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Thread: MO - Ricky McCormick murder, St. Louis, 1999 - FBI wants help solving encrypted notes

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    Arrow MO - Ricky McCormick murder, St. Louis, 1999 - FBI wants help solving encrypted notes

    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.

    The FBI says that despite extensive work by its Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), and the American Cryptogram Association, the meanings of those two coded notes remain a mystery and McCormick's murderer has never been found.


    Full article: click here
    Ciphers: click here


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    Interesting....

    I notice in the article they say that seeking the public's help in codebreaking is a special circumstance. Of course it would be rare for someone outside professional cryptography to be able to contribute, but the Zodiac case has one or more celebrated examples of citizen-solving, I believe.

    I'm not bad at the skill, having run into opportunities to practice it in my field of work, but I definitely don't have the patience. Yi!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tapu View Post
    Interesting....

    I notice in the article they say that seeking the public's help in codebreaking is a special circumstance. Of course it would be rare for someone outside professional cryptography to be able to contribute, but the Zodiac case has one or more celebrated examples of citizen-solving, I believe.

    I'm not bad at the skill, having run into opportunities to practice it in my field of work, but I definitely don't have the patience. Yi!
    bbm

    I agree. I just wonder who could help with it if the FBI has been working on it for about 12 years and haven't been able to decipher it. I took a look at it and then thought - what could I do that they couldn't, kwim? Of course, there is obviously someone out there - or maybe two someones - who know what it means.
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    Quote Originally Posted by belimom View Post
    bbm

    I agree. I just wonder who could help with it if the FBI has been working on it for about 12 years and haven't been able to decipher it. I took a look at it and then thought - what could I do that they couldn't, kwim? Of course, there is obviously someone out there - or maybe two someones - who know what it means.
    I say give it to the genuis kid with the IQ higher than Einstein or people with autism that have that gift & throughly enjoy such things.


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    Anyone find anything further about the case itself? All I could locate were several StL Post Dispatch articles @ $2.95 apiece.

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    ??? It's Ricky's code, so if he's dead, who else knows it?
    I am surprised the fbi couldn't get other similar codes of his. If he was into it since he was a child, he must have others lying around.

    Also, article said he dropped out of school, but that he could read an write. I bet he wasn't a very good speller, so chances are part of the note is misspelled which would make it harder to figure out if it really is a code. I read about a bit, and it seems like most people think it is just Ricky's own sort of shorthand.
    Last edited by buffetoflies; 03-29-2011 at 04:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowraiths View Post
    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.

    The FBI says that despite extensive work by its Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), and the American Cryptogram Association, the meanings of those two coded notes remain a mystery and McCormick's murderer has never been found.


    Full article: click here
    Ciphers: click here
    Why didn't they type it out for us! I can barely read it-- but, I do love encryption! Hmmmm

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    Quote Originally Posted by buffetoflies View Post
    ??? It's Ricky's code, so if he's dead, who else knows it?
    I am surprised the fbi couldn't get other similar codes of his. If he was into it since he was a child, he must have others lying around.

    Also, article said he dropped out of school, but that he could read an write. I bet he wasn't a very good speller, so chances are part of the note is misspelled which would make it harder to figure out if it really is a code. I read about a bit, and it seems like most people think it is just Ricky's own sort of shorthand.
    Poor spelling would make it very hard. Sheesh.

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    I work in manufacturing, it looks like a bunch of random serial and part numbers. That's all I can come up with.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiche View Post
    Why didn't they type it out for us! I can barely read it-- but, I do love encryption! Hmmmm
    Ok, so here's what I've got for the 2nd page, if it makes it any easier to try and figure out. Some of his letters weren't super-clear, so I did the best I could:

    ALPNTE GLSE-SE ERTE
    VLSE MTSE-CTSE-WSE-FRTSE
    PNRTRSE ONDRSEWLD NCBE
    NWLDZLRCMSPNEWLDSTSMEXL
    DULMT6TUNSE NCBEXC
    (MUNSAISTENMUNARSE)
    KLSE-LRSTE-TRSE-TRSE-MKSEN-MRSE
    (SAE6NSE SE NMBSE)
    NMNRCBRNSEPTE2PTEWSREBKNSE
    26MLSE74SPRKSE29KENOSOLE173RTRSE
    356LE CLGSEOUNUTKEDKRSE PSESHLE
    651MTCSEHTLSENCUTCTRS NMRE
    99.84.5 5UNEPLSENCRSEADLTSENSKSENBSE
    NSREONSE PVTSEWLDNCBE (3XORL)
    NMSENRSEIN2NTRLERCBRNSENTSRCRBNE
    LSPNSENGSPSEMKSEKBSEPCBEAVXL’R
    HMCRENMREFCBE 1/2MUNDPLSE
    D-W-M14HIL XDRLX


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    Here's what I've got for the other page (there's a lot of "NCBE" in it, fwiw):

    (MNDMKNEARSE-N-S-M-KNARE)
    TFRHENPINSENPBSERCBBNSENPRSEINC
    PRSENMRSE DPREHLDWLDNCBE(TFXLFTCXLNCBE)
    AL-PRPPITXLYPPIYNCBE MGKSEWCDRCBRNSEPRSE
    WLDRCBRNSE NTSSHENTXSE-CRSLE-CLTRSEWLDNCBE
    ALWLDNCBETSMELRSERLSEURGLNEASNWLDNCBE
    (NOPFSENLSRENCBE)NTEGDDMNSENCURERCBRNE
    (TENETFRNE NCBRTSENCBEING)
    (FLRSEPQSEONDE71NCBE)
    (CDNSEPRSEONSDE74NCBE)
    (BRTSEPRSEONREDE75NCBE)
    (TFNQCMSPSOLEMRDELUSE TOTEWLDN1HLDNCBE)
    (194WLD’SNCBE)(TRFXL)


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    Thanks much, amandab.

