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The Zodiac Ciphers: What We Know


Killers usually go to great lengths to avoid the police and media attention, but the self-proclaimed Zodiac, who terrorized the Bay Area in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was an exception. He called the police on two occasions to report murders he had committed and sent dozens of letters to newspapers. As a cryptologist, I am most interested in the four that came with ciphers, or coded messages. Some were quickly deciphered, but others have stymied the cryptology community for decades. Below, I give a rundown of the killer’s four codes and what progress has been made to solve them.

Z 408, sent July 31, 1969

The first cipher Zodiac created was his longest, 408 characters. The killer split it into three pieces of equal length and mailed two to newspapers in San Francisco and one to a paper in nearby Vallejo, demanding they be printed or he would go on a “kill rampage.” The ciphers were published.

WHO CRACKED IT: Within about a week North Salinas schoolteacher Donald Harden and his wife Bettye contacted The San Francisco Chronicle with their solution. Bettye is credited with discovering two cribs, words or phrases suspected to appear in the message. Cribs are powerful cryptanalytic tools, because once a location or locations can be determined for them, several substitutions can be identified, which can accelerate the unravelling process. Inspired by the killer’s obvious craving for attention, Bettye guessed that the message would begin with the word “I.” She also believed the word KILL or KILLING—or even the phrase I LIKE KILLING—would appear somewhere in the message. Her guesses turned out to be correct.

INTRIGUING CLUES: Knowing how Zodiac selected the strange symbols he used to represent his “alphabet” might reveal something about him, such as his education or special interests. There have been many ciphers over the centuries that used strange symbols that range from systems intended for kids to alphabets used by occultists. One example is even called “The Zodiac Alphabet.” While many of these have some symbols in common with those used by the killer, none matches closely enough to be considered more than inspirational.

Elements of the cipher might even tell us something about the killer’s occupation or place of employment. Among the symbols included in his ciphers were circles with different portions shaded in—ideograms believed to have been invented by Harvey Poppel of Booz Allen Hamilton, a management-consulting firm known for its defense and intelligence contracts. The use of Harvey Balls or Booz Balls, as they came to be called, spread to other companies and products, most notably the qualitative symbols used in Consumer Reports product ratings. If the killer’s use of such symbols originated from having seen Harvey Balls, it’s possible he may have had a connection to Booz Allen Hamilton or a related company.

Z 340, sent November 8, 1969

While Z 408 required only 20-some hours for the husband-and-wife team to solve, Zodiac’s next cipher stumped everyone—experts and amateurs alike—for 51 years.

WHO CRACKED IT: In December 2020, the FBI announced that the Z 340 had finally been cracked, but not by professional law enforcement. The amateur team of sleuths who decoded the cipher include David Oranchak, a software developer in Virginia, Sam Blake, an applied mathematician in Melbourne, Australia and Jarl Van Eycke, a warehouse operator and computer programmer in Belgium. The text is said to read:

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 AM NOT AFRAID OF THE GAS CHAMBER BECAUSE IT WILL SEND ME TO PARADICE ALL THE SOONER BECAUSE I NOW HAVE ENOUGH SLAVES TO WORK FOR ME WHERE EVERYONE ELSE HAS NOTHING WHEN THEY REACH PARADICE SO THEY ARE AFRAID OF DEATH I AM NOT AFRAID BECAUSE I KNOW THAT MY NEW LIFE WILL BE AN EASY ONE IN PARADICE DEATH“

Z 13, sent April 20, 1970

The killer’s shortest cipher appears, on the surface, to be the most important. It is preceded by the words “My name is ⎯⎯”

Would the killer really reveal his name?

Zodiac made a big promise about the Z 408 cipher, writing, “By the way, are the police haveing [sic] a good time with the code? If not, tell them to cheer up; when they do crack it they will have me.” This was far from true. The solution even contained the words “I WILL NOT GIVE YOU MY NAME.” Zodiac may have been lying again when he sent the Z 13 cipher; but on the other hand, the unbroken cipher that followed Z 408 may have given him confidence to truly reveal something significant.

One problem is that the message is short enough to offer multiple solutions. If we can get many different names out, how can we possibly decide which is correct? One solution put forth years ago, which I believe is correct: “ALFRED E. NEUMAN,” the mascot of Mad magazine. I think putting this ridiculous name forward as his identity matches the killer’s sense of humor. Also, the first three cipher symbols in the Z 13 are AEN, Neuman’s initials.

Z 32, sent June 26, 1970

Sometimes known as the “Map Code,” because it came with a map of the San Francisco Bay area, Z 32 is Zodiac’s strangest cipher. A symbol closely resembling the cross-hairs image used by Zodiac to sign many of his messages appears on the map as a compass, with the instructions “0 is to be set to Mag. N.”

This is one of several indicators that Zodiac was of above average intelligence. How many people would bother to distinguish north from magnetic north? What sort of work was the killer engaged in that made it important for him to know the difference? The compass is centered at Mt. Diablo. Why? What made this location special to Zodiac? The killer wrote, “The map coupled with this code will tell you where the bomb is set.” In a later letter, sent July 26, 1970, he provided a clue: “PS. The Mt. Diablo Code concerns Radians & # inches along the radians.” Does the Z 32 cipher use numbers to indicate a position on the map? Kevin Knight’s artificial-intelligence program CARMEL can easily investigate such possibilities systematically—and could provide some interesting results.

Craig P. Bauer is professor of mathematics at York College of Pennsylvania. He is editor in chief of the journal Cryptologia, has served as a scholar in residence at the NSA’s Center for Cryptologic History and is the author of the recently published Unsolved!: The History and Mystery of the World’s Greatest Ciphers from Ancient Egypt to Online Secret Societies.


In November 1969, the infamous Zodiac Killer sent a 340 cipher to the San Francisco Chronicle while bragging that they had no fear of execution.

The difficult code remained unsolved for decades, but it has finally been cracked.

The coded letter – full of jumbled letters, numbers and symbols – read: “I hope you are having lots of fun in trying to catch me.

“I am 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.”

The chilling message was cracked by citizen coding experts, according to an article in The Chronicle in December, 2020.

Coding expert David Oranchak said: “Last weekend, a team I’m on solved the 340 and submitted it to the FBI.

“They have confirmed the solution. No joke! This is the real deal.”

And today the FBI acknowledged the code-breakers achievements.

The FBI statement said: "The FBI is aware that a cipher attributed to the Zodiac killer was recently solved by private citizens.

"The Zodiac Killer remains an ongoing investigation for the FBI San Francisco Division and our local law enforcement partners.

"The Zodiac killer terrorized multiple communities across Northern California and even though decades have gone by, we continue to seek justice for the victims of these brutal crimes.”


ZODIAC CIPHERS

BREAKING NEWS: The Zodiac’s � Cipher” has been solved by David Oranchak, Sam Blake, and Jarl Van Eycke. Read about the incredible story behind the solution in the ZodiacKillerFacts article

Watch David Oranchak’s video “Let’s Crack Zodiac: The 340 is Solved with details about the solution and methods used to crack the cipher.

