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sábado, 27 de octubre de 2012


 --This is the continuation of a previous post titled "DONALD & BETTYE HARDEN BREAKING THE ZODIAC KILLER" that you can see here:

 --Now I want to know what happened to these ordinary people who deciphered the hidden message of a murderer extraordinary.


Once upon a time

Donald Harden worked as a history teacher at Salinas High School and was recovering at home from a complicated eye surgery. Scattered He scanned the "San Francisco Chronicle". On the fourth side was under the heading "Encrypted message the killer" a mysterious document printed.  3 parts and 24 lines with 408 characters: letters of the alphabet, Greek characters, astrological symbols and maritime character. Also remembering. Slowly, almost reluctantly, he can those August days of the year 1969 call to mind the changed his life forever. He was 41 years old.

Donald Gene Harden

 The last line consists of  unintelligible words : "ebeorietemethhpiti." A name? An address? A town? They are still a puzzle. 

+ Vallejo Det. Sgt. John Lynch was at last convinced: "There is no doubt in my mind that this is a true translation of the cipher and that the murderer wrote it," he said. "I think perhaps the man's name is in the cryptogram, possibly in the last four words." 

+ Harden, after cracking the code, formed these general theories about its author: "He is bright enough, but not necessarily of high intellect.... He may be in or near middle age, because he uses one term (not revealed by police) that has dropped out of general slang use..."

1 part: 
Donald Gene Harden explains

 "The day that I saw the cryptic text for the first time, was the third August 1969, I think it was a Sunday. "

 An unknown person had sent the Code Editor, accompanied by a letter in which he confessed to two brutal murders in the previous month. Two teenagers were executed literally in a parking lot. The Unknown wrote: "I want you to print this cipher text on the front page of your newspaper. In the text of my identity is hidden. If you do not print it, I will start a series of murders". The message was signed with a cross in a circle. It was the first message of the madman who called himself a little later, in a second letter, "Zodiac".

 For him, the first code was a puzzle, been a game.

Capture from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjWWrvizcIU&NR=1&feature=endscreen

This is the FBI speaking.

+ After the Hardens' decryption was published, they became overnight celebrities, something they never anticipated. Then they received a call from the FBI. They were right. "I don't know what my ex-wife told them. I wasn't there. All I know is we never heard from them again,"

A gun under the bed.

  "We didn't realize the media fallout that would follow. I was interviewed on America's Most Wanted for about half a second. But my ex-wife got so paranoid that every time a reporter would come by she'd start worrying the killer was going to find us. I had to buy a gun and put it under the bed. I never had a gun before and I never used it. I just bought it to calm her down. I got rid of it a couple of years later."

Back to work (in the traditional way)
 + His students were amazed at their teacher’s prowess and terrified like all school kids in the Bay area of the cipher slayer. “When it was published, the kids at school wouldn’t let up about it. So one day I sat them all down and told them all about it, how I did it and that was it,” Harden recalls. “I did it to calm them down and after that nobody ever mentioned it again. “

+ First, he had to teach them about code breaking, a jargon term for decryption or breaking encryption, which is the process of obscuring information to make something unreadable without special knowledge. Ciphers are the plain text letters, characters or symbol substitutes that can stand alone or be used in groups in an encrypted message. Although the term code is used interchangeably with cipher, codes are usually converted words or phrases that are generally used to shorten a message.

+ In Graysmith’s book Zodiac, Harden told how he broke down the killer’s encrypted missive. First he checked for frequency of certain letters. “He knew that E was the common letter in the English language followed by T, A, O, N, I, R and S. The common double letters are L, E and S,” wrote Graysmith. The letters most frequently occurring together are TH, HE and AN. More than half of all words begin with T, A, O, S or W and the most common three letter combinations were THE, ING, CON and ENT. 

+ Harden decided the killer was using substitution ciphers which are symbols or figures, not letters. Since the killer had used a multitude of symbols, a one-for-one substitution for letters wasn’t possible. Harden had to get creative, deduce the killer’s method of repeating symbols and reduce the number of variables. Then it hit him – the most commonly doubled letter in the English language is L. So he looked for four letter patterns in the killer’s cryptogram that would mesh with the word “kill.” 

+ “Battlefield cryptanalysts, for example, scan any captured ciphers for symbols that might stand for attack,” noted Graysmith. With that thinking in mind, the Hardens used “killing” twice and “killed” and “thrilling” once each. Other double-L words were “will’’ used four times and “collecting” once. Then they determined the killer’s traps – he used the symbol of a backward Q 15 times to lure code breakers into thinking it was an E, the most commonly used letter. For an E the killer used 7 different symbols. Two different symbols were used for A and S interchangeably. The killer’s spelling was not only poor but in some cases there were mistakes in the ciphers themselves.

More read:

Last years of Donald

+ Even the 79-year-old Donald Harden let himself down five years ago with his second wife Dee in Fountain Hills. 

+ Fountain Hills is a small artificial town in the Arizona desert, an hour north of Phoenix. Many wealthy retirees who have villas here, Mexican-style building - the dry desert air is ideal for a retirement home. 

+ He likes to sit with his trusty dachshund on his lap in the spacious living room with an iced tea and solves crossword puzzles with his wife. She heads to the local bridge club, every Monday, the two play a few games, then they go eat.

