# Here’s the solution of the second Zodiac cryptogram – or maybe not?

The fifth episode of HISTORY’s Zodiac Killer documentary revealed an alleged solution of the infamous Z340 cryptogram. Does it make sense?

The fifth and last episode of HISTORY’s documentary The Hunt For The Zodiac Killer has aired (check here for a video). Titled “The Code Is Cracked” this last part of the series promised to reveal the solution of one of the world’s most famous crypto mysteries: the Zodiac Killer’s second encrypted message, also known as Z340.

### The solution (?)

It was Craig Bauer, crypto history expert, book author, and member of the expert team shown in the series, who presented the alleged solution. The first part of it is a decryption of the first eight lines of Z340. Here it is:

The cleartext reads as follows:

HEREITISIKILLBOTH
NIGHTANDDAY.ILIVE
BYTHEGUNBARELAIM.
SOQUITWISHINGFORG
AMETOBEOVERIGIS.M
YWRISTNILOCKS?NOW
ANGRYDANGEROS___I
WONTCHANGANYOFGAM

The second part is found a little further down:

Craig Bauer is a friend of mine. He has dedicated his latest book Uncovered to me. It goes without saying that I don’t begrudge him this success. But is his solution correct?

To be honest, I dont’ think so. I think that blog reader Richard SantaColoma was absolutely right when he wrote:

1) There are too many variables in the solution, it seems too subjective, both in method of “decipherment” and results given.

2) It leaves out some cipher characters, and adds plain text characters, without explanation other than making the plaintext a bit closer to meaningful.

3) Much of the plaintext has little meaning anyway, after this is done.

4) The given substitutions don’t work with characters in lines after line 8. But rather than being because the rest is gibberish, I think it may be because the substitutions are incorrect.

5) The last “O” and “N” in “NICKSON” replace the Zodiac symbol and “Z” in “[symbol] ZODAIK”. But it seems “ZODAIK” is one thing probably intended by the killer.

Other blog readers, including George Lasry, Bill Briere, and Nils Kopal have stated serious doubts about this solution, too. George Lasry published a very good analysis in the discussion forum of my last article (comments #19-21), which makes clear that Craig’s cleartext is far from conclusive.

### Ed Scheidt’s contribution

Of course, Craig showed his solution to his fellow members of the documentary’s crypto team (including Kevin Knight and Dave Oranchak). Surprisingly, all of them confirmed that his finding made sense.

In some of my articles about this documentary I mentioned that at the NSA Symposium on Cryptologic History a well-known crypto expert mentioned Craig Bauer’s solution and said that in his view it was correct. This crypto expert was Ed Scheidt, a retired chairman of the CIA crypto unit, best known for having designed the cryptographic systems used in the famous Kryptos sculpture at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Ed didn’t take part in the symposium itlself, but he was present at the Kryptos dinner organised by Elonka Dunin on the day after. The following picture was taken at this dinner:

What I didn’t know is that Ed Scheidt had an appreance in the last episode of the documentary. Craig Bauer showed him his solution, he confirmed that it made sense.

### My conclusion

So, in the end, we have four renowned codebreaking experts and a few more intelligent people who all have stated that an obviously wrong solution of a famous crypto mystery is correct. How shall we make sense of this?

Here’s my answer. In my view, HISTORY’s Zodiac Killer documentary should be regarded as semi-fictional. It tells the story of a fictional investigation of a real crime. The members of the investigation team (including crypto experts Craig Bauer, Kevin Knight, David Oranchak, and Ed Scheidt) served as actors. The things they found out are real, but far from new. Their super computer Carmel is a fictionalized version of some analysis software.

The alleged solution that was presented in the documentary should be regarded as fictional, too. I’m pretty sure that Craig, Kevin, David and Ed know well that this solution doesn’t make much sense. As far as I know, none of them has published a detailed explanation of it so far. I don’t expect that a peer-reviewed magazine or conference will ever accept such an explanation.

All in all, I think that The Hunt For The Zodiac Killer was a great show – nothing more and nothing less. I’m pleased to see that this series has drawn a lot of attention on the Zodiac Killer case and on codebreaking in general. Craig, Kevin, David and Ed have become TV stars for a few weeks – they certainly have deserved it because of their great work over the last few years. The blog posts I wrote about this documentary received thousands of page hits within hours – I hope some of the new readers will stay. I can imagine that someday a successful cryptologist will say: “My interest in cryptology started when I saw this Zodiac Killer thing on the History Channel.”

