The 13-character code (my name is-----) Message Board: Ciphers: The 13-character code (my name is-----)

By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) ( - on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 05:04 am:

I think I have an idea how this cipher works.
The key to solve this cipher (or puzzle) is not usually used.
It's a typewriter!
Let me explain myself and you can always laugh at me after it.

The character-keys of a typewriter are sequenced as follows:
What if Zodiac jumped keys on his typewriter and then wrote the character-key he stopped on in the cipher.

The cipher is:

Look at the first three character of this cipher.
they are AEN. At first I thought Zodiac placed his Zodiac-sign to seperate his firstname from his lastname.

I tried to fit in 3-character names like Bob, Joe etc. and tried to find a system in it.
There were only two names containing a system in it; SAM and ROB.

SAM's system:
between A and S is 1 step, between E and A are 8 steps and between N and M there is also 1 step.
The system is 1-8-1.
Only problem, if you do that for the rest of the cipher you get nothing readible out of it.

Then came ROB's system:
Between A and R are 29 steps, between E and O are 6 steps and between N and B are 35 steps.
ROB's system was 29-6-35. It looked like the killer put some maths into his cipher because 29+6=35.
Then I tried to use some maths to find a patern in the rest of the code but I failed.

I thought:"What is Zodiac trying to say with the three 8's on the 5th, 7th and 9th character of the cipher?".
Maybe he was hinting of a system containing 3 pairs of three of the same key-jumps each.
I put all steps possible on the typewriter on a piece of paper, putting all the same steps in rows.
I found 3 pairs of 3 characters with the same keyjump each.
Let me explain:
the cipher continues after the Zodiac-sign with:


The found pairs of three characters with the same keyjump are:

NON (N and O and N have all three 27-jumps from 8K8)
EAL (E and A and L have all three 13-jumps from M8Y)
CIV (C and I and V have all three 33-jumps from NAM)

So now I had ROB(z-sign)NONEALCIV
Who was Rob Noneal and what was CIV.

To check my theory I put all the jumps under the characters I found.

R O B (Z-sign) N O N E A L C I V
29 6 35(Z-sign) 27 27 27 13 13 12 33 33 33

Then again a system appeared

R O B (Z-sign) NON EAL CIV
29+6+35 = 27 + 13 + 33
(70) = (63)

70 and 63 are not the same. I was 7 key-jumps short!

The only character that could contain the missing 7 key-jumps had to be the Z-sign.

The cipher started with ROB?N.
What if I tried the I-character-key as the solution for the Z-sign, you then could get the name ROBIN.
I took 7 jumps from the I character and landed on the G character. This could not be the solution.

Then I thought "70missing7=63".
The only mathical solution was 70-7=63
So I tried to jump -7 (7 jumps in the other direction on the typewriter).
I landed on the Q-key.
Why was Zodiac using the Q-key as his sign.
Then I got it! a Q is a circle with a minus.
Zodiac's sign is a circle with two minusus (the other minus is the minus from minus 7 jumps).

I think the solution of the 13-code cipher is:

A E N Q 8 K 8 M 8 Y N A M
29+6+35-7 = 27 + 13 + 33
(70) (70)

I think the Zodiac-killer's name is Robin O'Neal.

Why did he used 70 as number?
Easy, it's the number of the year the 13-code letter was send (1970).

Only one problem: What is CIV?
Is it an organisation where Z. worked? Who knows?

By Metalex (Metalex) ( on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 03:19 pm:

Maybe Tom can shed some light on this!!!!

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) ( - on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 03:56 pm:

Sorry, no can do.
These ciphers have so many interpretations, who is to say which is correct?
Zodiac's 340 cipher is solveable, IMHO...but the small ones are just TOO small. They could mean anything, including nothing.

By Edn (Edn) ( - on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 12:33 am:

CIV is the Roman notation for 104. What does that mean? His age? His IQ? Or his house number?

By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) ( - on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 12:47 am:

certainly 104 doesn't mean his age or his IQ.
I don't think Z. was a very old retart.
But Ed, thanks for your comment!

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 01:01 am:

You're welcome, Eduard. The first thing that jumped out at me was the Roman numbering. Actually, it's pretty obvious that he was about one quarter to one third that age (104) and I think his IQ was higher than 104, but not significantly so.

By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) ( - on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 01:56 am:

What if 104 consisted of 3 pairs of the same number?
104/3= 34 and 2/3 years old. Maybe we can get to know his birthday?

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 02:13 am:

Eduard- your work is interesting. It brings out the Irish connection I keep harping on!I cannot say if you do or don't have something,but your'e trying. Z had pen names that he gave himself. After all he called himself ZODIAC!The FBI report I have says they found in the first code three Irish names one being Flanagan. I cannot say if they got it right-its just interesting Irish names come up.The ending of the first cipher some speculate is a pen name Robert Emmett . Well, he was a Irish revolutionary.Check the Z selection of stamps-Irish presidents,etc. and war time ones at that!There were other kinds of stamps Z could have selected,like commemorative(he did at times). I have a taped interview of Manson and he says Flanagan (Father)"changed his life" and set him on a special course as Father Flanagan estabilished BoysTown where Manson stayed for a time.In the same interview M said "I see the IRA". In a recent post I wrongly said NRA. It was Davis at a parole hearing that said he was a member of the NRA.Ned Kelly the Irish outlaw could have been one of Zs inspirations for the Berryessa costume. See the Ned Kelly sites and see Kellys' costume and his crimes and open letter to the police,etc.-use Direct Hit -the best!I firmly believe the so called three 8s are not 8s at all, but three symbols for Taurus-its very CLEAR!All three of the 8s are NOT connected at their tops.Of interest Buddhas' b-day falls on the first full moon of May(month of Taurus). Manson thought he was also a reincarnation of Buddha!The Taurus symbols are in symbols for the full moon- circles!

By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) ( - on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 09:02 am:

Howard, thanks for the kind words.
There could be a hint about Father in the "Exorcist-letter".
In the movie the guy who fell to his grave (from the stairs) was a priest or Father.
maybe that was what Zodiac found saterical.
Who knows?

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) ( - on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 08:27 pm:

Hello, sorry to be gone so long. Yet another AT&T debacle, and I finally said "No AT&T @Home in my home any more!". For some reason I've lost the e-mail box for my messages, but since I've been gone I don't know why. Perhaps I've failed to set up my profile correctly. When something is wrong, it's usually my fault - just ask AT&T!

Keyboard code - simply fascinating. For the first time EVER I've heard Tom say he thinks the 340 cipher is solveable! Miracles never cease - but Tom is correct in saying that the others are just too short for solution (with qualifiers).

For those of you who sent me e-mail (which I wasn't able to retrieve until today), thanks, and I'm not ignoring you, just disconnected and off-line for an interminable amount of time.

As far as the keyboard cipher solution, on the surface it has some merit, if nothing else as a system based on a determined 3-dimensional alphabet. I want to examine both methods to determine the "element of chance" involved.

I'll try to answer my e-mail in the next day or two, so be patient with a poor old man.

By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) ( - on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 05:21 am:

Hello Glen,

I tried to use other character keyjumps myself (just to control if it is possible to form more solutions) and I failed to find other systems in the keyboard code.
I'm really happy you want to spend time to look at my theory because maybe I have overlooked something.

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) ( - on Saturday, October 21, 2000 - 03:05 am:

Eduard, I’m trying to figure out where to begin! I’m not laughing at all because this type of coding system could be very useful. I just question the use you make of it here.

Your typewriter code -

The character-keys of a typewriter are sequenced as follows:
What if Zodiac jumped keys on his typewriter and then wrote the character-key he stopped on in the cipher.

The cipher is:

If Zodiac’s name began with “ROBIN”, AND he used key jumps on a typewriter to spell it out, the system should be very well defined and need no interpretation or inclusion of pluses and minuses.

ROB's system was 29-6-35. It looked like the killer put some maths into his cipher because 29+6=35.

