crime scene. a police cruiser is seen blocking off a street with police tape in the foreground
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
June 26, 2024 ·  6 min read

14 Of The Most Bizarre True Crime Stories

There are now a lot of new TV shows based on true crime stories because people are still interested in them. Also, many cold cases got big updates when forensic genealogy or new witnesses came forward. People all over the world are interested in true crime stories, which may seem like a dark hobby, but it has helped solve long-unsolved crimes and brought attention to cases and victims that most people had forgotten about.

The ‘Circleville Letter Writer’ Terrorized A Town

One of the Circleville letters
Image Credits: CBS News

In 1977, Circleville, OH residents began receiving threatening letters revealing their deepest secrets. The anonymous writer accused Mary Gillespie of having an affair, urging her husband Ron to kill both her and the alleged lover. Ron died in a suspicious accident after receiving a menacing phone call, and Mary narrowly escaped a booby-trapped gun. Paul Freshour, Mary’s brother-in-law, was convicted of attempted murder but denied being the letter writer, and the letters continued during his imprisonment. After his release, the letters ceased, leaving the town with unanswered questions about the writer’s identity.

A Doctor Lived With The Body Of His Deceased Patient

Elena Hoyos' body on display at Lopez Funeral Home
Image Credits: Flickr

In 1931, Carl Tanzler, a radiology technician, fell in love with Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos, a tuberculosis patient. After her death, Tanzler paid for her mausoleum and visited nightly for two years. In 1933, he took her body home, preserving it with plaster and rags, and lived with it for seven years. Discovered in 1940, Tanzler was charged with grave robbery but released as the statute of limitations had expired. The media romanticized his obsession, mentioning his belief that he could resurrect her.

Read More: The Unsolved Mysteries of Skeleton Lake in the Himalayas

The Horrific New Zealand Parker-Hulme Murder

Pauline Parker (L) and her mother.
Image Credits: Murderpedia

In 1954, teenagers Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme killed Parker’s mother, Honora, fearing their impending separation. Their intense friendship had evolved into a delusional fantasy world. Convicted of murder, they served only five years in prison. After release, Parker changed her name and became a devout Catholic, while Hulme, under the pseudonym Anne Perry, became a successful novelist.

Dean and Tina Clouse’s Car Was Mysteriously Returned

Family photo of the couple
Image Credits: Facebook

In January 1981, the bodies of Dean and Tina Clouse were found near Houston, TX. Their identities were confirmed in 2021 through genealogical research. Their daughter, Holly, who was an infant at their deaths, was found alive in Oklahoma. Dean’s mother received his car from a religious group claiming he’d joined them. Despite family suspicions, the couple’s killer remains unidentified, and Holly has reunited with her biological family.

At 20 Years Old, Christopher Knight Abandoned His Life

A TV left behind at Knight's camp.
Image Credits: The Guardian

In 1986, Christopher Knight abandoned his life and lived in the Maine woods for 27 years, surviving by stealing from nearby cabins. Known as the “North Pond Hermit,” he was arrested in 2013 for burglary and theft. After serving one year in prison, Knight settled in a small Maine town and found employment at an auto shop.

A Maid Killing And Dismembering Her Employer In The 1800s

Kate Webster and her Employer
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

In 1879, Kate Webster killed and dismembered her employer, Julia Martha Thomas, in London. Webster impersonated Thomas before being arrested and executed. Allegedly, there was an argument between the two over Webster’s termination. This had resulted in Webster throwing Julia over the stairs, then straggling, and murdering her. In 2009, David Attenborough discovered a skull in his backyard, identified as Thomas’s. Historians believe Webster buried the skull behind a derelict pub, solving a century-old mystery.

Joshua Maddux Went For A Walk In 2008

Joshua Maddux
Image Credits: Denver Post

In 2015, Joshua Maddux’s mummified body was found in a chimney in Woodland Park, CO, seven years after he disappeared. The initial coroner’s report suggested an accident, but the unusual circumstances, including his body being headfirst and his clothes folded nearby, led to suspicions of foul play. The case remains unsolved, with some suspecting involvement from a violent acquaintance named Andrew Newman.

