MO MO - Ricky McCormick, 41, St Louis, 30 June 1999

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by shadowraiths, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. dlbroox

    dlbroox New Member

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    Thanks for the welcomes.

    I don’t know what I think is in the notes at this point but I think it’s visually sophisticated. The letters in P1 can tend to align vertically.

    There are many places where the e’s line up vertically.

    And I’ve played with the numbers. One way I played with them turned up a Kansas City area code. But I’m thinking lots of people might have come up with that.
     
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  2. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Ricky Mccormick Was Found Dead With Two Coded Notes We Still Haven't Solved - In Touch Weekly
    Feb 28 2018 rbbm

    Note 2. (Photo Credit: FBI)
    [​IMG]

    note 1. (Photo Credit: FBI)
    [​IMG]

    However, there were questions surrounding the case. He was 15 miles away from home, yet he didn't have a car and public transportation did not go where he was found. Then, 12 years later, the FBI revealed that his death was, in fact, a murder. Not only that, but he had two encrypted notes in his pockets when he was found. Police determined the notes were probably written within three days of his death.

    At first, family members reportedly said that Ricky had written in code since he was a kid, which lead police to believe that he was the author. However, a 2012 report from the River Front Times featured new interviews with his family, who claimed that Ricky couldn't spell, he just scribbled. "[His] family members say they never knew of Ricky to write in code," said the report. "They say they only told investigators he sometimes jotted down nonsense he called writing, and they seriously question McCormick's capacity to craft the notes found in his pockets." So were the notes written by the killer?
     
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  3. dlbroox

    dlbroox New Member

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    Exactly.
     
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  4. CastlesBurning

    CastlesBurning Well-Known Member

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  5. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting a new article, funny was thinking about Ricky just the other day and meant to bump his thread, glad you did!
    from link..

    ''On June 15, 1999, McCormick boarded a Greyhound bus from St. Louis to Orlando. He would stay two days at the Econo Lodge.

    On June 22, McCormick walked into the emergency room at Barnes-Jewish Hospital complaining of chest pain. He was admitted, and discharged on June 24.

    On June 25, McCormick walked into the emergency room at Forest Park Hospital, complaining of shortness of breath. He was not admitted.

    On June 26, McCormick talked with his girlfriend, Sandra Jones, on the phone for the last time.

    On June 27, McCormick was seen at his place of work, the Amoco station at 1401 Chouteau. Medical examiners determined that was his day of death.

    On June 30, McCormick's body was found in a field just outside West Alton in St. Charles County.''

    ''More than 20 years later, the question remains. Was it McCormick himself? Could it have been a killer? Somebody else?

    The FBI emphasized the characters in the codes were not random, but instead patterns and sequences. The notes contained numerous letter E's, references to the numbers 71, 74 and 75, and a focus on the repetition of the letters "NCBE."
    ''Breaking any code involves four basic steps:
    1. Determining the language used.

    2. Determining the system used.

    3. Reconstructing the key.

    4. Reconstructing the plaintext.''
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Huge article.. includes some other mysterious cases. rbbm.
    4 Mysterious Cold Cases to Know in 2020: Unsolved Murders, Disappearances
    Aug 6 2020 By Daniel Dumas
    ''The meaning of McCormick’s notes has baffled both professional and amateur cryptanalysis to this day.
    FBI
    The Last and Only Cipher of Ricky McCormick
    On June 30, 1999, the body of 41-year-old Ricky McCormick was found in a cornfield in West Alton Missouri. In McCormick’s front pocket were two pages of hand printed notes containing a complex cypher that the FBI, the American Cryptogram Association, and countless amateur codebreakers have—to this day—failed to crack. McCormick was a high school dropout who, according to a family member, “Didn't write in code. He couldn't spell anything, just scribble."

    What We Know

    McCormick’s body had been decomposing in the field for several days prior to its discovery —authorities had to use fingerprints to make a positive ID. The rate of decomposition made it difficult for medical examiners to determine a cause of death—even after an autopsy and a toxicology report. But after considering the suspicious nature of where his body had been found (the area had been used to dump murder victims before) investigators classified the death a homicide.

    The two notes police found inside of McCormick’s pocket consisted of 30 lines of seemingly random letters and numbers. Some of the code contains parenthesis, other parts of it is circled.

    [​IMG]
    St. Louis PD
    McCormick was an ex-con who was semi-employed at a gas station and alternated between staying with family and living on the streets. He also suffered from heart and lung ailments and had been collecting disability at the time of his death. His criminal record consisted of a handful misdemeanors plus a stint in prison for statutory rape. McCormick’s body was found some 15 miles from his residence even though he did not own a car and public transportation did not service the area where he was found. McCormick also sporadically traveled by bus to Florida where a former girlfriend says he acted as courier for drug runners, shuttling marijuana back to Missouri.

