Two heavily encrypted, handwritten notes may hold the secret to an unsolved homicide that has stumped the FBI for more than a decade.
The FBI is seeking assistance in deciphering two coded notes found in the pants pockets of Ricky McCormick, a 41-year-old man whose murdered body was found in a St. Louis field in 1999.
The notes, written three days before McCormick’s death, contain what the FBI called a “maddening variety of letters, numbers, dashes and parentheses,” and have mystified the adept code breakers of the FBI’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CCRU).
“Standard routes of cryptanalysis seem to have hit brick walls," CCRU chief Dan Olson said.
To that frustrating end, the CCRU has made McCormick’s 12-year-old notes public in the hopes that, as Olson put it, ”someone with a fresh set of eyes might come up with a brilliant new idea,” that could bring McCormick’s killer to justice.
“We are really good at what we do, but we could use some help with this one,” Olson added.
McCormick’s mysteriously encrypted notes can be seen on the FBI’s website by clicking here.