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Could this card be from a hoaxer?

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doranchak
(@doranchak)
Posts: 2614
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If we use the tree or grass analogy, there becomes a tipping point. We can say that paradice and slaves could be a random occurrence undesigned from Halloween card to 340, but when the parallels can be shown over five communications over nearly a year (all of which were codes or cryptic references), at what point do we switch from random chance to orchestrated design. If the scrabble tiles are discovered 5 times and keep producing results, at some point we have to contend they weren’t thrown anymore.

That’s where the testing becomes important. In the case of the scrabble tiles, we can run experiments to find out how often we can get meaningful results from throwing the tiles 5 times. If the experiments show it is rare, then maybe there really is some element of design or intent going on.

We have to be careful when making conclusions based on perceived parallels with other Zodiac communications. When looking at one, you can produce a list of facts or observations. When looking at another, you can produce a second list of facts or observations. Then you can find connections between them.

But there are numerous ways to produce these facts, so there may be a good chance to find parallels simply because of how many they are.

One way I think about this is to imagine two people, selected completely at random.
If you take some time, you could write down 10,000 facts about the first person’s life and another 10,000 facts about the second person’s life.
Things like their birthday, where they lived, favorite color, family members, work history, hobbies, cars they owned, etc.
It is generally rare that a specific fact for those two people will match.
But because there are so many facts to compare, there’s a good chance that SOME facts will match.
Then you might reach some threshold where you think, hey, maybe these people really are connected in some way.
If it happens a lot for any 2 people, then it’s probably just coincidence and not really because they are actually connected (just think about how many suspects there are in the Zodiac case because of the many connections people find between them and the facts of the case).

This is basically a variation of the idea of the "birthday paradox", where you only need to look at 23 people for there to be a 50% chance that 2 of them will share the same birthday. With the Zodiac’s correspondences, we aren’t just looking at one fact (the birthday), we are looking at all possible facts (i.e., the various observations that can be made about patterns and other items of interest). But I don’t think this kind of analysis has been done; it would be interesting to run some experiments to figure out how to answer your good question about where to find the tipping point between "by coincidence" vs "by design".

We will accept the 340 cipher being solved using a cryptographic technique, if the steps on encryption can be demonstrated, but I equally feel that no amount of corrobarative evidence bereft of a cryptographic technique, will ever satisfy somebody looking for a cryptographic answer. The deck is stacked in favour of a solution that only relies on some form of cryptographic technique – anything that falls outside this remit, will just be passed off as chance, coincidence, or fluke. The golf ball landing on the same piece of grass 100 times in a row, just another stroke of luck and more coincidence. The only realistic conclusion being, anything outside the field of cryptography is doomed to failure.

If a non-cryptographic technique solves the cipher, then we still need to demonstrate that the solution is correct, which can be done methodically.
It basically boils down to: Can the same method produce other equally plausible solutions?
Of course, the more complex or subjective the non-cryptographic technique is, the harder it is to do this kind of analysis. If the analysis cannot be done then we’re just stuck with "maybe it’s right" until we can get better evidence, such as discovering the killer’s worksheets that show he used such methods.
For example, with Graysmith’s solution, it’s really simple to demonstrate that his method is flawed, because it produces numerous equally plausible solutions.
But other solutions are difficult to test in that way, because they are very subjective or rely on many steps that are difficult to model and test.

http://zodiackillerciphers.com

 
Posted : June 5, 2020 2:29 pm
Jarlve
(@jarlve)
Posts: 2547
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I randomly throw a pile of scrabble tiles next to a tree at a park.
They randomly form something that kind of looks like the word "TREE".
I leave it there. Someone else walks by and sees that it seems to say "TREE" and concludes that whoever put the tiles there must have spelled tree on purpose.

When Jarlve tested for "BY", he only looked for a specific case: the word BY appears in multiple quadrants.
But what is lacking from the test is: What other words COULD have appeared that Zodiac researchers might have found significant?

In cosmology there is a thing called the "fine-tuning problem". Supposedly, right before the big bang, there are some parameters that make up the universe, and these parameters appear to be fine-tuned to allow our existence. This is usually countered by the "anthropic principle", which kind of states that every possible universe exists and we are just in the right one. I think it has also been referred to as the "end of science".

What is also lacking from the "BY" test are the other directions in which the words could appear and many other things. If you allow all these possibilities then everything becomes "just as likely".

