Wed. Oct 20th, 2021

the Torch

The student voice of Wichita High School South

The Zodiac Killer

5 min read

Currently the U.S. has 250,000 unsolved murders and that number increases by about 6,000 each year. That’s 250,000+ people who have received no justice because their killers remain unknown.

Perhaps the most popular and haunting unsolved case is the Zodiac Killer, he was active in California between December 20, 1968 to October 11, 1969. It was also thought that he might’ve been active between June 4, 1963 to December 22, 1973. There were 5 confirmed bodies but there might be up to 37. Survivors and witnesses have described The Zodiac Killer:

  • Approximately 5’8 to 5’10
  • Has curly brown or light reddish brown hair
  • Wears horn-rimmed glasses
  • Has medium or slightly stocky build
  • A “slow and measured” voice
Sketch of The Zodiac Killer

Arthur Leigh Allen was the prime suspect. He was quiet, socially awkward and was a known pedophile. He was a suspect because his personality fit that of a serial killer. He also wore a Zodiac watch which had the same symbol that was on the Zodiac Killer’s letters. No definite evidence was discovered so he was never charged.

The Zodiac Killer wrote letters from 1969 to 1974. He would sign these letters with a symbol resembling the crosshairs of a gunsight. The Zodiac Killer wrote many letters and among them were four ciphers. The first one is known as the “408 cipher” which got its name from the number of characters it contained. This cipher was decoded and it said “I like killing people because it is so much fun.” Another cipher called the “340 cipher” was decoded in 2020 and it read, “I hope you are having lots of fun in trying to catch me.”

britannica.com

The Zodiac Killer symbol

Currently in 2021 a team of specialists who investigate cold cases say they have identified The Zodiac Killer. They said that The Zodiac Killer is a man by the name of Gary Francis Poste, who passed away in 2018. The team uncovered forensic evidence such as an image of scars on the forehead of Gary that match scars on a sketch of The Zodiac Killer.

Jen Bucholtz is a former Army counterintelligence agent who works on cold cases. She said that by deciphering letters sent by The Zodiac Killer revealed Gary as the killer. She told Fox News that in a note the letters of Gary’s full name were removed to reveal an alternate message. “So you’ve got to know Gary’s full name in order to decipher these anagrams,” Bucholtz said. “I just don’t think there’s any other way anybody would have figured it out.”

foxnews.com

Gary Francis Poste

October 2021
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