Some of the most horrific true crime stories come from serial criminals ― killers, rapists, arsonists. But there are some crimes with behaviour so bizarre, so unsettling, that they could chill you to the bone. These crimes become even scarier when they remain unsolved.
In this list article, we have compiled such 44 unsolved true crime cases that will remind you that horror comes in all different, terrible shapes and sizes:
1 | The 2001 Anthrax Attacks
Beginning on September 18, 2001, a week after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, letters containing anthrax spores were received by two U.S. senators and several media outlets, injuring 17 people and killing five. The FBI called the investigation that ensued “one of the largest and most complex in the history of law enforcement.”
On April 11, 2007, Bruce Edwards Ivins, a scientist at the government’s biodefense labs at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, was put under periodic surveillance and an FBI document stated that he was “an extremely sensitive suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks.”
On July 29, 2008, Ivins died by suicide with an overdose of acetaminophen. Federal prosecutors declared Ivins the sole culprit on August 6, 2008, based on DNA evidence leading to an anthrax vial in his lab. The FBI formally closed its investigation on February 19, 2010.
In 2008, the FBI requested a review of the scientific methods used in their investigation from the National Academy of Sciences, which released their findings in the report in 2011. The report cast doubt on the government’s conclusion that Ivins was the perpetrator, finding that the type of anthrax used in the letters was correctly identified as the Ames strain of the bacterium, but that there was insufficient scientific evidence for the FBI’s assertion that it originated from Ivins’s laboratory.
2 | The Keddie Murders
In 1981 in Cabin 28 of the Keddie Resort, California, three members of the Sharp family, as well as one of their family friends, were bludgeoned to death with hammers, with one repeatedly stabbed. Whoever attacked them bound them with medical tape. Along with the three murders, the younger Sharp daughter, Tina (12) was reported missing. Tina’s body was found three years later, miles away from the murder scene. The murders are remembered for their particular viciousness and the lack of motive behind them. The two prime suspects in the case have since died, and the case remains unsolved to this day.
3 | The Houston Ice Box Killer
Charles Rogers disappeared in June 1965 after police discovered the dismembered bodies of his elderly parents in the refrigerator of the Houston home they shared. The media named the crime “The Icebox Murders,” and Rogers was declared dead in absentia in July 1975. He remains the only suspect, and has never been found.
4 | The Disappearance Of Madeleine McCann
On May 3, 2007, 3-year-old Madeline McCann disappeared from her family’s rented holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, while her parents dined at a tapas bar – 120 metres away. This was initially deemed an abduction until an incorrect DNA test indicated that the girl died in the hotel room, and the Portuguese investigators claimed that the McCanns hid Madeleine’s body and they simulated an abduction. The case reopened in 2008. In June 2020, a German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters says he has evidence Madeleine is dead – but he gives no details. As of October 2020, the case is still unsolved.
5 | Kyllikki Saari Murder
Last seen alive on May 17, 1953, in Isojoki, Finland, Kyllikki Saari was riding her bike home from a prayer meeting when she was apparently attacked. The murderer was never found, even though the story received significant media attention. Her remains were discovered in a bog on October 11, 1953. Later that summer, her bicycle was found in a marshy area.
6 | Lake Bodom Murders
Four teenagers were camping on the shores of Lake Bodom in Finland on June 5, 1960, when an unknown group or individual murdered three of them with a knife and blunt instrument. Though the fourth boy, Nils Wilhelm Gustafsson, survived the attack and lead a relatively normal life, he became a suspect in 2004. All charges were dropped in 2005. Therefore, the Lake Bodom Murders case still remains unsolved. Read More
7 | The Bear Brook Murders
On November 10, 1985, a hunter found a metal 55-gallon drum near the site of a burned-down store at Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, New Hampshire. Inside were either partially or completely skeletonized bodies of an adult female and young girl, wrapped in plastic. Autopsies determined both had died of blunt trauma between 1977 and 1985. 15 years later, another metal drum was discovered 100 feet away, this one containing the bodies of two more young girls – one of whom was related to the people found in 1985. The fourth victim bore no relation to the others. The killer has never been identified and the case is still unsolved.
8 | The Tamam Shud Case
On December 1, 1948, near Somerton beach south of Adelaide in South Australia, an unknown man was found dead. The phrase “Tamam Shud” (“finished” in Persian) was printed on a small piece of paper in one of his pockets, with a mystic code written on another side. The man has never been identified, and the code has not been deciphered yet. Investigators neither found the killer(s) nor they have ever found the motive behind the killing.
