Most Famous Unsolved Cases

Vanity Press News By Vanity Press News, 8th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Crime

A look at famous unsolved cases in history that has shaped the world.

Most Famous Unsolved Cases


Beauty is often a reason for a mystery to remain with us, such as small time actress Elizabeth Short – known as the Black Dahlia for her liking of black clothes– found mutilated at the age of 22 in Los Angeles on 15 January 1917.

Soon afterwards, a parcel was sent to the police containing her belongings and an address book with a page torn out. Over the following years, some 50 people confessed to her murder, drawing themselves into a story of beauty and – perhaps the real mystery here – the tragedy of Elizabeth’s life.

A juvenile delinquent, she bedded servicemen to escape her pathetic life. Eventually getting engaged to a soldier, he was killed in World War Two, and she turned to drink.
Getting the odd movie bit-part, she slowly moved towards prostitution. Hence, her horrific death became symbolic of a life which failed to live the American Dream.


The most famous murder mystery of all began on the night of 30 August 1888 when a policeman found the body of Mary Ann Nichols in Buck’s Row, White chapel, in London. She had had her throat cut. A week later, ‘Dark Annie’ Chapman met a similar fate near Spitalfields Market. Rumours abounded of a monster on the loose, heightened by the first of many letters delivered to Fleet St and other places from Leather Apron, and later Jack the Ripper. He advised the next victim would have her ears chopped off. On the morning of 30 September two further bodies were found – Elizabeth ‘Long Liz’ Stride and Catherine Eddowes. Situated within 15 minutes of each other, the former was not mutilated, but the latter was; her ears had also been partially chopped off. The final victim of Jack the Ripper – a killer who removed organs from his victims in a frenzied manner – was murdered in her room on 9 November. Mary Kelly was different to the rest. She was younger and her body had been mutilated to a much greater extent, even being partially skinned.

Speculation remains to this day as to who Jack the Ripper was. A Jew was suspected when police chief Sir Charles Warren had removed from a wall where a blooded rag was found following the Eddowes murder, the words: ‘The Juwes are not men to be blamed for nothing.’ Others blamed Queen Victoria s grandson, the Duke of Clarence, Warren’s actions suggesting conspiracy to hide the fact. In the 1980's a variation put the killings down to royal physician Sir William Gull and coachman John Netley to prevent a scandal involving the Duke, a shop girl and an illegitimate child, the killings being merely a screen.

Failed lawyer Montague John Druitt made the mistake of drowning himself in the Thames in December 1888, thus guaranteeing his place in the list of suspects. Mary Kelly’s lover, fish seller Joseph Barnett also found himself dragged in for questioning. In 1995 suspicion fell upon doctor, Francis Tumbelty, who was in London at the time, and murders seemed to follow him wherever he went until his death in 1903.

With the publication of the now infamous diary of Jack the Ripper, suspicion recently fell on Liverpool cotton broker James Maybrick, who often visited London and was murdered by his wife shortly after the murders. However, the main reason for suspicion is now repeated in Patricia Cornwell’s candidate, artist Walter Sickert. Both Sickert and Maybrick (if he wrote the diaries) had a morbid fascination with the deaths.


Mystery surrounded the battering to death of 82 year old Marion Gilchrist in her Glasgow flat on 21 December 1908. Her maid Helen Lambie returned to find a neighbor investigating a noise. A man walked calmly out of the flat as they went in. A cheap brooch had been stolen, but not her valuable diamonds.

Five days later, police identified German Jew and gem dealer Oscar Slater as prime suspect. He had pawned a similar brooch and had cleared off on the Lusitania. Arrested in New York, his Scottish trial resulted in conviction.

Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fought for Slater’s innocence when he discovered the brooch had been pawned a fortnight before the woman’s death. But Slater still served 18 years, finally receiving £6,000 in compensation. Conan Doyle was convinced a prominent Glaswgian was the real killer, rather than the known womanizer and gambler, Slater.

One unsolved crime is the murder of Andrew Borden and his second wife Abby at Fall River, Massachusetts in August 1892. Suffering a frenzied ax attack in their home, their daughter Lizzie, 32, called out to maid, Bridget Sullivan, ‘come down, quick, father’s dead.’

He lay dead in a downstairs room. His wife was found upstairs. A frugal, if wealthy family, several members were suspected, Lizzie being arrested, but found innocent. She claimed to be in a barn at the time of the murders. However, she became immortalized in the ditty: ‘Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks When she saw what she had done She gave her father 41.’


Death, Jack The Ripper, Lizzie Borden, Murder

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Vanity Press News is the media branch of Author, Oscar Trejo Jr's Vanity Shades Sphere of Influence!

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