    The Investigation

    There are conflicting reports about McCormick’s mental condition. According to a Riverfront Times article, while awaiting trial for statutory rape, his public defender believed McCormick might be "suffering from some mental disease or defect." She had him tested by a local psychologist who found McCormick mentally competent to stand trial. Though he was never diagnosed with any mental disorders, McCormick was considered to be street smart with an active imagination yet also possessed a naïve, childlike attitude towards the world, according to the Riverfront Times.

    A few days before his death, McCormick’s girlfriend stated that after he returned from a drug smuggling job in Florida shaken and anxious. He went to several hospitals for treatment of chest pains and asthma in the days before his death. Some investigators believe he wasn’t actually looking for medical attention but believed his life was in jeopardy and was seeking a safe place to stay.

    Parenthetical and circles on the notes suggest it could have been a to-do list.
    FBI
    Where the Case is Today

    By 2011 the FBI’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit had exhausted its resources trying to crack the cipher. “Breaking the code could reveal the victim’s whereabouts before his death and could lead to the solution of a homicide,” the FBI said in a 2011 statement.

    Some people, including some members of Ricky’s family, believe the notes to be the nonsensical script of a mentally disabled person. Other family members claim that Ricky had been writing in code since he was a boy. Experts, including the FBI agent in charge of the case, assert the notes are authentic. Small details in the handwriting—like circles around portions of the code—indicate that it was personal in nature, possibly a to-do list. According the FBI, the greatest challenge in this case is that McCormick likely intended the notes only to be read by himself. Other famous cyphers—like the Zodiac Killer—wanted their codes to be eventually cracked.

    There is, of course, is the possibility that McCormick did not write the code — experts have not been able to conclusively prove that the notes are in his handwriting. It’s also feasible the code was written for him by the drug dealers he was working for or that he was just transporting the cipher from one place to another and was unaware of its meaning.

    The FBI has an entire website dedicated to the case and invites amateur codebreakers to try and solve it. Ultimately it is believed the code contains information that will help catch McCormick’s murderers.''
     
  7. neesaki

    neesaki Well-Known Member

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    :+:MrTT:+: and dotr like this.
  8. neesaki

    neesaki Well-Known Member

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    I’m thinking along these lines as well. Perhaps it’s really code by terrorist organization or organized crime, but FBI doesn’t want that information revealed. Safer to tie it to RMs murder. MO speculation.
     
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  9. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    A terrorist connection, had not thought of that, hmmmm interesting!
     
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  10. Grungster

    Grungster Well-Known Member

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    Are any additional photos of Ricky available?
     
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  11. Grungster

    Grungster Well-Known Member

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    Also, whether the notes mean something or not, I don't think Ricky wrote the notes. If he was dyslexic, why the heck are there numerous letters on the note??
     
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  12. Krispin

    Krispin New Member

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    Things would be easier to figure out if we knew for certain if Ricky wrote the notes or not. I know its been stated that Ricky could only write his name but even with the small sample size it'd be better than nothing to compare it to the notes. Is there no written documents saved of Ricky writing his name?

    That being said, if Ricky did write the notes I feel they mean nothing to anyone except himself, and was a way to express himself.
     
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  13. J-money

    J-money New Member

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    Hi all I’m new to web sleuths. I joined specifically after finding web sleuths while looking into this case. I am from the St. Louis area and I remember hearing about it when he was found. At the time it was only about 15 minutes from my house but ran across the Ricky McCormick case again recently while watching That Chapter on YouTube. Mike did an episode specifically on the code. I believe I may have figured out what it is. Now keeping in mind Ricky was illiterate and dyslexic and as I started going over the code little things started to jump out at me. I’m fairly certain that the code is Rickys own personal style of short hand for bus stops. As in street intersections and bus numbers. One of the big ones that has been mentioned before is NCBE which is repeated over an over. I have come to believe that stands for (North City Bus Exchange) FLR=Florissant PRSEOND=Penrose WLD=Euclid NE=North East . With the numbers the precede each NCBE like 74,71,75 being the actual bus number. There are others I also believe I have figured out as well. Now I need to sit down with a print out of it and write what I believe to be the translations out. I just haven’t found time yet, but I thought I’d share my finding with you guys in the mean time.
     
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  14. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Ws J_money, thanks for chiming in with your theory, looking forward to more of your posts!
     
  15. lonewanderer

    lonewanderer Well-Known Member

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    There is one part of this code that drives me nuts.

    WLD NCBE appears many times, and WLD'S NCBE appears once.

    What could possibly make one word possessive over the other when they have both been used together in the same order before?

    Its likely this is a shorthand code, but even still, what two words could possibly be normal and used that way, but take on a possessive form of the first word later?

    I've thought about it a lot, like maybe "bag weight" and "bag's weight" or something, but it just drives me nuts as a riddle within the riddle.
     
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  16. dms

    dms Well-Known Member

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    Morpheme deletion is a pretty common aspect of AAED, in my experience. "Her mom's house" becomes "her mom house," for example. If Ricky did this inconsistently, it would fit the situation you've described.
     
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