FBI orders Albany news outlets NOT to open letter sent by 'Chinese Zodiac Killer'
ALBANY, NEW YORK: A number of news stations in the Albany, New York area have reportedly received a strange letter from someone claiming to be the "Chinese Zodiac Killer", prompting the FBI to launch an investigation on Thursday, December 9.
The federal agency ordered the local outlets on Wednesday night, December 8, not to open the letter and instead lookout for more such letters in the coming days. Recipients have been asked not to open them in order to preserve any potential DNA evidence. According to Newsweek, all the stations that received the notes are based in Albany. And while the FBI has insisted there is no threat to the community at the time of publication, it has declined to reveal any further details, citing the active investigation.
That said, this is not the first time a note claiming to be from the Zodiac killer has surfaced in the area. The Albany Times Union received a note shortly after the newspaper ran a story on one of the notorious letters in 1973 — four years after the killer's last known murder. "YOU Were WRONG I AM NOT DEAD OR IN THE HOSPITAL I AM ALIVE AND WELL AND IM GOING TO START KILLING AGAIN Below is the NAME AND LOCATION OF MY NEXT VICTIM," the note read in part, "But you had Better hurry because I'm going to kill her August 10th at 5 P.M. when the shifts change. ALBANY is A nice Town." According to the paper, one of the Zodiac's victims Elizabeth Ferrin previously lived in Albany, while a man previously deemed a Zodiac suspect, Richard Gaikowski, worked for a now-defunct newspaper in the area.
The Zodiac Killer became a household name during the 1960s when they terrorized the San Francisco area and killed at least five people, albeit the murderer has claimed 37 kills. They sent more than 20 taunting letters to police and the media during the height of their killings, with some including ciphers which have still not been solved to this day. According to reports, the killer would threaten further violence if their letters weren't printed.
The identity of the Zodiac Killer has remained a mystery, but a group of retired FBI agents and other experts called 'The Case Breakers' claimed earlier this year that they had sufficient evidence to unmask the Zodiac as Gary Poste, who died in 2018. The group said they also linked Poste to a sixth killing — not connected to the Zodiac — hundreds of miles away from San Francisco. However, the police weren't convinced. "If you read what they (the Case Breakers) put out, it's all circumstantial evidence. It's not a whole lot," an officer told the San Francisco Chronicle in October.
Nonetheless, the group announced on Saturday that there had been a new breakthrough in their case. “When The Case Breakers approached officials about a new Zodiac suspect last spring, five police and state agencies would not cooperate,” they explained. “But last week, the man who runs the 10-year cold case team, Thomas J. Colbert, received a tip from his long-time sources in the remote town of deceased Gary Francis Poste: They had verified the existence of an evidentiary goldmine.”
The group claimed that before Poste died, he gave “away his weapons, pistol parts, gunpowder, bullets and shell casings – more than a thousand, involving 25 different calibers – to his favorite locals." They said the objects were simply kept in “basements and closets, untouched" and that they had now boxed up their "historic haul" and shipped it off to be processed in forensic labs in three different states.
If you or anyone you know has information related to the case, you are urged to contact the bureau directly.