9 | The Dyatlov Pass Incident
On February 2, 1959, in the Northern Ural Mountains, a team of nine experienced ski hikers set up camp for the night. According to investigators, they later tore their tents from the inside and fled, including many who were barefoot, even in the heavy snow. Apparently, they were trying to escape from some immediate threats, as there were signs of struggle. The chronology of the events is unclear, as there were no survivors. The tragedy is known as “The Dyatlov Pass Incident.” Read More
10 | Elisa Lam
On February 19, 2013, The body of 21-year-old Canadian student Elisa Lam was recovered from a water tank atop the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Guests had been complaining about the bad odour and taste of the tap water. So when maintenance workers investigated the issue, they discovered the half-rotten body of Lam floating inside the tank. She had been reported missing since the beginning of the month. From some kinds of psychotic disorders to an accident to a pre-planned murder, many have put forth many conclusions to this case. What did really happened to Elisa Lam?? Read More
11 | The Sodder Children Went Up In Smoke!
Late on the Christmas Eve of 1945, the home of husband and wife George and Jennie Sodder, in Fayetteville, West Virginia, was destroyed in a disastrous fire. George, Jennie, and four of their five children survived, but they never found the bodies of their other five children. In 1967, the Sodders got a photo in the mail, supposedly of their now-adult son Louis but the detective they hired to look into it disappeared himself. For the rest of their lives, the Sodders believed that the missing children were still alive.
12 | The Case Of Severed Feet
Since August 2007, a number of severed human feet have washed ashore near Vancouver, British Columbia. No bodies, no heads, no clothes, just feet, nearly all still clad in sneakers. The Canadian authorities could not determine how the feet ended up on the shoreline or why. They matched one of the foot to a person through DNA test. The man had been missing for several months. Numerous theories have popped up about those feet, which indicates instances of foul play. More than a decade later the mystery remains to be unsolved.
13 | The Highway Of Tears
Between 1969 and 2011, along the 450-mile section of Highway 16 which connects Prince George to Prince Rupert in British Columbia, Canada, 18 women — mostly teenagers of aboriginal descent — were murdered or went missing. The killer has never been identified, and the ominous stretch is called the “Highway of Tears.”
14 | June 1962 Alcatraz Escape
In June 1962, the guards of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in San Francisco checked into the cells of 3 inmates named Clarence, John and Frank, and everything seemed fine. But soon afterwards, the guards had realized that it wasn’t the inmates who were in the beds, rather than 3 dummies merely constructed from soap and toilet paper. These three prisoners have never been found again. their bodies weren’t discovered anywhere – a disappearance that is one of the country’s most notorious unsolved mysteries. Read More
15 | The Axeman Of New Orleans
Active in New Orleans and some surrounding communities, this serial killer committed his crimes between May 1918 and October 1919, but there were similar murders as early as 1911. He was never caught or identified, but on March 13, 1919, a letter to “Esteemed Mortal” that was supposedly written by the Axeman was published in several New Orleans newspapers. It began with this chilling message: “They have never caught me and they never will. They have never seen me, for I am invisible, even as the ether that surrounds your earth. 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
16 | The Japanese Pregnant Woman Murder Case
On March 18, 1988, a man came home to his apartment in Nagoya, Japan, to find the door unlocked and the lights off. After changing clothes, he heard a baby crying. He then discovered the mutilated body of his pregnant wife and his newborn son lying at her feet. His wife had been bound and strangled to death before the killer proceeded to cut open her abdomen and deliver the baby, even cutting the umbilical cord. The infant miraculously survived, but the killer was never found. The names of the victims were never publicly released by police.
17 | The Oakland County Children Murders
Four children from the Detroit area, aged 10 to 12, were murdered in the years of 1976 and 1977. All their bodies were left in public areas, once within sight of a police station. Even, one of the victims had been given fried chicken after his parents pleaded on TV for him to come home to his favourite meal, KFC. The killer was never identified.
18 | The Atlas Vampire
On May 4, 1932, Lilly Linderstrom, a 32-year-old divorcee making a living as a prostitute in Stockholm, was found bludgeoned to death in her apartment. Police discovered that her skull was crushed in, signs of sexual activity, and a blood-stained gravy ladle near the bed. Her blood was almost completely drained, and police determined that the murderer had used the ladle to drink her blood! Despite an intensive police investigation the murderer ― dubbed the “Atlas Vampire” after the area the murder took place ― was never identified.
