At long last the Zodiac Killer -- perhaps Northern California's most infamous serial killer -- has been identified, but he's already dead ... according to an independent team of investigators.
The investigators say the man who terrorized the San Francisco area in the late 1960s was Gary Francis Poste. However, police never caught him, and turns out he died in 2018. Poste successfully eluded authorities not just in the Bay Area, but also committed murder hundreds of miles away -- a killing that was not previously linked to him.
According to Fox News ... a team of more than 40 detectives, journalists and military intelligence officers made up the so-called Case Breakers, who believe Poste is the one responsible for a 1966 murder in the SoCal city of Riverside.
As for how The Case Breakers broke the case ... the team reportedly spent years digging through new forensic evidence and photos from Poste's darkroom. The team apparently found a photo that featured scars on Poste's forehead that matched scars on a sketch of the Zodiac.
There were also other clues ... the team deciphered letters sent by the Zodiac that revealed Poste as the killer. According to the team, there was one note where the letters of Poste's full name were removed to reveal an alternate message.
A former Army counterintelligence agent who worked on the team said, "So you've got to know Gary's full name in order to decipher these anagrams. I just don't think there's any other way anybody would have figured it out."