Read More: A Prisoner Who Briefly ‘Died’ Argues His Life Sentence Was Served

Two Women With The Same Name Were Killed In The Same City Three Days Apart

Mary Lou Morris (L) and Mary McGinnis Morris (R)
Image Credits: YouTube

In October 2000, two women named Mary Morris were killed in Houston, TX, within three days. Mary Lou Morris, a loan officer, was found burned in her car, while Mary McGinnis Morris, a nurse, was shot after reporting a suspicious man. The similarities and an anonymous tip about a mistaken hitman led to speculation of a mix-up. Neither case has been solved. However, an anonymous caller had contacted the Houston Chronicles between the two murders and had claimed that the first one (the loan officer) was a “mistake”.

In 1939, A Blindfolded Man Stumbled Onto A Highway In The Middle Of The Night And Was Struck By A Car

The newspapers covering the news
Image Credits: Imgur

In December 1939, Stephen Melkey was found bound and blindfolded on a snowy highway in Mishawaka, IN, where he was fatally struck by a car. Police discovered he had been dropped off nearby, and another set of footprints suggested he was followed. Three suspects, including a jealous fiancé, were questioned, but no one was apprehended, and the case remains unsolved.

The Unknown Culprit Behind The Hinterkaifeck Killings

The Hinterkaifeck homestead
Image Credits: Wikipedia

In 1922, six members of the Gruber family were killed at their Bavarian homestead. Andreas Gruber had reported strange occurrences, including footsteps in the attic and missing keys, suggesting someone was living in their home. Despite interviewing over 100 suspects, the case remains unsolved, with evidence pointing to the culprit staying in the house after the murders.

A Teen Boy Lived In A Family’s Walls For Weeks

Daniel LaPlante
Image Credits: Boston Globe

In 1986, Daniel LaPlante secretly lived in the Bowen family’s home in Pepperell, MA, for days before revealing himself and holding them hostage. Arrested and sentenced to juvenile hall, LaPlante later killed a woman and her two children in 1987, receiving three life sentences. He continued practicing Wicca in prison.

Read More: 16 Fear-Inducing Photos That Will Have You Screaming Until Your Voice Is Gone

The Skeleton Of An Unidentified Woman Was Found Stuffed In A Tree In 1943

A graffiti about the killing
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

In 1943, four boys found a woman’s skeleton stuffed in a wych elm in Worcestershire, England. Named “Bella,” the unidentified woman was likely murdered, with her body hidden before rigor mortis set in. Six months later, graffiti asking, “Who put Luebella down the wych elm?” appeared, sparking theories about occult rituals. The graffiti is also the reason the authorities named the skeleton “Bella”. The case remains unsolved. However, experts believe it was some kind of occult ritual because her hand was separated and the bones were scattered around the tree.

The Axeman Of New Orleans

An axe
Image Credits: Unsplash

Between 1918 and 1919, the Axeman of New Orleans killed six people and injured six others. He wrote a letter claiming he would spare any home playing jazz music on a particular night, leading to a citywide jazz celebration. Despite multiple suspects, the Axeman was never identified, and the case remains a mystery.

The Mystery Of The Somerton Man

A plaster bust of the so-called Somerton Man
Image Credits: ABC News

In 1948, an unidentified man was found dead on Somerton Beach in Adelaide, Australia. Dubbed the “Somerton Man,” he carried no identification, and a hidden pocket contained a coded message and a phrase from a rare book. Despite extensive investigations and theories, including espionage and a possible love affair, the Somerton Man’s identity and cause of death remained unknown for 7 decades. However, in 2022, researchers claimed to have found decisive proof that the Somerton Man was an Australian electrical engineer named Carl Webbers.

Read More: ‘Relaxing’ By Listening to True Crime Podcasts and TV Shows is a Major Red Flag, Psychologist Warns.

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