We asked our regular contributors through e-mail, What is the creepiest unsolved crime you have ever heard of? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way and most of the respondents have requested to stay anonymous, so no names will be published.
1-5 Readers Talk About Unsolved Crime
1. The D.C. Madame. Basically in the mid-2000s this lady’s $300/hr, half million dollar brothel in the US Capital was raided and the madame was ordered to turn over her clientele list. She told reporters that her list that spanned years was thousands of clients including many powerful national politicians. Because of this she feared for her life and insisted if she was found dead it would be a murder made to look suicide. In an interview on Alex Jones’ show in July 2007, Palfrey explicitly stated, “I’m not planning to commit suicide” and made clear her motivation to present her case at trial, saying, “I plan on exposing the government in ways that I do not think they want me to expose them.” So naturally, before she could be made to testify, on May 1, 2008, Palfrey was found hanging in a storage shed outside her mother’s mobile home in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Police found handwritten suicide notes in the bedroom where she was staying, dated a week before her death. The autopsy and the final police investigation concluded her death was a suicide.
2. The lady who was found in the water supply tank on the roof of a hotel in Los Angeles. People were bathing in and drinking that water for weeks. They found her when people complained of foul tasting water and black water coming out of the shower. The Coroner ruled it an accidental death by drowning, but it’s a really weird story. The tanks were on the roof, gated, locked, had an alarm system, and they found her in the tank with the lid secured. They had to cut the tank open to remove the body.
3. Disappearance of Amy Lynn Bradley. Basically, a girl goes missing during a cruise with her family in 1998. A year later, a guy reported being approached by her at a brothel. She told him her name is Amy Bradley and asked him to help her. Before he could do anything, she was escorted upstairs. That guy ended up reporting this to the police… Several months later. By the time he reported it, the brothel had been burned down.
4. The Yogurt Shop Murders: Firefighters are called to a blazing yogurt shop, after extinguishing the fire they find the bodies of four teenage girls bound and sexually assaulted. Two men were nearly convicted but were released as advances in DNA revealed the presence a third man. The prosecution of the case has been paused until it’s determined the identity and role of the third man.
5. Gareth Williams: An MI6 agent who was found dead inside a locked sports bag in a flat. Police ruled the death as an accident despite coroner’s verdict of an unlawful killing. Some James Bond type sh*t.
6-10 Readers Talk About Unsolved Crime
6. Maura Murray disappeared the evening of February 9, 2004 after crashing her car on Route 112 in Haverhill, New Hampshire. She was in college, emailed professors she had to go home due to a family emergency (false), packed her bags and left. She withdrew $280 from an ATM. She then bought $40 worth of alcohol. She got into a car accident at approx 7:30, someone pulled over and offered to call the police. She refused and asked them not to. The witness drove home and called the police. By the time they arrived she was gone, and all her belongings were left in the car except her debit card, credit card, and cell phone none of which have ever been used or found.
7. There was an episode of Americas Most Wanted that focused on unsolved kidnappings. One was about a girl who was kidnapped and was found dead. And every year, supposedly on the day she was murdered or her birthday, the kidnapper calls the mom. He doesn’t say anything. She talks. Then he laughs and plays her daughters favorite song “With You All the Way” by New Edition and hangs up.
8. The McStay Family disappearance/murder. A family of four with two boys ages four and five. One day they just disappeared from their home, left eggs out on the counter, bowls of popcorn for the kids left on the couch, their dogs left outside, the doors all locked with no sign of forced entry. Their car was found later in a mall parking lot full of newly purchased toys, the kids car seats strapped in and the driver and passenger seats left in a position appropriate for the parents’ sizes. No one had any clue where they went or why. Three years later their skeletal remains are found in two shallow graves 170 miles from where the car was found.
9. The Sodder Children because they never found who did it, and it’s pretty clearly a cover up. 1 A.M. – Parents wake up, house is on fire. Parents help get 5 out of their 10 kids out of the house. Dad tries to reach the other children (upstairs) with a ladder that was outside, ladder is missing. Dad tries to pull his two big trucks up to the window to climb the trucks and get kids out, both trucks will not start up. Dad tries to get water from rain barrel – rain barrel is frozen solid. He tries to call the fire department, and there is no response. He tells a neighbor to call, also no response. Finally someone in town sees the fire and goes to the fire department – the fire trucks don’t arrive until 8 A.M., 7 hours after the start of the fire. Fire department investigates the house and finds no bones for the 5 kids, say that the bones were burnt to ashes. They say it was a wiring problem, but light bulbs were still working. People think that it was a cover up by law enforcement. A few months prior, a man came up to their house trying to sell them life insurance, and when they refused, he yelled at them “Your g*ddamn house is going up in smoke,” “and your children are going to be destroyed. You are going to be paid for the dirty remarks you have been making about Mussolini!” Due to the father’s outspoken views on Benito Mussolini.
