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

Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal in Zodiac

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 (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.