Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Riddle in a pocket? FBI asks public to help break a code found on murdered man in 1999
StarTribune.com ^ | 4/5/11 | JESSE J. HOLLAND , Associated Press

Posted on 04/05/2011 1:43:25 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo

A lifelong fan of codes, Ricky McCormick wrote out two pages of letters, numbers and symbols and stuck them in his pocket. His body was found in a Missouri cornfield in the summer of 1999, those two sheets of paper still in his pants.

ALPONTE GLSE - SE ERTE, one line read. Is that a coded plea for help? A reminder to pick up the laundry from the cleaners? The beginnings of a commentary on the weather in St. Louis?

If you know, the FBI's top code-breaking unit wants your help in breaking McCormick's code — one that has baffled government cryptologists for more than a decade — and perhaps solving his murder.

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: Conspiracy; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: code; fbi; murder; riddle

1 posted on 04/05/2011 1:43:29 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

why would you code a plea for help?


2 posted on 04/05/2011 1:45:49 PM PDT by uscabjd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

b-e-s-u-r-e-t-o-d-r-i-n-k-y-o-u-r-o-v-a-l-t-i-n-e.


3 posted on 04/05/2011 1:48:54 PM PDT by So Cal Rocket (Task 1: Accomplished, Task 2: Hold them Accountable!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo
the FBI's top code-breaking unit
Sounds like a new TV show - Are You Smarter Than The FBI?
4 posted on 04/05/2011 1:50:25 PM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: uscabjd

If anyone needed help deciphering this code, it would help if they put it in regular text.


5 posted on 04/05/2011 1:51:09 PM PDT by jonrick46 (2012 can't come soon enough.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo; a fool in paradise; JoeProBono
What if it's, GASP!, gibberish?


6 posted on 04/05/2011 1:54:02 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Cut spending, drastically
Throw the bums out and impose iron clad term limits
Iron clad balanced budget amendment
Tax the bankers and other freeloaders.
Don’t start a war in Iraq or Afghanistan. If you do, get out ASAP.
A Kenyan will be president.

I can’t read the last line but hopefully someone else will.


7 posted on 04/05/2011 1:57:59 PM PDT by mewykwistmas (We can either have a free market economy or socialism, TARPers, GM and GE can't have it both ways.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: So Cal Rocket

LOL


8 posted on 04/05/2011 1:58:04 PM PDT by FortWorthPatriot (Obama is no Hitler; Hitler got the Olympics!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Odd. The letter sequence

NCBE is repeated 9 times, including 4 times after WLD and at the end of 6 lines.

The last three lines end with

71 NCBE
74 NCBE
75 NCBE

We also have a NCBEING to end a line


9 posted on 04/05/2011 1:59:28 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: uscabjd
A young man's code developed my freshman year at Rutgers.

B4I4Q

RU/18!

10 posted on 04/05/2011 2:01:07 PM PDT by Young Werther ("Quae cum ita sunt" Since these things are so!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: So Cal Rocket

A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!


11 posted on 04/05/2011 2:02:11 PM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo
Easy - its the text of the Kensington Runestone unearthed in Minnesota...

8 göter ok 22 norrmen po ??o opdagelsefard fro vinland of vest. vi hade läger ved 2 skelar en dags rise norr fro deno sten. vi var ok fiske en dagh, äptir vi kom hem fan 10 man røde af blod og ded. AVM frälse af illu. [side of stone]: här 10 mans ve havet at se äptir vore skip 14 dagh rise from deno öh. ahr 1362

12 posted on 04/05/2011 2:03:49 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (It's not the Obama Administration....it's the "Obama Regime".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo
One possible interpretation - a humble request:
13 posted on 04/05/2011 2:04:14 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo
ALPONTE GLSE - SE ERTE

Look glass-jar Southeast Crete.


I would search Koufonisi.

14 posted on 04/05/2011 2:04:36 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo


15 posted on 04/05/2011 2:07:28 PM PDT by Mr.Unique (My dream thread: Mormon cop shoots Catholic Freeper's Pit Bull and takes his Macbook Pro.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

More - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricky_McCormick_murder_notes

Background

Ricky McCormick was a high school dropout, but was able to read and write and was said to be “street smart”. He had held multiple addresses in the Missouri/Illinois region in St. Louis, Belleville, and Fairview Heights, sometimes living off and on with his elderly mother.[5] According to a 1999 article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, McCormick suffered from chronic heart and lung problems. He was not married, but had fathered at least four children. He had a criminal record, and had previously served 11 months of a three-year sentence for statutory rape. At the time of his death, he was 41 years old, unemployed, and on disability welfare.[6]

