One Of The Zodiac Killer’s Most Notorious Ciphers Has Finally Been Solved After 51 Years

Police tape seen at a crime scene.
STEPHEN MATUREN / Getty Images

One of the most notorious crime mysteries surrounding the Zodiac Killer has been solved after more than 50 years.

As the San Francisco Chronicle reported, the infamous serial killer sent a mysterious note to the newspaper back in November 1969 that would become known as the 340 Cipher. The coded message had long perplexed experts, but a team of code-breakers from the United States, Australia, and Belgium has finally cracked it.

As the report noted, code-breaking expert David Oranchak had been working on the note for years, but his team recently found the solution and submitted it to the FBI. The agency verified that they found the correct solution, Oranchak told the newspaper.

They found that the still-unidentified Zodiac Killer used the letter to taunt authorities who could not catch them, hinting that they were not afraid to die and that the people they had killed would become slaves in the afterlife.

“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 message read, according to the team.

A picture of a San Francisco police car.
  Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Cameron Polan, who works in the FBI’s San Francisco office, told the newspaper that the decoding was correct and that the agency is still on the hunt for the notorious attacker.

“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,” she said. “Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, and out of respect for the victims and their families, we will not be providing further comment at this time.”

The unknown person operated in Northern California during the late 1960s and early 1970s, killing victims and mailing cryptograms to news outlets and police. The case generated international attention, with a number of books, movies, and television shows dedicated to it. As The Inquisitr reported, authorities have remained on the hunt for the Zodiac Killer for more than five decades. In 2018, authorities expressed hope that new DNA technology would help to solve the mystery.

The same technology was used by officials to find and capture the notorious Golden State Killer by searching through a public database of genetic genealogy to find a match. They eventually arrested Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer in his 70s who was accused of committing 12 homicides, 45 rapes, and dozens of burglaries in California.