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Internet sleuths decide on new zodiac killer suspect, many sites take the bait

It must be a slow news week because dozens of news sites – including, ahem, Fox news and TMZ – requested to publish A press release today from a group of Internet detectives claiming to have “solved” the 53-year-old mystery of the zodiac killer. Their suspect, Gary Francis Poste, died in 2018, and may look like one of the composite sketches.

Internet sleuths have been all the rage lately, especially after the HBO series based on Michell McNamara’s book on The Golden State Killer, I’ll be gone in the dark, and the Netflix series Don’t fuck with cats. But not all detectives are created equal, and some may be more interested in caring for themselves than in solving crimes.

This group, calling themselves Case breakers, claimed in 2018 to have solved the infamous DB Cooper hijacking case, another baffling cold case that over the decades has produced a parade of possible suspects, and which tends to make the news every few years whenever someone else decides to have it solved. In this case, one of the thugs involved, Rick Sherwood, claimed to have a personal connection to the suspect they pointed out – Sherwood said he served in Vietnam with longtime DB Cooper suspect , Robert Rackstraw, a man from San Diego who was eliminated as a suspect. by the FBI in 1971. He died in 2019 after claiming the Case Breakers had ruined his life.

The FBI still considers the Cooper case unresolved.

the Over 40 Case Breakers team members includes a number of individuals calling themselves private investigators and trying to appear prominent on Twitter, and indeed their PR skills have allowed their work to appear on the Wikipedia and TMZ pages, so that’s something thing.

In the Zodiac case, they point to Gary Francis Poste, an Air Force veteran who died in 2018. The evidence they use to make this claim includes comparisons of photographs with composite sketches of Zodiac, indicating somewhat similar frontal folds which they say include a distinctive scar; and seriously spurious allegations from an anonymous “whistleblower” living in the Sierra, a man claiming to have been part of a criminal “gang” with Poste, and who claims to have seen guns buried somewhere but no one has found them yet .

Oh, is there also something about the letters of Poste’s full name that are hidden in one of the zodiac numbers?

The other thing the Case Breakers claim is that they have “proof” that the Zodiac also killed a woman in Riverside, Cheri Jo Bates, in 1966, and this was debunked by Riverside PD. “Is there a chance that [Poste] killed Cheri Jo Bates? No, “said Ryan Railsback, Riverside Constable, speak to the Chronicle today. “If you read what they [the Case Breakers] extinct, these are all circumstantial evidence. It’s not a lot.”

The Zodiac Killer is one of the Bay Area’s lingering and chilling mysteries and inspired a great 2007 David Fincher film starring Marc Ruffalo and Jake Gyllenhaal. Over the years, SFist has picked up on some of the theories that have been put forward about his identity – including the 2012 true crime book by California Highway Patrol officer Lyndon Lafferty who claimed Zodiac was alive and well. and lived in Solano County, but declined to name the man who he said was 92 and married.

At the end of last year, the Chronicle posted the headline that the number 340 of the Zodiac had been deciphered by decryptors after 51 years. It contained the mundane message, “Hope you are having a lot of fun trying to catch me.” … I am not afraid of the gas chamber because it will send me to Paradice (sic) as soon as I have enough now. slaves to work for me.

Just a word of advice, if you want to access Fox News or TMZ just pick a popular cold case, state with confidence that you have solved it, issue an overly complicated press release, and wait.

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