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Crime & Justice

Police order DNA tests to help identify Zodiac Killer after Golden State Killer arrest




A San Francisco Police Department wanted bulletin and copies of letters sent to the San Francisco Chronicle by a man who called himself Zodiac.
A San Francisco Police Department wanted bulletin and copies of letters sent to the San Francisco Chronicle by a man who called himself Zodiac.
Eric Risberg/AP

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Detectives at the Vallejo Police Department have sent decades-old DNA evidence to a forensics laboratory in the hopes of identifying a serial murderer, who became known as the Zodiac Killer.

Investigators are using the same techniques they used to track down Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo. The Zodiac Killer allegedly attacked seven victims, killing at least five, between 1968 and 1969 in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa and San Francisco. The Zodiac claimed responsibility for the killings in letters, often signed with a symbol of a cross over a circle. Three of these letters and two envelopes remained in police custody, according to Vallejo police Detective Terry Poyser. Poyser told the Sacramento Bee that his agency has submitted those evidence for a DNA analysis hoping the technology that didn’t exist at the time of the crimes would help break the 50-year-old case. 

Guests:

Anita Chabria, social justice reporter for the Sacramento Bee who covered the story; she tweets @chabriaa

Michael Butterfield, writer and researcher on the Zodiac case; he was a consultant for the History channel series The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer and the 2007 motion picture Zodiac; he tweets @TheZodiacFacts