The Zodiac’s 408 Cipher:

The first episode of the ZODIAC: A TO Z podcast features an extended conversation with David Oranchak (ZodiacKillerCiphers.com) about the Zodiac’s first cipher, known as the Z408. Listen to the episode: ZODIAC: A TO Z – Ep#1 – 408: The Beginning

The Zodiac’s 340 Cipher:

Video: The Unsolved Zodiac 340 Cipher: Features or Phantoms? w/ David Oranchak at the 2017 Symposium on Cryptologic History in Laurel, MD

Video: What is Zodiac’s 340-Character Cipher? w/ David Oranchak at the annual convention of the American Cryptogram Association in Hendersonville, NC * Video:


Zodiac killer conspiracy theories

The Zodiac was more than one person
The theory –
That rather than just one person being The Zodiac killer, it was a group of people (2 or more) working together to murder people.

The murders attributed to the Zodiac are all unrelated to one another
The theory –
The murders were random attacks by various offenders who were not connected, therefore The Zodiac was a letter writer linking the murders together, not the perpetrator of the murders.

These theories both piqued my interest when I first read about them. The Zodiac killer was the first true crime rabbit hole I went down when I was a young teenager, I’d spend a lot of time reading available information surrounding the unidentified serial killer and it was the first case that I’d taken the time to research, so it’s always been a case that I keep an eye on and follow and enjoy reading discussions surrounding the evidence we have available. So when I first saw the theories that essentially made me doubt the initial assumption that the Zodiac was a lone serial killer, I thought a lot about it, how the evidence that is available to the public would fit (or not) these scenarios.


Zodiac Ciphers Presentation

On October 22, David Oranchak — long-time Zodiac community member and Zodiac Killer cipher expert — presented an excellent review and analysis of the current state of the Zodiac Killer ciphers at the 2015 Cryptologic History Symposium. The talk, entitled The Zodiac Ciphers: What do we know? And when can we stop trying to solve them?, ties together all the great work done by David — as documented on his website zodiackillerciphers.com — and other valuable contributors in the Zodiac community, most notably at zodiackillersite.com in recent years.

Congratulations, to Dave, on a job well done. If these ciphers will ever be solved, it's going to be due to a combination of effectively communicating what's truly known and sparking the interest of someone who has the requisite knowledge and, honestly, the luck to make the right educated guesses in terms of what the killer actually did. Perhaps that interest was ignited long ago, in one of us who is already in the community. Or, perhaps, the spark's existence lies down a yet-to-be-traveled path (yes, I'm mixing my metaphors). Either way, this presentation is a valuable contribution to the advancement of the case. I think it's safe to say that all of us who have a serious interest in seeing this case solved appreciate the time and effort David invested into making this happen.

If you'd like to know what other types of talks were given at the Cryptologic History Symposium, have a look at the agenda. You can also read a discussion of David's presentation — from the time of acceptance onward — in this thread.

Update: I added the video of Dave's presentation above. Dave also added some comments regarding the symposium on his website. Below are the two videos he mentions. The first is a short news clip which Dan Olson — chief of the FBI’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit — showed. The second is a recording of Dave's fellow presenter Klaus Schmeh, who discusses instances of unsolved crimes that include the existence of at least one unsolved cryptogram. The talk includes some rather humorous recreations of historical events.


Why can t the zodiac ciphers be solved

If you want to try solving the Zodiac Ciphers, you can use this tool. The ciphers are a part of the reason why Zodiac, who claims to have killed 37 (of which 5 are confirmed as his victims), remains a source of fascination and an inspiration to writers and film makers to this day. More information about the Zodiac can be found at Zodiackiller.com Why the Zodiac Killer Has Never Been Identified. Zodiac received attention and spread fear as he shared ciphers, letters, no other Zodiac cipher has been officially solved . But these weren't any ordinary letters. They were ciphers. From the late 1960s to the early 1970s the Zodiac killer sent four coded letters. Of the four ciphers, only one has actually been solved. His letters were written in two parts

The Zodiac Ciphers Boxentri

A statistical analysis of the unsolved Zodiak killer cipher shows that it is like fake ciphers and unlike true ones, such as the Zodiak's other, cracked ciphertext. In the chart above, created by. The Zodiac killer ciphers are an interesting case. As there were four ciphers sent to the local papers, I will address each in turn. They do share some common traits however. They are each their own cipher, so the 'solution' used for cipher 408 cannot be applied to the other messages. Each message has a unique character count I recently finished reading back through all the letters and cyphers that the Zodiac sent and I can't get my head around why the cypher known as Z340 was never solved conclusively? I know that several people have suggested their own solutions fit but these have been questioned enough to suggest they are on the wrong track due to letters and sometimes whole words needing to be substituted in No, the Zodiac's code has yet to be deciphered, nor has his identity been desperate. As of the final record there proceed to be easily no leads to stick to, and one ought to probable assume that any attempt to decipher his code has been positioned on carry by potential of regulation enforcement

Why the Zodiac Killer Has Never Been Identified - Biograph

  1. Has the Code of The Zodiac Killer Been Cracked? - Foster City, CA - Corey Starliper believes he has solved the 41-year-old 340 cipher and has identified the legendary serial killer who.
  2. We applied those two SVM models to the the Zodiac Killer's two major ciphers, z408 and z340. z408, which has been solved, is correctly predicted to be a real substitution cipher. z340, which remains unsolved, is predicted to not be a substitution cipher
  3. 5 Most Mysterious Codes and Ciphers That Can't Be Cracked. By. Zika - March 7, it has not been solved since the 16th century. cipher is among the most famous secret codes in the world and some programmers have even developed a website named Zodiac Web Toy where you can try to crack the letter. 1 Isaac And The Alien Cipher
  4. You can't discount that these were done by some of Manson's flunkies, the nut they just picked up that they say is the Golden State Killer (Joseph James DeAngelo). I think all that can be safely said to be true is the guy was either military or law enforcement. A disturbed Vietnam vet perhaps. A jilted lover? I just don't think we will.

