Today we take a look at some bloody chapters from the history of crime. In one way or another, all of these cases shocked, bumped and excited the public in their time, but they all had one thing in common – none of these murders have ever been officially solved.
8. The Hinterkaifeck murders
At the beginning of the 20th century there was a small farmstead halfway between the German cities of Ingolstadt and Schrobenhausen in Bavaria. It belonged to the Gruber family and was known as Hinterkaifeck . Andreas Gruber lived there with his wife, adult daughter, two small grandchildren and a maid. On March 31, 1922, all six were killed with rusty agricultural tools. Who did it and why is still a mystery to this day.
After a while, the locals noticed their absence. The whole family missed the church on Sunday and the young Cecilia had not gone to school for several days in a row. Finally, some of them went to the homestead, where they discovered the terrible scene. Most of the Gruber had been murdered in the barn, probably lured one after the other. The maid Maria Baumgartner and the 2-year-old baby Josef Gruber were killed in the house .
At first, the police suspected one or more vagrants, but rejected the idea because the house had not been disturbed and the money was left where it was. It was even stranger that after the murders, the murderer or killers spent time on the farm, lighting fires, eating food, and even feeding the animals.
Afterwards, the suspicion was directed against some locals, in particular against a Lorenz Schlittenbauer, who was supposedly the father of the young Josef Gruber. An even worse rumor said that Andreas Gruber was actually the father of his own grandson after having an incestuous relationship with his daughter Viktoria. Finally, there was Victoria's actual husband, Karl Gabriel, who was allegedly killed in World War I, but a hypothesis that he survived returned home and angrily killed the family when he found out that his wife was having a baby with another Man had.
These are just three of the widespread ideas about what happened at Hinterkaifeck. There are many more, but no evidence of this.
7. The Green Bicycle Case
On the night of July 5, 1919, 21-year-old Bella Wright was shot in front of a tiny English village called Little Stretton in Leicestershire. The only clue the police had to give was that that evening they were seen with a man riding a green bicycle .
This may sound like building a crime novel, but it has eventually become one of the most notorious and controversial murders in England in the early 20th century. The controversy arose from the fact that the authorities always had a permanent suspect. His name was Ronald Light. He was 33 years old and not only owned a green bike, he also tried to get rid of it after the crime. He also threw away a holster with bullets that matched those who killed Bella Wright. Finally he reluctantly admitted being the man on the green bike that night after eyewitnesses identified him.
All of this was a strong argument for Light's guilt, and yet he was acquitted . The lawyer, venerable Sir Edward Marshall Hall, pointed out that all the evidence merely indicated that Light and Wright had been driving together for a while that night, which his client had already admitted. None of this indicated that Light had anything to do with Wright's death, or that he was even present at the time.
The main scenario put forward by Hall was that the young woman was killed by a rebound from someone who was hunting in a nearby field. He argued that a close-range shot would have done much more damage to the face, while the actual bullet hole was so small that the first doctor to inspect the body failed.
He also pointed out the total lack of motive for killing Light and even put his client on the stand to testify and demonstrate his calm demeanor and gentle openness. Apparently, he won the jury, which unanimously agreed that Ronald Light was not guilty. Since then, criminals have been wondering what happened that night.
6. The Texarkana Moonlight Murders
We now come to the unsolved case of a serial killer who was active in the United States decades ago. He hunted young couples in remote areas. He killed five people we know of. He shot all of his victims, but some of them survived. He was never identified, so he was nicknamed in the media. The police had a solid suspect, but could never clearly connect him to the murders.
Some of you, criminals, may discover many similarities to the infamous Zodiac murders, but in fact they are a series of murders that took place over two decades ago and are largely forgotten today, while the Zodiac is still one is the most notorious criminal in America. It was the Texarkana Moonlight Murders, which was committed by someone who was referred to by the media as " Phantom Killer" or "Phantom Slayer".
The killings occurred in and around the sister cities of Texarkana, Texas, and Texarkana, Arkansas, between February and May 1946. They were investigated by the Texas Rangers, who suspected a man named Youell Swinney of the killings . He was a lifelong petty criminal and it was his wife who first brought him to the police's attention, although she later refused to testify against him. Swinney was arrested the following year, but for car theft. Eventually the trail went cold, investigators switched to other cases, and the identity of the phantom killer remained a mystery.
5. The Beautiful Cigar Girl
Fans of detective stories may know The Mystery of Marie Rogêt from Edgar Allen Poe with his criminal truth C. Auguste Dupin. What you may not know was that Poe's story about the murder of a perfume seller in Paris was based on the actual murder of Mary Cecilia Rogers of New York City.
22-year-old Mary Rogers disappeared on July 25, 1841, and her body was found three days later in Hoboken, New Jersey, and swam in the Hudson River.
Mary Rogers was considered a very beautiful young woman, and the tobacco shop where she worked as an employee was often filled with men who bought something just so that they could flirt with her. So her death caused insanity when the media called her the "beautiful cigar girl".
The truth is that we cannot even say with certainty that she was murdered. After three days in the water, her remains were damaged and swollen. There was extensive bruising on her body and what looked like a ligature mark on her neck, suggesting that she had been attacked. In fact, the most popular theory of the police at the time was that they had been the victim of gang violence. Other ideas suggested that Mary died during a failed abortion or that her fiancé Daniel Payne was involved. Payne reportedly had an airtight alibi for the night of her death, but remained a suspect in public after she committed suicide a few months later and left a note asking for forgiveness for his "wrong life" had asked.
