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WALL STREET: Help the FBI Solve a Murder

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CSI LOWER MANHATTAN
DailyFeed
Earlier this week, the FBI put out an open request to the public, seeking assistance in solving a murder case over a decade old.

The release began:

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.

“We are really good at what we do,” said CRRU chief Dan Olson, “but we could use some help with this one.”

In fact, Ricky McCormick’s encrypted notes are one of CRRU’s top unsolved cases. “Breaking the code,” said Olson, “could reveal the victim’s whereabouts before his death and could lead to the solution of a homicide. Not every cipher we get arrives at our door under those circumstances.”

The bureau says that "The more than 30 lines of coded material use a maddening variety of letters, numbers, dashes, and parentheses" and "Over the years, a number of CRRU’s examiners—who are experts at breaking codes—have puzzled over the McCormick notes and applied a variety of analytical techniques to tease out an answer."





The FBI says that, to move the case forward, "examiners need another sample of McCormick’s coded system—or a similar one—that might offer context to the mystery notes or allow valuable comparisons to be made."

Short of new evidence, Dan Olson believes that, “Maybe someone with a fresh set of eyes might come up with a brilliant new idea.”

If you have any ideas/thoughts/solutions, the FBI asks that you write to CRRU at the following address:

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

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