Notorious Zodiac Killer's coded message 'cracked' after more than 50 years

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The killer gained the "Zodiac" name after he repeatedly sent coded messages, letters and cards to the San Francisco Bay Area press, regularly containing cryptic messages and riddle-like ciphers.

One of the letters sent to the press by the Zodiac Killer.

"Last weekend, a team I was with settled 340 (police name for reference) and submitted it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation", said David Orange, an index expert.

"We've been sitting on the solution since last Saturday".

A cipher sent in 1969 by the Zodiac Killer has been solved.

Oranchak was feeding the variations into the program when he noticed one solution had phrases like "hope you are" and "trying to catch me" in the gibberish.

The "Z-340" message - coined that as it contained 340 characters, a mix of letters and symbols - was first sent to the San Francisco Chronicle in November 1969, amid of string of ciphers, threatening letters and evidence (swatches of a victim's shirt) that the Zodiac Killer sent to the newspaper.

It continues: "Because I have enough slaves to work with now, everyone is doing nothing wherever they are, so they are afraid of death, I will not be afraid because I will be in my new life".

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In 1968-69, the Zodiac Killer attacked 7 people in 4 different California locations. While one of the correspondences had been deciphered, "340 cipher" had been a challenge for code breakers for over 50 years, until now.

Mr Oranchak also confirmed that he had informed the San Francisco Chronicle, who then alerted the discovery to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The killer is confirmed to have fatally stabbed or shot five people in Northern California in the 1960s, although it is believed he may have murdered more. "That wasn't me on the TV show, which brings up a point about me", the message, in all caps, reads.

A person claiming to be the Zodiac Killer had called into the show two weeks before the cipher was sent.

"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 statement read.

Months earlier the paper received a cipher from the Zodiac Killer that had 408 characters.

Dr Blake also said his team of amateur code-breakers was looking to see whether their work on solving the 340 Cipher could help solve the remaining two Zodiac cryptograms.

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