Want to Help the FBI? Test Out Your Cryptology Skills.

In 1999, the FBI found two notes written in encrypted code on the body of a murdered man. The victim, Ricky McCormick, was found in a field with the two notes in his pants pockets. In the following 12 years, McCormick’s killer was never found. Neither was the solution to the coded notes, despite extensive work by the FBI’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit and the American Cryptogram Association. The notes use a complex combination of letters, numbers, dashes, and parentheses, making the code highly difficult to crack. McCormick was known to use such methods in writing encrypted notes as a child, but no one in his family ever learned how to decipher them. The FBI doesn’t believe that there was anyone besides McCormick who could translate the symbols.

Now, the FBI has released the notes to the public in hopes that someone with a fresh set of eyes will be able to decode the messages. Standard analyses have failed, and the chief of the CRRU says that other letters written by McCormick may help. In lieu of new evidence though, he hopes that the world community can shed new light.

If you would like to have a crack at the code, click here for large images of the notes.

If you think you have a solution, or any information on the McCormick case, you can contact the CRRU at:

FBI Laboratory
Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit
2501 Investigation Parkway
Quantico, VA 22135
Attn: Ricky McCormick Case

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