Did the Zodiac killer invent the ultimate encryption? The closest things to unbreakable ciphers are quantum cryptography - and the Zodiac couldn't possibly have had the necessary technology for such a cipher. In fact at first glance it looks like a simple transposition cipher. Why can't they crack the code? Is there more to it than they're. Why look for convoluted and excessively complicated solutions to these ciphers, when the Zodiac Killer gave us all the answers literally word for word. This isn't a case of dragging wording from the entire Zodiac collection of cards and letters, but using just the two crosshairs of the Little List Letter, followed by the 13 Hole Postcard and Halloween Card It is unlikely that the Zodiac would change his key from one letter to the next, then again, I don't personally believe that he is responsible for all of the ciphers. At least one, as well as several of the letters sent are fakes, either created by a copycat, or by the police in an attempt to flush the real Zodiac out of hiding

The Zodiac Killer has been a mystery for 50 years - but

  • As Kevin Knight explains, When we're looking at the military angle, we're looking at codes and ciphers that are very well structured, following rigid sets of rules, more like classical music. On the civilian side it's more like jazz, where he's just improvising. That would make the code far, far more difficult to crack, and perhaps explains why legions of codebreakers, from talented.
  • Zodiac Killer is the moniker of a Bay Area there are three Zodiac ciphers that remain to be solved. we see an assortment of different circles but can't tell which balloons are on the.
  • Yet the Zodiac, in his Z340 cypher, out smarts himself (if you will) and produces a product that can't be solved. Therefore, his message of fear is lost. He in fact was so worried about it that in a later letter he asks if the police have had any luck in solving his last cypher
  • ation of proposed solutions, and the Zodiac Webtoy which allows visitors to test their own code-breaking skills on the unsolved Zodiac ciphers. Listen to an interview with David Oranchak (ZodiacKillerCiphers.com) about the history.

I can see where you're coming from, W - but the problem is that we don't know the exact circumstances here: The cipher was published on Aug 1 - the Hardens solved it a week later. Precisely what happened between these dates - exactly what sort of bureaucracy was moving, and how fast/slowly it was moving - we do not know The Zodiac Letters . On Friday, August 1, the first known Zodiac letters were received by three newspapers. The San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, and Vallejo Times-Herald each received almost identical letters written by a person taking credit for the attacks on the four teens. He gave details about the murders and included one-third of a mysterious cipher in each letter

Do you think you've solved the Zodiac 340 cipher? University of North Texas professor Ryan Garlick has written a handy guide that you should read.Once featured on the National Geographic documentary Code Breakers, Dr. Garlick has studied the Zodiac ciphers for many years, and has even recruited his students to try to solve them. He knows how to spot bad solutions, and his guide shows. 408 Cipher Page1 (solved) 1969 July 31st- Examiner Letter and 408 Cipher Page 2 (solved) 1969 July 31st - Chronicle Letter and 408 Cipher Page 3 (87% solved) 1969 July 31st-The Complete 408 Cipher 1969 August 4th- Debut of Zodiac Letter 1969 August 10th- Concerned Citizen Card 1969 September 27th- The Lake Berryessa Attac zodiac case solved THE MOST DANGEROUS DADDY OF ALL: Debunking Gary Stewart. Posted on October 3, The authors claimed that Van Best's name appeared in the Zodiac's ciphers. He says he can't tell us what your father did

Throughout his serial killings, the Zodiac killer would write letters to the Bay Area press in an attempt to brag and taunt his pursuing officers. But these weren't any ordinary letters. They were ciphers. From the late 1960s to the early 1970s the Zodiac killer sent four coded letters. Of the four ciphers, only one has actually been solved I don't even think the Zodiac authored the poem, let alone believe the initials rh honestly represent the killer's name. I feel like I've made a pretty compelling case in terms of this solution. There are additional reasons as to why I believe it's correct, but I won't be willing to go into those until the book is publishe Prime suspect. Allen maintained his innocence for the rest of his life. He defended himself during a 1991 interview with KTVA, in which he talked about the emotional strain the Zodiac investigation has put on him and his family. They haven't arrested me because they can't prove a thing, he asserted A member had posted code for a program that could possibly help crack Zodiac's ciphers. Beware though that the contents if solved can be quite gruesome and involve all sort of fantasies about slaves and killings, the post read. It could also include clues to the [killer's] identity. Immediately, Van Eycke was hooked

The Zodiac Ciphers: Messages from a Murderer - Wonders

  • There are four total ciphers: Z408, Z340, Z13 and Z32. Of the four, only Z408 has been solved. Z13 and Z32 are too short, so verifying solutions would rely on extraordinary evidence such as discovering the keys from Zodiac himself, or by finally c..
  • If we ever had to go to court on the Zodiac case, I didn't think bringing up a cartoonist's book would help me. As engaging as the book is, it falls short on hard evidence
  • One of the ciphers was cracked. The 1970 Zodiac cipher can be solved using Ogham (an ancient Celtic tree alphabet). The killers real name is used twice, on the return address of the envelope and as the signature on the card inside where it says.
  • The 1960s serial murderer Zodiac may have told the world his or her identity - but no one has been able to decrypt the message, A laser beam can be twisted and move like a vortex,.
  • The search for the Zodiac Killer ought to be on the same level of oh spare me credibility as Finding Bigfoot, but after about 50 years (depending on which murder you believe to have.

There a few ciphers that are unsolved done by the Zodiac. If by some chance you do solve it you could sell the solve for : $25,000.00 to $100,000,000 I am sure the 340 cipher contain a message and it can be solved. I believe the Zodiac wanted to show the world how smart he was. The previous cipher was solved much too fast. Which indicate the Zodiac was not so smart after all. The Zodiac became angry and decided to make another cipher that was really hard to solve

Zodiac killer's unsolved code behaves like fake ciphers

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - Is the Zodiac Killer about to be identified? One cold case homicide detective is hopeful. The shadowy serial assassin who terrorized Northern California in the 1960s and '70s with a string of grisly slayings and mystifying, unsolvable riddles, may have finally given officials a code they can crack: His DNA, reported Fox News I was looking through the Zodiac Killer ciphers the other day and woke in the middle of the night wondering how The Zodiac actually enciphered the first message (the one that was decoded). The message consists of 408 symbols there are 54 different symbols used for the alphabet. So there are multiple symbols for each letter of the alphabet A cipher is a method for encrypting messages to keep them safe from prying eyes. Here's our round-up of the top notable ciphertexts that have been cracked in the last five thousand years

Cryptography - Why haven't (most of) the Zodiac Killer's

Additionally, the Zodiac's many coded messages sent to newspapers between 1969 and 1974 proved hard to crack, and some parts of the ciphers have never been fully figured out. If his identity is. Although many have been suspected of being the Zodiac Killer, it has never been proven to be anyone. One author, Lyndon Lafferty, even claimed in his book that the Zodiac Killer was alive and in 2014, living as a 91 year old in San Francisco. By now, we suspect he may be dead, but as we can't be assured, he may still be out there.. Four of those communiqués contained ciphers filled with perplexing letters and abstract symbols. Cryptologists consider the Zodiac's 340-character cipher, sent to The San Francisco Chronicle in. I'm very confident it can be solved. We've got five of the world's best codebreakers working on these ciphers the Zodiac had taunted police with all these years, Mains said

Why has the Z340 Zodiac Cypher never been solved

  • He claimed his ID was included in the 408 (which was solved, and in the solution he says I won't tell you my name). Even if the 340 is ever solved, it's not going to contain Zodiac's real name IMHO
  • Final Eighteen Letters of the Zodiac Killer's 408 Cipher Solved and his Identity Revealed Tony Polito, Ph.D. August 9, 2014 1 For 45 years, the decoding of the 18 alphanumeric characters from Zodiac's first 408-symbol cipher—which Zodiac stated twice would reveal his identity—has elude
  • The name Zodiac was actually coined by the killer himself in several letters sent to the Bay area media. Accompanying the letters were 4 cryptic ciphers of which only one was cracked, up until now that is. The Zodiac Killer claimed 37 victims although only 7 were ever verified and of those, 2 survived. His weapons of choice were either guns or.

