SAN FRANCISCO, California. – A long-held mystery of the murderous rampage of the Zodiac Killer in and around San Francisco has been solved.
A code-breaking team from the U. . S.. . , Australia and Belgium cracked what was known as the « 340 cipher, » a message written in code that the infamous killer posted to the San Francisco Chronicle in 1969 at the height of his string of murders. The name of the cipher refers to the number of characters in the puzzle.
« I hope you have a lot of fun catching me », it says in the cipher partly in the chronicle.
The letter writer mentions a TV show. In the cipher it is not clear which show it is referring to, but the Chronicle reported that the cipher was sent to the newspaper in November. 8, 1969, a few weeks after a man who claimed to be the Zodiac Killer was called on the Jim Dunbar Show, a local television talk show.
Check out the video below to learn how the team of three broke the Zodiac Killer code.
The cipher confirms law enforcement officials’ suspicions that the talk show caller was a scam, the newspaper reported.
« 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 riddle continues. “Where everyone else has nothing when they reach paradise, they are afraid of death. ”
>> Related Story: Police attempt to identify Zodiac Killer by DNA after successful Golden State Killer
According to the Chronicle, the decryption of the cipher is considered legitimate for several reasons. The misspellings of the word « paradise » that were deemed useful were contained in several letters of the zodiac.
In a 1970 letter, he mentioned that he would « torture all 13 of my slaves that I have been waiting for in Paradise, » the newspaper reported.
The Zodiac Killer eventually claimed it killed more than 30 victims, though investigators could only link it to five deaths.
« The FBI is aware that a cipher attributed to the Zodiac Killer was recently broken by private individuals, » the statement said. “The Zodiac Killer case remains an ongoing investigation for the San Francisco FBI and our local law enforcement partners. ”
The agency said out of respect for the victims and families and due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, no further information would be provided.
« The Zodiac Killer has terrorized multiple communities in Northern California, and even though decades have passed, we continue to seek justice for the victims of these brutal crimes, » FBI officials said.
The self-proclaimed Zodiac killer tracked and killed at least five people in California’s San Francisco Bay Area in 1968 and 1969. His first confirmed victims, David Faraday, 17, and 16-year-old girlfriend Betty Lou Jensen, were shot dead near their car in December. 20, 1968, on Lake Herman Road near Vallejo.
According to biography. com, Darlene Ferrin (22) and Mike Mageau (19) sat on March 5. July 1969 in Ferrin’s car in a similarly remote location four miles from the previous murder scene. The couple were approached by a man with a flashlight – and a gun.
Less than an hour later, a man called the Vallejo police in appreciation of the attack and the attack on Faraday and Jensen, the website said.
On Aug. . A letter was sent to The Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, and Vallejo Times-Herald on 1, 1969.
« Dear editor », according to the biography the letter began. com. “I am the murderer of the two teenagers last Christmas at Lake Herman. ”
The letter contained details that only the killer could have known, the authorities said. He threatened to attack more victims if the letter wasn’t published on the front page of every newspaper.
« I like to kill because it’s so much fun, » read this cipher that confused the police but was later solved by Salina’s teacher Donald Harden and his wife Bettye. “It’s more fun than killing game in the forest because humans are the most dangerous animal of all. ”
When detectives from several police stations were looking for the killer, he sent another letter to the examiner in which he used his nickname for the first time.
Each of the killer’s letters had a symbol: a circle with a cross, similar to the crosshairs on a telescopic sight.
One of the scariest, most brutal crimes attributed to the Zodiac Killer was Sept.. . Sep. 27, 1969 attacked college students Bryan Hartnell, 20, and Cecelia Shepard, 22, who were enjoying the day on the shores of Lake Berryessa, 30 miles north of Napa.
« A man appeared with a gun and a hooded costume with a white circle over his chest, » says History. com. Explaining that he had escaped from a prison and needed money and a car to escape to Mexico, the stranger tied her wrists with pre-cut plastic clothesline.
The man then stabbed Shepard ten times and mortally wounded her. Hartnell would survive his injuries.
« The man then went to Bryan’s car and used a pen to draw a crossed circle on the door with the dates and locations of the previous attacks, the date ’27. September 69 ‘, the time’ 6:30 ‘. and the notation ‘with the knife’, history. On the website of com it says. « At 7:40 pm. m. A man called the Napa Police Department to report a double homicide. ’”
The caller described Hartnell’s car and gave the dispatcher instructions on the crime scene. He also confessed, saying, « I’m the one who did it. ”
See a picture of Hartnell’s car door here. See the homemade hood that the killer wore here.
The next time police and reporters heard about the Zodiac Killer was after October. Sep. 11, 1969, shooting dead taxi driver Paul Stine, 28, in San Francisco.
« That night, Stine picked up a fare for a destination in the upscale Presidio Heights neighborhood. At the intersection of Washington and Cherry Streets, the passenger shot Stine in the head and removed a piece of the victim’s shirt. « History. com says. “The man left just before the police arrived, but the police radio broadcast incorrectly described the suspect as a black man. ”
Officers speeding by on the way to the scene of the crime spotted a man who matched the correct description of the murderer, but because he was white, they did not stop him.
Stine’s death was considered a robbery until the Chronicle received a letter from the Zodiac Killer acknowledging her.
The killer communicated with police and reporters for years. In a letter he threatened to aim at a school bus and “pick up the children if they jump out. « He implied he’d killed many more people, and detectives suspected him in several other cases, but couldn’t find a link.
The letters were discontinued in 1974. In that last letter, the author stated that he had recently seen The Exorcist and thought it was the “best satirical comedy he has ever seen. ”
Click here to view all of the Zodiac Killer’s letters to police and reporters.
The identity of the killer has sparked much speculation over the years. More well-known suspects who have been disfellowshipped include Bruce Davis, a convicted murderer who was part of Charles Manson’s infamous « family, » and Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber.
Detectives got hopeful in 2018 after DNA and genetic genealogy solved the Golden State Killer case. They were able to develop a partial genetic profile from a stamp on one of the letters of the zodiac, but because it was incomplete, the profile couldn’t rule out anyone as a suspect, the Chronicle reported.
Meanwhile, California detectives and amateurs come from all over the United States. S.. . I spent decades solving the case.
David Oranchak, one of the code breakers who cracked the long unresolved 340 cipher, told Chronicle he has been working on the task since 2006. Oranchak is a 46 year old web designer who lives in Virginia.
His teammates were the Belgian computer programmer Jarl Van Eycke and the Australian mathematician Sam Blake.
« This is exciting, » Oranchak told the newspaper. « We have been working on the solution since last Saturday. When I started looking at the Zodiac ciphers all those years ago, I thought, “Oh, I can just write a computer program and solve it. ’”
Oranchak said it wasn’t that easy. The code has been « kicking his a– » for 14 years.
The Zodiac Killer, The Cipher, The Serial Killer, The Chronicle of San Francisco
World News – USA – The mysterious cipher of the Zodiac Killer has 51 years after it was sent to the by the killer Cracked newspaper in San Francisco
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