A Cold Case Team Identified Gary Francis Poste as a Zodiac Killer Suspect — Who Was He?

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Oct. 7 2021, Published 12:33 p.m. ET

One mystery that has long fascinated the public — and has also been the subject of many films, documentaries, and podcasts over the years — is the unknown identity of the Zodiac Killer.

The serial killer is accused of five known slayings in California in the late '60s. Following several of the murders, the perpetrator mailed a series of letters to newspapers and to various police departments, often including ciphers and cryptograms.

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Though the Zodiac Killer has never officially been caught or identified, several suspects have been publicly named over the years. Most recently, a cold case team by the name of the Case Breakers has identified Gary Francis Poste as a potential suspect for the crimes committed by the Zodiac Killer.

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In a press release shared on Oct. 7, the Case Breakers claim that the identification was made through forensic evidence and photos from Poste's own darkroom. The pictures seem to show that Poste had scars on his forehead, which could match the ones featured on sketches of the Zodiac Killer.

The group has alleged that Poste's name can be found when some of the Zodiac's letter codes are deciphered.

The Case Breakers team also linked Poste to the 1966 murder of Cheri Jo Bates. The 18-year-old was found dead in an alleyway on the campus of Riverside City College. Though there has long been debate about whether the serial killer was involved in her murder, the Riverside Police Department's Homicide Cold Case unit previously issued a statement saying that Bates's death was not related to the crimes committed by the Zodiac Killer.

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The FBI and the San Francisco Police Department have stated that the case is still open, despite the Case Breakers' new finding, per Deadline.

Keep reading for all that is known at this time about Gary Francis Poste, including his family life and his 2018 passing.

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Who was Gary Francis Poste? He reportedly had a wife and at least one son.

The man named by the Case Breakers was married to Mary Poste, and had at least one son. He reportedly worked for years as a house painter after serving time in the United States Air Force. He lived in Groveland, Calif.

In 2016, Poste was arrested for domestic battery against his wife. A mugshot was taken following his arrest, which has been circulating online.

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Poste's widow is currently residing in an assisted living facility, according to The Daily Mail.

Other details about Poste's personal life are currently unknown to the public.

Gary Francis Poste died at the age of 80 in 2018.

According to a death certificate obtained by TMZ, Gary Poste passed away in August 2018 from vascular dementia, sepsis, septic shock, and dysphagia.

The certificate also reportedly noted that Poste was suffering from osteoporosis, atrial fibrillation, hypertension, and hypothyroidism at the time of his death.

The 80-year-old died in Groveland, and it is important to note that he was never charged with any of the crimes related to the Zodiac killer.

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