The solved code was checked by the experts and found to be the correct solution. It was thought to be much harder than it really was,is why the so called experts couldn't do it. The Harden's used a more common sense approach and did it the way Don said they did, which was go for the most common double E's and L's. If he was Zodiac he would have shown how he broke the 340 , but that didn't happen because he was not the Zodiac.
If none of the experts knew what it said , how are they sure that it said what Harden said it said.
I too have thought that they were only able to decipher because he wrote it.
They know it was the right solution to the code because in a homophonic substitution cypher there can (statistically most probably) be only *one* solution that makes sense. To understand why, we need to know how a substitution cipher works. For anyone who's interested, here's a mini crash-course on a simple alphabet substitution cipher. (Btw: I am not a master at this, I learned it in Girl Scouts - it's a lot easier, (and more addictive) than it seems. I like puzzles, so it stuck. Used to write coded notes to friends... yeah, AmAnerd).
Say you take the alphabet: A, B, C, D and so on and for each of these letters you substitute the next letter of the alphabet = A would become B, B would be C, C=D, D=E and so on until you get to Z (Z=A as they are the only two letters left). This is your substitution cipher.
On paper it might look like this:
A B C D E F G H ...
Z C D E F G H I ...
This is your key: A list of the letters or symbols and which ones you exchanged them for. You can use it to look up each letter in the word CZE to translate it to the word BAD.
Each letter is substituted for the one above it in the row, (each letter is the next letter in the alphabet). So, writing the word CAT it would be DZU.
Now, you don't have to simply exchange each letter for the next one, you can use any letters, numbers or symbols you want. In English there would be 26 of them for each letter of the alphabet. You would keep the "Key" to the cipher, a list of the symbols and which letters you exchanged them for. Anyone who has this key can solve your cipher. If you want to make the cipher even more difficult, you can throw in extra symbols and add random spaces, or take them away - or add a symbol in place of the spaces.
If you have a cipher, but no key you can sometimes still solve it. You might look for two or three letters or symbols spaced together, you know there are common two and three-letter words. The most common ones are limited, like "the","she", "him", "her", "I'm", "an", "in", "we" "to", "it", "if", "in", "so", "be", "on" and so on. Some of these are more popular than others, such as the word "to", or the three letter words "and" and "the". "E" is the most common vowel, so you know it appears more often and as a vowel, is often between two consonants. "T" is the most common consonant. If you see a stand-alone one symbol or letter by itself, try the word "I" or "A". You may even start with any three-letter word and try out the letters as "THE" or a two-letter word and try out one of the two-letter common words like "I'M" "AN" or "IF". Once you find a letter you think appears correct, try it out and see. "The" is perhaps the easiest one, if you can crack it, you have three letters of your cipher - you can look for these symbols or letters elsewhere in the cipher, and as you figure out each letter, you solve the puzzle word-by-word or letter-by-letter, narrowing it down.
TLDR: **With only one letter in each place in the words and pattern that will make sense, there is only one key to solve each alphabet cipher. **
However, when the cipher is short or uses more than one method of concealment (such as an anagram within a substitution cipher or more than one cipher) things get complicated. Shorter ciphers may be impossible to solve without the key, (they lack the "clues" of simpler ciphers like being able to see if there is a most common letter or lacking commonly used two and three letter words).
This is how Bettye and Donald solved the puzzle, (ostensibly) and this is why it was hard to crack. I haven't taken a crack at it, yet - but, I wonder if anyone else solved it without the key. I have more research to do, but I am working on a (loose at the moment) theory that, while not responsible for **all** the murders, I believe they may be responsible for the majority of the notes and possibly even for one murder.
Cyphersicles, Per your last paragraph- which murder are you thinking? And which notes?
This was your last paragraph, This is how Bettye and Donald solved the puzzle, (ostensibly) and this is why it was hard to crack. I haven't taken a crack at it, yet - but, I wonder if anyone else solved it without the key. I have more research to do, but I am working on a (loose at the moment) theory that, while not responsible for **all** the murders, I believe they may be responsible for the majority of the notes and possibly even for one murder.
Last Edit: Nov 11, 2018 23:54:33 GMT -8 by Zamantha
Rubislaw32: Black Power salute. Another example is Rock n' Roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis who introduced his 13-year old bride to the British press (1958). A third is the case of FBI Director James Comey, who offered the Crown Office the stolen casefile of Joan Webster.
Dec 7, 2023 2:29:46 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: There are certain things the US establishment will never forgive of their own citizens. One of which is embarrassing their nation (USA) when overseas. One example is US Olympic 200 metres champion Tommie Smith at the 1968 Mexico Olympics, who gave the...
Dec 7, 2023 2:25:28 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: Moreover, a misconception that Donald Trump played Brutus to Comey's Caesar. No, no, no... Brutus was US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein - Trump's ''Mr Peeps'', who had been parachuted in by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions - specially for the job.