Apart from this, The Hunt For The Zodiac Killer will probably be forgotten soon.

Further reading: New evidence in the mystery of the Isdal Woman?

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## Kommentare (36)

1. #1 Michaela Ellguth
14. Dezember 2017

Es ist eine Serie und, soweit ich gesehen habe, wird auch noch eine zweite Staffel kommen. Es ist sehr unterhaltsam aber es ist eine Fernsehserie in Form eine Dokumentation aber keine Dokumentation (vergleichbar mit 72 Stunden im Geisterhaus, usw.). Wäre der Code tatsächlich geknackt worden, wäre das bereits rumgegangen wir ein Lauffeuer

2. #2 OK
Germany
14. Dezember 2017

Die Serie ist Unterhaltung. Das soll sie sein und das ist sie auch. Es ist interessant, mitzuverfolgen, wie sich die Ermittlungen entwicklen, auch wenn zum Schluss eine Ermittllung zu keiner neuen Erkenntnis führt.

Ich glaube gar nicht, dass die Serie für sich in Anspruch nehmen will, seriös zu sein oder wissenschaftlich vorzugehen.

Was sie allerdings ein bisschen unseriös wirken lässt, ist wenn eine 4 aus 8 -Wahrscheinlich zu einer 4 aus 4-Wahrscheinlichkeit aufgebauscht wird. Man kann es nicht genau erkennen (und das ist ja gerade das, das es versteckt wird, so dass der Eindruck verstärkt wird, dass es sich da ja nicht um einen Zufall handeln kann), aber ich glaube, der Ring in dem Comic “Death by …” bestand aus 8 Todesarten. Auf der Karte vom Zodiac Killer sind 4 daraus wiederholt. Man zeigt jetzt aber nur die 4 zutreffenden Kreissegmente un unterschlägt die 4 nicht zutreffenden. Das erweckt den “das kann kein Zufall mehr sein”-Eindruck beim Zuschauer. Der glaubt dann an einen unumstößlichen Zusammenhang zwischen Comic und Karte, dabei ist der ja eigentlich, nüchtern betrachtet, eher doch nur ein Zufall.

Mich persönlich nervten auch ein klein wenig die ewigen Wiederholungen, eine 45 Minuten Folge besteht quasi zur Hälfte aus Wiederholungen. Dadurch kommen die Folgen ein wenig aufgebläht daher. Aber das machen andere auch so.

Bei der Lösung ist mir aufgefallen: so richtig kommt die nicht hin. Auch hier: nur eine kurze Einblendung der Lösung des Z340 Cipher. Keine Chance, das zu überprüfen. Aber gleichzeitig wird vermittelt, dass es die richtige Lösung sein muss, denn schließlich geht man mit einer falschen ja nicht zu den Experten von der CIA, um sich zu blamieren, oder?

Ich musste das Bild pausieren, um festzustellen:

Wenn es sich um eine monoalphabetische Substitution mit Homophonen handelt, wie angegeben, dass kann es für einen Buchstaben mehrere Symbol geben, _aber_ jedes Symbol steht genau für ein Zeichen.

Wenn das Symbol + jetzt für ein G steht (Zeile 2, Zeichen 3), warum ist es zwar oft ein G, aber auch ein F (Zeile 4, viertletztes) und ein T (Zeile 5., 4. Z.) ?

Ich kann die Zeichen nicht einfach so ersetzen, wie es mir in den Kram passt. Wenn ein + ein G ist, dann ist jedes + ein G und nicht gerade das, das ein passendes Wort ergibt.

Das war schon genug, um mir jede weiter Mühe der Analyse der Lösung zu sparen. Das die Serie ein bisschen unseriös daher kommt, tat das Übrige dazu.

Und warum sollen nur 8 Zeilen mit der Lösung übersetzbar sein? Ein zweiter Code, völlig anders chiffriert fängt einfach mitten drin an? Bitte schön.. das ist doch etwas sehr unwahrscheinlich. Andere angebliche Lösungen schaffen es, _alle_ Zeilen zu decodieren, dass es einen sinnvollen Text gibt. Das liegt einfach an der Vielzahl von Homophonen, die mir quasi (in engen Grenzen) Wörter zu bilden, wie es mir beliebt.