19 | The Black Dahlia Murder Case
Elizabeth Short, more famously known as the Black Dahlia, was found murdered in Los Angeles, California. Because of the grisly nature of her case, which included her corpse being mutilated and severed from the waist, it gained rapid national attention. The details surrounding Short’s life are largely unknown, rather than she was an aspiring actress. The case is one commonly cited as being one of Los Angeles County’s most infamous unsolved murders. Read More
20 | The Case Of Jeannette DePalma
In Springfield, New Jersey, in 1972, a 16-year-old girl named Jeannette DePalma went missing until weeks later, a dog brought back her right forearm to its master. Several witnesses have claimed her body was found surrounded by occult objects and on top of a pentagram, but authorities have denied those claims. Today, even the Springfield Police don’t want to say anything about this case. The killer(s) has never been identified. Was Jeannette sacrificed in occult worship? Read More
21 | The Strange Deaths Of Don Henry And Kevin Ives
Don Henry and Kevin Ives were high-school buddies who lived in central Arkansas. On the evening of August 23rd, 1987, the pair went out and were never seen alive again. The next person to see them was the conductor of a train, who attempted to stop when he saw their bodies lying in the middle of the tracks, but was unable to stop in time.
Initially, police suspected that the boys had smoked weed and had fallen asleep on the tracks, but their parents were not convinced and their bodies were exhumed. Investigators found that the boys weren’t nearly as intoxicated as they had seemed, and were likely killed before their bodies were placed on the tracks. Police suspect that the boys witnessed a drug drop and were murdered as a result, and the case remains unsolved.
22 | The Setagaya Family Massacre
On December 30, 2000, a gruesome murder occurred in the Setagaya ward of Tokyo, Japan. That night, Mikio Miyazawa, 44, Yasuko Miyazawa, 41, and their children Niina, 10, and Rei, 6, were all stabbed to death by an unknown assailant. The killer stayed in the house for several hours after the killing, even using the restroom without bothering to flush. Despite finding a great deal of evidence, including the killer’s DNA, police still have not been able to identify him.
23 | Little Lord Fauntleroy
In March of 1921, the body of a six-year-old boy was fished from a pond in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He had been killed by a blow to the head, and may have been in the water for several months. Because of his expensive clothing, he was dubbed Little Lord Fauntleroy. He was put on display at a local funeral home and a $1000 reward was offered for information, but no one ever came forward. It later developed that an employee of the company near the pond claimed that five weeks before the body was found, a couple had come to him asking if he had seen a little boy, and had driven away heartbroken after he answered in the negative. The crime is still unsolved, almost a century later.
24 | Who Put Bella In The Wych-Elm?
On April 18, 1943, four local boys by the named of Robert Hart, Thomas Willetts, Bob Farmer and Fred Payne, were poaching or bird–nesting in Hagley Wood, part of the Hagley estate belonging to Lord Cobham near to Wychbury Hill, UK when they came across a large wych elm tree where they found a human skeleton in its hollow trunk. One of them reported this discovery to the police.
Upon investigation, it was revealed that the corpse’s mouth was stuffed with taffeta, and hidden along with her body, a gold wedding ring and a shoe. The cause of death was suffocation and the body was placed in the elm when it was still warm. But when strange graffiti started appearing in crooks of the town with the question, “Who put Bella in the wych-elm?” the town turned into a living nightmare, making it one of those unsolved mysteries that never got an answer.
25 | The Chicago Tylenol Murders
On September 29th, 1982, seven people in the Chicagoland area were fatally poisoned by a series of cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules purchased from various locations. This random act of violence created a nationwide panic that caused Tylenol to pull $100-million in products off the shelves. Tamper-proof seals on bottles became the industry standard because of this incident. The murderer and motive have never been identified.
26 | Torso Murderer Terrorizes Cleveland
One of the most notorious serial killers in American history was the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run. Between 1935 and 1938, 12 victims, only two of whom were identified, were found dumped in a creek bed in an area of Cleveland, Ohio known as Kingsbury Run. The bodies were often headless and limbless. It was the most gruesome murder spree in Cleveland’s history and one in which the killer was never caught.