Why hasn't anyone ever solved the Zodiac's ciphers

  1. The Zodiac was consistent in providing clues when his 'ciphers' weren't solved. He provided these hints from the last line of the Z408 through at least the Z32. I no longer believe that the Z340 is a cipher as much as it is a puzzle
  2. TheZodiac Killer has been a mystery for 50 years - but one man thinks he's solved it. In docuseries The Most Dangerous Animal of All, Gary Stewart claims his birth father was one of America's most notorious serial killers. The Zodiac case, in other words, has been prime for a breakthrough for decades
  3. Zodiac Killer: Could decades-old mystery be solved at last? THE identity of the Zodiac Killer who was the subject of an acclaimed Hollywood blockbuster starring Robert Downey Jr and Jake.

The Z32 cipher (i.e. the Zodiac Killer's 32-character-long cipher, also known as the map code cipher, or the Phillips roadmap cipher) was sent to the San Francisco Chronicle on 26th Jun 1970.It was part of a letter that ended in this way:-This cipher was accompanied by a section of a map: made by the Phillips 66 company, this was a roadmap of California that at that time. He solved his own code and in a way revealed his name to the public! The Zodiac never mentioned Harden in his letters. Why? Because he didn't want to bring much attention to himself. The Zodiac kept taunting in all his letter- that it was crack-proof and no one except him can solve ii . Most of these messages have been cracked, but there are still some that remain unsolved. The killer was never caught

  • The April 25 arrest of 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo in the Golden State Killer case has renewed interest in the state's Zodiac serial killer saga, which was the subject of a 2007 movie Zodiac
  • I was wondering why iden(t) I'm surprised no one has responded to this posting. I can add more proof that Gaik is the Zodiac and I have cracked his encryptions. Read this entire thread carefully, you don't have to be an expert with ciphers to follow this decryption
  • Tool to solve cryptograms. The cryptogram is one of the oldest classical ciphers. It is simple enough that it usually can be solved by hand. Each letter is replaced by a different letter of the alphabet, so solving the puzzle means finding out the original lettering
  • The Zodiac Killer claimed to have murdered 37 people. The killings, which paralyzed Californians with fear for years, began in 1968, and soon after mysterious letters were sent to news outlets, many featuring cryptograms. From this point on, the killer started communicating via letters and greetings cards. Each of these messages was concluded with the crossed-circle design pictured above
  • Zodiac killer ciphers solved My solutions to 3 of the 4 unsolved ciphers by the California Zodiac killer: the last 18 characters of Z408 of 1969 07 31, Z340 of 1969 11 08, and My name is Z13 of 1970 04 20. Thursday, August 25, 2016
  • Re: Zodiac Rush To Editor Ciphers Solved Documentary by JustASleuth » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:08 pm For obvious reasons I did not release everything in my documentary because I didn't want to confuse the average viewer
  • That, of course, hasn't stopped cryptanalysts from assaulting the Beale ciphers with every vocabulary word you can find in a cryptology textbook: higher-order homophony, super-encipherment via a.

I can't find the dot in the triangle. Maybe he used his own alphabet that he created and that's why it can't be solved. Sounds like a mad genius who studies cryptography and astrology. I'm pretty sure he study morse code/cryptography in the military. Zodiac used astrology to figure out who to kill or maybe it was just random Jackson Kelley provides another take on the unsolved ciphers left by the Zodiac serial killer. - Luister direct op jouw tablet, telefoon of browser naar Episode 7 - The Zodiac Ciphers van One-Time Pod - geen downloads nodig Like David Fincher, our culture can't seem to get over the Zodiac killer. He shows up in Dirty Harry, The Exorcist III and the seventh season of American Horror Story where he's played by Lena Dunham. He's the subject of his own subreddit and several internet forums — Zodiac Killer Site, Zodiac Revisited, Zodiac Ciphers, Zodiac Killer Mystery, Zodiac Killer Facts and Zodiac Killer Hoax I can't help the difference in our ages, Van Best told the San Francisco Chronicle in a 1962 jailhouse interview. I love Judy and she loves meit was love at first sight 02.11.202

Between 1966 and 1974, the Zodiac killer provided more than 20 written communications to police officials, some including ciphers that have not been cracked to this day, including Z340. Zodiackiller.com features the most complete collection of Zodiac's writings available anywhere in the world. In fact The Zodiac Ciphers - What do we know, and when do we stop trying to solve them? - Duration: 37:36. 340 Cipher SOLVED! Zodiac Killer - Duration: 20:26. Brett H 3,245 views The most notorious serial killer in living memory may finally be unmasked thanks to DNA samples retrieved from the Riverside, California, murder of Cheri Jo Bates, 18, in 1966 S1 Ep11 - Zodiac Ciphers Conversation from Criminology on Podchaser, aired Sunday, 22nd October 2017. In this episode we take a deeper dive into Zodiac's Cipher communications. Dave Oranchak joins us to provide greater insight into the ciphers. Why was the 408 cipher solved while subsequent ciphers

Has the Code of The Zodiac Killer Been Cracked? Foster

Zodiac Cipher Solved By Teache The Zodiac killer discussion board, Learn about the Zodiac KIller Zodiackillersite.com • View topic - Not all homophonic substitutions can be auto-solved Zodiackillersite.co

When can we stop trying to solve it? Someone solves it No message to find Better things to do But we want to know the solution, so we keep trying. Most commonly tested idea: Z340 was made like Z408. A better question is: When can we move on to another idea? Possible answer: Generate many test ciphers 23 Still, for experts used to letter-perfect textbook ciphers, and software with a low tolerance for errors, the solution ultimately proved elusive. Not only did the Zodiac Killer give us the answer to the 32 character code on a separate line, he capitalized the first Radians to effectively tell us this was the beginning of the solution (he didn't capitalize the second radians, so why the first) For over twelve thousand years it has lain waiting to be solved only now to have been revealed to humanity. Researcher Paul LaViolette was the first to crack its code in 1976. Now, you too may try your luck to solve the Riddle of the Sphinx. For hints to help you decode the zodiac cipher go on to the next page The Zodiac manipulated the press and terrorized the masses by sending major newspapers twenty-two verified letters, ciphers and other materials. In one of his ciphers, the Zodiac talked about torturing his victims, whom he called his slaves, upon death and rebirth into Paradise Home / The Zodiac Ciphers Revisited A New Interpretation The Zodiac Ciphers Revisited A New Interpretation Date : 31.10.2020 Category : 78 Author: hede Category : 78 Author: hed

