Six years ago, “Aktenzeichen XY ungelöst” asked: What does the sequence of numbers 5785/43293091 mean?

In 2013, the number sequence 5785/43293091 played a role in a criminal case. As far as I know, the case is still unsolved and the meaning of the numbers is unknown.

Deutsche Version

Anyone interested in encryption and crime should definitely listen to my ICCH talk “Crime-related Codes and Ciphers” tomorrow, June 26, 2021. I will be giving it again together with Elonka Dunin. Here is the tentative agenda:

Quelle/Source: Schmeh

As always, dial-in details for this online lecture are available on the ICCH mailing list or from me upon request. There is no charge to attend.


A criminal case from 2013

The following is about a criminal case, but it will not come up tomorrow.

Saarbrücken in 2013: An unknown person tries to kidnap the wife of a bank branch manager. However, she fights back fiercely and is finally able to put the perpetrator to flight. Two and a half years later, the unsuccessful kidnapper’s clothes and personal belongings are found in a nearby forest.

This case was depicted in the program “Aktenzeichen XY ungelöst” on October 14, 2015. It was the 500th edition of the television classic and thus an anniversary program. What is interesting about the case described is that among the items found was a cell phone (Nokia 6021), which was already old at the time and on which a total of 12 digits were handwritten.


Quelle/Source: Aktenzeichen XY ungelöst

The sequence of numbers I want to call the Xtra cryptogram is (according to the XY broadcast):


On October 16, 2015, just two days after the broadcast, I blogged about the mysterious sequence of numbers. It seemed unlikely that it was a coded message, but it was exciting all the same. After all, there were 40 comments on my article. Unfortunately, the decisive clue that would have led to the solution of the case or to the decoding of the sequence of numbers was not among them.


Six years later

With a gap of six years, I would like to talk about the Xtra cryptogram once again.

As I already wrote in 2015, I read a 5 instead of a 3 at the fourth last position of the number sequence. Should this be true, then the correct version was “5785/43295091”. But how did this error occur? It is well known that the police almost always withhold important information in public searches and even deliberately misrepresent some things. In this case, however, I see no reason why investigators should have deliberately changed a digit. Or was this an oversight? Or am I seeing poorly?

I also find it striking how little one can find on the Internet about this case. On Google, I get exactly two hits when I enter the sequence of numbers: my own blog article and a report by the Bild newspaper, which, however, does not go into more detail about the case. Originally, the XY broadcast from October 2016 could be seen on YouTube, but unfortunately it can no longer be found there. The official XY website already contained only clearly slimmed-down information about the story two days after the broadcast. A summary of the case on the portal e110 has disappeared in the meantime.

So obviously, the police were no longer interested in clues about the Xtra cryptogram shortly after the broadcast. There are two explanations for this:

  • The riddle about the sequence of numbers was solved quickly, but the police did not publish this for tactical reasons. It is even possible that the investigators already had a suspicion before the broadcast and that it was confirmed by viewers’ hints.
  • The police were so inundated with tips that they did not want to accept any more. It is well known that in the case of the Zodiac Killer and the murder of Ricky McCormick, an extremely large number of “decrypts” were also received, which caused considerable problems for the police.

I think the first reason is more valid. The main thing in favor of this one is that the police do not seem to have made another attempt to determine the meaning of the sequence of numbers with the help of the public in the last six years.

However, I did find a source for this case: The story is described on the XY Wiki – as an “attempted kidnapping.” There one also learns that the case is still unsolved. However, the Xtra cryptogram is not mentioned. Instead, a possible connection with the case “Maria B.” is mentioned, which refers to the still unsolved kidnapping and murder of Maria Bögerl.


What does the sequence of numbers mean?

I would still be interested to know what the mysterious sequence of numbers means. At first glance, a telephone number seems possible. However, the number 05785/43293091 does not exist. Is it perhaps an encrypted phone number (in a simple way)?

It is also conceivable that 5785 is the PIN of the prepaid card in the cell phone, and 43293091 is the PUK. However, this assumption is so obvious that the police surely figured it out themselves a long time ago. It is easy to check whether the numbers in question work as PIN and PUK, and the police have certainly already tried that. However, of course, a PIN or PUK can also be encrypted.

My readers have also suggested that it could be a bank PIN and account number. Or is it a parcel number? Or are we dealing with geo-coordinates?

Does anyone have any other ideas what these digits could stand for? Or does a reader know more about the criminal case described? I will gladly accept any relevant information.

If you want to add a comment, you need to add it to the German version here.

Zum Weiterlesen: YOGTZE-Fall: So könnte es gewesen sein