A letter written by the Zodiac Killer went unsolved for the past 51 years. Finally, the code was cracked by a team of citizen codebreakers earlier this month. The FBI has confirmed the authenticity of the decoded message.
Zodiac killer message revealed
The Zodiac Killer sent a coded message to the San Francisco Chronicle back in November of 1969. Authorities called it the “Z-340” message due to the 340 characters, a mix of letters and symbols, used to create the message. The Zodiac Killer also sent the newspaper threatening letters and evidence of his crimes, including pieces of a victim’s bloody shirt.
While some of the Zodiac Killer’s messages were decoded at the time, the Z-340 message remained unsolved for the past 51 years. That changed this month when a group of international codebreakers finally deciphered the message.
The group includes David Oranchak from America, Sam Blake from Australia, and Jarl Van Eycke of Belgium. The team used a decryption software and posted their findings to YouTube for the world to see.
The Zodiac Killer’s message stated: “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 paradise 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 paradise death.”
Codebreakers decipher message 51 years later
In the message, the Zodiac Killer was referring to an October 1969 incident where an imposter called into a San Fransisco morning show pretending to be him.
In a statement to reporters, Sam Black said, “It’s considered one of the holy grails of cryptography. At the time, the cipher had resisted attacks for 50 years, so any attempts to find a solution was truly a moonshot… Not only were we lucky enough to find the needle in the haystack, but we were lucky enough to pick the right haystack in order to start searching for the needle.”
The Zodiac Killer is responsible for at least five murders in the Bay Area in the late sixties and early seventies. His identity is still unknown. In another coded message from April 1970, the killer wrote “My name is _______.” The name portion is still unsolved to this day. Let’s see if these boys can crack the last piece to the puzzle.