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Trolloc
Username: Trolloc

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 8:10 pm:   

I cant help but think that 340 cipher was never meant to be solved. After the 3 part cipher was solved rather quickly, would it make sense that the Zodiac would want to "one up" the investigators and create a cipher that he knew could'nt be solved? A way for him to reclaim his superiority...let alone relish in the fact that 1000's of readers would be hunkered over their newspapers trying to solve it. What better way to be front and center in everyones minds.

I say this because of the postcard that accompanied the cipher: Just washed my pen and I cant do a thing with it. Seems like a veiled clue to its unsolvable nature.

If im mistating the facts or have screwed up the timeline in this post, please feel free to correct me, Im new to this forum and this subject and realize that many of my ideas may be old hat to many of you. Im open to any corrections for the errors I make now or in the future. Part of the learning process.

Trolloc
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 8:31 pm:   

New interest is good IMO, Trolloc. Welcome... I think you may be right that Z intended the 340 cipher to be unsolvable. It is not all that difficult to create an unsolvable cipher. That said, I do believe that there is an actual message buried there even if it is nothing but a meaningless taunt and perhaps that message might give some (unintentional) clew to the identity of Z.

Appreciate your openness to learn and accept feedback, by the way.
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Sandy
Username: Sandy

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 11:13 am:   

If by chance one of my poi is the Zodiac,then some of his writings to me have been upside down. I just turned the 340 cipher upside down and it almost looks like "The Zodiac speaking". Why not try and do the mirror image but upside down ? Right side up I can see what could be NY and LA , FBY for FBI and at the end Zodiac.
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Bargle
Username: Bargle

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 7:04 pm:   

Since the archived board isn't accessable at the moment, I'm going to repost a message from Glen Claston about the 340 relating to this question.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
By Glen on Saturday, September 23, 2000 - 07:58 am:

IMHO - The fact that the 340-cipher imitates the 408-cipher in just about every way makes it pretty clear that it holds a message. It certainly wasn't intended to be a joke or "gibberish". Creating a fake with these properties would be far more difficult than creating the real thing. The 340-cipher is a very difficult puzzle, obviously not easily broken. How this relates to Zodiac's intellectual sophistication is another question entirely.
Z chose a relatively simple system for the 408-cipher, but didn't stick to that system long. He may have felt that straying from his original system in the 408-cipher added more security, but his actions actually made the cipher easier to crack. I assume his original intentions were that the cipher be read after much labor, so his intended goal of getting his message out was met in the 408-cipher.
Z's history with the 408-cipher makes the question of transposition in the 340-cipher a very important question. If Z knew enough about cipher to include transposition, but then failed to stick to the system, the cipher could be virtually insolvable. For all intents and purposes it would remain "gibberish" forever. What sense is there in encoding intelligent information, sending that information to the press, but making it impossible to read? If transposition is used in an inconsistent manner in the 340-cipher, Z's lack of knowledge defeated his intentions, since there is clearly a message that may never be read.
I, for one, think the difficulty here lies in Z's lack of knowledge of cipher, not in his overwhelming mastery of the subject.
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Bargle
Username: Bargle

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 7:12 pm:   

My own opinion is that the 340 does contain a message and Z expected it to be solved, though with more difficulty than the 3-part. I think he may have made it unsolveable on a practical level by using more symbols combined with a shorter message, giving us less repeated symbol groups to work with. Also, as I've said before, I think correctly figuring out the role of the '+' symbol in the cipher is an important key to solving it. It occurs more often in the cipher than any one letter symbol should. I think it's a null or a modifier of some sort. If it is a null, then that gives us an even shorter message to work from.
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 12:25 pm:   

What if there had been no Hardins?
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 2:33 pm:   

According to the FBI documents, someone anonymously sent one of the jurisdictions (I think SF, but I can't be sure) a viable solution just a few days after the ciphertexts were received. I've very little doubt that this was done by Zodiac himself.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 2:43 pm:   

I personally have little doubt that the 3-part cipher would have eventually been solved with or without the Hardens' terrific effort. I'm not sure whether Z expected this to be solved but I tend to think that the public announcement of the Hardens' solution less than 10 days after the cipher was mailed would have ticked him off immensely.