In other words. We find 37 bigrams at period 19 in the Z340. Hey that seems pretty significant! Hmmm, but what about the other 340! arrangements?

Not in defense of my own "BY" test but just to show the other side of the coin / the depth of the problem you propose.

I think that many small sets of arbitrary symbols can have a strong "local" significance.

AZdecrypt

 
Posted : June 5, 2020 9:20 pm
Jarlve
(@jarlve)
Posts: 2547
Famed Member
 

ha ha l lowe

LOL! :lol:

AZdecrypt

 
Posted : June 5, 2020 9:21 pm
(@mccririck)
Posts: 66
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Topic starter
 

Hi Richard, just want to say I really enjoy your website and especially your youtube videos and hope there are many more to come.

In terms of this thread, I think I have to respectfully disagree – I think the idea that paradice / slaves is a reliable way to look at 340 doesn’t fit for me.

For example – if you say you see paradice / slaves in 340, then what is the meaning of the odd spacing between the letters of those words in that configuration?

I can’t accept they are random nulls, because then we can really start seeing all kinds of word games. It just opens up way too much for me.

To me it just doesn’t seem clear enough to be considered a reliable jumping off point. Maybe I’m wrong – but I don’t see it.

I think it’s actually significant that people notice these artifacts as it means a hoaxers could have noticed it and got the idea from these observations.

 
Posted : June 11, 2020 11:09 pm
(@coffee-time)
Posts: 624
Honorable Member
 

The case seems to rest on "BY KNIFE". But we know the use of "by knife, by gun, etc." predated LB & Zodiac.

That the author traced their own writing would usually be a red flag. I’ve never seen a high quality scan of this thing, but it doesn’t look like it was written with Zodiac’s usual pen.

The only other use of "5th & Mission" (IIRC) was the Citizen card. However, the Chronicle didn’t publish the envelope for the HC, so the Citizen author didn’t copy it from there…was it common for Chronicle mail to be addressed to "5th & Mission"?

Another oddity, Zodiac always wrote "San Fran" or "San Francisco." This was the only time "S.F." was used.

Why has Zodiac’s notorious "checkmark r" been replaced by "flying seagull" r’s?

Some have speculated that the "X" formation of "sorry no cipher" could be a veiled reference to suspect Xenophon Anthony, which would certainly put a weird spin on this. Doesn’t prove anything, of course.

The 1990s DNA report states that the card was in the custody of the "SFPD LAB," but doesn’t indicate that it was tested for DNA, which is yet another peculiarity — they seemed to test everything, except lost letters (obviously) and questionable documents.

 
Posted : June 12, 2020 8:53 am
(@mccririck)
Posts: 66
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

Did Paul Avery think the Halloween Card was genuine?

 
Posted : June 13, 2020 2:23 pm
(@mccririck)
Posts: 66
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

By the way I got the idea for this thread from this older thread started by Tahoe which is about the HC and 3 other cards/letters that may be hoaxes: viewtopic.php?f=78&t=168

 
Posted : June 25, 2020 3:04 pm
Chaucer
(@chaucer)
Posts: 1210
Moderator Admin
 

Another clue that might lend to the legitimacy of this one is the “Secret Pal” card from 1990. The handwriting on the envelope is compelling, and the use of the same phrase “secret pal” seems intentional.

“Murder will out, this my conclusion.”
– Geoffrey Chaucer

 
Posted : June 26, 2020 1:54 am
(@mccririck)
Posts: 66
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

Another clue that might lend to the legitimacy of this one is the “Secret Pal” card from 1990. The handwriting on the envelope is compelling, and the use of the same phrase “secret pal” seems intentional.

Ok two things. First – the handwriting on the 1990 envelope is not compelling.

Second – the Halloween card was made public back in 1970. It’s a well known card. Therefore a hoaxer could use the phrase "secret pal", copying the Halloween card.

 
Posted : June 26, 2020 4:14 pm
(@coffee-time)
Posts: 624
Honorable Member
 

The problem with the Eureka card is that those keys were traced to Chester Klingel. So, either Chester’s the Zodiac, or we have to believe the Zodiac just happened to cop his keys and sent a low content card with traced handwriting after 16-20 years of silence. Talk about bad luck.

