THE Zodiac Killer terrorized the Bay Area of San Francisco, California with a string of gruesome murders in the late ’60s.
Apart from his sick crimes, he was known for taunting law enforcement and the media with coded letters.
The Zodiac killer’s identity was revealed on October 6, 2021[/caption]
What did the Zodiac Killer’s cipher say?
In November 1969, the infamous Zodiac Killer, sent a 340-word cipher to the San Francisco Chronicle while bragging that they had no fear of execution.
The difficult code remained unsolved for decades, but it was finally cracked.
The coded letter – full of jumbled letters, numbers and symbols – read: “I hope you are having lots of fun in trying to catch 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.”
The chilling message was cracked by citizen coding experts, according to an article in The Chronicle in December 2020.
Coding expert David Oranchak said: “Last weekend, a team I’m on solved the 340 and submitted it to the FBI.
“They have confirmed the solution. No joke! This is the real deal.”
The FBI have since acknowledged the code-breakers’ achievements.
The Bureau said: “The FBI is aware that a cipher attributed to the Zodiac killer was recently solved by private citizens.
“The Zodiac Killer remains an ongoing investigation for the FBI San Francisco Division and our local law enforcement partners.
“The Zodiac killer terrorized multiple communities across Northern California and even though decades have gone by, we continue to seek justice for the victims of these brutal crimes.”
Who was the Zodiac Killer and what did he do?
The Zodiac Killer has never been identified.
There has been a long list of suspects accused with varying degrees of credibility in the more than 50 years since the terrible crimes.
Arthur Leigh Allan was identified as an early suspect based on circumstantial evidence, including the fact that he owned the same make of typewriter used to create Zodiac’s letters to the press and wore a Zodiac-brand watch.
He had been discharged without honor from the US Navy and was fired as a primary school teacher after allegations of sexual misconduct.
However, both he and his friend Don Cheney were both excluded from the investigation in 2002 after handwriting and DNA samples from the letters were found not to match theirs.
Allan died in 1992.
In 2021, a cold case team known as the Case Breakers claimed to have identified Zodiac as Gary Francis Poste who passed away in 2018.
According to Fox News, the letters of Gary Francis Poste’s name were completely removed from one of the Zodiac‘s anagrams, adding that his full name had to have been known in order to figure out the code.
However, investigators did not believe their evidence was significant enough to merit focussing on Poste.
This was not helped by the fact that one of the team’s key claims was that Poste had scars on his forehead matching those described on the killer.
Author Tom Voigt slammed this as “bulls***” and noted that no witnesses to any of the murders believed to be connected to Zodiac made any report of scars.
However, in 2023, witness Linda Jensen came forward and disputed the existing police sketches of the killer.
She said: “He had very smooth, parted hair and combed [it] really straight…[he looked] just very intense, like focused.
“The vibes coming off of him were bad, were dark. All of us felt that.”
The Zodiac Killer is believed to be a California man who gave himself that nickname to conceal his identity from authorities.
He is known to have targeted at least seven victims – three couples and a lone taxi driver. Two of them survived gun and knife ambushes.
The same killer has been linked to as many as 28 murders — claiming to have killed 37 people in letters to newspapers.
The Zodiac Killer went on a killing spree across Northern California from the late 1960s to the early 1970s.
The Zodiac murdered five known victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Napa County, and San Francisco, between December 1968 and October 1969.
In an October 13, 1969 description, police said the killer was a five-foot-eight man aged between 35 to 45, who had brown hair – with possibly a tint of red – and needed glasses.
The vicious killer targeted young couples, a male cab driver but their identity remains unknown.
How long did the Zodiac Killer’s code take to crack?
The Zodiac Killer’s 340 ciphers took 51 years to crack after it was first published in 1969.
The code was cracked by David Oranchak, from America, Jarl Van Eyck from Belgium, and Dr Samuel Blake from Australia.
And Dr Blake has now revealed how he cracked the Zodiac Killer’s coded message.
The message was one of several sent to newspapers during the killing spree.
Another one of the cypher puzzles solved in 1969 by a California school teacher and his wife read: “I like killing because it is so much fun.”