James Valks and Luigi Warren Use Recent Zodiac 340 Cryptogram Solution To Sleuth Out Potential Anagram Linkage of Dr. George Hodel to Separate Zodiac Ciphers

January 3, 2021
Los Angeles, California
I am the first to admit that in the world of ciphers and cryptograms at a first look my mind immediately blurs and fades to black. Clearly, I got zero of my father’s genes when it comes to the world of codes and mathematics.
Fortunately, many of my readers are not so afflicted.
Three weeks ago, I blogged on the recent developments of the International Team (David Oranchank, VA, USA; Sam Black, Australia, and Jarl Van Eykcke, Belgium) in cracking the Zodiac 340 Cipher. 
As we begin the New Year I would like to update what I believe are some dramatic new linkages that build on and from the solving of the 340 cipher.
The credit for this potential linkage goes to two separate individuals.
Here are their separate contributions as I received them in chronological order.
LINKAGE NO. 1- James Valks aka “No Excuses”
In December 2020, shortly after the Zodiac 340 cipher was solved,  in reading the comments section of the team’s YouTube solution I came across an entry by an individual identifying himself as “No Excuses.”  (That  person  has  now given me permission to use his real name, which is JAMES VALKS.) James using the 340 cipher solution applied it to Zodiac’s “My Name Is… Thirteen Letter cipher” and believes it translates as indicated below.




SKH Note-  In my previous book publications and writings as relates to the “Zodiac Thirteen Letter Cipher” I had suggested that two potential signatures of my father could potentially fit:  DR GEORGE HODEL or GEORGE HODEL MD.
Huge KUDOS to James Valks for this initial linkage to a separate Zodiac Letter as a potential anagram using Zodiac’s 340 Code.
LINKAGE NO. 2  – Dr. Luigi Warren 
I have known and communicated with Dr. Warren (he has a Ph.D. in Biology from Cal Tech) for many years and his thoughts as relate to my father’s history and actions have been invaluable. He also has communicated much of his thinking as relates to GHH crimes both as Black Dahlia Avenger and Zodiac in his public tweets through the years.
I approached Luigi with the following email on January 1st, 2021:

Luigi responded the following day:


Click below to open Luigi’s PDF response and analysis:

The 13-Character Cipher

The Fairfied Letter

Many self-proclaimed “Zodiac experts” have for decades opined that two letters allegedly sent by Zodiac back in December 1969 and postmarked from Fairfield, CA, were not written by Zodiac and were “copycat” letters and “not legit.”
The first letter was mailed on December 7, 1969  and addressed to the “San Francisco Chronicle

The second Zodiac letter followed and was mailed to the San Francisco Examiner on December 16, 1969. In addition to the letter it contained a crude drawing of “the bleeding knife of Zodiac”.


I have always maintained that both of the 1969 “Fairfield Letters” were absolutely legitimate and both were written by Zodiac.
I believe the handwriting (printing) is that of my father, Dr. George Hill Hodel.
Further, compare the word “knife” written in the drawing “bleeding knife of Zodiac” to the word “knife” written on the car door at the Lake Berryessa Zodiac assault.
Zodiac Lake Berryessa car              Zodiac Fairfield Letter
Here is what I wrote in Black Dahlia Avenger III (Rare Bird Books 2018), as relates to the Fairfield Letter and linking “Zodiac’s Bleeding Knife” to George Hodel. It is my position that GHH inspired by his hero “Jack The Ripper” and his crude drawing of a bleeding knife in his mailing of the “Boss Letter” copied JtR and his drawing in both his Black Dahlia Avenger and Zodiac letters to the press.
BDA III pages 42-43

With this as background let us now return to the further analysis of the good Dr. Luigi Warren.


And after his Fairfield Letter contribution, Luigi follows it up by sending his below analysis, just a few hours ago:
Zodiac’s Celebrity Cipher


Now looking at the 1990 Celebrity Cypher Card – the one with a picture of Carmel Beach – using the Z340 key to get the clear text and assuming that is an anagram. It sure looks like a lot of interesting words are popping out. There’s several ambiguities in the available image of the lettering, and I always end up with a few letters left over. Still, I believe the message may go something like this:
“THE AVENGER” really stands out. You can’t miss it – look at the second and third lines of the clear text (below).
The plot thickens…


My respect and sincere appreciation to both JAMES VALKS and LUIGI WARREN for their contributions and anagrammic insights into our ongoing investigation. I say to both of you- AMAZING WORK.
Here’s a slightly clearer sample of the Celebrity Card along with my observation. I see the card was mailed in September, 1990 which means it was after my father and his wife June had permanently relocated to their 39th floor condo at 333 Bush St. in DTSF. During one of my visits in the early Nineties, June showed me her full page collection of stamps. These were all of the major poets as recognized by the USPS. I point that out as I see the stamp used on the Celebrity Post Card was that of the American poet, “Marianne Moore 1887-1972”.

