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Donald Harden sent Code Key

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Jarlve
(@jarlve)
Posts: 2547
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Findings in the FBI files are highly suggestive that it was Donald Harden who sent the Code Key to Vallejo PD.

Some of the initial documents in the FBI files that deal with the Code Key are from 08/20/1969. These documents refer to Q16 to Q18.

Page 1: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1V3GiW … a0v448mLsO
Page 2: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1BXARq … QxaIFek6rY

Page 2 states: "The results of the cryptographic and fingerprint examinations are also being furnished seperately. Specimens submitted for examination"

About 2 months later (10/17/1969) an examination is requested of several documents including Q16 to Q18. By then they knew that the fingerprints belonged to Donald Harden.

Page 1: https://drive.google.com/open?id=17jx6z … ED-yHPkeDf
Page 2: https://drive.google.com/open?id=15Eo8A … Ml_vlx3STx
Page 3: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1D3WoS … 2wx2XZMXFF
Page 4: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_1ont … 0_kON7_U9C

The section dealing with Q16 to Q18 can be found on page 3 and states: "Q16 – Q18 Not involved, letter from anony. (school teacher) cracking cryptogram"

AZdecrypt

 
Posted : November 7, 2018 4:35 pm
ZteveMcQueen
(@ztevemcqueen)
Posts: 84
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I’m not familiar with the code key issue. Has it been unknown all this time who sent it? Any links to the backstory would be appreciated, thanks.

Zodiac was a screwup. He left behind five breathing victims, two survivors, bootprints, possibly fingerprints and palmprints, tiretracks, eyewitnesses, and earwitnesses. If the APB had gone out for a WMA he would have been locked up in ’69.

 
Posted : November 7, 2018 8:40 pm
doranchak
(@doranchak)
Posts: 2614
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Nice analysis, Jarlve!

http://zodiackillerciphers.com

 
Posted : November 7, 2018 8:41 pm
doranchak
(@doranchak)
Posts: 2614
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I’m not familiar with the code key issue. Has it been unknown all this time who sent it? Any links to the backstory would be appreciated, thanks.

http://www.zodiackillerciphers.com/?p=224

http://zodiackillerciphers.com

 
Posted : November 7, 2018 8:42 pm
Jarlve
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They found a palm print on Q16, which is the envelope, and besides that nothing else.

The 408 solution appeared in the newspaper the 9th of August. And the card was stamped on the 10th. I wonder if it is possible if the card was actually posted before the 10th, that would make more sense.

AZdecrypt

 
Posted : November 7, 2018 11:39 pm
doranchak
(@doranchak)
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The 408 solution appeared in the newspaper the 9th of August. And the card was stamped on the 10th. I wonder if it is possible if the card was actually posted before the 10th, that would make more sense.

August 9th and 10th of 1969 were a Saturday and Sunday. I wonder how long the card sat in outgoing mail before it was picked up and postmarked.

http://zodiackillerciphers.com

 
Posted : November 8, 2018 1:33 am
(@druzer)
Posts: 229
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Hi Jarlve and Oranchak, I appreciate all the work you both have shared on this issue of the Concerned Citizen. We have been discussing this over at Grinell’s site over the last few days and I realize that speculation is all that can really be offered but I’d like to pose a couple of questions, just looking for insights.

If Harden had already sent the police his worksheets as the newspaper states, why would he subsequently send them his key in this manner? It would seem plausibly helpful if it contained a more accurate analysis of the cipher (it doesn’t, does it?) rather than a less correct one with a strange inclusion of a polyphonic interpretation of the Q symbols. If the key was sent by the creator of the cipher the strange additional assignments to the variants of Q could reflect a key that was prepared before the enciphering and that he simply failed to utilize the Q for the additional denoted letters. If it was Harden that sent this then I guess it was just an error.

If it was sent before the article it would make more sense, but the request for anonymity would remain curious considering that he had just worked with them and that his story was about to appear in the newspaper. Didn’t Harden seem to enjoy the attention? I certainly would have. Why would the authorities not simply call Harden to ask if he was the sender, rather than analyze it over several months? Could the reason for launching such an investigation have been spurred on by a denial from Harden? If the Concerned Citizen was not the killer it seems odd that only a small sample of prints were discovered. I would expect several prints would be found if the author was not wearing gloves and none if he was. Would a helpful citizen take such precautions to remain anonymous?

