CODE DECIPHERED: Web Sleuths Solve 20 Year Mystery of ‘Cancer-Addled Ramblings’ in 15 Minutes

Screenshot 2014-01-23 at 8.33.20 AM

A mystery that has eluded the family of a Minnesota cancer victim for nearly 20 years is on its way to being solved thanks to internet sleuths. 

On Monday Janna Holm posted images of two index cards, covered in a seemingly unbreakable code, that her grandmother, Dorothy Holm, had written just weeks before her death in 1996.

Less than 15 minutes later the code was on its way to being solved after a web user spotted a possible method to the madness of jumbled letters.

Trending: Report: Father ‘Chained His Twin Daughters in Home, Raped Them and Fathered Their Children’

When she posted pictures of two of the index cards on Metafilter, Ms Holm, who works at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, explained her grandmother had lost her ability to speak when she wrote them.

Ms Holm said the family had been trying to find meaning in the jumble of letters that covered 20 index cards ever since her grandmother died from a brain tumor.

‘My cousins and I were between 8-10 years old at the time, and believed she was leaving us a code. We puzzled over them for a few months trying substitution ciphers, and didn’t get anywhere,’ she wrote.

This article continues at


Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.