He Claims to Have Solved Zodiac Killer's Last Ciphers

But results from French-Moroccan man aren't embraced in the case's online community
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2021 2:57 PM CDT
He Claims to Have Solved Zodiac Killer's Last Ciphers
A San Francisco Police Department wanted bulletin and copies of letters sent to the San Francisco Chronicle by a man who called himself Zodiac are displayed in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

A French-Moroccan man claims to have done what decades of sleuths have failed to do—crack two unsolved ciphers left by the Zodiac Killer and reveal his identity. But as the New York Times reports, the claims of 38-year-old Faycal Ziraoui aren't exactly being embraced by the large online community devoted to the case. For the record, Ziraoui says the cipher known as Z13 reveals the killer to be the late Lawrence Kaye, who sometimes went by Kane. The cipher actually reveals the name "KAYR," but Ziraoui says that's a typo consistent with previous errors made by the killer in his puzzles. The name will be familiar to those who follow the case, because Kaye has long been considered a suspect in the San Francisco Bay Area murders of the 1960s and '70s.

Ziraoui also claims to have cracked the cipher known as Z32, which he says reveals the precise location of a school the killer threatened to blow up. As the Times explains it, the key to Ziraoui's discoveries came in December, when other code-breakers solved another of the killer's ciphers. Ziraoui says he essentially used the same encryption key on the two remaining unsolved ciphers. Things still get weedy, however. Ziraoui used "calculations based on trigonometry, probabilities, with the reinforcement of semiology and geomagnetic fields," per pressfrom.info, citing a story in a French magazine from earlier this year. Generally, the online Zodiac community considers the ciphers Ziraoui claims to be have cracked to be unsolvable because they're too short. Neither the FBI nor the San Francisco police would comment on Ziraoui's claims. (More Zodiac killer stories.)

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