Handwritten Real-World Cryptogram
I get e-mail, occasionally weird e-mail. Every once in a while I get an e-mail like this:
I know this is going to sound like a plot from a movie. It isn't. A very good friend of mine Linda Rayburn and her son Michael Berry were brutally murdered by her husband...the son's stepfather.
They were murdered on February 3rd, 2004. He then hung himself in the basement of their house. He left behind a number of disturbing items.
However, the most intriguing is a cryptogram handwritten on paper utilizing letters, numbers and symbols from a computer keyboard. Linda's daughter Jenn was the one who found the bodies. Jenn is a very good friend of mine and I told her I would do everything within my power to see if this cryptogram is truly a cryptogram with valuable information or if it is a wild goose chase to keep us occupied and wondering forever what it means.
I have no idea if any of this is true, but here's a news blip from 2004:
Feb. 2: Linda Rayburn, 44, and Michael Berry, 23, of Saugus, both killed at home. According to police, Rayburn's husband, David Rayburn, killed his wife and stepson with a hammer. Their bodies were found in adjacent bedrooms. David Rayburn left a suicide note, went to the basement, and hanged himself.
And here is the cryptogram:
The rectangle drawn over the top two lines was not done by the murderer. It was done by a family member afterwards.
Assuming this is all real, it's a real-world puzzle with no solution. No one knows what the message is, or even if there is a message.
If anyone figures it out, please let me know.
Posted on January 30, 2006 at 10:15 AM • 411 Comments