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A member of the Phoenix Society, Inc. recently sent me an e-mail asking if I would send this cryptogram to the membership to see if anyone can solve it. The history behind the cryptogram is as follows:

"I know this is going to sound like a plot from a movie. It isn't. A lady named 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. They are trying to do everything they can to see if this cryptogram is truly a cryptogram with valuable information or if it is a wild goose chase."

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.

The Phoenix Society is passing this on as a service to our member as well as a challenge we believe many of our members would enjoy. We take no responsibility for what may actually be contained in the message if anything.

Please let us know (email: if you do solve it so we may pass on the information and our praise to the rest of the membership.


Jim Ryba



Phoenix Society, Inc. - PO Box 64 - Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0064