A coded message sent by a brutal serial killer, never caught, has been torn more than 51 years after it was sent.
The male suspect, known as Zodiac Killer, murdered at least five people and attempted to commit at least two more murders in 1968 and 1969 in Northern California. In the first three attacks, he targets the couple. The first two murder victims were high school students who were standing in a car on their first date. In the attacks on the other two couples, he managed to kill the women, but the men survived. A male San Francisco cab driver was the last known victim.
During the murder spree, Zodial Killer sent a series of letters to media outlets to take credit for the killings. To prove the authenticity of the claims, the letters contained unrelated details and evidence of crime scenes.
In August 1969, after the murders of three of the five known victims, Zodiak Killer sent three identical letters to three new area newspapers. Each letter also contains a third of a 408-symbol cryptogram that the suspect said would reveal his identity. The murderer sought to publish the letters in full or he would murder again.
A week after the letters were sent, a couple broke through the rift in Salinas, California. Zodiac Killer, Playtext revealed, said he was collecting slaves for Afterlife and would not disclose his identity as doing so would hamper those plans.
In November 1969, after killing the remaining two known victims, the Zodiac killer sent a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle containing a new puzzle. The cryptogram was known as the Z-340, or just 340, because it contained 340 characters. The full image of the cryptogram appears below:
Since then, both amateur and professional cryptographers, including those working for the FBI, have worked to crack the cipher. It was not until this week that an international team resolved it.
Depp Oranchack, one of the three people who cracks the encoded message, “The cipher was so long unresolved, it had a big hit on its back, and I felt it was a challenge to solve. There was a chance. ” Stated by email. “It was an exciting project to work on, and it was on many people’s’ unsolved ciphers at the top of all-time lists.”
The full text of the torn cipher reads:
I think you are trying to watch on TV that are far away from appearing on TV shows, I think I am talking about a person I do not know about that Chamber, Who are sending me to show them everything. I want to work for those people, where everyone has nothing, which is for those people who have been meeting them until I know what they are about their new lives Know that they will not be in Paradise Death.
The case is already known. The TV show and Gas Chambers referred to a call made a month ago for a talk show on KGO-TV claiming someone to be a zodiac killer: “I need help. I’m sick. I’m Does not want to go to the gas chamber. ”In other communications, the murderer used the same misspelling for the word“ heaven. ”And of course, there were references to gathering slaves for later life.
The FBI in San Francisco has confirmed that the team solved the cryptogram correctly. In a statement released on Friday, the agency wrote:
The FBI is aware that a cipher responsible for the Zodiac Killer was recently resolved by private citizens. The Zodiac killer case is an ongoing investigation for the FBI San Francisco Division and our local law enforcement partners. The Rashi murderer terrorized many communities in Northern California and even though decades have passed, we want justice for the victims of these brutal crimes. Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation and the respect of the victims and their families, we will not provide further comment at this time.
Oranchak, a 46-year-old software developer in Virginia, said the 340 is known as A. Transposition cipher. Most ciphers used by computers today rely on mathematics to scramble messages. Transposition ciphers, by contrast, are largely relics of the past that use rules to rearrange characters or groups of characters in a message.
Transition servers rearrange messages in an elaborate manner. A common way is to reorder columns of a message. The message in 340 was probably rearranged by manipulating triangular squares cut from messages written in rectangles. Oranchack and his colleagues developed an app that helped him and his colleagues learn the puzzle.
In the video below, Orancheck provides a more detailed explanation of the cipher on how he and his colleagues cracked it.
Oranchak said that he has been working on solving the 340 since 2006. The other two people on the team are Sam Blake, an applied mathematician who lives in Australia, and Jarl van Eyck, a warehouse operator in Belgium. Van Ike is also the software developer behind it AZdecrypt, A code-breaking app inspired by his drive to crack the 340.