With the HC and Pines cards, we have to explain why a killer who was so eager to be recognized, suddenly resorted to distorted handwriting and paste-ups. At least with the 1974 letters, I can see those being Zodiac playing around, but faux-imitating his own writing style makes no sense…at least to me. The HC could have been rejected by Morrill and tossed in the trash, why so much effort for the sake of some kind of twisted in-joke? Zodiac saw the other cards in the papers, then thought, "I’ll send my own ‘fake’"? The mind boggles…

I won’t even mention Toschi’s alleged confession to Harvey Hines that he sent the Pines card, talk about the rabbit hole to end all rabbit holes.

 
Posted : June 28, 2020 12:50 am
Chaucer
(@chaucer)
Posts: 1210
Moderator Admin
 

The problem with the Eureka card is that those keys were traced to Chester Klingel. So, either Chester’s the Zodiac, or we have to believe the Zodiac just happened to cop his keys and sent a low content card with traced handwriting after 16-20 years of silence. Talk about bad luck.

With the HC and Pines cards, we have to explain why a killer who was so eager to be recognized, suddenly resorted to distorted handwriting and paste-ups. At least with the 1974 letters, I can see those being Zodiac playing around, but faux-imitating his own writing style makes no sense…at least to me. The HC could have been rejected by Morrill and tossed in the trash, why so much effort for the sake of some kind of twisted in-joke? Zodiac saw the other cards in the papers, then thought, "I’ll send my own ‘fake’"? The mind boggles…

I won’t even mention Toschi’s alleged confession to Harvey Hines that he sent the Pines card, talk about the rabbit hole to end all rabbit holes.

These are really good thoughts, CT.

I don’t think Klingel was the Zodiac. To my knowledge, he was thoroughly vetted by the police. I wouldn’t put it passed Zodiac to find a set of keys and play games with people. It’s certainly his style. Remember, that the card wasn’t found until years later.

Another possibility is that Klingel hoaxed it himself.

I haven’t heard about Toschi hoaxing the Pines card. Do tell…

“Murder will out, this my conclusion.”
– Geoffrey Chaucer

 
Posted : June 28, 2020 5:56 am
(@mccririck)
Posts: 66
Trusted Member
Topic starter
 

I think one reason the police took the HC card "seriously" was that it was seen as a threat on Paul Avery’s life.

 
Posted : June 29, 2020 1:53 pm
(@coffee-time)
Posts: 624
Honorable Member
 

Harvey Hines claimed that Toschi admitted to him that he sent the Pines card. Voigt broke the news several years ago…I don’t know if it’s mentioned in any of the documents that Welsh Chappie has since inherited.

As Voigt said, it’s illogical for Harvey to make that up, since it weakens the case against Larry Kane. Toschi’s an odd duck, that’s for sure (I could cite more examples). I’ve wondered if Toschi would "fib" just to throw cold water on somebody’s suspect; he was always hyper-defensive about hoaxing any Z letters. Would he let his guard down with a fellow cop?

Anyway, Toschi later dissed Hines in UNMASKED, saying he was "strange" and had "tunnel vision." No mention of the Pines card, of course.

 
Posted : July 11, 2020 2:02 am
Marshall
(@marshall)
Posts: 643
Honorable Member
 

If we use the tree or grass analogy, there becomes a tipping point. We can say that paradice and slaves could be a random occurrence undesigned from Halloween card to 340, but when the parallels can be shown over five communications over nearly a year (all of which were codes or cryptic references), at what point do we switch from random chance to orchestrated design. If the scrabble tiles are discovered 5 times and keep producing results, at some point we have to contend they weren’t thrown anymore.

That’s where the testing becomes important. In the case of the scrabble tiles, we can run experiments to find out how often we can get meaningful results from throwing the tiles 5 times. If the experiments show it is rare, then maybe there really is some element of design or intent going on.

We have to be careful when making conclusions based on perceived parallels with other Zodiac communications. When looking at one, you can produce a list of facts or observations. When looking at another, you can produce a second list of facts or observations. Then you can find connections between them.

But there are numerous ways to produce these facts, so there may be a good chance to find parallels simply because of how many they are.