From:  legacy.com/obituaries/azcentral

Donald Gene Harden, 83 years old, of Fountain Hills, AZ.

+ He passed away peacefully on March 7, 2012, after a lengthy illness.

+ Don received a masters degree and taught history and economics at North High School in Salinas, CA, for over 20 years. He was selected as teacher of the year numerous times. He then entered real estate where he became a leader in real estate like/kind exchanges.
On August 8th, 1969, Don solved the cryptogram, created by the Zodiac, a serial killer, which was published by the San Francisco Chronicle. 

+ Don enjoyed games, particularly bridge. He became a Bronze Life Master in ACBL tournament play. This man was awesome, kind, gentle, and rarely angry. He was loved.

+ He is survived by Delia, his wife of 16 years, his daughter, Leslie Harden Harper, three grandchildren, Jessica, Sydney and Miles Harper. He is also survived by three stepsons, Mark, Tim and Mike Guilford and three step grandsons, Joel, Andrew and Robert Guilford.

More read:

2  part: 
 Leslie (Harden) Harper -Daughter- explains

From: Zodiackiller.com Message Board: A Tribute to Bettye Harden (With Pics).

"I would like your readers to know that the first code's solution was a collaborative effort on the part of both of my parents. My father (Donald G. Harden) furnished the cryptography techniques and my mother brought her own intensity, zeal and drive to the project. I remember my parents sitting at our dining room table with San Francisco Chronicle folded to the code. My mother sat at the table working with the odd symbols of the code and became obsessed with it. She sat there until the code was cracked and did not sleep for several days. I remember the conversations between my parents as they worked: my dad expressing doubt about the message, about the syntax; my mother was so sure, so positive. She knew.

My mom was not interested in giving interviews and was content to have my dad handle the media. She was a bit afraid of being photographed in connection with the code.

 Early interviews do explain the team effort involved, but a recent article published in the Salinas Californian (January 20, 2007) quoted my father as saying he worked on the code pretty much exclusively. He has developed Alzheimer's and actually remembers very little.

Capture from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzOZW7pfBYw&feature=endscreen&NR=1
I want to make sure that my mother's contribution is not overlooked. In fact, I am convinced that the code would not have been solved without her obsessive determination. Bettye is not here to speak for herself, so I'll do my best to explain: my mother had an unusually brilliant, creative and intuitive mind. She saw patterns that others missed. Patterns of behavior, of events. She was also quite profoundly psychic. She was diagnosed variously with Schizophrenia, Multiple Personality Disorder and Manic Depressive.

In her later years, the "Z", as she referred to him, was often on her mind and she lived in fear. I can remember finding her asleep in her bathtub because she was too afraid to sleep in her bed.

Bettye would be glad to know of the resurgence in interest in the Zodiac case. She loved mysteries and puzzles and found both in this unsolved case. In some ways, the work she put in on the codes represents her life's work and I know she would be glad to be recognized for her contributions."

 Read More:

+ If you want to know more you can see and hear his daughter on YOU TUBE.

(Dec. 20, 2008 | San Francisco, Cal.)

Leslie (Harden) Harper -Daughter- explains in the ROXIE TEATHER TASK-FORCE MEETING (Dec. 20, 2008 | San Francisco, Cal.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRTHotIASUI&list=FLa_7


At the California medical facility in Vacaville, contacted by Vallejo police as soon as the cipher was cracked, said on Aug. 11 that it was.....

"The work of someone you would expect to be brooding and isolated. He probably is a guy who broods about cutoff feelings, about being cut off from his fellow man. . ... .comparing the thrill of killing to the satisfaction of sex is usually an expression of inadequacy. He probably feels his fellow man looks down on him for some reason." 

The belief that his victims would be his slaves in, an afterlife reflects a feeling of omnipotence, the unnamed psychiatrist added, indicating a paranoid delusion o grandeur — expressed through a belief common among primitive people throughout history. And the taunting notes and phone calls may be a plea to be found out, exposed perhaps cornered — in which event, the psychiatrist said, grandiose paranoid quite likely might take his own life, as a grand gesture, to punish the world for its neglect of him life.

AND COULD it still be hoax? The psychiatrist was asked.
"If this is a put-on, then it's the product of a very, very disturbed person. If this is hot a put-on, the man probably will kill again." It was no put-on. 

Read more:


+ The name of the murderer seems that was not in the hidden message

+ Now find the murderer of the zodiac would rest with another couple:
 DONALD FOUKE & ERIC ZELMS, police officers of SFPD.

+ The officer who was inside the police car, Don Fouke, told ABC's Primetime in 2002:
 "When the headlights hit him I took a look at him. It was a white male and [I] continued on. He came down ... the north side of the street and turned and went up a flight of stairs into a courtyard." 

+ As revealed in the movie Zodiac, Officer Fouke didn't stop the man because the initial police bulletin reported that the suspect was black. Moments after Don Fouke passed the man, the dispatcher corrected her description of the suspect to say that it was a white male. 

+ In a letter sent to the San Francisco Chronicle approximately one month later on November 9, 1969, the Zodiac murderer confirmed that Officer Fouke had spotted him, "Hey pig! Doesn't it rile you up to have your nose rubbed in your booboos?"


Did Fouke confess that he stopped the Zodiac, or did he confess that he was the one who had been accused of doing so?


The story continues in this link:



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DEUTERONOMY chapter 18, verse 21-22.