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Read Thread: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help

For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Mar 29, 2011 7:12pm
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First thing I thought when reading this article: someone on AQ can do this!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110329/ts_yblog_thelookout/fbi-asks-public-for-help-breaking-encrypted-notes-tied-to-1999-murder

The FBI has asked for help decoding a 1999 murder-related letter.
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595656 by Sand and Snow
Mar 29, 2011 7:16pm
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Problem is when one of us cracks it we'll be blamed since none of their "highly trained professionals" couldn't do it.
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595656 by Sand and Snow
Mar 29, 2011 7:45pm
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Hmmmm I was certain this was one of Ryan's ways of teasing us!!! Its real!!!
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595656 by Sand and Snow
Mar 29, 2011 7:50pm
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Who can even read it? Dang! Scribbles! Only thing that I noticed or popped into my head on the very last line 1941 olds. lol, or that's what was my first thought. Did they even make a '41 olds? I'm no puzzle solver, either...just havin' fun with it....and no, if you look closer it can't be that, just my first glance...

I should really know if there was a '41 olds since my Dad worked for Cadillac/Olds for 40 yrs, but (sigh) I don't....
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595656 by Sand and Snow
Mar 29, 2011 9:05pm
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Where's Dr. Reed when we need him?

~J
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595656 by Sand and Snow
Mar 30, 2011 6:13am
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"wld" seems to be a word that the murder likes to use alot. I see "world" when I read, but that's just me. He also repeats "NCBE" several times. I also feel like the second to last line of the first letter says something to the effect of: "sole (sounds like soul)... to lose to the world..." Also seems like there's a date at the bottom of the second letter. I'm sure that the killer left a key in there somewhere. Idk, but this is gonna drive me nuts all day.

--YR, who has a headache now.
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595656 by Sand and Snow
Mar 30, 2011 9:47am
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FYI: Per the Bureau, these notes are believed to have been written by the victim. According to his family, he wrote coded messages for years.

The more than 30 lines of coded material use a maddening variety of letters, numbers, dashes, and parentheses. McCormick was a high school dropout, but he was able to read and write and was said to be “street smart.” According to members of his family, McCormick had used such encrypted notes since he was a boy, but apparently no one in his family knows how to decipher the codes, and it’s unknown whether anyone besides McCormick could translate his secret language. Investigators believe the notes in McCormick’s pockets were written up to three days before his death.

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. “Standard routes of cryptanalysis seem to have hit brick walls,” Olson noted. Our cryptanalysts have several plausible theories about the notes, but so far, there has been no solution.

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. Or, short of new evidence, Olson said, “Maybe someone with a fresh set of eyes might come up with a brilliant new idea.”
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595784 by Otis' Friends
Mar 30, 2011 10:55am
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Am I missing something? Do they think the victim or the killer wrote the notes? Because what you quoted in your post sounds like they believe the victim wrote the notes but the news story I read made it sound like they believe the killer wrote the notes. I'm confused.
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595800 by Dizzy
Mar 30, 2011 11:46am
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The FBI thinks the victim wrote the notes.
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595656 by Sand and Snow
Mar 30, 2011 12:08pm
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I know that they need to look into everything about a case, but there's a really big chance that these notes don't have anything to do with the guy's murder. I mean, unless he was dealing with drugs, illegal gambling or something, what's the chance that he knew someone one was going to kill him?
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595809 by Otis' Friends
Mar 30, 2011 2:29pm
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Ok I'm still confused then. If they think the victim wrote the notes, why would the murderer not take the notes out of his pockets? The murderer had to have known that it looked like a code and could possibly be solved. Also, the FBI says they think the note could have been written up to 3 days beforehand... anyone know why they believe this or why they think a note that was written 3 days prior to his death might have information about the case?
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595846 by Dizzy
Mar 30, 2011 4:29pm
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the FBI says they think the note could have been written up to 3 days beforehand... anyone know why they believe this or why they think a note that was written 3 days prior to his death might have information about the case?

Consider it this way: They don't know what the note says, so they can't rule out that there might be an important clue in the note. It might very well be a dead end, but until they read the note, they don't know that.

Perhaps the note fills in gaps in the guy's timeline leading up to the murder. Where he was, or who he met? Which could be the lead they need to break the case. Or maybe it's just a shopping list. Until they can read the note, though, the authorities just don't know.

-- Ryan, who'd like to think that the authorities would be very thorough investigating my murder if it were to happen! But I'm sorry if I send them on a wild goose chase with my coded shopping list. =)
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595886 by Green Tortuga
Mar 30, 2011 4:42pm
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I read some of the online comments and someone suggested the series of letters and numbers looked like train boxcar numbers. I had to laugh even though I hoped it couldn't be true. Some folks do have OCD about peculiar things, and well, what if his secret hobby was hanging out at the tracks and recording "where's george?" Perhaps he was waiting for one of his early documented boxes to return to the same spot?
Re: For those good at decryption: FBI asks for help
Board: Mysterious Capers and Sneaky Stuff
Reply to: #595886 by Green Tortuga
Mar 30, 2011 5:01pm
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-- Ryan, who'd like to think that the authorities would be very thorough investigating my murder if it were to happen!

Need we look farther than Wassa?