Zodiac Killer Ciphers - Can you help solve the codes

So it seems quite clear we have Zodiac ciphers that he knew would be solved. That means either he did not include his identity or he did so in a multi-nested fashion. Personally, I don't think he could have resisted slipping it in there. I don't think his ego could have tolerated the omission. BTW, a very public GREAT JOB is owed to Brax Cisco! Ra When asked about the potential Zodiac Killer connection, Elliott responded, I can't say for sure that he is, and I cannot say for sure that he's not [the killer] Stewart claims that his main breakthrough came when he solved one of the Zodiac killer's ciphers sent to the newspapers during his spree. The Zodiac boasted at the time that if police cracked the code then his identity would come out. The killer sent cryptograms to media outlets, some of which remain unsolved Bellaso Ciphers - Bellaso, a 16th century Italian cryptologist is responsible for many techniques used today and many of his challenge ciphers have yet to be solved. #19. Beale Ciphers - In 1885 a small pamphlet was published in Virginia containing encrypted messages And unfortunately I also don't think that this case will ever be solved. Here's why, a homicide detective who has worked on the zodiac killer case and was married to a woman that a one time was married to the zodiac killer, just spin that around in your head for a minute, police protect their own

Christopher J Farmer of Opord Analytical, an intelligence company, solved the Zodiac ciphers/riddles in 2007. They point to Penn as Zodiac. Mr. Farmer has also solved a cipher for the CIA and America's Most Wanted. Penn fits the profile of Zodiac -- he knows ciphers, binary code, map reading, and was in Army Artillery .com) The Zodiac Killer - whoever he is or was - is known just as much for the incredibly complex coded letters he sent to the Bay Area press as for his brutal unsolved murders. While some of his taunting ciphers have been solved, this 340-character message sent in 1969 has never been cracked

5 Most Mysterious Codes and Ciphers That Can't Be Cracked

The computer that is attempting to decode the cryptic letters signed by the Zodiac killer can also produce haunting poems. The Zodiac killings are a series of unsolved murders that took place from December 1968 to the early 1970s in Northern California. The identity of the killer, allegedly responsible for the deaths of at least five people, and the targeting of a further two Part of the reason why the Zodiac case was not solved was due to a lead detective's obsession, Davidson said. I can't reveal too much more because, actually,.

Lafferty isn't the only person to suspect the 91-year-old California man. After showing a picture of the suspect to Pam Huckaby, the sister of the Zodiac Killer's third victim, Darlene Ferrin. the zodiac killer was a serial killer in the late 60's. He killed 5 confirmed victims, but claimed he had taken a massive 37 lives. He would write letters to the newspapers and the police taunting them, along with ciphers to be printed on the front pages of the newspapers for the public to decode Most people wouldn't want it to be known that their dad was a serial killer. It would be a stain on the whole family. Why did Stewart hold onto this theory so strongly? Davidson: We definitely asked him that, and his answer would generally be, I'm right, but if you can prove me wrong, please do so Zodiac's use of ciphers, That is the only way to do this to make sure this can be solved one day,' he said. But now, in the wake of the film, there is also new evidence to examine The Zodiac Killer's unsolved z340: not your vanilla it hasn't been solved. The Zodiac Killer seemed to enjoy that people struggled to crack the cipher. He taunted the investigators with it, which is we can also see that the other true ciphers form their own cluster, away from.

Here's the solution of the second Zodiac cryptogram - or

  • The letters also came with ciphers — Zodiac said HBO's 'The Undoing' is the best show of the year — because you can't binge it Why COVID-19 I believe the case will be solved by the.
  • The story of the Blitz Ciphers begins during the height of World War II, when a whole lot of bombs damaged a cellar in East London, unearthing a stack of papers that looked like they'd arrived fresh from Middle-earth.The family that found them didn't fully understand what they'd discovered and just stored them away, passing them down from one generation to another
  • g to have identified the real Zodiac, none of the above books have solved the mysterious 340 cipher, which the Zodiac said contained his name. This cipher, sent after two schoolteachers solved his first cipher, was probably much more complex than the first cipher, explaining why it has taken 47 years to solve
  • + In 1969, some 43 years ago, Donald G. and Bettye J. Harden solved the first Zodiac code. Since that time, the three other codes Zodiac sent to the SF Chronicle have remained unsolved. If one takes the Harden solution and general code solving principles and applies them to the unsolved codes, you get a string of letters with no apparent meaning

Page 1 of 2 - The Zodiac Ciphers - posted in Blah, Blah, Blah: I was reading about the movie Dirty Harry on Wikipedia yesterday, and noticed that the criminal in the movie (Scorpio) was inspired by a real serial killer from the 60's-70's called the Zodiac. I had never heard about this killer before, so I read a little just to get some more understanding about how he had inspired the character. . In fact, I've even thought to myself at times, well you know, maybe I need to just walk away from it and form new social communities, social circles and leave it completely. And yet, I can't do that because I have great friendships here, and the case is still being looked at by the police Lyndon Lafferty penned a book on his decades long hunt for the Zodiac called 'The Zodiac Killer Cover-Up' in which he adds an intriguing new theory as to who the killer was and why he was never. Ciphers can be distinguished into two types by the type of input data: block ciphers, which encrypt block of data of fixed size, and stream ciphers, which encrypt continuous streams of data. Key size and vulnerability. In a pure mathematical attack, (i.e., lacking any other information to help break a cipher) two factors above all count There are only 5 confirmed kills for the Zodiac Killer, but there are suggestions that this enigmatic murderer may have taken over 35 lives during his crime spree. That's why he is often described as one of the worst serial killers in US history. The Zodiac Killer didn't seem to have a preference for gender or age

Zodiac Killer: Can genealogy help crack the 50-year-old case? Christal Hayes. USA TODAY. Investigators are hoping to use a genealogy website to track down the Zodiac Killer — one of America's. I can't even add it up. It has to be solved, he said. The Unabomber? Many Zodiac hunters have focused on the cryptograms the killer left behind, convinced the ciphers contain clues to his. Donald Gene Harden (March 16, 1928 - March 7, 2012) was the man who solved the 408 cipher along with his wife, Bettye June Valerie Harden. 1 Early life 2 Solving the code 3 Aftermath 4 Death 5 Personality 6 Clues that Donald Harden and his wife was Zodiac. Donald Gene Harden was born to J..


Solved: Zodiac Killer’s 1969 ‘cipher’ finally decoded

2:28 Zodiac Killer’s 1969 ‘cipher’ finally decoded
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Codebreakers have deciphered a message sent by the Zodiac Killer to a San Francisco newspaper in 1969, ending half a century of speculation over the mysterious note’s meaning.

The message, dubbed the 340 Cipher, has stumped investigators and amateur sleuths for decades going back to November 1969, when it first arrived in the mail at the San Francisco Chronicle. It was one of four coded messages that Zodiac wrote at the time. Each one proved a major challenge for investigators, in part because Zodiac made several spelling mistakes in his messages.

Codebreaker David Oranchak revealed the solution to the 340 Cipher on his website Thursday, after working with fellow sleuths Sam Blake and Jarl Van Eycke, who live in Australia and Belgium, respectively.