10. I love reading about unsolved mysteries, especially weird/creepy ones, and the Hinterkaifeck murders is one of most fascinating to me. A farmer in Germany back in the 1920s had noticed mysterious footprints in the snow around his house. There was also strange stuff happening around the farm. Footsteps in the attic, a newspaper that no one in the family had bought, and eventually the house keys disappeared. What makes it stranger is that the housekeeper had left a few months prior, swearing up and down that the farm was haunted. The family suddenly went unseen for a couple of days. Their neighbors went to check on them, only to find the entire family as well as their newly hired housekeeper had been murdered. Most of the family had been lead into the barn one by one and slaughtered with what’s believed to have been a pickaxe. The maid and their youngest son were killed in their beds. The worst part is that the youngest daughter lived for a few hours after the attack. She spent the last few hours of her life lying next to her dead family in the hay of the barn, and had torn chunks of her own hair out in that time. Despite the best efforts of the police, they never found out who murdered the family. Whoever it was stayed in the house after the murders. The neighbors saw smoke coming from the chimney, and some of the food had been eaten. Still, 90-something years after the murders, no one really knows who did it.
11-15 Readers Talk About Unsolved Crime
11. The death of Kendrick Johnson is pretty creepy. He was found rolled up in wrestling mats in his high school and his death was ruled an accident. The official story is that he was reaching into the rolled up wresting mats to get his shoe and got stuck and died. An independent autopsy has shown that he died from blunt force trauma and there is blood in many of the crime scene photos. It seems like a conspiracy between the school and police is keeping a lot of information from the family. Video footage from the gym during the time of his death is missing. Not sure if that qualifies as spooky, but it’s definitely creepy.
12. The Villisca Axe Murders. 8 people were murdered in their house in Villisca, Iowa, a small town where everybody probably knew everybody. It was June 10, 1912 and while everyone was sleeping in the tiny house, someone came in and killed them all with an axe. There was no sign of break in and just before everyone went to bed to be killed, the family had been at church. It is thought the killer had climbed into the attic and waited for them to come home and go to bed. 6 of those killed were children aged 5-11 and only 4 were from the family, 2 killed were friends sleeping over. What is especially weird is how nobody woke up after the person next to them was smashed in the face by the axe. At least everyone in the house was sharing a bed. But even stranger than that, all the mirrors in the house were covered by sheets. Over the past 100 years, nobody has solved the murder although one suspect is Reverend George Kelly who admitted to the murders but there was a lack of evidence to this.
13. The East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker (not Richard Ramirez. This guy). Responsible for something like 50 rapes and at least 10 murders, preferring to target couples in their homes after extensive surveillance. Remains unidentified. There was a community meeting in which a man said he doubted that the night stalker was unreal, as he found it unbelievable that a single perpetrator could tie up both a husband and wife with no resistance. Shortly later, that man and his wife were victim of the nigh t stalker, suggesting that the rapist was at the community meeting.
14. The Ice Box Murders: Houston’s so-called Ice Box Murders of Fred and Edwina Rogers, an elderly couple living in Montrose, may be one of the strangest cases yet. On June 23, 1965, Edwina’s nephew Marvin became concerned about the couple when his phone calls to his aunt went unanswered. Marvin asked police to check in on the couple, who complied. When police responded, they found the house locked, but forced their way in. Food had been left on the table, which somehow led to the officers checking inside the fridge. What they found — numerous cuts of “washed, unwrapped meat” was neatly stacked on the shelves — which the officer thought came from a butchered hog, didn’t seem all that out of the ordinary. But as the officer went to shut the door, he saw the Rogers’ heads staring back at him. They had been stashed in the vegetable crisper. That “meat” turned out to be the Rogers’ legs and torsos. Investigators said that a claw hammer had been used to beat Fred to death, and both of his eyes had been gouged out. Police determined that Edwina had been shot in the head, and both had been hacked into pieces in the bathroom. The house was eerily devoid of blood, and appeared to have been thoroughly cleaned. Stranger still was that their sex organs had been thrown in the sewer outside of the house, and that other missing body parts were never recovered. Also, there was the 43-year-old unemployed hermit son, Charles Frederick Rogers, who apparently lived with his parents in an attic bedroom but whom neighbors didn’t recall ever seeing. The only drops of blood in the house led to the son’s attic room, and a bloody keyhole gave more of a hint as to what was to come, but when investigators entered, no Charles. In fact, he just disappeared, and was declared legally dead in 1975, ten years after the murders. In 1992, the authors of the book The Man On the Grassy Knoll theorized that Charles was a CIA agent who was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. According to their work, Rogers was a CIA agent who likely impersonated Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City and, along with Charles Harrelson, was one of two shooters involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. There’s no telling who Charles actually was, considering he communicated with his parents only by writing notes that were slipped under the door and didn’t appear to interact with any other actual human beings ever.
