List of unsolved murders (20th century)

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This list of unsolved murders includes notable cases in which victims have officially been found to have been intentionally killed by others, but no one has ever been successfully prosecuted for the crimes.

1901–1924[edit]

  • Bertha Shippan (14), resided in the South Australian town of Towitta and was murdered on the night of January 1, 1902.[1] Her 25-year-old sister Mary Schippan was prosecuted for the crime, but was acquitted.[2] Despite various theories, the case remains unsolved.
Rose Harsent. Victim of the Peasenhall murder
  • Rose Harsent, a six-months-pregnant maid who was stabbed to death on June 1, 1902, in Suffolk, England by an unknown assailant. At the time it was alleged that the murderer was a preacher of the Primitive Methodist Chapel named William Gardiner, who was having an affair with the victim. Gardiner was tried twice for the murder but each time the jury failed to reach a verdict.[3][4] The case has been investigated in BBC One's Julian Fellowes Investigates.[5]
  • Al Swearengen (59), operator of the Gem Theater brothel in Deadwood, South Dakota, was found dead in a Denver street of a massive wound to his head on November 15, 1904.[6] No suspects were ever named.
  • John Otunba Payne (66–67), was a Nigerian sheriff; administrator and diarist who was a prominent personality in Lagos during the nineteenth century. He was a Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Lagos and he also served as a registrar in various colonial departments such as the Police Court, the Chief Magistrate's Court, the Court of Civil and Criminal Justice and the Petty Debt court.[7] Payne was murdered in his residence in Lagos by an unknown assailant in 1906.[8] His murder was never solved.
  • The dismembered corpse of 9-year-old Jeanne Van Calck was found in a package stored in front of 22 Rue des Hirondelles in Brussels, Belgium on February 7, 1906. She had gone missing the previous day, after leaving her grandparents' house. Despite public unrest, the lousy and flawed investigation from the police failed to solve her killing, and she is now remembered as a martyr for childhood innocence.[9]
  • Marinos Antypas (34–35), was a Greek lawyer and journalist, and one of the country's first socialists. Antypas was murdered on March 8, 1907, by unknown persons who were hired to kill him.[10] His killer was never brought to justice and the crime was never solved.
  • Pat Garrett (57), an American Old West lawman, bartender and customs agent and was well known for killing Billy the Kid was himself murdered on February 29, 1908. His murder remains largely unsolved.[11][12]
  • Two people were found dead, being killed in a shootout with the Bolivian police on November 7–8, 1908. Authorities were unable to identify the bodies, but they were thought to have been Robert Leroy Parker (40), aka Butch Cassidy and Harry Alonzo Longabaugh (41–42), (aka The Sundance Kid).[13] The identities of the bodies remain unknown.
  • The Guangxu Emperor (37), personal name "Zaitian", was the 11th Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the ninth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. He died on November 14, 1908.[14] He is known to have been poisoned, and one theory is that the Guangxu Emperor was poisoned by Yuan Shikai, who knew that if the emperor were to come to power again, Yuan would likely be executed for treason.[15] There were no reliable sources to prove who poisoned the Guangxu Emperor.
Elsie Sigel. Murdered June 1909
  • Elsie Sigel (20), was found strangled inside a trunk in an apartment in New York City's Chinatown on June 18, 1909, nine days after she had last been seen.[16] The resident of the apartment, who had been having a love affair with her, was considered the prime suspect, but was never arrested.
  • Elsie Paroubek (5), a daughter of Czech immigrants, is thought to have either wandered away from her home or been kidnapped in Chicago on April 8, 1911.[17] Her disappearance was the subject of intense police investigation over three states, with massive newspaper coverage. Her body was found a month later. Under the name "Annie Aronburg", Elsie became one of the principal characters in Henry Darger's immense novel The Story of the Vivian Girls in the Realms of the Unreal.
  • Joseph Wilson (60), was a stationmaster who was shot dead at Lintz Green railway station in Durham, England on October 7, 1911. His murder sparked one of the largest murder investigations in northeastern England.[18]
  • The Villisca axe murders occurred between the evening of June 9, 1912, and the early morning of June 10, 1912, in the town of Villisca in southwestern Iowa. The six members of the Moore family and two house guests were found bludgeoned in the Moore residence. All eight victims, including four children, had severe head wounds from an axe.[19] A lengthy investigation yielded several suspects, one of whom was tried twice. The first trial ended in a hung jury and the second ended in an acquittal. The crime remains unsolved.
