4 of the creepiest unsolved murders of all time

By Aliya Zuberi

KARACHI: It’s bad enough to know that there are people out there who don’t think twice before taking another person’s life. It’s worse knowing that the killers are out there! Here are some of the creepiest unsolved murders that will make your skin crawl especially knowing that the criminals were never caught!

The body on Somerton Beach

In December 1948, a body was found on the Somerton Beach in Adelaide, Australia. Impeccably dressed in a suit and polished shoes, the man’s head was carefully slumped against a wall. His cause of death was also a mystery, with no signs of a heart attack or poisoning and no visible marks on his body.

As detailed unfolded, it became increasingly difficult to identify the man. He wasn’t carrying a wallet or any sort of identification, the tags of his clothes were cut off and his fingerprints had no match in various systems. Authorities even released his picture in newspapers in hopes someone would identify him but to no avail. Four months passed and the case became all that more mysterious. A secret pocket was discovered in his pant which had a slip of paper from a book called the Rubáiyát and written on the paper in Farsi were the words “Tamám Shud” which translate to “it has ended.” 

Months of investigation led to no answers and eventually, the man was buried. However, there was a break in the case when in July of 1949, a man walked into the police station claiming that after the body was found, he found a copy of the same book in his car which was parked near Somerton Beach. The book he gave to the police did have the page missing which matched the paper found on the body. And inside the book was a phone number and a strange code. The number led the police to a woman called Jessica Thompson. When questioned by the police, she was evasive and looked almost faint. However, she denied knowing who the Somerton man was. The trail went cold after that.

The Black Dahlia Murder

In the January of 1947, the body of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short was discovered in Los Angeles. The murder was gruesome, with the young woman’s body cut in half with such surgical precision that there was no trauma to her organs and bones, and the body was also drained of blood. Her body was so pale that it was initially mistaken for a mannequin. As if that wasn’t bad enough, her face was cut from her mouth to her ears leaving a permanent smile, similar to that of the Joker’s. With so much trauma to her body, there was no blood on the ground making it clear she was murdered elsewhere.

Nine days after the grisly discovery, the examiner received an envelope which was written using cut up and pasted letters from magazines and newspapers. The letter read, “The Los Angeles Examiner and other Los Angeles papers, here is Dahlia’s belongings, letter to follow.” And sure enough, the victim’s Social Security card, birth certificate, photographs, names written on pieces of paper, and an address book with pages missing were also in the envelope. 

Months later, a suicide note was found tucked inside a shoe in a pile of men’s clothing found near the edge of the ocean. Written on the note was, “To whom it may concern: I have waited for the police to capture me for the Black Dahlia killing, but have not. I am too much of a coward to turn myself in, so this is the best way out for me. I couldn’t help myself for that, or this. Sorry, Mary.” However, the Black Dahlia case remained unsolved making it go down as one of the creepiest unsolved murders of all times.

Jack the Ripper

In 1888, in the dark and foggy streets of East End London, loomed a serial killer who would later be known as Jack the Ripper. While the area was known for crime, the string of murders left the people of the town terrified. A madman killing without motive, was the most dangerous of his kind. Officially, he was known to have five victims; five women who would be dubbed as the “The Canonical Five”, while theories suggest that he killed many more.

The Canonical Five all had one thing in common: they were all prostitutes. The killings took place within a mile of each other and the murderer sent letters to the police tainting them with details of his crimes and hinting to more murders. The killer even gave himself the name ‘Jack the Ripper’ in the letters. The killings themselves were brutal with stabs to the throat, extensive abdominal and genital mutilation, the removal of internal organs, and facial mutilations.

Despite several suspects which ranged from Winston Churchill’s father, to the author of Alice in Wonderland to a royal family member, and despite the fact some claim to have solved the mystery of the identity of Jack the Ripper, this remains one of the most notorious unsolved murders.

The Hinterkaifeck Murders

In 1922, German investigators made a gruesome discovery on the Hinterkaifeck Farm. An entire family had been murdered and the murder weapon was a pickaxe. Found in the barn, dead bodies stacked on top of each other were husband and wife Andreas and Cäzilia Gruber, their widowed daughter Viktoria and her daughter Cäzilia. Viktoria’s two-year-old son Josef had been murdered in his crib while the family maid Maria was killed in her bed.

As the investigation began, a chilling discovery was made. Despite the murders, the cattle was fed, meals were being eaten in the kitchen and neighbors reported smoke coming out from the chimney. This led the investigators to believe that the killer continued to live on the farm for almost a week after the murders. More chilling details began to emerge about the activities on the farm. 

Maria had replaced a maid who had quit claiming the house was haunted. She had reported hearing voices and footsteps in the attic. A set of house keys had gone missing, an unfamiliar newspaper was found inside the house and it seemed as though someone tried to pick the lock on the toolshed. Even creepier was the fact that Andreas had seen suspicious footsteps starting from the woods which led to the back entrance of the house.

The murders remained unsolved and eventually, the house was demolished.

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