15. The creepy case of the letters. Circleville is a small city in Ohio that has a population of over 13,000. Its biggest event is the annual Circleville Pumpkin Show. It is also the home of a mysterious letter writer known as the Circleville Letter Writer. Starting in 1976 residents of Circleville began receiving mysterious, vindictive letters. Thousands of letters, written in block letters were sent to city officials and even normal citizens. One recipient of the letters was school bus driver Mary Gillespie. She received letters accusing her of having an extra-martial affair with a school official. On August 19, 1977 Mary’s husband Ron Gillispie received a phone call seeming to indicate the identity of the writer. He left his house with his gun to confront the writer. He was found dead a short distance from his house. His car was driven off the road and his gun had been fired once. He died as a result of the crash and it is unknown why he fired the gun. It is unclear if it was an accident or murder. Later, while driving her bus, Mary saw signs along her route harassing her. She went to take one down and discovered a booby-trap meant to fire a gun at her. The gun belonged to her former brother-in-law Paul Freshour. Freshour was convicted of attempted murder and was thought to be the Circleville writer. However, while incarcerated the letters continued despite him being in solitary confinement without access to letter writing material and his mail being monitored. He was denied parole because of the letters and received one himself after his parole was denied.
16-20 Readers Talk About Unsolved Crime
16. Michael Hastings: Journalist emails workers saying he is on to huge lead about NSA stuff. He believes someone (possibly the govt) is trying to booby trap his car. He later dies in a single car accident involving a high rate of speed. This accident is the only one in motor vehicle history where the engine flew out of a Mercedes for about 100m. Mercedes actually tried to see what happened but the US gov denied them access to the car.
17. Taman Shud Case: A body was found on Somerton Beach, dead and propped up against a seawall. There was no obvious cause of death. The man had no identification. No one claimed the body, and he matched no missing person’s description. In the 40’s, this wasn’t completely unheard of, so it wasn’t big news. But then the case got weird. In tracing his path based on the train/bus tickets they found in his pockets, they discovered his suitcase, which also had no identification- in fact, labels were cut out of the clothes. It wasn’t that someone lifted his wallet when they found his body- he’d purposely hidden his identity ahead of time. A second examination of the body revealed a tightly rolled up piece of paper with the words “Tamam Shud” on it, loosely translated to “it is ended”, hidden in a watch pocket of his pants. Someone came forward with a copy of a popular poetry book (The Rubaiyat) that they had found in the backseat of their car near where the body was found, and the last page, which should’ve contained the words “Tamam Shud”, was torn out. Except when police tried to trace this version of the book, it was one that had never been printed anywhere. Although the book was popular, the typeset, size, and shape of this copy was completely unique in the world. The back of the book had a mysterious code written in it, and two phone numbers. (Actually, it had been written on the torn-out back page, but the indents were still visible on the back cover.) One number was a bank, the other was a nurse who lived blocks away from the beach. The nurse insisted she didn’t know the man, but when shown the body detectives agree she clearly appeared to recognize him. The nurse had been an army nurse during the war, and had been known to give copies of the poetry book away to another man- an Army Intelligence Officer. The nurse’s identity was kept secret for many years, but within the past year her children have come forward, and said she confided to them that she did know the man but never gave any details on how, and that she was a spy during the war. The code written in the book was never cracked, even though virtually every codebreaker in the world, amateur and professional, for the past 60+ years, has given it a go. Oh, and that poetry book, The Rubaiyat? Another copy of it, also completely unique in the world (its title page said it was a 7th edition, but the publishing house had only printed 5 editions of it) was also linked to another mysterious death of a high-ranking government official. He was found dead in a park with the book open on his chest. A woman who testified at the inquest of his death was found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit open. And guess who frequented the hotel bar across the street from the park he was found in, and had given a copy of the book to another man there two months after he died? The nurse.
