Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

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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. 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. 

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  2. 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 from President Johnson, but

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  3. 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. There was much debate over what

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  4. 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 that he had died of a stomach

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  5. J.B.Moore and the Villisca Mur... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    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. 

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  6. 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 later arrested Methodist

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  7. 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 before being sworn in. He served

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  8. Lilly Lindeström and the Vampi... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    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 used by Lilly's attacker to

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  9. 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 track down a suspect. 

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  10. 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 had been lying in wait for the

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  11. 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 arrested for Oakes's murder, but

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  12. 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 become worried and eventually

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  13. Gail DeLay is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    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 remains unsolved.

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  14. The Lake Bodom Murders is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    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 blunt instrument. The sole

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  15. 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 was arrested. He was later

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  16. Marilyn Reese Sheppard is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    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 supposedly slept in the living

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  17. 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 single time through the

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  18. 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 read, "when you realize

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  19. Robert Wone is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    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 suspect was ever named or

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  20. 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 the Cold War. New evidence

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  21. 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. 

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  22. Seewen murder case is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    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 in 1976. 

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  23. 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 Indonesian Chinese girls and

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  24. 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 extradited to France for

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  25. 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 erects a billboard every year to

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  26. 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 by wild animals, but her

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  27. Suzanne Jovin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    Suzanne Jovin 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 case. 

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  28. Raonaid Murray is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    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 had an argument with a man in

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  29. 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, and Jill-Lyn did not enter her

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  30. 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 went missing sometime during

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  31. Mary Jane Hanselman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    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 restaurant where she worked was

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  32. Raymond Nels Nelson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    Raymond Nels Nelson 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 the murder was the result of a

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  33. 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, prompting comparisons to Laci

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  34. 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 internal organs have never

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  35. 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 never identified and his murder

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  36. 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 the heart and head at close

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  37. Olof Palme is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    Olof Palme 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 her back and she recovered

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  38. 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 pick up truck grabber her. Four

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  39. Bob Crane is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    Bob Crane 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.

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  40. Jill Dando is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    Jill Dando 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 on appeal. 

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  41. Barbara Colby is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    Barbara Colby 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 their cars when two men

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  42. Big L is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    Big L 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 was later released because of

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  43. Andrew and Abby Borden is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    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, unsolved. 

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  44. 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.

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  45. "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, and slashed multiple

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  46. JonBenét Ramsey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    JonBenét Ramsey 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 evidence exonerated the couple

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  47. Tupac Shakur is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Murders That Remain Unsolved

    Tupac Shakur 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 shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada in

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