THE Zodiac Killer was known as a serial killer who operated in Northern California in the late 1960s.
The killers identity had remained unknown for decades until investigators figured it out on October 6, 2021.
Who are the Zodiac Killer's victims?
The Zodiac Killer claimed to have killed 37 people during his five year span but investigators were only able to link him conclusively to seven victims, five who died and two who survived.
The Zodiac Killer's victims include:
- Paul Stine, 30, was shot once in the head at point-blank range
- Cecelia Shepard, 22, was stabbed 10 times, five in the front and five in the back
- Bryan Hartnell, 20, was stabbed six times in the back
- Darlene Ferrin, 22, was shot five times
- Mike Mageau, 19, was shot four times
- David Faraday, 17, was shot once in the head at point-blank range
- Betty Lou Jensen, 16, was shot five times in the back
Some of his other possible victims include:
- Ray Davis, 27, was shot twice from behind in his own cab
- Cheri Jo Bates, 18, was beaten and stabbed multiple times with a short-bladed knife
The Zodiac Killer was given his name by himself after referring to himself as "Zodiac" in his fourth letter to the press on August 7, 1969.
"Dear Editor This is the Zodiac speaking," he wrote at the time.
From then on the press called him the 'Zodiac Killer' – but it is not known why the killer gave himself that name.
Who survived the Zodiac Killer?
Ferrin and Mageau were both attacked while sitting in Ferrin's car at the Blue Rock Springs Golf Club in Vallejo, California.
While Ferrin died, Mageau became the Zodiac's first survivor.
Much like Ferrin and Mageau, Shepard and Hartnell were also on a date and were having a picnic at Lake Berryessa in Napa County when they were approached by a man wearing a hood that had a symbol of two intersecting lines in a circle.
After threatening the pair with a gun, he then tied them up, then stabbed them.
Despite being alive when help arrived on the scene, Shepard passed away while Hartnell recovered, becoming the Zodiac's second survivor.
Was the Zodiac Killer identified?
On October 6, 2021, the Case Breakers, a team of specialists who have worked to crack a number of America's most high-profile unsolved cases, claimed to have uncovered the Zodiac Killer's identity.
The man they say is responsible for the string of five murders in 1968 and 1969 is Gary Francis Poste.
Despite being identified, Poste will never be able to be charged in connection to the five murders as he is believed to have died in 2018.
The investigators claimed to have discovered Poste's identity after years of digging through new forensic evidence and his darkroom.
One image uncovered from the darkroom featured scars on Poste's forehead which match a sketch of the Zodiac.
The team, which according to Fox News, is made up ofmore than "40 detectives, journalists and military intelligence officers," also said that the Zodiac's ciphers also point to Poste.
Over the years, investigators believed that the Zodiac Killer's identity could have been an alleged pedophile named Arthur Leigh Allen, but they never had enough evidence to charge him.
Ed Edwards was also a potential suspect.
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