Ted Cruz joins joke he’s the Zodiac Killer as sleuths claim to identify criminal

Former investigators claim Gary Francis Poste is a killer who terrorised San Francisco in the 1960s

Sravasti Dasgupta
Thursday 07 October 2021 08:31 BST
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) (Getty Images)
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Republican Senator Ted Cruz joined a long-standing joke about him being the Zodiac Killer on Wednesday, after investigators claimed that they had identified the criminal.

A group of volunteer sleuths made up of former investigative specialists claimed that Gary Francis Poste, who died in 2018, was the Zodiac Killer. The Case Breakers reportedly identified Mr Poste through a series of photographs they uncovered from his “darkroom,” according to a statement issued by the group. The photos date back to 1963.

Though the latest finding may finally put the intrigue to rest, Mr Cruz responded to the news with a meme on Twitter.

The Zodiac Killer was one of the most notorious serial murderers in the world who terrorised San Francisco in the late 1960s. Five known victims were attributed to Zodiac between December 1968 and October 1969 in the San Francisco Bay Area. He targeted young couples, with two of the men surviving, and killed a lone male cab driver.

The serial killer corresponded with authorities via letters and sent postcards to media organisations. In his letters and ciphers sent to the San Francisco Chronicle, the killer once claimed to have murdered 37 victims, and he has been linked to several other cold cases, some in Southern California or outside the state.

Of the four ciphers he produced, two remain unsolved to this day – the first was cracked in 1969, the second in 2020 by private citizens. The FBI said in 2020 that the investigation was ongoing. Decades later, the killings and investigation have spawned multiple books, documentaries, TV shows, and movies.

The joke that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer began in 2013, when a Twitter user claimed that his address at a political conference would be on the topic of his confession that he is the killer. But the ridiculous theory did not gain momentum till Mr Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign. It took hold as many allegedly found him “creepy” and his “unpopularity grew over the years”.

Republican senator Lindsay Graham had said in 2016: “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”

This is not the first time that Mr Cruz has alluded to the joke. In 2017, he had acknowledged the joke by posting a cryptographic encoded message. In 2018, he again posted a cypher with the text: “Happy Halloween”.

But for the record, it is unlikely that Mr Cruz is the murderer as the Zodiac Killer’s first confirmed was in 1968, while the senator was born in 1970.

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