FBI Wants You to Crack Code in 12-Year-Old Murder

They're hoping amateur puzzle fans can solve notes found on St. Louis man
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2011 9:20 AM CDT
One of the two notes found in Ricky McCormick's pocket.   (FBI)
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(Newser) – The FBI’s best cryptanalysts haven’t been able to crack a mysterious code found in the pocket of a murder victim 12 years ago—so they’re hoping you can do it. Ricky McCormick, 41, was found dead in a Missouri field in 1999, and the bizarre notes in his pockets were deemed the “only clues” by investigators. But in the years since they haven’t been able to decipher them, so now, they’re turning to the public for help, the Telegraph reports.

“We are really good at what we do,” says the head of the Bureau’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit. But “standard routes of cryptanalysis seem to have hit brick walls. Maybe someone with a fresh set of eyes might come up with a brilliant new idea.” McCormick’s family says he’d been writing encrypted notes since childhood. “Even if we found out that [he] was writing a grocery list … we would still want to see how the code is solved,” the CRRU chief said. (Check out the comments section for some theories, including a guess that it relates to betting on horses.)

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