His body was found in a cornfield in St. Charles County on June 30, 1999, by someone driving along a field road near Highway 367, near West Alton, Missouri.[7] The reason for his being 30 miles from his current address is another mystery, as McCormick did not own a car, and the area is not served by public transportation. The body had already decomposed somewhat, and no official cause of death was ever determined, though an identification was obtained via the body’s fingerprints. The death was not labeled a homicide, there was no indication that anyone had a motive to kill McCormick, and no one had reported him missing. The last place that McCormick had been seen alive was five days earlier, on June 25 at the St. Louis Forest Park Hospital, where he was getting a checkup.[5]

News stories in 1999 did not mention anything about cipher messages, which were not announced until 12 years later when the FBI listed the death as a murder, and posted a notice for help on the mainpage of their website. Investigators believe the notes in McCormick’s pants pockets were written up to three days before his death.[8] Attempts by both the FBI’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU) and the American Cryptogram Association failed to decipher their meaning, and Ricky McCormick’s encrypted notes are currently listed as one of CRRU’s top unsolved cases, with McCormick’s killer yet to be identified.[1] According to members of McCormick’s family, McCormick had used encrypted notes since he was a boy, but apparently no one in his family knows how to decipher the codes, either.[9]

There is no reward being offered, just a challenge. “Breaking the code,” said CRRU chief Dan 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.”[3]


16 posted on 04/05/2011 2:10:19 PM PDT by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favored tools of the weak-minded.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

17 posted on 04/05/2011 2:11:26 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

The code says:

Ask Nixon about the Hughes donation.


18 posted on 04/05/2011 2:18:08 PM PDT by bigoil (Study Thy Nixon)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revolting cat!


19 posted on 04/05/2011 2:18:21 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: _Jim
PAge 1 manuscript, typed in similar format and spacing to the actual page:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    (MNDMKNEARSE-N-S-M-KNARE)         (A(SM))
TFRHENPINSENPBSERCBBNSE NPRSE INC
PRSE N MRSE DPRE HLDWLDNCBE(TFXLF TCXL N CBE)
AL-PRPPIT XLYPPIY N CBE MGKSEWCDRCBRNSEPRSE
WLDRCBRNSE N T SSHENTXSE-CRSLE-CLTRSEWLDNCBE
ALWLDNCBETSME LRSE RLSE URGLNE AS N WLD N CBE
  (NOPFSE NLSRE NCBE) NTEGDDMNSENCURERCBRNE
              (TENE TFRNE NCBRTSE N CBE INC)
                       (FLRSE PQSE ONDE71 NCBE)
                       (CDNSE PRSE ONSDE74 NCBE)
                       (PRTSE PRSE ON REDE 75 N CBE)
(TF NQCMSP SOLE MRDE LUSE TOTE WLD N WLDNCBE)
                                           (194 WLD’S NCBE) (TRFXL) 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Page 2 "Page 2", featuring what appear to be paragraphs that are circled and thus isolated from other paragraphs, was also written in ballpoint ink like Page 1. But this page's text was written on blank, unlined stationery marked "NOTES" at the top of the page. Page 2's stationery may have been old generic note paper (or a newer printing of a classic style), as evidenced by the "Art Deco" appearance of the font of "NOTES". This page's writing covers roughly the top 75% of the sheet. Here is the Page 2 manuscript, typed in similar format and spacing to the actual page:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

AL PNTE GLSE-SE ERTE
VLSE MTSE-CTSE-WSE-FRTSE
PNRTRSE ONDRSEWLD NCBE
NWLDZLRCMSPNEWLDSTSMEXL
         DULMT6TUNSE NCBEXC

          (MUNSAISTENMUNARSE)
KLSE-LRSTE-TRSE-TRSE-MKSEN-MRSE
          (SAE6NSE SE NMBSE)

NMNRCBRNSEPTE2PTEWSREBKNSE
26MLSE74SPRKSE29KENOSOLE173RTRSE
356LE CLGSEOUNUTKEDKRSE PSESHLE
651MTCSEHTLSENCUTCTRS NMRE
99.84.5 5UNEPLSENCRSEADLTSENSKSENBSE
NSREONSE PVTSEWLDNCBE (3XORL)
NMSENRSEIN2NTRLERCBRNSENTSRCRBNE
LSPNSENGSPSEMKSEKBSEPCBEAVXL’R
HMCRENMREFCBE          1/2MUNDPLSE
     D-W-M-4HIL XDRLX

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

From: http://coldcasesleuth.blogspot.com/2011/04/ricky-mccormick-mysterious-death.html

20 posted on 04/05/2011 2:20:28 PM PDT by _Jim (Conspiracy theories are the favored tools of the weak-minded.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: JoeProBono

Ebonics Jive phonetically?


