See 'Zodiac admitted 340 not a real cipher' [pt1].'
The Zodiac Killer may have been pushing us in the right direction on October 27th 1970, but his attempt at revealing the workings of the 340 cipher may have begun far earlier, on December 16th 1969- just 38 days after his 'so called' masterpiece, claiming a potential 38 more victims.
The 'Fairfield' letter has been considered dubious Zodiac correspondence, however, it may have been Zodiac's first foray into revealing the mechanics of the 340 cipher, albeit using a rudimentary code as a tool. There are two key features of this correspondence possibly linking it to the 'Halloween' card, and more importantly, to the Tim Holt comic. The second we will deal with later, but the first is the rather childish looking or amateurish offering of a code consisting of only nine characters.
Clearly, the Zodiac must have known that offering just five different symbols in a code of nine is open to many different interpretations and therefore practically unsolvable. Therefore, one could suggest this wasn't his intention- he was simply teasing us with the mechanics of how the 340 cipher was designed by using a rudimentary diagram based on the Tim Holt comic- and something he would expand upon nearly a year later.
One can see how he uses the Zodiac symbol around the crosshairs in the 'Fairfield' letter code, implying a uniformity of message, but aligns five symbols as an introduction to this design. This marries perfectly with 'Death By Gun', 'Death By Knife', 'Death By Fire' and 'Death By Rope.' Death is the introduction, following by the methods of death around the crosshairs. This is exactly what he offered us on October 27th 1970, when he placed the methods of death in the four quadrants of the bisecting Paradice and Slaves. Here is a representation.
"This is the Zodiac speaking. I just want to tell you this state is in trouble. I will go for the Goverment life, so don't foreget me. I will kill more people than you cops can count, so look for more blood. You better print."
He deliberately chose to separate fourteen, creating the number 4. He added four larger eyes outside of the tree, as well as placing four dots around the symbol. He also highlighted four eyes in red on the card outer and inner.
The strange symbol (with the four dots) could be a joined Z, V and F, and being preceded by four eyes, could simply be interpreted as "look for Zodiac victim fourteen" or with respect to 4-TEEN, "look for number fourteen."
Up to this point and beyond, none of Zodiac's confirmed or insinuated victims (Kathleen Johns, Cheri Jo Bates and Richard Radetich) lay undiscovered, so it is entirely plausible this card was referring to the disappearance of Donna Ann Lass 51 days earlier. The skeletons indicative of a body lain undiscovered for a measurable period of time.
The coloring of the four skeleton eyes may be suggestive of blood or death, a formula used in the creation of the '13 Hole' postcard on October 5th 1970, where the author added a pasted red crucifix to the card.
The 'Halloween' card could be telling us to "look for Zodiac victim fourteen" or equally "look for blood," as did the Fairfield letter on December 16th 1969, when the author stated "I will kill more people than you cops can count, so look for more blood. You better print."
This discovery by Tahoe27 on December 30th 2013 was certainly a great find, but it may just turn out to be the greatest find of them all. A discovery that may finally reveal the 340 offering to be masquerading as a fully fledged cipher, and as such, has had us chasing our tails for nearly half a century. Albeit, undecipherable at the time, the answer was probably staring us in the face just 38 days after the November 8th 1969 communication- in a letter many thought was penned by a hoaxer.