Cold Cases and Unsolved Mysteries
Cold cases and mysteries have always gripped our country in a nearly morbid curiosity. Some people enjoy the idea of solving a mystery, and others actually enjoy the macabre history involved. In this series of slides, let’s take a good look at some of the most bizarre mysteries and cold cases of our time by examining the some of the crime scenes involved. Who knows, maybe you might be able to solve one of these mysteries.
JonBenet Ramsey Murder
On December 26, 1996, JonBenet Ramsey was found murdered in her home. It’s still a mystery who killed the former child pageant queen from Boulder, Colorado. JonBenet’s parents were initially suspected of the young girl’s death, but there was no conclusive evidence to prove their involvement.
Gruesome Child Murder
JonBenet was found in the family’s home, bludgeoned and strangled and covered by a white blanket with a nylon cord around her neck, hours after she was reported missing. Her wrists were bound above her head and her mouth was covered by duct tape. Her skull was cracked.Only one plausible suspect was named nearly twenty years later after JonBenet’s parents were cleared; Michael Helgoth, the son of a junkyard dealer, who committed suicide in 1997. But of course, this hasn’t been proven so far.
Murder of Elizabeth Short – The Black Dahlia
Elizabeth Short probably acquired the nickname “Black Dahlia” from the name of a murder mystery called “The Blue Dahlia,” which came out in 1946. Short’s body was found on January fifteenth, 1947, literally cut in half, lying in a vacant lot in Los Angeles. Witnesses reported they initially thought the body was a mannequin.
Cut in Half
Elizabeth’s body was severed at the waist and she was completely drained of blood. Her body had been washed, apparently by the killer. Large portions of her flesh had been cut away at the legs and other areas, and her face was cut from the corners of her mouth to her ears. Although many thought she was a prostitute, there’s never been any evidence to support that accusation. Her killer has never been caught although several suspects such as Leslie Dillon (pictured below) and another man by the name of Jeff Collins, were both detained.
Murders of Tupac and Biggie
With no real leads for over twenty years, the deaths of rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls remains two of the most intriguing cold cases in modern history. Many conspiracy theories have raged on over the years, but there’s nothing concrete to make any suspicions about any person or any group stick.
Both were killed in drive-by shootings, Shakur in 1996 and Smalls in 1997. Both rappers reportedly had a major beef with each other, their management, etc. It reads like a typical East/West gang-related killing and retaliatory killing. In the end, on either side, it’s the fans that lost.
Bob Crane’s Wild World Led to Murder
Long before he was linked to anything like porn and sex addiction, Bob Crane was known as the hero on the 1960s show “Hogan’s Heroes,” leading his crew from behind the lines of a Nazi prisoner of war camp. The comedy is one of the most successful shows to date, and is still in syndication today. Long after the show aired its last episode, Crane was found murdered.
A Tripod and a Murder
In 1979, Bob Crane was found dead in his Arizona apartment, bludgeoned to death with a camera tripod. All around his apartment, it was evident that the 49-year-old Crane, the married-since-nineteen, family-man Republican, had a real penchant for porn. His own of course — he loved filming it, with different people, and his wife knew of it too. Crane appeared to be strangled with an electrical cord. Although his friend John Carpenter was accused of the crime, no one has ever really proved he had anything to do with Crane’s murder.
David Carradine Murder?
David Carradine, the martial arts actor known for playing the lead character in the show “Kung-Fu” and later as the grisly “Bill” of the Kill Bill movies, was another of those actors who people wouldn’t really associate with the term “kinky,” but that all changed when his body was discovered in a hotel room on June 9, 2009.
Sex Accident or Murder?
The seventy-two-year-old Carradine was found naked, hanging from the neck, with ropes tied around his wrists, neck and genitals. It was reported that he was also gagged. Because of the way he was tied, police could not determine if it was a suicide attempt, if he wasn’t alone, or if he might have died from heart failure. Several theories have suggested that because of the position he was tied and the way he was bound, that there might have been another person in the room with him, but police couldn’t verify this claim so far.
When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in November of 1963, no one could have guessed that there would still be so many unanswered questions regarding his death decades later. There have probably been more theories raised on this subject than any other in modern American history. The fact remains that Mr. Kennedy was shot multiple times while riding in a motorcade, with his wife at his side.
Another fact is that sizeable bullet trauma wounds to the head ended the president’s life. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the crime shortly after but was himself killed a couple of days later by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner. Although police insist that Oswald was the only shooter, their report was and still is today sharply criticized. The leading theory is that there were at least two shooters, based on the number of bullets and travel trajectory. But again, there’s no concrete proof.
Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President just a few hours after JFK’s murder while aboard Air Force One. The staff refused to leave without JFK’s body. Viewing the pic below you can’t help but feel sorry for the newly-widowed Jackie as she watches on, her face the expression of sheer shock and disbelief.
Nicole Brown Simpson Murder
The ex-wife of O.J. Simpson, Nicole met an extremely untimely and very gruesome death. She was found murdered at her Brentwood, Los Angeles, California home on June 12, 1994. Her close friend Ron Goldman was also murdered along with her. The main suspect, her ex-husband O.J. was tried but acquitted of her and Goldman’s murder.
More Than Murder?
From the pictures, Nicole Simpson’s murder appeared to be much more about revenge than anything else. Whoever killed her seemed to have a very deep rage against her. Her throat was slashed to the point of near decapitation. Whoever did this wanted to absolutely break her, to show everyone what they were capable of.
Ron Goldman Murder
The “Trial Of The Century”, which was broadcast throughout the United States and most of the world, shocked and frustrated viewers throughout the trial, mostly due to the perceived ineptitude of the prosecution to perform their duty properly. From ill-fitting gloves to tampered evidence to racist cop accusations, the trial became a media circus the prosecution would never recover from. No other suspects have ever been apprehended for the cruel murders. Twenty-five-year-old Ron Goldman, Nicole Simpson’s close friend, was most likely in the wrong place at the wrong time and paid the price for it, leaving a father without his son, a sister without a brother.
The Zodiac Killer is believed to be one of the most prolific and brutal serial killers ever. He’s never been caught, although there are some sketches of him on several wanted posters. Although there are only seven confirmed victims of which two survived, the Zodiac Killer has brazenly claimed in newspaper posts that he’s killed at least 37 people. One of those unfortunate victims is Paul Stine, a taxi driver who had no idea his last customer would be the death of him. Another one is Cheri Jo Bates.
Zodiac Murder Victim – Paul Stine
29-year-old Paul Stine was found murdered in his cab on October 11, 1969. He was shot in the head at point-blank range. Stine stopped a block short of his original pick-up destination but the reason is not known. Witnesses actually saw the murder take place and called the police with a description. But the dispatcher, instead of putting out the bulletin describing a white male, told police units to look for a black male in the area. Two policemen saw the white suspect but didn’t realize they were supposed to stop him.
Zodiac Murder Victim – Cheri Jo Bates
18-year-old Cheri Jo Bates was found murdered on October 30, 1966. She was stabbed to death and then nearly decapitated. Police never linked her to the Zodiac killer until years later when someone noticed the similarities to the killer’s other victims. Evidence such as skin and DNA under her fingernails proved she fought hard for her very life, and there were also items in the area that didn’t belong to her, but most tests came back inconclusive.
Boy in The Box
A boy, four to six years old, was found badly beaten and naked and stuffed into a box, dumped on the side of a road on February 25, 1957. He’s never been identified, and no one has ever come forward to claim him. A huge number of people were questioned, but there wasn’t enough evidence to even suspect anyone of committing the horrible crime.
A Desperate Gamble
So desperate were police at the time, they even came up with the idea of dressing the body and placing it into different positions for photographs in the hopes of someone coming forward with information about the unidentified child. Sixty-nine years later, multiple theories abound, but no positive ID, although there are several DNA tests being performed.
Eighteen-year-old Holloway was on vacation with classmates and friends in Aruba, celebrating their high school graduation before her disappearance in May 2005. She was last seen with three locals, one of whom was Joran van der Sloot. He and the other locals claim they simply dropped Holloway off at her hotel that night. Holloway was never heard from again.
Joran van der Sloot
The disappearance of Natalee Holloway triggered intense media coverage around the world. Strangely enough, van der Sloot seemed to truly enjoy all of the attention, even attempting to manipulate the media for his own purposes. He was never convicted for Holloway’s disappearance and he’s never admitted to the crime.
Joran van der Sloot Murders Again
Exactly five years later, in 2010, Joran van der Sloot was accused and convicted of killing Stephany Flores Ramírez, while vacationing in Peru. According to video and testimony, van der Sloot bludgeoned Ms. Flores to death with a blunt object. He was sentenced to twenty-eight years in prison.
Madeleine McCann Mystery
Madeleine McCann disappeared nine days before her fourth birthday while on vacation with her family, on May 3rd, 2007. Her parents claim they were only fifty yards away from their villa, eating dinner, when the abduction happened. Police immediately put the parents under suspicion but had no evidence to hold them for anything, and they were allowed to return home to the U.K. To this day there’s no shred of evidence of Madeleine’s whereabouts.
