(CBS13) Got a knack for discovering secrets? If you can succeed where the FBI has failed, you might be able to help catch a killer.

The FBI has released two encrypted notes found in the pocket of a murder victim killed more than a decade ago after the agency’s cipher gurus hit a wall while trying to decode its meanings.

Ricky McCormick, 41, was found dead in a field near St. Louis, Missouri on June 30, 1999. Deputies found little evidence at the scene and believe he was murdered somewhere else and dumped into the field.

The only clues investigators found were a pair of notes in his jeans, consisting entirely of handwritten capital letters, numbers, dashes and parentheses.

The victim, a high school dropout, had apparently been using coded notes since he was a child but family members were never told how to read them. Investigators hope the decoded notes would provide clues to his whereabouts immediately before his death.

The FBI’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit released the codes in hopes that the public interest can help crack the case.

When the Zodiac Killer taunted law enforcement and reporters with a series of encrypted notes in 1969, a husband and wife in Salinas successfully solved the message.

Comments (4)
  1. Joseph Caren says:

    No link to the coded notes?


    1. Frazzled says:

      Hi Joseph,
      I saw the full notes here if you want to view them and the address to send the info to if you can solve it 😉

  2. j17 says:

    “SE” Interesting!

  3. nshoregrappler says:

    how close to where the body was found to where Ricky m. lived?
    Did he live close to the Alton OTB site?

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