27 | Jack The Ripper
One of the most notorious unsolved crime sprees in history goes to Jack the Ripper. The identity of the killer who terrified East London in 1888 remains a mystery to this day. The killer used to mutilate his victim’s body in such an unusual manner, indicating that he had a substantial knowledge of human anatomy. Many have speculated on who exactly the killer of five women in the Whitechapel area of London was, but no one has solved it and probably never will.
However, a group of British researchers have suggested that the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper could be a 23-year-old Polish barber named Aaron Kosminsky who was committed to an asylum at the same time the killings stopped. The researchers used hitech DNA tests to link Polish-born Aaron Kosminsky and a blood-stained shawl of a Ripper victim. They claim it’s a “statistical probability” Kosminsky cold-bloodedly butchered at least five women in the Whitechapel area. Read More
28 | The Zodiac Killer
In July 1969 a letter arrived at The San Francisco Examiner with a mysterious coded message, marking the beginning of the terrifying spree of the serial killer named the “Zodiac Killer.” Officially connected to five murders and two attempted murders, the Zodiac terrorized North California and taunted the police and the public with his bizarre letters containing cryptic ciphers. In the late 1970s his letters stopped and the Zodiac Killer vanished without a trace.
29 | The Boy In The Box
In 1957, a grisly discovery was made that, to this day, has stumped police and the public as well. The body of a young boy was found hidden in a cardboard box in a Philadelphia neighbourhood. The boy, believed to be four to six years old, was never identified — despite tireless searches and appeals to the public. Tests found he was malnourished and abused, leading to theories that he was an abandoned orphan. No one knows who the boy was or how he ended up in the box.
30 | Borden House Axe Murders
Andrew and Abby Borden were found hacked to death by an axe in the summer of 1892 in their Fall River, Massachusetts home. Their daughter, Lizzie Borden, was charged but later acquitted of the gruesome murders. Their daughter Lizzie, a quiet Sunday School teacher, was arrested on circumstantial evidence and after only an hour of deliberation, the jury acquitted her. Whether this means Lizzie was innocent or not, we’ll never know.
However, her defenders have pointed to several other potential killers including her uncle, illegitimate brother, scorned lover and even the local doctor. Whatever happened in that house that day, someone got away with murder. This cold case, with numerous theories, movies, TV shows and even a children’s nursery rhyme about it, has endured and the mystery of who wielded the axe that fateful day has never been solved.
31 | The Murder Of Amber Hagerman
On January 13, 1996, Amber Hagerman, 9, was snatched off her bicycle in a grocery store parking lot in Arlington, Texas. Police had only an eyewitness account of a blue pickup truck driving away from the scene. Despite national attention, media coverage and thousands of anonymous tips called in, a dog walker found Hagerman’s body five days later floating in a creek with her throat slit. No one has ever been caught for the abduction and murder of Amber. It was this case that launched the Amber Alert system which is now a North American-wide coordinated system that warns the public when a child goes missing.
32 | The Beaumont Children Disappearance
In South Australia, the Beaumont Children Disappearance Case still haunts the community. Jane, Arna and Grant disappeared in the 60’s. Every year there is a new story about where their bodies are, who took them, they are still alive, that are extremely sad to hear. There are different theories, suspects and questions, but no one has the proper answer.
33 | Stolen Boeing 727
In 2003, a Boeing 727 was stolen from an Angola airport. It took off without clearance and flew out over the Atlantic with its lights and transponder switched off and was never seen again! Read More
34 | The Max Headroom Broadcast Signal Intrusion
This television signal hijacking incident is one of the most popular unsolved mysteries you will find on the internet and there’s a reason why there’s a Wikipedia page dedicated to it. On November 22nd of 1987, a Chicago television was airing an episode of “Doctor Who” when its broadcast was hijacked. An unidentified person wearing Max Headroom accessories appeared on the screen for 90 seconds, scaring the viewers who were up late night watching the show. The incident made national headlines but despite mass attention, the hijackers were never identified.
35 | Who Is D.B. Cooper?
On November 24th of 1971, D.B. Cooper (Dan Cooper) hijacked a Boeing 727 and successfully extorted $200,000 in ransom money – worth $1 million today – from the US Government. He drank a whisky, smoked a fag and parachuted from the plane with the negotiated money. He was never seen or heard from again and the ransom money was never used. In 1980, a young boy on vacation with his family in Oregon found several packets of the ransom money (identifiable by serial number), leading to an intense search of the area for Cooper or his remains. Nothing was ever found. Later in 2017, a parachute strap was found at one of Cooper’s possible landing sites.
