Thanks to forensics and technological advancements, more crimes are being solved now than ever were in the past. A few hundred years ago, before fingerprints could be dusted for and blood splatters could be analyzed, it was next-to-impossible to solve a murder. If someone disappeared, they were often gone for good.
So things have changed, and definitely for the better; however, despite all of our modern technology and the best efforts of law enforcement, there are mysteries that will likely just never be solved. Here are 10 examples of mysteries that will likely remain unsolved until the end of days.
1. Philadelphia’s boy in a box
On February 25th of 1957, a naked and battered body was found in a box the Fox Chase area of Philadelphia. Sadly, the body contained within the cardboard box was that of a little boy, who was estimated to be between three and seven years of age at the time of his death. The corpse was wrapped in a plaid blanket, and the box was of the sort used to sell bassinets back in those days.
Naturally, fingerprints of the deceased boy were taken in the hopes he would eventually be identified. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. To this day, 60 years later, no one knows who the poor boy was in life. In 2002, a mentally ill woman claimed that her mother had purchased the boy at one point; however, due to her mental illnesses, her claims weren’t taken seriously.
The mostly forgotten boy’s gravestone is marked with the words “America’s Unknown Child”, which is probably how he will be remembered in perpetuity.
H/T – Source
2. The Zodiac Killer
Almost everyone has heard of the Zodiac, a serial killer who committed his atrocious crimes in northern California in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He would mock and taunt local press via letters to the publications, often using cryptograms to do so. There have been various suspects over the years, but there hasn’t been any conclusive evidence generated. There is still an open case file in Napa and County and Riversdale over 40 years after the deaths.
The Zodiac killer claimed to be responsible for almost 40 murders, but only seven of those are confirmed to be his work. Two of his confirmed victims—David Arthur Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen—were shot and killed in late 1968 in Benicia, California. Another victim was shot and killed in October of 1969; that killing occurred in the Presido Heights section of San Francisco.
H/T – Source
3. Jack the Ripper
Unless you’ve been living under a rock your entire life, you’ve definitely heard of Jack the Ripper. His reign of terror has been the inspiration for books, movies, and guided tours of the places where he committed his crimes.
Jack the Ripper’s victims were mostly prostitutes who made their living in East London during the late 1880’s. The murders were particularly notable because internal organs were removed from the corpses; at the time, newspapers covered the killings pretty extensively. Five murders were determined to be connected, but there are five other deaths that could be attributed to “Jack”.
There are many theories regarding the true identity of Jack the Ripper; it is believed that the killer may have been an aristocrat or medical doctor. Suspects have been suggested, and there have been over 100 suspects named, but the evidence against them all is truly circumstantial. Chances are that we’ll never know who actually went on a killing spree in London back in the late 1880’s. The mystery, sad to say, will probably never be solved.
H/T – Source
4. Gareth Williams’ death
In late August of 2010, the body of Welsh mathematician named Gareth Williams was found in London. An employee of the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters, Williams’ body was found in a safe house flat. His naked remains were found decomposing in a bag made by the United States-based outdoor product company The North Face. Williams had likely been killed about a week prior to his being found.
His death was initially believed to be unnatural, possibly murder; later, it was ruled an accident. There weren’t any injuries on his body, nor were there signs he had been involved in a struggle.
That said, Williams’ work was top secret—he had worked with agents from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations as well as the National Security Agency. He had also visited several bondage websites prior to his death.
A former KGB agent has claimed that Williams was murdered because he knew the identity of a Russian spy. Allegedly, there was an attempt to blackmail him into becoming a double agent for Russia. It has been suggested that he was murdered via an untraceable poison that was inserted into his ear. Nothing can be proven, however, and Williams’ death will likely forever remain a mystery.
H/T – Source
5. Madeleine McCann’s disappearance
During a vacation to Portugal, three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared on the 3rd of May of 2007. Her parents as well as friends of her parents were dining at a restaurant located only 160 feet away. Her twin siblings were also in the apartment from which she vanished. The children were checked on regularly.
Madeleine, a native of Leicester, England who was born in 2003, is described as having blonde hair and blue-green eyes. Initially believed to have been abducted, her parents were later suspected of murdering her for a while. Allegations against the parents were made on social media, and the case generated international interest. Notably, a man carrying a child was also reported by a friend of the McCann’s on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance.
British police ended up working with those from Portugal, and it was determined that there was no evidence to link Madeleine’s disappearance to her disappearance.
The bottom line is that Madeleine’s whereabouts remain a mystery. The case remains open and Scotland Yard is still investigating, but as time goes on it seems less and less likely that we’ll ever know exactly what happened to the little girl. Despite the fact a significant amount of money is being offered for information leading to finding her, Madeleine has been missing for over 10 years.
