Alession Vinci, an Italian student, died in 2019 for unexplained reasons. He left behind an unsolved cryptogram.

Unsolved crimes that involve unsolved cryptograms have always been among the most popular topics on this blog. Stories of this kind include the Zodiac Killer, the Somerton Man, the Debosnys case, and the Ohio train-station robbery.


Suicide or murder?

Blog reader John Haas from Austria has now informed me about another case that might fit into this category: the unclarified death of Alessio Vinci. According to a Reddit post, this case can be summarized as follows:

  • Alessio Vinci was an 18 year-old student from Ventimiglia, a town near the border between Italy and France. He lived with his grandfather.
  • Vinci was studying Aerospace engineering in Turin and was overall a very smart guy. His family and friends described him as being gifted with a superior intelligence.
  • On January 17, 2019, Vinci travelled to Paris without telling anyone, not even his family. He took a room at the hotel Le Meridien Etoile, near Port Maillot.
  • Vinci did not leave his hotel until after midnight. He only went to the balcony to smoke and to call his grandfather. He didn’t tell him anything important, just causal conversation. He seemed calm as usual.
  • Around 2 a.m., Vinci left the hotel. It is not known what happened next.
  • On January 18, Vinci was found dead under a crane in a construction site in Port Maillot.
  • Vinci’s death looked like a suicide, but this cause of death is doubted by his grandfather.

Vinci left a letter (written in French) for his grandfather. Here’s a translated version of it:

I won’t say why I did it, if I will be remembered as a crazy youngster I don’t care what people think. I only ask for one thing, and I know someone will do it. Let everyone see this message.

The message mentioned at the end of the letter might be the encrypted one introduced below.

The authorities also found a 100.000 € receipt from a bank in Monaco, and a transaction of 700€ made in Paris.


The Vinci cryptogram

What makes this case interesting for this blog is that it involves a cryptogram. According to the web portal Newsbreezer, the following message was displayed on Vinci’s computer (I assume it’s the one the letter refers to):


Apparently, this message needs to be mirrored:


To my regret, I don’t know any details about this cryptogram. How was the message found on the computer? Why did Vinci (or whoever) write this note by hand instead of using a word processor? When was the file containing the message scan created?

The message can be transcribed as follows:

ETP per sais CAM 381ASLCM

The same letters, E. T. P., were found engraved with a lighter under Vinci’s desk.

Can a reader make sense of this cryptogram? If so, please leave a comment.

Further reading: How steganography solved a murder case


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Kommentare (12)

  1. #1 Richard SantaColoma
    2. Januar 2020

    Not to be trollish in the New Year… but I would think the transcription is actually:

    E.T.P. je sais CAM 381A2LCM

    That is, the number you have as a “5” looks like a “2” to me. Other than that, I can be of little help!

  2. #2 V.W.
    3. Januar 2020

    I thought it was two payments – one with 1000€ and a second with 700€, that were found by the executives.
    Or did I am wrong?
    Am I the only one who is irritated by the writing of the number “1”. Usually the number won’t be written with a horizontal line below like in book-style.

  3. #3 Peter
    4. Januar 2020

    “Je sais” is French for “I know”.

  4. #4 Tobias Schrödel
    7. Januar 2020

    What a famous name … and a coincidence …?
    Leonardo da Vinci was also “mirror writing” his notes, just as Alessio Vinci.

    And: CAM 381A2LCM might be the name of a webcam … and there WAS a webcam available from LaBrae school in Ohio that used this “name” as URL. It is – however – not available anymore and I don’t know if it already/still existed, before/when Allesio died:

  5. #5 Me
    9. Januar 2020

    Tobias, the link you provided to that website can only have numbers as a webcam identifier (in that case, 381, which links to the same cam without the A2LCM string). Given that he studied in Italy, that cam can’t be related.

  6. #6 BREAKER
    11. Januar 2020

    The Cipher was broken revealing a plot to sabotage planes that was tied to a War Game of the US Navy called Project Architeuthis

    This is some high level stuff and covert as well.

    The cipher is multi layered and I had to use a few techniques that are explained on the page linked

    There was also a fairly long Reddit post about it as well.

    Search for “Alessio Vinci” and “ETP Cipher”

  7. #7 BREAKER
    15. Februar 2020

    The French recently released a second cipher that they have declared was from the investigations, written in a single line. They released them to Italian investigators in the case and they then gave them to Chi L’Ha Visto to broadcast. I have uploaded the second cipher to show the comparison to some other online coding sequences that I found relevant to this new text strand.

