Dr. Alex Dent interviewed on the BBC World Service's Newshour

Dr. Alex DentDr. Alex Dent made his debut radio appearance on the BBC World Service's Newshour programme last night to discuss the FBI's appeal for help in breaking the Ricky McCormick murder notes. The FBI's appeal is related to a series of apparently encrypted notes found in the pocket of Ricky McCormick - the tragic victim of an unsolved murder enquiry that dates back to 1999. According to the FBI, it is likely that these notes were made by the victim in the days prior to his death and could shed light on his activities on the night before his murder. However, the FBI's Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit has been unable to break the cipher and are now appealing for the public to help.

Alex explained that it is impossible to know whether the series of letters and numbers are really an encrypted message or whether they are just gibberish produced at random. He also commented that in a situation like this, where a cryptanalyst has no idea of how the ciphertext was produced, the work of a large number of people is more likely to successfully break the cipher than the work of a small number of dedicated experts.

A copy of the recording can be found here.