A group of private investigators known as the Case Breakers claim that their suspect in the Zodiac killer case trained a "posse" of about 10 young men to "hike and kill" over several decades in California.
Case Breakers’ Thomas J. Colbert claimed in an interview with the New York Post that Gary Francis Poste, an Air Force veteran and former house painter from Groveland, California, who the group alleges was the Zodiac killer, would regularly take a group of about 10 men who were known in the town as the "posse," into the nearby mountains where he taught them to "hike and kill," according to Colbert.
"He taught them how to turn a pipe bomb into a bomb that would blow up houses," Colbert said. "If new cops moved into town, he would have [the posse] throw rocks into their windows to get them to move out. He was involved in loaning guns out to suicidal people in town."
Colbert added that "One time he had a kid climb out on a tree branch and hang caches of raw meat from it. He also nailed salmon hooks below to catch bears trying to get to the meat. One time there were three bears bleeding to death from this tree trying to get the meat and Gary just watched them, laughing at them."
He went on to compare Poste to the character "Fagin" from the novel "Oliver Twist," who led a gang of children. One former member of the posse, who Colbert only identified as "Wil" but whose real name is Chris Avery, said he left Groveland about 10 years ago after he saw sketched drawings of the Zodiac Killer and confronted Poste about it. Avery eventually met a local TV news anchor in Santa Cruz, Dale Julin, who had spent years researching the Zodiac case. Following their meeting, Julin claimed to have found a new hidden message in one of the cryptograms sent by the Zodiac Killer using Poste’s name.
The FBI told the Post in a statement that the Zodiac killer investigation "remains open and unsolved," and noted that "Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, and out of respect for the victims and their families, we will not be providing further comment at this time."
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