The finale of “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer” features code team member Craig Bauer’s solution to Z340 which made quite a splash in Zodiac and crypto communities.
Much has been written about it on other sites already so I’ll direct you to them:
- Nick Pelling’s post
- Klaus Schmeh’s post
- Mike Morford’s Zodiac Killer forum
- Tom Voigt’s Zodiac Killer forum
- Reddit thread
Yesterday, Craig released a PowerPoint presentation with more details about his solution:
Or, view the slides directly below:
Craig’s conclusion about his solution:
I believe the solution presented here is fundamentally correct. By this, I mean that in correcting errors made by Zodiac, I may have ended up with a couple of incorrect words, but I don’t believe I am off by more than that.
So, what do you think? Is Craig on the right track?
In my forum posts and presentations I’ve often needed a way to mark up Zodiac’s ciphers to communicate ideas about them. Forum member Largo created an excellent Zodiac ciphers font which made it possible for me to make a web-based tool to marking up and highlighting the ciphers.
It is called Cipher Explorer and you can use it at this link:
Here are some examples of how you can mark up the ciphers:
Here is a quick tutorial video showing how to use the tool:
The first episode of “The Hunt for The Zodiac Killer” made a big splash and scored almost 1.4 million viewers when it aired this past Tuesday:
Here’s the teaser for the next episode:
And Kevin Knight gives us an overview of codebreaking and CARMEL:
I’m exciting to see what these code nerds turn up next. 🙂
Code team member Craig Bauer talks about his experiences during “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer”:
My lips are sealed as to what happened (why ruin the suspense?), but the show premieres Tuesday November 14, 2017 at 10pm EST. It’s titled “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer.” All I’ll say for now is that it was a rollercoaster ride. For those of you who would like to see how the story began for me, Princeton University Press is making the chapter of my book on the Zodiac killer freely available for the duration of the mini-series. It provides an excellent background for those who wish to follow the TV team’s progress.
Largo on morf’s Zodiac forum shared with us his very nice Z340 and Z408 fonts that had been bundled with his “Peek-a-boo” tool for visualizing transpositions. I combined the fonts into a single font file and adapted them for use on the web.
See if the fonts will render properly in your browser:
Download the font file (in TrueType format):
Many thanks to Largo for his great work on the font!
Here is a great article about Ryan Garlick, University of North Texas professor who is a member of the code team in “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer”:
In 2009, Garlick was featured on National Geographic’s Code Breakers, a documentary on codes, ciphers and cryptographs. Garlick said that documentary helped him get a spot on the History Channel’s code team for the series.
“There’s a good size community online that is interested in those ciphers,” he said.
Garlick joined Kevin Knight, the code team leader in the History Channel series whose day job is a research director and fellow at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute. Knight sharpened his reputation for code breaking as part of the team that solved the famous Copiale Cipher. Knight also wrote the software for CARMEL, a super-computer programmed to think like a killer. The code team includes Sujith Razi, a Google software engineer, Dave Oranchak, a software developer and expert on the Zodiac Killer’s ciphers and Craig Bauer, a math professor and cryptographer at York College in Pennsylvania.
“Our part of the series was totally unscripted,” Garlick said. “They put us in a room and we’d talk about the ciphers, and these theories would come up and we’d work on them right there.”
The History Channel recently posted some articles as tie-ins to the upcoming Zodiac documentary series.
Check out fellow code team member Craig Bauer’s new article about the Zodiac Killer’s ciphers:
Michael Butterfield wrote a nice timeline summarizing all the important events in the Zodiac case:
Melinda Beck’s article reviews some of the suspects that have been considered to be the Zodiac Killer:
History Channel has begun airing a clip of a scene from the upcoming documentary series, “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer”:
They also aired three more teaser videos. Here’s one that features more of the code team:
Another general teaser for the show:
And “Zodiac killed here”:
If you aren’t already overdosed on hype, check out the four other promo clips I posted recently.