On Reddit I found two messages allegedly left behind by people who committed suicide.
The /r/codes group on Reddit has for years been one of my best sources for interesting cryptograms. During my last visit to this forum, I saw two similar posts published on the same day but by different users.
Both posts are about messages allegedly left behind by persons who committed suicide. I don’t know if these cryptograms are genuine and if there is a relationship between the two. In any case, it is worth taking a look at them.
A Base64 message
The first of the two cryptograms was posted by a Reddit user calling himself Sonic_Keeb. Here’s what he wrote:
A few days ago a close friend of mine committed suicide and when the police found his body he was carrying a note on him and on the side it says Base 64 and that is how I ended up here. Please help me decipher this so me and my other friends can find some closure.
Base64 is a well-known coding system used to convert binary data (e.g., an image or program code) to an ASCII string. Base64 is not really an encryption method, beause it doesn’t use a key. The main question now is whether this suicide note is really Base64-encoded or if the author gave a wrong hint to confuse codebreakers. If we are dealing with a Base64 message, we need to ask ourselves whether an additional encryption has been used.
As the readers of the Reddit post soon found out, the simplest solution is the correct one: The text is in fact Base64 encoded without a further encryption having been used. Here’s the plaintext:
hello, there… this was wroten on 04-Aug-2019. how are you doing future self. lmao. how long did it take you to find out how to decode this. hope youre doing great, right now. i am just, kinda meh. haven’t had a girlfriend yet. playing games a lot, and i mean, a fucking lot lmao. you have a job at shinrai janpanese bistro. and you watch animes, but they are like borderline hentai. harem animes. you do trap cosplay, i hope youre still doing most of the stuff. its fucking awesome. how buff r u now? lmao, right now, im 110lbs, and not that buff. yah im just here to check if youre doing okay. keep going man. you still want to go to the Marines? maybe MASOC? you still a virgin i bet lmao. well, thats all, like i said, keep going man. you got this, im doing great rn, hope youre doing pretty good too. OwO
I have never seen a hand-written Base64 text before. Perhaps a reader can tell me why somebody would use such a system for such a purpose.
A substitution cipher message
The second encrypted suicide note was posted by a Reddit user nicknamed Cassi 25 on the same day as the first one. I don’t know if this is a coincidence. Cassi 25 wrote:
Friend committed suicide. This was in his journal full of some dark thoughts. Any clue as to what this might say would be appreciated
Apparently, this message is an excerpt from an encrypted notebook. As Reddit users found out, the encryption method used is a substitution cipher (MASC) based on the following substitution table:
Apparently, the author of the message took the word TWENTYFOUR to rearrange the alphabet in the first lineof the table (the second T is omitted, as each letter may only appear once). Here’s the plaintext:
IFEELLIVEIMINAWORLDTHATDOSNTWANTMEORNEEDME. IAMTIREDOFBEINGALSER. IMAYNOTBEALONEBUTIFEELLIVEIAMBYMYSELF. SADISNTIT? IHAWLSOMEONEHLRIGHTHEREANDISTILLFELLALONE. FUNNY
Are these two messages genuine? Or are they fakes created by a Reddit user who wanted to make his cryptograms appear more interesting? I don’t know. Perhaps, a reader can say more about this.
Further reading: Alessio Vinci’s death and the cryptogram he left behind