If a Zodiac impersonator had created the 38 character code, this hoaxer would have had to guess that by separating the prominent ZO∆AIKꞮ+ characters on the bottom line of the 340 cipher, into AIKꞮ+ on the bottom line of the 38 character code, he would be reducing these characters to create something meaningful. He apparently did. By separating these characters into the five visible at the end of the 38 character code, he created the word "death", just like the solved 340 cipher. Druzer, an excellent Zodiac researcher, pointed out the same thing, stating "The most curious/compelling feats are that the author isolated actual words, most notably death, and that he refrained from copying Zodaik, which would certainly be expected of a hoaxer". In other words, he dismantled the ZO∆AIK element, while leaving Ɪ+ in place, to form "death" as the final word on the 38 character code. This appears to show knowledge of the hidden message in the 340 cipher. But there is so much more in the Fairfield letters that harks back to the Dripping Pen card and 340 cipher.
The Dripping Pen card containing the 340 cipher stated "Could you print this new cipher in your frunt page?", whereas the wording "you better print" preceded the small 5/9 character code in the December 16th 1969 letter. The decoded message in the 340 cipher (unknown to anyone until December 2020) began in mocking fashion, stating "I hope you are having lots of fun trying to catch me", while the message immediately beneath the small code in the December 16th 1969 letter stated "you will not catch me". It was almost as though the Zodiac Killer was replying to himself just over five weeks later, in absence of his cipher being solved.
On October 22nd 1969, the Oakland Police Department took a call in the early morning hours from somebody claiming to be the Zodiac, requesting that either Melvin Belli or Francis Lee Bailey, high profile lawyers at the time, appear on a chat show hosted by Jim Dunbar later that day. Melvin Belli agreed to appear on the show to which a man would eventually contact via telephone, claiming not only his name was 'Sam', but also by inference that he was the infamous Zodiac Killer. It was very quickly determined from Nancy Slover, David Slaight and Bryan Hartnell that the caller to the TV show wasn't the Zodiac Killer, which was confirmed by the decoded 340 message, which read "That wasn't me on the TV show". However, the Zodiac Killer didn't expand on who the person was that made the phone call to the Oakland Police Department. Whether he was leaving this open to speculation deliberately, nobody knows, but Oakland would feature in his murder destinations on December 16th 1969. This was the only time this city would feature by way of written text in any of the Zodiac Killer's communications, and it came just five weeks after the Bay Area murderer encoded the denial of "That wasn't me on the TV show". Was it a subtle admission that he did make the Oakland phone call to police and was now promising to murder eight of them, hence the renewed contact with Melvin Belli just four days later providing a piece of Paul Stine's shirt?
The word "death" could be decoded using the Zodiac key through both the Z340 and Z38 within 29 days of one another. The December 16th 1969 letter also contained a configuration of four smaller crosshairs positioned around larger crosshairs, similar to the configuration of By Knife, By Gun, By Rope and By Fire on the Halloween card mailed on October 27th 1970. However, on this occasion the design was preceded by five characters. Could this be the word "death" once again, mirroring the Tim Holt comic book which likely inspired the design of the Halloween card in the first place? Anyway, "I thought you would nead a good laugh before you hear the bad news. Ha! Ha! Ha!"