Numerous news outlets in New York’s upstate received correspondence from a person claiming they are the “Chinese Zodiac Killer”, a reference to the California serial killer of 1960s who is yet to be identified. 

According to the FBI, Albany’s field office has requested that local media outlets keep an eye on any suspicious letters. They are asked to refuse to open such mail in order to protect DNA evidence.

News of the letters was first reported Thursday by the Albany Times Union, which did not receive one. 

The contents of the letters and which outlets received them are not clear.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, between December 1968 and Oct 1969, the real Zodiac Killer killed at least five of his victims. His coded letters threatened bombings or killings, and he was well-known for taunting media outlets.

Multiple TV stations in upstate New York have received letters from someone claiming to be the 'Chinese Zodiac Killer.' Above, NBC affiliate WNYT in Albany

Many TV stations across upstate New York were contacted by a person claiming they are the Chinese Zodiac Killer. Above: WNYT, an NBC affiliate in Albany

It's unclear which stations got a letter or what they said. Above, ABC affiliate WTEN in Albany

It’s not known which stations were sent a letter and what their responses were. Above: WTEN, an ABC affiliate located in Albany

The FBI field office in Albany says the letters pose no threat, but warned media outlets not to open them in order to preserve DNA evidence

According to the FBI, Albany’s field office has declared that there is no danger in these letters but cautioned media outlets against opening them to preserve DNA evidence.

According to the FBI, the latest batch of letters is not a threat to the local community.  

After publishing a story about him, the Times Union received a letter in August 1973 from an individual claiming that he was the Zodiac Killer. 

The message read, “YOU Were Wrong I am not dead or in the hospital I am alive and well and i’m going back to killing you again” Below is the NAME OF MY next victim. ALBANY is a nice town.

One of the Zodiac Killer’s victims, Elizabeth Ferrin, previously lived in Albany with her husband, who worked at the Times Union, according to the newspaper.

Although he has five victims from the 1960s, he claimed that a total of 30 were his victims. In his fourth letter, which he sent to The Sun on August 7, 1969 he called himself Zodiac. 

His identity is still a mystery, which has led to many amateur detectives working on the case over decades. 

The Case Breakers, a group consisting of 40 investigators, identified Gary Francis Poste as the suspected serial killer in October 2018.

Poste, according to his group, had surrendered weapons and ammunition before his death. This could be the final clue that leads to the identity of the murderer.

Betti Lou Jensen (left), David Faraday (center), and Darlene Ferrin (right) are said to be three of the Zodiac killer's victims

Betti Lou Jensen (left), David Faraday, and Darlene Ferin (right), are three victims of the Zodiac killer.

A group of volunteer sleuths have identified Gary Francis Poste as the Zodiac Killer. Poste, then aged 78, is pictured in a 2016 mugshot following a domestic battery arrest

The sketch on the right shows the Zodiac murderer

Riverside Police Department (FBI) and Riverside Police Department (RIPS) say that Zodiac Killer (sketch, case) remains closed despite veteran sleuths asserting that they have identified Gary Francis Poste as the killer (left).

The Zodiac Killer's notorious '340 Cipher' (pictured), which was sent to the San Francisco Chronicle 51 years ago, was cracked by an international code-breaking team last year

A famous 340 Cipher, known as the Zodiac Killer (pictured), was sent 51 years ago to San Francisco Chronicle. It was then cracked last year by an international team of code-breakers.

“When The Case Breakers approached officers about a Zodiac Suspect last Spring, five state agencies and police refused to cooperate,” the group stated in a statement last Month. 

Text of the ‘340 Cipher’

‘I hope you are having lots of fun in trying to catch me. 

That wasn’t me on the TV show, which brings up a point about me. 

I’m not afraid of the gas chamber. 

Because it will send me to paradise all the sooner, because i now have enough slaves to work for me. 

Where everyone else has nothing when they reach paradise so they are afraid of death. 

I am not afraid because I know that my new life will be an easy one in paradise.’ 

‘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 statement revealed that Poste had given away his weapons and bullets, with most of them still remaining untouched and hidden away.

‘Old associates of the housepainter/alleged serial killer claim that, a few years prior to Poste’s 2018 death at 80, he had quietly given away his weapons, pistol parts, gunpowder, bullets and shell casings – more than a thousand, involving 25 different calibers – to his favorite locals,’ they added.

‘And most of these peculiar “gifts” have remained in basements and closets, untouched, ever since.’

The FBI and Riverside Police Department have said that Poste is not the killer and that the case is still open.

In 2020, a ciphered letter mailed to a San Francisco newspaper by the Zodiac killer in 1969 was cracked by a team of amateur code-breakers from the United States, Australia and Belgium.

According to code-breaking expert David Oranchak, the cipher’s text reads: “I hope that you have lots of fun trying to catch my eye. … I’m not scared of the gas chamber. It will make me go to paradise faster because I already have enough slaves.


Police have not linked the Zodiac Killer to any murders or injuries, despite his claims that he had killed up to 37 people through letters he sent to newspapers.

Dec 20, 1968David Arthur Faraday (17) and Betty Lou Jensen (16).They were out on their first date and pulled into the lovers’ lane at Lake Herman Road, Benicia. Faraday and Jensen were then forced out of the car by an unknown killer. Jensen ran away, but Faraday shot him multiple times in his back.

The 4th of July 1969 Darlene Elizabeth Ferin, 22 and Michael Renault Mageau at 19, respectivelyAccording to an investigator, they were located in Vallejo’s Blue Rock Springs Park’s parking lot when they were shot “to pieces”. Mageau, however, survived the bullet wounds to his neck, chest and head. Ferrin was later declared dead.

This was September 27, 1969Bryan Calvin Hartnell (20) and Cecelia Ann (21). 22 were enjoying a picnic on Lake Berryessa, Napa County. A hooded man approached them and bound and stabbed their bodies. Hartnell was able to survive eight stabbing wounds on his back. Shepard, however, died just two days later.

On October 11, 1969, cab driver Paul Lee Stine (29).Picked up the passenger, drove him to Presidio Heights where he was shot in his back and then robbed. Stine was also attacked by a man who ripped a portion of his shirt. He later sent a letter with the incident to local newspapers.

The Zodiac Killer has been linked to four other victims as well as one escapee, although none of these connections have been established.