23 May

Here is another cool cross post from Jay Smith and the folks at Criminal Justice University. Their original posting was on 4-17-10.

There’s something about an unsolved murder that grabs our attention, whether it’s the air of mystery surrounding the proceedings or the shock at learning the brutal details behind a high-profile slaying. Here are just a few of the most notorious unsolved cases of all time:

1. The Black Dahlia (ca. January 15, 1947)

Elizabeth Short was 22 years old when she was brutally murdered in Los Angeles in the late 1940s. A woman with a troubled past and no fixed path through life, she was in L.A. visiting an old boyfriend and bouncing from one apartment to the next at the time of her death. She was found in a vacant lot, her body severed at the waist and her face slashed from the edge of her mouth toward the ears, creating a ghastly smile. Reporters nicknamed her the Black Dahlia after the 1946 noir film The Blue Dahlia. The murder sparked the largest LAPD investigation to that point, and the news media ran with the frenzy. Despite many theories put forth over the years, the case was never solved.

2. Boy in the Box (February 25, 1957)
One of the most gruesome unsolved murders involves an unknown child referred to as the Boy in the Box. Approximately 4-6 years old, the boy’s naked body was found in a cardboard box in Philadelphia 1957. Pictures of the boy were distributed with gas bills throughout the city in hopes of finding someone who knew what happened, but no lead ever materialized. One theory speculated that the boy belonged to the stepdaughter of the man who ran the foster home near the site the body was found; another theory, put forth by a woman with a history of mental illness, claimed that the boy was bought and used as a sexual slave before being murdered and discarded. No direct evidence was found for either theory.

3. Bob Crane (June 29, 1978)
Best known for his leading role on “Hogan’s Heroes,” Bob Crane was also involved with an underground sex scene in which he and friend John Henry Carpenter, an audio-visual pro, would film themselves having sex with women. Crane’s body was found in an Arizona apartment complex, bludgeoned to death by an unknown weapon that police reasoned was a film tripod. Smears of blood that matched Crane’s blood type were found in Carpenter’s car, but the lack of forensic technology at the time (like DNA testing) made it impossible to determine if the blood belonged to Crane. The case went cold from a lack of evidence, and though it was reopened in 1992 and Carpenter arrested, evidence from the murder hadn’t been properly preserved and was thus unusable. Carpenter was acquitted and maintained his innocence until he died in 1998. The case is officially unsolved.

4. Raymond Washington (August 9, 1979)
Raymond Washington was the founder of the Los Angeles gang that would come to call itself the Crips, but many say that his unique moral code approved only of fighting and theft as a means of survival, and that he frowned on the use of handguns and the growing level of homicides associated with gangs. He was shot and killed when he was just 25, and no one was ever arrested for the crime. People have speculated that his murder was carried out by a rival gang member or perhaps by someone with whom he was involved in a personal dispute.

5. Dian Fossey (December 26, 1985)
Immortalized in the Oscar-nominated film Gorillas in the Mist, Dian Fossey as an American zoologist who devoted her professional career to studying gorillas in Africa and protecting them from poaching and exploitation. She was found dead in her cabin in 1985, killed by a machete that had been hanging decoratively on her wall. With her valuables still present, her death appeared to be politically or personally motivated. Although many suspects were questioned, the killer was never found.

6. JonBenet Ramsey (December 26, 1996)
JonBenet Ramsey was killed only a few months after she turned 6. Her mother discovered the girl was missing and found a ransom note, at which point police were contacted. A search of the house found the girl’s body in a wine cellar, strangled to death. The case ignited a media firestorm involving the parents, accused of neglect and implicated in the crime, and the investigators, who didn’t properly seal the crime scene. The Ramsey family was officially cleared from suspicion in 2008, and though police have been able to put together a DNA composite of the killer, the crime remains unsolved. (John Mark Karr confessed to the crime in 2006 but was cleared.)

7. Tupac Shakur (September 13, 1996)
Rap artist Tupac Shakur was a top-selling performer when he was shot in Las Vegas after the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon fight at the MGM Grand on September 7, 1996. After a minor brawl with a member of the Crips in the Grand’s lobby, Shakur was shot in a drive-by while riding with Death Row Records CEO Marion “Suge” Knight. Although he seemed to make a comeback in the hospital, Shakur died of internal bleeding on September 13. Law enforcement officials made slow progress in the ensuing investigation, and though the shooting occurred on a public and crowded street, no one has ever been arrested for the crime.

8. Notorious B.I.G. (March 9, 1997)
Christopher Wallace, better known as the Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, was a gifted MC known also for his involvement in the hip-hop feud between the East and West Coasts. He was even rumored to be involved in the death of Tupac Shakur, though that was never proven. Following a party held after the Soul Train Music Awards in March 1997, Wallace was shot while riding in an SUV and pronounced dead that night at the hospital. Many theories have been floated about the killing, from retaliation over money owed to various conspiracy theories, but the shooter was never identified.

9. Jack the Ripper killings (1888)
One of the most infamous serial killers in history, Jack the Ripper is the name given to the unknown murderer who slaughtered a series of prostitutes in London at the end of the 19th century. Scotland Yard and local media outlets received letters from the killer (or possibly killers) included body parts from the victims. The slayings have inspired a host of fictional works as well as dozens of theories about the identity of Jack the Ripper, but the true identity of the killer has never been determined.

10. Oscar Romero (March 24, 1980)
Oscar Romero, the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated in 1980 while celebrating mass at a tiny chapel in El Salvador. A U.N. report posits that his killers were members of a death squad, and though Álvaro Rafael Saravia was eventually found guilty of conspiring in the murder, the actual killer remains unknown. Romero’s death came a day after he’d pleaded with his countrymen to stop carrying out their government’s orders to oppress basic human rights.

11. Andrew and Abby Borden (August 4, 1892)
Everyone knows the name Lizzie Borden from the children’s rhyme about her taking an ax to her parents, but though the young woman was tried for the double homicide, there wasn’t quite enough evidence to convict her of the crime.

