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Dave Toschi

Dave Toschi

American police detective
Dave Toschi
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American police detective
Was Police officer
From United States of America
Type Law
Gender male
Birth 11 July 1931, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Death 6 January 2018, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA (aged 86 years)
Star sign Cancer
Mother: Millie Toschi
Father: Sam Toschi
Galileo Academy of Science and Technology
Dave Toschi
The details


David Ramon "Dave" Toschi (July 11, 1931 – January 6, 2018) was an American law enforcement officer in the San Francisco Police Department, where he served from 1952 to 1987. He is best known for his role as a chief investigator in the Zodiac Killer case, which he began work on after the murder of taxi driver Paul Stine.


Dave Toschi was born as David Ramon Toschi on July 11, 1931, in San Francisco, California, to Sam and Millie Toschi. 

After graduating from Galileo High School in San Francisco, he joined the US Army and became a member of the 24th Infantry Division during the Korean War. 

He was honorably discharged in 1952, after which he returned to San Francisco and joined San Francisco Police Department, where he served from 1952 to 1987. 

While at SFPD, he was involved in the Zodiac Killer case, which he and his partner, Inspector Bill Armstrong, began to work on after the murder of taxi driver Paul Stine. He was also assigned to the Zebra murders team, and in 1985 received a meritorious conduct award for curtailing the career of a rapist/burglar. 

He became known for his dress style which included bow-ties, "loud" plaid suits, bounteous curls, and an exaggerated trench-coat.

Shortly after he left the S.F.P.D., Toschi was the Director of Security for St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco's Mission District. Toschi was the vice president of North Star Security Services in Daly City. He was an advisor to the producers of the 2007 film Zodiac, starring Jake GyllenhaalMark Ruffalo, and Anthony Edwards.

In popular culture

Actor Mark Ruffalo portrayed Toschi in the David Fincher film Zodiac.

George Lucas gave an interview to Empire magazine once stating that the Zodiac murders captured his imagination at the time as a high schooler and then college student at USC, and he always felt like Toschi was harshly judged for how the investigation was handled. He explained this is why he named a location on Tatooine Toschi Station, "in honor of the SFPD inspector."

Steve McQueen copied Toschi's distinctive style of quick-draw shoulder-holster by wearing his gun upside down for the 1968 movie Bullitt (directed by Peter Yates). McQueen also modeled much of his Bullitt character on Toschi.

Screenwriters Harry Julian Fink and Rita M. Fink also modeled "Harry Callahan," the main character of Dirty Harry portrayed by Clint Eastwood, on Toschi; the film's villain, based on the Zodiac Killer, was called "The Scorpio Killer" (portrayed by Andrew J. Robinson).

To cite the article
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Article Title: Dave Toschi: American police detective - Biography and Life
Author(s): PeoplePill.com Editorial Staff
Website Title: PeoplePill
Publisher: PeoplePill
Article URL: https://peoplepill.com/people/dave-toschi/
Publish Date: 23 Dec 2016
Date Accessed: 23 Oct 2020
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