Posts Tagged ‘murder’

The FBI asks for help. [UPDATED – SOLVED?]

Thursday, 31 March 2011



There was a murder in the summer of 1999, and it’s remained unsolved. The FBI recently released the cryptic notes found in the victim’s pocket, and asks for help to decipher them.

On June 30, 1999, sheriff’s officers in St. Louis, Missouri discovered the body of 41-year-old Ricky McCormick. He had been murdered and dumped in a field. The only clues regarding the homicide were two encrypted notes found in the victim’s pants pockets.

Despite extensive work by our Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), as well as help from the American Cryptogram Association, the meanings of those two coded notes remain a mystery to this day, and Ricky McCormick’s murderer has yet to face justice.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

1. It’s not a sophisticated code.

2. There are no mysterious symbols, excepting what appear to be typos.

3. It’s a mnemonic code, so character/word frequency counts won’t work well.

4. The scribbled letter “n” stands for “and.”

5. Some of the characters that appear as the letter “R” are actually the letter “Q.”

6. I suspect that the character groups “WLD,” “SE” and “CBE” are the initials or references to people’s names.

7. The character group “on” means the same as the word, followed by a date.

8. “71” likely refers to July 1 1999; “74” refers to July 4; “75” refers to July 5.

9. Parentheses are parentheses. The “+” means “plus” as it’s clearly different from the capital “T” in the cryptogram.

10. The last line indicates Day-Week-Month-Year. MIL suggests the word “military.”

Have at it.


UPDATE I: Apparently the FBI has received so many responses and tips that it’s set up a separate website for them:


UPDATE II: José Galofré Manero. left a comment here with a link  to a site where he’s referred to as “Joseph from Spain.” (Gran obra, mi amigo.)

That links to this:

That links to this:

And also leads you to Jose’s multi-part analysis.  Here’s Part 1 of several:

His conclusions are astounding. I suggested to Jose that he write it up in his native Spanish for clarity.

Jose contends that Ricky McCormick was NOT murdered, but someone else was, and to solve THAT homicide a briefcase/satchel/package must be unearthed in the outskirts of St. Louis MO. Based upon his decryption, Jose has a good idea where it might be found. So far the FBI doesn’t seem interested, but I think that’s about to change.


UPDATE III: José posted links to his original analysis in his native Spanish below. More to come.

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