More than 50 years after the so-called Zodiac Killer first began terrorizing the North American streets, a code-breaking team is believed to have finally cracked the mysterious code sent to the San Francisco Chronicle in 1969. The killer and the mysterious code inspired the 2007 mystery thriller film of the same name by David Fincher starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr.

Who was Zodiac Killer?

Zodiac Killer
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The Zodiac Killer is the pseudonym of an American serial killer active from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. As of today, his identity remains unknown where several conspiracy theorists claim that he is now dead or has been serving a sentence for some other menial crime.

The Zodiac Killer targetted young couples, with two of the men surviving the attempted murder. He also murdered a male cab driver. Over time, the Zodiac killer would brag about his murders and claim that he has murdered 37 people.

The California Department of Justice has maintained an open case file on the Zodiac murders since 1969.

A mysterious message from the Zodiac killer:

Zodiac Killer had the habit of sending postcards or letters to the San Francisco Chronicle. He once sent a mysterious message dubbed as "340 ciphers" that took 50 years for the experts to crack finally.

Zodiac Killer
Zodiac KillerScreengrab

Following is the message that he sent across in 1969:

The message was finally unravelled by a trio of code breakers -- David Oranchak, Jarl Van Eycke, and an Australian mathematician Sam Blake. Decoding the cipher revealed the following chilling message:

"I hope you are having lots of fun in trying to catch me. That wasn't 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 paradise all the sooner. Because I now have enough slaves to work for me where everyone else has nothing when they reach paradise so they are afraid of death. I am not afraid because I know that my new life will be an easy one in paradise death (sic)," the coded message read.

Check out the approach followed by the code breakers to unravel the 50-year-old mystery:

David Fincher's Zodiac Movie:

Zodiac killer got modern recognition after David Fincher decided to work on James Vanderbilt's screenplay on the killings of the Zodiac. The movie tells the story of the manhunt for the Zodiac Killer and how he taunted police and media with letters, bloodstained clothing, and ciphers.

Zodiac movie received mostly positive reviews, with praise for its writing, directing, acting, and historical accuracy. It was also nominated for several awards back then and grossed over $84.7 million worldwide on a production budget of $65 million production budget.