Zodiac Killer Walter Gotberg Arrested? Hoax Claims 74-Year-Old Man Caught

A new report claims that the infamous Zodiac killer has been arrested, saying that the Zodiac killer is a 74-year-old man named Walter Gotberg. As seen in the above photo, writer Robert Graysmith holds cryptographs that were used by the Zodiac killer. Graysmith is the author of Zodiac, with the former San Francisco Chronicle staff writer having close knowledge of the Zodiac killer case. That’s because Robert was on staff in 1969 — around the time in 1968 and 1969 when the Zodiac killer killed his first victim. Graysmith went on a mission to help see the man who terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area region for 11 months be punished for his crimes.

However, in spite of the news that broke on Monday, April 4, claiming that the Zodiac killer is Gotberg, that information likely won’t be added to the hundreds of facts that Graysmith released in his books — including Zodiac Unmasked.

While Graysmith included the complete text of the Zodiac killer’s letters in his books — those letters weren’t written by anyone named Walter. As reported by Lead Stories in their hoax alert, titled, “Suspect NOT Believed To Be ‘Zodiac Killer’ NOT Arrested In Henderson Nevada,” the Gotberg story is one invented by a hoax website.

As seen in the above photo from Friday, February 23, 2007, Graysmith believed that the Zodiac killer — who wasn’t caught — was not named Walter, but was actually a man named Arthur Leigh Allen. Graysmith, as seen in San Francisco in the above photo, thought that the real Zodiac killer was a man who died in 1992, who hailed from Vallejo.

The Zodiac killer is believed to have killed five people. There was even a movie made in 2005 called Zodiac, which was based on Graysmith’s true-crime book.

The hoax story floating around the web has nearly 100,000 people talking about the Zodiac killer on Facebook, with some folks believing that the Zodiac killer was arrested in Henderson, Nevada. On social media, certain readers are commenting that they are glad that the Zodiac killer has finally been caught after 48 years. Yet none of the claims of the fake website are true, even though they are especially detailed. The publication notes that a standard stock image is used in the story, which doesn’t display the Zodiac killer — however, the hoax article does use a sketch of the Zodiac killer.

“After 48-years of evading justice, the Henderson, Nevada, Police Department have taken custody of a suspect believed to be the infamous serial killer dubbed the ‘Zodiac Killer’. Walter Gotberg, the 74-year old Nevada resident was taken into Henderson P.D custody late Sunday evening. According to police statements, officers arrived at Gotberg’s home located in Henderson’s Sunnybrook mobile-home community at approximately 7:08 PM. Police Sergeant Colin Leigh told reporters that Gotberg maintained a calm demeanor and did not resist the arresting officers.”

“According to police records, Gotberg spent the majority of his adult life in and out of correctional facilities for infractions including theft, domestic disturbances, and drug related offenses. Gotberg was paroled from the Henderson County Detention Center on January 4th 2016 after serving 3 years on a domestic violence charge involving his live-in girlfriend Vanessa Patrick. Shortly after Gotberg’s January 2016 release from the Henderson County Detention Center, information was provided to Henderson County Detention Center correctional officers by one of Gotberg’s fellow inmates implicating Gotberg as the infamous Zodiac Killer.”

The website went on to claim that an inmate at the Henderson County Detention reported Gotberg bragged to him about the Zodiac killer’s 1969 murders — and said that three years for a sentence was “nothing” for the crimes he’d gotten away with. Despite all the social media buzz over the Zodiac killer being caught, the story isn’t true. Some, however, continue to joke on social media that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac killer.

[AP Photo/Ben Margot]

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