Murder mysteries make great novels, but some real-life crime can be stranger than fiction. These murder cases remain unsolved to this day despite extensive investigations.
The Gatton Murders
In 1898, a triple homicide took place in Australia. Three members of the Murphy family, Michael, 29, along with his younger sisters Norah, 27 and Ellen, 18, were shot or bludgeoned to death shortly after Christmas Day. Their bodies were found in an unusual triangular arrangement in an open field, along with the body of their horse. The case was mismanaged and although there were a large number of suspects, the mystery remains unsolved.
Villisca Axe Murders
In Iowa, the mass murder of an entire family of six and their two house guests rocked the town of Villisca in 1912. The grisly murder took place as the household slept, and all but one was thought to be sleeping when attacked. The murder weapon? An axe, which was found in the guest room, apparently after the last two murders were committed. Though many individuals were arrested and tried, none were convicted.
Little Lord Fauntleroy
The remains of a boy, thought to be between the ages of 5 and 7, were discovered floating in a Wisconsin pond in 1921. Investigation revealed that he had died a few months before he was found. To this date, not only is his murder unsolved, but he hasn’t been identified, either. It has also been reported that an unidentified, veiled woman would occasionally place flowers on his grave. In the 1940s, a medical examiner in Wisconsin suggested that he may have been a boy named Homer Lemay, who disappeared at around the same time the Little Lord died.
In Sweden in the 1930s, a woman named Lilly Lindeström who worked as a prostitute was found murdered in her apartment. She was the victim of blunt force trauma to her head, and police discovered a gravy ladle near her body and realized that the perpetrator had likely used it to drink some, or all, of her blood. Although a lengthy investigation was launched, nobody was ever charged with her murder.
Taman Shud Case
An unidentified man was found deceased on Somerton beach in Adelaide, South Australia in 1948. A scrap of paper that said “Taman Shud” was found in a pocket that can be translated as “Finished” or “The End.” The book where it was torn from was found, and a curious inscription was noted (pictured) that has yet to be deciphered. It remains one of the biggest mysteries in Australian history.
Burger Chef murders
In the 1970s, four young employees of the Indiana-based Burger Chef disappeared during a late-evening shift. The motive was thought to have been robbery, but all four were later discovered nearly 20 miles away in a wooded area. Jayne Friedt, 20; Daniel Davis, 16; Mark Flemmonds, 16 and Ruth Ellen Shelton, 18 were bludgeoned to death or stabbed, and there have been no arrests made in the case.
Inokashira Park dismemberment incident
A park worker made an unfortunate discovery one early April morning in 1994. In a trash can, several body parts were discovered — almost everything from a single human body, except a head, chest and genitals. While the man was identified, the case remains unsolved, although they suspect the individual was a highly-trained medical doctor based on the skill used to dismember the body.