If Zodiac were to encode “ROB” in this system, he would have no control over the outcome, so the sum=35 would be a coincidence of the character encoding, not a matter of mathematical calculation on Zodiac’s part. Every other character you come up with would have the same problem or consequence, and I’m sure you can come up with several pairs whose sum of the first two characters equals the sum of the third. In addition, despite the large distances between characters on the keyboard, this system still works out to be a simple substitution cipher. R will always equal 29, O will always equal 6, and B will always equal 35. Simple Substitution.

What you’ve done next is not uncommon, but it is a fatal flaw in any logic system. You let your mind wander. You defined a system in the first three letters, then you completely ignored the fact that you were trying to define an encryption system. You saw that 29+6=35 so you’re off chasing things that add up to each other. Zodiac’s systems are cipher oriented, not numerology.

I thought:"What is Zodiac trying to say with the three 8's on the 5th, 7th and 9th character of the cipher?".
Maybe he was hinting of a system containing 3 pairs of three of the same key-jumps each.
I put all steps possible on the typewriter on a piece of paper, putting all the same steps in rows.
I found 3 pairs of 3 characters with the same keyjump each.

How would Zodiac be able to control the jump distances if he was using his own name? His name is a fixed number of symbols, each with it’s own fixed mathematical constant. Each key is in a fixed order with its own fixed mathematical constant. Under the system you’ve set up, which is after all only Simple Substitution, there is no way that Zodiac could control the number of pairs of characters or the distances in each jump.

NON (N and O and N have all three 27-jumps from 8K8)
EAL (E and A and L have all three 13-jumps from M8Y)
CIV (C and I and V have all three 33-jumps from NAM)

Eduard, you need to see that YOU are the one who found meaning in the above relationships, not the author of the cipher. So far you have ROB by one system, and NON and EAL by another system. The only thing you have by one system is “NO NEAL”, from which I conclude that Zodiac’s name was not NEAL. But you’re going deeper into numerology now, aren’t you?

To check my theory I put all the jumps under the characters I found.

R O B (Z-sign) N O N E A L C I V
29 6 35(Z-sign) 27 27 27 13 13 12 33 33 33

Then again a system appeared

R O B (Z-sign) NON EAL CIV
29+6+35 = 27 + 13 + 33
(70) = (63)

70 and 63 are not the same. I was 7 key-jumps short!

You checked your system here and it didn’t work, so you go on to create more numerological representations.

The only character that could contain the missing 7 key-jumps had to be the Z-sign.

The cipher started with ROB?N.
What if I tried the I-character-key as the solution for the Z-sign, you then could get the name ROBIN.
I took 7 jumps from the I character and landed on the G character. This could not be the solution.

Then I thought "70missing7=63".
The only mathical solution was 70-7=63
So I tried to jump -7 (7 jumps in the other direction on the typewriter).
I landed on the Q-key.

You checked your system again and it didn’t work, so then you made up this little ditty that I don’t clearly understand.

Why was Zodiac using the Q-key as his sign.
Then I got it! a Q is a circle with a minus.
Zodiac's sign is a circle with two minusus (the other minus is the minus from minus 7 jumps).

Now you rationalize with great excitement -

I think the solution of the 13-code cipher is:

A E N Q 8 K 8 M 8 Y N A M
29+6+35-7 = 27 + 13 + 33
(70) (70)

I think the Zodiac-killer's name is Robin O'Neal.

Why did he used 70 as number?
Easy, it's the number of the year the 13-code letter was send (1970).

Only one problem: What is CIV?
Is it an organisation where Z. worked? Who knows?

CIV is not the only problem we have here, Eduard. What you have from a given system is a string of letters NONEALCIV. And I still don’t understand why the 8 is an N twice and an A the third time. This I have to figure out for myself.

Don’t take this criticism to heart, Eduard, I’m only trying to help. Your work shows you’ve put a lot of time into this, and that’s admirable. What you need to do is adhere to mathematical discipline when working with things like this so your methods don’t wander so much. Take one action to it’s end, learn from it, then modify your strategy and take that one to its end. Coordinated trial and error.

You seem to be truly fascinated with the problem, so here’s a way someone can help – we need a computer no one ever uses so we can dedicate it to checking all the possibilities for the 340 cipher. Only after that has been done can we eliminate certain avenues of attack and move on to other attacks. Anybody got a spare pentium that’s not being used for the next 6 months or so? All I want to do is load some software on it and let it run, posting reports on the internet daily for examination.

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) ( - on Saturday, October 21, 2000 - 03:21 am:

Eduard, let me just back up my statements with a little diagram so you'll understand better. Assuming that your third letter is a "B", take all the combinations of letters below for the first two characters and see if many of them don't suggest alternate names. Now change the third character from B to something entirely different (26 times) and redo the chart for each one. This clearly demonstrates the flaws in your system, don't you agree?

Numbers that equal 35:


By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) ( - on Saturday, October 21, 2000 - 09:08 am:

Hi Glen,

Thanks for your comments.
I need time to think about what you wrote.
I will be back on this subject in 3 or 4 days.
Don't be afraid, I won't take your comments personal.
I'm only glad someone was taking the time to check my theory.
See you,
Eduard Versluijs

By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) ( - on Saturday, October 21, 2000 - 10:02 am:

Glen, I used your diagram that you wrote of in your last e-mail and here are the results:

You see there is only one usable name in it and that's ROB.
did you change the third character yourself?
What did you find to make your statement viable?
Your last email didn't really demostrate the flaws in my system, don't you agree?
I'm checking your first mail at this moment.
I will write you back!

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) ( - on Saturday, October 21, 2000 - 02:00 pm:

Eduard, the diagram was to show you the unsurmountable odds you're up against and the element of chance you're playing with. Make the first two characters equal 34, or 33, or 32, etc. Your only reason for settling on 35 is that it comes up with ROB. You have no other mathematical reason for using this number.

ROB makes up three characters, so if you settle on ROB you have 10 other characters to explain in the same system without making a mistake or having to fudge a character or two here and there.

One or two characters out of place in 200 or so is one thing, but one would think that Zodiac could get his name right in 13 characters.

You have:
29 6 35(Z-sign) 27 27 27 13 13 12 33 33 33

Now if you had 29 29 29 (z-sign) 27 27 27 13 13 13 33 33 33, I'd take notice. Or something like 29 6 35 27 27 54 13 13 26 33 33 66. If you had a series of primes, or something that follows a logical and/or progressive pattern. As it is you haven't assigned a number to Z-sign, and 13 13 12 is not a pattern, not to mention that 29 6 35 doesn't fit with the rest of the characters.

Let's try Glen as an example:


A E N Q 8 K 8 M 8 Y N A M


"It looked like the killer put some maths into his cipher because" we have an identifiable step of 10, 4-14-24. In addition, Q to N is 24, which is the sum of G+L, and L is 20, which when divided by 2 is 10, the degree of our step.

Here's the rest of Glen AH (A-hole) Claston, which I'll let others find the numerical correlations for. You just gotta notice I've still got the 34-24-34 thing going here, and I even have the number 13, the length of the cipher itself! half of 10 is 5, which gives me the 29, (or maybe 13+16=29), and 6 and 7 are 13, so a little division and reworking and I can explain every character. Don't forget our killer shifted and used the 6-16-36 thing here. In fact, the only character I'd have to explain in this series is the 29 step because all the rest have logical sequences and explanations. There's a pattern in everything if you look deep enough.


By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) ( - on Saturday, October 21, 2000 - 02:10 pm:

PS I was incorrect in identifying the system as Simple Substitution - please disregard. It was late and I was working on another cipher at the time. I got the two confused. My apologies.

By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) ( - on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 04:46 am:

Hi Glen,

If zodiac took INWLPU9Y9E9KXO as cipher I would solve it like this:

I N W L P U 9 Y 9 E 9 K X O
29+6+35 -6= 24 24 24 30 30 30 30 10 10 10
(64) = 24 + 30 + 10


You see it is possible to work with numbers and to fit numbers like you wanted to.
The author could have used the same system.

You wrote that the system must be very well defined. In science (I'm a physics teacher at a college)you are right but in Zodiac's case Z. could have made his own rules.

