## Real World Maths: Ciphers for Middle School Students

December 17, 2020

The ZODIAC murderer, who killed, at least, 5 people from 1968-1970 and sent encrypted messages to the San Francisco Chronicle, has never been caught.

The 340 cipher was cracked last week. See post here. To understand how ciphers work here are 3 simple ciphers that have been used in the past.

## Real World Maths: The Zodiac Murders Cipher Cracked after 51 years

December 17, 2020

Mathspig can remember the horror of the ZODIAC MURDERS in California in 1968-69.

1969 was a very big year for psychopaths as the creepy Sharon Tate Murders by Charles Manson and his ‘Family’ also happened that year.

The ZODIAC murderer, who killed, at least, 5 people and sent encrypted messages to the San Francisco Chronicle, has never been caught. After 51 years the 340 cipher with 340 characters (below) was cracked last week.

The 340 cipher was cracked by of Jarl Van Eycke, David Oranchak, and Sam Blake, computer programmers and codebreakers from Belgium, the US, and Australia. Sam Blake is a Melbourne Mathematician.

You will find everything you need to know about these codebreakers at The Nerdist Blog here.

The ZODIAC murderer used all 3 Cipher Methods (See blog Above) to write the cipher.

The Zodiac combined a PIGPEN style cipher with a PLAYFAIR type cipher. The code breakers knew the key (below) from other ZODIAC messages.

The problem was the TRANSPOSITION Rule. The codebreakers’ programs had to sort through 650,000 to find the correct one for the cipher.

The diagonal of … include two-letters across, move down one row, then include the next two letters across, repeat, seemed to produce words.

The breakthrough came when Sam Blake divided the cipher into three blocks.

Finally, the message could be read. The ZODIAC murderer was a complete PSYCHOPATH, who thought he was collecting slaves for the afterlife!!!!!!!

If you are intrigued by this story then you will find these two videos by David Oranchak very interesting.