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FBI Wants You To Solve Encrypted Notes From Murder 466

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the don't-you-mean-muuuuuurder dept.
coondoggie writes "The FBI is seeking the public's help in breaking the encrypted code found in two notes discovered on the body of a murdered man in 1999. The FBI says that officers in St. Louis, Missouri discovered the body of 41-year-old Ricky McCormick on June 30, 1999 in a field and the clues regarding the homicide were two encrypted notes found in the victim's pants pockets."
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FBI Wants You To Solve Encrypted Notes From Murder

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  • Re:I've cracked it! (Score:5, Informative)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @05:11PM (#35658622)

    In all seriousness, though, it would help to have these additional details:

    McCormick was a high school dropout, but he was able to read and write and was said to be “street smart.” According to members of his family, McCormick had used such encrypted notes since he was a boy, but apparently no one in his family knows how to decipher the codes, and it’s unknown whether anyone besides McCormick could translate his secret language. Investigators believe the notes in McCormick’s pockets were written up to three days before his death.

    Over the years, a number of CRRU’s examiners—who are experts at breaking codes—have puzzled over the McCormick notes and applied a variety of analytical techniques to tease out an answer. “Standard routes of cryptanalysis seem to have hit brick walls,” Olson noted. Our cryptanalysts have several plausible theories about the notes, but so far, there has been no solution.

    To move the case forward, examiners need another sample of McCormick’s coded system—or a similar one—that might offer context to the mystery notes or allow valuable comparisons to be made. Or, short of new evidence, Olson said, “Maybe someone with a fresh set of eyes might come up with a brilliant new idea.”

    I think the code was probably meant for his eyes only, which means he probably constructed it using abbreviations and codewords that only he himself would understand. Without knowing those, well...good luck.

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