Black Dahlia Ciphers Message Board: Ciphers: Black Dahlia Ciphers

By Juno (Juno) ( - on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 08:05 pm:

I stumbled across this website today while looking for an update on Larry Harnisch's solution to the Black Dahlia case. This one is not Harnisch's solution, but is rather interesting. It takes time, but is worth the read.

If you check it out, just read each page. do not use the navigation tools at the top.

When he explains the 3 Dahlia letters as ciphers (and their decoding) he mentions the Zodiac Ciphers as well.

The solution itself makes sense, but i really find the "cipher solutions" to be pushing it, much like some of the solutions to Z ciphers. You can find what you are looking for. ex post facto decoding i suppose. The suicide note at the end is rather interesting, and quite coincidental, however.

Anyway--I thought some people may be interested in this case as well. The site seems to be no longer updated, same for Harnisch's site. I had never seen this one, and it seems rather viable. The best thing prior being the book "severed" I have no idea who is behind this particular solution.

Anyway--He does mention Z if you read the whole thing, so this is somehow related. My second favorite unsolved crime.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 08:46 pm:

On page 4 was a pic of a newpaper article with the caption, "Police Check New Clew3." Interesting...

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Saturday, December 21, 2002 - 07:27 am:

I haven't got my head around this yet,but some of it is so close to home,I don't even know what to say at this point.Its interesting enough for me to go back and study it and also re-read my book on the Black Dahlia murder.
His statement about Zodiac using a sequential wrap around encryption method is not correct,at least as he describes.All we can go on is the first cipher,however there is no obvious system here.Either the association of Symbol to Letter was random or he used a key from another text such as the Beale cipher method.
His comments on concealments ciphers are mostly correct.However as we have noted before, any such system can only be judged on the method of extraction.If we are to criticize it then we have to say there is no set mathematical rule for extraction.Therefore any extraction only holds the same value as any other information extracted.
Although he does mention a phone number link.(Will have to go back over that)
I did read this book some time back but cannot remember if these "letters" were authenticated as coming from the killer.If not there's another problem there.That said, it is fascinating and worthy of further study.I'd sure like to know who came up with this.

By Juno (Juno) ( - on Saturday, December 21, 2002 - 10:09 am:

For background here is one of the better sites:

Larry Harnisch's site is here. Not much has developed from this solution, as far as i know:

John Gilmore wrote a book "Severed" and info on his solution can be found at the site as well.

And of course there was Janice Knowlton who became convinced "Daddy Was the Black Dahlia Killer."

Again, info on this unfounded solution can be found at

I'm just posting this for people who would like more background into the case, which helps with reading the solution page.

I had no idea the solution posted above existed, and it does not seem to be mentioned on other dahlia sites. I have no idea who the responsible parties are.

Tom--thanks for letting this appear. Although not entirely Z related, there are similarities and I would imagine people would be interested in this.

Wow! Big developments abound in 2 of the most infamous unsolved crimes.


By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, December 22, 2002 - 01:14 am:

In the early 1940s, Beth Short actually lived in Vallejo with her father. In fact, Beth is buried in nearby Oakland.

I've been in communication with John Gilmore and own a copy of Severed. It wouldn't surprise me if the Zodiac was somehow affected by the Black Dahlia murder.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Sunday, December 22, 2002 - 01:49 am:

I believe one theory is that the Cleveland Torso Killer, Eliot Ness' other arch-nemesis, was the perp in the Black Dahlia's murder.

It just struck me: she was killed about 8 months after the Phantom Killer of Texarkana last struck, and parallels between Z and PK have been drawn before. With the Black Dahlia hot on PK's heels, that might have affected Z quite a bit.