Und was BITTE soll es, dass auf einmal, im ach so geheimnisvollen, nicht dechiffrierbaren, 2. Teil mitteldrin Richerd M Nikson zu lesen ist? Was ist das wieder für ein Code? Wo kommt der her? Die gleiche Übersetzung wie für den oberen Teil ist es auf jeden Fall nicht. Außerdem stehen die Buchstaben nicht richtig über den Symbolen und die Zeile scheint irgendwo ausgeschnitten zu sein und die Zeichen unten und oben am Rand sind andere als die wo die Zeile eingefügt wurde. Das sieht mir doch sehr nach copy and paste aus. Nach dem Motoo: “Rein damit – wir brauchen einen Namen. Wir zeigen das nur kurz, dann bermerkt niemand den Schmuh”.

Die Serie und insbesondere die “Lösung” des Z340 ist also nicht sonderlich ernst zu nehmen.

ABER: das heißt nicht, dass sie nicht interessant wäre. Die Interpretation des Donna Lass – Ciphers als Fahranweisung fand ich eine tolle Idee. Das die Route allerdings _so_ toll gepasst hat, wage ich zu bezweifeln. Hier muss ich einfach annehmen, dass das so zurechtgerückt wurde, damit es rüberkommt, als ob es genau passen würde. Ich habe das jetzt nicht auf Google Earth überprüft. Aber ich wette, so toll passend wie beschrieben, wäre es nicht.

Ich fand es auch einen tollen Zufall, dass Zodiac immer am “Zotag” (am ersten Tag der Woche im 13-monatigen Kalender) tötete und dieser Tag sogar das Zodiac-Symbol hatte. Dann allerdings habe ich mich gefragt, warum beim Opfer in New York, dessen Todetag ja auch bekannt war, nicht auch getestet wurde, ob es an einem “Zotag” starb. Das hätte man doch als erstes gemacht, weil es so einfach zu überprüfen wäre. Auch hier hab ich mir die Mühe geschenkt, das selbst zu überprüfen, und es für wahrscheinlicher gehalten, dass man das absichtlich ausgelassen hat, weil es halt nichts ins Muster passt.

Nichtsdestototz ist eine interessante und spannende Serie und man macht nichts falsch, wenn man sie sich anschaut, wenn man dabei im Hinterkopf hat, nicht alles für bare Münze zu nehmen.

3. #3 George Lasry
Israel
14. Dezember 2017

@Klaus
You summarized the story pretty well. Great achievement engaging bigger audiences on the topic of the Zodiac and other historical ciphers, and a doubtful solution despite its intuitive power and striking originality.

George

4. #4 Thomas
15. Dezember 2017

I hope someone of the team will come up with a written explanation of the the key and the solution.

5. #5 George Lasry
15. Dezember 2017

@thomas
The issue is that you can’t extract a definitive key from the proposed plaintext. Some homophone mappings are consistent (or the homophone is used only once) but many are not. I am presenting the most likely key based on majority voting. But when trying to apply that key, you get a very high number of errors.
You can find more info in the previous blog entry. Look for comments 19 and 21. Let me know if you are still missing anything from there.

6. #6 TWO
15. Dezember 2017

1. Carmel is real (hardware based)

2. I respect Edward Scheidt, my dear old Nemesis.

3. I disagree that this a solution but it has some interesting viewpoints.

4. For strategic reasons that has absolutely nothing to do with this post I declare that I see Klaus Schmeh, Bill Briere and Miss J. Briere Lann as dear old friends.

I sincerely hope this is completely clear to third parties involved.

best wishes,

Marshal TWO

7. #7 TWO
15. Dezember 2017

The solution can not be correct because the earlier solved letters are in grammatically correct English.

A psychopath would not divert from this.

However certain parts of the solution show interesting leads

regards,

TWO

8. #8 Bill Briere
Wyoming, USA
15. Dezember 2017

Klaus, your assessment of this whole enterprise was very measured and diplomatic. You’re an excellent blog host!

One thing, though, that bothers me is the idea that this show brought positive attention to cryptology. I don’t think it did. Our craft has been reduced to astrology and child’s play. Still, I do think that the damage that’s been done can be turned around. That will require all of us to call out the fakes when we see them and not allow our history to be rewritten by entertainers, charlatans, and profiteers.