12. Zodiac killings (1968-1972)
Seven people were killed throughout Northern California by an unknown man who came to be known as the Zodiac killer because of the taunting letters he sent to police. The letters also included cryptograms, some of which still haven’t been decoded. The first killings came in December 1968 and July 1969, and the first letters claiming responsibility for those killings were sent to three newspapers in August 1969. Some victims were shot and others stabbed, setting the Zodiac apart from serial killers that stick to one method of execution. San Francisco police detective Dave Toschi was one of those who worked the case, and would later become the basis for the fictional character Dirty Harry. Despite a prime suspect in Arthur Leigh Allen — identified years later by an early surviving victim as the shooter — the case was never solved. Allen died in 1992, but a film positing him as a likely killer was released to acclaim in 2007.

13. William Goebel (January 30, 1900)
William Goebel is the only U.S. governor to be assassinated in office. After winning a hotly contested election for the governorship of Kentucky, was shot walking to the Old State Capitol. He was sworn in a day later and died three days later. Political rival William S. Taylor was suspected of having knowledge of who pulled the trigger, but he fled to Indiana to avoid extradition and became a lawyer there. Some men were convicted of a conspiracy to kill Goebel, but the murderer’s identity remains a mystery.

14. William Desmond Taylor (February 1, 1922)
William Desmond Taylor was an actor in the early years of Hollywood whose death was one of the many lurid affairs that led to sensationalistic coverage by a thirsty media. His body was found inside his home in the early hours of February 1, 1922. He had been shot in the back. More than a dozen people were held up by the public as suspects, including friends and employees of Taylor’s, but most of the physical evidence needed to secure a conviction was lost because of crime scene mismanagement and threads of corruption in the LAPD. Actress Margaret Gibson is alleged to have confessed to the murder in 1964, but no hard evidence has even been able to produce the identity of the killer.

15. Harry Oakes (July 8, 1943)
Sir Harry Oakes, an American-born Brit who owned a gold mine, was found murdered in 1943 in his Nassau mansion. Instead of flying in detectives from Scotland Yard, the islands’ governor, the Duke of Windsor, brought in a pair of Miami detectives. They arrested Oakes’ son-in-law, but the man was acquitted when it was found that the detectives had fabricated evidence. The murderer was never found, though theories abounded. Some say Oakes’ son-in-law really was the guilty party, while others claim Oakes was killed as a result of his dealings with organized crime.

16. Barbara and Patricia Grimes (December 28, 1956)
The Grimes sisters disappeared shortly after Christmas 1956 in Chicago and were found dead on January 22, 1957. They were seen at a movie theater on December 28, but subsequent sighting claims are less reliable. An autopsy concluded that they died of shock and exposure to the cold, but that statement ignores the bruises and wounds on their bodies, including holes that could have come from an ice pick. The Chicago Police Department crime lab also found that Barbara Grimes had been sexually molested before her murder. A drifter named Benny Bedwell was suspected and eventually confessed, though he then said his confession was coerced by officers.

17. Deanna Cremin (March 30, 1995)
Seventeen-year-old Deanna Cremin was found strangled behind a senior housing complex in Middlesex, Massachusetts, shortly after her birthday. After going out with friends and visiting her boyfriend, the two walked back to her home, though the boyfriend left her at the halfway point. He is considered the last person to have seen her alive. The boyfriend and two other men were investigated, but no charges pressed. New forensic evidenced was announced in 2005, thanks to technology, and the case also received a boost in 2009 when Middlesex district attorney pleaded for people to come forward with information. Her murder, however, remains unsolved.

18. Amber Hagerman (January 15, 1996)
Amber Hagerman was only 9 years old when she died. Abducted while riding her bike in Arlington, Texas, her disapperance ignited a huge search that brought in the FBI. Her body was found by a man walking his dog four days after she’d gone missing. Her throat had been cut, and evidence showed that she’d been alive fow two days before being killed. The high-profile case and ensuing call from Amber’s parents for tougher laws for sex offenders, including a national offender registry, led to the creation of the AMBER Alert, a national bulletin distributed via TV and radio when a child goes missing. The alert’s name is technically “America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response,” but it was named after Amber.
19. Suzanne Jovin (December 4, 1998)
Yale University senior Suzanne Jovin was stabbed to death near campus in New Haven, Connecticut. After chatting with a fellow student and continuing on her way, Jovin’s body was later that night found stabbed 17 times in the head and neck with her throat slit. Witnesses saw a brown van parked nearby, but nothing came of that lead. One of professors was suspected, a move that damaged his career, though he was eventually cleared. The killer has never been found.

20. The Somerton Man (December 1, 1948)

Also known as the Taman Shud case, the mystery of the Somerton Man is one of the most baffling unsolved murders in history. A man in his 40s was found on the Somerton beach in Adelaide, Australia, on December 1, 1948. He carried no identification, and the labels had been removed from his clothes. The cause of death was determined to be poison, though the type wasn’t known. Attempts to identify the body proved fruitless, and the growing pile of clues, including a suitcase of the man’s possessions, only added to the confusion. A slip of paper with the words “Taman Shud” was found in a hidden pocket in the man’s trousers, leading police to a collection of poems called The Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam. The book was found by a man in his car near the scene of the crime, and contained a phone number and portion of jumbled letters that might have been a code, though it’s never been cracked. The phone number led to a woman who said she didn’t know anything about the man and who police omitted from future searches, thereby eliminating one of the case’s best leads. It’s been more than 60 years, and no one has ever discovered the killer or the identity of the Somerton Man.


Posted by on May 23, 2010 in Interesting Cases


110 responses to “COLD CASE: 20 BIGGEST UNSOLVED MURDERS-Cross Post

  1. Lisa Black

    May 23, 2010 at 10:48 am

    No mention of the Torso Murders in 1930’s Cleveland? (Not coincidentally the subject of my next book….)



    • BB

      June 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      Would like to know more about the Torso Murders in Cleveland. I never heard of that. I am amazed that none of the history books mention a serial killer that was around in the 1970’s named Anthony Costa who murdered women in Provincetown, Ma. on Cape Cod. The book “In his Garden” was written about him.


