Famous Unsolved Murders People
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Famous Unsolved Murders

What do JonBenet Ramsey, Tupac, and the Black Dahlia have in common? Their brutal, gruesome murders were never solved.

This list of the most famous unsolved murders includes some of the most high-profile unsolved murder cases in the world. Many are familiar to anyone who reads the news, but others may surprise you. Did you know Lizzie Borden was never convicted of killing her parents? In fact, their murders remain technically a mystery.

These famous unsolved cases are ordered by rank and can be copied or reordered to make your very own list of the most famous unsolved murder cases in history. We may not know who carried out these terrible crimes, but we’ve got enough conspiracy theories to last a lifetime. Perhaps a few American serial killers are involved…

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  1. 47

    Died at 60 (1796-1856) Republican Congressman-elect John M. Clayton was assassinated in post-Civil War Arkansas in 1889. He was shot through the window of the boarding house where was staying and was killed instantly. 

  2. 46

    Died at 40 (1828-1868) Thomas Carmichael Hindman, Jr. was a major general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. After the war, he avoided punishment by fleeing to Mexico City, where he eventually applied for pardon

  3. 45

    age 79 Bathurst was a young British diplomatic envoy during the early nineteenth century Napoleonic Wars. He was traveling through Germany in 1809 when he suddenly vanished and was never heard from again.

  4. 44

    Died at 50 (1872-1922) William Desmond Taylor directed 59 silent films before his death in 1922. His murder became an instant Hollywood scandal. When neighbors found Taylor's body inside his home, a local doctor pronounced

  5. 43

    J.B.Moore and the Villisca Murders On June 13, 1912, an axe murderer killed two adults and six kids in their home in Villisca, Iowa. The killer was never found. 

  6. 42

    Died at 22 (1879-1901) Rose Harsent was a servant girl in a house in Peasenhall, England. She was unmarried but six months pregnant when she was stabbed to death. Police initially thought Harsent had committed suicide, but

  7. 41

    Died at 44 (1856-1900) William Justus Goebel is the only American Governor to ever be assassinated while in office. Goebel was elected Governor of Kentucky in 1900. However, he was mortally wounded by an assassin the day

  8. 40

    Lilly Lindeström and the Vampire Murder Case Thirty two-year-old prostitute Lilly Lindeström's body was found naked and drained of blood in her Stockholm apartment in 1932. A ladle was found near the body, and police suspected it had been

  9. 39

    Died at 69 (1880-1949) Emily Armstrong was found beaten to death inside of the dry cleaner's shop where she worked in London in 1949. Police suspected that she had been bludgeoned more than 22 times, but were never able to

  10. 38

    Died at 20 (1924-1944) Oil heiress Georgette Beauerdorf was found murdered in her West Hollywood apartment in October 1944. Her body was found face-down in the overflowing bath tub, and it was suspected that her attacker

  11. 37

    Died at 69 (1874-1943) Sir Harry Oakes, an American born British-Canadian millionaire, was found murdered in his home in the Bahamas in 1943. His body had been set on fire. His son-in-law Count Alfred de Marigny was

  12. 36

    Fifteen-year-old Barbara and 13-year-old Patricia Grimes went missing from their Chicago neighborhood in the winter of 1956. When they did not return home from a nearby movie theater, their mother

  13. 35

    Gail DeLay Freelance artist, illustrator, and motivational speaker Gail DeLay was found dead in her Dallas apartment in 2005. The 49 year old had been severely beaten, but cops soon ran out of leads and the case

  14. 34

    The Lake Bodom Murders In 1960, four teenagers were camping on Lake Bodom, outside of Helsinki, Finland. Sometime in the early morning, an unknown attacker (or attackers) killed three of the four friends with a knife and

  15. 33

    Lynne Harper was raped and strangled with her own blouse when she was 12 years old. Her body was found in a farm woodlot near Clinton, Ontario. Days after her murder, a classmate named Steven Truscott

  16. 32

    Marilyn Reese Sheppard Dr. Sam Sheppard was tried three separate times for the murder of his young, pregnant wife, Marilyn, in their suburban Cleveland home. Marilyn had been bludgeoned to death in her bed, while Sheppard

  17. 31

    Died at 22 (1947-1969) The cold case of Betsy Aardsma is over 44 years old. In 1969, the 22-year-old Penn State student was researching for a paper in the "stacks" area of Pattee Library when she was stabbed a

  18. 30

    Died at 53 (1932-1985) American zoologist, primatologist, and anthropologist Dian Fossey was murdered in 1975 while working with gorillas in Rwanda. She was found bludgeoned to death in her apartment. Her last diary entry

  19. 29

    Robert Wone The body of 32-year-old Wone was found stabbed to death in the home of his college friend. Wone was thought to have been restrained, incapacitated, and sexually assaulted before his death, but no

  20. 28

    Died at 63 (1917-1980) Óscar Romero, an archbishop in the Catholic church, was killed by a sniper while delivering mass in a church in San Salvador, El Salvador. His death become one of the most notorious murders in

  21. 27

    Died at 26 (1953-1979) The original founder of the Los Angeles Crips, gang member Raymond Washington was murdered in a drive-by shooting in 1979 when he was 25 years old. 

