Just the thought of a person slaying in cold blood and getting away with it can send chills to the very innards of your soul. The victims, unavenged, and the culprit still at large, ready to terrorize at a moment's notice, is simply frightening.
The mysteries on this list are some of the most brutal slayings in history and have yet to be solved. What are the most famous unsolved murder cases? This list has them all.
In some of these cases, people were charged only to be acquitted from a lack of evidence. In others, police didn't have any suspects or couldn't identify the victim.
This list features the most famous unsolved murders from all over the world, as well as unique information about each victim and any suspects who were named.
The Black Dahlia
Los Angeles' most famous slaying, The Black Dahlia refers to Elizabeth Short, who was slain in 1947. Her body was discovered in a park in Los Angeles, and her passing has been publicized repeatedly, mostly because of how particularly gruesome it was. Her corpse was found, unclothed, posed, mutilated, and sliced in half at the waist. She had been completely drained of blood and scrubbed clean.
In 2013, the case made headlines again when police did an extensive search of Dr. George Hill Hodel's house (one of the main suspects), where incriminating evidence of human body decomposition had been found before. Soil samples from the house were taken in to be tested.
A conversation was also recorded between Hodel and an unknown person when Hodel said, "Supposin' I did [slay] the Black Dahlia. They couldn't prove it now. They can't talk to my secretary because she's [passed]." The most wild part? Hodel's son, Steve Hodel, is a police officer who is convinced his father is the one who slayed Elizabeth Short. He also believes his father slayed an additional dozen women throughout the LA area.
- Photo: Maury Foldare and Asociates-public relations-appears to be for Bing Crosby Productions, the show producer / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
The 1960s sitcom star Bob Crane from Hogan’s Heroes was discovered in his apartment in 1978 in Scottsdale, Arizona, after he had been bludgeoned in his bed with a camera tripod. The beating was so brutal that police could hardly recognize him.
The main suspect, John Carpenter, was a friend of Crane's who spent a lot of time together, going to strip clubs and geeking out on video equipment. There was no weapon or witnesses to the slaying, making it difficult to make any formal accusations.
The case was reopened in 1990 after an overlooked photo of human body tissue was found in Carpenter's car resurfaced. Carpenter was arrested and tried for the first-degree, but the case was later acquitted after evidence was found inconclusive.
The Boy in the Box was a victim who was found in 1957 in wrapped up in a blanket inside of a bassinet, which was inside a cardboard box in a field near a Philadelphia country road. The boy was probably between 4 and 6 years old and had been bludgeoned. The box was from a JC Penny store just 15 miles away from the field where the it was found, but detectives couldn't trace down the purchasers as the store typically dealt with cash.
Neither the blanket nor the boy could provide any additional information about the passing. No one could even figure out when the boy perished.
In 2002, a witness stepped forward, saying her parents were the slayers of the boy. Though her story was detailed and consistent, there's no hard evidence to back it up.
Georgette Bauerdorf, a well known heiress to an oil fortune, was 20 years old when she was slain in her home in Los Angeles in 1944. It is believed that a man was lying in wait for her in her apartment. Police found fingerprints on an automatic nightlight bulb the man unscrewed outside her apartment building just enough so it wouldn't turn on to prevent any witnesses from seeing him.
Her body was discovered face down in a bathtub after being strangled with a towel shoved down her throat; none of her valuables were taken.
Some link her death with the Black Dahlia's, saying the slayer was the same person as Bauerdorf and Short had some similarities in their passings, as well as frequenting the same places in Hollywood. However, there was insufficient evidence to ever convict anyone of the crime.