unsolved crimes

16 Mysterious Crimes That Left Investigators Puzzled

These unusual and suspicious deaths continue to puzzle both police and amateur sleuths.

Today, we’re listing bizarre deaths that remain infamous due to their mysterious circumstances.

Our list includes Natalee Holloway, Brian Shaffer, Rebeca Coriam, and others.

16. Tara Calico

Tara Calico

Tara Calico borrowed her mother’s pink bike for a ride on September 20, 1988, in Belen, New Mexico.

The outgoing student never returned. A year later, a photograph of a young woman her age and a boy, both gagged, was found outside a Junior Food Store in Florida, providing the first lead in her case.

A nine-year-old, Michael Henley had also mysteriously disappeared in the same area as Calico in April 1988.

The two appeared to be in the back of a vehicle, with a book by Calico’s favorite author, V.C. Andrews, lying beside the girl.

Tragically, Michael Henley’s body was discovered in the Zuni Mountains in 1990, and Tara’s parents passed away without ever learning who had kidnapped their daughter.

15. Brian Shaffer

Brian Shaffer

Brian Shaffer, a medical student at Ohio State University, disappeared on April 1, 2006, while celebrating spring break with a friend.

Brian and his friend, William Florence, were ending their night at the Ugly Tuna Saloona when Brian became separated from his friends.

CCTV footage shows him talking to two women outside the bar around 2 a.m. before returning inside.

Investigators are baffled by Shaffer’s disappearance because there were no additional publicly accessible entrances or exits to the bar at the time.

Though foul play is suspected, there is no footage of him ever leaving.

14. The Ocean Snuff Film

The Ocean Snuff Film

In 2014, a disturbing 10-minute slow-motion snuff film, recorded on a mobile phone, made headlines.

The footage shows a group of unarmed men being killed one by one with a semiautomatic weapon, followed by one of the perpetrators taking celebratory selfies.

This case highlighted the challenges of prosecuting crimes on the high seas.

The video shows at least four ships in the vicinity, but maritime law did not compel anyone to report the killings, and no one did.

Jurisdiction and enforcement are complex in international waters, and the identities of the victims and the motives for their murders remain unknown.

13. Rebecca Coriam

Rebecca Coriam

Rebecca Coriam, a young British staffer, disappeared mysteriously at sea on March 22, 2011, while working on the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship.

Since 2000, there have been 313 documented cases of people going missing from cruise ships, with only about 10% of these cases being resolved.

Many believe Rebecca was sexually assaulted, murdered, and then thrown overboard, with the crew and administration allegedly covering it up to avoid bad publicity.

Her case remains one of the many unresolved mysteries in the cruise ship industry.

12. Dorothy Jane Scott

Dorothy Jane Scott

Dorothy Jane Scott was abducted from a hospital parking lot in Anaheim, California, on May 28, 1980.

In the months leading up to her kidnapping, she received several anonymous phone calls from a stalker who threatened to cut her up so she would never be found.

A month after her abduction, a man called a local publication that had reported on her kidnapping, claiming to have killed her.

He continued to phone and taunt her family for the next four years.

Dorothy’s remains were discovered in August 1984. Her abductor had burned her body two years after kidnapping her, yet the phone calls continued for another two years.

11. The Monster of Florence

The Monster of Florence

In the 1970s and 1980s, a serial killer known as the Monster of Florence terrorized the streets of Florence, Italy, killing at least 16 people.

Most of the victims were couples, often attacked in their cars during or after having sex.

The killer used a knife or a Beretta pistol, and in many cases, mutilated the bodies, removing genitals and, in one instance, sending a victim’s breast to the state prosecutor along with a taunting letter.

Five men were arrested in connection with the case, and one even confessed to being the killer.

However, each time one was imprisoned, another murder would occur.

The case remains unsolved.

10. Natalee Holloway

Natalee Holloway

Natalee Holloway went missing in May 2005 while on vacation with friends in Aruba.

The 18-year-old was last seen leaving a nightclub with three young men: Joran van der Sloot, Deepak Kalpoe, and Satish Kalpoe. She never returned to her hotel room.

Joran van der Sloot has made multiple false claims about Natalee’s disappearance, including a statement that he sold her to human traffickers, which he later recanted.

Despite being the primary suspect, no evidence has been found to prosecute him successfully.

Van der Sloot is currently serving time in a Peruvian prison for the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores Ramírez.

9. Nicole Morin

Nicole Morin

Nicole Louise Morin disappeared on July 30, 1985, from her West Mall apartment in Toronto.