“We solved the 340 and submitted it to the FBI,” he wrote. “They have confirmed the solution.”

Investigators had long hoped the 340 Cipher would contain the Zodiac Killer’s real identity, but the note does not provide that information.

“I hope you are having lots of fun in trying to catch me,” it says in part. “I am not afraid of the gas chamber because it will send me to paradice (sic) all the sooner because I now have enough slaves to work for me.”

View image in full screen

In a video describing his solution, Oranchak explains that he ran the cypher through a decoder program and came up with a few phrases within the resulting nonsense. He saved those phrases and forced the decoder to work with them, which ultimately led to the solution.

“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 am not afraid of the gas chamber because it will send me to paradice (sic) 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 is life will be an easy one in paradice (sic) death.”

Oranchak says the “TV show” comment refers to an incident on Oct. 22, 1969, when someone claiming to be the Zodiac killer called into a local TV show.

“The very end doesn’t flow quite right yet,” Oranchak says in his video. “But maybe someone can figure out how it’s supposed to read.”

The FBI acknowledged the solution in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday, and added that the investigation is still ongoing.

“The Zodiac Killer terrorized multiple communities across Northern California and even though decades have gone by, we continue to seek justice for the victims of these brutal crimes,” a spokesperson for the FBI’s San Francisco office said. “Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, and out of respect for the victims and their families, we will not be providing further comment at this time.”

Zodiac is one of the most infamous serial killers in U.S. history. He stalked the San Francisco Bay Area from 1968-1969, when he killed at least five people while taunting the public through a series of letters and cards sent to the press. A few of those missives included coded messages known as ciphers.

Each letter was signed with a cross and circle symbol, which became associated with the killer. He also dubbed himself “Zodiac.”

A schoolteacher and his wife solved one of the ciphers back in 1969, but the others remain unclear.

2:52 Serial killer Bruce McArthur sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years

A copycat killer later claimed the Zodiac title in New York in the 1990s, when he incorporated astrology signs into his murder spree. He was eventually identified as Heriberto Seda and sentenced to life in prison.

The San Francisco Zodiac Killer was never found, although investigators have renewed their efforts to identify him through DNA-based ancestry databases. The same tactic led to the arrest of California’s Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo, in 2018.

DeAngelo is currently serving several consecutive life sentences behind bars.


Lake Berryessa: A Survivor’s Story

Forty-seven years ago, college students Cecelia Shepard and Bryan Hartnell were sitting by Lake Berryessa enjoying a relaxing visit. They did not know that a man was nearby, watching and waiting for the right moment to set his plan in motion.

Bryan heard some noise and asked Cecelia to look around for the source. She saw a man as he moved behind a tree. Cecelia and Bryan dismissed the man as harmless and did not notice as he donned a dark hood featuring the symbol of a white crossed-circle.

The stranger came prepared with a some pre-cut lengths of clothesline to restrain Bryan and Cecelia. On his belt, a sheath held a foot-long knife and the holster for the gun in his hand. The man needed the gun to prevent Bryan and Cecelia from running away if they began to suspect his true intentions. He would lie to them and keep them calm with the promise that he meant no harm. Once they complied and were subdued, the man would no longer need the gun and could proceed with his plan.

The hooded stranger moved toward the couple. Cecelia saw him coming and said, “Oh my God, he’s got a gun.” Bryan and Cecelia watched as the hooded stranger walked onto the narrow patch of land surrounded by water and blocked their only escape route.

Bryan and Cecelia stared at the man with a gun in his hand. Later, Bryan Hartnell would write a transcript of his conversation with the stranger.

FOR NAPA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
-DIALOGUE BETWEEN AN UNKNOWN ASSAILANT AND BRYAN HARTNELL ( and Cecelia Shepard )

CECELIA: What do you want?
ASSAILANT: Now take it easy– all I want’s your money. There is nothing to worry about– all I want is your money.
BRYAN: O.K.– whatever you say, I want you to know that I will cooperate so you don’t have to worry – whatever you say we’ll do. Do you want us to come up with our hands up or down?
ASSAILANT: Just don’t make any fast moves– come up slowly.
BRYAN: But we don’t have any money – all I have is 75 cents.
ASSAILANT: That doesn’t matter– every little bit helps ( pause )– I’m on my way to Mexico– I escaped from Deer Lodge Prison in Montana, Deer Lodge. I need some money to get there.
BRYAN: You’re welcome to the money I have, but isn’t there something else I can do for you? Give you a check or get some more?
ASSAILANT: No.
BRYAN: I can give you my phone number and you can call me.
ASSAILANT: ( no reply )
BRYAN: I want to get in contact with you. I am a sociology major and maybe I can even offer you more help than you think you need.
ASSAILANT: No.
BRYAN: Well, is there any other thing you need?
ASSAILANT: Yes. One more thing– I want your car keys. My car is hot.
BRYAN: (Reaching into pockets, then patting his first front then back pockets) I guess in all the excitement I don’t remember where I put them. Let’s see. Are they in my shirt, in the ignition, on the blanket… Say! Would you answer a question for me? I’ve always wondered. On TV movies and in an article in the Reader’s Digest they say that thieves really keep their guns loaded?
ASSAILANT: ( excited slightly ) Yes, it is! ( then calmed and matter-of-fact ) I killed a couple of men before.
BRYAN: What? I didn’t hear you…
ASSAILANT: I killed a couple of guards getting out of prison. And I’m not afraid to kill again.
CECELIA: Bryan– do what he says!
ASSAILANT: Now I want the girl to tie you up.
[A]: (reaches for rope that he pulls from back pocket)
BRYAN: This is really strange. I wonder why someone hasn’t thought of this before. I’ll bet there’s good money in it.
ASSAILANT: ( no reply )
BRYAN: What was the name of that prison?
ASSAILANT: ( no reply )
BRYAN: No really, what did you say the name of it was? I’m just curious.
ASSAILANT: ( begrudgingly ) Deer Lodge in Montana.
( There must have been some dialogue at this point but I can’t remember any until we are both tied up. )
ASSAILANT: Now I want you both to lay face down so I can tie up your feet.
BRYAN: Come on– we could be out here for a long time and it could get cold at night.
ASSAILANT: Come on– get down!
BRYAN: Listen, I didn’t complain when you tied our hands, but this is ridiculous…
ASSAILANT: I told you…
BRYAN: We aren’t going anywhere– Anyway, I don’t think that it’s necessary ( or – Aw, come on, we don’t want to. )
ASSAILANT: ( pointing gun directly at me at point blank range ) I told you to get down!
BRYAN: Your hands are shaking? Are you nervous?
ASSAILANT: Yes, I guess so. ( laughs in a very relaxed manner )
BRYAN: Well, I guess that I’d be nervous, too.
( Then after we were tied and hog-tied )
BRYAN: Now that everything is all said and done, could you show me that your gun is loaded? (Or, and probably this: “Now that all is said and done, was that gun really loaded?”)
ASSAILANT: Yes, it was! ( or ) Sure, I’ll show you. ( He then opened cartridge or whatever )
(That was the last thing I remember him saying.)

