Chilling True Crime Facts We Learned That Made Us Lock Our Doors

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Vote up the facts that send shivers down your spine.

While every true crime case is filled with creepy, off-putting, or downright terrifying facts, some end up haunting us more than others. Here's a roundup of some of the creepiest facts from cases that have stuck with us. 

Vote up the ones that freaked you out, too, and remember to stay safe out there.

  • 1
    1,016 VOTES

    Robert Spangler's Ill-Fated Vacation

    In 1993, Robert Spangler and his wife, Donna, were visiting the Grand Canyon when she fell off one of its edges to her death. The police ruled her demise a mishap. It wasn't until years later, after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, that Spangler confessed to actually pushing her over the edge. 

    He also confessed to taking the lives of his first wife and their two children in 1978.

  • 2
    905 VOTES

    Carl Tanzler's Awful Obsession

    In 1933, a doctor named Carl Tanzler (AKA Count Carl von Cosel) became obsessed with a tuberculosis patient. Her name was Elena de Hoyos, and even when she passed, Tanzler's obsession persisted. After her interment, he raided her tomb, stole her body, and went on to live with her corpse for seven years. As the body decomposed, he used wire and coat hangers to keep it in place, fitted the face with glass eyes, and replaced the skin with perfume-drenched silk to hide the rotting stench. 

    He was eventually caught and taken into custody, only to be released once his offense (taking the body) surpassed the statute of limitations. Elena's body was reburied, but the exact location remains hidden to this day to prevent anyone from disturbing her again.

  • The Texas Killing Fields
    Photo: 48 Hours / CBS
    826 VOTES

    The Texas Killing Fields

    Thirty cadavers, mostly those of women and young girls, have been found in an area off of I-45, known as the Texas Killing Fields since the early 1970s. This is thought to be the work of multiple serial killers, but only two men have ever been convicted for the murders of two of the women.

    The majority of these cases remain unsolved.

  • 4
    839 VOTES

    Surrounded By Serial Killers

    Dozens of women lost their lives in Los Angeles in the 1980s and '90s in what police called the "Southside Slayer" killings. Believing this was the work of one person, the Los Angeles Police Department set up a task force to hunt the culprit.

    What they found instead was that the work was being done by at least four different active serial killers, who were all stalking the same area. Even more likely existed, but due to the passage of time and destruction of evidence, investigators may never know how many people were involved, and some of those responsible may still be out there.

  • The Inspiration Behind 'Open Water'
    Photo: Open Water / Lionsgate Films
    944 VOTES

    The Inspiration Behind 'Open Water'

    From Redditor u/fleece_pants:

    In 1998, a married couple was left behind during a diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Two days passed before anyone realized what had happened. Despite a thorough search, the couple was never found, though a dive slate was later recovered which read, "Please help us [come] to rescue us before we die. Help!!!"

    Their story ultmately inspired the film Open Water.

  • The Origins Of The Amber Alert
    Video: YouTube
    746 VOTES

    The Origins Of The Amber Alert

    The AMBER Alert system was created in honor of Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old girl who was taken in Arlington, TX, in 1996. A witness called the police after seeing a man pull Amber off her bike and into a black pickup truck, but she was long gone before they could arrive.

    Five days later, her body was found in a nearby creek bed. The person responsible has never been caught.

    The America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response - or AMBER - Alert system launched later that year, expanded nationwide in 2005, and has since spread to multiple countries in Europe. The system has saved countless children's lives since its creation.