June 22, 2021 20:18

The only cypher of Ricky McCormick: A 1999 murder…unsolved to this day

On June 30, 1999, 41-year-old Ricky McCormick was found dead in a cornfield in West Alton Missouri. Two pages of hand printed notes containing a cypher (which the FBI, the American Cryptogram Association, and amateur codebreakers have yet to crack) was found in his pocket.

The semi-employed gas station worker was a potentially shady person from what I’ve read – he’d been to prison for statutory rape and often went to and from Florida to run marijuana to and from St. Louis.

A few days before his death, McCormick’s girlfriend stated that he came back from one of these Florida drug runs shaken and anxious. He also went to several hospitals for treatment of chest pains and asthma in the days before his death. (Some believe he wasn’t actually looking for medical attention but believed his life was in jeopardy and was seeking a safe place to stay.)

McCormick’s body was identified by fingerprint since it was a few days into decomposition and couldn’t otherwise be identified. It was classified as a homicide. The police found two notes in his pocket that contained a complex code.

The FBI, when brought in, stated that breaking the code could lead to McCormick’s whereabouts before his death and thus, help solve the murder. They also believed it was likely McCormick himself had created the cypher, intending it to only be read by himself (sort of the opposite of other famous cyphers like Zodiac who created it to see if others could crack it). However, it must be stated that the cypher could have been written by someone else – even by the dealers he worked for and McCormick was only meant to transport the coded note.

But by 2011 the FBI’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit exhausted its resources trying to crack the cipher, and now it’s housed on their website for anyone to take a crack (link to code on FBI site here: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/help-solve-an-open-murder-case-part-2).

So that’s the case in a nutshell. I’m a St. Louis native so it’s one I follow. Also… since I’m a good boy who follows them sub rules, I won’t self-promote. But if you like unsolved/weird ish like this send me a message, I got you.

submitted by /u/A_Wise_Mans_Fear
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