9. #9 Thomas
15. Dezember 2017

Team member Ryan Garlick’s instructive paper which obviously has been disregarded: pubhttp://www.cse.unt.edu/~garlick/research/papers/Zodiac-340.pdf

10. #10 Bill Briere
Wyoming, USA
15. Dezember 2017

@Thomas: That article was priceless.

If anyone has trouble with the link, this one works, too: https://tinyurl.com/PouringGarlickSaltOnTheWound

I hope everyone here reads it. Well, it’s too late for Craig, I guess. And he’s certainly not lurking here at all, cuz he would have jumped in to defend the solution by now, so he won’t see the paper, anyway. *crickets*

11. #11 Bill Briere
Wyoming, USA
15. Dezember 2017

Before passing the solution on to the FBI, History narrated its meticulous process of verifying Craig’s results. The patter was straight out of a magician’s handbook.

A million or so hypnotized viewers believe they saw Craig’s solution vetted over and over again on almost-live television. I could almost hear the audience screaming: “No, it’s okay, you’ve done enough already! How much more proof could the authorities possibly need?”

Real investigators, cryptanalysts, and historians find the show’s methods manipulative and an insult to their professions.

The product of cryptanalysis does not vary based on hopes and dreams, profit and agendas. It is not a game of Scrabble. It is not a magic trick. It is not a creative-writing exercise.

It is a science.

12. #12 Bill Briere
Wyoming, USA
15. Dezember 2017

Here’s something that bothers me a lot about this whole thing:

Karga Seven has made a mockery of what cryptanalysts really do. History and its duped deputies have represented our profession as one that involves twirling pencils, using ESP, looking astonished at every little development, and waiting around all day for supercomputers to solve simple substitution ciphers for us. Not one shred of actual cryptanalysis was shown in the series. (Or did I miss something?)

Real-life code breakers do important and sometimes excruciatingly difficult work that most people will never fully appreciate. They are serious mathematicians, linguists, and computer scientists. These dedicated professionals know that their successes and failures have real-life consequences. They do not seek attention; they serve in silence. They are not magicians, actors, and circus side shows. Their tool kits do not include magic mushrooms and Ouija boards. They do not dig through ciphertext looking for “interesting viewpoints.”

Granted, not all ciphers are a matter of life and death. I’ve been working on a recreational cryptogram called K-4 for many years. Newcomers and other amateurs frequently claim to have solved it. Many of their solutions sound similar to Craig’s attempt on Z-340: excessive variables and inconsistencies, subjectivity, shoehorning stuff in when it doesn’t quite fit, stilted language, working in bits of expected phrases that “should” be in there somewhere, and even getting inside the originator’s head and “seeing words.” These are not the tools and marks of William Friedman’s revered science of cryptanalysis.

Kevin and “his team of top code breakers,” including Carmel, failed to produce a solution that would pass even the most superficial scrutiny of any competent amateur cryptanalyst. And everyone in that room had to have known that. Including Carmel.

13. #13 Rich SantaColoma
https://proto57.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/pitfalls-of-decipherment/
15. Dezember 2017

Thank you for the mention.

The dissection of the proposal, by George Lasry (which you link to), has been very informative to me. So has the Ryan Garlick paper linked to by Thomas and Bill, above. I see that like the Voynich field, the Zodiac investigation has had similar enthusiastic but incorrect attempts. Ryan and I, it seems, have had some parallel observations, as can be seen in my post linked at the top of my comment. I think the ideas represented by all of us can be applied as “self checks” to any cipher, and many other seemingly intractable problems, also.

And I think this whole experience is a valuable one, for the participants, the viewers, anyone seeking an answer to a difficult problem like this. And especially for anyone being pressured by big flashy concerns like the History and the Discovery Channels… I know that pressure, myself, from various productions… they often try to compel you to be more showman than scientist, because scientists don’t sell shampoo. The silver lining you mention, that more people will find out about, and work on this problem now, is possible… as long as any newcomers can separate the wheat from the chaff. Or the better chaff from the worse chaff, if that is the case.

Do these shows help or hurt the investigations into the genuine mysteries they present? Maybe someone who has seen this show will now solve the Z340. Or will the average viewer walk away, erroneously thinking the problem is already solved? Time will tell.

14. #14 Bill Briere
Wyoming, USA
19. Dezember 2017

I’m very glad to see that Dave and Craig have broken the silence, a bit, here: http://www.zodiackillerciphers.com/?p=758&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=craig-bauers-solution-to-z340 (This link takes you to Dave’s site, where he includes a further link to Craig’s solution defense.)

