New episode!

A handful of Zodiac-related updates, followed by a presentation I gave for a school career day back in February:

“What the Zodiac Serial Killer Taught Me About Careers In Codebreaking”

In this installment of “Let’s Crack Zodiac”, we’ll delve into the mind of Theodore Kaczynski and uncover the secrets behind his homemade code.  Often compared to the infamous Zodiac Killer, Kaczynski used his unique coding skills to evade authorities for years. But how exactly did he do it? Tune in as we unravel the mystery and provide a detailed examination of Kaczynski’s cryptographic methods.

Zodiac liked to mail ciphers, but did you know some people tried to make their own for him to read?

Learn more about this and other ways people tried to catch the Zodiac Killer in the latest episode of Let’s Crack Zodiac.

I got to hang out with FBI codebreakers at a forensic sciences conference in Seattle!  We gave a seminar.  One of the FBI codebreakers talked about the history of the FBI codebreaking unit, and I talked about the process of solving the Zodiac 340 cipher.  Amazing and informative conference, full of real life crime fighters!

In the 50+ years since his crimes, Zodiac and characters based on him have appeared on many TV shows and films:

The Riddler in the upcoming Batman movie is based on the Zodiac Killer.

This new episode of Let’s Crack Zodiac started as a quick look at how the new Riddler and his ciphers compare to Zodiac, but then turned into a deep dive into many topics:

– The Riddler in the real FBI case files

  • Codebreaking tools
  • Zodiac-like characters and connections in vintage comics, TV shows, and movies
  • Codemaking and codebreaking in old comics, TV shows, and pulp fiction
  • Classical cryptography, secret decoder wheels, and other vintage crypto toys
  • The Mikado, and its connections to both Zodiac and Batman
  • And Ovaltine. 🙂

There’s something here for everyone!

Zodiac’s 340 cipher has been cracked for almost a year. But codebreakers continue to be baffled by two more unsolved ciphers by Zodiac. A French engineer was in the news for claiming to solve them.

What were his solutions? Watch this video for a detailed look.

A report on the recent news of an alleged breakthrough in the Zodiac case involving a new suspect. Let’s examine the evidence linking this suspect to the Zodiac crimes, including decipherments that use anagrams. Do anagrams reveal Zodiac’s secret plans and evidence?

Click below to download the slides from Episode 8, Sam’s presentation about how we solved Z340.

(p.s.: There is a cipher hidden somewhere in the slides)

Let’s Crack Zodiac: Episode 9 is out!
In this episode, we explore some random topics related to the 340 cipher:

    • How close did others get to solving it?
    • Hidden clues: Are they real or fake?
    • How did Zodiac make his cipher key?
    • Crypto tools

And some remaining mysteries about the cipher.