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    The first thing that jumps out at me is that the "words" are extremely long, as though each real letter would be represented by two or more coded letters. I know absolutely nothing about coding, but this is interesting.

    Oh, and also, the numbers 71, 74 and 75 are interesting because they are all major freeways that run through southwestern ohio.


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    Having worked with folks who are brain injured, I have to tell you, this looks an awful lot like the sort of gibberish they would write. It made perfect sense in their heads, but wasn't translating in writing.

    I suspect the reason they haven't cracked this in 12 years is because it's just jibberish. If there's no order or logic behind it there is no "code" and therefore nothing to crack.

    I think it's a lot more fun to hope that it's a brilliant mastermind who we just need to outsmart.


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    High recurrence of the letter combination "SE."

    I agree with sfbaynancydrew; I'm afraid it will mean nothing - except to him: a private expression of a private language.

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    May I please ask was this the victims Ricky McCormicks hand writting?
    ALL EVIL NEEDS TO SUCCEED IS FOR GOOD PEOPLE TO DO NOTHING!!!!

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    Normally I would be all over this type of puzzle but with 1. no one's life in imminent danger and 2. no reward, I'm not feeling that motivated.

    Plus, the cautious side of me is also suspicious of the FBI's motives for going public with this...they may just be trying to lure the killer by appealing to his ego. In other words, "the killer is so desperate for attention, he'll be dumb enough to come forward to try to get attention for "cracking the code".

    I dunno...something just seems off about the whole thing.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms Suzanne View Post
    May I please ask was this the victims Ricky McCormicks hand writting?
    Good question, I'll see if I can find out.

    I was also thinking I would let my Autistic son take a look at it fwiw, I'll print it for him, maybe he will get something out of it.

    I have come up with a few words out of it so far, I usally can look at jumbles like this and find stuff in them, I'm not sure if it is part of my slight dyslexia but I rock at word finds...lol, not that that will help
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysticrose View Post
    Good question, I'll see if I can find out.

    I was also thinking I would let my Autistic son take a look at it fwiw, I'll print it for him, maybe he will get something out of it.

    I have come up with a few words out of it so far, I usally can look at jumbles like this and find stuff in them, I'm not sure if it is part of my slight dyslexia but I rock at word finds...lol, not that that will help
    Thank you.I would like to look at his whole case story,the way he was murdered and where he was found ect.Is there anything out there on his case?I'm thinking these notes were in his pockets the day he died for a reason.Someone else he possibly knew knows this code too.Even if it's known only to them.
    ALL EVIL NEEDS TO SUCCEED IS FOR GOOD PEOPLE TO DO NOTHING!!!!

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    I wonder if he had a twin ?
    What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you....
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    I would like to know too if this was confirmed as Ricky's handwriting. Was the paper it is written on found to have come from his residence, from a note pad there?
    Do they know for certain it was something he wrote?
    Was he known for writing notes like this, or is the note totally out of character?
    Was type of employment did he have? Was he mentally challenged or his health otherwise jeopardized?
    What were the circumstances surround his death? How long had he been missing before found?

    Too bad they didn't tell more about Ricky...how does the FBI expect anyone to take a real stab at this, without supplying more specific information on the victim and what was going on in his life at that time.

    Of course it could be a ploy to lure someone out of the woodwork.
    Very interesting though, Almost looks like directions, or a conversation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowraiths View Post
    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.

    The FBI says that despite extensive work by its Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), and the American Cryptogram Association, the meanings of those two coded notes remain a mystery and McCormick's murderer has never been found.


    Full article: click here
    Ciphers: click here
    Quote
    Investigators believe the notes in McCormick's pockets were written up to three days before his death.


    Where was he during this time?Where did he write it?Did he write these notes?
    ALL EVIL NEEDS TO SUCCEED IS FOR GOOD PEOPLE TO DO NOTHING!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sreshowtime View Post
    I would like to know too if this was confirmed as Ricky's handwriting. Was the paper it is written on found to have from his residence, from a note pad there?
    Do they know for certain it was something he wrote?
    Was he known for writing notes like this, or is the note totally out of character?
    Was type of employment did he have? Was he mentally challenged or his health otherwise jeopardized?
    What were the circumstances surround his death? How long had he been missing before found?

    Too bad they didn't tell more about Ricky...how does the FBI expect anyone to take a real stab at this, without supplying more specific information on the victim and what was going on in his life at that time.

    Of course it could be a ploy to lure someone out of the woodwork.
    Very interesting though, Almost looks like directions, or a conversation.
    The article says that according to his family, he was known to write encoded messages "since he was a boy", but no one in his family knows how to decipher them.

    I agree it would be helpful if we knew more about his background and the circumstances of his death.

    Even though I know this is virtually uncrackable, I'll probably drive myself nuts trying.
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    Ahh I didn't read the article first posted, had found another one & came to WS to see if anything about Ricky... more detail in this article here.

    That is sort of sad to me that his family didn't know how to decipher his notes or that they must have never really spoken with him about what & why he wrote that way. BLess his heart.

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