Evidence

Judge to Decide if Poem 'Decrypted' by FBI Can Be Used at Trial


Prosecutors in Illinois are seeking to have a “decrypted” jailhouse poem introduced into evidence against a man accused of murdering his family.

Prosecutors contend the poem, written in runic symbols, shows defendant Christopher Vaughn was planning to start a new life in the Canadian wilderness with a stripper, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Vaughn is accused of killing his wife and three children in 2007. Vaughn, who had a gunshot wound to the leg, flagged down a passing motorist to report the deaths. Vaughn has maintained his wife killed her children then herself.

The Tribune reports that runic symbols are often used by those who adhere to pagan religions.

A Will County, Ill., judge is set to decide on Thursday whether prosecutors can use the poem at Vaughn’s trial. The judge has already barred prosecutors from mentioning that Vaughn held druid beliefs.

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