15. #15 Bill Briere
Wyoming, USA
19. Dezember 2017

Craig’s defense (linked to in my previous comment) tracks roughly with my prior understanding of his solution attempt. This was my own take, posted elsewhere a few days before he released his explanation:

>>
The following tips may help everyone understand Craig Bauer’s process and bring a little ray of encouragement to those who still dream.

Only the decryption steps for this type of cryptogram are shown below. You’ll need to reverse them to encrypt. And the key, of course, is sort of generated and compiled along the way.

1. Start with a guess at an opening phrase, such as “Here it is” or whatever. In Z-340-type cryptograms, you’ll find that the first few letters are usually not enciphered, so as to provide a hint to the solver.

2. Fill in your initial letter recoveries throughout the rest of the cryptogram. If nothing promising appears, start over with a new guess. You are allowed to make as many guesses as you want, but you must have at least one good letter to be able to assume that a guess is correct. If a really good word that you need is mostly right, you also may add or remove a letter to fix it. This step is much easier if you can psychologically get inside the author’s head; e.g., you might be able to determine that he or she was a bad speller. (Novice solvers: At this stage, you may also use a handful of wildcards, but don’t burn through them too quickly. You might need them later.)

3. While immersing yourself in the encrypter’s thoughts, you may start “seeing words.” Open your eyes occasionally to write these down, before you forget them. Be bold. This is, after all, a monoalphabetic, uniliteralish, monographic-esque, pushmi-pullyu-homophonic substitution (MUMPPS) cipher, which is just a fancy way of saying that you don’t need any military training to use it. Another great thing about the MUMPPS cipher is that it does not suffer from the one-way limitation of Z-408’s homophonic system, in which the mapping of letters to symbols was flexible in only one direction.

4. At some point, it will become difficult to extend the plaintext recoveries any further. Don’t give up! Relax the rules a little, if necessary. Allow yourself to borrow a sensible vowel here and there, if that’s what it takes to accomplish the mission. Once you are absolutely sure that nothing more can be found, that’s when you’ll know that you’ve hit the null section, which you can ignore from that point forward, mostly.

5. Skip down to the bottom of the ciphertext. Since we are looking for a signature here, it will not be encrypted the same as the rest of the message. Look for a name that consists of about a quarter to a third plaintext, plus another quarter to a third where the symbols sort of resemble their plaintext counterparts, and then apply your wildcards for the rest. This step is not as easy as it sounds, but with a diligent search, you are likely to be able to force a generously misspelled name in there.

6. Finally, and most importantly: Verification. Run the solution by a sensationalist media production crew, who will provide rigorous validation of your work and skillfully edited feedback from a panel of experts. After all, the number of correct solutions is surely limited to only a few dozen, at most, one would think. And, with a little luck, you, too, will soon join the rolls of those who have solved Z-340. Good luck!
>>

16. #16 Thomas
19. Dezember 2017

The major drawback of this approach is the ‘reverse homophone’ hypothesis that yields arbitrary interpretations.

17. #17 TWO
19. Dezember 2017

I have been talking to some people from the old days that Ed Scheidt thinks this is a valid solution

They remembered something that could provide insight into this mystery.

Am I correct that only a part is solved and that a bigger part has been declared “just gibberish” ?

18. #18 TWO
20. Dezember 2017

W have studied the case again here are some of out conclusions :

1. We agree with Ed Scheidt, the solution is correct.

However solution to what?

Is this really a code if half the alphabet is not encrypted?

Looks more like a word fill in puzzle and it was intended to be found.

2. The second part looks like it is a transposition/anagram, not really difficult to solve.

This was made to trick the police into thinking there is only one Zodiac killer.

We think there are 2 killers working together in a clever ploy.

Both were in jail, their ages (at that time) between 35 to 45 years.

They live in 2 cities that are 5 to 8 hours apart if they travelled by car.

They alternate between killings, one gets a rock solid alibi, the other kills near the city the one with the alibi lives in.

At least one of them was employed by the government.

We suspect military service but other branches are possible too.

regards,

TWO

19. #19 Dan Olson
22. Dezember 2017

I expect Craig to publish a defense of his methodology in Cryptologia.

20. #20 Bill Briere
Wyoming, USA
23. Dezember 2017

@Dan Olson: Your statement, “I expect Craig to publish a defense of his methodology in Cryptologia,” is intriguing and slightly ambiguous.

