Victim: Johnny, 22 years old.
Cause of Death: Bleeding, died 8 minutes after being discovered.
Murder weapon: A 15-inch knife.
All that's left at the crime scene is a string of letters, written by the victim himself.

Potential suspects:

  • Blaise: Found wandering near the house of the victim. Acting very strange, as if he was trying to encode something.

  • Julius: Victim’s friend, was sleeping in the next room when the murder occurred. Big fan of anything enigmatic.

  • Jisyll: He was waiting for a meeting with Johnny in the living room. No one came so he left the house.

Who is the suspect?

defuio jiytj Mlvboo ioipdas ftyru ertyut fsakd feuttc flfosa iopui ffopi Hqsme iuypt topada rdari

yuitf iouyt fsfssf lfutc iopytg kiplis vzcomx kipthp yitoip gytuio tuityu tuiop ioptiu etqpqu

Iotpi iopti

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ "Suspect" means someone suspected of the crime. Did you mean to ask who the culprit is? $\endgroup$
    – msh210
    Nov 20, 2021 at 21:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Almost certainly a suicide. Leaving a final message but encrypting it would make exactly zero sense otherwise. If the killer were the first person to find the message, it would get destroyed, encrypted or not. In any other case, the encryption would only hinder those trying to catch the killer. $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Nov 21, 2021 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ Or he was a head of secret organization guarding an ancient secret... $\endgroup$
    – Morris
    Nov 23, 2021 at 5:29

1 Answer 1


I propose the culprit is


We know the victim, Johnny, had just enough time to write a short note prior to his death.
He did not seem to have time to come up with something too complex as his body was losing blood quickly, but needed to pass along the victim's name in a manner not completely obvious in case the culprit found it and realized what it was.
So, he chose the following solution:

Encrypt the culprit's name using ROT-23 (which happens to be 8+15, two key numbers in the puzzle), pad it with a bunch of similar length 5 to 6 character nonsense words to disguise it, and begin with the letters 'abc' in ROT-23 to ensure the police understood his intentions.
Rot-23 on the text yields exactly this:
abcrfl gfvqg Jisyll flfmaxp... (random text continues)

Or perhaps there is more to this, but I didn't find another pattern, and the culprit's name seems intentionally placed, especially since all the words have similar lengths implying they may be random.


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