PPS:  See Comments Section below from Luigi Warren. Here is his latest, revised version from the Celebrity Cipher Anagram:









  1. Luigi Warren on January 3, 2021 at 2:33 pm


    Couple of notes for those who would like to work on the Celebrity Cypher using the “Z340 key and anagram” approach:

    1. There are at least three ambiguities in the low-quality image of the postcard. Is the triangle symbol in “, BA” filled in (P) or does it have a dot inside (L)? What is the symbol under the postmark (Y => N?) Is there a partially obscured symbol under the stamp and, if so, is it an A (=> D)?

    2. I am pretty convinced THE AVENGER is in there — which builds confidence the approach is right. Some other words or phrases of interest that might fit: BURN, IN, HELL, POLICE, THAT, WANTON, WOMAN, FATE or FEAR, CATCH or WATCH, HODEL (if there’s a D.)


    • Luigi Warren on January 3, 2021 at 5:27 pm

      Steve: From the clearer image of the postcard the triangle in “, BA” almost certainly is the dotted version which corresponds to L not P. So, scratch “POLICE” — I was starting to lean away from it, anyway. Starting to like “HELL HOLE.” -LW

    • Luigi Warren on January 4, 2021 at 8:48 am


      More notes for those who would like to take a crack at the Celebrity Cypher…

      Here is what I’ve got for the cleartext after applying the Z340 key:

      NR WMT
      NBEO ?
      OL ANOC

      This assumes the symbol under the postmark is a Y (=> N), which is not 100% certain. The ? stands for what looks like a partially obscured symbol under the stamp (more obvious in the higher quality image.) That symbol might by an A (=> D). The other options I see that might work are up-arrow (=> O, which is already highly represented) or / (=> U). D would be interesting: there are plenty of Hs, Os, Ls and Es to work with in the rest of the cleartext, but no D.

      Looks like the cipher has been constructed with a couple of very clever fakeouts to misdirect would-be decrypters. It appears to offer a name followed by an address on the left side, then spacing that suggests the phrase “MY NAME IS” followed by a repeat of the name on the right. Yet the results of applying the Z340 key suggest that the whole thing is just one big anagram: the “MY NAME IS” section of the cleartext yields nothing of immediate interest while the totality offers some pay dirt phrases, most notably “THE AVENGER.” For those who don’t know already, “THE AVENGER” ties in nicely with the Carmel Beach scene on the front of the card through the 1926 Aimee McPherson kidnap hoax.


  2. Luigi Warren on January 3, 2021 at 4:36 pm


    My latest effort:-


    Five letters left over (COOOE). This reminds me of the scene in ROSEMARY’S BABY where Mia Farrow is using Scrabble letters to solve the anagram that gives her neighbor Roman Castavet’s real name (Adrian Marcato.) BTW, the Castavet character played by Sidney Blackmer reminds me a lot of GHH.


    • Luigi Warren on January 5, 2021 at 3:03 pm

      Thanks, Steve. BTW, doesn’t the portrait of the titian-haired poet on the stamp bear a certain resemblance to you-know-who? -LW

      • Steve Hodel on January 5, 2021 at 3:13 pm

        Titian haired, now there’s two compounded words you don’t see/hear everyday.
        But, don’t see it? Not sure who you’re thinking of?

        • Luigi Warren on January 5, 2021 at 3:50 pm


          Who famously had titian-colored hair and is linked to Carmel Bay and The Avenger?


          • Luigi Warren on January 8, 2021 at 1:25 am


            A titian-haired celebrity whose trial revolved around a Carmel Beach cottage, “Miss X” lookalikes, cipher love notes and mysterious fellow calling himself “The Avenger.” Ha-ha-ha.


          • Luigi Warren on January 13, 2021 at 2:58 am


            Also… a celebrity who died in Oakland (from where the postcard was mailed) on September 27 (the card was mailed on the 25th.)


        • Luigi Warren on January 5, 2021 at 4:34 pm


          This reminds me of GHH’s other “looks like” teases, such as the Niven-Hunter pairing alluded to in the “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN” ad snippet on the Dahlia belongings envelope, the Count Zaroff and Great Rhadini allusions in the Zodiac correspondence and the way the Secret Pal snowman resembles both Groucho Marx and the LA Times photo of GHH after his Hollywood arrest. Not to mention “LOOK THIS MAN UP…”


  3. Luigi Warren on January 5, 2021 at 3:19 am


    Got my first “perfect” anagram solve for the Z62 (Celebrity Cypher) — one with no symbols left over. That’s disregarding the ambiguous mark under or on the stamp, which it occurs to me might be a comma.

    Here it is:


    Not too bad as a shot on goal, I think. “HEATHEN AVENGER” is another interesting phrase that fits the anagram, but I’ve yet to find a perfect solution including that one.



    • Steve Hodel on January 5, 2021 at 9:25 am

      Excellent work my friend. Very Impressive.
      Mucho Gras. Steve

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