If You Felt Safe in the World, Here Are 8 Unsolved Murders That Will Chill You to the Bone
With all the horror that real life provides, it's no wonder that there are innumerable movies now which begin with the chilling words, "based on a real story." Murders are fodder for nightmares, and the sheer number of unsolved murders makes one wonder how many killers are out there, walking the streets with us.
Here are some unsolved murders that are chilling and incomprehensible.
Barrowland Ballroom Murders
There were three unsolved murders in Glasgow between the years 1968 and 1969, and all three victims were eerily similar. The victims of the unidentified murderer, nicknamed 'Bible John,' were young girls picked up from Barrowland Ballroom. His victims, Patricia Docker, 25; Jemima McDonald, 32; and Helen Puttock, 29; were all raped and strangled with their stockings within yards of their homes. All three women were menstruating at the time and had sanitary napkins placed on or near their bodies. Their handbags were missing, which investigators believe John took as trophies.
The hunt for Bible John was Scotland's biggest manhunt, but despite massive efforts to find him, the trail soon went cold.
Double Initial Murders
The "Alphabet Murders” took place in Rochester, New York, in the early 1970s. The case received its name from the fact that each of the girls' first and last names started with the same letter. Furthermore, each body was found in a town that's name started with the same letter as the victim's name. Carmen Colon near Churchville, Wanda Walkowicz in Webster, and Michelle Maenza in the town of Macedon.
All three girls were from single parent households, were Roman Catholic, and had learning disabilities. The girls disappeared during the afternoon, and were all likely taken by a personal vehicle. Each was also sexually assaulted before being strangled. Investigators have theorised that a series of murders with similar circumstances in California in the late 1970s is connected to these three murders. Although hundreds of people were questioned, the killer was never caught.
The Zodiac Killer
The Zodiac killer terrorised northern California from December 1968 through October 1969. Though there has been much speculation as to their identity, they have never been found. The Zodiac killer identified themselves through a series of cryptic letters and phone calls to the press and others, which disclosed their reasons for the killings. They also offered clues to future murders. The killer's letters included four cryptograms, but only one has ever been solved and did not lead the police any closer to solving the case. The Zodiac Killer claimed responsibility for 37 assaults, but only sever have been confirmed, of which five died. All of his victims were either shot or stabbed.
Armchair investigators as well as law enforcement have offered theories as to the Zodiac Killer's identity, but conclusive evidence is yet to surface. The film, Zodiac, was based on this unidentified murderer.
In 1948, an unidentified man was found dead on Somerton Beach just south of Adelaide, Australia. Usually referred to as 'The Somerton Man,' or sometimes 'The Unknown Man,' this mystery has remained a head-scratcher for a while now. The Somerton Man did not have any markings on this clothes, no labels, or identifiers of any sort. Six weeks later, a suitcase apparently containing the same man’s property was retrieved from Adelaide Railway Station’s cloakroom, where it had been deposited the day before his death. However, nothing indicating the man’s identity was found in those belongings.
In many ways, the whole Tamam Shud case is the perfect murder mystery, to the point that there’s no way of knowing whether a murder actually took place, who the victim was, what the murder weapon was, or who the perpetrator was. Oddly, there was a half-smoked cigarette in his mouth on the beach, which strongly suggests that the corpse had been actively placed on the beach by someone, ruling out suicide.
Tucked into a tiny fob pocket in the dead man’s trousers was a small scrap of printed paper ripped out of a book, and mysteriously it contained the Persian phrase tamam shud, which translates to 'it is ended', or 'the end.'
Original Night Stalker
An unidentified man committed 50 rapes and at least 10 murders in a 10-year period. 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. 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.
The East Area Rapist, or the Original Night Stalker, roamed the regions of Northern and Southern California between the years 1976 to 1986.
Dark Water Murder
Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old Canadian student left to tour the US west coast in 2013. In Los Angeles, however, the student disappeared mysteriously from her hotel and there was no sign of her for days. It was around this time that guests of the hotel began to complain of strange tasting, discolored water and low water pressure in their rooms. Employees began to investigate the plumbing of the building. This led them to a gruesome discovery in the water tanks on the roof of the building. Inside one of the tanks, floating naked next to her clothes and belongings was the partially decomposed body of Elisa Lam. Disturbingly, Elisa’s blog remained active for many months after her death. Auto-posting features may explain this away, but Elisa’s phone was never found after her death, suggesting an alternative source of these updates.
On February 16, the LAPD released a surveillance video from the hotel, taken on the February 1. The unsettling video depicts Elisa in one of the hotel’s elevators, acting in an extremely bizarre manner. It shows her peeking in and out of the elevator, hiding in the corner, pressing multiple buttons suggesting that she was hiding from persons unknown, suggesting murder.
Beer Man Murders
'Beer Man' is the name given to a suspected serial killer who murdered six people in south Mumbai, India, between October 2006 and January 2007. The nickname was gained due to beer bottles left beside each body, which was the only link between the deaths. The victims, all young men, were killed by being hit on the head by a stone and stabbed in the chest. It is also believed that the murderer is homosexual, as he raped five of his victims before killing them.
Though all the men killed had been poor, some of them homeless, it is surmised that the killer himself is not poor, partly because he drinks beer out of cans. At the fourth murder scene the killer has left a note in English. One of the things mentioned in the note was, ‘Welcome to the clan.’
'The Stoneman' was the name given to an unidentified serial killer who murdered at least 13 homeless people in Kolkata in 1989. The murders happened over six months, but it was never established whether the crimes were committed by one person or a group or if it was a case of copycat murders.
All of the murdered were homeless pavement-dwellers who slept alone in dimly-lit areas of the city. Because the murderer killed victims by dropping a heavy stone or concrete slab on them, the police assumed that the assailant was probably a tall, well-built male. However, in the complete absence of any eyewitnesses or survivors, no clear-cut leads were available. Massive deployments of police in various parts of the city at night were resorted to, and numerous arrests were made. After a spell of arrests in which a handful of "suspicious persons" were rounded up for questioning, the killings stopped. Till date, no one has been sentenced for these crimes, making this one of the oldest unsolved mysteries in India. There were two films based on this subject as well. You can watch the trailer for one of them here.
Goodbye sleep, hello constant vigilance.