    When I was reviewing this cipher in a few examinations, the ciphers were incomplete and were not showing any signs of being cracked as is, so I figured that maybe one of the other ETP Cipher techniques would apply. I assumed being from the same murder that the same use of an intermediary key, or the addition of another strand would apply to help decipher the code, as the ETP broke from two directions, one from the use of the text in 3 sections using 3 different methods, combining them to form a final statement, and the other method using a strand from the Bruno Borges room ciphers to add in the middle of the mirrored ETP*PTE segments of text. The ETP served two functions in a dual use cipher, and to continue the breaks you had to take another ciphertext strand and add it to a mirrored version of the ETP Ciphertext right in the middle.

    The new strand of ciphertext was separated, so it seemed like it too held a plaintext reasoning in some simple fashion, and required a missing “filler” or another section of strand to produce the variables from the computerized decryption used in a larger strand.

    Apparently the first line has a plaintext derivative sounded out….. S2AGO (Stage Two A Go)

    These seem like operative codes dumped at a ritual murder scene, so I checked online for the ciphertext strand to see what Google would dig up, and there were two similar looking code strands that were used as a discussion board name, SV17Q and SVO9N, on a discussion board called Forgotten Languages.

    Adding these two variables to the strand then allows the code to be broken down using once again a variety of techniques, and the strand can also be reversed/mirrored, but in an inverted fashion that allows the strand to be relaid so that the original text, S2AGO OOA8, then becomes 8VOOO GVZ2, using the interpretations of the code when inverted. The Translations of the entry of SV17Q and SVO9N into the center of the S2AGO OOA8 each produce their own text of OLIAS and NBOAS, which is then added into the inverted text strands 8VOOO GVZ2 to produce its own plaintext.

    The trick is then taking the results of the different methods used in a combination of them all together to form the final message about their instructions for Stage Two.

    To make a final reference to the web discussion links of Forgotten Languages, and the themes and topics discussed there, the user named SVO9N made comments about there being a long running operation that involved the creation of superflu’s and viruses from Bioresearch into naturally occurring diseases that people contracted.

    SVO9N is actually the name of one of the suspect variances that was discovered in a strange localized outbreak that was spawned after research in a specific region was being conducted. The discussions were about areas in Asia (China) and Africa. It also listed a series of operational steps that were initiated then that led to the downing of MH370, also claiming that one of the passengers was being used as a carrier of the virus in a wild theory.

    So seeing all this info having a secondary purpose to begin with in the use of the codes related to the murder, I also deemed it to be something related to these subjects of the planes being downed and the use of ciphers being added at a later time for the continuation of the operation, seeing the Stage Two marked clearly in the code in the first segment.

    I am adding it to my reports on these subjects on my FB page linked above

  8. #8 BREAKER
    15. Februar 2020

    Also to note in this case is the location where he was killed. Take a look at the obvious symbology of the building’s and their blueprints and outlines.

    The teddy bear with horns, and the pizza pie shape by the Hotel, with the look of the crime scene around the construction site looking like a toilet seat stand out in this link

    We have the location names concealing something about the murder. Place De La Porte and Le Meridien Etoile.

    They conceal word rearrangements that seem to match with the look of the city area and crime scene.

    Place De La Porte becomes


    and Le Meridien Etoile becomes


    This all being somewhat crude or imaginative but at the same time there is the look of a spot on the toilet seat-looking building with the place he was murdered on the map. They also took the time to leave other ciphers around that were not really discussed in full in these affairs in the media. You have to look for them in other pages online talking about the crimes. They all have the same patterning and have a sort of sadistic spin on all of them as well.

  9. #9 Pungh0Li0
    21. Februar 2020

    Sorry to break it to you, but the second code is “S2190 0018”
    Those are not ‘A’s. That’s how French and Italians write ‘1’s.

  10. #10 BREAKER
    3. März 2020

    I take the ^s to represent a capital A. The rest of the codes broke down in English, so why would you think that this one would be written by a French or Italian?

    His grandfather has already stated that the ciphers are not Alessio’s handwriting or handiwork and that he feels these others were planted on him, as he was wearing a jacket that seemed out of place for his taste.

    The second cipher released was basically found at the same time as the investigations into the ETP, but it was withheld from the investigators in Italy for some reason by the French.

    Then they decided that they would publicize it to attract a “codebreaker” that could solve it.

  11. #11 Pungh0Li0
    8. März 2020

    I’ve seen a lot of European writing over the decades and those are definitely ones. To say they are ‘A’s is a major stretch.

  12. #12 Laura
    28. Mai 2020

    But why would an Italian guy write to his Italian grandfather in French?
    Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t him who wrote the letter. And maybetht means he didn’t kill himself…