During a recent thorough cleanup round at the main building of the San Fransisco Chronicle, an employee found a piece of paper stuck behind an archive closet in one of the many archive rooms.
Her initial reaction was to discard it, just like had been the fate of many other documents that day. Somehow though, this particular sheet drew her attention because it vaguely reminded her of something she had seen in the news a long time ago.
Wasn't it something with some serial killer who used to write encrypted messages and pressured newspapers to publish them? She couldn't tell how long the piece of paper had been lying there, but to be on the safe side, she notified her supervisor who in turn called in his manager.
Indeed the document was resembling the code that the Zodiac killer used in his messages sent to the Chronicle in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Zodiac killer had never been caught, so who knows what valuable information this newly found document might hold?
The note was sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who immediately reopened the cold case and started a thorough investigation, putting their best cryptanalysts on the project.
Few months later, all attempts to decipher the message had unfortunately failed, therefore the FBI is now turning to the Puzzling Stack Exchange community with the following message:
Please, anybody: help us with deciphering this message as we may be one step closer to finally knowing the true identity of the Zodiac killer!
- A photograph of the front of the page, containing the encrypted message.
- A photograph of the back of the same page, containing some of the same characters used on the front page, written in a circular form. It is unclear if this is part of the message, or part of the key, or something else that we overlooked.