18. Keddie Murders: This was the loose basis for the movie “The Strangers.” Took place in 1981. A 36-year old woman and her 5 kids were staying in a cabin outside of Quincy, CA, in the Sierra Nevada mountains (I actually live somewhat near this area – it’s truly a remote, forested, summertime cabin-living type of place). On the night of the crime, the oldest daughter stayed the night at a friend’s cabin. When she returned in the morning, she found her mother, 15 year-old brother, and his 17 year-old friend completely massacred, and her 12 year-old sister missing. The victims had all been bludgeoned with a hammer, tied up, stabbed, strangled. Blood was splattered everywhere. Furniture was smashed into pieces. Walls were pounded on. A steak knife had been used so forcefully that it was bent 25 degrees. Whoever committed the crime had gone on an absolute rampage, and was apparently there for about 10 hours. Curiously, the mom’s two youngest sons and their friend who was staying the night were found unharmed in an upstairs bedroom. Only one of them claimed to have heard/seen anything, but he was so young that his statement was pretty useless to the police. Of note is that the unharmed friend was the prime suspect’s son… although that guy was eventually released by the cops due to a lack of evidence. The murders were never solved. Three years later, part of the missing 12 year-old girl’s skull was found about 50 miles away. She had been decapitated. Also worth mentioning is that the resort where all this happened was never the same after. People avoided it for years; it fell into disrepair and kind of became a ghost town. Squatters and bums would stay there. Some rich guy bought the resort at one point and tried to bring it back to life, but I think it’s still largely avoided. The cabin where the murders occurred was finally demolished in 2004.
19. In 2003, A middle-aged pizza delivery guy walks into and robs a bank with a strange bulky collar around his neck. 15 minutes later he’s stopped by police in a parking lot. He tells them that he was kidnapped, had a bomb collar fitted around his neck, and was told he had to rob a bank and give the money to his attackers or they would detonate the bomb.
20. Back in the 40s my home town had a streak of about 10 unsolved murders, all believed to be committed by the same person. All the victims were teenage couples, usually killed while doing it in their cars at midnight. The incident came to be known as the Moonlight Murder Spree, and the mysterious killer came to be known as “The Phantom Slayer”. This seriously threw the entire town into a huge panic. People stayed inside all summer, didnt go work, only went outside to by food and weapons. Parents pulled their children out of school to keep them safe. Pretty much every window in town was boarded up, all the shops shut down before sundown. This man had the town in the palm of his hand, and no-one knew who he was.
21-25 Readers Talk About Unsolved Crime
21. July 29, 1981 – The very day Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles are wed at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, which is then broadcast to a global audience of 750 million. Seven miles away in the suburb of Putney, 8-year-old Vishal Mehrotra is walking home with his nanny and sister having just watched the festivities. He’s walking ahead of them by a hundred yards. Somewhere along the way his nanny and sister lose sight of him and he’s never seen alive again. In 1982, 52 miles away from his home, Vishal’s skull and several rib bones are found in rural marshland on the grounds of a nearby farm. There was no trace of his legs, pelvis or lower spine. No one was ever arrested, the case went cold. In 2013, Vishal’s father, a 68-year-old retired London magistrate, received a phone call from a male escort who claimed that Vishal was taken to the Elm Guest House in 1981. The Elm Guest House was a seemingly normal looking Edwardian home which housed a guest house run by husband and wife. The house is now infamous for being host to rampant pedophilia in the 70s and 80s. Suspected clients now include several high ranking members of British Parliament, celebrities, and members of the aristocracy. Four months after Vishal’s remains were found, the guest house was raided and evidence was seized including a list of names of those who were patrons. Said list including notes from investigators and check-in dates was recently leaked by a former child protection officer. Whether the people on this list were involved in the abuse or unassuming patrons is unknown, but the number of names of the list who have since been implicated in pedophilia is damning. The night of July 22, 1981, the lodge was reported to have hosted a Kings & Queens party, what this entailed is unknown. The guest house was located approximately a mile and a half away from the area Vishal vanished. There are now allegations that participants of what is being called the Westminster sex abuse scandal may have murdered some of their victims.
