A group of amateur sleuths believe they have cracked the Zodiac Killer case, 54 years after the unsolved murders were committed.
The Zodiac Killer slayed at least five victims in California, US in the late 1960s. The serial murderer targeted young couples in remote locations, shooting or stabbing his victims.
The deranged killer earned his name for sending letters to newspapers – many containing cryptic messages for the authorities to solve – which he signed "the Zodiac".
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A team of elite hobby detectives with military and investigations backgrounds, The Case Breakers, who have been investigating the Zodiac Killer case for years, believe a recent discovery confirms the identity of the sicko killer.
Group founder Thomas Cobert announced that a symbol connected with the serial killer had been discovered near the property that used to be owned by the group's main suspect, Gary Francis Poste, a late Air force veteran, reports The Sun.
The symbol – a cross with a circle around it – had been found on a wooden post near Poste's old property in Groveland California, when a landowner was clearing a scrub about half a mile from the home.
This breakthrough for the group follows three years of investigation on the case after one of the members, Jen, received a breakthrough document from retired news presenter Dale Julin in 2020, whose theory on the killer was dismissed by the police and the FBI.
The US Army Veteran said that Dale a homeless man, Chris Avery, had turned up at the TV station Dale worked for in 2014 wanting to speak to the journalist.
Jen added: “Chris claimed that his stepfather, Gary Francis Poste, was the Zodiac and that when he confronted him about it, Poste tried to kill him, so he went on the run.”
Following this incident Dale tried his luck at cracking the codes and after five years of trying to figure it out, he discovered using Poste’s name was the key that unlocked the Zodiac’s identity.
Jen said she had read about a third of Dale's document before realising he had "got it".
She said: “In order to decode the letters, one must have the cipher key, which is Poste’s full name.
“There’s no other way to solve them.
“Using Poste’s name helped to find key information.
“Poste had the experience through his military years to create complicated ciphers.
“He lived in close proximity to the murders, wore size-10 military boots, prints of which were found at three crime scenes, and was an avid outdoorsman.
“There is nothing we know about Poste that eliminates him as a suspect.”
Poste, who died aged 80, had been arrested for allegedly pushing his wife down the stairs in 2016, but was found mentally incapable of being tried.
In 1959, the vet sustained a massive head injury in a traumatic car accident, after which he became a totally different person, his fellow airmen claimed.
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