The Zodiac Killer's 'uncrackable' cipher solved 51 years on
The notorious 340 cipher was considered uncrackable, and police and amateur sleuths have been perplexed by the apparent series of nonsense letters and symbols.
But an international three-person team of codebreakers have finally figured out the message.
Australian applied mathematician Sam Blake, US computer programmer David Oranchak and Belgian computer programmer Jarl Van Eycke figured it out this week.
The three have now sent their findings to the FBI.
"Last weekend, a team I'm on solved the 340 and submitted it to the FBI," Mr Oranchak said.
"They have confirmed the solution. No joke! This is the real deal."
They used codebreaking software developed by Mr Van Eycke to run over 650,000 simulations before making their breakthrough on December 3.
The troubling message is consistent with the other letters and codes the Zodiac Killer sent newspapers in the San Francisco Bay area during his killing spree.
I HOPE YOU ARE HAVING LOTS OF FUN IN TRYING TO CATCH ME
THAT WASNT ME ON THE TV SHOW
WHICH BRINGS UP A POINT ABOUT ME
I AM NOT AFRAID OF THE GAS CHAMBER
BECAUSE IT WILL SEND ME TO PARADICE ALL THE SOONER
BECAUSE I NOW HAVE ENOUGH SLAVES TO WORK FOR ME
WHERE EVERYONE ELSE HAS NOTHING WHEN THEY REACH PARADICE
SO THEY ARE AFRAID OF DEATH
I AM NOT AFRAID BECAUSE I KNOW THAT MY NEW LIFE IS
LIFE WILL BE AN EASY ONE IN PARADICE DEATH
He killed at least four people, and seriously wounded two others in northern California. He also claimed in his letters to have killed at least 37 people.
His murders inspired the movie Dirty Harry, as well as the more recent film Zodiac.
The case is still open in four jurisdictions where the murders took place.