The Zodiac Killer continues to haunt the Bay Area nearly half a century after the height of the serial killer's murderous spree. And while authorities have never apprehended the murderer who claimed to kill as many as 37 people in his letters to the San Francisco press, one mystery around the killings has finally been solved. An international trio of codebreakers cracked the infamous "340 cipher," a coded message from the killer whose meaning had eluded experts for 51 years.
The full text of the cipher reads:
"I HOPE YOU ARE HAVING LOTS OF FUN IN TRYING TO CATCH ME
THAT WASNT ME ON THE TV SHOW
WHICH BRINGS UP A POINT ABOUT ME
I AM NOT AFRAID OF THE GAS CHAMBER
BECAUSE IT WILL SEND ME TO PARADICE ALL THE SOONER
BECAUSE I NOW HAVE ENOUGH SLAVES TO WORK FOR ME
WHERE EVERYONE ELSE HAS NOTHING WHEN THEY REACH PARADICE
SO THEY ARE AFRAID OF DEATH
I AM NOT AFRAID BECAUSE I KNOW THAT MY NEW LIFE IS
LIFE WILL BE AN EASY ONE IN PARADICE DEATH"
The cipher was solved by Sam Blake of Australia, Jarl Van Eycke of Belgium, and David Oranchak of the United States. They explained their process in a video posted to YouTube. According to Oranchak, the trio submitted their results to the FBI and had their interpretation confirmed by experts.
“Last weekend, a team I’m on solved the 340 and submitted it to the FBI,” Oranchak told the San Francisco Chronicle, one of the regular recipients of Zodiac's letters.“They have confirmed the solution. No joke! This is the real deal.”