When you hear about unnatural deaths on the news, it’s usually because someone has been arrested and convicted of the crime. What’s really creepy, though, is when cases go cold. If someone is slain and there is no clear suspect, it’s easy for the story to fade from the public eye and become a part of folklore.
However, a small group of people have focused on studying these unsolved crimes in an attempt to avenge the deaths of the victims. We’ve compiled a few of the creepiest cases ever to whet your appetite into the world of true crime and cold cases.
Here are twenty of history’s creepiest unsolved slayings. #6 is guaranteed to give you chills.
It’s only fitting that we begin this case with the murder of Amber Hagerman. In 1996, she was abducted while riding her bike through her Arlington, Texas, neighborhood. Two days later, the nine-year old’s body was found. Her parents called for a more aggressive search protocol for missing children and helped to create the AMBER Alert system in their daughter’s memory.
Andrew and Abby Borden
“Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks. And when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.” This popular rhyme is known by many, but it isn’t necessarily true. Lizzie Borden was never convicted in the famous murder of her father and stepmother, and the case remains unsolved.
Suzanne Jovin was a bright, articulate Yale student when she was stabbed seventeen times just off campus. No one has ever been arrested for her murder. In fact, this case is considered to be one of the coldest in the history of US crime. It’s likely that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time!
The Paraquat Murders
Paraquat is a Japanese pesticide. In the mid-1980s, it was used to poison over a dozen people in the Asian country of Japan. The perpetrator tainted cans of soda inside vending machines and waited for his or her victims to drop dead. No one was ever caught, but a series of copycat crimes took place and those individuals were arrested.
Elaine Nix of Georgia had a long history of running away from home. So, when the eighteen-year-old missed curfew one night, her parents didn’t worry until the next morning when her car was located in a convenience store parking lot. Her naked body was found in the woods several weeks later.
The Zodiac Killer Murders
The Zodiac Killer was (is?) a murderer who killed up to thirty-seven people in California during the 60s and 70s. He famously communicated with police and journalists using his own system of code. It has been partially cracked. The Zodiac Killer was never caught, and rumors continue to circulate about their true identity. Some have even alleged that 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz committed the crimes, due to the fact that he somewhat resembles the police sketch created in 1969. While the internet latched onto this theory out of general dislike for Cruz, it is in fact impossible, as he was an infant during the time of most of the killings.
What was a happily married young attorney doing in a townhouse owned by three gay men on a Wednesday night? We will never know because that is where Robert Wone was sexually assaulted, restrained, and murdered. His three friends called an ambulance, but were described as “surprisingly calm.” All of them were charged with tampering with a crime scene and are all considered suspects.
The rap genre of the music industry is notorious for being dangerous, from turf wars to bad blood between the East Coast and West Coast. Christopher Wallace, a.k.a The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, may have fallen victim to just that. On the night of March 9,1997, the rapper was fatally shot four times during a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, following a party. After the murder, theories abounded as to who had actually carried out or ordered the murder, ranging from everyone from fellow rapper Suge Knight to the Los Angeles Police Department itself!
The Black Dahlia
Elizabeth Short, aka “The Black Dahlia,” may be the victim of the most publicized murder of all time. In 1947, her mutilated body was discovered in a vacant lot. She was cut in half at the waist and had her lips cut into a smile reaching her eyebrows. Countless people have confessed to the crime over the years, but none of the claims hold water.
President Warren Harding
Former United States president Warren G. Harding mysteriously dropped dead while on a transcontinental ship voyage in 1923. His official cause of death has been changed multiple times throughout the years, but because his wife would not allow an autopsy, we will never know why he died. She is suspected of being his murderer.
Geetha Angara, a chemist, was walking through her lab when she was choked from behind. Her body was then placed in a large water tank and the door was locked. She likely died by drowning soon after she was placed in the tank. There were no video cameras in her lab, but it is suspected that a male coworker committed her murder.
Just like fellow rapper Biggie Smalls, Tupac Shakur was fatally gunned down in a drive-by shooting, this time in Las Vegas, Nevada. While stopped at a red light just off of the strip, Shakur was shot four times, and died six days later in the hospital. 15 years after the murder, the FBI finally released their file on the shooting to the public due to the Freedom of Information Act, revealing that at one point they had investigated the Jewish Defense League for allegedly extorting money from and making death threats against Shakur and several other rappers, though it seems the investigation was inconclusive.
The Somerton Man
In 1948, a man’s body washed up onto an Australian beach. After a careful investigation, it was concluded that he died of poisoning. A mysterious note in his pocket led detectives to a series of poetry books in which they found a stack of letters that seemed to make up a code. They were never able to solve this code, so the Somerton Man’s identity (and the identity of his killer) may never be known.
Mary Meyer was friends with President John F. Kennedy. This is a fun tidbit, but not too important until you consider that her friendship likely made her lots of enemies. She was shot twice at an extremely close range on October 12, 1964. Many believe that she was murdered because she “knew too much” about who really killed her friend Jack. The world may never know…
President John F. Kennedy
Speaking of JFK, he too was the victim of a murder that may never be solved. Officially, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for his assassination in 1963 and he was gunned down soon after. However, there has been plenty of conflicting information surrounding the President’s death and claims that Oswald acted alone are inconclusive at best. Some suspect he was murdered by the CIA as part of a large plot (#spooky).
Oscar Romero was the Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador until his murder in 1980. While performing mass, he was assassinated. The United Nations has reported that they have “strong reason to believe an enemy of Romero’s hired a death squad to kill him.” One person has been arrested as a conspirator, but the case remains unsolved.
In 1995, 17-year-old Deanna Cremin went missing while walking home from her boyfriend’s house at night. Her naked body was found strangled the next morning. Her boyfriend was investigated because he had admitted to walking her part of the way home, but he was later cleared of all charges. This is still considered an active investigation.
Tracey Neilsen’s husband found her dead at her apartment on January 5, 1981. The Oklahoma woman had been stabbed multiple times and had her throat slit open. There was no sign of forced entry into the home and no arrests have ever been made. Her husband is still considered a suspect.
On a rainy night in 1902, servant girl Rose Harsent was stabbed in Peasenhall, England. After an investigation, it was discovered that she was six months pregnant. Her killer was never caught, but rumors that she was romantically involved with a local pastor have been flying ever since her death. He clearly had the motive, but he was never convicted of any crime.
The Pageant Murder
Beauty pageant starlet JonBenét Ramsey was found dead in her parent’s home on Christmas Day, 1996. She had only been missing for three hours, but her family (who were very wealthy) had already received a ransom note. No one has been convicted, although many potential suspects have been identified. Most recently, several television specials have attempted to crack the case open by recreating the exact circumstances of the night in question. It was generally agreed by the detectives that participated in the reenactment that the most likely culprit was JonBenét’s own brother, Burke, who was 9 at the time of the murder, and was said to have disciplinary problems.
This may be the most bizarre case we’ve ever heard of! On the night of November 28, 1968, Betsy Aardsma was stabbed in the chest while browsing through the library at her college, Pennsylvania State University. Witnesses report seeing two men enter the section of the library Betsy was in, but no one has ever been caught. How did she get silently murdered in plain sight?
The Jack The Ripper Murders
Of course, we have to end our list with the most famous cold case of all. In 1888, an unknown murderer ravaged the streets of London’s East End. Nicknamed “Jack the Ripper,” the killer slayed several prostitutes and then mailed letters, including some of the body parts, to news outlets throughout the city. The case is officially unsolved, but some scientists believe that DNA evidence has conclusively linked the murders to a Polish immigrant named Aaron Kosminski.