By “I expect Craig to publish,” did you mean “I think he should publish”? Or did you mean “I have reason to believe that he will publish”?

If the latter, then I’m assuming you’re THE Dan Olson, FBI cryptanalyst. If so, I’d love to see some expanded comments here, if you would be willing to tell us more.

21. #21 Three
28. Dezember 2017

I agree. Craig Bauer has called himself into question in creating and standing behind such a cryptologically unsound proposed solution. As the editor in chief of a respected cryptologic journal, a defense of his methodology seems necessary. Whether this bogus claim of breaking Z340 was for 15 seconds of fame, money, or some other motivation, it seems he has risked his actual career as his credibility is now damaged.

22. #22 Dave bar
15. März 2018

I found a code key to the zodiacs 340 cipher in 15 , it speaks in complete ,meaningful (like Zodiac has written before) sentences
zodiacciphersresolved.com

23. #23 Marc
11. April 2018

Das letzte Bild in diesem Artikel finde ich persönlich am interessantesten, wenn man mal auf die Finger achtet.

24. #24 James Simpson
24. September 2018

So only one half truth?

I thought that “A Lie Is Best Concealed Between Two Half Truths”

Where is the other half?

Here we are being told that Richard Nixon is the Zodiac Killer…..?

Impossible that the masses will retire at night believing this half witted computer, let alone all of the agreements that are being made to ignore that fact.

Here’s a more plausible conclusion for the Z340
http://www.facebook.com/ZodiacCiphersSolved

And a good discussion of these ciphers in detail….
https://www.reddit.com/r/ZodiacKiller/comments/8sn68d/zodiac_ciphers_solved_exposing_team_of_agents/

There are 3 ciphers in the Z340…….to begin start with the 18 letters from the Z408 that were “unsolved” to find a clue…..BEFORE I ATTEMPT THE PIT TEMPEST….hinting at the Star Maps in the works of Shakespeare.

Then notice the -+- signs are segregated to a quadrant formation that is inside the ciphers. Then take the Dots alone and remove them in their layout. These are the Star Quadrants that hold the constellations Bootes, Serpens, and Hercules. See the word HER in the upper right hand corner?

[IMG]http://i67.tinypic.com/2cpt6v7.jpg[/IMG]

Then take the Ciphertext and remove it from the Symbols that are left. Place them both in a columnar layout in sequence but make sure that they both have one letter missing at the end as shown

[IMG]http://i68.tinypic.com/21eq43t.jpg[/IMG]

The Star Map is combined with the Phillips 66 Map to layout the circle, its center and its rotation as it related to true north…older books concealed hints to types of ciphers….

[IMG]http://i68.tinypic.com/50jy1v.jpg[/IMG]

The Ciphertext is then run through a Vigenere Tableau to derive the plaintext. But the shift is made in the tableau from the entry of a 26 letter phrase WE DONT FORGIVE WE DONT FORGET Z to create the strange patterns of a Homophonic Cipher.

[IMG]http://i67.tinypic.com/2u5c7xj.jpg[/IMG]

Now this is all strange as it reads like a stitching method by taking the Ciphertext and adding it to the Plaintext to form the final messages, which are very jumbled but clear as day IMO.

The following codebreaks of Layer Two of Kryptos are also made to reveal the actual agent and the location of his office in Vermont !!!

http://www.facebook.com/CrackedKryptos

You should tell Ed Sheidt that he is a good liar…..show him this link to see what he says….I am not paying 50 bucks to be told I am wrong….lol

Dont forget after Kryptos was opened in view of the CIA only, there was a series of letters that were sent in called the Scorpion Ciphers. That letter specifically describes the ciphers in Kryptos and appeared no less than 9 months afterwards…

The agency was communicating with their agents in the past Zodiac Teams and were setting up the next series of Templates……

The leftover symbols of the Z340 are to be used to crack the Scorpion ciphers…

Two Half Truths.

25. #25 Alex
10. Oktober 2018

I tink i said at 8 line zodiac say
I am bay proof….

