Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Can YOU help catch a killer?

I make some assumptions about my small but loyal gathering of readers: First, that they are interested in crime. Second, that they are intelligent.

The first assumption is based on the fact you are, well, readers of a criminal law blog. Duh. The second is based on your comments and those of you I have met.

And this is why I thought you might be interested in a post the FBI has up on their site. Basically, they need help deciphering a note found on a murder victim. Yes, the FBI needs YOUR help:

On June 30, 1999, sheriff’s officers in St. Louis, Missouri discovered the body of 41-year-old Ricky McCormick. He had been murdered and dumped in a field. The only clues regarding the homicide were two encrypted notes found in the victim’s pants pockets.

Despite extensive work by our Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), as well as help from the American Cryptogram Association, the meanings of those two coded notes remain a mystery to this day, and Ricky McCormick’s murderer has yet to face justice.

Here's one of the notes:
(Go here for the full story.)Any of you masterminds able to crack it?

Because that would be very, very cool.


  1. Thank goodness they waited 12 years to bring this to the public's attention. I bet Jacob Barnett could solve it.

  2. I'm sure they've been working on it since then, the article indicates several groups who've had a crack at it. This is pretty much a last-gasp effort, I imagine. Great shame.

  3. Didn’t this tactic work with the Zodiac killer? I seem to remember that a couple solved one of the codes. Of course, that could just be Hollywood since I’ve never researched it.

    (Same Anon as above…)


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