Not only would Z have taken a big blow to his grandiose ubergenius ego but he would also have been exposed as a liar after stating "when they do crack it (the code) they will have me" (an obvious lie). in the Debut letter received just a few days before.

Not surprising then that Z would have gone back to the drawing board and made a far more difficult cipher. I find that it interesting that Z never mentioned the 340 cipher again in any future letter after taunting LE to crack the 3-part cipher.
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Ubpclaw
Username: Ubpclaw

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 3:05 pm:   

Doug,

Does anyone have a way of verifying that, or even getting their hands on it?
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 3:35 pm:   

It's right there, I think, in the first set of FBI documents in PDF. Hold on a bit, and I'll look for it.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 3:47 pm:   

Actually, it's the second set. Here are the pertinent documents.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 4:03 pm:   

De: I've suggested before that Z wasn't necessarily lying (even though we know he did lie on occasion) about his identity being in the 408 cipher. According to Merriam-Webster Online, the word "name" can mean "a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing." One of the meanings of the word "identity" is "the distinguishing character or personality of an individual." The 408 cipher was, in essence, Z's "mission statement," although I don't think he truly believed his victims would be his slaves in the afterlife, and that mission statement identified Z not by name, but by what distinguished him from other people.

In other words, he was telling us about who he was, but wasn't stupid enough to actually put his true name in the cipher. "Name" and "identity" are not the same thing, but many insist on assuming that one is synonymous with the other. In fact, in my New Lexicon Webster's Dictionary of the English Language, there is a section of synonyms and antonyms, and under "name," the word "identity" isn't even listed.

However, I do agree that he wasn't happy about the 408 cipher being solved so quickly and therefore made the 340 much more difficult. I don't think it's unsolvable, but it's going to take luck and some thinking outside the box to crack.
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Ubpclaw
Username: Ubpclaw

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 4:06 pm:   

Sorry, what I meant to say was can someone get their hands on the key? Im assuming it wasnt correct otherwise we wouldnt be sitting here discussing the 340 as being unsolved, but you never know.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 4:06 pm:   

WOW! This was what I was always suspecting. Zodiac intended for his codes to be read, and would have provided some way to crack them. This is apparently the solution he mailed right before the code was cracked and published, IMHO. It's even signed "a concerned citizen," which explains why they suspected other "concerned citizen" letters were authored by him.

The solution was published on Aug 9th, and this was postmarked on Aug 10th, I wonder if he'd put it in a drop box, which would take a couple of days to postmark, especially if it's on the weekend?
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 4:14 pm:   

Not sure, David, but this looks very much to be an authentic Zodiac correspondence.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 4:21 pm:   

I agree. This is amazing, and it's been sitting in that FBI pdf and I didn't even realize it. I can't see any red-flags that would indicate that it came from anyone besides Zodiac!

A while back, I was contending that Z was too much of a narcissist to leave the solution of his ciphers to chance. I couldn't put my finger on how he expected them to be solved. This answers that question and raises many others. (IMHO)

Now... where did he send the 340 key?
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L2829tad
Username: L2829tad

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 4:56 pm:   

Just had a thought...What if the "+" in the cypher stands for the WORD "and".In many of Zs letters he uses "+" in place of AND..?..Like I said...Just a thought.........thardu.......
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Bargle
Username: Bargle

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 8:12 pm:   

Given that the '+' is used back to back in 3 places in the code, I think that's unlikely. That would give us 'and and'. Z might make that mistake once, but 3 times? I don't think so. His correction of one symbol makes me think he was careful constructing this cipher. I don't see him making the same mistake 3 times.
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2007 - 11:07 am:   

I've always thought the + was a null. It's used so many times and the ++ is too obvious to be ee or ll or the like.