At any rate I surely do not feel confident that I know the answers. It seems weird to me that Harden or Zodiac would send the key and somehow it seems even more unlikely that it was sent by someone else. I want to make it clear that any interesting thoughts expressed above reflect a discussion Richard began with "Rubislaw32" and "Nobody" on zodiacciphers.com. Thanks!

 
Posted : November 8, 2018 2:39 am
Jarlve
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We have been discussing this over at Grinell’s site over the last few days and I realize that speculation is all that can really be offered but I’d like to pose a couple of questions, just looking for insights.

I agree that only speculation can be offered. It would appear that the FBI knew that the Hardens sent the code key.

If Harden had already sent the police his worksheets as the newspaper states, why would he subsequently send them his key in this manner?

Did the police take the worksheets with them after they visited the Hardens or did the Hardens mailed the worksheets to the police? Is it possible that the code key was mailed before the police visited the Hardens? Is there a timeline of what happened between the publishing of the 408 cipher (7/31/1969) and the publishing of the 408 solution (9/8/1969) relating to the Hardens?

It would seem plausibly helpful if it contained a more accurate analysis of the cipher (it doesn’t, does it?) rather than a less correct one with a strange inclusion of a polyphonic interpretation of the Q symbols. If the key was sent by the creator of the cipher the strange additional assignments to the variants of Q could reflect a key that was prepared before the enciphering and that he simply failed to utilize the Q for the additional denoted letters. If it was Harden that sent this then I guess it was just an error.

It could make sense if it was based off an earlier worksheet.

If it was sent before the article it would make more sense, but the request for anonymity would remain curious considering that he had just worked with them and that his story was about to appear in the newspaper. Didn’t Harden seem to enjoy the attention? I certainly would have. Why would the authorities not simply call Harden to ask if he was the sender, rather than analyze it over several months? Could the reason for launching such an investigation have been spurred on by a denial from Harden? If the Concerned Citizen was not the killer it seems odd that only a small sample of prints were discovered. I would expect several prints would be found if the author was not wearing gloves and none if he was. Would a helpful citizen take such precautions to remain anonymous?

From our perspective it would appear that the code key was mailed after the 408 solution was published but perhaps this is not the case. Yes, the whole communication was set up to be as anonymous as possible. The intro was typed, so no handwriting there. The code key itself was not typed since it contained symbols. And there were no finger prints on any of it besides one palm print on the envelope.

AZdecrypt

 
Posted : November 8, 2018 11:36 am
Jarlve
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Why would the authorities not simply call Harden to ask if he was the sender, rather than analyze it over several months?

I think that professionally, if they had Harden under suspicion they would have preferred to verify the sender anonymously if possible. Alternatively they would most likely have not suspected Harden sending it in the first place.

AZdecrypt

 
Posted : November 8, 2018 2:29 pm
(@anonymous)
Posts: 1772
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Findings in the FBI files are highly suggestive that it was Donald Harden who sent the Code Key to Vallejo PD…

The section dealing with Q16 to Q18 can be found on page 3 and states: "Q16 – Q18 Not involved, letter from anony. (school teacher) cracking cryptogram"

I think this is a great find by Jarlve. Sure, it remains a mystery whether this was delayed in the post. And Doranchak’s observation about the discrepancies in the allocation of cipher letter/symbols is also intriguing.

But, there’s no evidence elsewhere i’ve seen in these FBI files and lab reports in which an actual person’s identity (i.e. "school teacher") is revealed as the author of a correspondence, or being the source of fingerprints. In fact, they are always very cautious and don’t commit to anything without a caveat, unless they are certain.

 
Posted : November 8, 2018 3:16 pm
Jarlve
(@jarlve)
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Is the lab report/result of the Q16 palm print even in the FBI files?

AZdecrypt

 
Posted : November 8, 2018 5:31 pm
(@anonymous)
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Jarive: "Did the police take the worksheets with them after they visited the Hardens or did the Hardens mailed the worksheets to the police? Is it possible that the code key was mailed before the police visited the Hardens? Is there a timeline of what happened between the publishing of the 408 cipher (7/31/1969) and the publishing of the 408 solution (9/8/1969) relating to the Hardens?"

The August 9th Chronicle stated "Vallejo Police Sergeant John Lynch, in charge of the investigation of the murders and of the cipher letter writer, asked The Chronicle to send Harden’s code breaking worksheets to him for further checking; which was done."

