Zodiac Killer: Code-Breakers Solve Cipher After 5 Decades

by Keeli Parkey
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A mystery surrounding the Zodiac Killer has been solved.

A trio of codebreakers has cracked one of the four ciphers the killer sent to The Chronicle during the late 1960s, the publication reports. The Zodiac Killer allegedly killed five people in the Bay Area during 1968 and 1969 and was never apprehended.

The code, known as the 340 Cipher, arrived at the newspaper in November 1969. The trio who cracked it includes David Oranchak, a web designer from Virginia; Sam Blake, an Australian mathematician; and Jarl Van Eykcke, a warehouse operator from Belgium.

Oranchak said they used software programs to crack the code from the Zodiac Killer. He also said a version of it is in a U.S. Army code manual from the 1950s.

The Zodiac Killer said he would put his name in one of his ciphers; however, according to The Chronicle, no name appears in the 340 Cipher. A name also did not appear in the 408 Cipher, the only other of the four that has been solved. That cipher was cracked in 1969 by a couple in Salinas.

Law Enforcement Responds to Cracking of Zodiac Killer Cipher

According to the newspaper, the 340 Cipher reads as follows: “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 IS LIFE WILL BE AN EASY ONE IN PARADICE DEATH.”

The San Francisco Division of the FBI released the following statement about the broken code.

According to The Chronicle’s article, Arthur Leigh Allen was suspected to be the Zodiac Killer; however, he was never charged before his death in 1992 at the age of 58. The case remains ongoing.

Outsider.com