Code team member Craig Bauer talks about his experiences during “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer”:

Attacking 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:
Click here

Download the font file (in TrueType format):
Click here

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:

The Zodiac Ciphers: What We Know

Michael Butterfield wrote a nice timeline summarizing all the important events in the Zodiac case:

The Zodiac Killer: A Timeline

Melinda Beck’s article reviews some of the suspects that have been considered to be the Zodiac Killer:

Could Any of These Men Have Been 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.

The San Francisco Chronicle just posted a review of the first episode of “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer”, premiering on the History Channel at 10PM Eastern / 9PM Central on Tuesday November 14th.

The History Channel series focuses specifically on what is considered the Holy Grail of the investigation, one of four cryptograms sent by the killer. The cipher in question, called Z340, is a 340-character puzzle sent by Zodiac to The San Francisco Chronicle that allegedly contains the identity of the killer.

The History channel has been running promos for the upcoming documentary “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer” which premieres Tuesday November 14th. Here are four of them; three of them show scenes that include us members of the code team as well as the field investigators.

Looks exciting! Can’t wait to see how it turned out.

History channel updated their online schedule with the summary for Episode One:

Should be interesting!

Yesterday’s episode of Riverdale, a contemporary reimagining of characters and settings from the old Archie comics, features a killer operating as a copycat of the Zodiac Killer.

Known as the “Black Hood” killer, the character mails taunting letters, and in yesterday’s episode included a cryptogram that he said would give the location of his next attack.

Characters in the show even namedropped Robert Graysmith’s books as the “definitive” sources of Zodiac information.

The episode features many scenes involving the Black Hood’s cipher, including characters’ attempts to break it. They do end up solving it but don’t get into any details about the specifics. Though I did like the “spitballing” scene where they toss around ideas such as common letter pairs, doubles, and trying out words like “KILL”.

Here’s a video I put together of the cipher-related scenes (WARNING: SPOILERS)

He even says, “This is the Black Hood speaking!” (Side note: The symbols in the cipher remind me a lot of the Albany cipher)

This latest entry into popular culture really continues to demonstrate how effective Zodiac was with creating notoriety for himself via his letter and cipher writing campaign. This case will resonate for many years to come.