We all know technology is moving fast. New inventions pop up without us even noticing it. Everything is now instantaneous news and is heard around the world. Add to that the world of Big Brother watching with 24 hour surveillance along our streets and shops and authorities can quickly identify and track down any would be criminal.
As our technology evolves, criminals have become more creative in their efforts to foil Internet-based cameras watching their every move. Even with cameras, one third of all recorded murders in the US remain unsolved. Which may conclude that being more connected doesn’t necessarily really make you any safer. At the end of the day, the world is still alarming and dangerous.
These five unsolved disappearances and crimes reflect the times that despite 24/7 active surveillance cameras, the bad guy will always find a way if they are motivated to do so…
Maura Murray’s Unsolved Disappearance
This 21-year-old nursing student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, told her boss and professors that she would be leaving town for a week because of a family emergency on February 9, 2004. Unfortunately, Maura Murray crashed her car in a snow bank in the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire, several hours after she left home. She emerged uninjured from the crash and told the the bystanders that they didn’t need to call the police. She left the crash scene before the officials arrived. Murray was never seen again after the incident.
The story became more mysterious when her family told the police there was no emergency. Murray was able to call a few hotels in New Hampshire days before her disappearance, and the police found leads to Burlington, Vermont.
Though a few pieces of the puzzle were known prior to her disappearance, there are no real clues in the case. Murray’s on-campus job supervisor reported that she had received a mysterious call four days before she went missing. He expressed concern as Murray had burst into tears while on the phone, but but never figured out why or the source of the call.
Sadly, there isn’t any trace of evidence despite all the speculations that followed the young lady’s disappearance.
Alan Jeal’s Death
A man’s body washed up on a British beach in February 2014. He had a pair of iPod headphones and a sock shoved into his mouth. He was also caught nude with a a few injuries on his head. Alan Jeal, 64, was believed to have committed suicide, while others thought he was a victim of robbery because his credit cards were never recovered and were registered as used.
The police never came up with an official conclusion about the details of his death, even though he was caught on cameras heading to a bus station shortly before he was found dead.
The Beach Feet in Vancouver
Since 2007, eleven human feet have been found washing up on shores near Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. The disembodied feet were all wearing sneakers. Law enforcers and local scientists came to the conclusion that there was no criminal violence involved since the feet were not purposely severed. They had rather been naturally detached from bodies as part of post-mortem decomposition.
The feet should have stayed at the bottom of the sea together with the rest of the detached body. But because the buoyant sneakers were filled with air cushions and similar technology, the shoes ended up floating to the surface. So take that as a comforting thought the next time you encounter a random sneaker on the beach.
The De Ligonnes Family’s Death
The whole aristocratic De Ligonnes family—mother Agnes and her children Thomas, Arthur, Ann, and Benoit—a severed human leg, and the family’s two dogs were found buried by French law enforcement in their own backyard in April 2011. The father of the family and the only member left, Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes, made far-out explanations to friends as to the reason his family was missing.
Another strange story surrounding the family’s death was shared by one of Thomas’s schoolmates. He said that Thomas received a text message while they were hanging out, which said that Thomas’s mother, Agnes, had been in an accident so the young boy needed to return home swiftly.
But then he received text messages that did not sound like Thomas when he texted him hours later to ask about his mother’s condition, and none of his calls to Thomas were returned after that day. Another thing that bothered the police was a note revealed by Xavier’s former mistress, which read, “We had a good time together, but something bad may now happen,” shortly before the family’s bodies were discovered.
Xavier is suspected to be the mastermind of his family’s murder. Many have thought the crime was financially motivated since the father was born wealthy but was believed to be having financial problems at the time of the murders.
He was never caught by law enforcement, although there have been many times he appeared before public after the gruesome incident. Some started to believe that he might have committed suicide, but a letter with a photo of two of his sons, which had a note “I am still alive” written in the back, was sent to a French journalist.
West Mesa Bone Collector
A person came across a human bone while walking his dog along the desolate desert of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2009. That bone was later found to be from a mass grave containing bodies of eleven women. The public suspected that the murderer was committed by someone they nicknamed the West Mesa Bone Collector. However, police found no forensic evidence even in the grave.
Considered as New Mexico’s most brutal crime in the recent history, the mass killings would have never gone this far if the victims were discovered right away. Experts estimated that the women were murdered and buried between 2001 and 2005. Some even said that the law enforcement would not take the crime seriously because the women were sex workers.
Recently, the police found a potential suspect for the crime in Joseph Blea, a serial rapist who was found guilty last June and sentenced to 36 years in prison because of a sexual assault he committed 26 years ago. The police once reported that all eleven murders might have been committed by the same person, allegedly by Mr. Blea. However, due to lack of evidence, no formal charges were ever filed.