36 | 1987 Opera House Heist
On 19 March 1987, a group posing as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers executed a fake income tax investigation raid on the Opera House branch of TBZ & Sons Jewellers in Mumbai, India. They took off jewellery valued from INR 30,00,000 to INR 35,00,000 (equivalent to USD 490,000 in 2020). This case has remained unsolved to date.
37 | Yuki Onishi Just Vanished Into The Thin Air!
On April 29, 2005, Yuki Onishi, a five-year-old Japanese girl, was digging up bamboo shoots to celebrate Greenery Day. After finding her first shoot and showing it to her mother, she ran off to find more. About 20 minutes later, her mother realized she was not with the other diggers and a search began. A police dog was brought in to track the missing girl’s scent. It reached a spot in the nearby forest and then stopped. Four other dogs were brought in, and all led the search party to the same exact spot. No trace of Yuki has ever been found, it’s as if she vanished into the thin air!
38 | The Deep Freeze Murder
Jumping off her bus following a dance class, quiet and shy Ann Noblett, 17, was last seen walking up a quiet lane towards her home in Marshalls Heath, near Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire. But she never made it home. A month after she vanished, Ann’s body was discovered almost frozen solid, fully clothed with her glasses still on, around five miles away from where she was last spotted.
She had been strangled and possibly sexually assaulted, but the grisly case baffled cops who couldn’t figure out how her ice-cold body was in such a state. Her dumped remains were found in January 1958 ― a time when most people didn’t have access to refrigeration units and the winter had been mild with a “very rapid rise in temperatures”. Yet Ann’s body was still preserved 32 days after she first vanished ― leading the gruesome killing to become known as the “Deep Freeze” murder.
Police began questioning owners of refrigerated vehicles – including ice cream vans – and searched farms where meat was kept in freezing temperatures. But no shred of physical evidence remains from the original police investigation, so a DNA profile of the killer couldn’t be created. It means more than 60 years after the teenager first disappeared after getting off a bus in Marshalls Heath, the mysterious case still remains unsolved.
39 | The Hinterkaifeck Murders
Six people living on a small farmstead in the town of Hinterkaifeck ― 43 miles North of Munich, Germany ― were killed with a mattock during the evening of March 31, 1922. Few days prior to the murder, homeowner Andreas Gruber noticed some footprints from the forest in the snow leading into the back of the family home, but none leading out. Since then, they heard strange footsteps in the attic and discovered a newspaper they never bought. The case remains still unsolved. Read More
40 | The Stoneman Murders
The Stoneman is a name given to an unidentified serial killer who murdered at least 13 homeless people of the city of Kolkata, India during their sleep in 1989. The name is also given to the perpetrator of a similar series of murders in Mumbai from 1985 to 1988. It has been speculated that these were the work of the same person, who could have been responsible for as many as 26 murders.
All of the victims were homeless pavement-dwellers who slept alone in dimly lit areas of the city. Because the murderer killed victims by dropping a heavy stone or concrete slab, the police assumed that the assailant was probably a tall, well-built male. However, in the complete absence of any eyewitnesses or survivors, no clear-cut leads were available. The case remains unsolved to this day.
41 | The Disappearance Of Georgia Weckler
On May 1, 1947, in Fort Atkinson, Jefferson County of Wisconsin, 8-year-old Georgia Weckler was dropped off on her driveway after school. Then she was never seen or heard of again. The haunting part of her disappearance is: “Curiously, prior to her disappearance, Georgia had made several remarks indicating that she especially feared being kidnapped.” What prompted this, we’ll likely never know.
42 | Villisca Axe Murders
Six members of the Moore family and two house guests were found bludgeoned in 1912 in Villisca, Iowa with severe head wounds from an axe. There was no sign of forced entry, and only one child was found out of bed. It’s believed that the murderer had climbed into the attic while they were at church and waited for everyone to fall asleep before coming downstairs to commit the crime. One of the only clues was a pile of cigarette butts in the attic. Though there were several suspects, including one who was tried twice and acquitted, the murderer has never been identified.
