12. James Kidd Created a Contest To Inherit His Fortune.
A copper prospector named James Kidd got in his car and drove away from his home in Arizona in 1949 to go to work, but he never arrived. Without evidence of a car crash or any disaster, and there was never any body recovered near his copper mine. Everyone assumed that he ran away from home, or he fell down a canyon. Either way, he was never seen again. After years of being missing, he was presumed dead in 1956. Before he disappeared, he had been very obsessed with spiritualism and the occult.
His family began to go through his belongings. They found his will in 1971, which stated that his fortune would go to anyone who could come up with scientific evidence proving the existence of the human soul. It turns out that he was hiding a treasure worth $270,000. In the 1940’s, during the time he was saving up that money, that is more like the buying power of $4 million, after inflation.
This sparked what was remembered as “The Great Soul Trial”. For years, scientific institutions fought over getting the money, but it dwindled away with legal fees. Eventually, after 26 years, the American Society for Psychical Research was awarded what was left of the money in 1971.
13. The Villisca Axe Murders Shook A Small Iowa Town.
In the year 1912, The Moore Family was brutally murdered by an intruder with an ax in Villisca, Iowa. Both parents, Joe and Sarah Moore, their four children, and two friends who came to spend the night were killed one-by-one by the same murderer. The front door was left unlocked, which was not uncommon back then. So the murderer was able to quietly tiptoe through the dark house with an oil lamp and chop them to bits in the middle of the night.
Some people believe that the murderer must have known the Moore Family, because it would have been incredibly difficult for a stranger to figure out the layout of a house at night, with only a handheld oil lamp for light. After he chopped up his victims, he covered the faces of every person with sheets and clothing. The also covered all of the windows and mirrors with blankets, and washed his hands before leaving the house.
This was years before police were putting up yellow caution tape around crime scenes, so over 100 townspeople showed up to take a look at the Moore house, which we now know would have completely defiled any possible evidence that may have been there. The killer was never found. Today, the Moore House has been kept as a museum. Some visitors believe that the house is haunted.
14. In the 1980’s, People Were Dying From Taking Poisoned Tylenol.
On September 29th, 1989, seven people in Chicago all died on the same day a few minutes after taking Tylenol that they had purchased from a pharmacy. Someone was opening bottles of Tylenol and replacing the pills with poison. Tragically, three people in the Janus family died from the pills, because the father died first, and they assumed it was an age-related illness. Siblings Stanley and Theresa Janus both took Tylenol after coming home from the hospital, and they died, too. The family finally realized that the pills were poisoned, and the police were able to figure out that this was linked to the other deaths in the city.
An investigator realized that the pill bottles from the homes of both victims had the same control number, meaning that they were all from the same batch made in the factory. It was discovered that the pills had been filled with lethal doses potassium cyanide. That same day, Johnson & Johnson recalled 31 million bottles of their product from store shelves, to make sure no one else died. They encouraged anyone who had already purchased a bottle of Tylenol to throw it away, and they will get a bottle for free. They also offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who could help identify the killer. None of the bottles ever had any fingerprints that would lead to the killer, and there was not enough evidence to prove their identity.
A month after the news of these murders went public, copycat killers began to poison medicine in pharmacies all across the country. Because of this case, pharmaceutical companies began to add safety seals on bottles of pills so that customers know if they had been opened already.
In the 1960’s, The Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, Scotland was a lively dance club where young people went on dates. It was an open secret that Thursday nights were designated for single people to meet and hookup. This was scandalous, of course, so most people did this as discreetly as possible. But one by one, the bodies of women who went to the Barrowland Ballroom on Thursday nights were found. Patricia Docker, Helen Puttock, and Jemima McDonald were all killed after going out dancing.
Witnesses saw each one of the girls leave with a tall, thin red headed man, who is clearly their killer. The bartender remembers speaking to this man, who ranted about how “sinful” the Barrowland Ballroom was, and that everyone was going to Hell. Serial killers usually target women who look the same, but the one thing these three ladies had in common was that they were menstruating. In The Bible, Leviticus 15:19-33 says that women on their period are “unclean”, and they should not be touched. Police nicknamed this man “Bible John”.
The Glasgow Police Department have a prime suspect named Peter Tobin, who was arrested in 1993 for killing two 14-year old girls. When comparing photographs of young Peter Tobin to the sketches of Bible John, it is easy to see why they believe he is the killer, especially since serial killers don’t usually begin killing at a later age in life. But they do not have enough evidence to prove that he really was Bible John.
16. The Grimes Sisters Died For Their Elvis Fandom.
A few days after Christmas of 1956, two teenage sisters, Barbara and Patricia Grimes begged their mom to go to the premier of the new Elvis movie, Love Me Tender. Their mom agreed to let them go alone to a theater in Chicago. Sadly, they never came back home. At first, the police believed that the girls ran away. Their disappearances led to a nationwide manhunt, and even Elvis Presley himself spoke on the radio begging the Grimes sisters to return home to their worried mother. Sadly, the girls never heard the message from their idol.
A month of searching, their bodies were found murdered and dumped in a ditch. According to the coroner’s report, the girls had been killed within just a couple hours after leaving their home. The police suspected one man of killing them, because he was a drifter. He confessed, but it was later revealed that this man was mentally disabled, and he had been forced to falsely confess to the crime. The police were never able to find their real murderer.
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