After 51 years, one of the mysterious ciphers from the Zodiac Killer has been solved. Named cryptogram Z-340, due to its 340 characters, the cipher is is now the second out of four coded letters to be decrypted.
Wreaking havoc in Northern California from the 1960s to 1970s, the Zodiac Killer has claimed to have killed 37 while five murders have been confirmed. The American serial killer gained notoriety due to his frequent taunting of law enforcement, and the fact that he was never caught.
Solved by David Oranchak, Jarl van Eycke, and Samuel Blake, the team explained that the reason it took such a long time to solve the cryptogram was that the Zodiac Killer made a mistake in his cipher — going one line down and one column across instead of two — breaking the symmetry of the pattern.
After going through 650,000 combinations and a number of algorithms, a few key phrases jumped out which helped in putting the finishing touches on the final message below:
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
The team hopes to use a similar method for cracking the remaining ciphers. While we may never know the true identity of the Zodiac Killer, we at least now know more about what was on his mind.
In other news, Netflix announces Yū Yū Hakusho live-action series.