Missouri Cipher

The Mysterious Notes
in McCormicks’s Pocket

Here’s a nice, old fashioned murder mystery, to go along with your Sunday toast and coffee.
When the throat-slashed body of Rick McCormick was found in June of 1999, in a cornfield off Highway 367, near St. Louis, very little was known about the man.
The police file says that the high-school dropout was born in Missouri in 1958, was unmarried but had fathered four children, and had a statutory rape conviction in his record. At the time of his death, he was also unemployed, living with his mother off his disability checks.
Coming to think of it, it’s remarkable how a police file can be stuffed with minutia about someone’s life, without really informing an iota about the person itself.
But if his life was not the stuff of legends, his death was far from plain vanilla. His body, which also had a visible injury to the head, was found nearly 30 miles from where he lived, with no cars or public transportation on sight. As far as the record tells, he’d never been there before. But the record, as we know, can be far from instructive.
There were no clear signs of foul play, either. No ID or money in his pockets; only two crumpled handwritten notes. But there’s something highly unusual about those notes: they were written in a unknown language, full of numbers and signs that have eluded for 12 years the F.B.I.‘s best code-breakers.
Sensing there’s something there, the bureau published the notes on its Website and is now asking the public for help deciphering them. That’s quite a feat for someone without a proven track of having been involved in any serious crime. Regardless, if you think you have a shot, take it.
Not to rain on your parade, though, it’s unlike you’ll break the more than 30 lines of coded material the police say was written in a “maddening variety” of letters, numbers, dashes and parentheses. When contacted, his family said he did like to entertain himself by creating obscure ciphers that, as far as anyone know, only he understood.
But don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail: no less than the F.B.I.’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit and the American Cryptogram Association have been trying to unravel the notes’ meaning without success. And as it’s been fully noted, they’ve got over 10 years ahead of you.
It could be nothing, really. “A grocery list or a love letter,” in the words of one of the investigators. But they still would like to solve the case. No reward is being offered, though, the bureau is quick to add. “The satisfaction of knowing that your brain power might help bring a killer to justice” should suffice. All of a sudden, we’re all back in the 1940s.
Granted, this is no Voynich Manuscript, and it may be solved in a fraction of time of what’s been taking to solve that 1400s relic. But it’s way more accessible. And who knows? maybe it’s your chance to impress your friends once and for all, with your brain power put to the service of solving a crime, etc, etc. It may take another cup of coffee, though. Crime stoppers, anyone?

3 thoughts on “Missouri Cipher

  1. HANN13AL says:

    Hello from Spain:

    + I have found the home with the number 35 in the predicted place and this is his adress:

    6035 Missouri 94, Portage des Sioux, MO 63373, united states.

    + My theory was that beside the north entrance of the Maraisa Temps Clair CA (MO) had a home with number 35 , and this house was located at a distance of 36 and 29 miles from Mccormick´s official residence in St. Louis, Missouri, 1400 Chouteau Avenue.

    + I used for this purpose Google maps, Google Earth and “Street View” (attention: Google recognizes that the measure of distance is a rough estimate and mccormick wrote this in 1999, there may be unexpected changes).

    + Anyone can view and verify the existence of this house for himself. I think this shows that my interpretation of the stenographic notes is correct and the transcription of Mccormick shorthand system is valid.

    + My theory:

    -Mccormic stenographic notes tell us how we can find $ 99.840 and more … hidden in a suitcase buried in Marais … and must enter in that place by the side of the home 35 which is located at a distance of 36 and 29 miles from Mccormick´s home.

    -Now you have to walk 651 steps from the north entrance to a bird watching site has been after the central curve (and you must avoid the Jupiter´s mistake, as in Poe´s short story “The Gold Bug”) and pay attention to the presence of “corms” (three corms or tree corm).

    – The mathematical solution of the problem I have explained (35 Home = 6035 missouri 94 …..) has given me the expected solution. Now you just have to dig a suitcase where I say it is.

    – Someone should check my assumption and I would prefer that someone in the FBI or SLPD, active or retired, and to give the money to the orphans of McCormick

    ….. if they still alive.

    —-Another kid shot in St. Louis

    —-St louis gangs

    – Thank you for paying attention to my thoughts.

    + If my dream comes true one day the sun will rise and the snow that covers almost everything will melt, and the hidden will be found.

