In early December 2020, the community was reminded ofa bloody serial killer that feared US residents from San Francisco and Northern California 50 years ago. The name of the killer, on whose account only five victims are officially listed (according to his letters to the press, there were 37 of them), still remains unknown. The ambitious maniac strived for fame and regularly sent messages to the newspapers, some of which were encrypted and, according to him, his name was present in them.
One of these messages, known as "Code 340"(by the number of characters), was decrypted by a team of cryptographers from the USA, Australia and Belgium. A coded statement sent to the San Francisco Chronicle in November 1969 has puzzled the authorities and numerous code lovers for 51 years. FBI investigators believed that the Zodiac, who killed five people in the Bay Area in 1968 and 1969, would reveal his true name in one of his many ciphers. However, in the message "Code 340" his name was not found.
According to code cracking expert DavidOranchak, the text of the cipher includes the phrase: “I hope you enjoy trying to catch me. … I am not afraid of the gas chamber, because it will send me to heaven. Now I have enough slaves working for me. "
The organizer of the decryption is David Oranchak,The 46-year-old web designer based in Virginia has been working on Zodiac Codes since 2006. To crack Cipher 340, he teamed up with two hobbyist code breakers and uncovered the meaning of the character set using special software. His teammates were Sam Blake, a mathematician from Australia, and Jarl Van Eycke, a warehouse operator in Belgium.
Federal authorities have confirmed that Code 340 was hacked by a group of civilians. A video has appeared on YouTube describing the method of hacking the Zodiac message by the Oranchak team.
Previously similar message "Code 408"sent piece by piece to The Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, and Vallejo Times-Herald in 1969, was deciphered by Salinas's schoolteacher and his wife. Currently, two more messages of the Zodiac remain encrypted and investigators hope that, as the villain said, they contain his true name. The Zodiac case remains open to this day.