Finally, when all the dirty details were open, people gradually lost interest and the newspapers moved on to the next story, so that Mary Rogers' death has remained unsolved to this day.
4. The Shimoyama Incident
In 1949, Japan experienced three fatal incidents in which its railroad system was involved. A train was derailed in Fukushima. Another crashed at Tokyo's Mitaka station. And finally, today's focus, the first president of the Japanese National Railways, Sadanori Shimoyama, disappeared on July 5 and was found the following day. His body was severed after being hit by a train.
Obviously given the temporal proximity between the three events, many immediately suspected that Shimoyama's death was caused by the same group of people responsible for the other incidents. Those who believed the three were connected generally suspected radical union members who were also affiliated to the Japanese Communist Party.
Even if they were not involved, there was a very long list of people who might want to harm Shimoyama. As president of the rail network, he was responsible for downsizing, in which tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs. This gave the investigators a huge pool of suspects, but also a motive for possible suicide. Some believed that Shimoyama had killed himself due to stress and guilt about the layoffs.
The authorities at the time carried out an investigation with narrow lips. Finally, they closed the case without arrest and did not disclose any details. It was only in the past few decades that hundreds of documents from the investigation were published but it did not bring us closer to solving Shimoyama's death.
3. The Secret of Ardlamont
In this case, we travel to Argyll, Scotland, to Ardlamont House, the property that once belonged to the Hambrough family. In 1891, the family added a new person – 30-year-old Alfred John Monson, who acted as a gentleman tutor for 18-year-old Cecil Hambrough.
Two years later, on August 10, 1893 Monson hunted Cecil for a day . She was accompanied by a Monson acquaintance named Edward Scott. At some point, shots were fired from the forest and the servants saw only Monson and Scott returning with weapons. The duo claimed that Cecil Hambrough accidentally shot himself in the head by unloading his gun while climbing a fence.
An investigation was initiated immediately, but there was initially no suspicion of foul play as there appeared to be no motive. However, a few weeks after Cecil's death, the authorities found that the young aristocrat had taken out two life insurance policies a few days before the shooting and, for some reason, named Monson's wife as the beneficiary. Now there was a motive, so the police arrested Monson and accused him of murder, while his accomplice Edward Scott fled.
The trial itself was remarkable because it contained the testimony of Joseph Bell, the Scottish surgeon who inspired Arthur Conan, and Doyle creates Sherlock Holmes. He thought Monson had shot young Cecil Hambrough. Nevertheless, Alfred Monson was acquitted after the jury returned “unproven” with the Scottish judgment which was used in Scottish law when neither side can finally represent their case.
The story of Ardlamont's murder had a strange epilogue the following year. Since the case was notorious in its day, Madame Tussaud, the wax museum in London, created a wax figure of Alfred Monson and placed it in the Chamber of Secrets along with other notorious murderers. He successfully sued her for defamation and established a precedent that wax figures can lead to defamatory accusations.
2. The Murder of Moll McCarthy
On November 21, 1940 Mary "Moll" McCarthy was shot in her dilapidated old house in Marlhill, a small village in the county of Tipperary, Ireland. Some time later, a neighbor named Henry Gleeson, usually referred to as "Harry", found her body and reported her death to the police. Gleeson was subsequently arrested, convicted and hanged for the murder of Moll McCarthy.
It all sounds like a brutal but simple case. Gleeson even had a motive. McCarthy occasionally worked as a prostitute and had multiple children from multiple men. Gleeson is said to have been one of them, except that his child died in childhood and he killed McCarthy out of anger.
Yet in the decades since the crime, it has been considered one of the most outrageous judicial errors in Irish history as more and more people stand up for Gleeson's innocence. It culminated in 2015 when the Irish President granted him a posthumous pardon for the first time in the history of the state.
All signs indicated that the authorities had executed an innocent man, but who was the real killer? The other fathers of McCarthy's children would have made strong suspects, considering that many of them were married. Given the way the case was handled, it was not surprising that there was also talk of a cover-up. Crime fans suspected that the real culprit might have been a member of the local Gardai or the IRA, with Gleeson serving as a practical patsy.
1. The Teal Pond Mystery
A surreal and addicting show called Twin Peaks was premiered in the early 1990s that centered around the mysterious murder of a young woman named Laura Palmer. However, the inspiration for the show came from a scary story that co-creator Mark Frost heard from his grandmother as a boy – the murder of Hazel Drew in real life .
This already happened in 1908 in a small town in the state of New York called Sand Lake. Hazel Drew was a 20 year old woman who disappeared on the night of July 7th. Four days later, her body was washed on the banks of the local pond. She had a corset cord around her neck and a head injury from a blunt object. There was also no water in her lungs, indicating that she was dead before going into the pond.
The details relating to the investigation were very reminiscent of twin peaks . The list of suspects included a "feeble-minded farmer boy", a "charcoal dealer", a dentist named Edwin Knauff who was in love with the victim, and even a man who was said to have hypnotic powers. There were also some dirty rumors claiming Hazel Drew led a double life by participating in orgies with older business people.
Modern sniffer dogs, who combed through the documents and newspaper reports from that time, indicate that the local authorities were determined to reject the idea that there was a murderer in their small town. Instead, they came up with the idea that Hazel Drew had been run over by a ruthless driver who then tried to get rid of the body by throwing it into the pond. Although this was not impossible, it did not match the victim's injuries, and the secret of the Teal Pond, as it became known, remains unsolved.
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