Later, Bryan described what happened next. “And so I saw him put away his gun, and I was turning to say something to Celia, and all of a sudden I felt my back…just…no, I don’t think I saw him pull it out… I don’t remember… I think I saw him whip it out his knife and just start stabbing me in the back… CHOMP, CHOMP, CHOMP, CHOMP! I was just (makes guttural sound)… you know, that kind of a sound..”

The man kept stabbing until Bryan feigned death. The man then stabbed Cecelia over and over again. When he was finished, the stranger walked back to the road. He took out a black marker and wrote a message on the passenger door of Bryan’s white Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.

A passing fisherman alerted authorities and Bryan and Cecelia were later taken to a hospital. At 7:40 PM, the Napa Police Department received a call from a telephone booth at a local car wash. Officer David Slaight answered the call.

The voice of a young man addressed Slaight in a calm, deliberate tone. “I want to report a murder– no, a double murder. They are two miles north of park headquarters. They were in a white Volkswagen Kharmann Ghia.” Slaight waited for the man to continue, but the declaration was followed by silence. After a brief pause, he asked, “Where are you now?” The voice grew quiet as the mysterious caller replied, “I’m the one who did it.” The caller then set the receiver down, leaving the line open. Police traced the call but the man was gone.

Bryan described the costume and the crossed-circle symbol, and the message on the car door also included a crossed-circle. Authorities recognized the symbol as the signature of a murderer who sent taunting letters to Bay Area newspapers and claimed that he was responsible for the shootings of two young couples. He threatened to kill again if the newspapers did not print a cipher which he claimed would reveal his identity. When deciphered, the message began with the words, “I like killing people because it’s so much fun.” The writer also referred to collecting “slaves” for his afterlife. Police asked the writer to send another letter with details about the crimes to prove that he was responsible. Days later, another letter arrived, but this time the writer coined a phrase which would become infamous in true crime history, “This is the Zodiac speaking.” The evidence indicated that Bryan and Cecelia were the next victims in the Zodiac’s deadly fantasy.

Cecelia Shepard died, but Bryan Hartnell survived. Bryan’s story was the only reason that the world learned about the killer’s bizarre costume and the odd conversation before the attack. This brief glimpse remains the best portrait of the Zodiac available, and Bryan’s account remains a chilling look into the mind of the killer. The man pointed a gun and Bryan said, “Your hands are shaking, Are you nervous?” The man laughed and replied, “Yes, I guess so.” The man was nervous because he knew what was going to happen next.

The evidence demonstrated that the killer had planned carefully by pre-cutting the sections of clothesline he used to restrain the victims. The gun forced the victims to submit to the killer’s demands. The lie about the simple robbery lulled the victims into a false sense of security. Accepting the lie, the victims allowed themselves to be tied and subdued. Once they were no longer a threat, the killer stabbed the victims without warning or provocation. The killer then walked away and wrote a message on Bryan’s car. After the attack, the killer travelled more than twenty-five miles and called police to report the crime from a payphone. All of these actions indicated that the Zodiac planned this crime.

The killer‘s interaction with Bryan and Cecelia demonstrated his ability to improvise and remain calm while deceiving the victims. In the next attack, the killer shot a cab driver who believed he was delivering a harmless passenger to a routine destination. This crime indicated the killer’s desire or need for deception and his ability to manipulate his victims. The first and second attacks were ambush-style shootings which further indicated the killer’s use of deception and surprise. Bryan and Cecelia followed the killer’s instructions because they had been deceived, and the Zodiac relied on this deception to execute his plans. After the attack, Bryan played over the events in his mind and questioned his decisions. “I mean I wanted to get that gun,” he said. “There was a time when I think I could have gotten it.” On that day, the Zodiac came prepared to carry out a cold-blooded attack which included the brutal stabbing of innocent people. Bryan thought he was dealing with a common criminal, but the Zodiac most likely planned for that scenario and Bryan could have died in any attempt to escape.

The story of what happened at Lake Berryessa could have died with Bryan Hartnell. The blade of the knife came close to his heart, but a matter of inches helped Bryan survive to share his personal nightmare and his encounter with the most-wanted serial killer in American history. Bryan’s account provided the only look at the Zodiac in action, and his story remains a crucial tool in all efforts to understand the unsolved mystery.


The Solution of the Zodiac Killer’s 340-Character Cipher

Editor’s note: The Zodiac Killer (an unidentified American serial killer active during the 1960s and 70s) sent numerous taunting letters to the press in the San Francisco area with regard to a local murder spree. In these letters, the killer took responsibility for the crimes and threatened to commit further murders. He also included three ciphers, each containing one-third of a 408-character cryptogram. The killer claimed that this cryptogram would reveal his identity when deciphered. The killer sent the fourth and final cipher (discussed in this blog post) to the San Francisco Chronicle after the 408-character cryptogram, deciphered in 1969, did not reveal the killer’s identity.

In 2020, Melbourne, Australia, had a 112-day lockdown of the entire city to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The wearing of masks was mandatory and we were limited to one hour a day of outside activity. Otherwise, we were stuck in our homes. This gave me lots of time to look into interesting problems I’d been putting off for years.

I was inspired by a YouTube video by David Oranchak, which looked at the Zodiac Killer’s 340-character cipher (Z340), which is pictured below. This cipher is considered one of the holy grails of cryptography, as at the time the cipher had resisted attacks for 50 years, so any attempts to find a solution were truly a moonshot.

The Zodiac Killer’s 340-character cipher

In his presentation, David explored the idea that the cipher is both a homophonic substitution cipher and a transposition cipher. Highly efficient programs for solving homophonic substitution ciphers exist, the best of which is AZdecrypt. Experiments suggest that AZdecrypt can solve all homophonic substitution ciphers of the same length and symbol distribution as the Z340. However, AZdecrypt cannot be used to solve the Z340 because when you run it on the Z340, it does not produce a solution. Perhaps solving the Z340 is a case of finding by trial and error the correct transposition, then using AZdecrypt to solve the homophonic substitution cipher.

David outlined one particular transposition, which was discovered independently and posted to zodiackillersite.com by user “daikon” and Jarl van Eycke (the author of AZdecrypt): the “period-19,” which had some interesting statistical properties that would suggest that they were closer to the correct transposition. Just for fun, I decided to plot this transposition using Mathematica:

However, this looked nothing like daikon and Jarl’s period-19 transposition. To my surprise, it turned out their transposition used a period-18 when wrapping around (periodically) vertically.

While this transposition was visually interesting, it didn’t strike me as a very natural pencil-and-paper construction. It should be noted that Z340 was created in 1969, and therefore was almost certainly constructed using pencil and paper.

I saw a connection between the period-19 transposition and a 1,2-decimation of the cipher. That is, starting from the top-left corner and moving one vertical step, then two horizontal steps, wrapping periodically both horizontally and vertically, like the cipher is wrapped around a torus. This transposition takes similar diagonals to the period-19 transposition:

Running the 1,2-decimation transposition of the Z340 through AZdecrypt did not produce a solution.

