By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Following a high-profile announcement by a team of private investigators naming deceased Tuolumne County resident Gary Poste as the Zodiak Killer, a Sacramento-based attorney and his private investigator say their own investigation years ago reached the same conclusion.

Attorney Mark Reichel and private investigator John Kennedy say hearing Poste’s name again gives them a sense of validation.

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“It’s a good feeling but there was a bit of, you know, sadness to it that we actually when he was still alive, we were talking to individuals in law enforcement, about, you know, we were confident it was him,” Reichel said.

“This came from a tip, a phone call tip,” Reichel said.

“And then when you start to get a scent that maybe there’s something going on here, you go, well, you can’t really walk away, from looking into this,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy showed me the digital files of his own Zodiac Killer investigation, tied to Gary Poste.

He compiled records where Poste was stationed in the Air Force in Indiana before the Zodiac Killer spree in the 1950s, and where Poste may have picked up a knack for codes.

“In these places, there were encrypted messages being sent and received,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy also found a newspaper clipping of a deadly car crash Poste was involved in just outside the base, that he believes may have impact his thinking.

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“Or the emotional scars,” Kennedy said.

He also saved a notable image, from Poste’s Facebook page in 2011, linking to a report of another infamous murder case, the Casey Anthony trial.

During the Zodiac Killer spree, Kennedy also tracked Poste moves through the Bay Area.

“I could put him, by just looking through old phone books, and when was the last time anyone looked at an old phone book for anything, but going to the library, that simple, and going through Bay Area phone books that put him in the Bay Area at the right times,” Kennedy said.

“And there was just no way you could get around it that it wasn’t this person, everything matched up including stuff that wasn’t public, that we had kind of found,” Reichel said.

The long-unsolved Zodiac Killer case, and a high-profile announcement putting a name to the suspect’s face.

It’s no surprise for this Sacramento investigator and attorney.

“You know, when you have that feeling like you put so much time into something, you put so much resource and effort into it and then you find out several years later you were right, and others were wrong,” Reichel said.

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Both Reichel and Kennedy believe Poste is the Zodiac Killer, although they acknowledge what they have is circumstantial evidence and they hope some type of forensic science will eventually prove they are right.