    Greetings from Spain.


  2. HANN13AL says:

    Hello, again …. an update.

    -It is a STENOGRAPHIC problem.
    -The plaintext not exist.

    -Only exist a Stenographyc text that was hidden with a personal shorthand system with some measures of deception.

    + If my theory is correct at the northern entrance of “Marais temps Clair CA” (mo) is a house with number 35.
    – So Mccormick stenographic notes tell us how we can find $ 99.840 and more … hidden in a suitcase buried in Marais Temps Clair CA (MO) and must enter in that place by the side of the home 35 which is located at a distance of 36 and 29 miles from Mccormick´ home (1400 Chouteau Avenue, St Louis, Missouri).

    UPDATE master key

    -Look 2nd note,last line, i see that:
    “O-W-m-4 H8L XORLX”

    +If O=O, W=W and R=R
    +If m=N, H=I and L=M using Caesar Code B or +1
    +If X= Variations of the letter “C” (MC,C and MC) using shorthand
    +If 4= four= FOR by phonetic solution like SMS language.
    +If 8= eight= eit= ei= letter “A” by phonetic solution like SMS language (example L8= late or leight, H8= hate ….)
    +If the hyphen join the letters in a word.
    +If we add vowel “i” by transcription shorthand solution.

    “O-W-m-4 H8L XORLX” means “OWN-FOR I AM MCCORM(i)CK”.

    It is the signature, last will or testament of Mccormick.

    + If you think “4” is not “4” but “y”
    + If you think “8” is not “8” but “I” then the solution is:

    “Y”= wai= WHY or WAY by phonetic solution, similar sound.
    “I”= ai= letter “A” by phonetic graphic representation.


    + My “rebuilding” of Mccormick note two:
    (A shorthand transcript solution “imaginative”)

    1- Everything is well bound and tied — No problem at home — The plan errors have been overcome.
    2- The way loss is easy to find, the effort to do this is not excessive.
    3- You rather try to highlight what had been written.
    4- This is what i would like to happen and so had been.
    5- The contents of the package found enthuse you and look for what will happen.

    6- This delivery has been left tied to you , so take advantage to your liking.
    7- The disease is killing me, i should rest more often, my view is clouded, i am already a memory of what i was. Enemy in sight.
    8- Take this with a mate and enjoy.

    9- And to me i would like to be there and see how you get past the 2 crossroads and untie my hints to obtain the yield.
    10- 36 miles to see, 1974 leaving the railway, and look 29 keep. Rather you have to consider these three numbers together.
    11- You should see the home number 35 and you can grab the package will be seen in the hole.
    12- You must subtract 651 steps to find the bag lost and if you dig through there you will find more than ….
    13- 99.840 dollars for you left in a suitcase that you will again to take care to seek and find.
    14- And to shed light on the place where this could have been placed — (three Corm). //option 2 (tree Corm)//.

    15- And meditate and learn about the awful things that happen and avoid the wrong trail that you could follow. Awful things i think are necessarily crazy.
    16- You stop being lazy and see and gaze the world around you, and look stop pretending that you are busy and this had been the way they pretend to become someone.
    17- I am careful and much more i had been — Half of my things for you and for to do me the please.

    18- Own because i am MCCORMICK.
    18- option 2: Own why? i am MCCORMICK

    Can you see the home number 35?

    bye from Spain.


  3. HANN13AL says:

    –In my humble opinion the master key is in the 2nd note, last line.
    –I see that: “O-W-m-4 H8L XORLX”

    Can you see which letters aee repeated and where?
    Can you remember the Arthur´s C. Clarke joke about HAL 9000?

    Yes? Then my solution is……

    m=N ……by use of Caesar Cipher B or +1

    4=FOR …by phonetic solution

    H=I …by use of Caesar Cipher B or +1
    8=A ..by phonetic solution
    L=M ..by use of Caesar Cipher B or +1

    X= (MC, C, CK) by shorthand solution
    L=M …by use of Caesar Cipher B or +1
    =I …by shorthand vowel solution
    X= (MC,C, CK) by shorthand solution

    …and the hyphen join the letters in a word, like this:
    “O-W-m-4 H8L XORLX” means “OWN FOR I AM MCCORM(i)CK”
    —It is his signature and means his testament and last will.

    Bye from Spain.

    For more information:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.