Zodiac Killer: Massachusetts Man Says He's Cracked the Cipher

Categories: Crime
Thumbnail image for zodiaccode.jpg
The real Zodiac emerges?
A Massachusetts man says he has cracked the Zodiac killer's cipher that has befuddled law enforcement agencies for the last 40 years since the enigmatic serial killer went on his Bay Area killing spree. The amateur sleuth says the 340-character code sent to the San Francisco Chronicle declares at the end, "My name is Leigh Allen," one of the principal suspects in the case, who died in 1992.

Corey Starliper of Tewksbury, Mass., became obsessed with the Zodiac case and decided he could break the code, according to news reports.

"It was just instinct," he told the Burlingame Patch. "I have a gut feeling that it could be cracked."

Not to say it wasn't a complex process. Starliper did it in two sessions -- one that was six hours long and another where he spent three hours. 

According to the Patch:

According to Robert Graysmith, in "Zodiac" tips received by police after Darlene Ferrin's murder indicated that the killing was connected to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Starliper believed that the "340" of the 340 cipher was significant, and had some tie-in with the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was then that he found out that 340 is the area code for a portion of the U.S. Virgin Islands -- not an insignificant connection.

"So that's what I started with," said Starliper. "I thought, there's no way ... that Zodiac is going to be prosaic enough not to mention the U.S. Virgin Islands in this code. This is where it gets even creepier. 3+4+0=7. Right. So you get 7+0=7. 707 ... 707 are the area codes for Vallejo, Napa, and Solano. So I figured, why not start this with Caesar code using 3,4."

We're no cipher experts, but it Starliper's result is at least highly readable:

KILL/SLF/DR/HELP/ME/KILL/MYSELF/GAS/CHAMBER/AEIOUR/DAYS/QUESTIONSABLE/EVERYY/WAKING/MOMENT/IM/ALIVE/MY/PRIDE/LOST/I/CANT/GO/ON/LIVING/IN/THIS/WAY/KILLING/PEOPLE/I/HAV/KILLD/SO/MANY/PEOPLE/CANT/HELP/MYSELF/IM/SO/ANGRY/I/COULD/DO/MY/THING/IM/ALONE/IN/THIS/WORLD/MY/WHOLE/LIFE/FUL/O/LIES/IM/UNABLE/TO/STOP/BY/THE/TIME/YOU/SOLVE/THIS/I/WILL/HAV/KILLD/ELEVEN/PEOPLE/PLEASE/HELP/ME/STOP/KILLING/PEOPLE/PLEASE/MY/NAME/IS/LEIGH/ALLEN/

Starliper told the Patch that he'd contacted various Bay Area law enforcement agencies, but has only gotten a tepid response. SFPD Homicide Inspector Kevin Jones told SF Weekly he never heard from Starliper, but would send the code onto the FBI, which has the experts to check his method. 

"There's people who over the years think they've come with answers to the cipher, but the FBI hasn't been able to validate it," Jones says.

Could this be the one?

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF
My Voice Nation Help
16 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Con
Con

Forcing a square peg into a round hole and claiming it fits...genius.

AllThingsZodiac
AllThingsZodiac

"One problem. The 340 area code was created 5 years after Allen died."

Allen died in 1964?

TZMC
TZMC

Allen died in 1992.

Drunk Guy
Drunk Guy

the 340 area code was created in 1997.

dantsea
dantsea

So is this like just something people do every 2-3 years for giggles and blog coverage? And speaking of which what happened to that crazy lady from the last go-round?

Corey Starliper
Corey Starliper

If I had known that what I believe to be a potential solution to the 340 would go viral, I can assure you I, I would have asked Patch to use a different picture of me. I started small...hometown stuff...one town, not a few like some newspapers do. It took off and everyone picked it up from there. I have literally had nothing to do with the press coverage since this whole thing started. It was in AOL's hands from the beginning. I'm open to interpretation.

Dagmajor
Dagmajor

The solution is incorrect. It seemed plausible until the end where the "solution" claims the Zodiac is Arthur Leigh Allen. There is absolutely no way ALA is the Zodiac. Any attempt to uncover the REAL Zodiac is too often shrouded by individuals pushing the banner to Allen.

JoJo
JoJo

I think the solution is the most valid attempt I have seen. I have actually seen other that come up with some of the same letters such as the third and fourth letters being "L." I say good job. I have tried to crack it myself. The 340 area code is not what is important, it's the 3-4 shift that is derived from it, and that came fromt he number of characters in the cipher.

Mfshaft
Mfshaft

One problem. The 340 area code was created 5 years after Allen died. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...

Corey Starliper
Corey Starliper

Admittedly, I should have done more research on what I thought was strong connection. I jumped the gun on that and unfortunately it turned out to be not valid. I did, however, use the 3,4 as the starting Ceasar shift. There are, in fact, 340 symbols in the cipher, which may or may not be connection enough. The 707 area code connection is valid, however, and I think a bit too weird to ignore, regardless of whether or not is has anything to do with the cipher itself. It was the 340 that was important.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

If you recall, it wasn't until quite recently that area codes could be anything other than the form a1b or a0b, where a and b are between 2 and 9.

This was scrapped when they ran out of those area codes and started forcing us to dial 1 first to indicate we were dialing an area code.

Now Trending

San Francisco Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...