      • Joseph Murphy

        March 7, 2015 at 12:53 pm

        I heard of this man when I went to grade school and he also got on tv as unsolved torso murders at top of this thread.


    • Minnie Mi

      August 7, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      I want some proof that these things happend


      • Joseph Albert Murphy Jr

        February 19, 2016 at 3:01 pm

        I was nearly 14 months old when I saw my father kill a white policeman in our front yard with a 22 rifle automatic. 2 haullow point shells to the chest area in front of his squad car. SE Mesa Arizona early 1957. I can still hear his blood curdling screams today. in my head at 60 years old. and no one was ever arrested.the cold case is still on file and the mmurder weapon burried in rock pile ne of ash fork arizona. by Santa Fee Rail Road that turns ne to flagstaf. the gun may still be there today burried under 60 tons of rock. no stock on it. thats your proof and is all you need. the policemans case still a cold case file.Linnie Murphy Deceased was the killer.his 2 older daughters are equally guilty of cops death. fighting over me and trying to murder me. instead got a cop of roosevelt canal and ne of guadaloope se mesa arizona. every thing says it hapened in feb or march 1957.


      • Joseph Albert Murphy Jr

        February 21, 2018 at 3:44 am

        Unsolved. Murder of policeman SE mesa Arizona. February 13th 1957. Hottest day on record still unsolved.
        In Mesa Arizona 1957. Im that baby eyewitness. Born January 31 1956 texas. Why unknown. Im the target. Of hatred gun may still exist and bullets to.
        Any one who sees this can prove it real check it for your self in person the proof is there so is bullets in tree.
        Check with mesa arizona police department. Hes policeman dead 2 shots 22 rifle hollow points. See for your self in chest area se of baseline road. Gilbert street. Ash road. Guadalupe rd.
        You cant miss it



      • Unknown

        June 6, 2018 at 5:24 am

        I want proof too. But i also think the police should look at JonBenet Ramsey’s brother because i think he knows who the killer is why else would he wait 15 – 20 something years to speak out about his sisters murder years after his parents died?. My point is who would know there way around the Ramsey’s house?, why didn’t Jonbenet scream upon seeing her killer?, Who knew about the broken basement window?, Who knew where the wine cellar was or where the room of jonbenet was?

        Liked by 2 people

    • dela cano garza

      October 12, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      do you know anything about a murder in Houston in 1949 of paula rodriguez? She was my aunt, and I know there was an article in a magazine, but no clue how to find it????? Case was never solved and no one was charged. She was brutally killed with an ax, and her children were beaten with hammers. would appreciate anything you may know or hint on how I can find anything on it..My aunt was not famous, but she has a family that deserves answers Thank you!..


  2. GrfxDziner

    May 25, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you very much for this information. Bringing these older cases back out of the files really helps so much! The Deanna Cremin case that you speak of is very dear to my heart, and many of our friends. She was really an amazing young woman, and she was so nice to everyone she ever met. Her Family and friends had a candlelight vigil for her this past month. There was a fifteen minute moment of silence, one minuter for every year her murder remains unsolved. There is new information and they have received additional tips recently.

    You can click my username for more info. I have several flickr accounts, but that one will the information too. Deanna Cremin was from Somerville, Massachusets, which is within the Middlesex County. Her lifeless body was discovered behind an elderly housing developmenta at 125 Jaques Street in Somerville, the morning of March 30, 1995 by two young children that she babysat for.

    Thank you again so much for bringing attention to these cases. There are always people searching for justice, and reminders like these do help so much.


  3. Richard

    June 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    An “honorable mention” should go to Mary Cecilia Rogers –


  4. cam

    December 29, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Why would they throw away evidence after finished and put a confessed killer back on the loose in the johnbenet case; it doesnt make since.


    • Christina

      May 5, 2016 at 8:20 am

      He had said he had drugged her, yet no drugs were found in her stystem. He ONLY had information that had been released to the media and nothing else. He wanted the attention from the media.



        May 7, 2016 at 2:09 pm

        MONEY, MONEY, And privilege,who you know and what you might have dirt on powerful people, Let’t get hour country from these’s criminals.


  5. Cynthia G.

    February 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Somebody needs to reopen the investigation into the unsolved murder of newspaper editor Larry Sarvey, which took place several decades ago in my hometown of Atchison, Kansas.

    Sarvey, the editor of the Atchison Daily Globe, was shot to death on July 29, 1989 as he slept in a rocking chair in his home. After a much publicized trial, the person accused of shooting him was exonerated and relocated to Colorado, and the murder remains officially “unsolved” to this day.

    Earlier that year, my husband and I had been guests at Sarvey home following our participation in “Clean Up Atchison Day” a community clean up effort sponsored by the newspaper and the llocal Chamber of Commerce. Sarvey had had a bit too much to drink that evening, and he confided at that time that he feared for his life because of threats he had received regarding his plan to blow the whistle on two judges, a physician, and a rock quarry owner whom he claimed were operating a local drug ring.


    • MarkS

      November 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      He was not shot while sleeping in a rocking chair; he was shot as he walked though the threshold of the front door to his home, with a shotgun blast to his head. Based on the fact that you were in error on how he died, it sets one down the road to having a hard time believing anything else that is written within your post.


    • Meg Zoerb

      December 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      Larry was my dad. Please email me.


    • leayre7733

      April 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Larry was my father, and your facts are way off on how he died, and what happened and I suggest you get your story strait before posting things of this nature in a public forum, and I also don’t think it’s any of your business. The person did not relocate to Colorado, NOR was he shot sitting at home in the recliner so I agree with Mark S in it sets the tone for no one to believe anything you have to say in regards to his death because clearly you don’t have any facts. – I am his second oldest daughter so I do believe I would know.


  6. JellyB

    February 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    They did not include the murder of Donna Branion. Her husband, Dr. John Branion was cleared of her murder, however, I do not think the authorities have ever considered or looked for anyone else. It’s sad because Dr. Branion’s life was ruined after this and someone has gotten away with murder.


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      February 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Yes that was a sad case but unfortunately there are so many like that.


  7. JellyB

    February 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Also there was the murder of Elsie Eskridge in Glenwood, IL. Another is a wife and mother who went missing in Glenwood after her and her husband argued one night. Years later the new owners of the house from where she went missing said the woman appeared at the foot of their bed one night and told them to find her body. The police conducted a search but found nothing. That poor woman was crying out for justice. Her husband knows where she is.


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      February 23, 2012 at 10:25 am

      As I said there are so many.


      • JellyBean

        July 29, 2014 at 1:54 pm

        Yes there are so many of them, but nothing is being done to try to solve them. What makes a cold case a priority to be looked into again? Law enforcement may look into a few but how do they decide which is worthy and which is not? To the individual family members that are left behind I would think they each feel their loved one is worthy.


      • D.P. Lyle, MD

        July 29, 2014 at 2:06 pm

        It has more to do with money and manpower than anything else. Police departments and crime labs are severely underfunded and understaffed.


      • leayre7733

        July 29, 2014 at 5:45 pm

        As the daughter of someone who was murdered in Atchison 25 years ago today it is awful to know the files just sit collecting dust like no one cares enough to try.


      • Matt mullin

        March 24, 2015 at 3:01 pm

        Yea so many< not so many when it your sister Annmarie Mullin 1982 we have never gotten any help from the Florida police thay never put her on the books as murdered until 2005. we finely get it reopened and all of a sudden all evidence was lost or destroyed, except four pieces of paper a slide with something on it, pic's of five men no names. the detective Wiley won't talk to the new officer investigating the Wilton Manner murder, police have lost up to 17 unsolved murders cases evidence.
        What I do know is when we got Anna's case moved to Broward sheriffs unsolved murder unit 11 other cases were moved with Anna's


  8. Sheryl Loffley

    April 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    well it would be so good to find out what has happend to some off the cases


  9. kari

    May 4, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Just like Laura Bible And Ashley Freeman from Oklahoma. What happened to them? They have been missing since like 1999 or 2000. The law needs to get into high gear and start solving cases.


    • KLYR

      May 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      Can you tell me more about the Laura Bible and Ashley Freeman cases?


  10. Michall Holmes

    May 26, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Teresa Sue “Tess” Hilt

    It is almost 40 years now. August 4, 1973; a pretty blond coed brutally murdered in her Northwest Missouri State off campus apartment.

    “‘Tess” was found that afternoon face down on her bed under a neatly arranged sheet. She had been strangled and stabbed in the chest and lower abdomen area. Panty hose had been tied around her neck and her wrists bound with shoelaces. A paring knife taken from her own kitchen was found cupped in her hand.

    A police investigator thought the killer must have been a woman. He noted the killer had cleaned up most of the blood from the apartment and had carefully covered the slain girl.

    Maryville police interviewed more than 200 people, took fingerprints from some 150 individuals and had six persons take lie detector tests. Despite all that, the murder of Teresa Sue Hilt to this day remains unsolved.”
    From The News And Tribune, 2/3/1974.

    This poor girl never had the chance to live the happy life she deserved. Her mother is 85 years old and still prays her daughter’s killers will be found.


  11. Becky

    June 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I was under the impression that the murder of William Desmond Taylor was pretty much solved. I read a book years ago called ” A cast of Killers” and it hinted that Mary Myles Minter’s mother had murdered him.


  12. BB

    June 19, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    I believe her name was Charlotte and the author of the book was Gore Vidal. Has anyone else heard of this?


  13. Billy Whyde

    July 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    How about the murder of Charles Mayhew of Sunnyvale Texas? Although his son was convicted of wrongful death in a civil proceeding no one has been criminally charged in the death. It has all the makings for the Dallas TV series in that Charles was a multi millionaire and was tied up in a very large lucrative land deal at the time. Instead of who shot JR Who shot Charles?
    Charles was found by the grandson that did not see any blood after his Paw Paw was shot in the neck while in a bed? Fingerprints on the gun in the house that had been recently fired had the grandsons prints on it not that of the son convicted in the civil case. Other testimony emerged that questions the case even further.
    I guess the reason why it is cold is that the grandsons mother was a Dallas Socialite that received all of Charles money and she was married to the owners son of the Dallas Daily family.


  14. sandi

    July 24, 2012 at 9:10 am

    HANK ALAN JOHNSON MURDERED IN HEARNE,TEXAS. Where the District Attorney John Paschall brother in law Billy William Blackburn involved. He knew days before Hank’s brutal beating. The DA did not let anyone talk to him,did not do a lie detector test until 1 year later,out of the county and with cash. He is covering up Hank’s murder 4 years now. Exhumed 20 months later as they did not take the blood under the fingernails of a murder victim. The Bill Turners office said the Texas Rangers lost the DNA. There was a recording played on KBTX Murders at the Crossroads where Paschall threatened the Detective Steve Stokley to stop Hanks murder case or die. Paschall is also in a movie called “American Violet” a movie made by Tim Disney about the abuse of the Drug Task Force and being a racist went nationwide 3 months after Hanks murder. A double murder happened 3 months as well. The cook at the cafe close to Hanks room where he stayed as he worked at the Oak Grove Power Plant.


  15. Dell Kayla Grinter

    September 17, 2012 at 5:46 am

    i carnt beleave so many shocking murders have gone unsolved for so long! its just horrible knowing the killers got away :/


    • Joseph Murphy

      December 29, 2014 at 10:51 am

      in my own I call mine, the 2 main co conspiraters are still alife today and are trying to burrie it. there own half sister said they were responsible for it. all in the name of hate. policeman shot to death. in se mesa ariz 1957. still cold case unsolved . this was done over me. I was the target and they failed to get read of me then. there still alife today.


  16. Mary

    September 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Dian Fossey: A student researcher was tried, in absentia, and found guilty. I believe his name was Michael Burkhart. } think perhaps a second man was also tried, or at least a strong suspect. He was a tracker. He may have fled, as well.


    • Eddie Gordon

      December 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      The student researcher was railroaded. He had no reason to kill Fossey. Uganda or Rwanda, whichever, charged him so they wouldn’t have to charge any of the poachers who were paying off government officials in order to keep killing gorillas. It had to be poachers, or someone paid by poachers, because Fossey was making their life hell with her pressure to preserve the gorillas.


      • Mary

        January 2, 2013 at 8:04 am

        I respectfully disagree. He did, indeed, have motive. Also method and opportunity. Have you ever read the book, “The Dark Romance of Dian Fossey”? He hated her with a passion as, I will concede, did others. Still, the weapon used was one she had in her cabin. It strikes me that a native would’ve used their own weapon. Also would’ve claimed bragging rights sooner or later, if you will. No one has.


      • Eddie Gordon

        January 2, 2013 at 11:26 am

        You make a very good argument in your regard. I didn’t know the intricate nature of their relationship. I assumed that he just disliked her, as many other Americans did who came into contact with her in her career. She rubbed many people the wrong way. I will read “The Dark Romance of Dian Fossey” and try to get a better insight into the situation in general. Thank you for your response. It has been very helpful and may clear up some erroneous impressions I may have.


      • Mary

        January 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm

        Thank you for keeping an open mind, Mr. Gordon. It is the hallmark of a good investigator.


      • Eddie Gordon

        January 3, 2013 at 12:06 am

        I’m not sure we were referring to the same student researcher regarding Fossey’s murder. The student researcher I was referring to was Wayne McGuire. I still feel that he had no reason to kill Fossey. The most logical ring-leader in her murder is probably Protais Zigiranyirazo, the brother-in-law of the Rwandan president. He was governor of Ruhengeri Province in Rwanda when Fossey worked there. According to Georgianne Nienaber, investigative journalist, Zigiranyirazo was involved in illegal smuggling of endangered species and gold from Congo. Nienaber states that there is enough historical evidence available to indicate that Fossey was about to expose him when she was murdered. Zigiranyirazo is also the same man who was tried and convicted of the genocide of 800,000 Tutsis after his brother-in-law’s death in a plane crash. Unfortunately, The International Crimes Tribunal Tribunal of Rwanda overturned the convictions.


  17. Kelly

    November 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I think the keddie murders should’ve made the list, mum and 3 children murdered while 3 children slept in another room. Xx


  18. candy

    December 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    angela turton, progress energy lobbyist blown up outside her home ner washington,d.c.


  19. Cora Woodyard Fadigan

    December 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Let’s look into the murder of Patti Allen. 1985 in L.V., NV. 7 months pregnant, stabbed 17 times, found in her car on her birthday.


    • JellyBean

      December 31, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      That is so sad. I often wonder about people who would do such a thing. How can they go through life knowing what they have done? How can they sleep peacefully? How do they look at themselves in the mirror?


    • Nicolas

      March 2, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      That case must have been solved. There is no cold case with that name in Vegas.


      • Kelly

        March 5, 2013 at 6:22 am

        The keddie murders are the ones that shock me the most, three people very brutally murdered while 3 children sleep in the next room, one child missing later to be found dead. Very interesting case, have a look on the cabin 28 site. Xx


      • bob silvers

        November 29, 2014 at 4:03 am

        No the murder of Patti Allen has not been solved. I have no doubt that her husband Art Allen Had her Killed. I was close to both of them back then. We had worked together at the Fremont Hotel for almost 10 years. Patti was my wife’s best friend back then. I was at her house the day before she was killed. I has heard that someone had confessed to the murder around 1999 give or take a year but I don’t think anything came of that. The police of las Vegas had arrested her husband many years later for the killing of Patti but they had to throw the case out because the evidence had been misplaced (lost). I know this much; Art Allen was a loan shark for the mob back then and he was over $100,000. in debt to them. They were not happy. and his time to repay them was running out. He had her go to the store on the eve of her birthday, 8 months pregnant. The killer jumped into her car while it was stopped at a red light, had her drive to a nearby neighborhood, park and then he stabbed her I heard 30 times, got out and left her there parked in front of some home. He just walked off and no one noticed her untill the next day. Art had a double indemnity clause on Patti s life insurance, I believe it was $150,000. normally, or twice that due to accidental death. This I do Know …Art payed his debt to his mob boss soon after her death, and secondly he tookme with him 3 weeks after her murder , to meet his fiance Lisa who he married a month or two later. The freakin balls on this prick. Patti is not in the ground 3 weeks and he tells me he is in love with this Lisa. I am sure that he hired someone to kill her so he could claim the insurance money, pay his debt, and marry this other woman. The police might have lost the evidence, but I know Art killed her. I am only sorry that I did not tell someone 30 years ago. If anyone out there knows Art Allen, he lives in New York or New Jersey, tell him Bob Silvers knows.what he did. Patti Allen was the nicest person on this planet and she deserves justice.
        Bob Silvers

        Liked by 2 people

      • D.P. Lyle, MD

        November 29, 2014 at 9:33 am

        Bob–Thanks for your input on this case.


      • Judy McGill

        February 13, 2015 at 6:13 pm

        No, that case was Never solved! All evidence is gone (lost) it’s very sad. I’m Patti’s sister and this really has been very hard on our family for almost 30 years now. It really makes you think about our judicial system.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindaturner2012

        June 9, 2016 at 3:44 pm

        I also worked at the Fremont with Patti and Artie. I often wondered what happened to her son. Did he stay with Artie? Many were concerned with his safety as the consensus of her fellow employees was that Artie had her murdered.


      • bob silvers

        June 15, 2016 at 1:21 am

        As far as I know Art Allen kept his son. He should be about 33 now as my son is 1 year older than his.I did email LVMPD about this case and a detective did write me back. He said it is not a cold case but an open and active investigation. He said that they know who did it but they just can’t prove it. I wish there was something more I could do to bring her killer (Art) to justice.


    • D

      August 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Patti Allen was killed in Yakima, WA in 1995 and was not pregnant. Yes, please someone look into this and find her killer. She was my best friend growing up and I still hope for justice someday.


      • bob silvers

        November 29, 2014 at 4:05 am

        then there are two different Patti Allens cause I worked side by side with the Patti that was killed in Vegas.


      • D

        February 4, 2015 at 7:50 pm

        Me too, D.



      • Yvette

        January 14, 2017 at 7:25 pm

        I too was friends with Patti. We worked at Target together. I miss her.


      • Phyllis Cook

        January 18, 2017 at 10:54 am

        Yvette commented: “I too was friends with Patti. We worked at Target together. I miss her.” | | Respond to this comment by replying above this line |

        | | | |

        | New comment on The Writer’s Forensics Blog | |

        | | | Yvette commented on COLD CASE: 20 BIGGEST UNSOLVED MURDERS-Cross Post. in response to D: Patti Allen was killed in Yakima, WA in 1995 and was not pregnant. Yes, please someone look into this and find her killer. She was my best friend growing up and I still hope for justice someday. I too was friends with Patti. We worked at Target together. I miss her. | Reply |    Comments |



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  20. Sloopy

    April 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    A. C. and Carolyn Worthy, murdered in Alabama, similar to a crime out of Florida. Neither one ever solved.


  21. Evelyn

    May 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    There are literally thousands of unsolved murders in the last couple of decades alone. Many of them, a majority young women, the favorite targets of psychopaths. Anybody hear of Cathy Chase? Stabbed numerous times in the back as she entered her apartment in Mountain View, CA in 1985? You cannot even find the story on a google search.


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      May 5, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      So true. It happens every day and only those near and close ever know.


    • candy

      June 2, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      seems these small cases and someone just doesnt take the time to figure them out or the top dog doesnt want to.


    • Shan

      June 20, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      I too have looked for info on the Cathy Chase murder. I believe she was killed in 86 or 87 though. I know that she had just gotten married and her last name was different. Thinking that’s why I can’t find anything. Have been able to find any updates?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Evelyn

        June 2, 2015 at 6:34 pm

        Are you talking about the same Cathy Chase? I thought Chase was her married name. She married a Marine, lived in Mt View, was stabbed going into her apartment? I always thought her new husband did it.


      • Vesta

        June 3, 2015 at 6:55 pm

        What a fun girl Cathy was. Shan did you work with her? I believe she was tragically killed in 85, maybe 86. Have you found any recent updates?


      • lelectra

        September 11, 2017 at 11:00 pm

        was her married name frame?


  22. Minnie Mi

    August 7, 2013 at 8:38 pm



  23. 1966 coldcases

    October 26, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Danny Goldman 1966:


  24. danial nezzar

    March 25, 2014 at 3:23 am

    who cares about the Raymond Washington case? Heck its good he is dead. dumb sob!


  25. ov

    June 2, 2014 at 6:15 am

    I wanna tell you how the most dreadful crime in Spain was back at 1992.
    Just join here to read it:


  26. albert d. cremin

    June 20, 2014 at 1:12 am

    my sister Deanna was so full of life it saddens me without doubt that her killer walks among the rest of the world, how someone could be so miserable to take her away from us is beyond my thinking i hope in he mist of it all that she will have her day in court and her killer will be sentenced to life without parole what o took from us is something more then all the money in the world you took apart of are family you took apart of are soul we will never rest until you are taken off the streets and are caged in a cell for the rest of your life, Deana we all miss you and there is not a day that goes by that we don’t think of you i have you tatted on my arm so i know you are close to my hear dad is up there with and so are alot of people i wish i could just hear your voice or show how much you missed my daughter will never get the chance to her aunt because a monster took you from us , that day i found out will be forever sketched in my memory your justice will come an the people responsible will be prosecuted justice may be silent by is has a thunderous sound… and miss you every day


  27. Jim

    September 27, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    A man has recently announced that he thinks he has solved the Jack the Ripper case using DNA on a shawl believed to have been left at a scene by him.


  28. cotts1

    November 4, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    How does the Original Night Stalker not make the list?


  29. Joseph Murphy

    December 17, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    unsolved policemn murdered early 1957 arizona SE mesa Arizona shot 2 times. I am the missing eyewitness I was realy too young to know or understand what I saw was a real homicide now the murphy family is trying to burrie it as if it never hapen. I am able to take law enforcement back to the crimes scene se of baseline road. the policeman never fired back he was struck twise in the chest and died in front of his sqaud car with a factory sun visor over and early 50s car to late 40s car he drove he was a white man young to middle aged. clean cut clean shaven. police were looking for a family of 3 se of baseline road dads two older daughters were also responsible for this officers death. out of there hatred for me and mom. I’m the only one left. I’m 58 now this crime still unsolved and no body has ever been arrested I grew up still hearing how dad killed this man. I can still hear this officers loud blood curdling screams in my own ears yet the murphys who were not even around at the time say its all made up. I sent a letter to arizona crimes scene Tom arriola in phoenix and he proved a murder hapened in early 1957. We lived due east of roosevelt canal and se of baseline road in se mesa arizona. still under investigation in mesa police department. check on line under arizona man receives mystery murder letter from man in oregon for 1957 not 1956. my father Joseph Albert aka Linnie now dead. was the shooter mom died fighting with sister of a heart attack over murders yet the murphys say it never hapened. there all idiots and cant prove a thing because the younger ones are too young the older ones just want to forget it hapened. they tried to kill me growing up and before I was born. if you know any thing please report it to mesa police or sherrifs office in South East Mesa Arizona


  30. Joseph Murphy

    December 17, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    these crimes cross atleast 6 seperate states and have never been solved mom said james my older brother was beeten to death during pregnancy by the 2 older daughters yet they say mom was crazzie that it did not hapen. same beetings left me crippled for life.


  31. Joseph Murphy

    December 17, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    I found out later while visiting mom in april 1987 spokane wash that her death was concidered a homicide too after a sister left the area from argueing with mom in her back died next day with sivear heart the holy family hospital spokane wash now providence hospital.


  32. JaneDoe Allenstown

    December 21, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    How about the case in NH of a woman and 3 little girls found murdered who have never been identified?


    • Susan

      April 5, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      I can not believe this woman and children have remained unidentified all these years. Something tells me the people in the area know exactly what happened but will not talk.
      On a few other blogs, people who say they are from Allenstown, get very nasty and just about warn others to shut up.


  33. Joseph Murphy

    December 29, 2014 at 10:41 am

    For me, Not a thrill of it being an unsolved cold case. Its the idea that it is a real case and that its some ones loved one who was lost to them in a real crime. mine was a hate crime in its self by 2 older women who now still call it a lie and a scam and not a real case. there trying to burrie the case as if it had never hapened with the officer killed in se mesa arizona se of baceline road due east of roosevelt canal. a suburb of phoenix ariz. I was actuelly liveing there my self. and still hear this mans screams in my head to this day nearly 58 years later. there is a string of crimes over 6 states the same people. my own father died jan 1982 confessing to the shooting its self of this policeman. he landed on his right side screaming and died there clutching his wounds. near front end of his sqaud car. I’ll have to live with this the rest of my life. for it not being a real crime to hear the murphys talk about it. it was real for me and haunts me every day of my life. it is listed with Tom Arriolas web site as well under Arizona man receives mystery murder letter in phoenix arizona. he did his own research and found both murders of 2 seperate policeman one was ancient history from before my time and the other one was in 1957 dad shot to death in front of me. in our front yard. I nearly lost dad in a road side stop in 1957 then again in 1963 when another policeman drew down on dad in orchard same morning president john f kennedy was killed in dallas texas.


  34. Joseph Murphy

    January 22, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Some time ago I reported a murder of a police officer in SE mesa arizona this is an update. The murder weapon a 22 rifle is actually in side of old rock pile ne of ash fork arizona if no ones ever found it by now.the policeman was killed in early 1957 not 1956. I was 13 to 14 months old at the time. the rifle may still be there. dad changed the rifle stock from murder weapon to another weapon the same type and style. this threw me off when dad done this. the real murder weapon is or was in a rock pile flagstone quarrie ne of ash fork in the country ne of santa fe rail road under pass where the rail road bed turns ne to flagstaf. out in the mountains or hills. coconino county.


  35. Brett Wilmer

    March 30, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    The murder of Gaye Montanye, found in Baltimore, MD from Reisterstown MD. Late September of 1971. Here is a article about them finding her body:
    I would like to find out more information about her murder investigation.


  36. Jan Smith

    May 10, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Let’s not forget the attempted murder of James Alt and the murder of his girlfriend, Barbara J. Nantais at North Torrey Pines State Beach in San Diego, Ca. on Aug. 13, 1978. It is now going on 38 years being a cold case. Google, James Alt, San Diego…and their story will come up! James is my friend and his story aired on CBS 48 hrs “Blood in the Sand” on April 29, 2016.


    • Dawn B

      August 25, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      It has now been 40 years, since this horrific event. August 13, 1978 – August 13, 2018. And no arrest. James & Barbaras family deserve peace. SDPD claims they’re awaiting on results from a M-VAC DNA test, from a rock that was used, to brutally assault James with. Please pray this is accurate and will help solve this 40 year old case.


  37. leearango123

    June 8, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Absolutely wonderful cases I looking for Judge Carter and received this Gem.

    Thank so much

    I am a cold case conesour



  38. Phyllis Anderson

    June 30, 2016 at 7:07 am

    My little brother was murdered in 1967 and my father (a retired Police Officer ) in 2003. Both cases closed as suicide. I found out in 2013 after never giving up they were both murdered by member of Dixie Mafia. Now I can’t get help. I need closure so bad. Please can you help.


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      June 30, 2016 at 7:08 am

      Phyllis—I can only empathize with your loss.


    • Stuart A. Williams

      August 15, 2018 at 11:13 pm

      Did you ever get anywhere with this? My father was murdered in 1974 by a Dixie Mafia member as well. Any Names?



    July 3, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Patti Allen Case Las Vegas : To Bob, it’s Patti’s sister Judy. I was happy to hear that you contacted the LV police Department, want I find hard to believe is that they still are calling this a open case, New to the family. Apparently, with the evidence mysteriously being gone it’s hard to think they have things left for a case. After all these years it sure would be comforting to know things can be done. But, I believe that Art passed away a few years back, now Brian is in Arizona with his step-mom Lisa. It seems, like you that maybe alot of people that other people also had the same feeling about Art. My sister Patti was such a well liked person, friendly and always had a smile on her face. How I miss her today!



      July 4, 2016 at 9:37 am

      Well sounds filmiler when we got my sistier’s case moved out wiltomanor FLA, it got sent to broward country cold case squard afeter 32 years and all of a sudden all evidance was gone thay had a file with two pices of paper and a slide.we just found that thay
      they had not registered as a murder victim untill 2014. and that cold case sqourd was a lie it seems the police have been than own agend and won’t speak to us about all her. eveidance gone I sure It is because Of the four detectives that where in the bar. the lead detective in her case in 1982 won’t speak to anyone about the shabby Investagation and hiding the fact that there were police in the bar. now me if I had my way there would be six less crooks on ther force. time is runng out and I am not gonna let them kill her and slide I made promised someone I would not go back to FLA, but there all dying so we willo se the FBI or other word useless we also wrote to al the show in the 80tys 90,2000- but no cares be care’s that they killed her but I do and my other sister care it is now 34 years and it is about to go sideways BECAUSE i DONE BEING MR NICE.


      • Phyllis Cook

        July 5, 2016 at 5:27 am

        So sad. It’s a shame there are so many missing & murdered cases unsolved.  We must never give uo seeking Justice for our loved ones no matter what the cost. Good Luck and my prayers .


  40. Tim Kern

    February 26, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    I always wondered how Donna Doll’s murder wasn’t solved. I had just started as a student at NIU, and we were all shocked by her murder and the fact that it remained unsolved. Some of the modern accounts don’t jibe with reports I remember from 47 years ago, but that might be due the effect of time on my brain.


  41. Jack

    March 18, 2017 at 11:12 am

    This possibility is probably wrong, but could Dian Fossey’s case be an accidental death to the machete falling off the wall.


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      March 18, 2017 at 11:54 am

      From most descriptions of the crime scene this would not be possible. Apparently a hole had been cut through the wall of her dwelling, the place had been ransacked, and she might have had other injuries than the fatal machete blow.


  42. crcawc

    April 25, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    New evidence-based Jack the Ripper theory/book written by three of the world’s top criminologists Drs Michael Baden, Henry Lee & Cyril Wecht, who also worked on some of the other cases listed here:

    Posted by Sherlock Holmes and the Autumn of Terror on Friday, September 16, 2016

    Liked by 1 person

  43. LA

    May 13, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    This is going to be a shot in the dark, no clues at all. I recently found out that a high school friend of mine died back in the 70’s. no one knows how, the only info I have is that he was found dead in a grave in the desert! I dont know which desert, which state or even which country. he was from FL, and was into drugs. The last time we spoke was in the summer of ’72 and he was still living at home in FL. I’ve tried every where, but a case which is that old is hard to find. His name was Jim Forsyth.


  44. Joseph Albert Murphy Jr

    June 24, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Cold case murder 1957. Still unsolved today.
    South east mesa Arizona early 1957. Maybe. Feb not sure
    Due south east of baseline road.
    Between gilbert street. Ash road.
    Just south of large hill.
    Policeman shot 2 times in chest. Area.
    Above waist front. Did not return defence fire
    Im the crime scene eyewitness. Age 61 now
    My family murderd cop.
    22 rifle was thrown in rock quarrie ne of ash fork Arizona


  45. Bill Buck

    August 13, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Cold Case Lawrence Foley killed in Chicago suburb in 1971-73. He was my cousin.


  46. History Buff

    August 31, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    I’m shocked and dismayed that you would compile this list without including the murder of Benjamin Bugsy Siegel . It has long been included in the top ten most famous unsolved murders of all time. Obviously a mistake. I would not rank a gang murder above one that included so much history and intrigue. Must have been written by someone who is unaware. Also Jimmy Hoffa. This writer is seriously lacking.


  47. Joseph Albert Murphy Jr

    February 21, 2018 at 3:37 am

    Unsolved. Murder of policeman SE mesa Arizona. February 13th 1957. Hottest day on record still unsolved.
    In Mesa Arizona 1957. Im that baby eyewitness. Born January 31 1956 texas. Why unknown. Im the target. Of hatred gun may still exist and bullets to


  48. john

    September 1, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Boston Massachusetts – These streets connect to each other.
    Prince Street – North Street – Moon Street – Washington St.
    1.Mafia Hangout headquarters at 98 Prince Street Boston.
    2.Mafia Gaspare Messing lives 330 North Street and works as
    baker 275 North Street Boston Massachusetts.
    3.Filippo Phillippo sacco aka John Roselli family lived at boston address 6 Moon Street includes occupants :Vincenzo Sr (died 1918),Vincenzo(vincent) JR died1936,Anthony,Jos,Salvatore,Filippo.and
    (Mother of Roselli) Maria Sacco occupation waitress Restaurant.
    At the time of John Roselli Sacco grow up in Boston he arrived atage 6 (1911) since his parents worked he must of not had no
    adult supervision and so he hook up pals that were in gangs.
    From 1911 to 1923 John Roselli Sacco lived in Boston Mass.
    Maria husband Vincenzo died 1918 so she remarried again ,
    Liberato Cianciulli date February 8,1922,which means that Roselli Sacco had new Stepfather he may or may not of liked .In 1923 Roselli Sacco left town for Ny then to Chicago then LA.
    Roselli told pals like Mort Friedman that his stepfather start him on the life of crime but don’t people try to blame others for past?
    Anyway Liberato Cianciulli left sacco resident for parts unknown ,and some say he went to Italy but there no proof where he went? As early as 1924 Roselli under other alias was arrest in Los Angeles (Burbank) for purchase 40 cases of Beer during prohition .Filippo Phillippo Sacco alias 1.John Morgan 2.James Roselli 3. John Rosselli Roselli. among others.In Chicago report that Roselli was in Chicago (few) months came and went there.
    In Los Angeles Roselli moved around a lot different apartments.


  49. Michele

    November 20, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Where’s Jeanne Kirschner’s murder fall here?? What the hell do I have to do to get the Proper Authority’s Attention?! I’ve never even thought theof coming down hard on the city of Philadelphia for Screwing up this murder mystery so incredibly hard! Now I’m a lot older and wiser and I’ll stop at nothing to find my Mother’s murderer(s) STOP SLACKING Commissioner! I’m coming at you all for answers


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      November 21, 2018 at 6:40 am

      Unfortunately, there are so many unsolved cases to consider. Many thousands, actually.


  50. Carroll Macintosh

    March 15, 2019 at 11:47 am

    How about the cold case of Dennis ray smith of Rosenberg Oregon who did it.


  51. Reba Mitchell

    November 27, 2019 at 6:53 am

    Cynthia Fay Mitchell, 30, was recovered nude 24th Vine Street Kansas City Missouri 1991! My sister is nowhere mount in your unsolved cases I would like to know why! Our parents plus 1 brothers have passed since! Two homicide Brothers have been Solved. I cannot find her photo on your site! 5 living siblings would like to know what happened to our sister leaving 11 & 12 year’s old children, in grief! to this day! The family always knew who did this but no action can be taken!


  52. Gary Javitch

    July 24, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    The following could easily be murder number 21
    on the above infamous list of unsolved murders. It occurred in Garfield Heights, Ohio just before My midyear graduation from high school.
    A teenager, Beverly Jarosz, was Found tied up and stabbed over 40 times in her bedroom on December 28, 1964.
    The killer was never found and some speculated the perpetrator might have been a female as no Evidence of a sexual assault was present.


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      July 25, 2020 at 5:23 am

      Thanks, Gary. Sounds like this definitely qualifies for the list.



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