Let’s Crack Zodiac

I didn’t know much about the Zodiac killer before hearing that one of his ciphers has been solved this week (some 51 years later) so after watching the video below I did a little research via Wikipedia’s entry on the killer which provides a succinct primer:

The Zodiac Killer (or simply Zodiac or the Zodiac) is the pseudonym of an American serial killer who operated in Northern California from at least the late 1960s to the early 1970s. His identity remains unknown. The killer originated the name in a series of taunting letters and cards sent to the San Francisco Bay Area press. These letters included four cryptograms (or ciphers).

The Zodiac murdered five known victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Napa County, and San Francisco, respectively, between December 1968 and October 1969. He targeted young couples, with two of the men surviving attempted murder. He also murdered a male cab driver. The Zodiac himself once claimed to have murdered 37 victims.

Famous for sending taunting letters to California newspapers — one of the messages consisted of a series of letters and symbols in a code that no one could decipher. Now a team of amateur code breakers operating in three different countries have finally solved the letter known as cipher Z340.

You don’t want to miss this:

Further interesting details at

Also, the FBI thinks the word “sooher” at the end of the message is actually “sooner”. Misspellings make for an extra hard code to break perfectly.

(via Miss Cellania, Waxy, and Metafilter)