43 | The Disappearance Of Amy Lynn Bradley
Late in March of 1998, the 23-year-old went missing during a cruise on the Royal Caribbean International cruise ship, Rhapsody of the Seas. From coast guard police to detectives to her friends and family, everyone has tried their best but they have never been able to trace her. There are several reports of seeing Amy in public places such as tourist beaches, brothels, etc. but none has led to the end of its mystery. In 2005, some photos were posted on an adult website, showing a woman with an uncanny resemblance to Amy Bradley. Many believe she was possibly forced into the sex trade. Read More
44 | The Smiley Face Murder Theory
The “smiley face murder theory” is a theory advanced by retired New York City detectives Kevin Gannon and Anthony Duarte, and Dr. Lee Gilbertson, a criminal justice professor and gang expert at St. Cloud State University. They allege that a number of young men found dead in bodies of water across several Midwestern American states from the late 1990s to the 2010s did not accidentally drown, as concluded by law enforcement agencies, but were victims of a serial killer or killers.
The term “smiley face” became connected to the alleged murders when it was made public that the police had discovered graffiti depicting a smiley face near locations where they think the killer dumped the bodies in at least a dozen of the cases. Gannon wrote a textbook case study on the subject titled “Case Studies in Drowning Forensics”. The response of law enforcement investigators and other experts has been largely skeptical.
45 | The Unsolved Case Of Tara Leigh Calico
Tara Leigh Calico left on a bike ride one morning in September 1988. She told her mother to look for her on the bike route if she wasn’t home by noon. The next time they saw her with an unidentified boy, both bound and gagged, in a polaroid picture found in a convenience store parking lot in Port St. Joe, Florida. Tara’s disappearance is still unsolved. No one knows what happened to them.
46 | The Murder Of Ricky McCormick
On June 30, 1999, the body of Ricky McCormick was found in a field in St. Charles County, Missouri. McCormick had been missing only 72 hours, but his body was already badly decomposed. In 2011, the FBI revealed they had found two notes in McCormick’s pockets written in a complex cypher. McCormick was a high school dropout who could barely write his own name. Despite the efforts of America’s top cryptographers, the cypher remains a mystery to this day.
47 | Babushka Lady In JFK’s Assassination
Babushka Lady is the nickname for an unknown woman present during the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy who might have photographed the events that occurred in Dallas’s Dealey Plaza at the time JFK was shot. She was seen several times in various photographs but none had captured her face because in all cases she was either facing away from the camera, or had her face obscured by her own camera. She never came forward and the US investigators have never identified her. On the other hand, JFK’s assassination has remained unsolved to this day. Read More
48 | Who Killed Betty June And Mary Emma?
14-year-old George Stinney Jr. is the youngest person to be sentenced to death and executed. He always carried a bible in his hands, claiming to be innocent. The same Bible was used as a seat booster as he was so small for the electrocution chair.
George was convicted of killing two white girls, Betty June Binnicker (11) and Mary Emma Thames (7). All the jury members in the trial were white, the trial lasted only two hours. Before his execution he spent 81 days in prison without seeing his family. 70 Years later in December 2014, his innocence was proven by a judge in South Carolina. It’s now clear that George Stinney Jr. wasn’t the killer of that two innocent girls, and it’s also clear that the family of the actual murderer pushed George to his death. The question is, who is the real killer? Read More
49 | The Disappearance Of Shinya Matsuoka
It happened in Japan. On March 7, 1989, 4-year-old Shinya Matsuoka went for a walk with her parents, siblings, and cousin. Upon returning home, Matsuoka was left alone in the front yard for about 40 seconds while her parents carried her younger sibling inside. During this short time, Matsuoka disappeared. An extensive police search turned up nothing. The only potential clue was a strange phone call from someone telling them that the parents of students in their daughter’s kindergarten class needed to make a payment. No such payment was due, but it was never determined whether the call was connected to the disappearance.
50 | The Disappearance Of Brandon Swanson
Shortly after midnight on May 14, 2008, 19-year-old Brandon Swanson of Marshall, Minnesota, United States, drove his car into a ditch on his way home from celebrating the end of the spring semester with fellow students from Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s Canby campus.
Uninjured, he got out and called his parents on his cellphone. Unsure of his exact location, he told them he believed he was near Lynd, a city in Lyon County, and they drove out to pick him up. However, they were unable to locate him. Swanson remained on the phone with them until he abruptly ended the call 45 minutes later after exclaiming “Oh, shit!”
His car was later found abandoned in the ditch as he had described, but no city could have been in the area where he was walking. He has not been seen or heard from since, and the case remains unsolved.