Dec 7, 2023 1:33:38 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: Perhaps I should point out (?) that the most influential agency in this whole sorry Z-tale is the US DOJ, with over 100,000 employees, run by the US Deputy Attorney General. But, everyone is capable of failing to reach further than they are able to grasp.
Dec 7, 2023 1:13:51 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: going to put away their childish and Z-case-defeating games or not, will decide for me what I elect to do myself (as a law-abiding citizen). And, if it means naming further players in both LE and politics, then that will happen also. LE, QUIT effing about.
Dec 6, 2023 19:38:59 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: A guest has made the astute observation that if the Zodiac dies, without having been brought to justice - then the FBI could freely continue to paint the Zodiac's (false) narrative. Well, once I know whether US DOJ, MA DOJ and Crown Office are actually....
Dec 6, 2023 19:32:44 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: It's difficult to assess whether William Grant was aware that he had been rumbled for his Z-fatherhood. Lafferty was given special dispensation to know that Grant had ''failed'' a Zodiac DNA match. But, allowed to disclose this, once Grant became deceased.
Dec 6, 2023 18:23:03 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: From Grant Thornton, forensic accountant: ''Time markers mutating aside, a father and son will have the exact same Y Chromosomes.''. For the other 50% of a son's DNA, these X Chromosomes are inherited from a son's mother. CA DOJ's W J Grant Z-bombshell ?
Dec 6, 2023 17:01:04 GMT -8
Rub--law32: For the Zodiac case, we should all be in ''Pam's corner'' regardless of anything else. And right now, it is CA DOJ and loyal CA PD's who are showing themselves up as wanting what is right and proper. As for the rest ? There is much that leaves desiring.
Dec 5, 2023 18:10:49 GMT -8
Rub--law32: One can't expect much from outfits as FBI in this life. And, it is to Richard Nixon's credit that he was turned down. But the judiciary ? Talk about ideas above their station. Probably compare themselves with brain surgeons as important people ? Think on.
Dec 5, 2023 17:38:42 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: ''Does that mean that Zodiac's and Grant's DNA is 40% identical ? '' . Yes Lyndon, and you can add another ten percent besides. The imperfect, eccentric and noblest of gentlemen, Lyndon Lafferty. You were the greatest and most tenacious bloodhound of all.
Dec 5, 2023 16:47:14 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: Superb ? As a consequence, 81 year old Kit Harrisson was found guilty of Brenda's murder, July 14th 1978. From re-investigation to conviction this year, it had taken 8 years of hard work. Harrisson's mistake ? Masturbating beside Brenda, after killing her.
Dec 5, 2023 7:49:30 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: Scottish residences for Z ? Although tenuous to some, The Scotch Tape Letter alluded to Brenda Page, 5 days following her brutal murder in Aberdeen. The ''facts'' are that Z's main motivation was to humiliate Dave Toschi with the letter. Mistake for Z.
Dec 5, 2023 7:43:23 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: And yes, the unsaid is likely the case: The ring-fenced 5 Bay area murders have always presented difficulties for a conviction with confidence. Comey ''ruined'' Joan Webster's case - so Emma's case might be the only chance left to secure a Z-conviction.
Dec 5, 2023 6:23:38 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: But, as I have made the point to a guest: ''You have to have the evidence.'' - a convenience Catch 22: He's not Zodiac without convicted of being so. Originally, Mulholland was juggling BOTH Z and Pan Am Lockerbie. The latter prioritizing the former, now.
Dec 5, 2023 5:53:01 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: Barged ? Well, time has moved on and a fresh conviction for Pan Am Lockerbie beckons. Emma's case is being fobbed off with a false solve (inferred), because it's in the way. A high chance it is Z's last one, and that he is still alive, residing on UK soil.
Dec 5, 2023 5:37:42 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: More particularly, the times Z spent near Inverness, Aberdeen & Glasgow respectively. At least that was the justification for David Cameron originally financing Frank Mulholland, anyway. But, appears like Emma is being barged by Pan Am Lockerbie, now.
Dec 5, 2023 5:24:06 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: the scandal was barely UK national news, as Comey's dismissal became ''World news''. A serious point is, that Crown Office solved Brenda Page & Renee MacRae (and hoped to solve Emma Caldwell), based on Z's residences in various parts of Scotland.
Dec 5, 2023 5:15:54 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: One could look at the Zodiac case from a UK perspective, in the last 9 years: The dismissal of James Comey became a consequence of what started as ''The Police Scotland Spying Scandal''. But, so few knew the reality, even in law enforcement circles, that..
Dec 5, 2023 5:10:24 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: The reality for Dave is, that he now exists to perpetuate the myth of an honest solve - if only to spare his own blushes. Or, until ordered otherwise - or even arrested by legitimate LE agencies involved in the case. Defeating the ends of justice, Dave O.
Dec 4, 2023 11:46:23 GMT -8