You also wrote:"Zodiac's systems are cipher oriented, not numerology".
I think only Z. knows if he used ciphers (like he wrote us) or not.
Just like you I also don't believe in numerology, but it is not about what we think it's about what the author (Zodiac) believed.
If we wanna gets a killer than think like that killer (only please don't go on a killing spree!).
You are right in your opinion about coordinated trial and error.
I think there are a lot of possible solutions to this cipher, but also I think we must try to investigate every possible solution.
I know I'm walking a thin rope.
Thanks for your time and your interesting thoughts!

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) ( - on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 05:38 am:

Thanks, Eduard!

Yes, Z could have made his own rules, but I have to stick with my assessment that he didn't do anything extraordinarily imaginative. His first cipher was cipher. His second cipher has all the earmarks of cipher. It's very unlikely he would have changed his tactics when they worked so well for him.

There is a lot of speculation and many writers have tried to tie Z to using the Zodiac and numerology, but every theory of this nature is not backed up by fact, and I personally find no solid evidence that Z was actually into the zodiac or really knew anything about the zodiac or numerology. It's probably true that the simplest answer is the best one - he owned a really cool zodiac watch.

As a physics teacher you're a little higher up on the math ladder than I am, so you are fully aware of the rigorous examination any mathematical theory or system must undergo. This is probably why you haven't taken offense with me so far when so many others have added me to their hit list.

Perhaps you'd agree that the best strategy would be to solve the larger of the puzzles before working on the smaller, especially from a standpoint of provability. It's extremely difficult to prove your interpretation of a 13 character string, but much easier to prove the systematic decipherment of a 340 character string.

Whatever you do, keep working on it!

By Eduard Versluijs (Eduard) ( - on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 06:28 am:

I agree that the best strategy would be to first try to solve the larger of the puzzles.
They have more parameters but you will be faster in finding a system in it.
You're right that it's more viable than the 13-code.
don't be too modest about your math skills, you proved to be someone with enough knowledge of math-systems.
I hope you will find a used computer for decoding the ciphers.
Good luck,

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Monday, October 23, 2000 - 05:06 pm:

Just something that strikes me re- the 29-6-35 and the Irish name. It is how someone from that part of the world would record a date as opposed to the American method.Mabye its 29th of june 1935 a date of birth. Fits the age group but not the star sign.

By Hurley (Hurley) ( - on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 04:54 pm:

In regards to the "My name is- " Cipher:

I'm really grabbing this out of the air but I know there were handguns called Taurus. I saw their website. They call them the "Raging Bulls".

The Raging Bull is 13 letters long. No key, it just fits!

Also, the Greeks and Egyptians used astrology and symbols and meanings are derived from them. In the formation of our alphabet, the Semites and Egyptians used the bull symbol for the letter A. Turn our A upside down to see the correlation. I think it was Egyptian for ox.

There seems to be an upside down Aries symbol in this cipher. It is the 4th character from the right infront of NAM. It looks like the Greek letter "Upsilon" only upside down. It was used for the letters:
U, V & W. Upside down W could also be an M. I found all this in the encyclopedia.

Someone else mentioned elsewhere about the upside down Aries symbol meaning it maybe Aries opposite sign of Libra. Or maybe it's Leigh-bra! Who knows but it's a thought.

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) ( - on Friday, October 27, 2000 - 08:59 am:

My only problem with this is that Zodiac said or did nothing to indicate he was even aware a zodiacal history and tradition existed. Like I said, Ocham's Razor etal., he probably owned a really cool Zodiac watch for all we know.

Another thing to consider is that laypersons often use things without knowing their history or tradition. Take the word "f__k" for instance. Its oldest use in a written document was in German in 1508 as the word "fichen", but the word is much older than that, and not limited to Germany. We know that by 1538 it was popular in England, and was probably there for a few hundred years before people began writing in their native tongues instead of Latin. In fact this word has such a long history it is one of the oldest words in our language, but the layman only finds it useful. In essence, he doesn't give a f__k about its history as long as it works.:-)

By Hurley (Hurley) ( - on Sunday, October 29, 2000 - 01:53 pm:

Has anyone who has tried to figure out the "My name is cipher-" considered maybe it starts with a title such as Mister or it's abbreviation Mr? Obviously, you can see I haven't solved it....or maybe ending with a title? I'll try that! esq, Phd,.....the zillions of zillions that there are......

By Hurley (Hurley) ( - on Tuesday, November 07, 2000 - 09:33 am:

I think this cipher could read anything if it is anything. But, hey whatever works right?

MR ARTHUR ALLEN is 13 characters.

By Bruced (Bruced) ( - on Tuesday, November 07, 2000 - 01:34 pm:

Hurley, Wouldn't it be something if we couldn't see the forest through the trees. I like your post(MR ARTHUR ALLEN). Allen would know that the authorities would bust their balls to try and decode the cipher, but by using any combination of any 13 characters-any answer would be the right one. THE AUTHORITIES WOULD JUST NOT KNOW THAT
Your post convinces me that MY I.Q. is approximately about a -50.
Good post,HURLEY
Bruce D.

By Bruced (Bruced) ( - on Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 05:19 pm:

Truthfully has anyone attempted a simple explanation to the meaning of this cipher. Z wrote it for what reason other than to tease the police and the press, but I believe he did reveal something in it. If not his actual name, then a clue of some-sort to his identity.

Apparently this short a cipher is to brief to decode-but should we just throw it out.
Bruce D.

By Hurley (Hurley) ( - on Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 01:03 pm:

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the post. I believe something is there, whether it's a name or not who knows but the way Zodiac loves to tease, I'm sure he wouldn't pass up a chance to put something there.

By Thefloydboy (Thefloydboy) ( - on Saturday, November 18, 2000 - 11:43 am:

could it possibly be that 29-6-35 may also be his date of birth. some people use the 29 day of the 6th month(in this case june) of 1935. didn't the survivors of the attack say that z was in his early to mid thirties? which z would have been if this is the case with the numbers.

By Thefloydboy (Thefloydboy) ( - on Saturday, November 18, 2000 - 04:19 pm:

hurley you posted a message here about the word f*ck, it was also used in some religous sect, and it mean Forbidden Use of Cardnal Knowledge at some point, the 1200's i think

By Hurley (Hurley) ( - on Saturday, November 18, 2000 - 04:51 pm:

Oh, Glen has to take credit for F*ck. I know the police used it the 19th century. For Unlawlful Carnal Knowledge. Arresting prostitutes and such.

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) ( - on Tuesday, November 21, 2000 - 12:37 am:

Glen takes the credit for F*ck, as it is a much researched word in the English language. its first appearance in writing was in German, in 1508, as the word "fichen". This tells a much longer story however, since the word is also in English and probably migrated from Scandinavian origins, probably as old as the Vikings themselves. It's first English written usage is around 1538, but by then it must have been a very old word.

By Vassago (Vassago) ( - on Tuesday, December 05, 2000 - 02:29 pm:

I've never gone beyond writing simple substitution "ciphers" in elementary
school :), but I have a small suggestion... perhaps a possible way to look
at the 13-symbol cipher (my name is...) would be treating the Zodiac symbols
as numbers (Taurus - the 11th symbol of the Zodiac, etc.), and the sign
of the Zodiac as zero? I.e. the cipher would read:
A E N 0 11 K 11 M 11 2 N A M

Alternatively, with the symbols representing not their order in the year,
but the numbers of the "houses of Zodiac":
A E N 0 2 K 2 M 2 1 N A M

I know it's most likely nothing; I only thought of this because the Taurus
symbol appears three times, separated by one character only - somewhat
strange if it's a name. Unless it's an anagram, some symbols are supposed to
be skipped, or it's all a bunch of meaningless signs.


By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Tuesday, December 05, 2000 - 05:12 pm:

Vassago: I've always thought that cipher was a simple substitution-transposition cipher. In other words, Z actually encoded his name, one-for-one, and then mixed the letters up. If so, he would feel pretty safe knowing that it could never be solved, given the brevity of the cipher. There must be thousands of possible names that can be extracted from it.

