Few things are more terrifying than when a murder is committed and the murderer is never found. When an entire family is murdered, it takes the crime to a whole new level. This list discusses the most famous unsolved murders of families and couples, and are arguably some of the most gruesome and shocking unsolved murder cases in history.
It is hard to understand how someone could be motivated to take another person’s life, but when it comes to the victims listed on this list, understanding the reasons behind the crime is almost impossible. Sadly, it is most likely that no one will ever be forced to pay for these crimes as police weren't able to find the proper evidence to solve the murders.
Many of the cases featured on this list therefore remain open, while others have officially been closed after years of unsuccessful attempts at finding the killer. What are the most famous unsolved murders of families? Read through the list below to find out.
1. Lin Family
In 2009, Australian news agent Min Lin, his wife Yun Lin, his sister-in-law Irene Lin, and their two sons, Henry and Terry, were bludgeoned to death with a hammer-like object that was tied to the killer's wrist in an overnight attack. The weapon was never found.
On December 19, 2012, Robert Xie, Lin's brother in-law, was committed for trial in the killings. Prosecutors claim Xie sedated his own wife first, then walked over to the Lin house, and cut the power, as he was able to navigate through the dark of the familiar home. He then smashed in the adults' faces before murdering the children.
Xie's trial had been scheduled to begin in September of 2013, as DNA tests on some evidence were in the process of being completed. However, on July 22, 2013, the Supreme Court delayed the trial until 2014.
2. De Ligonnes Family
In 2011, Agnes Dupont de Ligonnes and her four children, ages 13 to 21, were shot and killed with a .22 rifle with a silencer on it while asleep in their beds in Western France, along with their two Labradors. The father, Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes, immediately became the prime suspect, as he abruptly disappeared after the murders, had a mistress to whom he owed money, and had a failing business. He had also called the children's schools, informing them that the family was emigrating, as well as terminating the lease on their house.
When police went searching for the family after a missing persons report was filed, they discovered a severed leg poking out of the garden. The bodies were individually rolled-up in sleeping bags, covered in lime, and buried underneath the patio in the backyard.A manhunt was underway when the suspect's car was discovered abandoned at a nearby hotel. Authorities believe Dupont de Ligonnes may have committed suicide, but no body has been found.
In 2015, a photograph of Dupont de Ligonnes with his sons and a letter from the suspected murderer arrived at the desk of an AFP journalist. The letter said, "I am still alive," but offered no further information on Dupont de Ligonnes's whereabouts. It also isn't clear whether he did in fact send this letter and photograph, or whether the latter was a forgery.
3. Walker Family
The Walkers and their two toddlers were murdered on December 19, 1959 in Osprey, Florida. The murder is of particular note because it potentially involved the suspects of the murders that inspired the creative non-fiction novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. The husband was stabbed, while the wife was raped and shot. The two prime suspects, Perry Smith and Richard "Dick" Hickock, had been convicted of the Clutter family murder that happened 35 days earlier in Holcombe, Kansas, just before they stole a car and drove to Florida.Both men were hanged. However, DNA evidence could never support their convictions and the case has never been solved, until 2013, when the bodies were exhumed although the DNA evidence was inconclusive due to sample degredation.
4. Ade Family
When a neighbor to the Ade family noticed a bright glow coming from their Nashville house one evening in 1897, he rode over to discover their house ablaze and already nearly burned to the ground. He searched through the wreckage, calling out for the family, until he found their bodies amidst the burnt timbers.
Though originally thought to be an accident, investigators later discovered the youngest child's body, 10-year-old Rosa, who wasn't scorched like the others and a large part of her head and hand were missing. Police realized the fire was a cover up for a family murder in which they believed the family was forced into the parlor and struck with heavy objects. Rosa, however, had escaped through the window, was caught and murdered, and then her body later thrown into the fire.Heavy rains hit Nashville that night, washing away all footprints and possible evidence.