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10 Unsolved Murders That Will Keep You Awake

July 12, 2018

The dust is starting to settle on the capture of The Golden State Killer and here at Just Killin' Time we couldn't be happier that another monster is off the streets. The capture of the man with the tiny penis got us thinking about other unsolved murders, and after some extensive discussion at the JKT headquarters we have put together a list of ten mystery that keep us awake at night


10. The Axeman of New Orleans


Joseph Maggio and his wife were butchered on May 23rd 1918, entry was gained through a panel in the back door and the couple were attacked with an axe as they slept. The police discovered the murder weapon at the scene still coated with blood, nothing had been taken from the apartment and the killer left a message on the wall which read "Mrs. Joseph Maggio will sit up tonight. Just write Mrs. Toney”. This kicked off a rain of terror in which 8 people were killed before the killings suddenly stopped. 


9. The Boy in The Box


In February 1957 a a student named Fredrick Benosis was spying on girls at the Good Shepherd School in Fox Chase, Philladelphia when he stumbled across a baby bassinet with a dead body of a small boy in it. 


The authorities discovered that the boys feet and hands were wrinkled, suggesting he had been submerged in water prior to his death and his esophagus contained dark liquid suggesting he had thrown up, the police concluded that the boy had died from several blows to the head. The authorities launched an appeal to find out who the boy was but even after huge media coverage they came up empty and to this day he is still known as 'The Boy in The Box'. 


In 2002 a psychiatrist came forward and claimed a patient of hers, a woman named Mary, had confessed her parents had bought the boy and used him as a sex toy. According to Mary her mother had been bathing the boy when he threw up, this made her mother so angry she beat the boy to death, Mary's mother then wrapped the boy in a blanket, took him out to the woods and left him there in a box.


Investigators believed Mary was telling the truth despite her being mentally unstable, but when Mary's name was leaked to the press she left America and no further efforts have been made on the investigation.


8. The Mystery of Room 1046


On January 2, 1935 a man checked in at the Hotel President in Kansas City, he signed the register Roland T. Owen, he had a scar on his scalp, cauliflower ear and brown hair, he had no luggage other than a comb and toothpaste.


Not long after he checked in a maid stopped by his room, room 1046, she noticed the man seemed on edge and sitting in almost total darkness other than a small lamp, when she was done cleaning the room Owen asked her to leave the door unlocked as he was expecting someone. The maid returned later with clean towels and noticed a note on the side table that read, "Don, I will be back in fifteen minutes. Wait". The next morning when the maid stopped by the room was locked from the outside so she let herself in, to her surprise Owen was in the room meaning someone had locked him in, as the maid cleaned the room Owen received a phone call and after listening a little he replied "no Don, I'm not hungry, I just had breakfast". Later that day Owen was picked up outside the hotel and told the driver he was going to kill a man the following day. That night a maid knocked on the door of room 1046 and was told to go away by a man with a rough voice. The next morning hotel staff could not contact the room via telephone so a bellboy was sent to the room where he discovered Owen in a pool of his own blood, he had been tortured but when police asked what happened, he told them he had fallen in the shower, but could not explain why his clothes were missing, Owen was taken to hospital but died of his injuries. 


To this day, the case remains unsolved by the Kansas police, a woman did come forward claiming the man was her son but this was never proven and the case is still open. 


7. The Murder of Ricky Mccormick


On June 30th 1999 the body of Rick McCormick was found in a cornfield 15 miles away from his home, he didn't drive and public transport was not available. McCormick was not married and unemployed so the FBI had a hard time finding a motive for his murder.

The case was made stranger by two letters found on McCormick which were written in a form of complex code consisting of jumbled up letters, the code was in the victims handwriting but on investigation the police found McCormick was highly illiterate, only able to write his own name.


The FBI have since made a public plea for help decoding the notes and in March 2011 they listed Ricky McCormick death as a murder. The code in the notes is still considered one of the top unsolved mysteries by the FBS's Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit. 


6. The Spy in The Bag


On the 23rd August 2010 Gareth Williams had not been to work or in contact with colleagues for serval days causing them to alert authorities. This prompted a police visit to Williams’ flat where they discovered his decomposing naked remains inside a red North Face bag that was placed in a bath and padlocked from the outside.


Williams was a Welsh mathematician who worked for the British intelligence and security organisation GCHQ. Originally hailing from Anglesey, Wales, he studied at Bangor University and graduated with a first class degree before going on to the University of Manchester and gaining a PhD. It was after this he went on to be employed by GCHQ in Cheltenham in 2001, but was working on secondment for the foreign intelligence Service MI6 as a codebreaker at the time of his death. Not too much is known about the man himself as he was reported to be intensely private and spent a lot of his spare time cycling alone.


