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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 10:48 pm:   

Dear Tom,

It was a pleasure speaking with you, and you are so kind to invite us to your screening March 3rd.

Attached is a photo of my mom, Bettye June Harden, taken a few years before her death in 2001. The other snapshot is of me at 14 with my mom, taken July 1969. I also included a piece of my mother's original writing from about the same time period. My mother wrote poetry and was as absorbed in her writing as she became with the Zodiac codes. She worked on the second code on and off for the rest of her life.

I would like your readers to know that the first code's solution was a collaborative effort on the part of both of my parents. My father (Donald G. Harden) furnished the cryptography techniques and my mother brought her own intensity, zeal and drive to the project. I remember my parents sitting at our dining room table with San Francisco Chronicle folded to the code. My mother sat at the table working with the odd symbols of the code and became obsessed with it. She sat there until the code was cracked and did not sleep for several days. I remember the conversations between my parents as they worked: my dad expressing doubt about the message, about the syntax; my mother was so sure, so positive. She knew.

My mom was not interested in giving interviews and was content to have my dad handle the media. She was a bit afraid of being photographed in connection with the code. Early interviews do explain the team effort involved, but a recent article published in the Salinas Californian (January 20, 2007) quoted my father as saying he worked on the code pretty much exclusively. He has developed Alzheimer's and actually remembers very little.

I want to make sure that my mother's contribution is not overlooked. In fact, I am convinced that the code would not have been solved without her obsessive determination. Bettye is not here to speak for herself, so I'll do my best to explain: my mother had an unusually brilliant, creative and intuitive mind. She saw patterns that others missed. Patterns of behavior, of events. She was also quite profoundly psychic. She was diagnosed variously with Schizophrenia, Multiple Personality Disorder and Manic Depressive.

In her later years, the "Z", as she referred to him, was often on her mind and she lived in fear. I can remember finding her asleep in her bathtub because she was too afraid to sleep in her bed.

Bettye would be glad to know of the resurgence in interest in the Zodiac case. She loved mysteries and puzzles and found both in this unsolved case. In some ways, the work she put in on the codes represents her life's work and I know she would be glad to be recognized for her contributions.

Thank you,
Leslie (Harden) Harper

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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 1:36 am:   

Sounds like a very interesting and highly creative family to me; exactly the type I'd expect to solve the cipher where all the authorities had failed.
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Tom_voigt
Username: Tom_voigt

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 12:59 pm:   

It's amazing to see a pic of the woman who helped solve Zodiac's cipher, taken at the very time he was apparently constructing it.
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 2:32 pm:   

Tom - I've forgotten - did the Hardens have any ideas regarding the 340?
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Scott_n
Username: Scott_n

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 12:07 am:   

The depth and energy of the people drawn to this case continues to amaze me even after several years. This is only the latest example.

Surely this mystery can be solved with the team working on it.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 3:41 am:   

Is Keystone an adjective?
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 7:26 am:   

How about the "Keystone State".

Hey - anybody - Did the Hardens work on the 340 code?
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Bababijan
Username: Bababijan

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 8:12 am:   

Doug, not only by law but also due to national security issues, American Intelligence Communities (AIC) are barred from sharing their code works with the public.

Just because Robert Graysmith reported in his Zodiac book that AIC failed to crack the code, it did not mean that it was so as far as the three-part code was concerned.

Thus, publically speaking, if Mrs. Harden had not pressed her husband to help her to crack it, this code could have also remained unsolved for many years to come.

I am sure Mrs. Harden is in a happy place now. I am also sure the American public misses her too.

Edgar Allan Poe once wrote, "Any cipher devised by man, can be solved by man."

In a way, Mrs. Harden's code work left us an Edgarian proof that "No one is crack proof."

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