Zodiac Killer’s Cipher Finally Broken After 50 years

December 12, 2020

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely - Horror Fuel CEO & Executive Producer Email: [email protected]



In the 1960 and 70s, the Zodiak Killer left Californians gripped by terror. After many taunting letters were sent to The San Fransico Chronicle newspaper, a coded letter, known both as the “Zodiac Cipher” and the “340 Cipher” (named because it features 340 characters) arrived in 1969 and reportedly would reveal the real name of the killer if broken. As for how the Killer got his nickname, he signed his letters as the “Zodiac Killer.”


Five decades later, a group of private citizens is now claiming that they have decoded the message after fourteen years of work. The team, spread across the globe, includes American software engineer David Oranchak, Australian mathematician Sam Blake, and Belgian programmer Jarl Van Eyeke. Law officials, including the FBI, have been unable to break the code.


In a statement to CNN, Oranchack said, “It was incredible. It was a big shock. I never really thought we’d find anything because I had grown so used to failure.





The Zodiak Killer has at least five victims and several more that are still unconfirmed. The killer bragged in letters that he had a body count of 37, though it has never been proven. Wearing a hooded suit, many of his victims were couples. Two other victims survived their attacks and went on the give descriptions of the killer.


A witness from the Stine crime scene described him as a “White Male Adult, in his early forties, 5’8″, heavy build, reddish-blond ‘crew cut’ hair, wearing eyeglasses, dark brown trousers, dark (navy blue or black) ‘Parka’ jacket, dark shoes.


Many details of the cipher are being kept quiet as the investigation continues. Below you will find a few of the lines from the decoded document, including the grammatical errors:


“I hope you’re having lots of fun trying to catch me.”


“I am not afraid of the gas chamber because it will sen me to paradice 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 will be an easy one in paradice death.”


The San Fransico department of the FBI made the following statement on social media this morning:


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