The 10 scariest murder mysteries that have never been solved. Read these real stories of unsolved murders and riddles left by unidentified killers.
Hinterkaifeck was a small farmstead in Germany that was owned by Andreas Gruber and his family. Andreas, his wife, his widowed daughter and his grandchildren lived on the land. They had also recently hired a maid.
One day, Andreas told neighbors that the family had been experiencing strange things around the farm. There were mysterious footprints in the snow that led from the forest to the house, but there was no trail of footprints leading away. They had also heard footsteps in the attic and a set of house keys went missing.
On the night of March 29th, 1922, four members of the household, Andreas, his wife, daughter, and oldest grandchild were lured into the barn. It was there they were brutally slaughtered with a mattock. The unknown killer then went into the house and killed the baby as it slept in its crib. The maid was killed in her quarters as she was unpacking her things, as she arrived at the house only hours before to start her new job.
No motive for the murders was ever found and they still remain unsolved.
On June 5th, 1960, four teenagers – 2 boys and 2 girls – went camping on the shores of Lake Bodom in Finland. During the night, they were attacked by someone with a knife. Three of the teens were killed and one managed to escape with his life.
The lone survivor was Nils Gustafsson. He had a concussion and a broken jaw. The police theorized that the killer must have thought he was dead and left the scene. Despite having a number of suspects, police could never figure out who the killer was and the case went cold.
45 years later, police arrested Nils Gustafsson and charged him with the murders of his friends. however, the charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.
To this day, nobody knows who committed the crimes and the murders at Lake Bodom remain an unsolved mystery.
3. The Keddie Murders
The Sharp Family lived in a small, down on its luck resort community in Keddie, California.
On April 12, 1981, Glenna Sharp, (known as Sue), her son John (age 15), and his friend, Dana Wingate (age 17), were discovered in cabin 28 by Sue’s 14-year-old daughter, Shelia, who was coming home from a sleepover.
The victims were bound with electrical wire and medical tape. All had been beaten with a claw hammer and stabbed to death. A fourth victim, 12-year-old Tina Sharp, was missing and presumably abducted from the scene. Shockingly, although other cabins were occupied nearby, no one heard a sound.
There were three survivors of the attack in a room adjacent to the crime scene. Greg and Rick Sharp, 10 and 5 years old respectively, apparently slept through it all. 12-year-old family friend Justin who was at the Sharp’s for a sleepover, also survived unscathed.
Three years later, a portion of skull was found 30 miles from Keddie. Soon after, an anonymous tipster alerted the Butte County Sheriff’s office that the skull was Tina’s. The area was searched again and more bones were found. Despite this discovery, no new information has ever come to light and the murders remain unsolved to this day.
The Moore family lived in Villisca, Iowa. On the night of June 9, 1912, two other children, friends of the Moore’s daughter Katherine, were staying over. During the night, a mysterious intruder murdered everyone in the house with an axe as they slept in their beds.
The next morning, when the bodies were found, their heads were covered in bed cloths. The mirrors in the house were also covered. The police were baffled. They had no suspects and no real evidence. There had been a string of axe murders across the country prior to this. Nobody was ever charged with the crime and the case remains unsolved.
5. The Phantom Killer
Between February and May of 1946, 5 people were shot and killed in and around Texarkana. They called it The Texarkana Moonlight Murders. The mysterious murderer was known only as “The Phantom Killer”. He also shot 5 other people, but they survived and lived to tell their tale.
An urban legend grew around the case, stating that victims were only attacked during full moon; however, this claim was unsubstantiated. Residents of the area were thrown into a panic, and many chose to nail down their windows and/or purchase firearms.
Two victims who survived the attacks, Mary Jeanne Larey and Jimmy Hollis, described the Phantom Killer as a very tall man wearing a white sack over his head, with holes cut out for his eyes and mouth.
Nearly 400 suspects were arrested over the course of investigation, and numerous people made (presumably false) confessions, but nobody was ever convicted of the crimes and the murders remain unsolved. There was a movie made about the case called “The Town That Dreaded Sundown”.
6. The Axeman of New Orleans
Between 1918 and 1919, eight people in New Orleans were hacked to death by a mysterious axe murderer. The majority of the victims were Italian-American, and most were killed with axes that belonged to them.
On March 13, 1919, someone claiming to be The Axeman sent a chilling letter to the newspapers. It was published and it read:
“I am not a human being, but a spirit and a demon from the hottest hell. I am what you Orleanians and your foolish police call the Axeman. When I see fit, I shall come and claim other victims. I alone know whom they shall be. I shall leave no clue except my bloody axe, besmeared with blood and brains of he whom I have sent below to keep me company.”
The mad Axeman’s identity was never discovered, and before long, the axe murders stopped just as suddenly as they had started.
7. The Socialite
On January 23rd, 1974, former actress, Athalia Ponsell Lindsley was found dead on the front steps of her home in St. Augustine, Florida. She had been hacked to death with a machete and her head was almost chopped off.
The main suspect was her neighbor, Alan Stanford. The two had argued in the past over Lindsley’s dogs barking too loud. One of the neighbors caught a glimpse of the murderer from across the street, but he couldn’t be sure who it was.
Stanford was charged with the crime, but he was acquitted due to tainted evidence and police incompetence. That’s not where the case ends. In fact, it just became even more baffling.
Lindsley’s friend and neighbor was a woman named Frances Bemis. She began her own investigation into Lindsley’s death. One day, she mentioned that she had uncovered information about the death of Lindsley. Shortly afterwards, she was found dead on a patch of wasteland. Her skull had been bashed in with a cement brick.
To this day, the murders of both women remain unsolved.
8. The Gatton Murders
On the night of December 26, 1898, Michael Murphy and his two sisters went to attended a dance. It turned out that it was cancelled, but they never came home.
Their mother got worried and sent her son-in-law out to try and find them. He was follow their tracks because the horse-drawn cart they were driving had a damaged wheel.
The next morning, he found their bodies in a clearing. The two women had been bludgeoned to death and Michael had been shot. The killer had even shot their horse as well. For some strange reason, the dead bodies, the cart and the dead horse had been arranged in a triangle.
To this day, the murders have never been solved.
9. The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run
In the 1930s, 12 people in Cleveland were murdered by an unidentified serial killer known only as The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run or The Cleveland Torso Murderer. He was known for beheading and dismembering his victims and leaving their remains in plastic bags for police to find.
Some of the victims were never identified because their heads were never found. Some suspected there was more than one “Mad Butcher,” but the case remains unsolved.
10. The Walker Family
Cliff Walker and his wife Christine lived on a farm in Osprey, Florida. They had a 3-year old son named Jimmie and one-year old daughter named Debbie.
On December 19, 1959, when Christine arrived home, she was shot to death by a mysterious intruder. When Cliff arrived home later, he was shot and killed as well. The children were shot and drowned in a bathtub.
597 people were considered suspects but no one was ever convicted.