For as long as humanity has been committing criminal offenses, there have been unsolved cases that remain mysterious and intriguing. From unsolved murders to bank robberies executed with precision, these crimes leave us curious and perplexed.
Getting away with the perfect crime can be the work of a genius criminal, or, sometimes, just good luck. The evidence left behind at the scene of the crime is sometimes misleading, or just downright unhelpful. There have been plenty of huge crime scenes that have turned up very little evidence, making the jobs of the law enforcement officials near impossible. Without witnesses, and before the age of security cameras and DNA, it was not an easy job to locate the perpetrators of crimes.
There are a series of crimes that have become extremely famous, specifically because they are left unsolved. Countless books, articles and television specials have been written about these mysterious cases. Our generation is fixated on unsolved crimes, and we can’t get enough of the haunting details that surround these cases. All of the following cases have happened in the last century or so, and stand out as the most famous of all unsolved crimes. You will definitely recognize some, if not most, of these true crimes tales. These are the most terrifying, mystifying and mind-blowing crimes of our time. Here are 16 Of The Most Famous Crimes That Still Remain Unsolved
16. Boy in The Box: Most mysterious case in American history
The “Boy in the Box” case remains one of the most mysterious unsolved cases in American history. In 1957, the remains of an unknown male child, estimated between 3 and 7 years old, were found in a cardboard box in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Despite the fact that authorities circulated actual photos of the boy, no one ever came forward to claim him as their missing or abducted child. The most plausible theories include that the boy came from a nearby orphanage, where he had been abducted or maltreated by staff who never came forward to claim him. Another theory speculates that the mother of the child could’ve been mentally ill, which would explain why the boy was found malnourished and visibly beaten. A monument in his honour is erected in the Philadelphia graveyard where he is buried.
15. Amber Hagerman: Abduction gone wrong
Amber Hagerman was the 9-year-old Texan girl whose abduction and murder led to the now famous Amber Alert reporting system for missing children. In 1996, Amber was riding her bike when she was seen being kidnapped by an unknown adult. She lifeless body was found four days later, less than 5 miles from her family home. Although there had been a witness to the abduction, her kidnapper and killer were never found, and the crime remains unsolved. This case also led to the creation of the National Sex Offenders Registry in the United States. Amber’s parents advocated relentlessly for many laws to be enacted after living through such a horrendous experience.
14. The Jamison Family: Vanished without a trace
The Jamison family case is one of the most mysterious on this list. Oklahoma parents Bobby and Sherilynn, and their young daughter Madyson, vanished without a trace on October 8, 2009. They were allegedly looking to buy a new home when they went missing. Their truck, dog, wallets and $32,000 cash were all located several days after they disappeared, but their bodies were not found. It was only four years later that the families skeletal remains were discovered by a pair of hunters, in a remote area. Due to the heavy decomposition of the bodies, causes of death were not determined and there were no leads on who was responsible for the triple homicide.
13. Jack The Ripper: Over 100 suspects
Jack The Ripper was a serial killer who executed his killings in the impoverished London borough of Whitechapel, in 1888. The slayings of five women in the same year were never solved, but all had similarities, leading law enforcement agents to refer to them as the “canonical five”. A further six women were found murdered in similar fashions in the two years that followed, and have been linked to Jack The Ripper. The crimes were made famous by letters leaked to media outlets, allegedly written by the murderer. Many Ripper theorists believe that much of the evidence in the case was propaganda, and that played a big part in why the real killer was never named. Over 100 people were suspects, at one time or another. Most recently, author and Ripper historian David Bullock has claimed to have found the grave site of who he believes was Jack The Ripper, a suspect named Thomas Cutbush.
