Zodiac Killer – Cause of death of alleged murderer Gary Francis Poste who died in 2018 is revealed

THE Zodiac Killer who was identified by cold case investigators as Gary Francis Poste died a painful death, according to a report on Wednesday.

The man who terrorized San Francisco back in the 1960s died at age 80 while suffering from a series of maladies including sepsis, septic shock, dysphagia and vascular dementia, according to his death certificate.

Sepsis is deadly condition where the body has a chain reaction of toxic responses to an infection, septic shock is when blood pressure sinks to "dangerous levels" and dysphagia is struggling to swallow, according to the the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The certificate details how Poste was battling bouts of hypertension, osteoporosis, hypothyroidism and atrial fibrillation, according to the document dated August 24, 2018, and reported by TMZ.

The alleged killer’s reportedly cremated remains were scattered in the Sierra Mountains.

The document suggested Poste had been married, was a veteran and employed as a house painter.


Poste's health issues were revealed on the same day the Case Breakers, a team of specialists who have worked to crack a number of America's most high-profile unsolved cases, claimed to have uncovered the Zodiac Killer's identity.

They also claim Poste committed a sixth killing hundreds of miles away that has never before been connected to the Zodiac.

The Zodiac Killer is believed to be a California man who gave himself that nickname to conceal his identity from authorities while racking up five murders in 1968 and 1969.

He is known to have targeted at least seven victims – three couples and a lone taxi driver. Two of them survived gun and knife ambushes.

The same killer has been linked to as many as 28 murders — claiming to have killed 37 people in taunting letters sent to newspapers and police.

The letters included complex ciphers – some of which haven't been officially solved to this day.

The case was deemed inactive in 2004 but the San Francisco Police Department reopened it in March of 2007.

Over the years, many independent sleuths have claimed to have decoded the Zodiac's true identity.


The Case Breakers crew is comprised of more than 40 former law enforcement investigators, journalists and military intelligence officers.

The team said they discovered Poste's identity after years of digging through new forensic evidence and his darkroom.

One image uncovered from the darkroom purportedly featured scars on Poste's forehead which match a sketch of the Zodiac.

The team said the Zodiac's ciphers also point to Poste.

In one note, removing the letters of Poste's full name revealed an alternate message, according to former Army counterintelligence agent Jen Bucholtz.

"So you've got to know Gary's full name in order to decipher these anagrams," Bucholtz told Fox News.

"I just don't think there's any other way anybody would have figured it out."

The killer earned his nickname by signing his fourth letter to the press with "Zodiac" on August 7, 1969.

In it, he wrote: "Dear Editor This is the Zodiac speaking." 

He also signed his letters with a circle and a cross over it, resembling a target or a coordinate symbol.


Authorities believe the Zodiac claimed his first two victims on December 20, 1968, when 17-year-old David Arthur Faraday and 16-year-old Betty Lou Jensen were shot and killed in Benicia.

The second two victims – Michael Renault Mageau, 19; and Darlene Elizabeth Ferrin, 22 – were found shot in a parking lot in Vallejo on July 4, 1969. Ferrin was killed and Mageau survived.

Nearly three months later, 20-year-old Bryan Calvin Harnell and 22-year-old Cecelia Ann Shepard were found stabbed at Lake Berryessa in Napa County on September 27, 1969. Shepard was killed and Hartnell survived.

Taxi driver Paul Lee Stine, 29, was shot and killed in his car in San Francisco's Presidio Heights neighborhood on October 11, 1969.


The Case Breakers have asserted that the Zodiac is also responsible for a sixth killing in Riverside, California, on October 31, 1966.

Cheri Jo Bates was 18 years old when she was found dead in an alley on the Riverside City College campus.

In 1967, police received a handwritten letter which later led them to believe Bates' killing may have been committed by the Zodiac.

That theory was quashed in 2016 when investigators received an anonymous note from someone who claimed they'd written the earlier note as a "sick joke."

However, the Case Breakers have maintained that the Zodiac did kill Bates and claim investigators have blocked them from comparing her DNA to Poste's.

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