One way I think about this is to imagine two people, selected completely at random.
If you take some time, you could write down 10,000 facts about the first person’s life and another 10,000 facts about the second person’s life.
Things like their birthday, where they lived, favorite color, family members, work history, hobbies, cars they owned, etc.
It is generally rare that a specific fact for those two people will match.
But because there are so many facts to compare, there’s a good chance that SOME facts will match.
Then you might reach some threshold where you think, hey, maybe these people really are connected in some way.
If it happens a lot for any 2 people, then it’s probably just coincidence and not really because they are actually connected (just think about how many suspects there are in the Zodiac case because of the many connections people find between them and the facts of the case).

This is basically a variation of the idea of the "birthday paradox", where you only need to look at 23 people for there to be a 50% chance that 2 of them will share the same birthday. With the Zodiac’s correspondences, we aren’t just looking at one fact (the birthday), we are looking at all possible facts (i.e., the various observations that can be made about patterns and other items of interest). But I don’t think this kind of analysis has been done; it would be interesting to run some experiments to figure out how to answer your good question about where to find the tipping point between "by coincidence" vs "by design".

We will accept the 340 cipher being solved using a cryptographic technique, if the steps on encryption can be demonstrated, but I equally feel that no amount of corrobarative evidence bereft of a cryptographic technique, will ever satisfy somebody looking for a cryptographic answer. The deck is stacked in favour of a solution that only relies on some form of cryptographic technique – anything that falls outside this remit, will just be passed off as chance, coincidence, or fluke. The golf ball landing on the same piece of grass 100 times in a row, just another stroke of luck and more coincidence. The only realistic conclusion being, anything outside the field of cryptography is doomed to failure.

If a non-cryptographic technique solves the cipher, then we still need to demonstrate that the solution is correct, which can be done methodically.
It basically boils down to: Can the same method produce other equally plausible solutions?
Of course, the more complex or subjective the non-cryptographic technique is, the harder it is to do this kind of analysis. If the analysis cannot be done then we’re just stuck with "maybe it’s right" until we can get better evidence, such as discovering the killer’s worksheets that show he used such methods.
For example, with Graysmith’s solution, it’s really simple to demonstrate that his method is flawed, because it produces numerous equally plausible solutions.
But other solutions are difficult to test in that way, because they are very subjective or rely on many steps that are difficult to model and test.

This is a hugely important element that many don’t fully understand when discussing odds, and I appreciate your explanation and full comprehension of it. I’ll take another stab (not By Knife) at explaining it:

I’s autumn, and leaves are falling off a maple tree. You walk around the yard looking at the leaves on the ground and begin saying: Look at this leaf! What are the odds it would’ve fallen, been blown by the wind, and landed exactly here, with it’s stem pointing in exactly this direction!? The odds are way more than a million to one! You say this for every leaf in the yard, and conclude the odds against all those leaves falling where they did is astronomically high, and therefore absolutely impossible to have happened randomly.

Now, same scenario, but a couple days earlier, before the leaves fall. If you identify each leaf on that maple tree, and predict the exact location and position each will land on the ground, and then, 2 days later, observe every one actually did, then THAT would be overwhelmingly impossible to have happened by chance.

My point is, when you see something that has already happened, trying to work backwards to determine how likely it was that it was random can produce very misleading conclusions.

I was looking at the By Knife, rope, gun, fire thing the other day, and posted on another thread. The letters (if we can count a backwards Y) to form By Rope, By Gun, and By Fire, can be found in 3 of the 340 quadrants. By Knife can be found in 2. To me, this is randomness – intentional would’ve been all 4 in all 4 quadrants (and with 2 symbols different on the 340 – an "E" in the upper right and an "N" in the lower right) It could have been achieved. If the 340 is not a cipher, this would have been simple to do.

OR, only the appropriate word in the quadrant corresponding to the Halloween card. Again, if not a cipher, simple.

Anyway, whenever someone says, "What are the odds of [something] happening," I always smile when they are talking about something that has already happened, because at that point, it’s often an impossible, maybe even nonsensical discussion.

 
Posted : July 11, 2020 8:21 am
(@coffee-time)
Posts: 624
Honorable Member
 

Continuing my own train of thought:

"By knife" was mentioned in a newspaper approximately two months after LB. I’m assuming someone didn’t get the holdback memo.

(I had never heard of or seen this article until I found it Saturday night/Sunday morning.)

Also, "Bleeding Knife of Zodiac" was mailed TWO DAYS after aforementioned article. Possibly a coincidence…

 
Posted : July 21, 2020 2:26 am
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