The Zodiac Killer’s Identity Has Not Been Found, Case Remains Open


A colorized version of an infamous sketch of the Zodiac killer

* note: this article was written as of October 12, 2021, and all information is the most current of its time. As more developments come, this information may change.

The independent cold case team made of 40 former law enforcement, FBI, forensic, and law experts claims to have found the identity of the Zodiac Killer. On October 6th, the independent group known as the Case Breakers came forward with their claim and evidence pointing to their suspect. However, the San Francisco office of the FBI and San Fransico Police Department have both said that the case remains open and no new information has been found.

The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who terrorized California from 1962 to 1970 and claims to have killed 37 people but only seven have been confirmed, with five of them being murdered. 

Infamously, the Zodiac taunted the local media and police enforcement with four separate letters and ciphers, which were highly encoded. If decoded, it would supposedly give the killer’s name or a piece of information about the crimes. One cipher was decoded in 1969, another in 2020. The other two remain unsolved, though some have claimed to have solved it. A profile by John Douglass in his book The Cases that Haunt Us calls the killer a narcissistic loner who was driven by the need for the spotlight and credibility, which is seen through the encrypted ciphers he demanded to be published. 

There have been a countless number of suspects that the public has come up for the killer, along with small amounts of evidence to back their claims up. However, these pieces of evidence were highly circumstantial or ineffective in proving the suspect guilty. Additionally, with a partial DNA sample from the postage stamps on the letters, the investigators have been able to remove some longer running suspects off the list with a negative match. 

On the other hand, the Case Breakers team claims to have stronger evidence to back up their suspect. 

The team has gotten a respectable amount of evidence to back up their claim. Matching shoe prints and hair from the crime scenes have been said to belong to the suspect as well, although no DNA match has been conducted with the hair and the suspect. A Zodiac whistleblower came forward and spoke about working with the killer.

“[The killer] groomed me into a killing machine,” the whistleblower told Fox News. In another interview with the Case Breaker team, he witnessed the suspect killing animals for enjoyment. 

Other people in the suspect’s life also came forward as witnesses to the killer’s posse and behavior. The daughter-in-law even said that she was harassed by the posse when ending her marriage with the suspect’s family member. However, the idea of a posse contradicts with possible profiles of the killer. 

The most amazing piece of evidence that the team has though, is the match between the police sketch of the killer and the suspect’s face. 

The suspect (right) in a photo from 1963 has similar forehead scars to the police drawing (left) from 1969 (Photo from Case Breakers).

Victims who survived the Zodiac’s murder attempts told the police of their attacker and law enforcement drew a sketch. A notable feature in the drawing is the forehead scars, which match the suspect’s scars believed to have originated from a car crash in 1959 (see image left).

The group’s evidence relies on a theory involving a murder that hasn’t been officially linked to the case. When Cheri Bates was murdered on Halloween of 1966, the group alleges that the suspect was being treated for an injury in a hospital 15 minutes away from the crime scene. There is no certain knowledge if the murder and the suspect’s treatments overlap in dates. 

Even with all this information and potential evidence, official investigators of the case are skeptical of this new theory, as it relies heavily on circumstance and witness accounts.

“Investigation into the Zodiac Killer remains open and unsolved,” the San Francisco office of the FBI said in an official statement. “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.”