One way to investigate the likelihood of finding the correct transposition of a homophonic substitution cipher is by counting the number of repeating bigrams (pairs of symbols). In Mathematica, it’s easy to write up this code for arbitrary -grams:

The mean number of bigrams for the random shuffles was 19.8, and for random Z340-like ciphers was 34.5. The Z340 has 25 repeating bigrams, while the daikon and Jarl period-19 transposition and the 1,2-decimation has 37 repeating bigrams. Thus, statistically, we thought we were on the right track.

After the 1,2-decimation transposition did not produce a solution we decided to work on a large search through candidate transpositions. It was difficult to find out what transpositions had been tested in the past, so I decided to enumerate all reasonable 1- and 2-step transpositions, sort them by their bigram count and run them through AZdecrypt. Some of these transpositions, for example, included:

I also included all proper one-dimensional and two-dimensional decimation transpositions. For one-dimensional enumerations, we have the following 128 proper decimations:

For two-dimensional enumerations, we have the following 128 proper decimations:

For example, the 3,4-decimation generates the following transposition:

Using AZdecrypt, we tested all row–major, column–major, alternating row–column, alternating column–row, inward spirals, outward spirals, diagonals and proper one-dimensional and two-dimensional decimation transpositions. This experiment didn’t yield anything looking like a solution, so we tested all pairs of transpositions. Then we considered testing all 3-tuples of transpositions however, this would require testing 155,929,364,660,224 candidate ciphers. Naively checking one a second would take over five million years. So we limited our experiments to decimations which would be reasonable to write out by hand and then only tested candidates with a high bigram count. Once again, this search turned up nothing.

Perhaps there’s another step we are missing? Given the way the Zodiac Killer’s 408-character cipher (pictured below) was sent in three equally sized sections, we conjectured the Z340 was constructed from a number of distinct segments, then encrypted with a transposition and a homophonic substitution:

The Zodiac Killer's 408-character cipher

We considered splitting the cipher horizontally into two and three segments, vertically into two and three segments, and both horizontally and vertically into and segments. For example:

Then we used Reduce to compute all possible segments, which resulted in proper two-dimensional decimations:

Given the high bigram count of the 1,2-decimation transposition, we started our search with two-dimensional decimations, with each segment having the same (single) transposition. As we had seen so many times before, this experiment didn’t turn up anything.

The next search for compositions of multiple transpositions and all combinations of transpositions for all sections would be a significantly larger undertaking. So we decided to reanalyse the results from the initial search.

Out of the 650,000 transpositions we tested, one contained a few particularly interesting segments of plaintext:

This was even more interesting as the transposition that produced this candidate decryption was the 1,2-decimation, with the cipher split into three vertical segments (pictured below):

Investigating this result further, David used our 9,9,2-vertical segment, 1,2-decimation transposition and AZdecrypt to crib the phrases “HOPE YOU ARE,” “TRYING TO CATCH ME” and “THE GAS CHAMBER.” With these cribs locked in place, AZdecrypt found the following solution of the first segment:

Eureka! After 51 years, we had decrypted some of the Z340. This was a very special moment. The discovery of the 9,9,2-vertical segment, 1,2-decimation transposition and the power of AZdecrypt for solving homophonic substitution ciphers had produced a partial decrypt of the Z340.

What about the remaining two segments? It was possible that we had found just one correct vertical split of 9 rows and the remaining 11 rows required a different segmentation, or it was possible that a different transposition was needed, or even a different key for the substitution cipher, or any two combinations of these possibilities, or even all three possibilities. Our work was far from over.

David discovered that we could use the key from the first segment on the last segment to produce the following plaintext—without any transposition:

Including some spaces, the cipher’s candidate plaintext gives:

Then, reversing a few words:

This seemed to be a pretty reasonable decryption of the last segment.

What about the second segment? If we crib all the legible text from the first section we get the following decryption:

Some parts of this kind of made sense, but we certainly weren’t there yet. We asked Jarl van Eycke, the author of AZdecrypt, to help us with this segment. He made the following brilliant observations:

  • The LIFEIS plaintext (the second segment) is read left to right.
  • The LIFEIS plaintext is excluded from the 1,2-decimation transposition and read left to right.
  • Numerous spelling mistakes are corrected if “H” on row six is moved to the fourth column.
  • Apply the 1,2-decimation transposition, skipping the positions containing “LIFEIS”:

Then the second segment becomes:

The cipher key and transposition that we discovered for the Z340 cipher are given by:

Fifty-one years after the Zodiac Killer mailed this cipher to the San Francisco Chronicle, we had a solution. David submitted this solution to the FBI Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU) on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Shortly after, the FBI was able to officially confirm the validity of our solution.

Essentially all my work on the Z340 was done in Mathematica. I used the Spartan high-performance computing cluster at the University of Melbourne to eliminate candidate transpositions using zkdecrypto and David used AZdecrypt. Otherwise, all the statistical analysis of the Z340 and the creation and analysis of the millions of candidate transpositions was done using Mathematica. The reason for my use of Mathematica is simple it is by far the most time-efficient language I could use for such a task.

Sam Blake has a PhD in mathematics from Monash University in Australia and is a research fellow at the University of Melbourne. He’s been an avid Mathematica user since 2004 and worked for Wolfram Research for four years. He is broadly interested in research related to numerical modeling, data science, symbolic computation, steganography and cryptography.


The Ciphers Sent By Zodiac Killer

July 31, 1969, was the day when Zodiac Started sending letters to the SF Chronicles. Some of the letters contained ciphers(a cryptogram), it&aposs a puzzle that you need to solve to encode the message.

The 340- CipherJust when the police thought this could have been some information regarding the murderer or revealing his murder or his plans for the next murder, No, it was just a stupid showoff to keep the police engaged. The letters read things like " You will never find my name", " I like killing because it is so much fun".

The Cipher Sent BY Zodiac Killer

The final letter by Zodiac came in 1974, which read " The Exorcist Movie was a Great Satirical Comedy". And after that suddenly the letters vanished, no signs of the Zodiac anywhere.

He just seems to have vanished into thin air.

But the police didn&apost stop their search for the killer. They had many suspicions. They even thought they had the man when Arthur Lee Allen was arrested.

If you have seen the movie or read the book, which you should, I would recommend everyone to read it, He was shown as the murderer ( The Zodiac). You can check the book at this link.

But in real life, even after 20 years of trying to find him, searching through his house, tracking him down, they were not able to find enough evidence to arrest him.

Even though he had a history of abusing children and showing hatred towards women, there was no clear evidence for the commitment of the murder. His DNA and the Handwriting didn&apost match with the ones in the letters. Allen was found dead in 1992 in his house.

Many people had their suspicions in the 1970s, but no one had clear evidence or proof to get them arrested. Until now, even after 50 years, the killer never got arrested and some of his messages are too tough to be decoded, even though they believed it had some useful information.