By Vassago (Vassago) ( - on Tuesday, December 05, 2000 - 07:29 pm:

Ed, I also think you're right and that it is a substitution cipher (that most likely won't be cracked anytime soon...). I was just wondering if the remote possibility of the symbols being numbers had any potential significance.

But frankly, I've always had doubts if Zodiac could actually give his real name in the cipher. I feel that if, indeed, the cipher has a meaning (and with the Zodiac's attitude, I find it impossible to believe that he would not be tempted to actually encode something meaningful using the cipher), then what it gives is not the killer's name but rather a general hint that refers to it. Most likely, I feel, it's an answer to a question: "WHERE is my name?"
rather than "WHAT is my name". For instance, the cipher could mean: "My name is IN SF PHONEBOOK". Or "My name is IN THE EXAMINER". Or even be a cruel teaser: "My name is WHAT U WANT BAD!" (note that these are all 13 letters long :).

Now then - while I think the above suggestion is valid, what follows will be more of my trip to the fantasy land via the rainbow bridge, so be warned. :) I remembered that in his 408-symbols cipher Zodiak mistook the Delta symbol and similarly looking A, which resulted in a typo. So I thought: "What if he goofed again, even in such a short cipher? What if the last-but-one symbol in the 13-character cipher is not supposed to be an A, but the triangular DELTA sign, once again?

And so, I started toying in this way:

Applying this to the cipher, I got: OREGLSLTLNEXT
XL LETTERS LONG = 40 letters long. "My name is 40 letters long". A very long
name, obviously ;) (As I said, don't take this too seriously :) Especially
the professional cryptographers posting to the board - please don't bash me :)

By El_Shaddai (El_Shaddai) ( - on Tuesday, December 05, 2000 - 10:15 pm:

Ok, I'm going to suggest something that I suggesting on a different list a couple years ago, and that is admittedly SPECULATIVE, but considering all the other speculation here, it shouldn't be anything too extreme.

Has anyone else considered the possibility that the 13-character cipher may need to be turned 90-degrees to the right? It's curious to me that *most* of the letters actually become OTHER LETTERS when this is done. Thus, you get the following:

Note: I'm using "Crossed-circle" = (+) and the "circled 8" or "taurus" = (8) and the "upside-down-looking "T" = ^ for clarity.

A E N (+)(8) K (8) M (8) ^ N A M

D M Z (+)(*) ? (*) 3 (*) ? Z D 3

Just some observations:

The (8) could also represent turn markers, e.g., directing you to turn the cipher characters another 90-degrees (or whatever degree). If so then the "M" after the second (8) could well represent a "W" and so on. The "upside-down-looking "T" could, in effect, turn out to be a right-side-up "T" and so on.

The "K" after turning 90-degrees to the right becomes an inverted "V" with a horizontal line across the top, which actually resembles the largest portion of the symbols drawn at the bottom of the Exorcist letter. Also, Z used the letter K in various positions of 90-degree rotations in his ciphers.

Perhaps it's not A E N..., etc. that is the cipher text, but rather D M Z..., etc. that is cipher?

Yeah, I know, but...

Bruce M.

By Peterh (Peterh) ( - on Monday, January 15, 2001 - 01:07 pm:

Over a year ago ("Huge News! 11/28/98) Tom posted an item on the 13 cipher to the effect that its first seven characters are a close reproduction of an inscription attributed to a "Temple of Poseidon at Lake Taenarus in Lakonia." I have recently run across the information that this temple (on Mt. (not Lake) Taenarus in Laconia, Greece, was one of a relatively few Hellenic sites that offered legally recognized sanctuary for criminals, among others. Perhaps Tom would share with us the source of his inscription attributed to this site and the translation, if any, of the letters?

By Peterh (Peterh) ( - on Monday, January 15, 2001 - 01:50 pm:

Corrections: 1. Over two years ago (I can't subtract) 2. 11/12/98 (or read)


By Howard (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, January 23, 2001 - 01:46 am:

In the FBI's report on the three part cipher three names are derived by their code analysists.They are:Adam Granahan,Adam Shanahan,and Adam Flanagan -all with the astrological sign Gemini following.Have fun!And EdN it's the ol' Irish connection again!

By Peterh (Peterh) ( - on Tuesday, January 23, 2001 - 10:13 am:


What cipher are you referring to? The 3-part cipher? I just reread the decoded text of that and no name reference was decoded in there, unless you mean among the sixteen or so syllables of gibberish at the end. Did you mean to refer to the 13 character "my name is" cipher? If so, this would mean that the "m"s in the cipher would stand for "n" and the last character "Gemini"? Could you clarify?


By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 11:10 am:

A E N (+) 8 K 8 M 8 ~ N A M

888 =AAA
K =E
E =W
~ =N
(+)=Middle Initial
ANDREW (+) ALLARD.Anyone ever heard of this guy?

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Wednesday, February 07, 2001 - 02:13 pm:

Peter wrote "what cipher are you referring to?
REf:- the names the FBI came up with I assume.
It appears to me, Peter,that these names come from
the last 18 letters of "gibberish" at the end of the 3 part cipher.To be more precise the first 12 of the 18.Therefore we have EBEORIETEMET;-the E,s
are A's:-ADAM SHANAHAN.However this would mean both R and M = H. Iam not sure this is correct but its the first thing I seen,for what it's worth.
Ive always thought these ciphers,especially the "Short ones" would be cracked in time from the other end,that is when we had the name of the
Killer or the site of the bomb, that there would be some mathematical formula that would link them to the ciphers that would leave no doubt.At least that's the hope.The "my name is cipher" is particularly interesting,yes at the moment it could stand for anything,but I think we could look
at it first at face value. Zodiac wrote my name
is AEN(+)8k8m8~NAM.Hopefully a name with 13 letters.In reality there are only 8 different letters in total.I would suggest there are not a great deal of names one could put together that would fit this.It would be interesting to know how many of the 2500 or so suspects names could fit this cipher.Anyway!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Wednesday, February 07, 2001 - 09:16 pm:

Here's an interesting exercise involving the 13-symbol cipher and some elementary mathematics:

First, let each symbol stand for a set of letters:

A = {A}
E = {E}
N = {N}
Crosshair circle = {ZODIAC}
Circled Eight = {INFINITY}
K = {K}
Circled Eight = {INFINITY}
M = {M}
Circled Eight = {INFINITY}
Aries Symbol = {ARIES}
N = {N}
A = {A}
M = {M}

Next, unite these sets in succession, beginning with the first and working down the list. The union of two sets is the set of elements that belong to one, or the other, or both. Thus:

{A} + {E} = {A, E}

{A, E} + {N} = {A, E, N}

{A, E, N} + {Z, O, D, I, A, C} = {A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C}

{A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C} + {I, N, F, I, N, I, T, Y} = {A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y}

{A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y} + {K} = {A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K}

{A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K} + {I, N, F, I, N, I, T, Y} = {A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K}

{A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K} + {M} = {A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K, M}

{A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K, M} + {I, N, F, I, N, I, T, Y} = {A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K, M}

{A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K, M} + {A, R, I, E, S} = {A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K, M, R, S}

{A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K, M, R, S} + {N} = {A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K, M, R, S}

{A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K, M, R, S} + {A} = {A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K, M, R, S}

{A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K, M, R, S} + {M} = {A, E, N, Z, O, D, I, C, F, T, Y, K, M, R, S}

The resulting set, namely {AENZODICFTYKMRS} forms the anagram "FROM TED KACZYNSI."

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Saturday, February 10, 2001 - 03:06 am:

Petreh-The part I gave on my post was from an FBI report that I am looking for;but those are the names they came up with for the first Z cipher.I assume, at least until I can find the report,that it is from, as you say, the "gibberish" at the end.

The interepretations on the string are endless. This is the tip Robert E Lee;Robert Emmet The Hippi,Or be with me in the Pit;Before I meet them I pitti[pity] them,etc,etc.!