12. The Black Dahlia: Most sensationalized crime in America
The Black Dahlia murder case was one of the most sensationalized news items in the 1940’s, particularly because the victim was a young California resident. 22-year-old aspiring actress Elizabeth Short was found brutally mutilated in the Leimert Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles, on January 15, 1947. She was last seen alive the morning of January 14, 1947, when Robert Manley, a married man whom she was having an affair with, dropped her off at the Biltmore Hotel, where she was said to be meeting her sister. Some witnesses said they saw her using the hotel lobby phone. Over the years, over 150 people have been suspected of being involved in the brutal murder, but the crime remains unsolved, to this day.
11. JonBenet Ramsey: The world lost an angel
The mysterious JonBenet Ramsey murder was one of the biggest news stories of the 90’s in Western United States. The 6-year-old Colorado native was found dead in her family home, on December 26th, 1996. People were inherently curious about the case and all of it’s strange complexities. The young girl was a child beauty pageant starlet, raising suspicion that her mother and father were unnaturally obsessed with their daughters fame and beauty. In fact, the parents were the biggest suspects for quite a time, and some criminal experts still believe that they are responsible for her death. Her mother, Patsy, passed away to ovarian cancer in 2006. The case was reopened in 2009 by the Boulder Police Department, but remains unsolved.
10. The Zodiac: Will it ever be solved?
The Zodiac Killer terrorized northern California in the late 60’s and early 70’s with a spree of brutal murders. The killer would then send cryptic letters to the press, which were meant to shed light on the killer’s identity, and other details of the crimes. Of four letters received by various newspapers, only one has been definitively solved. Although there are only 5 confirmed deaths linked to the Zodiac Killer, the figure might actually be as high as 37. Making the case even stranger is the amount of people who have claimed to be the Zodiac. Furthermore, some people have claimed to have known, or have been related to the original Zodiac Killer, but none of these theories were ever proven true. The crimes remain unsolved, and the Zodiac Killer is assumed to have died in the mid-70’s, around the time that the crimes stopped and the menacing letters ceased to be sent to the press.
9. Tupac Shakur: Hip-Hop lost their prince
Tupac Shakur, better known by his stage names 2Pac or Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor who was fatally gunned down at the age of 25, in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the aftermath of a Mike Tyson boxing match, Tupac got into an altercation with a member of the Crips, who had allegedly stolen merchandise from Death Row Records. After brawling, the groups were separated and went on their ways. Later that night, a white Cadillac passed the vehicle that Tupac was riding in. He was standing up, with his torso hanging out of the sunroof, chatting with some ladies in another vehicle, when he was sprayed with bullets. Four hit him. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died two days later of internal bleeding. No one has ever been charged with the murder.
8. The Gardner Museum Heist: 500 Million disappeared
In 1990, two men dressed as police officers got away with one of the biggest museum heists in American history. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and home to various collectible pieces of artwork. The heist would rob the museum of approximately $500 million worth of paintings, namely works by Dugas and Rembrandt. The works have yet to be recovered, and law enforcement agents are quite sure that the heist was executed by a criminal organization. A reward of $5 million for any information leading to the recovery of the works was increased to $10 million, if the paintings are surrendered by the end of 2017. This was the largest reported theft of privately owned property in history. Chillingly some of the frames were left mounted on the wall with nothing inside.
7. The Oakland County Case: Will leave readers with chills
The Oakland County Child Killer was the name given to an unidentified child killer who was responsible for the deaths of four young children (possibly more) in the years 1976 and 1977. The Michigan children were all kidnapped and held hostage for periods of 4-19 days before their deaths. The state suffered from mass hysteria when the police was turning up no leads; people were afraid to send their children to school in the mornings, and suspicion ran high. There were many suspects, including famed serial killer John Wayne Gacy, but DNA tests later ruled him out. Despite the case being reopened briefly in 2012, despite the authorities best efforts, lack of evidence and no fresh leads forced law enforcement agents to dismiss the case indefinitely.