She left her home to meet a friend in the lobby for an afternoon of swimming but never made it to the pool.

Despite extensive police searches and heartfelt appeals, no clues have been found.

Nicole’s case remains one of the largest and most comprehensive investigations in Toronto police history.

For over 35 years, the mystery of what happened to the 8-year-old girl has remained unsolved.

8. Walter Collins

Walter Collins

The 2008 film “Changeling,” directed by Clint Eastwood, brought renewed attention to one of the 1920s’ most unusual and heartbreaking crime stories.

In March 1928, Christine Collins, a single mother, reported her nine-year-old son, Walter, missing from their Los Angeles home.

Several months later, the police returned a boy they claimed was Walter, but Christine insisted he was not her son.

Despite her objections, the LAPD accused her of being a bad mother and had her committed to a mental facility.

Walter Collins’ body was never found, and the truth about his disappearance remains unknown.

The reasons behind the police’s actions in covering up the abduction and presenting a different child as Walter remain a mystery.

7. Elisa Lam

Elisa Lam

In 2013, Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old student, disappeared while staying at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles.

After guests complained about the water’s dark color and taste, her body was found in the hotel’s water tank.

Bizarre CCTV footage, showing Elisa acting erratically in an elevator, added to the mystery.

She appears to be arguing with someone off-camera and looking behind her as if being followed.

Her death was eventually ruled accidental, but questions remain.

Elisa was discovered naked, with her personal belongings floating nearby, and it’s unclear how she could have accessed the tank and replaced the 120-pound lid on top of it.

6. The Severed Feet Mystery

The Severed Feet Mystery

Twenty-one severed human feet have inexplicably washed up on the Pacific Northwest’s Salish Sea coastlines.

In 2017, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office identified the foot of Antonio Neill, who went missing at age 22 in 2016, as the 15th human foot to wash ashore in a decade.

Some believe these feet belong to victims of an unknown serial killer, while others think they may be linked to human trafficking.

While most of the severed feet have been identified, the reason they wash up on this particular shoreline remains speculative.

They usually belong to men, and in many cases, the men disappeared a few years before their feet were found.

5. The Chicago Strangler

The Chicago Strangler

Despite having a high body count, the Chicago Strangler remains relatively unknown.

Since 2001, strangled women have been found in alleyways, parking lots, and abandoned buildings throughout Chicago.

The Chicago Strangler has murdered at least 51 women, most of whom were African-American and sex workers.

In one particularly heinous incident in 2007, the Strangler murdered two women in a single day.

4. Kyron Horman

Kyron Horman

On June 4, 2010, Kyron Horman’s stepmother, Terri Horman, took him to Skyline Elementary School.

She reported leaving around 8:45 a.m. and last saw Kyron heading down the hallway to his first class.

Aside from a photo taken by Terri in front of the school that morning, Kyron was never seen again.

Terri told police she ran several errands that day before going to the gym.

Despite denying any involvement, she has remained the primary suspect, with many believing she knows what happened to Kyron. The criminal investigation remains open.

3. Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon

Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon

In 2014, Dutch students Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon disappeared during a hiking expedition in Boquete, Panama.

They had planned the trip for six months and had been hiking in the jungle for several weeks before vanishing.

More than two months later, their bodies were discovered under mysterious and disturbing circumstances.

Kris’ phone showed 77 attempts to contact emergency services, and it contained various unusual pictures. Strangely, some of their bones appeared to have been bleached.

There are differing opinions on what happened to the women.

Some believe their deaths could be related to cartel activity, while others note that over 50 women and girls have been reported missing in that area of Panama.

2. The Sodder Children

The Sodder Children

On Christmas Eve, 1945, the Sodder home was destroyed by a fire.

Four of the nine Sodder children escaped, but no trace of the other five was found after the fire was extinguished.

The local Fire Chief claimed the fire was intense enough to cremate the remains.

However, simulated tests showed that bones could not be reduced to ash.

Adding to the mystery, multiple witnesses reported seeing the children after the fire.

Speculation surrounded their disappearance: Were they victims of human traffickers, or did an angry insurance salesman play a role?

The parents believed their children were still alive but never received any answers.

1. Little Jane Doe

Little Jane Doe

On February 28, 1983, the decapitated body of a young female was found in an abandoned building in St. Louis.

Initially thought to be a sex worker due to her state of undress, it was soon determined that the victim was much younger, between 8 and 11 years old.

According to the FBI, this was the only decapitation involving such a young person in the United States at that time.

To this day, the victim remains unidentified, and no arrests have been made in the case.

She is known only as “Little Jane Doe” in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s database.

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