  22. 26

    Seewen murder case Five people were found dead in the home of Eugene and Elsa Siegrist-Säckinger in the biggest and most famous Swiss murder case in history. The victims were shot 13 times with a Winchester rifle

  23. 25

    Died at 18 (1980-1998) Indonesian human rights activist Ita Haryono was stabbed to death in Jakarta in 1998. The 18-year-old had been part of a group calling for investigations into the gang-rapes, murder, and burning of

  24. 24

    Died at 39 (1957-1996) French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier was beaten to death outside her holiday home in County Cork, Ireland in 1996. French police suspected Irishman Ian Bailey and requested that he be

  25. 23

    In 1995, 17-year-old Deanna was found outside of a senior housing complex after being strangled to death. Three men were initially named persons of interest, but the case soon went cold. Her family

  26. 22

    British tourist Julie Ward was gang raped and murdered by three men on the on the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya in 1988. A clumsy cover up was attempted to make it look like Ward had been attacked

  27. 21

    Popular Yale student Suzanne Jovin was stabbed 17 times in a posh Yale neighborhood in 1998. Her thesis editor was initially suspected, but police could not find enough evidence to tie him to the

  28. 20

    Raonaid Murray Raonaid Murray may be one of the most famous murder victims in Europe. The 17-year-old Irish girl was stabbed to death in 1999, sparking a media frenzy. Before she was killed, it was reported that she

  29. 19

    Jill-Lyn was stabbed to death with her own kitchen knives in her Syracuse apartment in 2001. The 18-year-old was studying to be paramedic at the time. There was no evidence of a break in or robbery,

  30. 18

    Rashawn Brazell's dismembered body parts were found in trash bags across Brooklyn in the winter of 2005. The 19-year-old was scheduled to meet his accountant before having lunch with his mother, but

  31. 17

    Mary Jane Hanselman Sixteen-year-old Mary Jane Hanselman was brutally raped and murdered in 1958. Her body was found near the fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois, bound with her own stockings. A dishwasher at the

  32. 16

    Raymond Nels Nelson Died at 60 (1921-1981) The bureau chief of The Providence Journal and Evening Bulletin was found murdered in his Washington, D.C. apartment on June 1, 1981. He was killed with a large office typewriter, and some speculated

  33. 15

    Died at 24 (1978-2002) Twenty four-year-old Salvadorian immigrant Evelyn Hernandez was nine months pregnant when she was abducted and killed. Her body was found after washing up on the shore of the San Francisco Bay,

  34. 14

    Died at 28 (1956-1984) Catrine da Costa, a heroin addict and prostitute, was brutally murdered and dismembered in Malmskillnadsgatan, Sweden. Her body parts were two separate trash bags weeks after her murder, although some

  35. 13

    In 1957, a young boy's battered body was found wrapped in a blanket inside of a cardboard JC Penny box in Philadelphia. The child, who was approximately four to six years old when he was killed, was

  36. 12

    Mary Pinchot Meyer - ex-wife of a top CIA official, good friend of Jackie Kennedy, and mistress of President JFK - was murdered on October 12, 1964, two days before her 44th birthday. She was shot in

  37. 11

    Died at 59 (1927-1986) Swedish Prime Minister Ofof Palme was assassinated while walking home from a movie theater with his wife in 1986. He was shot in the back at close range. His wife was also shot, but the bullet grazed

  38. 10

    Died at 10 (1986-1996) Despite the fact that a neighbor witnessed the abduction of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, the case has never been solved. Amber had been riding her bike up and down her block when someone in a dark

  39. 9

    Died at 50 (1928-1978) Famous for his roles on Hogan's Heroes and The Bob Crane Show, Crane was found bludgeoned to death in his Scottsdale apartment while on tour for his play Beginner's Luck in June 1978.

  40. 8

    Died at 38 (1961-1999) Jill Dando was a presenter on the BBC show Crimewatch when she was fatally shot outside of her London home in 1999. Barry George was charged with and convicted of her murder, but was later acquitted

  41. 7

    Died at 36 (1939-1975) Colby, an actress most famous for her role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, was murdered in a Venice, CA parking lot after teaching an acting class. She and her friend James Kiernan were talking near

  42. 6

    Died at 25 (1974-1999) Twenty four-year-old hip hop prodigy Big L was murdered in a drive-by shooting on a Harlem block he famously called, "the Danger Zone." Gerard Woodley, 29, was charged with the murder, but

  43. 5

    Andrew and Abby Borden The parents of infamous axe murderer Lizzie Borden were hacked to death in their Massachusetts home in 1927. However, Lizzie was acquitted of both murders, and they remain, technically,

  44. 4

    Died at 23 (1924-1947) "The Black Dahlia" is a name given to 22-year-old Elizabeth Short, a Los Angeles women who was gruesomely murdered and dismembered in 1947. Her body was found cut in half, drained of blood,

  45. 3

    Died at 6 (1990-1996) Six-year-old pageant winner JonBenét became the subject of a nationwide media craze when she was found dead in the basement of her Boulder, CO home in 1996. Many suspected her parents, but DNA

  46. 2

    Died at 25 (1972-1997) Christopher George Latore Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, was killed in a drive by shooting in Los Angeles in 1997.

  47. 1

    Died at 25 (1971-1996) Perhaps the most famous unsolved murder in recent history, rapper Tupac Shakur's death is still a mystery. The "most influential rapper of all time" was shot and killed in a drive-by

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