There is something about unexplained mysteries that compels attention. The number of unsolved crimes in Texas is higher than in most states, due both to the sheer size of the Lone Star State and also to the amount of empty, desolate space where crimes can be committed with no chance of being discovered. Even as cities like Houston, Dallas, and Austin grow their populations into the millions, there are still areas near each urban center where it is possible to be entirely off the grid.That is why this creepy Texas list features crimes from the past, but also from the modern day. With improvements in evidence collecting, DNA testing, and all the other modern tools used by law enforcement, you would imagine that some of these cold cases will eventually be solved. For now, though, this list takes you through some of the most bizarre, most brutal, and most shocking crimes that ever took place in the great state of Texas.
The Ice Box Murders
On June 23, 1965, police officers forced their way into the house of Fred and Edwina Rogers at the request of their nephew Marvin, who was concerned that his phone calls had gone unanswered for a couple of days. The police checked the house and eventually an officer found what he thought to be numerous pieces of a butchered hog in the refrigerator. As he was closing the refrigerator door, the officer saw two human heads in the vegetable bins. The heads were those of Fred and Edwina.The meat was the limbs and torsos of the two victims. Fred had been killed with blows to the head by a claw hammer before having his eyes gouged out and his penis removed. Edwina was beaten and shot execution-style. The couple's son Charles Rogers disappeared right after the murders and remains the only suspect in a case that is officially unsolved.
The Texas Killing Fields
There is a stretch of I-45 South between Houston and Galveston where the bodies of more than 30 young women and children have been found since the 1970s. The Texas Killing Fields have been described as "a perfect place for killing someone and getting away with it" by a federal agent who has been working the case unsuccessfully for years.
It is widely assumed that much of the killing here is done by a single serial killer, but there has never been enough evidence to find the killer and lock him up.
The Lover's Lane Murders
The "Lover's Lane" murders took place in an undeveloped wooded area of West Houston on the night of August 23, 1990. That night, 22-year-old Cheryl Henry and her 21-year-old boyfriend Andy Atkinson parked in a deserted spot to do what lovers do. This was a known spot for young couples in the area.
The couple's car was found at the scene, with their bodies in the woods close by. Cheryl had been raped and then killed by having her throat slashed. She was found half-buried under a pile of wood. Andy was killed second, having to watch the brutal murder of his girlfriend, and was found tied to a tree, nearly decapitated.The case is still a big deal in the Houston area, so much so that a Facebook page dedicated to solving it exists.
The Orchard Apartment Murders
On July 27, 1979, one of Alys Rankin's coworkers went to pick her up from her Orchard Apartments home in southwest Houston. The coworker, Bob Smith, arrived to find the door slightly open. Going inside, he found Rankin lying naked in her bed, her feet tied together, with a pillow over her upper body. When he moved the pillow he saw her head had been cut off. She had also been sexually assaulted.Two weeks later, and two floors above Rankin, the body of Mary Michael Calcutta was found in her bathroom. She had been stabbed multiple times, so hard that the knife blade bent. The working theory is that these were just two of potentially many victims of an unidentified serial killer.