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Saturday, February 10, 2001 - 08:25 am:

Thirteen of the last 14 letters in the last line of the 3-part cipher form an anagram for "HITTITE EMPIRE." If you take all the non-alphabetic characters on the Mt. Diablo cipher and replace them with their equivalents from the 3-part cipher you get "ILIAD ALEX LDI" in that order. (Note that on the Mt. Diablo Cipher there are two symbols, an Aries and an Greek Omega, that have no equivalents in the 3-part cipher. Replace those with "A" for Aries and "O" for Omega, respectively.)

ILIAD = Troy. Alex = Alexandros, or Paris, of Troy.

Everything we know about ancient Troy came from the records of the Hittite Empire.

By Alanc (Alanc) ( - on Saturday, February 10, 2001 - 12:57 pm:

The consistent ambiguity of this material is what impresses me most about it. You can read darn near anything you want into it.

The Zodiac, whoever it was, was clearly the first Post-Modern serial killer.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Saturday, February 10, 2001 - 04:13 pm:

Everything except "Arthur Leigh Allen!"

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, February 18, 2001 - 02:22 am:

Petreh-The FBI report refers to the 13(ol' occult 13 again!)characters of "My name is -".They saw Adam Granahan, Adam Shanahan or Adam Flanagan.All Irish names!I am not saying their analysis is correct,only that the Irish factor comes up. Manson(Manson was really a Scott, that being his biological father's name)/Davis( middle name- Mc Gregor)were into all things Irish.M said in an interview "I see the IRA." In this same interview he said "Flanagan is a very important name for me as this is where my life changed".M is referring to Father Flanagan's Boy's Town.I apologize for the above 3:06 a.m. guess that the FBI was referring to the, as you call it , "gibberish" on the terminal ending of his cipher one.

By Bill Bratton (Willy) ( - on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 07:57 pm:

Here's a site that outputs optional solutions for an anagram:
anagram solutions

It won't help on the block ciphers, but it can be used on the final line of the July 11, 1969 San Francisco Chronicle cipher/spell.

Note that you'll get thousands of options and you will still need to mentally reposition/combine the words that it outputs. The software doesn't recognize all proper names either. Still it may be thought provoking for some of you.

Since the first "E" actually begins on the next to last cipher may not have been intended to be used in spelling out the final message. Here is the Harden translation: (E)BEORIETEMETHHPITI

Some variations that have popped out to me (which I can place no real significance on) are:


As has already been said before…this mystery is probably indeterminate.

By Matthew Atherton (M_Atherton) ( - on Monday, August 20, 2001 - 02:54 am:

A fond hello to all of you. This is my first post to this board.

When I looked at the letter containing the 13-letter cypher, something drew my attention which may provide just the key we've been looking for. When I observed the spacing of the words "My name is ----" in the 13-letter cipher, I noticed that the spacing between the word "name" and "is" is longer than any spacing in the rest of the letter. From there, I noticed that the "M" in "My" starts directly above the "A", the "n" in "name" starts directly above the "N", and the "i" in "is" starts directly above "(8)" symbol.

So my question is, did anyone ever test to see if the top line "My name is ---" was actually a partial translation of the actual code below, thus not giving us his full name but something even more valuable - a partial key to the 340 cipher? We could then deduce his name, but with only 5 characters, it is most likely just a first name so as to not give too much away.

This would fit the psychological profile of a "super-villain": taunting the police by exhibiting so much confidence in his cipher that they would never figure it out without his help. It's almost as though he wanted the message in the 340 cipher decoded so his message could be displayed to the world.

This possibility occurred to me after I had written an email to a French customer of mine in English, and then translated the last sentence in French, as a way of "making an effort" not to be an arrogant American who disregards their language. That's what gave me the idea, because I was writing one translation under the other language.

I'm not experienced in the technical nature of ciphers, and I don't have the time to study them. I just didn't see a solution like this posted on the web site anywhere. Did I miss it?

My rather amateur analysis of such a translation would yield a multi-choice symbol table, where the encryptor can choose between a letter or a symbol to represent the letter to be encrypted, kind of like the way that you figure out what your phone number would spell. For an 8, for instance, you have the letters TUV, so you could choose to encrypt the number 8 with either a T, a U, or a V. Only, in Zodiac's case, he didn't just have unique correlations. For example, a U might also be part of the three-letter code for another number. If he had a key, he could encrypt pretty easily. But, of course, there's no unique translation - you just have to know which of the choices makes better sense within the message context. The extra symbols and backwards letters are needed to give him additional choices to encrypt his letters. Has something like this been explored, or is this ludicrous and I just don't know it?

I am currently working on an encryption table that it would have been easy for Zodiac to put together. It's hard to post in ASCII, but I will email it to anyone who is interested. (Again, it is just a possible solution of MANY possible solutions.)

As my degree is in computer science, I intend to write a computer program that uses continuously variable encryption tables on the 340 cypher, using my theory above as a starting point for possible translation. Then I'll be analyzing the message not just horizontally, but vertically and diagonally as well. I think that since Zodiac wrote his code in a perfect grid, it's entirely possible that he wrote the message in a way other than left-to-right or right-to-left. (Indeed, Zodiac shows us on his Skeleton card of 10-27-70 that sometimes he writes going down and across).

I will post the results that I find.

By The Fife (Thefife) ( - on Tuesday, August 21, 2001 - 09:10 am:


You can save yourself a hell of a lot of time and energy by studying cryptography just a little up front. You have a degree in computers. That's good. But that by itself is like saying you have a hammer and some nails and want to build a house without the blueprints.

Observe this in light of what you said:

In general, Z's cipher has been shown to be what is called today a homophonic substitution cipher.

Surf the net on this stuff. Read books. Have friends create ciphers for you to solve. This is minimal homework just to talk about the subject.

You haven't presented any new concepts in what you have said here. Computers are not going to help you do anything but speed up the donkeywork. You need a plan, and that will come from studying the field and then moving in.

For example, do you have an algorithm for the computer to help you recognize clear text? The 340-character cipher has a 62-character alphabet. Using a computer simply to speed up rummaging through the alphabet will cut your work from about 5 trillion year's of work to hopefully a pretty slim 900 million years.

Remember, a computer's value is as a well-heeled servant to the well-trained mind.

Good luck.

Bonne chance.

Tom F

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Sunday, August 26, 2001 - 10:57 am:

Hi! I'm new. Maybe this will help you cipher scenario.

104 was the prison number of Sam Giancana (Chicago,) (Mafia Princess by Antoinette Giancana) Robin and the 7 Hoods, originally released on June 27, 1964, starred Frank Sinatra, who played a gangster by the name of Robbo. There was a character in the Godfather movie by the name of Rocco. Also Robbo was supposedly working for Sam Giancana.

St. Roch (pronounced "Rock",) aka as Rocco, aka as Neal
"The miraculous cross on his breast as well as a document found in his possession now served for his identification." This with the O added on to Neal, could be the Zodiac's symbol.
"It is commonly held that he belonged to the Third Order of St. Francis; but it cannot be proved." The feast of St. Francis is 10/4.

In the movie "Robin and the 7 Hoods," there is a character played by Jack LaRue called Tomatoes. If you click on LaRue's name you get his movie credits and "X Marks the Spot" is one of his movies, and could this be linked to the Radian circle? This is the movie link for Robin and the 7 Hoods.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Sunday, August 26, 2001 - 10:31 pm:

The movie "Robin and the 7 Hoods" was released on June 27, 1964 (see my previous post.) Sam Giancana died on June 19, 1975. Subtract the days 27-19=8, and subtract 1975-1964 and you get 11. Notice the numbers 8 and 11. Not the same order, but the same numbers as in Sam's system.

>"SAM's system:
between A and S is 1 step, between E and A are 8 steps and between N and M there is also 1 step.
The system is 1-8-1.
Only problem, if you do that for the rest of the cipher you get nothing readible out of it."

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 08:33 am:

Harden Solution


"THE THEME OE" OE = Ocean's Eleven (1960)

>Left over letters:
BRIPITI = B RIPITI B (Both) RIP (Rest In Peace) PITI (Pity)
RIP and PITI would be overlapped at the P.