22. Andrew Gosden, 14, from Doncaster, UK, was known as a brilliant young mathematician, with no obvious problems weighing him down, and who would leave a note if went around the corner. He also had a 100 per cent school attendance record. On September 14 2007, Andrew left his house to catch a bus to school. On that Friday morning, however, he had no intention of going to school. Instead, he walked to a park and waited until 8.30am, when he knew that his parents would have left for work. Andrew then returned home and changed out of his uniform, leaving his blazer hanging from the back of a bedroom chair and placing his shirt and trousers in the washing machine. He withdrew £200 from his bank account, walked to the local train station and boarded a train to London. He did not bring any clothes with him, and wore nothing over his Slipknot t-shirt. He did bring a PSP, but not its charger. 27 days later, 3 frames of CCTV footage confirmed he had reached London, and showed him leaving King’s Cross Station. Unfortunately, by this time, CCTV footage of the surrounding area had been deleted, and no trace of Andrew has been found since. When he purchased his train ticket, the seller informed him that a return ticket was just 50p more; Andrew insisted he only wanted a single ticket. This led to suspicion that he was meeting someone in London. However, he did not have a phone or email address, and searches of home, library and school computers turned up nothing to suggest he had planned anything. A man, who would not give his identity, went to Leominster Police Station claiming to have information about Andrew. By the time an officer arrived to take details, the man had left. One of Andrew’s favourite television shows was The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, in which Perrin fakes his death so he can start life anew. Searches of the Thames River for Andrew’s body turned up nothing. His father went to a Muse concert (one of Andrew’s favourite bands) in search of him, but also found nothing. (I don’t have a solid source for this one). Andrew’s parents put more money in his emptied bank account, in case he needed more. This was never touched.
23. The lead masks case: On the afternoon of August 20, 1966, a young man was flying a kite on the Morro do Vintém (Vintém Hill) in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when he came upon the bodies of two deceased males and reported them to the authorities. The Morro do Vintém had difficult terrain, and the police were unable to reach the bodies until the next day. When a small team of police and firefighters arrived on scene, they noted the bodies’ odd conditions: The two males were lying next to each other, slightly covered by grass. Each wore a formal suit, a lead eye mask, and a waterproof coat. There were no signs of trauma and no evidence of a struggle in the surrounding area. Next to the bodies, police found an empty water bottle and a packet containing two wet towels. A small notebook was also identified, in which were written the cryptic instructions “16:30 estar no local determinado. 18:30 ingerir cápsulas, após efeito proteger metais aguardar sinal máscara” (Be at the place arranged at 16.30. Take capsules at 18.30. After feeling the effects, protect half the face with lead masks. Await the agreed signal). The two men were identified as Manoel Pereira da Cruz and Miguel José Viana, two electronic technicians from Campos dos Goytacazes, a town several miles to the northeast of Rio de Janeiro. Following an investigation, police reconstructed a plausible narrative of the last days of both men. On August 17, Cruz and Viana left their city, Campos dos Goytacazes, with the stated intent that they needed to purchase some materials for work. The two men then boarded a bus to Niterói, and arrived at 2:30 pm. Evidence shows that the waterproof coats were purchased at a shop there, and one bottle of water from a bar. Upon being interviewed, the waitress from the bar described Miguel as “very nervous,” and noticed he frequently checked his watch. That is the last time they were known to have been seen alive; it is presumed they went directly from the bar to the spot at which they were discovered. No obvious injuries were discovered at the scene, nor later at the autopsy. A search for toxic substances did not occur. The coroner’s office was very busy at the time and, when the autopsy was finally conducted, the internal organs of the two victims were too badly decomposed for reliable testing.
24. Ben McDaniel: I saw this case on ‘Disappeared’, and it bothered me for days. Inexperienced scuba diver goes cave diving in a cave. Never comes out. This is a one-way-in and one-way-out cave, which gets considerably smaller as it goes on. The best cave divers in the nation are hired to go retrieve his body. All come back and report that there’s no way he was in there. Someone as large as Ben would have left scratch marks all over the rocks, disturbed the sediment, etc. One diver eventually goes further into the cave than anyone else and find’s Ben’s shovel in an area that would have been nearly impossible for him to get to. Still no sign of Ben.
25. Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible disappearance. Their home set on fire, all of their belongings were in the rubble, and the rest of the family shot from the back. Despite a nearly nationwide effort to find the girls, no trace of them has ever been found.