By Henry Lee; KTVU-FOX, San Francisco; 10/7/21
The volunteer team, which counts retired FBI, military intelligence officers and forensic experts among its members, has named Gary Francis Poste as the Zodiac suspect. But he has not been officially named by the police.
“We have six people that he told, in his last years, that he was the Zodiac,” Thomas J. Colbert of the Case Breakers told KTVU.
Poste, an Air Force veteran and professional housepainter, died in 2018. He is among the latest who have been identified as the psychopath over the decades.
“Hey, everybody has a theory, that’s fine,” Colbert said. “But we have evidence that’s unbelievable. It’s amazing.”
That evidence, he said, includes a shoe-size match and court affidavits from witnesses whom Poste admitted to being the Zodiac.
Authorities have linked five Bay Area killings in 1968 and 1969 to the so-called Zodiac, who came up with the name himself in a series of cryptic messages sent to newspapers. In those letters, the supposed killer claimed the death toll was higher.
The Case Breakers put the number at “as many as 10 Californians” who were killed between 1962 and 1972.
Among those victims, the group accused Poste of a homicide in Riverside, California in 1966 that they believe has special significance to closing the book on the Zodiac.
The Case Breakers say an alleged confession written by the Riverside killer shows remarkable similarities to a letter written by the Zodiac. They also said that Poste’s full name is part of the code in one letter.
“His name is Poste. He ended it with the stamp, and they couldn’t figure out his last name. He cleverly used the postmarkings as Gary Francis (stamp) Poste,” Colbert said.
He said Poste also had scars from a 1959 car crash that match scars on a sketch of the Zodiac.
Colbert’s former feds stated “that is irrefutable. That is a mark that’s the same. It’s on him all the way up to his death at 80 years old.”
Evidence from the Riverside killing should be compared to Poste’s DNA that is held by the Vallejo Police Department, according to the Case Breakers. Vallejo is a location of interest in the Zodiac case, because the fatal shooting of a woman and wounding of a man there have been blamed on the Zodiac.
The Riverside Police Department, however, said to Fox News that it has determined that the 1966 killing of Cheri Jo Bates was not committed by the same man responsible for the Bay Area killings.
The serial murder case, which is still considered open by the FBI’s San Francisco office, has spanned rampant theorizing with books, films and online groups attempting to solve the case and decipher the coded letters allegedly penned by the killer.
Last year, another group of sleuths claimed to have cracked the a well-known cipher written by the Zodiac that was sent to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“I hope you are having lots of fun in trying to catch me,” part of the message said. “I am not afraid of the gas chamber because it will send me to paradise all the sooner because I now have enough slaves to work for me.”
The FBI San Francisco office, SFPD and Vallejo Police all said Wednesday that the Zodiac case remains open and that they could not comment on any potential suspects.
“Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, and out of respect for the victims and their families, we will not be providing further comment at this time,” the FBI said.