zodiac Killer identified by cold case team The Case Breakers has since been accused of being the wrong guy, potentially leaving investigators back at square one on a case that has left them baffled for over half a century.
The mystery surrounding the prolific serial killer, who carried out at least five murders between 1965 and 1969 in the San Francisco area, was supposedly cracked after investigators revealed this week that they believed to have uncovered his true identity.
However, despite The Case Breakers naming Gary Francis Poste as the alleged serial killer, police officers who previously searched for the murderer have reportedly claimed that the identification is likely false.
The Case Breakers are a team of over 40 former journalists, law enforcement members and military intelligence officers.
New forensic evidence, photos from Poste’s darkroom and ciphered messages were uncovered after years of digging by the group, which they reported as linking Poste – who died in 2018 – conclusively to being the so-called Zodiac Killer.
However, Riverside PD’s Police Investigation Officer, Ryan Railsback, said that the letters did not suggest any evidence of Poste being the guilty party, otherwise members of the force ‘would’ve happily come forward’, as per TMZ.
While The Case Breakers believe that Poste was responsible for the murder of Cheri Jo Bates – who the group believe was the Zodiac’s sixth victim – the Riverside Police Department’s Homicide Cold Case Unit told Fox News that they had ‘determined the murder of Cheri Jo Bates in 1966 is not related to the Zodiac killer’.
The Case Breakers have since claimed that the police department refused to run a DNA test on the victim to act as a comparison to Poste’s own DNA. According to the group, the police said they weren’t considering anyone outside of Riverside County due to ‘100%’ believing that the Zodiac Killer was local.
Former SFPD homicide inspector, Frank Falzon, who used to be in charge of the Zodiac Killer case, also thinks Poste is not the right man. He believes that Poste can’t possibly be the killer because his name never came up, among the other names they had on file for strong possible suspects.
Falzon views a lot of the evidence used by The Case Breakers to identify Poste as being the Zodiac Killer as being circumstantial. He noted how he believed that evidence such as handwriting and fingerprints would be the best way to ID the murderer, evidence of which he hadn’t seen presented by The Case Breakers.
Dave Toschi, who was in charge of the Zodiac case when it first began, always believed that the most plausible suspect was a man named Arthur Leigh Allen. However, his suspicions have never been proven.