BIRI TIP = Berryessa? Tip
T(erry) = Terry = Restaurant Darlene Ferrin worked
essa (sesa) = Caesar = Restaurant Dean Ferrin worked

I BRIT PI = (I British Private Investigator)

Ocean's Eleven:
"A group of former Air Force pilots plan an elaborate heist of five Las Vegas casinos on New Year's Eve."

12/31 = New Year's Eve
1960 = Year of movie
12 + 31 = 43
1960 =19 + 60 = 79

43 + 79 = 122 = Z (ASCII)

79 = O (ASCII)
43 = + (ASCII)
O superimposed with a + sign looks like the sign of the Zodiac.

>New version of left over letters.
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Ocean's 11 is a remake of the 1960 version due out in December 2001.

BRIPITI = B PIT (Brad Pitt) R II (Run II)

Brad Pitt plays Dean Martins character, Dusty Ryan.

This is what I found in the left over letters of the Harden solution of the cipher.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 12:18 pm:

I was doodling with the Harden solution and I got:
It be
I three
them o

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 09:08 am:

BIRI TIP = Berryessa? Tip
T(erry) = Terry = Restaurant Darlene Ferrin worked
essa (sesa) = Caesar = Restaurant Dean Ferrin worked

This could be about Berryessa, maybe a hint where the Zodiac's next murder was going to be.

The scam in Ocean's Eleven was going to happen on 12/31. After the Berryessa stabbings, the Zodiac went to a payphone at the address of 1231 Main St.

(P.75,Zodiac)"Police quickly traced the signal to a pay phone located at 1231 Main Street, the Napa Car Wash."

Also, the dripping pen card was mailed on 11/18 and should have been received on 11/19, which was 43 days after the Berryessa stabbings. 43 is the total of 12 + 31, the address of the car wash. 43 = +(ASCII)

And the date of the Berryessa stabbings was 9/27. The number 79 is in the date, with a 2 for the two stabbed. 79 = O(ASCII)

Total the dates of the murders, 9/27 - 10/11. 9 + 27 = 36 = $(ASCII) Zodiac took 76 cents from Bryan Hartnell (P.68)

Now add 36 + Stines date, 10/11, and date the Stine letter was received, 10/14. 36 + 10 + 11 + 10 + 14 = 81. 81 = Q(ASCII)

I think the Q is for "questions," like "Do you have any questions?" Police wanted more information after Darlene Ferrin's murder.

Also, add the murder dates, including Cheri,12/20, 7/5,9/27,10/11. You get 141 = *(ASCII) Asterisk usually means a footnote (like the Zodiac signature.) Also the words Aster and risk are overlapped. In the Stine murder, the bullet left a star shaped hole. It is risky being a cab driver.

"The autopsy surgeon examined the wound in Stine's head. It was a jagged star-shaped tear." (P.94,Zodiac) The Zodiac knew what his gun could do.

These are just ideas, I'm not saying they are correct.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 09:11 am:

I think there is more than one meaning and yours may be correct too. Maybe there are three of them working together. Who knows. The evidence doesn't seem to all point to one man.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 10:07 pm:

I didn't know if I could've edited one of my other posts, but I just wanted to add this:

Ocean's 11 - If you take the O and cross and superimpose the two 1's you would have the Zodiac sign. What is left over is cean, which is very close to "caen" in the 340 cipher translation.

By Kevin (Kevinrm) ( - on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 10:45 pm:

A person associated with teletype equipment and the transmission of teletype messages would most likely have known the ASCII code, as the radio teletype characters were based on them. Since one of the letter's was supposedly written on teletype paper, we have another possible connection. The only known suspect with this kind of background is Marshall. Then there is the silent movie angle... he seems to be the only one that matches that characteristic as well. Not to say it's him, but I think Z is someone a lot like him.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 09:28 am:

Kevin I didn't know much about the ASCII code background. Thanks.

>Herb Caen

If you take the name Richard Cain and cross out the letters that are common to both names which are: Hrcan

Hrcan could be "chan r." Could be a Charlie Chan movie. A recent one was "Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen."(1981) There was the Dragon post card, and the last possible Zodiac murder was May 20, 1981 of Carmen Rivera from Hayward.

From the listing in Graysmith's book, it looks like Carmen could be missing. A Chan movie that came out in 1982 was called, "Chan is Missing." It is set in San Francisco.

Letters left from Richard Cain: icad: "i diac," with the "zo" missing.

Here is something interesting: ZO in ASCII numbers is 79 and 90. Add 79 + 90 = 169, which is the copyright symbol(ASCII)

The letters remaining in Herb Caen are ebe or "bee." Isn't that the name of a couple of CA newspapers? Or it could mean a "sting" or bee's "buzzzz."

>Caen - Richard Cain, bad Chicago cop, Giancana sidekick. Looks a little like Lawrence Kane, with dark black hair and black-rimmed glasses. Cain was supposedly a sharp shooter, and according to the book "Double Cross," was the shooter in the book depository, rather than Oswald.

By Spencer (Spencer) ( - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 01:50 pm:

Bookworm wrote:

Aside from the fact that the "Dragon post card" was actually a greeting card, it was sent in April 1970, a full 11 YEARS BEFORE the Charlie Chan movie you mention was released.

Secondly, how the hell would Z (IF he had killed Rivera, which is a gigantic if) have known that her body would remain "missing"/go unfound for at least the year between her disappearance and the release of the other Charlie Chan movie that you mentioned?

You should read up a little bit more before you post. Just because you CAN post doesn't mean that you SHOULD post.


By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 01:53 pm:


By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Monday, September 03, 2001 - 02:42 pm:

If the Zodiac had killed Rivera, he would know if she would ever be found, depending on how he disposed of her, IF he was the one to kill her.

There were Chan movies out before the Rivera disappearance. I mentioned the 1981 and 1982 movies because of the coincidence and timing. Who knows maybe the Zodiac was a self-fulfilling prophet.

I respect your views, and welcome them.

By Bookworm (Bookworm) ( - on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 11:22 am:

O'Neill, Eugene (famous playwright)(name)sounds just like your O'Neal.

CODE: "His parents, both Irish Catholic but from different social classes, always seemed to
communicate "in code, never able to find each other's key" (Gelb, 10)."

Eugene O'Neill had a home overlooking Mt. Diablo. An article and picture can be seen on this link:

Ted Kaczynski used Eugene O'Neill stamps on some of his mailed bombs. A total of 5 out of the 16 had these stamps.

Kaczynski is also on the Zodiac suspect list.

By Eduard (Eduard) ( - on Friday, September 07, 2001 - 12:49 am:


Interesting linking you do...
I think there are a lot of possible solutions for this very short code.
Did you see my other solution on my website. I put the link to my site under my message.
Thanks for your reply,

"The Zodiac-Batman Connection"

By Dragonov (Dragonov) ( - on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 03:15 pm:

I got SOLOMON from the cipher-the first and last three letters are "dummy" letters. And IF the Bates murder was committed by the Zodiac, rh could stand for "royal highness" (as in King Solomon).

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 06:43 pm:

Some time back I did several posts on the Irish outlaw Ned Kelly and how that Zodiac could have gotten inspiration for his costume(other sources I call mind stacking could include other sources as well-please see posts if interested)as well as his exploits such as challenging the police in letters,etc.I give just a snmall space in my book to this proposition,but it looks like there is a movie in the making about the life of Kelly slated to be out by 2003.See web sites on Kelly.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 06:53 pm:

Howard, there was an Australian miniseries in 1981 (I think that was the year) called something like The Last Outlaw. It was very apologetic towards Ned Kelly, and it's conclusion (where Kelly was hanged) was broadcast exactly 100 years to the day after the actual event. I was there and watched it, which is how I know.

If there's a movie in the works, I wonder if and when the original miniseries will be shown here (or released on video and/or DVD). Mick Jagger starred in a 1970 or 71 movie about him as well, which has been shown here, I believe.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 12:40 am:

Ned is very big in the UK.There were books/movies about him and were available in the U.S. in the 60's.Since he was an outlaw folk hero,some detective magazines ran stories about Kelly and his gangs exploits.Some of the pictures of Kelly with his 'costume', on complete with hood and gun extended, look almost like Zodiac at LB!

