Was the Zodiac Killer caught after being identified?
Last month, a group of freelance cold case investigators proposed that they’d successfully solved the Zodiac Killer case. The group called Case Breakers utilized new darkroom photos & forensics as evidence. They believe that the Zodiac Killer was a man who was linked to the 1966 murder of Cheri Jo Bates. The forty investigators claim this suspect died in 2018 before being caught.
Since then, the FBI has debunked their claims & said “The case remains open and there is no new information to report.” Riverside police Officer Ryan J. Railsback further dismissed the Case Breakers when he spoke to NBC News. Railsback stated the cops “ruled out any connection” between the Bates homicide & the Zodiac Killer.
Officer Railsback continued, saying “we don’t know how we can be any more clear.” Railsback added that “the $50,000 private reward is still valid. If someone has any information on the Bates case please come forward.” Authorities denied the connection between the Bates case & the Zodiac Killer. However, people are wondering if the Zodiac Killer was ever actually caught.
Who was the Zodiac Killer?
The Zodiac was a title that the killer gave himself in letters sent to San Francisco Bay Area newspapers from 1969 to 1974. The Zodiac Killer was associated with at least five murders in 1968 & 1969. These killings occurred in the greater Northern California area. The Zodiac was known to make threats in his hand-written letters & had a tendency to mock law enforcement.
The San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, and Vallejo Times-Herald each were mailed mysterious letters on August 1st, 1969. Each letter was identically handwritten & was mailed in envelopes with no return address. The letters began with the famous first sentence, “Dear Editor: I am the killer of the 2 teenagers last Christmas at Lake Herman.”
The first Zodiac letters included facts about the murders that only would be known to the killer. In the letters, the Zodiac threatened to commit more homicides if the letters weren’t given the front-page treatment in the newspapers. Each letter ended with what would become known as the Zodiac sign, a circle with a cross in the middle.
In addition to the threats & the symbol, the letters contained a three-part cipher that apparently contained the killer’s identity. The Bay Area police worked intensively with the FBI to catch the killer, yet the Examiner got another letter. It read, “Dear Editor: This is the Zodiac speaking.” Thus, the mystery of the Zodiac Killer was born.
When high school teacher Donald Harden & his wife Bettye cracked the Zodiac cipher, police thought they might have caught the killer. However, it was merely a riddle filled with enigma. The cipher read “I like killing people because it is so much fun.”
The cryptic statement continued, “It is more fun than killing wild game in the forest because man is the most dangerous animal of all.” In 1969, the fourth murder by the Zodiac Killer occurred when cab driver Paul Stine was shot. The Chronicle was sent a letter attached with a piece of Stine’s bloody shirt.
Fear in San Francisco reached a peak when the Zodiac claimed in his letter that he would begin targeting children. He wrote that he’d stop a school bus & “pick off the kiddies as they come bouncing out.” The Zodiac letters continued until 1974, including more ciphers, taunts, and claims of murder.
The investigation of the Zodiac Killer continues to this day. The Bay Area police & FBI have worked tirelessly for decades, identifying a number of suspects. Be that as it may, the Zodiac was never caught. If you’re interested in the story of the Zodiac, check out the David Fincher film Zodiac. The movie proposes several instances where the killer was almost caught.
Despite many attempts at identification, the Zodiac Killer was never caught. Who do you think the Zodiac Killer is? Let us know in the comment section.