Tom posted this a long time ago, and I believe it's an indespensible tool for solving the code:

http://www.spyderware.net/zodiac
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Bargle
Username: Bargle

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2007 - 4:18 pm:   

Warren, I've been wondering if it's a modifier. perhaps doubling the symbol before it. I know when we get to a doubled one that give us the same letter 3 times, but that's not an impossible occurrence. For example, 'shall like' or 'pass someone' gives the same letter 3 times in a row.

I've tried some things at different places in the cipher, but I can't come up with anything that gives me enough letters in other positions to make any progress.
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L2829tad
Username: L2829tad

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 1:09 am:   

Warren, A thousand thanks for the link...I had it,I lost it,and now!!! Thank You W....Bargle, Yea,,The back to back voids my theory but in the mean time,I'll keep thinkin....Later....thardu....
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Stew
Username: Stew

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 3:07 pm:   

Thanks also Warren, and also obviously Tom, for that link.
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Va_trent
Username: Va_trent

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 9:30 pm:   

If you have never used the zodiac cipher decrypter posted above by Warren, keep in mind that there are three mistakes in the 340 code you will have to account for while using it.

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d121/trent911/mi stakes.jpg

Sorry about the black ink.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 6:36 am:   

I missed Ed's post above about Z's statement "when they do crack it (the code) they will have me".

I don't necessarily disagree with your interpretation but I do think it was intended to tantalize the reader (LE especially) that the cipher would provide a meaningful clue to his actual identity.

Yes, the cipher provided his mission statement but told us nothing about his identity which, IMO, was a form of taunting in itself.

The key sent on 8/10/69 is interesting but, unless it has been otherwise authenticated, I wouldn't presume it was from Z. Very strange that he would send a key right after an ordinary citizen solved it and the request to have the letter examined for latent prints is bizarre indeed. Gotta wonder if any prints WERE taken from this and compared with those from Stine's cab two months later.
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Bomaye
Username: Bomaye

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 7:36 am:   

Va Trent,

While looking at your link (to the code) I noticed that it appears that Z wrote something either on top of the code and it bled through, or the pressure from the previous page left indentations. If you look at the bottom you can notice "4-5 underlines" and if you look to the right of the whole code you can make out more characters and what appears to be a box outlining the some of the code, which appears again on the left side. Any thoughts and/or has this been discussed before?
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 8:06 am:   

Bomaye, it appears the four lines at the bottom are an indentation or bleed through of the underlines on the Dripping Pen Card, which enclosed the cipher. Never noticed it before and don't know if it's been discussed.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 8:09 am:   

Bomaye,

I believe you're seeing Z's writing from the Dripping Pen card through the cipher. If this is the case, I didn't realize that the cipher was written on the back of the card but the lines at the bottom of that version are identical to those at the bottom of the letter.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/340Card.html
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 8:11 am:   

Please stop thinking my thoughts, Warren. lol
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Warren
Username: Warren

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 8:33 am:   

Ok Deo, I've removed the foil deductive doo-rag.
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Bomaye
Username: Bomaye

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 9:35 am:   

I noticed the dripping card lines matching as well. What I can't find a match to are the symbols running along the right side margin(look at the K on the right - 9 symbols down from the top right corner). There also seems to be straight lines on the upper right hand corner forming a 90 degree angle (sort of like a part of a box). And on the left side margin there is a similiar line.
I wonder if Z used the same sheets of paper from a notebook or pad of some sort.
Knowing Tom, he can probably find where this was discussed 1000 times, if so... please link me/us.
Thanks!
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Bomaye
Username: Bomaye

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 9:38 am:   

*Add on*
The characters on the cipher don't seem to match any of the letters on the dripping card. The symbol next to the K (mentioned above) seems to be one of those circles with a dot in the middle; which cannot be seen on the dripping card letter.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 10:19 am:   

I see what you mean, Bomaye. It's really hard to read the letters on the reverse side of this and the symbols, of course, would be reversed if we're reading something on the back of the cipher. I think the lines you're referring to are most likely the outline of the Dripping Pen card but it doesn't quite seem to match up, does it?
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Va_trent
Username: Va_trent

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 8:19 pm:   

That photo, according to Ed, is a scan of a page from the yellowbook. The lines visible through the page are part of the illustration on the reverse side. We were all freakin out in chat the night I found it... then Ed came in and straightened us out, haha.

