Status: Undetermined (the cryptogram is probably genuine, but it's meaning is unknown)
Security expert Bruce Schneier has posted an interesting item
on his blog. It's a scan of a cryptogram emailed to him by someone who claims the cryptogram was left behind by a man named David Rayburn, who killed his wife and stepson with a hammer and then hanged himself. It's been confirmed that this murder/suicide did occur
, and it seems likely that the correspondent is telling the truth about the presence of the cryptogram at the crime scene, even though news reports didn't mention it. The question is, what does the cryptogram mean? There's a huge amount of debate about this on Schneier's blog. To me the most likely explanation offered so far is that it may be an encrypted password list. (The cryptogram was in a briefcase next to Rayburn's body, along with some CDs of child pornography.) But one person (named Alex, but I swear it wasn't me) posted an intriguing (though slightly sick and twisted) suggestion: "Maybe he was playing hangman with himself and lost."