Some of America’s infamous dump sites exist in the middle of highly populated areas, and some hide in plain sight along the shores of Long Island or in scenic vacation spots near Lake Tahoe. Predators have made parks, rivers, and locations near highways the final resting place for victims. These perps could be gangs, the mob, or serial killers, taking the bodies of their victims out to the middle of the desert or the dark woods of a rural area.
Regular citizens may not expect these concealed offenses to occur in the same places families take their children during summer holidays, but authorities have identified dump sites all across the United States. The unknown victims may never be found, and these sites contain unsolved mysteries.
While the New Jersey Pine Barrens are often linked with occult rituals and KKK meetings, the New York Central Pine Barrens is known as a spot for perps to bury evidence. The Central Pine Barrens are supposed to be protected grounds - a breath of fresh air in heavily populated Long Island, NY - but in recent years, investigators have uncovered a number of bodies.
Between 2000 and 2003, four victims were found in the forest, two of which were dismembered and had their heads removed. As many as 11 bodies have been found in the forest overall. The deaths are thought to be the work of the Butcher of Manorville. In 2007, these unsolved cases were featured in an America's Most Wanted episode.
Although the temperature at Lake Tahoe may reach around 65 to 70 degrees in the late summer, making it an ideal place for a family vacation, the depth of the lake, which reaches an average of 1,000 feet, remains a cool 39 degrees. Investigators surmise this makes it a prime place to dispose of bodies.
The lake is just a couple of degrees shy of the temperature morgues use to avert decomposition. A body that has not decomposed cannot float to the surface. It's believed that Lake Tahoe became a dumping ground for Mafia members in the 1950s. To this day, rumors abound about the number of bodies at the bottom of Lake Tahoe since most victims never re-surface.
The Everglades is more than just an expansive national park and wildlife sanctuary. This Florida haven is also a notorious dump site, as there's an abundance of alligators. In 2016, two alligators were found eating a body, which authorities presumed had been abandoned at the location.
This was not the first time a body popped up in the swampy area. Before the Showtime drama Dexter informed viewers about hiding a body in south Florida, serial killer and sugar plantation owner Edgar Watson terrorized the area in the early 1900s. Watson built a cabin on the river in 1880. He allegedly ended the lives of several laborers every year when the harvest ended to avoid paying them.
Leakin Park is one of the largest parks in Baltimore, Maryland. While some people may enjoy the hiking trails or the gorgeous architecture of the Orianda Mansion, others use the park to commit and conceal an array of nefarious offenses. An upwards of 70 bodies have been found in Leakin Park since 1946. Residents are reportedly now terrified to wander the grounds alone.
Though Baltimore has a notorious gang problem (so notorious that it inspired the hit TV show The Wire), not every body recovered from Leakin Park is related. Known victims include a slain mother as well as scorned lovers.
In an effort to clean up the park and deter wrong-doing, the city started closing the most dangerous and secluded areas in 2011. Officials also created bike trails hoping foot traffic would help diminish unsavory activity. The number of bodies found in Leakin Park has since declined, but the reputation remains.