In 1957, the body of a small boy with blonde hair and blue eyes was found inside of a box in a vacant lot in Philadelphia. The boy was between 5 and 7 years old, and he was stuffed inside of a box used for a baby bassinet. He was naked, his hair had been recently cut, and he had several markings on his body, including several blows to the head. Images of his face circulated throughout the country in an attempt to find his true identity, and people with missing children from 10 different states came to visit the body, but no one ever came forward to claim him.
This case is so open-ended, there are several theories about his death, and potential leads. Some people believe that the child died from a tragic accident, and the parents disposed of their son’s body so they would not get in trouble.
Another theory come from a woman who claimed that the boy was adopted by an abusive foster mother who paid his biological parents to purchase him, and that she abused and killed her adopted son while she was giving him a bath. She disposed of him in the box from the bassinet she purchased for one of the other foster kids. While this sounds like the most convincing theory, there is not enough evidence to prove this, and there are several ideas floating out there as to what actually occurred.
On January 2nd of 1935, a man named Roland T. Owen checked into the Hotel President room number 1046 in Kansas City. The maid, Mary Soptic, came in to clean, and Owen said it was fine, but to leave the door unlocked, because he was expecting a friend. The maid thought this was strange and uncomfortable, because the room was very dark, except for one lamp dimly lighting the room. Owen remained sitting in the shadows. On the bedside table, there was a note that said, “Don, I will be back in 15 minutes.” The next morning, the maid knocked on the door and gathered the dirty towels. She witnessed Owen talking to “Don” on the phone. Later, she heard two voices from inside the room, who told her to go away. A “Do not disturb” sign was then hung on the door, and no one heard anything from the guest for two days. When the hotel management tried to call the room, they discovered that the phone was off the hook, so they sent a bellboy to knock on the door and check. A voice from inside said, “Come in. Turn on the lights.” But the door was locked. One of the employees had to find a master key. He saw that Roland Owen was unconscious. The bellboy assumed he was drunk, laying on a “dark stain” on the bed, which was probably blood. He hung up the phone, and left.
A few minutes later, the phone was off the hook again. When employees came back up a second time to hang up the phone, they saw splatters of blood all over the hotel room, and Owen had been beaten over the head. He had markings on his neck, indicating strangulation, and he was stabbed in the chest several times. He was on his hands and knees, holding his head. By no small miracle, Owen was still alive. When a detective arrived to ask who else was in the room, he replied, “nobody,” and claims that he fell on and hit his head on the bathtub. Of course, that doesn’t explain the strangulation, or the stabbing. Even though a lot of people heard Ronald Owen communicating with a man named “Don”, no one ever witnessed what he actually looked like.
After he died, detectives realized that “Ronald Owen” didn’t actually exist, and he had used a false name. Before his funeral, an anonymous letter filled with money for a proper burial, flowers, and a note that said “Love forever, Louise.” were sent to his burial. His portrait was published in a newspaper, and the mother of Artemus Ogletree came forward to identify that Ronald Owen was actually her son. He was only 17 at the time of his death. No one knows who killed him, why, or what he was even doing so far from home under a false alias.
10. The Hikers of Dyatlov Pass Were Killed By An “Inhuman Force”.
In 1959, a group of 9 friends were going on a ski trip in Russia. All of them had a lot of experience skiing on the mountain in the past, and they were confident enough to camp out for the night in a tent. For some reason, they became so scared of something, they ripped open the tent from the inside with a knife. Two of the bodies were found frozen, stripped down to their underwear. Later, the bodies of their friends were found bundled up in their dead friend’s clothes to keep warm, buy they died as well. At first, it’s easy to pass this off as a case of hypothermia, but the strangest part about these deaths was that they were crushed by an “inhuman force”. All of their bodies were also riddled with radiation. The theories about what really happened to the hikers of Dyatlov Pass vary widely from avalanche, to getting caught up in a government experiment. People who believe in the supernatural also believe there is reason to believe that this was caused by aliens, or a yeti.
In 1932 in Stockholm, Sweden, the body of a 32-year old sex worker named Lilly Lindstrom was found in her apartment. She would invite strange men into her apartment so they could pay her for sex, but she unknowingly brought in a man who was a real vampire.
Lindstrom’s body was found lying face-down on her bed. Her killer was having sex with her at the time of her death, because she was naked, and they left behind the condom. They beat her over the head, and then drained her body of almost all of its blood. The police found traces of saliva on her neck, and a blood-stained gravy ladle in the apartment. This lead the police to believe that the killer was drinking her blood. Lilly Londstrom’s regular clients were interviewed, as well as her friend who lived in the apartment below her, and yet no one had seen the man who killed her. The evidence is still on display in a museum in Stockholm.
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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