Opinion

New Zodiac Killer Suspect Identified

By Vanessa Moreno
vanessa.moreno@spartans.ut.edu

On Oct. 6, the Case Breakers, an independent group of investigators, revealed that they believed the Zodiac Killer to be a man named Gary Francis Poste who died in 2018. 

The Case Breakers are a group of volunteers that dedicate their time to solve cold cases. Members have backgrounds in law enforcement, forensics, and military, just to name a few. 

The Zodiac Killer was active in 1968 to 1969 in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are seven known victims, although the killer claimed to have murdered 37 people. They are also notoriously known for sending taunting letters to police. These letters threatened the lives of many and included ciphers, one of which remains unsolved.  

Poste supposedly resembles the police sketch from 1969 because of scars they both had on their forehead. There was also a watch left at a crime scene that was purchased at a military base and had paint on it. Poste was in the United States Air Force and was a painter for three years afterwards. 

A woman named Gwennie came forward and spoke about the times Poste and his wife babysat her in the 70s and 80s. She claimed that he would teach her how to shoot a gun and was violent towards his wife. His wife has also allegedly said, “I’m sorry that I didn’t tell the cops about his [Zodiac] past,” according to an article by The Independent. 

When the story broke, social media was flooded with people stating their opinions about whether or not Poste could be the Zodiac Killer. Many people were skeptical about it and others believed it could be a possibility, which begs the question, why are we so interested and curious about killers?

I personally listen to true crime podcasts and watch documentaries. Part of it is because I want to go into the profession of solving cases, but another part of me is absolutely terrified that it can happen to me or someone I know. Also, not knowing who is responsible is more chilling than knowing who is. 

Maybe that’s why cold cases interest the public so much, because we fear the unknown. 

Take Ghostface from Scream. What scares people the most is that you never truly know who it is. It can be your neighbor, your friend, your coworker, and you would never know. 

It’s an eerie feeling, knowing you’ve walked past somebody on the street that has taken a life. It makes one wonder how safe the world is. I guess that’s why parents don’t let their kids stay out after dark and why women walk around with their keys in hand. 

There is no specific type of person that is more likely to be targeted more than another. Every time somebody goes missing or somebody is killed, you always hear the phrase, “I didn’t think something like this could happen to me or my family,” but the sad truth is that it can, and that is what makes it so terrifying. 

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