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 11:08 am:

I didn't realize that, Howard. I knew Ned Kelly was big in Australia, which is why I thought that if Z was inspired by him, he would have had more of an Australian rather than a British background. The one main difference between Z and Ned Kelly is that Kelly's "costume" was actually metallic armor! I seem to recall that it's on display in some museum in Australia, probably in Sydney.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 02:34 pm:

You are right about the composition of Kellys costume,but I am referring to APPEARANCE,which is what a reader would see.Some of the images of Ned in full gear with pistol extended ,look very much like what BH describes in his encounter with Z!I have visited all the sites on Ned Kelly and he was an interesting character and worthy of copying -if you had a criminal mind like Z.
It is interesting that GS says Z"Uses "kiddies"for children(Australian or British)"in his letters.Dr.Van Nuys(who went through each Z letter for the first time and did the best job, in my view, to date in showing UK inspiration))and Kelleher are,I believe correct,in asserting that there is a strong possibility that Zodiac either had a UK background and/or had an interst in things UK due to his interest,in Gilbert/Sullivan,writing patterns or style,word selection,like using "shall"( instead of will)Other examples are:"I am rather unhappy","rather interesting ride","as one might say","Happy Christmass,""boughten","clews",etc.One could be on safe ground by asserting that Z was,at least, influenced by UK culture and this is found in the kinds of phraseology and words he used.As you brought out to me recently,Bettye June Hardin-co Z code cracker,said that Z used the term "paterned slacks"(sic) to refer to Ferrins clothing the night of the murder and that,to her,indicated British wordage or expression.There are similarities between the Aussie(as you well know!)and Brits in speech patterns and wordage,as used in their writings and speech.Hey,where did the Aussies come from?My friends went to both countries and were impressed with the aforementioned facts."Blue Meannies",as Z used the term,no doubt,comes from The Yellow Submarine by the English group the Beatles(Z was interested in films!).The previous examples of British words and speech could indicate this(funny a British customer just called me!).Again,Dr.Van Nuys does an excellent job on pointing out and indentifying UK verbage or writing in Zs letters-he went much farther than GS.I hope to do a post on it.Kelly,was Irish,as you know,and if we have Robert Emmett the Irish Revolutionary in code,it shows interest in things Irish,as our past posts have shown,or,at least,attempted to show!

The Southern element is present too-in my opinion."Some bussy work to do","Fiddle & fart around ", "they had best get off their fat asses"are some examples.I have wondered about BH's statement that Z spoke with a kind of a "drawl",but not a Southern drawl as BH said.Drawl in the dictionary means "to speak slowly with vowels greatly prolonged[sounds like some of my Southern friends!] utter in a slow lengthened tone."Z was either trying to cover up his true manner of speech -which could have been Southern(and there are differing types)by speaking in a slow manner,the "drawl"still apparent and/or it reflected his background.In Scientology/theProcess, one was taught to speak in this way for various reasons.See past posts.To me a "drawl" is more of a Southern depiction of speech not Eastern,etc.All speculation,of course-we don't even know any of these things for certain!

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 10:45 pm:

Quite right, Howard, Ned Kelly's and Z's getup do bear a superficial resemblance; I was just clarifying the point for those not familiar with NK, which I would imagine are quite a few.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 - 11:14 am:

The 13 cipher is arranged so that it is patterned the same forward and backward. Make the Aries symbol= ARIES and the Zodiac symbol= THEZODIAC. Reading it backwards while placing the 3 Taurus symbols aside, you have: MANAriesM. The code-breaker is led to believe that the symbol A=Y. This allows MYNAriesM. This allows for the first 9 letters backwards to equal "My name is R". This also allows for a reading of "My name is...(17 letters)". 17, of course, is a crucial Zodiac code number. The code reads backwards: "My name is..RKTHEZODIACNEY, + 3 Taurus symbols. That is: "My name is THEODRE KACZYNI. The difference is O,S,K for 3 taurus symbols. The only match I can make is that numerically, three O's O+O+O=45 and O+S+K=45 also. The 32 cipher also includes the Zodiac symbol and the Aries symbol. That code also shows signs of having these 2 symbols equal their words. The 32 cipher, according to Zodiacs hint, should read something that includes "* radians from zero then * inches". Notice how "thezodiacaries" works well here. Anagram is: zeo,iches,radia,t.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 - 03:52 pm:

Zander, see my proposed solution at The only trouble with our respective solutions is that, because the letters of the words THE ZODIAC are all contained in the name Theodore Kaczynski, any solution involving Kaczynski is going to require a great deal of convincing, since many people are going to write it off to coincidence.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 07:32 pm:

Doug, your solution is probably the better one. It is more consistent. Though it appears just short of a perfect anagram, it really is (considering the math involved). I recently noticed that the pattern "8K8M8" has 8+8+8=24,K(11)+M(13)=24. Here is an alternate solution based on the circled eights setting the stage for a numerical-alphabet-influenced decoding. The code is divided into 3 sections: AEN*/8K8M8/*NAM(The two symbols **,Zodiac and Aries, have no number value). That equals 20/24+24/28. (A(1)+E(5)+N(14)=20 ETC). I would guess that the code-breaker is led to believe that the symbol A=Y because of the backwards "my name is" reading. But he is also led that way numerically. Balance or centering is the game here. To balance the center, 24 needs to be added to both right and left sides. The only reasonable way to do this, in order to sustain a sensible(yet complicated) solution, is to add 24 to the A's. This gives you: YEN*/8K8M8/*NYM. That is: 44/48/52.... 44(-4)48(+4)52... apply that to the letters O now... ?(-4)15(+4)?.. 11,15,19.. The 3 circled eights equal K,O,S The final result is: YENTHEZODIACKKOMSARIESNYM. My name know the rest. I would say the centerpiece of "8K8M8" mimics the entire code. 8(AEN)K(*)8(8K8M8)M(*)8(NAM). Follow me? "If I put my mind to it, I can figure it out"

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 07:07 pm:

Notwithstanding Doug's intriguing solution, My best guess on the 13 Char. Cipher is that it can't be solved into a specific name. But that it was merely intended to reveal the number of letters in Zodiac's name. If we assume one of the characters (perhaps Z-symbol) is a space between 1st and last name then the 12 char. name agrees with the 12 char. name in The Confession. ps. I just noticed another 12: In the first Z letters he threatens to go on a "kill rampage" until 12 people (a dozen) are killed.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 07:50 pm:

Douglas: yours is certainly an interesting solution, as are the others I've seen, except for Harvey Hines' (his is totally nonsensical).

Zander and Obiwan: Since we can't determine the values of such a short cipher with any certainty, I thought it would be fun to see which of the main suspects matched the cipher back on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 11:54 pm. The only one who matches perfectly is Larry Kane, using the assumed alias of "Laurence V. Cave." Doesn't mean he's Z, only that his name matched as I explained in that post.

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 01:41 pm:

Ed, what you are saying it that the 13-char. cipher, after Substitution, anagrams to LaurenceVCave. I agree, this is a perfect anagram. If you used ONE multiple substitution, (ie more than 1 character stands for the same letter,as was done in the 3 part cipher, for example, letting A=N and keeping N=N) Then you could even get, after annagramming: Laurence N. Cane, right?

Can you remind me why you think that Laurence V. Cave was an alias used by Cane? Thanks.

As you point out many such perfect anagrams are possible, eg. STEVEN I SMITHE is one I came up with in about 30 seconds. (not a suspect of course). But I must agree, amoung names similar to suspects names, LaurenceVCave is the only perfect match I have seen.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 02:59 pm:

Someone once pointed out that ALFRED E NEUMAN would fit fairly well into the cipher--and this is made especially interesting by the fact that the line of code was preceded by the sentence "have you "cracked" ..." Cracked was one of MAD's largest competitors!

