The Internet is a rabbit hole of unsolved crimes, all of which have managed to haunt generations for years. It is mind-boggling yet at the same time very alarming when you realize that a large number of brutal murders and disappearances happen every day.
From the infamous serial killer who haunted the Bay Area to the deranged psychopath who targeted redhead females, here are eight unsolved crimes that will haunt you forever.
Unsolved Crimes That Will Send Shivers Down Your Spine
1. The Zodiac Killer
During the late 1960s, a serial killer was on the loose in the San Francisco Bay Area. Records have it that the killer has claimed the lives of five confirmed victims, two of them were men and three were women between the ages of 16 and 29. The Zodiac was also presumed to be behind twenty to twenty-eight more murders and three failed attempts, which occurred during that time as well.
On August 7, 1969, the Zodiac signed a letter with the name “Zodiac” and sent it to various publications. The killer then proceeded to send a series of mysterious letters to authorities, each of which contained four different cryptograms. Only one was deciphered by police, it read as follows:
“I LIKE KILLING PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS SO MUCH FUN IT IS MORE FUN THAN KILLING WILD GAME IN THE FORREST BECAUSE MAN IS THE MOST DANGEROUE ANAMAL OF ALL TO KILL SOMETHING GIVES ME THE MOST THRILLING EXPERENCE IT IS EVEN BETTER THAN GETTING YOUR ROCKS OFF WITH A GIRL THE BEST PART OF IT IS THAE WHEN I DIE I WILL BE REBORN IN PARADICE AND THEI HAVE KILLED WILL BECOME MY SLAVES I WILL NOT GIVE YOU MY NAME BECAUSE YOU WILL TRY TO SLOI DOWN OR ATOP MY COLLECTIOG OF SLAVES FOR MY AFTERLIFE EBEORIETEMETHHPITI”
2. The Freeway Phantom
The Freeway Phantom was an unidentified serial killer who is known to have abducted, raped, and strangled six black female girls between the ages of 10 and 18. The gruesome murders were said to have happened in Washington, DC. Freeway Phantom’s reign of terror started from April 1971 through September 1972.
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Media outlets were quick to dub this killer as the “Freeway Phantom.” The first victim, Carol Spinks, was sent by her older sister to buy groceries at a 7-Eleven located half a mile from where she lived. On her way home, Carol was believed to have been abducted and killed. Her body was found nearly a week later on a grassy embankment. The next four victims that followed bore an eerily similar pattern.
After having dinner with a classmate on November 15, 1971, 18-year-old Brenda Woodward disappeared. She was the last known victim of the Freeway Phantom. Roughly six hours later, her stabbed and strangled body was found in a grassy area. A coat was placed over her chest, with a note that said,
This is tantamount to my insensititivity [sic] to people especially women.
I will admit the others when you catch me if you can!
3. The Highway of Tears Killer
The long, desolate stretch of British Columbia’s Highway 16 was a site of grisly murders, a majority of which involved aboriginal women. The first murder occurred in 1969 and would continue until 2006. In total, authorities were able to confirm at least 18 victims, but the First Nations community estimated that over 40 aboriginal women were targeted. The killing sprees were criticized by many, with many citing racism as the possible reason behind the lack of coverage by the media and not to mention the poor investigation that came along with it.
To date, the killer or killers have remained unidentified.
4. The Servant Girl Annihilator
A serial killer known as the Servant Girl Annihilator preyed on the city of Austin, Texas, during the years 1884 and 1885.
A total of seven women and one man were brutally assaulted while asleep in their beds. Five of the women were dragged unconscious and then killed outdoors. Three were severely mutilated while outside, while six of the murdered women had a sharp object inserted into their ear.
Another eight victims, six women and two men, experienced similar attacks but managed to escape. The incident was one of the earliest known cases of serial killing in the world, occurring just three years before Jack the Ripper terrorized London.
5. The Unsolved Alphabet Murders
The Alphabet Murders claimed the lives of three young girls from Rochester, New York, all of whom were raped and strangled. The case received attention due to the fact that the victims’ first and last name started with the same letter. Moreover, their bodies were found in a town that had a name starting with those letters too.
- Carmen Colon in Churchville
- Michelle Maenza in Macedon
- Wanda Walkowicz in Webster
Hundreds of suspects were brought in for questioning, but police never narrowed down on a single one. In 2011, a Rochester man named Joseph Naso was found guilty of copying the crime and was sentenced to death. Police, however, could not link him to the Alphabet Murders as his DNA did not match samples taken from the three victims.
6. The Mad Redhead Murderer
The Redhead Murders were a series of unsolved crimes committed by a single serial killer in various parts of the United States. What made police link the homicides to each other was the fact that the unidentified perpetrator targeted females with red hair.
The first victim, “Jane Doe,” was discovered in Wetzel County, West Virginia. Though her body showed no signs of sexual assault, authorities deduced that she could have died from asphyxiation. In total, six to eleven redheads were murdered from 1978 to 1983, many of the victims were said to be either prostitutes or runaways.
7. The Colonial Parkway Killer
The Colonial Parkway Killer was an unknown serial killer who was believed to have murdered at least eight people along the Colonial Parkway in the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia between 1986 and 1989. All the victims were young couples, one pair was never found and presumed dead.
As of July 2017, the killer has yet to be identified, and the case has remained open. Investigators have speculated that the suspect might be someone of authority or perhaps someone impersonating one.
8. The Long Island Killer
One case that forever haunts the Long Island authorities is a series of homicides that occurred from 1996 to 2016. The suspected mass murderer is believed to have killed somewhere between 10 and 17 people, a majority of these victims were believed to be prostitutes.