FBI Says Zodiac Killer Case Is Still Open After Alleged Identification — 8 Theories About Who The Real Killer Is

Ted Cruz?

Who Was The Zodiac Killer? YouTube / Twitter

The Zodiac Killer is Ted Cruz. Just kidding. But really, who is the Zodiac Killer?

A group recently claimed to have identified the infamous killer who took allegedly committed at least 5 murders in the San Francisco Bay Area between 1968 and 1969.

But, with the FBI keeping the case firmly open, nothing is confirmed. 

8 theories about who is the Zodiac Killer.

The Zodiac Killer famously taunted the police and the public by sending letters to newspapers with incredibly accurate and gruesome details, demanding that they publish his letters on the front page, or he would commit more murders.


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Yet despite DNA evidence, the identity of the Zodiac Killer has yet to be confirmed. Here are eight insane — but weirdly believable  theories about the Zodiac Killer.

1. Gary Frances Poste is the Zodiac Killer.

The Case Breakers — an independent team of cold-case investigators — recently claimed to have identified the Zodiac Killer to be a man named Gary Frances Poste.

The group claims Poste — who died in 2018 — had scars on his face similar to ones in sketches of the Zodiac Killer. 


The group also claims to have forensic evidence including DNA, that links Poste to the murders and one additional killing. They also say that  if you remove the letters of Poste’s full name from one of the ciphers left by Zodiac, it reveals an alternate message.

However, both the FBI and the San Francisco Police Department say that the case is still open and they have no new information to release.

This means that there's still a chance some of the many other theories about the murders could be accurate. 

2. The Zodiac Killer was two people.

This theory goes into the belief that there were two people involved in Zodiac crimes: the killer and the letter writer. These two people could have been working together or on their own.


Someone like a San Francisco Bay police officer would have enough information to write the gruesome letters that the Zodiac killer sent to newspapers. One Reddit thread goes into this theory further.

“It seems to me that the letter writer could have not even known the killer in the shootings of the teenagers and Paul Stine. If the writer had been a cop, he would have been able to accurately describe the crime scenes," the user claims.

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"He likely also could have ripped off part of Stein’s shirt after the body had been taken away. That means he would have to be an SFPD officer, but he could have gotten crime scene descriptions from Vallejo too."


"Maybe the killer could have even been Arthur Leigh Allen. Serial killers often work in pairs. What I find most compelling about this theory is how advantageous it would be for the killers. If the killer was caught, he would be cleared based on the evidence from the letters, since it would be assumed that they were the same person.”

3. The police encountered the Zodiac Killer.

Did racism play a role in the police failing to catch the Zodiac Killer? Possibly. The police patrolled the area near where taxi driver Paul Stine was killed. Despite all evidence and investigations made police and detectives think that the Zodiac Killer is white, these two police officer did not get the memo, according to The Talko.​

“When police radioed in to keep an eye out for the suspect, there was a terrible mistake in the communication, which had police seeking a colored man instead of a Caucasian one (*eyes roll*). Two Police who were patrolling the area happened to come across a man who they observed walking away from the crime scene, but they didn’t stop him, as he didn’t fit the description.”

4. The Zodiac Killer used cement to conceal fingerprints.

One myth of why the Zodiac Killer has been able to evade capture and his identity has not been found is preventing the police from being able to detect his DNA.


In one of his letters, the Zodiac Killer claimed that he coated his fingertips in two coats of airplane cement to prevent leaving prints behind. This has neither been proven or debunked.

5. The Zodiac Killer’s crimes were linked to the Manson Family.

Some people believe that the Zodiac Killer is Bruce Dern, who was a member of the Manson Family. Bruce Dern is a convicted murderer for his crimes committed while he was in the Manson Family, so being the Zodiac Killer would not be out of character. 

The Zodiac/Manson Connection goes into this theory further, giving evidence of why Dern is the Zodiac Killer. Here is the connection between Bruce Dern and one of the Zodiac Killer’s alleged victims Cheri Jo Bates:

“He returned to Tennessee but relocated back to California in 1964 — near the time of the San Diego Honeymoon murders. He lived in Anaheim, Riverside, Buena Park, Costa Mesa and spent some time in Newport Beach — Zodiac victim, Cheri Jo Bates frequented this location."


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"During this time he worked as a welder, painter, pipe fitter, general construction worker, longshoreman, farm laborer, bar assistant, road surveyor, and mechanic. Finally 'dropping out' of society in November 1966 — at the same time that the Zodiac wrote the Bates 'Confession' letter — Davis became a 'transient undergrounder.' Riverside City College was undergoing a renovation during the years 1965 to 1967 and it is believed that Davis worked on that project from time to time.”

However, Riverside police recently claimed that the Zodiac Killer had nothing to do with Bates' murder. They say the only link is a letter claiming responsibilty. 

6. The Zodiac called into a television show.

On October 22, 1969, the Zodiac Killer called into the Oakland Police Department, demanding that either Melvin Belli or Francis Lee Bailey, both lawyers, go on air to appear on Jim Dunbar’s show later that day.


Melvin Belli agreed. A man by the name of “Sam” called into Dunbar’s show and claimed to be the Zodiac Killer but quickly hung up. The police were not able to trace the caller down.

7. There is no Zodiac Killer.

Is the Zodiac Killer just a sham? The blog Zodiac Hoax certainly thinks so. The author of this blog bases their argument around the issue that only a small number of people involved with investigating the Zodiac Killer actually believed that there was a Zodiac Killer.

“So, why have so many people been so convinced for so long? One result of my research was the 'discovery' that, in real life, very few people who had direct knowledge of these four murder cases actually believed in the Zodiac theory at all."


"Only Les Lundblad of the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, Ken Narlow of the Napa County Sheriff’s office, Mel Nicolai of the California Department of Justice, and Sherwood Morill, a DOJ Questioned Documents Examiner, seem to have actually ‘believed’ in the Zodiac. “

8. Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer.

This is more of a joke than believable, but this theory was spread across the internet during the 2016 American Presidential Election, particularly during the Republican primary elections. 

In October 2017, Ted Cruz himself even tweeted out one of the Zodiac Killer’s clues that he left for the police during a Twitter spat.


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Julia Metraux is just a 20-year old try to find herself, panic about the possible end of the world, and love dogs. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in October 2018 and was updated with the latest information.​