26. #26 Alex
11. Oktober 2018

Zodiac said a line 9
Iam by proof zodiac end y said sommeting ##### end afteur i said FBI you are Teddy or Eddy end off dit end i said Zodiac kiLL
Sorry my englich is not perfect becose i am french

27. #27 Mustaface
Hannover
29. Oktober 2018

Der einzige der mir leid tut ist David Oranchak. Er ist der einzige aus dieser Kasperrunde der wirklich ernsthaft dazu beitragen möchte, dass dieser Code geknackt wird. Auch mit einem Super, Mega, Giga Computer wird man das nicht knacken können, da ist man immer noch auf die menschliche Intelligenz angewiesen.
OK hat alles genau analysiert und kommentiert.

28. #28 Ian
12. Januar 2019

Why is everyone stuck on it being a homophonic cipher come hell or high water? This was just a ruse by the Zodiac and you guys have fallen for it for decades. The 340 is most likely a form of pictogram based on symmetrical, geometrical elements conforming to the placement of various symbols.

29. #29 Breaker
16. Februar 2019

@Ian the way that he hid the cipher was in three parts that were mixed together in one page.

A Star Map from the dots…..and then a separation of the ciphertext symbols from the ciphertext letters

They are taken and run through a Vigenere Tableau that is shifted from a key phrase in the first line of the cipher.

The Zodiac then sent in the Bus Bomb Letter, saying that it was to be cracked in the same way as “the last cipher” meaning a Homophonic

There is no logical way to encrypt a Homophonic Cipher so it can be broken without a table or a chart…..in this case it is using a standard 26×26 tableau, with the alphabets of the individual lines being shifted according to the first letter position and the continuation of the alphabet from that point.

The outer alphabets are the standard A-Z and are used to guide the entry of the letters one at a time.

30. #30 Juha
1. Oktober 2019

This Z340 is very difficult to solve.
Is it possible that Zodiac did big grammar mistakes and used Latin (a bit) too…
I have tried to do so that letters/marks have so few different meanings as possible.
This is very probably wrong made, starts:
ThisisZodiacspeak
ingegoalias

31. #31 Juha
8. Oktober 2019

First rows (probably wrong solved)

1.Thisiszodiacspeak
2.ingegoaliasIdone
3.eightsgteenagesocto (gh in same place)
4.piieiht…

-In row 6 (3. and 4. mark): I have letters RI too.
-In row 6.. (Below backwards K) , is that just a mistake? I dont think so… Perhaps I´m wrong…

32. #32 Ben Casimir
Australia
19. Oktober 2019

Craig Bauer’s translation of the Z340 is accurate and almost complete, with one small exception.
He leaves the gunsight symbol and L after “ROS” in “DANGEROS” untranslated.
When I translated the gunsight symbol as “O” and the L simply translated as “L”, and the full stop is ignored, and you read left to right from the ‘R” in DANGEROS to the “N” in WONT”, this reveals “ROSOLIWON“, which is a deliberately misspelt joining of “ROS”(for Ross – Zodiac’s first name) in “DANGEROS” and “SOLIWON” for Sullivan (Zodiac’s surname).
Futhermore, in the last line of the Z408, I have found Zodiac’s misspelt first name “ROS” and his middle initial “M” followed by the first letter of his surname “S”.
To find out more, you can see my site at the link below:
https://zodiaciphername.com/

33. #33 Indrid Cold
19. November 2019

Wow, a lot of salty jerks here in the comments. Rather childish and unsophisticated for this Community of expertise. Very few seem to have any depth of understanding regarding the Zodiac’s literary behaviors and profile. A lot of disappointment here, as so many members of this field of study are treating these Cyphers as if they are military code words that have undergone multiple levels of quality control, or by some genius cryptographer. You have to understand the psychology of the zodiac, and the persistent games he played, the fact that he wrote everything with his right hand, despite being left-handed, and made many mistakes, both deliberate, and by accident. Unless you spent months with the team studying every aspect of the case, read every police report, and seen every instance of the zodiacs confirmed writing and graffiti, you can’t begin to pick apart Craigs solution. Several of you seem to go so far as to assume that the zodiac truly intended to give up his Real name in this cipher. Haha. get over yourselves already.

34. #34 Chris
USA
2. Juli 2020

I’m no expert, but I don’t think that’s even close to being it. Arthur Leigh Allen clearly wasn’t the Zodiac killer. That’s been proven via DNA and timelines created by several investigating agencies. He wasn’t in the area when some of the murders were committed and he looks nothing like the composite. Furthermore, I don’t think the man was smart enough to have done it.

