Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal in Zodiac

The Latest 2020 Development? One of the Zodiac Killer’s Ciphers Was Finally Cracked.

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It’s only taken roughly fifty years, but we cracked another one of the Zodiac Killer’s ciphers! This sounds like I’m being a smartass and that I’m not excited, but if you know me (or have read any of my Zodiac-loving pieces here on The Mary Sue) you know that this is huge news for me personally.

The cipher in question was solved by civilian codebreakers, and the FBI admitted as much, which honestly fits in with everything else about this case. Back when the letters were heading to the San Francisco Chronicle, they would publish the letters, and people throughout the area would try to crack the cipher to read the letter.

So the fact that codebreakers figured out this one all these years later? Incredible. The letter in question talks about his “appearance” on a television show, where he spoke to Melvin Belli.

“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.”

The misspelling of “paradice” feeds into other letters and the killer’s either intentional misspelling or lack of care, but this letter made for some fun developments in the case—mainly that it brought Twitter together to make a ton of Zodiac memes, which makes me happy and my soul feel light.

Would I love 2020 if we somehow figured out who the Zodiac Killer was this year? Yes. Simple as that. It would make me, personally, feel better about everything, but also, I would then like for David Fincher to make an even longer version of Zodiac with this new development. Thank you.

(image: Paramount Pictures)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.