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 03:20 pm:

When I came up with that, it was pretty exciting...especially since Allen had a ton of Mad magazines. (I have one.)

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 11:25 pm:

obiwan: the first thing we need are assumptions. True, once or twice Z had two values represented by the same symbol, but that was the exception, not the rule. Therefore, it is a good assumption that each symbol has but one value. Going from that, we can see if any suspects match. If we were to assume that the exception was the rule, however, then all bets are off, and you can probably force just about any 13 letter name into the cipher.

Going from the first assumption, then, my task was to match the quantities of each letter in various names, and see if they equalled the quantities of each symbol in the cipher. In comes the assumed alias of Kane, "Laurence V. Cave."

According to Harvey Hines in "On the Trail of the Zodiac, Part One," by Rider McDowell (SF Chronicle, This World, 5-8-1994, p. 12), Larry Krew (that is, Kane) lived on Eddy Street in 1969-70, two blocks from the intersection of Mason and Geary, where Z hailed Stine's cab.

I did some checking of my own, and turned up an "L.C. Cane" who lived at 455 Eddy Street (between Leavenworth and Hyde), apartment 1109, in 1966 (he was actually there by late 1965). In 1967, there was a "Laurence V. Cave" living in the same apartment until 1974, and I'm told that he had the same phone number as "L.C. Cane" (I need to verify that, however). Thing is, it wasn't "two blocks away" from Mason and Geary, it was three as the crow flies, or five as the human walks. There were no other Kanes (by any spelling I could think of, including Klein and it's various spellings as well), thus, I concluded that "Cane" and "Cave" were the same person, and probably the one Hines discovered.

By obiwan (Obiwan) ( - on Sunday, February 24, 2002 - 08:01 pm:

Thanks for that detailed description, Ed.

Just to clarify, regarding the ciphers: Using Two or more Ciphertext Characters to represent a single cleartext character, (as I suggested) WAS THE RULE for the 3 part cipher. The exception was using a Ciphertext character to represent more than one cleartext characters (done only for A & S). So the "solution" I offered is identical to yours, except that where you let "N" represent "V", I let "N" stand for itsself. I agree this opens up more possibilities; that's why I don't read too much into the 13-char cipher.

Keep up the good sluthing in S.F.!

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 12:24 am:

obiwan: I misunderstood you. I thought you meant it the other way around.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 10:16 pm:

Obiwan,As you must know, Zodiac turned his letters, as well as the stamps on the envelopes. Turn the N side ways and you get Z. I don't think Hine's ever saw the name Cave. He told me the names Cane used were,Kane ,Barton, and Williams. Kane was his Mothers Maiden name.Klein was his fathers name, who left when Kane was 13yrs old. Cave moved from 1230 Clayton St.64-65,then to Eddy St. (The later part of 66). In 62-63 he was at 340 Hayes . It looks to me that he could have gone down to Santa Barbara in 63, and in 66 Riverside.Most of the people that I know,keep the same phone number when moving around in the same area. Kane changed his phone number when he moved. This tells me that he may have left the city for a while. In 64-65 shows no phone. 66 no phone,67 PH.was 474-5817 .He changed the "w" to a "u" in the name Lawrence in 68 ,and had the same phone no.He was still at that address in 69-70 book. Jim Phillips was at 1225 Grove st.69-70.(he was Darlene's ex)there was an "alley" at this place! He wore dark horn rim glass's and a crew cut,light hair. He also was living close to Riverside in 66,and then Vallejo. They both make good suspects.

By Dboba (Dboba) ( - on Saturday, May 11, 2002 - 06:19 pm:

104 could be 10 4 police radio code for over and out

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 01:04 am:

Hines claimed that Kane lived at the Clark Hotel on Eddy Street in 1969, two blocks from where Z hailed Stine's cab. As I explained earlier, I discovered a Cane/Cave at 455 Eddy, which wasn't two blocks from Mason and Geary, but more like five; I thought this was the same guy Hines discovered. However, at 217 Eddy, two blocks from that intersection, there was, in 1969, the Clark Apartments, now called the Franciscan Tower Apartments. Whether Kane actually lived there, or at 455 Eddy apartment 1109, I don't know. It seems kind of unlikely that two individuals, one named Lawrence Kane, and the other named Laurence Cave (and presumably L.C. Cane before that) would happen to live two blocks apart at the same time. It's not exactly a name as common as John Smith.

However, there was no way to verify if L.C. Cane and Laurence V. Cave had the same phone number in addition to the same apartment, which would therefore indicate that they were almost certainly the same person; Cane's was not listed, whereas Cave's was.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 12:34 am:

The circled eights could have stood for Hitler!Crazy?Well,it says that "This number ,widely used by neo -Nazis and others,is shorthand for "Heil Hitler."H is the eigth letter of the alphabet which signified life,creation,rebirth[reborn in paradise?] and renewal.Several Runic alphabets were used by the Germanic peoples between the 3rd and the 13th centuries."
As I have posted in the past,the "numbers" or supposed 'eights',are really circled symbols for Taurus.Hitler was a Taurus having been born 4/20.This is the date of a Zodiac letter.Was the clever dualistic muti meaning Z having it both ways?
See past posts on this and the Celtic cross (a crossed circle exactly like Zodiacs)"...which was first used in modern times by the far-right National Front in ENGLAND."

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 02:24 pm:

The letters within the three eights(K,M) add up to 24 same as 8x3=24. I hadn't thought of a Hitler connection for the code, that's good considering an April 20th mailing. The three H's could be for Hitler, Himmler, Hess. I've had a similar theory on making the 3 eights equal H's. HHH could equal H.H Holmes, Americas worst and first serial killer. Apparently he killed as many as 200 people in his Chicago hotel.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 04:17 pm:

The Unabomber did a mailing on April 20 as well, which (in conjunction to some other facts in the case) led some to believe he worked with neo-nazis.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, June 10, 2002 - 01:21 am:

April 20 is also Passover and the Nazi propaganda machine made much of the fact that the new German 'Messiah' was born at this time!

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, June 10, 2002 - 01:31 am:

It was Passover in what year, Howard?

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( on Monday, June 10, 2002 - 06:55 pm:

4:20 also means "it's time to smoke a joint" in stoner argot. I, uhhh, wrote for High Times for a while. Every day at 4:20, right there in the offices on Park Avenue South...

It got old, of course. How much can you say about pot? Speaking of which, I believe it's 4:20 right now.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, June 10, 2002 - 10:52 pm:

According to the Hebrew calendar for April 1970 Passover(Pesach)began on the 20th(Zs letter sent) and ended (Peshach VIII) or the 28th of April when Zs card was sent.
I can find only one other significant Z Hebrew date line up and that's September 27th 1969 when,according to the Hebrew calandar,it is the Feast of Tabernacles.
In books on the occult,Jewish symbols/dates of holidays,etc., are significant.Further proof,in my view only, Zodiac knew the occult.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Monday, November 04, 2002 - 01:11 am:

The 13-code is actually fairly concrete evidence that Arthur Leigh Allen was not the Zodiac. Ed(as an example) you take the position that Zodiac was not serious about flirting with revealing his name, that they were empty words. However, if Allen was Zodiac, then he was very serious about flirting with revealing his name as evidenced by the 13-code. The very first letters are AEN and then the Zodiac symbol. With just a very elementary, initial inquiry into this code, one is reading AllEN right away. If you break down the Z symbol into letters you get O and T, or O and two small L's(as the 2 most obvious). So that's AENTO or AENLLO for the first 4 symbols. In fact, just with AEN, that's extremely bold, to write a code reading: my name is...AEN, with the first 3 letters as 3 out of your 5 last name letters.(But like I've pointed out, the very next symbol holds 2 L's). Now, of course, I must also remind that Arthur Allen was interviewed as a Zodiac suspect before this. With catch-22 logic, this means that(X)Arthur Leigh Allen was not the Zodiac or else(Y)he wanted to be arrested.(-Y)Zodiac writes: "Hey pig, doesn't it rile you up.." and "you shall never catch me.." X+Y-Y=X.