Why has DNA evidence not yet unmasked the Zodiac Killer?

A wanted poster featuring a police sketch of the suspect believed to be the Zodiac Killer, produced after the murder of Paul Stine.
One of the Zodiac’s many taunting correspondence that were sent to Bay Area media outlets.
On December 20, 1968, the Zodiac is believed to have claimed his first two victims: David Faraday And Betty Lou Jensen. This year marks the 50th anniversary of those murders.
SFPD Inspector David Toschi (left) was among the initial investigators of the Zodiac’s crimes.
A Zodiac Killer letter from June 26th, 1970, in which he claims 12 victims. The cipher at the bottom has never been solved.
The Zodiac Killer’s 340 Cipher was finally solved in late 2020 by a team of cryptologists, more than a half-century after it had originally been written. Contrary to the long-held belief that the cipher would reveal the killer’s identity, the correspondence revealed just another taunting letter.
The current home page for Voight’s ZodiacKiller.com
The Zodiac Killer’s infamous “Paul Stine Letter” in which he confesses to the Presidio Heights murder of a cab driver and then makes the threat: “School children make nice targets, I think I shall wipe out a school bus some morning.”

“…those past investigations always fell victim to the most basic mistakes an investigator can make, which is they were looking at suspects and not the evidence.”

Robert Graysmith, author and original amateur Zodiac sleuth.
At Lake Berryessa, the killer left a handwritten account of his murder spree on victim Brian Hartnell’s car door.

“The evidence and the files were in an atrocious state … It was unbelievable, considering that we were dealing with multiple murders.”

Former SFPD Inspector Michael Maloney had spearheaded the DNA investigation into the Zodiac murders, with his partner Kelly Carroll, during the early 2000s. (Photo by Jeffrey Braverman via SF Magazine)
A crime scene photo of the Paul Stine murder.

“Allen’s fingerprints didn’t match, his handwriting didn’t match, his appearance didn’t match”

Robert Graysmith’s famous sketch of the Zodiac’s daytime attack at Lake Berryessa.

Author’s Note

More articles by Charles Russo:

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SF Bay Area Author & Journalist

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Charles Russo

Charles Russo

SF Bay Area Author & Journalist

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