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15 of the Creepiest Crimes That Are Still Unsolved

1. The Disappearance of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible

Charley Project / Via charleyproject.org
KOAM-TV / Via youtube.com

Where and when: Welch, Oklahoma, in December 1999.

What: Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible disappeared after having a sleepover to celebrate Ashley’s 16th birthday at the Freemans’ mobile home.

Why is it so creepy? The next day the Freeman home was set alight and the bodies of Ashley’s parents were found inside. Both her parents had been shot in the head before being burnt, and to this day the girls have still never been found.

2. The Children Who Went Up in Smoke

Jennie Henthorn / Via smithsonianmag.com

Where and when: Fayetteville, West Virginia, in December 1945.

What: The Sodders, a family with 10 children, slept while a fire erupted at 1 a.m. One of the sons was not home, and four of the children escaped with their parents and five did not.

Why is it so creepy? When the fire took place, George, the children’s father, tried to re-enter the house to find his five children. However, their ladder was missing, his truck wouldn’t turn on, and the water from their rain barrel was frozen solid. The creepiest part was that once they re-entered the house there were no remains of the children. No bones, and no possible way of cremation. They had disappeared and were never seen again.

3. The Chicago Tylenol Murders

Kellerman Family / Via chicagomag.com
Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

Where and when: The Chicago area in September 1982.

What: Twelve-year-old Mary Kellerman died after taking Tylenol to help cure her cold. Her death was the result of a mystery person lacing extra-strength Tylenol pills with cyanide that also led to the deaths of six other people.

Why is it so creepy? The contaminated bottles came from different production plants, and so it was believed that someone was purchasing the bottles and returning them poisoned, or tampering them in-store. The person was never found, and it inspired various copycat acts from tainted pills to tampered-with candy.

4. The Disappearance of Brian Shaffer

Find Brian Shaffer / Via findbrianshaffer.com
Google Maps / Via google.com.au!3m6!1e1!3m4!1srjRf7DhUeIK0xKeo8Lr-0g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

Where and when: Columbus, Ohio, in Apri, 2006.

What: Brian and a group of friends went bar-hopping to celebrate the start of spring break. He ended his night at a bar near his university campus, where he was studying medicine.

Why is it so creepy? After saying goodbye to a couple of girls at the bar, Brian walked out of the bar’s security camera view and was never seen again. The only member of the Shaffer family is Brian’s younger brother, as his mother passed from cancer one month prior to his disappearance and his dad was in a freak accident two years following it.

5. The East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker

Sketch of suspcious person.

Sacremento Police Department. / Via scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net

Sketch of suspcious person.

Two of his murder victims.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Two of his murder victims.

Where and when: Northern and Southern California in 1976 to 1986.

What: An unidentified man committed 50 rapes and at least 10 murders in a 10-year period.

Why is it so creepy? The East Area Rapist and Original Night Stalker were believed to be two separate people before DNA evidence proved the two to be the same person in 2001. There is speculation that the same man could also be the Visalia Ransacker, meaning he progressed from burglary to rape to murder. The rapist/killer is still yet to be found. The creepiest part may just be the 30-second voicemail he left for one of his victims where he whispered, “I’m going to kill you” while breathing heavily and playing creepy music in the background.

6. The Cleveland Torso Murderer/Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run

Police looking for body parts in a pool.

Cleveland Police Museum. / Via clevelandpolicemuseum.org

Police looking for body parts in a pool.

Victim head casts on display, some of which use their real hair.

Cleveland Police Museum. / Via clevelandpolicemuseum.org

Victim head casts on display, some of which use their real hair.

Where and when: Cleveland, from 1934 to 1938.

What: An unidentified man murdered 13 people in the span of four years.

Why is it so creepy? The Mad Butcher would decapitate his victims and most were still alive when it was done. As the killings progressed, the Mad Butcher got more vicious with his murders, at one point even ripping out a victim’s heart. The sheriff arrested a suspect who killed himself while in custody awaiting trial, and all official police records have vanished. No one truly knows who the Mad Butcher was.

7. The Ice Box Murders

KHOU-TV / Via youtube.com
KHOU-TV / Via youtube.com

Where and when: Houston, in June 1965.

What: Fred and Edwina Rodgers, 81 and 79, respectively, were murdered and then placed in their refrigerator on Father’s Day, 1965.

Why is it so creepy? Fred and Edwina had actually been killed one week prior to being placed in their “ice box.” Edwina had been beaten and shot, and Fred had his head crushed and his organs flushed down the toilet in their home. Their son Charles, 43, is the main suspect in the case, but he disappeared after the act and is not directly linked to the murders as a result.

8. The Mysterious Death of Elisa Lam

Los Angeles Police Department / Via lapdonline.org
Robyn Beck / Getty Images

Where and when: Los Angeles, in February 2013.

What: Twenty-one-year-old Canadian student Elisa Lam went missing at the end of January and was found dead two weeks later in her hotel’s water tank.