There’s a man in Massachusetts called Corey Starliper who also says he cracked it. Here’s his solution:

KILL/SLF/DR/HELP/ME/KILL/MYSELF/GAS/CHAMBER/AEIOUR/DAYS/QUESTIONSABLE/EVERYY/WAKING/MOMENT/IM/ALIVE/MY/PRIDE/LOST/I/CANT/GO/ON/LIVING/IN/THIS/WAY/KILLING/PEOPLE/I/HAV/KILLD/SO/MANY/PEOPLE/CANT/HELP/MYSELF/IM/SO/ANGRY/I/COULD/DO/MY/THING/IM/ALONE/IN/THIS/WORLD/MY/WHOLE/LIFE/FUL/O/LIES/IM/UNABLE/TO/STOP/BY/THE/TIME/YOU/SOLVE/THIS/I/WILL/HAV/KILLD/ELEVEN/PEOPLE/PLEASE/HELP/ME/STOP/KILLING/PEOPLE/PLEASE/MY/NAME/IS/LEIGH/ALLEN/

I don’t think that’s right, either.

I even have doubts about the first one that was cracked by the amateur codebreakers.

My honest opinion is the guy was a lunatic who liked to mess with the police. For all we know the guy who did the killings isn’t even the same guy who sent in all of the correspondence. The cyphers could be complete gibberish and not mean a thing. I think that whoever wrote that stuff achieved exactly what he/she wanted. Everybody running around and still wondering after 50 years who did it. The fact of the matter is whoever did it is either dead or too old to harm anyone else and I don’t think it will EVER be solved. It’s good for some entertainment I guess, but nothing more. I feel bad for the victims and their families.

They’ve got no DNA, except from the licked stamps and envelopes. They’ve tested all of that. No match to Allen. No match to Ross Sullivan, Larry Kane, Earl Van Best, Richard Gaikowski any of the many other suspects the police have had over the years.

Also, there were loads of maniacal killers running around California in the 60s and 70s. You can’t discount that these were done by some of Manson’s flunkies, the nut they just picked up that they say is the Golden State Killer (Joseph James DeAngelo).

I think all that can be safely said to be true is the guy was either military or law enforcement. A disturbed Vietnam vet perhaps. A jilted lover? I just don’t think we will ever know.

35. #35 Marthy
Solved??
16. Juli 2020

For me it is not right solution. Circle with line is symbol for Saturn, so letter S no T like in decoded text. Circle with dot it means symbol for Aurum. Letter A. Just look at internet aszrological and alchemy symbols.

36. #36 Breaker
2. August 2020

A little backstory on the History Channel’s show and their intentional removal of key information

The first Police Sketch taken at Lake Berryessa was that of a man that was seen smoking cigarettes in his car, while the Zodiac was on the peninsula stabbing his victims

The composite sketch that was shown as the “suspect” and Person of Interest in the case was of a later meeting that Kathleen Johns had when she was abducted and escaped during a car ride he was taking her on. The two composites look completely different….

Showing that there was a suspect that was escorting or driving the killer in the hood around to locations. The show never mentions that one key fact, and during the comparison of these and other police sketches there was never any assumption reinforced in their deductions that there were two people, nor did anyone assume or follow that assumption to prove that they were conducted by a group of people, seeing at least two already at the scenes of the crimes.

So take that into consideration realizing that they have a vested interest in seeing this all whitewashed and the narratives controlled following their own dissertations and examinations, without consideration of the other ciphers and letters in the series

They are fixated on one cipher and are driving the focus on this one cipher, as if that is enough to crack the case, anticipating that it will read like a book like the last cipher did, except they made no attempt to explain the Z408’s remaining code key of 18 letters that was leftover from the Harden Solve. Making no mention of the series or the previous unsolved sections they assume that the cipher has no key or functional direction added that will describe the way to break the Z340…..they intentionally do this every time….and they are THE MOST dedicated to the collating of all the letters and ciphers

They do not mention the use of other letters and ciphers and how they both play off of the others, and help to form the construction of a template that was used to break the latter ciphers like the Z32 and Z13 down

This is how they used their appearance to form a public identity and patent around their claims of a solve, and have done so to intentionally draw public attention to their forums, leaving all of the meat of the ciphers behind for yet another speculative and long winded example of how not to be able to break a code.

Ending the mystery with another mystery is the running standard at History Channel and it shows that there is little more than a mockumentary being offered to extend another attempt to consider “What IF…..?”

What if someone had solved the ciphers and the Intelligence Community was shaken not stirred?