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: Dear CA DOJ - I have an idea for Alcatraz. How about erecting a Reality TV tower in memory of Team FIB, who claimed to be at the heart of Zodiac investigations : Kevin Fagan, Dan Olson & 3 not real citizens. FIB-TV in honour of those who conned in vain.
Oct 6, 2022 8:51:47 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: ...July 24th 1968 : ''Editor - I have an idea for Alcatraz. How about erecting a high TV tower in memory of the three K's : Jack K, Martin Luther K and Bobby K. KKK-TV in honour of those three men who died in vain. ABE HIRSON SF.'' (Abel - her son).
Oct 6, 2022 7:21:38 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: ...respectability, but she is still shanty dirty Irish. You thought you could buy the Presidency and did once. America doesn't want dynasties. Jack had to die. Bobby had to die. Teddy has to die.''. The Zodiac's ''KKK-TV'' letter to the SF Chronicle...
Oct 6, 2022 7:14:42 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: Extract from the Zodiac to Joseph Kennedy Sr. July 1968 : ''You were an unethical business robber and crook. You had a movie actress mistress. Your devoted wife only stayed at home long enough to get pregnant. With your stolen money she tried to buy...
Oct 6, 2022 7:08:15 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: trousers down & hand in the cookie jar, to Director Wray hiding from Lord Advocate James Wolffe, over the ''340 Soda Siphons'' scandal-to be. But, that is a drop in the ocean compared to denying the truth to the family of Donna Lass - and for 50 YEARS.
Oct 6, 2022 5:36:03 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: Oh to have 5 minutes civilised conversation with William Barr - the most sensible and intelligent US Attorney General that America has ever had (and the bravest). Yes FBI - Mr Barr knows everything, from the moment Director Comey got caught with his...
Oct 6, 2022 5:30:01 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: I will just place this in black & white, in case DOJ's are in any doubt (and sucks to The FIB regardless). Z arrived in Vallejo for work February 4th 1968. But, his home address was Memphis TN for LHR & BRS attacks. THEN, Greater L.A. for LB & PH attacks.
Oct 6, 2022 4:11:46 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: From a Z-extortionist perspective, I think that it needs to be emphasised that Z 'hated' Edward Kennedy for a whole year BEFORE the Chappaquiddick scandal. After, the Zodiac hated Edward Kennedy ten-fold. Why ? Teddy abandoned a woman in her hour of need.
Oct 6, 2022 3:43:23 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: ..posing as ''concerned citizen'' sheepishly offered up the cipher keys to Z408 on August 10th 1969 - it was to be another 7 weeks before his reawakening with Lake Berryessa on September 27th. Where had Z been ? Summer vacation & HOME MOVE TO LOS ANGELES.
Oct 6, 2022 3:16:20 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: Indeed - Lake Berryessa & Presidio Heights attacks are post-Mary Jo Kopechne, and by more than two months. No ''ordinary'' two months though - with the Manson murders and first Moon landing taking up world headlines in newspapers also. After the Zodiac....
Oct 6, 2022 3:10:36 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: ..already put his claws into the Kennedy family for one year, and Senator Edward Kennedy in particular - with the FBI holding sizable Zodiac extortion material. Whether unfair or not, the FBI may well receive some blame for Zodiac ''projects'' at LB & PH.
Oct 6, 2022 2:52:42 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: ...spot the Zodiac as a compulsive extortionist. When would have been a realistic time to have spotted him ? From all information I have gathered to date - in the wake of the drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne July 18th 1969. At that time, the Zodiac had...
Oct 6, 2022 2:46:17 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: In looking ahead, with tentative optimism and when the dust has settled, I believe that nine-tenths of case analysis will focus on the mistakes made in not stopping the Zodiac in his tracks. And this will largely focus on the FBI's role in failing to....
Oct 6, 2022 2:40:37 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: ..difficult enough to bring this Zodiac case to a satisfactory conclusion - the DOJ's are having to put up with an agency (FBI) actively attempting to defeat the ends of justice, and at tax-payers' expense. Down the line, there will be all hell to pay for.
Oct 5, 2022 18:26:57 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: Indeed - the 1972 Private Citizens letter was a ''minor coup'' in the scheme of things, for it made transparent and confirmed the actual intentions and strategy of the FBI - which runs contrary to anything they have claimed to date. If it doesn't appear...
Oct 5, 2022 18:22:45 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: I am aware of the ''legal father'' in question. I even spoke with him once. From all accounts he was always there as moral support for his wife. Imagine being 15 with life in order, and suddenly your mother tells you things ? Devastating, I believe.
Oct 5, 2022 17:04:56 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: I do understand certain frustrations. There are two members of Zodiac's victims' families, for whom I have given every possible extra information - except names.''Them's the rules'', in order not to compromise chances of possible successful prosecutions.
Oct 5, 2022 16:50:56 GMT -8
Geo1: And, although he was decent, he was a prominent witness in this matter, with little mention and no interrogation, as it pertains to your account.
Oct 5, 2022 16:47:13 GMT -8
Geo1: Yes, however, there is no need to placate moderators or LE agencies when in search of the truth which, if captured, would provide resolve for the victim's families, at least to a major extent.
Oct 5, 2022 16:39:55 GMT -8
Rubislaw32: For the Z-suspect's legal father, he did the ''decent thing'' by offering Z's mother a quick marriage, in order to spare her blushes. Social stigma was much more acutely felt in those days, and a world war tended to make young folk act more on impulse.
Oct 5, 2022 16:34:37 GMT -8