6. The Grimes Sisters: Biggest missing person’s case
Barbara and Patricia Grimes, two teenage sisters, disappeared in Chicago, Illinois in 1956. They went to see an Elvis Presley movie together, and never unfortunately made it home. The three week period that followed resulted in the biggest missing persons case in the city’s history. Although many witnesses reported seeing the sisters’ around the city during the early days of January, this was later proved impossible. On January 22, 1957, just over three weeks after they were last seen, their lifeless bodies were at last discovered. The autopsies revealed that they had likely been killed the very night they went missing, December 28th, 1956. So we don’t know who those witnesses saw, but it wasn’t the Grimes sisters. Despite some suspects in the case, no one was ever convicted of the crimes and the cases remain cold.
5. Plymouth Mail Truck Robbery: The perfect heist
The Plymouth Mail Truck Robbery was one of the largest cash heists in history. In 1962, two men stopped a U.S. Mail Truck that was travelling from Cape Cod to Boston, Massachusetts. The truck was stopped along Route 3, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. They tied up the driver and his co-pilot, and hopped in the truck to drive to several locations to drop off money stolen from the truck. In total, the robbers, dressed as police officers, got away with close to $1.5 million dollars. Today, that would be worth closer to $12 million dollars, and surprisingly none of the funds were ever recovered. Luckily, the driver and his assistant were unharmed, but the FBI certainly were not pleased with this unsolved heist. This is probably the most perfect heist to pull off.
4. The Yogourt Shop: Truly heartbreaking
In 1991, four teenage girls were murdered in cold blood while at a yogourt shop, in Austin, Texas. The shop was then set on fire to discard any evidence. The girls were allegedly planning a sleepover for that night, and had stopped into the yogourt shop close to 10PM. Patrolling police officers spotted the shop ablaze just after midnight, the night of December 6. The girls had been shot in the head and bound and gagged. Although there were multiple suspects questioned, several false confessions and many leads- no one was ever formally charged with the homicides. To this day, the case remains unsolved, and have been the subject of several true crime novels. We have to wonder if this case had happened in 2017, if new-age technology would play a hand in helping solve this one.
3. The Atlas Vampire: Found alone and lifeless
The Atlas Vampire case is one that has remained unsolved for close to a century. The crime revolves around a young Swedish woman who was found murdered in her small apartment in the Atlas district of Stockholm. She has been dead for 2-3 days before the police broke in and found her, lifeless. The case gained notoriety due to a soup ladle that was found next to her bed, which the killer allegedly drank her blood from. Hence, the title of the Atlas Vampire. Although the police did have some original ideas of who was responsible for the crime, none of their hunches proved to be on track. The bizarre case has never been solved, and very likely never will be. This was probably a disturbing case for authorities to have to deal with.
2. The Antwerp Diamond Heist
The Antwerp Diamond Heist was one of the largest heists in European history, with thieves getting away with diamonds, gold and other jewels valued at over $100 million. The heist went down at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, in Antwerp, Belgium, in February 2003. Although officials do know the identity of one man involved in the robbery, Leonardo Nortarbartolo, Surprisingly, he got a relatively short sentence of 10 years for the orchestration of the heist, and was let out early. He has never named any of the other perpetrators, and the entire collection of stolen jewels has never been recovered. Although they did arrest someone for this crime, the fact that the jewels have never been recovered truly baffles authorities. Also, Leonardo has to be the most loyal criminal ever, getting a 10 year sentence for the crime and never revealing who he was working with? Kudos Leo, Kudos
1. Jeanette DePalma: Still haunts authorities and crime novelists
The murder of teenager Jeannette DePalma, shook the community of Jersey City, New Jersey in 1962. The 16 year old was reported missing on the evening of August 7, 1962, after she told her parents she was going to take the train to a friends house, and never made it there. Six weeks later, her remains were found atop a cliff near the Houdaille Quarry. Occult items, such as pentagrams, crucifixes and mutilated animal remains were found around her body, leading authorities to believe that her death was some sort of strange ritualistic homicide. The strange case was never solved, and the mysterious elements of Jeannette’s death still haunt authorities and crime novelists. Cases like these stay with the authorities put on the case years after the case has been deemed unsolvable. We can only image having to think about cases like these over and over again and never having a conclusion.
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