Cold-case investigators claim they have identified ‘Zodiac Killer’; DNA needed for confirmation
- The Zodiac Killer first began terrorising the streets of Northern California in the early 1960s was at least five murders in the region from 1968 and 1969.
An independent group of cold-case investigators claim to have solved the mystery behind the identity of the so-called Zodiac Killer who was behind the decades-old serial murders. The Case Breakers, a task force of 40 former law enforcement investigators, believes that the hairs found in the clenched fist of a murdered teen student, Cheri Jo Bates, belong to the “Zodiac Killer” suspect, according to a press release.
The Riverside Police Department (RPD) had refrigerated the hairs, skin and blood found under her fingernails of Bates after her body was discovered in October 1966. The Case Breakers requested the RPD to allow a comparison of Bates’ computer-coded DNA to the sequence of a person whom the independent investigators believe is a “very strong suspect”. RPD denied the request saying the department is “100% sure” Bates was killed by someone other than the Zodiac, according to the investigators.
“Fifty-five years ago this month, RPD chose to ignore the obvious. It would take just minutes to quickly and quietly compare [suspect’s] DNA. You’d think the pain Cheri Jo’s family and her old friends have been living with would be Priority #1. Here’s to hoping the next chief finds the courage to act,” Thomas J. Colbert, team organiser, Case Breakers, said in a statement.
The Zodiac Killer first began terrorising the streets of Northern California in the early 1960s and the Case Breakers believe the dreaded serial killer was behind the murders of 10 Californians between 1962 and 1970.
The investigators said they have recovered new physical and forensic evidence, signed up eyewitnesses and secured pictures from Poste’s former darkroom. They believe the scars on the suspect forehead is irrefutable evidence that has been spotted by three case witnesses and an observing cop who later passed on to the San Francisco Police Department sketch artist.
However, the SFPD and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FB) have not acknowledged the claims and said that the Zodiac Killer case is still an open investigation, reported CNN. “We have no new information to share at the moment," the FBI said in a statement to CNN.