Gary F Poste ‘was fascinated with killing animals,’ according to a buddy, as the FBI keeps the case ‘open.’

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THE Zodiac Killer who terrorized the San Francisco area in the 1960s has finally been identified, a group of cold case investigators say, and was reportedly obsessed with killing animals.

Poste’s friend Will who spent two decades backpacking with Poste in Northern California said his violent streak was on full display during their trips as he killed animals “indiscriminately” and treated their carcasses in a manner he described as “chilling.”

Years later Will began to suspect that Poste could be the Zodiac after watching a true crime documentary on serial killers, TMZ said.

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 on Wednesday.

The man they say is responsible for the string of five murders in 1968 and 1969 is Gary Francis Poste, who died in 2018.

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

Read our Zodiac Killer live blog for the very latest updates…

HOW DID THE ZODIAC KILLER NAME COME TO BE?

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.

CRIMINAL HISTORY PART 4

Court documents claim that, had he stood trial, Poste would have faced up to 16 years in prison for the most serious offense on the indictment.

But later orders in the case reveal he was found mentally incompetent.

After spending time in Tuolumne County jail he was referred to the California State Hospital in Napa.

Then in 2017, he appears to have been placed under the custody of a probate conservator.

Before passing away on August 23, 2018, Poste had been staying at a live-in facility in Stockton, according to the documents.

CRIMINAL HISTORY PART 3

Mary was 74 at the time of the attack, according to the court documents.

A neighbor told The Sun on Wednesday that he had heard Poste pushed his wife down the stairs.

Brian Pladsen, 68, said: “I was gone in Belize when I guess he pushed her (Mary) down the stairs or something.

“That’s what I heard but I’m not really positive what went on.

“I’m pretty sure he spent time in jail for that.”

CRIMINAL HISTORY PART 2

A criminal complaint filed at the Superior Court in Tuolumne County and obtained by The Sun states that Poste “did wilfully and unlawfully inflict a corporal injury resulting in… Brinkwire Brief News.

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