20 Most Infamous Unsolved Cold Cases in American History

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Here’s a simple list of 20 of the most infamous unsolved cold cases in American history. Continue reading below to find out why they may never be truly solved.

The Black Dahlia Murder

Elizabeth Short, an aspiring actress, was brutally murdered in Los Angeles in 1947, her case remaining unsolved.

The Zodiac Killer

Active during the late 1960s and early 1970s in California, this serial killer terrorised communities and sent cryptic letters to the media.

The JonBenét Ramsey Murder

The 1996 unsolved murder of six-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey in Boulder, Colorado, continues to baffle investigators.

The Axeman of New Orleans

This serial killer terrorized New Orleans in 1918-1919, targeting Italian immigrants and leaving a trail of fear.

The Gardner Museum Art Heist

In 1990, 13 valuable artworks were stolen from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, making it one of the most significant art heists in history.

The Springfield Three

In 1992, three women mysteriously disappeared from Springfield, Missouri, their whereabouts still unknown.

The Sodder Children Disappearance

Five children vanished without a trace from their home in Fayetteville, West Virginia, on Christmas Eve 1945, leaving a decades-long mystery. Although, there is a solid theory for this one.

The Villisca Axe Murders

In 1912, eight people were brutally murdered in Villisca, Iowa, their killer never identified. Read the full story of the Villisca Axe Murders.

20 Most Infamous Unsolved Cold Cases in American History

The Boy in the Box

The infamous unsolved 1957 murder of a young boy whose body was found in a cardboard box in Philadelphia. On 8th December 2022, the boy was publicly identified as four-year-old Joseph Augustus Zarelli.

The Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa

The former Teamsters president, Jimmy Hoffa, mysteriously disappeared from a Detroit-area restaurant in 1975, and his whereabouts remain unknown.

The Long Island Serial Killer

An unidentified serial killer who targeted sex workers and dumped their bodies along a beach in Long Island, New York, from 2010-2011.

The Atlanta Child Murders

From 1979 to 1981, Atlanta was terrorised by a series of 28 murders involving children, adolescents, and adults.

The Colonial Parkway Murders

A series of unsolved murders and disappearances occurred along Virginia’s Colonial Parkway throughout the 1980s.

Bizarre True Crime Volume #12

The Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders

In 1977, three Girl Scouts were brutally murdered at a camp in Oklahoma, their killer never found.

The Chicago Tylenol Murders

In 1982, seven people tragically died after ingesting cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules in a chilling, unsolved case.

The Cleveland Torso Murders

A series of grisly, unsolved dismemberment murders haunted Cleveland during the 1930s.

The Grimes Sisters

The 1956 unsolved murder of two teenage sisters, who disappeared after attending a movie in Chicago, remains a mystery.

The DB Cooper Hijacking

In 1971, a man calling himself DB Cooper hijacked a Northwest Orient Airlines flight, ultimately escaping with a ransom and never being found. Facts about DB Cooper.

The Mysterious D.B. Cooper and the FIFTEEN Intriguing Suspects Behind the Infamous Cold Case

The Keddie Murders

The 1981 unsolved murder of four people in a Keddie, California, cabin continues to perplex investigators.

Oakland County Child Killer

In the late 1970s, the unsolved murders of four teenage girls shook the Oakland County, Michigan area.

READ NEXT: 6 Cold Cases Solved in 2022

Will These Infamous Unsolved Cold Cases Ever Be Solved?

While advancements in forensic technology and new leads could potentially lead to breakthroughs in these infamous unsolved cold cases, there is no guarantee that they will ever be conclusively solved.

There are several reasons why some infamous unsolved cold cases may never be solved:

  • Loss of evidence: Over time, evidence may be lost, damaged, or destroyed, making it difficult to link a suspect to the crime conclusively.
  • Degradation of evidence: As time passes, biological evidence like DNA, blood, or other bodily fluids can degrade, making it challenging to analyse and use in solving the case.
  • Unreliable witness accounts: Memories fade over time, and witnesses may have passed away, making it difficult to gather accurate information or corroborate existing evidence.
  • Lack of new leads: Cold cases often stall due to a lack of new leads, which can result from insufficient initial investigation or the passage of time.
  • Inadequate resources: Law enforcement agencies may have limited resources and prioritise active cases over cold cases, leading to less attention given to solving older crimes.
  • Statute of limitations: In some areas, a statute of limitations applies to certain crimes, meaning that even if new evidence surfaces, the suspect cannot be prosecuted after a specific period.
  • Perpetrator’s death: The perpetrator may have died, making it impossible to bring them to justice and provide closure for the victims and their families.

Despite these challenges, new forensic techniques, continued investigative efforts, and public interest can sometimes lead to breakthroughs in cold cases. However, there is no guarantee that all unsolved cases will be resolved.

READ NEXT: 5 Notorious Unsolved Cold Cases in Austin, Texas

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