Solving murder cases takes an unbelievable amount of hard work and a collaborative effort from police officers and detectives. They constantly feel the pressure to give families proper closure, which can take months, years, or even decades.
Some murders, however, are never solved. Whether it was a lack of evidence or not enough manpower, for whatever reason, these cases go cold and continue to haunt the public and those who were the closest to the victims.
Take these 18 cases, for instance. Not only are these some of the most gruesome, disgusting, and unspeakable crimes ever committed, but they still remain unsolved…
1. The Grimes sisters — In December of 1956, sisters Patricia, 13, and Barbara, 15, never returned home after they went to a theater in their hometown of Chicago to watch the Elvis Presley film Love Me Tender. This yielded a plea from Elvis himself for the safe return of the girls. Approximately one month later, the bodies of the young women were found naked on the side of the road, leading investigators to believe they’d been tossed from a moving vehicle.
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2. Ricky McCormick — In 1999, after being reported missing for 72 hours, the body of 41-year-old Ricky McCormick was found in a random Missouri field. Twelve years later, the FBI reported that his body had been discovered with two mysterious notes written in his handwriting and found in his pockets. The only problem was that various reports stated that not only was Ricky nearly illiterate, but he only knew how to write his own name, leading many to wonder who dictated the cryptic message.
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3. The murder of Betsy Aardsma — It’s been 47 years since 22-year-old Betsy Aardsma was stabbed once in the chest while in the Pattee Library at Penn State University in 1969. Reports confirmed that there was such little blood at the scene that no one had known she’d been attacked until she made it to the emergency room.
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4. The Tylenol murders — If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why there is tamper-proof packaging on medicine, this is the reason. In 1982, an unknown person went around to random pharmacies in the Chicago metro area and replaced the Tylenol powder with cyanide. In total, it led to seven deaths.
5. Bella in the witch elm — A group of young boys found a human skull placed in a tree in Hagley Wood, Worcestershire, England in 1943. When detectives arrived, they found the rest of the decomposing skeleton nearby, which had been there for more than a year. This led to someone graffitiing the phrase “Who put Bella in the witch elm” on a wall close by. All these years later, not only is the case still unsolved, but they’ve never been able to properly identify whose skull it is.
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6. The Yogurt Shop murders — On December 6, 1991, Austin, Texas firefighters were called to a nearby yogurt shop that had gone up in flames. When they went inside, they discovered the bodies of four young girls who had been gagged. Evidence suggested that the young women had been killed before the fire was started. While they originally convicted the men they believed to be the perpetrators, those men were exonerated in 2009 due to lack of evidence.
7. The Jane Doe of Walker county — In 1980, it was reported by two separate Texas gas station attendants that a woman entered their building and asked for directions to a local prison where she was going to visit a friend. Her lifeless body was discovered just a few miles away, lying facedown. Although her photograph was shown to all of the prisoners, she was never properly identified.
8. The Vampire of Atlas — In 1932, authorities discovered the body of a female sex worker in Stockholm with her head crushed in and signs of sexual assault on her body. More eerily, her body had been completely drained of blood, and the police suspected a ladle near the bed where she was found had been used by the perpetrator to drink it.
9. The Doodler —During the 1970s, authorities believe that 14 gay men were murdered by a man known as The Doodler. After he met his victims, he would reportedly sketch and then murder them. People believe the case was never solved because of issues with homophobia during that time period and because of witnesses’ fear of being outed if they’d come forward with information.
10. The murder of Amanda Tusing — In June 2000, Amanda left her fiancé to visit her parents at her home, but she never showed up. Her body was discovered in a rain-filled ditch later that same night with her car keys still in the ignition. What’s further confusing is that there were zero signs of a struggle or sexual assault.
Unsolved Mysteries Wiki / kait8.com / Via unsolvedmysteries.wikia.com
11. The Colonial Parkway murders — In the late 1980s, authorities discovered the bodies of couple Rebecca Ann Dowski and Cathleen Thomas close to the Colonial Parkway in Virginia at a nearby lover’s lane. Soon after, they discovered more bodies in the same area. In total, eight people were murdered. The killer was never identified.
12. The Houston ice box murders — The bodies of Fred and Edwina Rogers were found neatly wrapped inside of their refrigerator in Houston, Texas. While the authorities have long suspected that their son Charles may have committed the crime, he hasn’t been seen since their mysterious killing.
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13. The Oklahoma Girl Scout murders — In 1977, the bodies of three little girls were found in their tent at camp, all having been strangled and raped. What’s further disturbing is that the camp counselors slept through the entire crime committed just yards away. Authorities quickly arrested a local jail escapee with the crime, though, he was released after a lack of evidence to convict him.
14. The murder of the Walker family — In December of 1959, the bodies of Cliff and Christine Walker, as well as their two young children, were discovered by authorities in their Osprey, Florida home. The case quickly became convoluted when there were reportedly 587 suspects to investigate. Not long after, serial killer Emmett Monroe Spencer confessed to the crimes, though these claims were later dismissed when it was discovered that he was a pathological liar.
15. The murder of Jeanette DePalma — Mystery continues to shroud the killing of 16-year-old Jeanette, who went missing from her Springfield, New Jersey home in 1972. Her body was only discovered after a local dog carried her severed forearm home to its owner. Reports that she was found surrounded by occult objects while lying atop a pentagram have circulated, though police continue to deny those claims.
16. The Allenstown Four — In 1985 and in 2011, authorities discovered the bodies of four unidentified young girls in trash bags in Bear Brook State Park in New Hampshire. Not only has their killer never been brought to justice, but the girls have never been properly identified either.
17. Jane Doe of St. Louis — The body of an 8-year-old African-American girl who had been raped and beheaded was discovered in her apartment, in February of 1983. Police are still unable to locate her head and the person who committed such a heinous crime.
18. The murder of Arlis Perry — In October of 1974, Stanford student Arlis got into an argument with her husband and left their home. Her body was discovered in a church lying near the altar the following morning. Not only was she partially nude, her body showing signs of sexual assault, but there was also an ice pick in her head. Her husband and a local security guard were later cleared of the crime.
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These are such tragic and awful cases. What makes them even more disturbing is not knowing if the killers continue to walk among us.
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