Sorry about that.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 12:09 am:   

I was wondering about that. The paper is old and yellowed, as the original no doubt is, but the writing is black.

Zodiac did use both sides of a page in some cases; most notably with the August 31, 1969 series. Notice, too, this element of his "anality": in one of the missives he ends the first page with a completed sentence, while on the other two the concluding sentences on the page are complete. Only on the first does he use the word "over" to let the reader know there's more--with the other two he assumes that the reader will anticipate it without his help.

People who argue for a connection with the Bates case should see this as analogous to the differences in the April 30, 1967 letters: the cops and the newspaper are told that "Bates had to die," while her father, who already knows who the writer is speaking about, gets a "She had to die."
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 12:10 am:   

Pardon me: I meant to say that the concluding sentences on the other two pages are incomplete.
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Nachtsider
Username: Nachtsider

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 4:05 am:   

Some thoughts on the cipher key dated 10-8-69:

The message was specifically addressed to Detective Sergeant John Lynch of the Vallejo Police Department - the first investigator to interview Arthur Leigh Allen in connection with the Zodiac murders. Whoever sent it appears to have been familiar enough with Vallejo and its townsfolk in order to reference Lynch by name - the fellow may very well have lived there, and mailed the cipher solution from San Fransisco as a ruse.

The letter's date presents an obstacle to the task of authenticating it as Zodiac's handiwork. If the communication were mailed anytime before the Hardens' solution was made public, my belief in it having been the work of a Zodiac who narcissistically wanted his cipher to be read would be firm. However, I have to consider the possibility of this indeed having been the case, and that the date on the postmark signifies a delay of some sort at the post office, which caused the document to be delivered behind schedule.

If Zodiac were truly the author, the typewritten nature of the missive would be an indication that the 29-11-66 Riverside 'Confession Letter' (also typed) might also have been his work after all. It would further point to his spelling and grammatical errors having being a ruse all along, and that my postulation of him being an initially poor speller who only remedied his shortcomings circa 1974 is in error.

If Zodiac were not the originator, though, I would be at a loss to explain who was. For a moment back then, I pondered the likelihood of Arthur Leigh Allen having sent this cipher solution to Sergeant Lynch as one of the many taunts and teases he directed at lawmen who looked at him as a suspect, but this hypothesis of mine went down the drain upon my realizing that Allen first became a person of interest only in October 1969.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 9:48 am:   

I also think it's suspicious that the letter referred to the "Cipher-letter-writer," and not to the "Cipher Killer," as he was being called in the press.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 10:05 am:   

Davidmm, for some odd reason "Cipher-letter-writer" evokes images of that Patricia Hautz letter.

Incidentally, Nachtsider, Lynch's name appeared in a VTH article of August 12. I'm thinking that he probably was interviewed earlier, though I haven't anything to bear it out.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 10:55 am:   

I agree, Doug. It's got a similar high-handed tone and implication of intellectual or moral superiority.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 2:31 pm:   

It's interesting to note that Lynch interviewed Allen at Elmer Cave Elementary school on the afternoon of 10-6-1969 (BRS report, p. 49 6, 7), a mere 2 days before that cipher key was mailed.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 3:18 pm:   

That's it, Davidmm. I was trying to articulate that thought, but it just wouldn't come out.

Ed, actually I think it was mailed on 8-10-1969. You're looking at Nachtsider's way of putting the day before the month. I was a bit confused myself when I read his post.
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 3:37 pm:   

Nachtsider, considering that one of Zodiac's letters took a month, between postmark and delivery, I think it's very possible that the key was mailed before the code-crack was made public.