Why is it so creepy? Following her disappearance, security footage showing Elisa behaving erratically was released by the Los Angeles Police Department, but speculations of Elisa being on drugs were disputed by the toxicology report. Hotel Cecil had a dark past before the death of Elisa Lam. Elisa was found after guests complained of black water, which prompted staff to check the water tanks. This follows closely the plot of the film Dark Water (2005), where a girl was found dead in the hotel’s water tank in a similar way. In the film, the main character’s daughter’s name is Cecilia, which is very close to the name of the hotel where Elisa Lam died. In a strange coincidence, the tuberculosis test that was used in the area near the hotel at the time of Elisa Lam’s death was called LAM-ELISA.

9. The Disappearance of Ray Gricar

WJACTV Johnstown / Via youtube.com
WJACTV Johnstown / Via youtube.com

Where and when: Centre County, Pennsylvania, in April 2005.

What: Prosecutor and District Attorney Ray Gricar took a day off work and never returned.

Why is it so creepy? All of Ray’s belongings were found scattered across different areas. His car was found near a bridge along a riverbank, and months later his corrupted laptop and hard drive were found in different locations on another riverbank. Different theories exist, but his home Google search history revealed queries of “how to fry a hard drive,” which may suggest that he just decided to walk away from the life he had.

10. The Hinterkaifeck

Munich Police Department / Via hinterkaifeck.net
Munich Police Department / Via hinterkaifeck.net

Where and when: Bavaria, Germany, in March 1922.

What: Andreas and Cazillia Gruber, their daughter Viktoria, and her children Cazilla and Josef, plus the housemaid, Maria, were murdered in cold blood on their Hinterkaifeck farm with a mattock/pickaxe.

Why is it so creepy? Before their untimely death, it was reported that Andreas told his neighbours and friends about instances of strange acts. He reported footprints leading to the house but not back, noises in the attic, and things appearing and going missing. Autopsy reportsshowed that 7-year-old Cazilla had been alive long enough to pull her own hair out, possibly from seeing the murders of her family, or after she herself was attacked. The creepiest part of all is the fact that the murderer decided to live in the house for a few days after they had killed everyone. They fed their animals and ate their food before leaving.

11. The Girl Scout Murders

Where and when: Locust Grove, Oklahoma, in June 1977.

What: Three young girls, Michelle Guse, Doris Milner, and Lorie Farmer, were killed while at a Girl Scout camp.

Why is it so creepy? The person or people involved in the heinous act carried the girls’ bodies away from their tent, which were then found by a counsellor on the trail on the way to the showers. Before the murders, someone broke into a counsellor tent and left a note saying that three campgoers would be murdered, but it was believed to be a prank. Two months after the “prank” letter was sent, the three girls turned up dead. No one has been charged with the murders.

12. The Zodiac Killer

Sketch of The Zodiac Killer.

Creative Commons / Via commons.wikimedia.org

Sketch of The Zodiac Killer.

The Zodiac Killer's sign-off.

Creative Commons / Via commons.wikimedia.org

The Zodiac Killer’s sign-off.

Where and when: San Francisco Bay Area, in 1968 and 1969.

What: An unidentified man murdered at least five people and taunted police following the acts.

Why is it so creepy? If the murders were not enough, the self-named Zodiac Killer sent a series of three letters to three newspapers with details of the murders and ciphers that were said to reveal his identity if cracked. Once the cipher was cracked, it began with “I like killing people because it is so much fun.” The case is still open, and the killer still hasn’t been found.

13. The Disappearance of Amy Lynn Bradley

Where and when: On board a cruise ship around Aruba, in March 1998.

What: Amy Lynn disappeared while on a cruise ship with her parents and younger brother. She left her cabin early in the morning, presumably for a quick smoke, as she left barefoot, only with her cigarettes and lighter.

Why is it so creepy? Before Amy Lynn disappeared, there were instances of the crew onboard giving her “special attention”. This led her parents to believe she was kidnapped and led into sex slavery, supported by images that appear to be Amy Lynn in her underwear sent via email. Despite reports of her being seen, she is yet to be found.

14. The Somerton Man

Commons / Via sapolicehistory.org
Commons / Via sapolicehistory.org

Where and when: Adelaide, South Australia, in November 1948.

What: The body of an unidentified man was found against the Somerton Beach sea wall in Adelaide.

Why is it so creepy? The Somerton Man had no signs of violence or struggle on him, and his cause of death was indeterminable. Even though he was dressed in a suit, he had no ID, but he did have a piece of paper that read “Tamám Shud,” which is Persian for “it is ended/finished.” The page came from a rare book, The Rubáiyát, which was found a few streets away. The book had a ciphered message only visible with UV light. Many believe that the Somerton Man was in fact a spy; others say he committed suicide with a poison that left the body quickly. No one will ever know.

15. The Disappearance of the Beaumont Children

SA Police / Via en.wikipedia.org
SA Police / Via resources3.news.com.au

Where and when: Glenelg Beach, Adelaide, in January 1966.

What: The Beaumont Children, Jane, 9, Arnna, 7, and Grant, 4, caught a five-minute bus to the beach, but did not catch their expected 12 p.m. bus home, and they were never seen again.

Why is it so creepy? They were seen playing with a young man near the beach, and then were seen purchasing snacks at a store with more money than they were given by their mother. A police officer said he saw the children walking toward their home, happy and safe at 3.p.m. Hoax letters claiming that the children were being held hostage were sent to their parents, and even paranormal investigators were employed to help find the children. Creepily, this event occurred in the same area that the Somerton Man incident happened.

Will Robins

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