'Chinese Zodiac Killer' Sends Letters to New York TV Stations; FBI Investigating

Several news stations in the Albany, New York, area have recently received letters from someone claiming to be the "Chinese Zodiac Killer." After the stations received the communications, the Albany Times-Union reported Thursday that the FBI is investigating.

The newspaper wrote that the FBI's Albany field office sent a notice to local news organizations Wednesday asking them not to open any other potential letters from the source to help preserve possible DNA evidence.

The FBI said that the community isn't in danger but declined further comment on the investigation, according to the Times-Union, which did not detail which television stations had received letters from the self-proclaimed "Chinese Zodiac Killer." It noted, however, that it was not among the news outlets that received a letter.

Newsweek has reached out to the FBI for more details about the investigation, but did not receive a response before publication on Thursday evening.

The self-proclaimed Zodiac Killer is confirmed to have been behind the killings of five victims in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1968 and 1969, although the killer claims to have murdered 37 victims.

The Zodiac Killer sent newspapers coded messages explaining the motives for the killings.

‘Chinese Zodiac Killer’ Sends Letters
Several news stations in the Albany, New York, area have recently received letters from someone claiming to be the "Chinese Zodiac Killer." After the stations received the communications, the Albany Times-Union reported Thursday that the FBI is investigating. Above, San Francisco police circulated this composite of the Bay Area's Zodiac Killer in 1969. Bettmann

"The unsolved nature of the murders and the Zodiac Killer's elaborate methods of communicating with the public and his pursuers still captures the imaginations of screenwriters, authors, true-crime buffs, forensic scientists, and, of course, law enforcement," the FBI wrote in 2007.

Police say that the case remains unsolved, though in October, an investigative group called The Case Breakers announced a breakthrough, alleging to have identified the infamous serial killer as Gary Francis Poste, an Air Force veteran and professional house painter who died in 2018.

Law enforcement officials, however, quickly insisted that the case was still not solved.

"If you read what they (the Case Breakers) put out, it's all circumstantial evidence. It's not a whole lot," a police officer told the San Francisco Chronicle in October.

The Times-Union noted that it received a letter from someone claiming to be the Zodiac Killer in 1973. The writer of the letter said they would kill a woman in Albany on August 10, 1973.

"YOU Were WRONG I AM NOT DEAD OR IN THE HOSPITAL I AM ALIVE AND WELL AND IM GOING TO START KILLING AGAIN," the letter stated, according to the newspaper.

The paper noted that one of the Zodiac murder victims, Elizabeth Ferrin, previously lived in Albany, and that a man previously considered a Zodiac suspect, Richard Gaikowski, worked for a now-defunct newspaper in New York's state capital.