Hunt for The Zodiac


I’ve mentioned my husband and I have been watching this show.  It does appear that some part of the Z340 cipher, the hardest Zodiac code ever sent has been cracked and the reasons it hasn’t been cracked before now suddenly make a ton of sense.

Zodiac literally needed an editor, like K Smith Proofs.  If you see his original notes to the media, they are riddled with some really horrific spelling errors, worse than anything I could do, even on Lyrica.  There are times I look at them and wonder if he is phonetically spelling the words.

So misspell a bunch of words and then put it into a code and have someone break it… Even giving them the key is going to make them scratch their heads.  His inability to spell has always made me feel better about my own spelling errors.  And while most codebreakers have considered they might not be in English, I don’t think any of them have considered the fact that Zodiac was awful at spelling.

So, they revealed the code tonight on the TV show and it actually sounds like Zodiac.  There is also little doubt that Hodel will be writing another book about why his father was Zodiac.  I buy George Hodel as the Black Dahlia killer, but I don’t buy him as Zodiac.

Oh and let the conspiracy seekers at it… because Zodiac seems to have put the name Richard Nixon in the Z340 cipher.  Remember how I discussed the theory that Zodiac was protected from on high because he had shot President Kennedy…  Well, the cipher where he said he revealed his name contains the name Richard Nixon.

I don’t think that’s really Zodiac’s name, I think it was one of his little giggle moments because he does seem to have had a sense of humor, in a creepy serial killer kind of way.  The solution for the Z340 sounds like Zodiac.  It also contains a lot of different elements going on.  First, there’s the terrible spelling that Zodiac was kind of known for.  Then there’s the amatuer code breaking move of having letters in the cipher stand for themselves, so an E might still be an E.  Or an L might still be an L.  It also isn’t consistent.  So while E might stand for E here, a different symbol might stand for E in the same word.

It’s only the first 8 lines, but it’s the best crack in it yet.  After those initial lines, the key makes it gibberish.  A couple of things could be going on here.  He may have used a completely different key to encode the next lines or he may have gotten bored and created gibberish or he may have used a combination of all his codes, some of them still not broken to complete these lines and better hide his name and since the first part contains multiple symbols standing in for the same letter, that could be a real problem to break.

The good news is we sorta understand how Zodiak talks.  He uses the words kill and gun a lot when he writes his letters, just like I use the word actually a lot.  So if I were to create a cipher based on something I had written, the word actually would probably show up at least once, probably twice and it has one of those cryptography clues that codebreakers love: the double L, just like kill.  If you ever do a cryptogram, they recommend you start with double letters because the choices are limited in English, the most common are EE, SS, TT, LL… MM, NN, OO, PP, follow behind those.  BB, CC, ZZ, are among the least common, but still happen.  However, you can rule out a lot of words because of double letters.  Several of the most common words in the English language do not have double letters.

We also know that he loves the Mikado.  He direct quoted several lines of it in a letter and referenced it several other times.  Think about quotes you use, where do they come from?  Mine tend to come from Sherlock Holmes stories and Edgar Allen Poe because these are among my favorite books.  If I’m quoting movies, a lot of times, it’s a Predator movie, simply because I love those movies.

Using a combination of profiler tools and an understanding of language, we know more about Zodiac than we think we did.

One thought on “Hunt for The Zodiac

  1. I’ve never really gotten into the Zodiac killer – just seemed a little strange to me and bad spelling always throws me off….lol….Glad they seem to be working on solving it still

    Liked by 1 person

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