Since Williams death, unconfirmed reports have stated he was working on a sensitive project that would disrupt a number of criminal groups in Russia. The reports state he was working on technology that would enable MI6 to track money coming out of Russia to Europe. It is claimed that these criminal groups have strong ties to former KGB agents who could have gotten to the MI6 agent with ease.


In 2015 former KGB agent Boris Karpichkov, who defected from Russia and now resides in Britain, claimed he had knowledge of Russians Foreign Intelligence Service involvement in the death. Karpichkov claimed that Williams was killed using an untraceable poison administered in his ear. He also suggested that the reason for the assassination was due to a failed attempt by Russian agents to blackmail Williams, leaving themselves exposed.


5. The Body in The Wych


In 1943 four boys were poaching in Hagley Wood, Worcester, England, they came across a wych elm tree, one of the boys climbed it and on looking down the hollow trunk discovered a human skull.


On further investigation authorities found an almost complete skeleton with a gold wedding ring, shoes and fragmented clothing, the victims hand was found not far from the tree. An autopsy of the remains found that the skeleton was a 35 year old woman and she had been dead for around 18 months, placing her death around October 1941. A forensic investigation found taffeta in her mouth and it was concluded she had died of suffocation


The case was never solved and to add an extra layer of mystery is seems the woman's remains have gone missing. 


4. Black Dahlia


The now infamous murder of 22 year old Elizabeth Short captured headlines in 1947 with newspapers dubbing her "Black Dahlia" on account of her jet black hair and apparent preference for black clothing. Her naked body was found feet from the sidewalk in Los Angeles, she was cut in half at the waist, her breast cut off, she had been bled dry, her face had been cut from mouth to ear on both sides and authorities later revelled she had been professionally dissected, washed and her remains posed.

Short moved to California in the pursuit of fame and it is still unknown how shame came to her gruesome end, the murder has become world famous and the subject of many books and media productions. Police are officially still investigating the murder but have not made any known progress. Recently in her book 'Black Dahila, Red Rose' author Piu Eatwell has theorised that a bellhop and one-time morticians assistant Leslie Duane Dillon may have been involved, whats more, the book claims a corrupt cop covered up evidence that pointed at Dillon and others.


3. JonBenét Ramsay


One of the most high profile murders in American history and a case that every true crime fan knows about. JonBenet Ramsey was a 6 year old girl and beauty pageant queen, her body was found on boxing day at her family home. Much of what happened to the girl is still shrouded in mystery but many theories have been formed, ranging from her being a victim of random strangers to her family's involvement.  


The hard facts are that JonBenet's mother Patsy called the police just before 6am on 26th December to report that her daughter had been kidnapped during the night and a ransom note had been left demanding $118,000 for her return. Her body was found in the basement of her home later that day, she had been bound and gagged, it was clear she had been dead a while. After years of police investigation and intense media speculation it seems we are no closer to finding out what lead to the six year old's death. 


2. Jack The Ripper


Between August and November 1888 Jack The Ripper murdered five woman in Whitechapel, East London, he targeted prostitutes leaving the bodies of his victims horribly mutilated. The Ripper would send letters to the Metropolitan Police and journalists but detectives were never able to identify the killer. The suspect ranged from surgeons, local butchers and even Queen Victoria's son, Prince Albert.


The Rippers first murder was Mary Ann Nicholls, on 31st August. Annie Chapman, killed on 8 September. Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddoweson were murdered 30 September and Mary Jane Kelly on 9 November. These murders are known as the "canonical five' murders but some believe the rippers first victim was Martha Tabram who was stabbed to death on 6 August.


1. The Zodiac Killer


Between December 1968 and October 1969 The Zodiac Killer murdered four men and three women between the ages of 16 and 29, no links or similarities were found between the victims. The police investigated over 2000 potential suspects but failed to charge anyone with the murders.


On August 1, 1969, the San Francisco Chronicle, Vallejo Time Herald and San Francisco Examiner each received an identical handwritten letters which gave details about murders only the killer could know, and threatened other attacks in the future. Each letter ended with what became the killers signature, a symbol consisting of a circle with a cross through it which later became The Zodiac Killer logo. Each letter was accompanied by a cipher that the killer claimed when all put together and cracked would reveal his identity. One of the ciphers was worked out and it read, 'I like killing people because it is so much fun, It is more fun than killing wild game in the forest because man is the most dangerous animal of all.'


The killer continued to send letters and ciphers to the papers, claimed to have killed more victims and mocked the authorities failure to catch him, the correspondence stopped in 1974 but the investigation is still ongoing and has become one of the most infamous mystery'of all time.  




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