H/T – Source
6. The Jane Doe of Fond du Lac County
In late November of 2008, a frozen body was found in a creek in Wisconsin’s Fond du Lac County. The creek was located near an abandoned farm. The body, which had been decomposing long enough that the remains couldn’t be easily identified, had to be chiseled out of the frozen creek. She is now known as The Jane Doe of Fond du Lac County.
The extremely decomposed body was, for a while, believed to be that of a teenaged girl named Amanda Berry. Berry had disappeared in April of 2003, and her case was actually featured in an episode of America’s Most Wanted. Berry was actually found alive in 2013. She had been abducted by Ariel Castro, who held her—and two others—captive in his home in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2006, while imprisoned by Castro, she gave birth to a daughter; Castro was proven to be the biological father.
While things sort of worked out for Berry, her having turned out to be alive doesn’t help the Jane Doe of Fond du Lac County. All we really know for sure is that “Jane” was between 15 and 21 when she died, and she was wearing clothes purchased from the retailer Family Dollar in 2008 or so.
While Jane Doe was found in the autumn, she had actually died in the summer; her body had been decomposing for at least two months, possibly as long as four.
Jane Doe is believed to be either Caucasian or Hispanic, although it is possible that she is Asian or Native American. Artist renderings and digital reconstructions offer an idea what she might have looked like while alive, but they haven’t been terribly useful in regard to identifying who she was.
At one point during the investigation into Jane Doe’s death, she was believed to be two other women; however, both were eventually located. The case is cold as of 2011, and we might never know who Jane Doe was in life.
H/T – Source
7. The Flannan Isles Lighthouse
Located off of the west coast of Scotland, the Flannan Isles Lighthouse is notable because its keepers disappeared in 1900, roughly a year its construction was finished.
A steamer traveling from Philadelphia to an area north of Edinburg, Scotland noted that the lighthouse’s light wasn’t operational despite poor weather conditions at the time. The lighthouse was found to be abandoned by those who would go to investigate why it was not operational. The bodies of the three men who were supposed to be staffing the lighthouse have never been recovered.
There are various theories regarding what happened to the staff of the lighthouse. Even alien abduction has been suggested as the cause of the men going missing. A more likely possibility is that one of the men was drowning, and the other two then perished trying to save his life.
The disappearance of the crew has captured the attention of many. For example, the rock band Genesis wrote a song about the incident. Decades after it was first composed, The Mystery of Flannan Isle Lighthouse was released in 1998.
Now well over a century since the lighthouse crew disappeared, it seems unlikely that mystery surrounding the men who disappeared will ever be solved.
The lighthouse is currently operational, having been automated in 1971. A helipad was even built so that it could be maintained even during horrific weather conditions.
H/T – Source
8. Tamam Shud
When translated from Persian, Tamam Shud means ‘finished’ or ‘ended’. In late 1948, the body of a man—his life most definitely finished—was found on a beach in Adelaide, South Australia. The Persian phrase was found on a scrap of paper found in the deceased’s trousers. It had been torn from a book of poetry.
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as Scotland Yard attempted to assist South Australian Police identify the dead body; sadly, however, the identity of the man is currently unknown.
The case continues to be interesting to many just because it has been suggested the dead man may have been a spy. In addition, years after it was buried, flowers began appearing on the grave of the unknown man. A woman leaving the cemetery was questioned, but she insisted that she knew nothing of the mysterious, unknown man.
It is believed that the man found on the beach was killed by the poison known as digitalis.
Almost 70 years after the body was found, chances are slim-to-none that the mystery surrounding identity of the deceased will ever be solved. Most of the man’s DNA has been unintentionally destroyed over the years, making identification practically impossible.
Regardless, however, the South Australia Police have kept the case open and will reportedly investigate new leads.
9. The Oakville Blobs
Oakville, Washington experienced a strange storm on the 7th of August in 1994 at about three in the morning. Curiously, it wasn’t water coming from the sky; instead, it was a gelatinous substance. It has been described as “mushy” and “Jell-O like”.
In the coming weeks, it would fall five more times over a 20 square-mile area.
Many area residents became ill after being exposed to the blobs, and domestic pets ended up dying. Allegedly, everyone in town contracted an illness that resembled the flu. The illness lasted for months.
So what was the substance that rained from the sky? To this day, no one really knows. It has been theorized that naval bombings 50 miles away caused jellyfish parts to be sent into the atmosphere, and then those parts ended up landing in Oakville. The Air Force has confirmed they were performing practice bombing runs in the area at that time; naturally, however, the Air Force denies being in any way responsible for the gelatinous substance that ended up all over Oakville.
As there’s nothing left of the substance to be tested, it is likely that we’ll never know exactly what rained upon Oakville back in 1994.
H/T – Source