Madeleine McCann May Look Like This Now
With constant media attention keeping her case relevant, several enhanced drawings of an older looking “Maddy” have been distributed to the press in the hopes that she’ll be found someday. Her parents do not seem to be keen on giving up hope, but with time, things and people fade from memory, especially with a fickle press.
Three second-grade boys were reported missing by their parents in West Memphis, Arkansas on May 5, 1993. The boys, Steve Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers who were best friends, were found bound, horrifically beaten and mutilated and murdered. Due to rigor mortis setting in, they were found in a sitting-up position.
Memphis Three Victims
Two of the boys had been gruesomely cut, stabbed and tortured before they were killed. Various rope marks and bruises were on all of the boys. From the position they were tied up, it appeared to have a very long and extremely painful ordeal for them to go through, especially for children.
A Heinous Act
The murder site was an area called Devil’s Den, which is a glen near a creek. One of the boys was castrated. All were brutally beaten with sticks and tied down with their own shoelaces. Although there were several bite marks on the boys, that was “probably due to animals” after the boys died, according to the accuseds’ defense team.
Who killed these boys?
Jesse Misskelley, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin were accused of the crimes, prosecuted and found guilty in court. Echols got the death sentence, Misskelley got life plus 20 years and Baldwin got life with no chance of parole. In 2009, 18 years later, all were freed basically due to lack of evidence. The case is now considered “solved” by the police, but “open” (cold).
The Keddie murders involve the quadruple killings located at a resort in the Sierra Mountains in Keddie, California. Three bodies were found on April 12, 1981. Glenna “Sue” Sharp, her son John and John’s friend Dana Wingate were found by Glenna’s daughter Sheila, who’d been on a sleepover the night before.
Murder in a Resort Town
All victims were bound with tape, all were beaten severely with a claw hammer and stabbed or cut. Miraculously, Glenna’s other two sons and one of their friends, who were in the very next room, slept through the entire incident. All of that death and destruction and not even one neighbor heard a peep.
Where is Tina?
It was also noticed on the same day the bodies were found that Glenna’s other daughter, Tin,a who was 12, was also missing. She was presumed to be abducted. Her skull was found three years later nearly 30 miles away. No one in adjacent cabins heard anything, No suspects were ever located, and the murders remain unsolved.
In 1922, in Kaifeck, Germany in the state of Bavaria, six people were brutally murdered. Five of the slain were from the Gruber family, and the sixth victim was their maid. All were killed with a pickax and possibly other weapons. Whoever committed the crime was considered an expert with the pickax.
An Expert Murderer
The victims were either cut or stabbed, mostly with the pickax, in a way that major arteries were severed. One of the victims was strangled. Evidence also shows that one of the murdered daughters was allowed to live long enough to see some of her family being killed, as she was found with her own hair in her hands, probably so traumatized she tore it out before she was killed. The murder weapon wasn’t located until a year later.
A Bizarre Overnighter
Even more strange is the evidence that the killer stayed around for at least another day, making sure the livestock and cattle were fed. Neighbors even reported seeing chimney smoke as usual on the next day. Most evidence has gone missing, even the family’s heads which were sent for examination have vanished. The murders remain unresolved.
The bodies of choir singer Eleanor Mills and pastor Edward Hall were discovered in a New Jersey field on September 16, 1922. They were both married to other people at the time of their murders. Their bodies were found covered with explicit love letters written to each other. Of course, that alone made quite a scene back in 1922, and a huge number of people showed up to take a look at the pastor and his choir member.
So Who Killed These Two?
Mrs. Mills was killed in a very brutal fashion. She was shot at least three times in the head at close range, her throat had been sliced nearly clean through, and her tongue had been cut out. Lots of evidence had been tampered with due to bystanders wanting souvenirs, and the bumbling police didn’t do much to stop them. Mr. Hall’s wife was accused but never charged as there was not enough evidence to prove guilt.
Texarkana Moonlight Murders
A string of murders in the Texarkana, Texas area committed by an unidentified person the media dubbed “The Phantom Slayer” caused quite a bit of panic and fear in the locals that lived there. At least six people were believed killed by the serial killer, and most were attacked while in their cars.
Who and Why?
Locals were so desperate to find the killer some of them volunteered as “bait” in an effort to capture him or her. The Texas Rangers were even involved. In the end, many people, such as Jimmy Hollis and his girlfriend Mary Jeanne Larey, Richard Griffin, and his girlfriend Polly Ann Moore, Paul Martin, Betty Jo Booker, and Virgil and Katie Starks, were either attacked and escaped or killed by the serial killer. No one has ever been caught and the investigation remains a cold case.