A matter of hours later the "concerned citizen" letter arrived (postmarked 10th). It stated "I hope the enclosed "key" will prove to be beneficial to you in connection with the cipher letter writer."
The fact that the "concerned citizen" chose the same awkward phrase of ‘cipher letter writer’ exactly as it appeared in the Chronicle strongly suggests he read the Chronicle article and parroted the phrase. The code key must therefore have been mailed after the Chronicle article on the 9th. Since Donald Harden’s name had already appeared in the August 9th article, asking to then remain anonymous would be meaningless.

Jarive: "I think that professionally, if they had Harden under suspicion they would have preferred to verify the sender anonymously if possible. Alternatively they would most likely have not suspected Harden sending it in the first place."
If they took 2 months (10/17/1969) to verify fingerprints/palm prints to that of Harden, if he was under suspicion as the typist and/or Zodiac , then they lost a valuable 2 months in the meantime.
On August 16th the FBI files stated that "it is noted that the typewriting on Q16 and Q17 contains numerous defects which would be of value in identifying a suspect machine". They were predominantly referring to the misplaced "a" in the typewritten message. This would have been another avenue to check Donald Harden.

The fact that the "concerned citizen" read the Chronicle article stating "cipher letter writer", coupled with the fact that the article mentioned Harden by name and stated his worksheets had already been sent to Sergeant John Lynch, would make it very strange for Donald Harden to send his cipher key once again, using an anonymous typewritten message. He could have just rung the police and asked them if they needed assistance, or the police could have rang or visited him.

"Q16 – Q18 Not involved, letter from anony. (school teacher) cracking cryptogram"
This phrase, being honest, is not that clear, and can be read in multiple ways.
Under "not involved" is the bracketed school teacher. The message could be reading that "the school teacher is not involved regarding the letter from anonymous"

 
Posted : November 8, 2018 5:54 pm
(@druzer)
Posts: 229
Estimable Member
 

Thanks Jarvle and thank you Richard. I appreciate the effort put forth here. It is an interesting mystery. The Concerned Citizen key may not be a top priority but If they are still uncertain of the sender I wonder if they plan to test for cells under its stamp. I don’t believe it was even listed on the possible Zodiac correspondence sheet.

 
Posted : November 8, 2018 7:21 pm
Jarlve
(@jarlve)
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Hey Richard,

Thank you for the information. The point about the cipher letter writer is a good one. It was stated nowhere that it took 2 months to verify the prints. An examination of several documents including Q16 to Q18 was requested about 2 months after the 408 solution appeared in the papers.

We write and read from left-to-right, top-to-bottom. School teacher appears on the second line after the anonymous abbreviation. If it was meant to operate on the words above there would be an arrow or it would be placed in much smaller letters between any of the lines. That is how people do it. Further more, the reason of the requested examination was to determine if the documents ranging from Q1 to Q20 were prepared by the same person. And since Q16 to Q18 were not it was specified with "Not involved" to set it aside. The examination was not to determine whether the school teacher was involved or not.

However strange, it seems that Donald Harden sent the code key.

AZdecrypt

 
Posted : November 8, 2018 10:05 pm
Jarlve
(@jarlve)
Posts: 2547
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Here’s a comparison between the concerned citizen key, the Hardens 408 worksheet and the Zodiac killer ciphers. There are some interesting coincidences and I saw some of these at the ZodiacKillerIdentified YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtKwXO … 3xny8faHFA

Main observations:

– Letter S has upper inward curl.
– Letter G has lower and upper inward curl.
– Backwards letter R is two stroke with lower left leg.
– Small letter U with deep right leg.
– Letter W has middle leg closer to right leg then left leg. Higher right leg.
– Backwards letter P inward curl.
– In the Hardens 408 worksheet exactly the same mistake is make as in the 340 and corrected in the same manner. Hardens: letter E = backwards letter E, Zodiac: letter K = backwards letter K.

Thoughts:

– Most of the letters in the Concerned citizen key line up very well with Hardens worksheet. There are a few interesting dissimilarities such as the letter T (not shown in image) and disconnected legs of letters V and W appear in the Concerned citizen key only.
– Similarities with the Zodiac killer ciphers are interesting but I do not want to go as far as saying that Hardens = Zodiac.
– I wonder how hand writing experts would rate these documents.

AZdecrypt

 
Posted : October 29, 2019 12:02 pm
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