Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Missing Notebook

Kirk von Ackermann liked to take notes. Lots and lots of notes.

He liked to record his thoughts, using his own personal form of a cryptic short hand, described as an "idiosyncratic writing system," that in part used multiple languages. (If memory serves, Kirk von Ackermann spoke 6 languages.) Most often, he relied on a mixture of Russian and English. And he kept up his habit of taking notes while he worked for Ultra Services.

Kirk always had something with him to write on - always. His notes are almost impossible to read since he had very small handwriting, regularly used multiple languages, personal acronyms, abbreviations etc., and almost always wrote very quickly as he tried to keep up with his own ideas. - Megan von Ackermann
What happened to Kirk von Ackermann's notebook?

Habit dictates Kirk von Ackermann had a notebook with him in the car on the day he disappeared. Unfortunately, no one seems to really know what happened to most of his personal effects among which, was a soccer jersey from an Iraqi national team player meant as a gift for his son. What might his notebook say about the days immediately preceding his disappearance?
He used his notebook to write down ideas, notes about people he met, suggestions, inspirations... that sort of thing. So he would probably write down observations about the people he was meeting (the military officers he was dealing with, anyone else he found helpful or who might be interested in a product or service), notes he had on how the processes were working (deliveries, contract negotiations, employee relations etc) or ideas for a new way to use an existing product or a new need he had noticed.

Left, sample of Kirk von Ackermann's notes taken around the year 2000, recorded in a Dayrunner. Coin is for size comparison.

Maybe Kirk von Ackermann's notebook is even now sitting in the glove box of his vehicle in an impound lot. Maybe not.

Shortly before his murder, Ryan Manelick alleged fraud within the company and that it involved US Army officers. Von Ackermann had an acute sense of observation. It seems highly unlikely he would have missed something like fraud and kickbacks....
If Kirk knew about the fraud allegation he certainly might have made notes about what he was seeing. Even if he didn't, his habit of writing notes the way he did might have made someone else think he was jotting things down about it.
Where is that notebook today?

That's the bingo question.

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