The mail today is far tighter than back then, IMHO. I remember regularly receiving mail that had not even been postmarked, or postmarked at my postoffice, not from where it had been mailed. Granted, I was living in a rural area in the 70's, but, it sure wasn't as obsessively exact as it is today. Heck, I remember our postmaster backing up the postmark date on a late bill that my parents were mailing.

(I wonder if we should continue this topic on the "Three Part Cipher" thread, since the key was for that cipher.)
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 5:26 pm:   

Doug: oops, you're right, brain fart here. I used to date things that way myself when I lived in Australia, and it took some years for me to undo that. Didn't even occur to me. Forget I posted it... LOL
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Mike_cole
Username: Mike_cole

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 8:03 pm:   

IMO, "cipher letter writer" is merely an attempt to be accurate. At the time, Stiltz was claiming he was not necessarily convinced that the person who wrote the letters was the person who committed the murders. Additionally, one of the SF Chronicle articles explicitly referred to the "letter writer".
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 12:52 pm:   

It was on 8/8/69 at 6:35 PM that a call came to the VPD from George Murphy of the SF Chronicle stating he got a letter from Donald Harden,54.In the letter Harden said he broke the code and had sent in his work sheets.
Lynch then went to SF and obtained the work sheets.
He called the Hardens also.

On 8/11/69 a letter and card "key"were received at VPD.
"The "key"is the solution to the cryptograms that appeared in the papers.
The "key"also contained a set of alternatives to some of the symbols and letters that appeared in the cryptogram.Copy of this "key"will be sent to Donald Harden for possible decoding of unscrambled letters in the original cryptograms.
Letter sent to FBI for fingerprints."

One wonders-and only for fun and giggles-if the Harden's efforts were known to neighbors and others,etc.,as they worked on the cipher for a few days.Did they receive the same or similar"key"in the mail?
Could this account for their being the ONLY persons-including ALL of our top agencies-and a million other people seeking the solution-to solve the cipher?I understand people from all over the US were trying to crack that cipher!

If the Hardens did indicate to the Salinas PD that they were aided(but of course did all of the hard work as given in their account)by a "key"did they then ask them to keep this confidential for obvious reasons?

Of course,this flies in the face of all we know at this point.
We,of course,must accept Harden's official account as given.
I hope to have some info on this subject and it will,hopefully, be in print!
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Davidmm
Username: Davidmm

Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 1:28 pm:   

Howard, did you see the new interview with Harden? He doesn't say anything about any help, but it shows that he's alive and well and has his wits about him.

http://www.thecalifornian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/articl e?AID=/20070120/NEWS01/701200335
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Bomaye
Username: Bomaye

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 2:48 pm:   

Howard,

Where does it say that the Hardens were aided? There has to be more to Harden cracking that code. The code has many symbols equalling the same letter value. That would make the code nearly impossible.
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Bomaye
Username: Bomaye

Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 2:57 pm:   

D. Oswell,

Back on Jan 11th, 2007 you posted a PDF of FBI documents; do you have a clearer copy of those documents, because I cannot make out anything on that PDF. I may be blind (or stupid)((or both)) but I cannot figure out what this "key" is you all are referring to.
Sorry for the dummy post.
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Ubpclaw
Username: Ubpclaw

Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 3:25 pm:   

Did they not keep a copy of the key with that report? Im dying to see it.
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Howard_davis
Username: Howard_davis

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 4:53 pm:   

Davidmm/Bomaye,
D,
Yes,know his address,etc.He is still sharp from what we read.

I was very clear it was for "fun and giggles"I made that post about Hardens being "aided."
I also said "...this flies in the face of all we know at this point."
I indicated I was 'hoping'(fingers crossed)that I would have more information in writing.

I think that when we cease to revisit the Z case from various perspectives then no new information or insights can be uncovered.
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 5:59 pm:   

Bomaye, that's the clearest I've got. But it wasn't a key per se: it was a letter by an anonymous writer who forwarded a valid key for the Three-Part Cipher to SFPD shortly after Donald Harden had solved it.

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