21 posted on 04/05/2011 2:21:05 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: JoeProBono

GOTtoBUYmoCRACKfrumMUFUGGAupDAstreetTONIGHTbeeyatch!!


22 posted on 04/05/2011 2:29:27 PM PDT by DainBramage
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo
His body may have been found in Missouri but as evidenced by his writing, he grew up in Detroit..........Deres no code in dat letre, dats how he was taut to spel..........

All joking aside, it wouldn't surprise me that the guy was suffering from some form of autism or severe learning ability and any attempt to decipher what is written would be a waste of time.......there certainly isn't any "code" involved.

23 posted on 04/05/2011 2:40:28 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Our technology has surpassed our humanity........AE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revolting cat!
Ebonics Jive phonetically?

She could have helped.

24 posted on 04/05/2011 2:43:48 PM PDT by mc5cents (Government doesn't solve problems, it subsidizes them. -- Ronald Reagan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo
I stopped after I finally cracked this code:

MR DUCKS
MR KNOT
OSMR CM WANGS
LIB! MR DUCKS!

25 posted on 04/05/2011 2:51:31 PM PDT by OB1kNOb (Solution to Libya's problem: They want a new Muslim leader, I say, give them ours...2 problm solved!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr.Unique

What’s interesting to me are the corrections, around 15 of them, mostly on p. 1.


26 posted on 04/05/2011 2:54:28 PM PDT by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: jonrick46

Remember he may have written it phonetically as he may well have been unable to spell very well. Looks like a simple Letter substitution code but with a progressing letter shift. Still, if it baffled the FBI it must have something that is a bit unique. He may well have copied it from somewhere else—or maybe he was an Idiot Savant of some sort. The Pajama Clad Freepers can break this code!


27 posted on 04/05/2011 2:56:26 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: _Jim

Looks like BO’s birth certificate.


28 posted on 04/05/2011 2:59:01 PM PDT by Always Independent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Revolting cat!; DainBramage


29 posted on 04/05/2011 3:02:32 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Forward the Light Brigade

It looks like to me there are page references. Notice the numbers before the “NCBE” which follows some of the words. Also, there are other ending letters which are also duplicated. These endings must be a reference to a page out of some obscure book he had. Then what he did was take a sentence and each letter was assigned a letter in the alphebet.

—Just my guess.


30 posted on 04/05/2011 4:02:01 PM PDT by jonrick46 (2012 can't come soon enough.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: mewykwistmas
I can’t read the last line but hopefully someone else will.

Rosebud.

31 posted on 04/05/2011 4:31:59 PM PDT by ItsForTheChildren
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

The fbi should ask gang hangers or inmates for advice. Not average smart people.


32 posted on 04/05/2011 4:58:25 PM PDT by goseminoles
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mewykwistmas
I think that's the written note the governor of Hawaii found in place of Obama’s birth certificate.
33 posted on 04/05/2011 5:18:42 PM PDT by peeps36 (America is being destroyed by filthy traitors in the political establishment)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: _Jim

There certainly is an abundance of the letter E, and few of the other vowels.


34 posted on 04/05/2011 5:42:18 PM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: jonrick46

I think the reference to a book is the key. Find the book and the code will break Maybe NCBE is a book? What book has four words in the title with each word starting with NCBE? New Christian Bible ???


35 posted on 04/05/2011 10:12:04 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Both “NCBE” and “N CBE” appear frequently. Common word beginning with “A” or “I” since it can also stand alone as a one letter word itself. That’s assuming meaning wasn’t assigned to blank spaces and other symbols.

So, a four letter word beginning with A or I that can also be two words when A or I is separated. Abet - A bet? Ibid - I bid?

He was not well educated and likely developed something just a little more complex than the Cryptoquote puzzle in the newspaper. A “key” symbol, number or letter that shifts the letter substitution sequence might be a good guess, but “NCBE” is in there repeatedly.

It’s not pure gibberish, there is consistent order to it. Could be that some groupings retain the same substitution sequence and others shift. But, beyond that, I don’t know.


36 posted on 04/05/2011 10:33:57 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ButThreeLeftsDo

It was probably encoded with a one time pad and is essentially gibberish because unless they find the key, no one will be able to break it.


37 posted on 04/06/2011 2:56:12 AM PDT by Malsua
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson