We’ve all heard of Jack the Ripper, Zodiac Killer and The Black Dahlia. These unsolved murders are so infamous that they’ve inspired numerous theories and still have an impact on pop culture today.
But with so many unsolved murders out there in the world, there are often a few creepy cases that go on unheard of… until now. Every one of these grisly slayings is a macabre mystery. So, for your own gruesome curiosity, here are 10 of the creepiest unsolved murders to keep you awake at night.
10. Who Was Septic Tank Sam’s Killer?
The unsolved murder of Septic Tank Sam is a cold case that still confuses Alberta authorities to this day. When the body of an unidentified man was discovered in an abandoned septic tank, he was quickly dubbed “Septic Tank Sam”. Due to the heavy decomposition of the body, the medical examiner was unable to give a more exact time of death but it’s estimated to be between 1976 and early 1977.
Sam’s decomposing body was wrapped in a yellow bed sheet that had been tied with a nylon rope. While recovering his body two officers spent an hour emptying the septic tank with empty ice cream pails. Before being shot in the head and chest, Sam was tortured, beaten, burned, and sexually mutilated. The mutilation was so bad that it took several months for the medical examiner to positively identify him as a male.
After his death, Sam was covered in quicklime in an attempt to quicken the body’s decomposition. With a lack of evidence in the septic tank, it was determined that Sam was probably murdered elsewhere and later moved to the dumpsite. Despite numerous examinations, exhumations, and $1,000,000 being spent on investigating the case, there is still no evidence suggesting who Septic Tank Sam’s killer was.
9. Who Was Behind The Thames Torso Murders?
In May 1887, a female torso was pulled out of the Thames River near Rainham. Soon after that gruesome discovery, other parts belonging to the same body were found scattered around numerous locations in London. The only parts that remained missing were the head and upper chest. Doctors were unable to give a cause of death or a clear motive, so a jury decided on the verdict: “Found Dead”.
Then in September 1888, the arms of another unknown female were discovered in the Thames off Pimlico and alongside Lambeth-Road. The following month, the woman’s torso, sparing the head, was discovered on the construction site for the New Scotland Yard.
The next year, on June 4th, part of a woman’s torso was pulled from the Thames at Horselydown while the left leg from the same body was discovered under the Albert-Bridge, Chelsea. During the following weeks, more and more body parts were being discovered both in and around the Thames.
The final victim was discovered in early September, the torso was found under a railway arch in Pinchin Street, Whitechapel. Only the body was identified, belonging to a suspected sex worker named Elizabeth Jackson. Then, just as quickly as the grim discoveries had occurred, there were no more, and still to this day, nobody knows who was behind the Thames Torso Murders.
8. The Horrifying Keddie Cabin Murders Remain Unsolved
On April 11th, 1981, a crime scene was discovered at a tiny cabin in the rural resort town of Sierra Nevada that would never be forgotten. Now known as ‘The Keddie Cabin Murders’, the brutal killings took the lives of Glenna Susan “Sue” Sharp, her son 15-year-old John; and John’s friend, 16-year-old Dana Wingate. The bodies were found the following morning on April 12th when Sue’s 14-year-old daughter, Sheila, returned to the cabin.
Disturbingly, all of the victims had been tied up, bludgeoned, and stabbed to death inside the tiny cabin. All three had suffered from blunt force trauma to their head, caused by a hammer, and Sue’s throat had been slit. Sue’s two younger sons, Rick and Greg (ages 10 and 5), alongside their friend, Justin Smartt, were also in the cabin but unharmed which was unbelievable considering the massacre that took place just a few feet from where they slept.
Sue’s other daughter, 12-year-old Tina, had also been taken from the cabin, and police continued to search for her until April 1984 when they located her skull and several other bones more than 250 miles away from the Keddie cabin.
There have been many suspects over the decades that followed but still no conviction. Multiple documentaries, books, and media articles have attempted to unravel what really happened that night in the Keddie cabin which still remains a chilling mystery.
7. Who Murdered The Oklahoma Girl Scouts?
On June 14th, 1977, the bodies of three girl scouts were discovered at Camp Scott, Mayes County in Oklahoma. Lori Lee Farmer, 8, Michelle Heather Guse, 9, and Doris Denise Milner, 10, were found 150 yards away from their tent which the three of them shared.
The girls had been sexually assaulted and badly beaten. Lori and Michelle were bludgeoned to death while Doris was killed by strangulation. Much to everyone’s horror, it was also discovered that two of the girls had been raped while the other was sodomized. Once the girls were dead, their lifeless bodies were discarded into sleeping bags and then abandoned.
Two months prior to the brutal murders, the camp had been robbed and a sinister handwritten note was left behind in an empty box of donuts: “We are on a mission to kill three girls in tent one.” However, the camp administrators thought it was a tasteless prank.
The main suspect behind these crimes was an escaped convict, Gene Leroy Hart. Law enforcement quickly suspected Hart and conducted an extensive search to locate him. In early April 1978, Hart was arrested, however, a jury found him not guilty. The following year he died of a heart attack.
6. Who Was The Atlanta Ripper?
The Atlanta Ripper slit the throats of African-American women during 1911 and 1912. The unknown murderer is believed to have killed between fifteen to twenty-one women during their reign of terror.
On May 28th, 1911, Belle Walker’s body was discovered 25 yards away from her home on Garibaldi Street, Atlanta. Her throat had been slit by an unknown, but she wouldn’t be the only victim of this unknown Ripper. The following month, June 15th, another woman, Addie Watts, was discovered with her throat slashed. Her death was soon followed by Lizzie Watkins on June 27th.
An unidentified survivor of the Atlanta Ripper reported that the killer was an African American man. However, the lead wasn’t followed up by the police. The murders were highly publicized in the press at the time, adding pressure onto the police force to find the Ripper.
There was and is still some debate as to whether the murders were carried out by just one person. Sadly, the Atlanta Ripper murders remain unsolved despite the police making several arrests and having six suspects.
5. Who Was Behind The Lake Bodom Murders?
On June 4th, 1960, a group of Finnish teenagers set up camp alongside the shore of Lake Bodom. The teen campers included Maila Irmeli Björklund and Anja Tuulikki Mäki and their boyfriends – Seppo Antero Boisman and Nils Wilhelm Gustafsson.
Between 4 am to 6 am the following day Mäki, Björklund, and Boisman were stabbed and bludgeoned to death outside the tent. Luckily Gustafsson survived the attack, though he had fractures to his jaw and facial bones along with a concussion. Björklund suffered the most, she was undressed from the waist down and was repeatedly stabbed during the attack.
The police failed to record the details of the scene and didn’t manage to secure the site of the murder. Soon enough the site was trampled over and the evidence was disturbed.
Suspects included Valdemar Gyllström, Hans Assmann and Nils Gustafsson. Police had no hard evidence to prove Gyllström was the culprit and Assmann had an alibi placing him in Germany. After reopening the case in 2005, police suspected Gustafsson of starting a fight on the night of the murder, which quickly turned into a deadly rage. However, he was later acquitted and paid €44,900.
Strangely enough, a photograph taken at one of the victim’s funerals showed a man who strangely resembles the composite sketch of the killer yet no one knows who he was.
4. Who Was Charlie Chop-Off?
During the early 1970s, an unidentified killer attacked five young boys, four of which died as a result. The killer targeted young Puerto Rican and African-American boys aged 7 to 9 years old. The murders involved vicious repeated stabbings, two victims were stabbed up to thirty-eight times, and often involved the mutilation of the child’s genitalia.
Douglas Owens was the first victim, murdered on March 9th, 1972, he was the only one who didn’t suffer genital mutilation. The following month another unidentified boy was attacked, while his genitals were removed he thankfully survived his encounter with Charlie Chop-Off.
After a few months of silence, the killer struck again. On October 23rd, Wendell Hubbard was repeatedly stabbed, his penis was also severed from his body. The final known victim, Steven Cropper, was stabbed repeatedly with a razor, however, his genitalia remained intact.
The main and only suspect of the Charlie Chop-Off attacks is Erno Soto. The murders soon stopped after he was detained, but police had no hard evidence proving he was the culprit.
3. The Cleveland Torso Murderer Still Haunts Today
Between 1935 and 1938, 15 confirmed victims fell prey to the Cleveland Torso Murderer. Most of the victims were drifters as well as distinctively lower class, making them an easy target. Instead of focusing his attack on a specific gender, the Cleveland Murderer enjoyed killing both men and women, many of which were not identified.
The mastermind behind the murders would behead his victims first before later dismembering them. In some cases, the victim’s torso was cleaved in half along with other appendages. Most of the male victims were castrated and others had a chemical treatment applied to their bodies.
One of the key players in the mystery was Eliot Ness, famously known in his involvement in the arrest of Al Capone. While he had little to do with the investigation, he was involved in the arrest and questioning of Dr. Francis E. Sweeney. During the course of his murder spree, the Cleveland Murderer taunted Ness by placing the remains of two victims in full view of his city hall office.
Decades after the murders took place, some theories started to develop that the Cleveland Torso Murders were actually committed by numerous people rather than just one lone killer.
2. Did Police Let The Honolulu Strangler Go Free?
Hawaii’s first known serial killer tormented the city of Honolulu during 1985 and 1986, leaving a shadow of mystery over the city. During the Honolulu Strangler’s reign of terror, five women were murdered. The killer would strangle his victims to death, undress them, and assault them.
Once the Honolulu Police Department realized they had a serial killer on their hands, a task force was assembled and undercover policewomen were used in hopes of luring the killer. They also created a profile of the Honolulu Strangler during the investigation. According to the profile, the killer was an opportunist, attacking women in vulnerable areas of the city. They also believed that the killer was local to the Sand Island or Waipahu area.
Honolulu officers eventually arrested an unidentified man who had an active interest in sexual bondage according to his girlfriend – his ex-wife even told police that they often had sex while her hands were tied behind her back. She also informed officers that each attack corresponded with domestic disputes which often ended with the suspect leaving the house till the next day. However, there wasn’t enough adequate evidence to charge him with the murders.
1. The I-70 Killer Is Still Unknown
Between April 18th and May 7th, 1992, the I-70 Killer claimed the lives of six store clerks (five females and one male) a few miles away from Interstate 70. The victims were Robin Fuldauer, Patricia Smith, Patricia Magers, Michael McCown, Nancy Kitzmiller, and Sarah Blessing.
The killer mainly targeted young brunette women who had a petite frame, however, in the case of McCown, it’s thought that the killer simply mistook him for a woman. McCown would often wear his hair in a ponytail and he was shot from behind while he was bending down.
Police quickly noticed that while each of the stores targeted was robbed – this was not the main motive behind the attack. They also noticed that during the time of the attacks the stores were quiet and deserted. All the victims were also shot at the back of the head with a .22-caliber firearm.
With the help of witness descriptions; two composite sketches of the killer were created and physical descriptions were given. The I-70 Killer is thought to be a white male in his twenties or thirties. He was described as having lazy eyelids and sandy blonde-red hair. Sadly, the police had no real suspects during their initial investigation and the case has since been classified as a cold case.