Zodiac Killer’s cipher solved by amateur codebreakers after 51 years

Amateur codebreakers have solved a decades long mystery. The FBI confirmed Friday that a group of private citizens deciphered a coded note from the Zodiac Killer, the 1960s serial killer who preyed on his victims in Northern California and has never been caught.

“The FBI is aware that a cipher attributed to the Zodiac Killer was recently solved by private citizens,” the FBI’s San Francisco division said in a statement. “Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, and out of respect for the victims and their families, we will not be providing further comment at this time.”

The coded message, known as 340 cipher (named for its 340 characters), was sent to the San Francisco Chronicle in 1969 and was recently solved by a team of amateur codebreakers from Australia, Belgium and the United States, the newspaper reported.