  • Daisy Grace was accused in 1912 of drugging her husband, Eugene H. Grace, and then shooting him for his insurance money in Atlanta, Georgia.[20] She was tried and found not guilty.[21]
  • Mary Phagan (13), was found strangled and raped early on April 27, 1913, at the Atlanta pencil factory where she worked.[22] Suspicion eventually fell on Leo Frank, manager of the factory, who was convicted of the murder later that year. When his death sentence was commuted to life in 1915, Frank was abducted from prison and lynched. Historians have come to believe he was wrongly convicted, and in 1986 he was pardoned. It is believed that a janitor who testified against Frank and served a year in prison as an accessory after the fact was the real killer.
  • Lukijan Bogdanović (46), was the last Serbian Patriarch of the Patriarchate of Karlovci and Metropolitanate of Karlovci on September 1, 1913. He was assassinated and decapitated while walking alone along a river bank in Bad Gastein by persons unknown.[23]
  • Charles Budd Robinson (32), a Canadian botanist and explorer whose death on December 5, 1913, may have been caused by linguistic confusion, as he was known to speak the local language quite poorly. The Malay word for coconut, "kelapa" may have been confused with "kepala", the word for "head". If Robinson asked the boy to cut, "potong", down a coconut it may have been mispronounced and heard as a threat to cut off someone's head. There was a local myth of a werewolf-like decapitator called a "potong kepala" and he was mistaken for one.[24]
  • Billy Stone (21) was a telegraph operator was shot and killed at the Whitby Junction Station in Whitby, Ontario on December 11, 1914, and his murder remains unsolved.[25]
  • Chinese journalist Huang Yuanyong (30), was shot and killed in San Francisco on December 25, 1915.[26] No arrests were ever made. Most theories about the responsible parties suggest that it was a political assassination, since Huang had increasingly been in conflict with the government of the newly established Republic of China after initially supporting it.
  • Joseph Henry Loveless was an American bootlegger and accused murderer who was killed by unknown means, dismembered, and hidden in a pair of burlap sacks in Buffalo Cave near Dubois, Idaho. It is believed that he was killed sometime during 1916, due to a wanted poster being posted on May 18, 1916, detailing clothing that he had escaped from prison in, which his body was later found in. His body was not discovered until 1979, by a family in the cave, where his headless torso was discovered. In 1991, a girl found the hand of Loveless, which prompted an excavation that uncovered both legs and arms. Loveless was considered a John Doe until the DNA Doe Project took on the case in 2019. He was identified on November 12, 2019, and his identity was announced on December 31, 2019. The post-morterm interval of the body was initially believed to be around 5 years, due to optimal conditions in the cave. The case is considered to be the oldest solved through forensic genealogy. The case is also still considered open by the Clark County Sherriff's office.[27][28][29]
  • Grigori Rasputin (47), was a Russian mystic and had claimed to be a holy man and had gained major influence in late imperial Russia. Rasputin was murdered on December 17, 1916,[30] and it remains unknown who was behind this.
  • John Bamford was considered the prime suspect in the 1917 Wonnangatta murders in East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia;[31] however, his body was found early the following year. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. Several theories have been advanced, but no suspects have ever been identified. In the late 1970s, victim Jim Barclay's son, who later worked for a mutual friend of the two who had been an early suspect, made a statement suggesting he knew who the murderers were as well, but declining to identify them.
  • Vladimir Bogoyavlensky (70), was a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church. He was appointed the position of Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna between 1898 and 1912, Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga between 1912 and 1915, and Metropolitan of Kiev and Gallich between 1915 and 1918. Bogoyavlensky was murdered by Bolshevik soldiers on February 7, 1918,[32][33] and the case has never been solved.
  • No suspects were ever identified in the November 24, 1917 Milwaukee Police Department bombing, which killed nine officers and two civilian employees,[34] after a citizen brought the bomb found in the basement of a local church to the local police station. Italian anarchists of the Galleanist faction were believed to have placed the bomb.
  • Nikolay Vtorov (52), was a Russian industrialist. According to a 2006 Forbes study, which excluded the ruling House of Romanov, he held the title of Russia's wealthiest man on the eve of World War I,[35] Vtorov decided to stay in Russia after the 1917 Revolution and pledged loyalty to the Bolshevik regime. Less than a year later, in May 1918, he was assassinated;[36] the exact circumstances of his death remain unknown.
  • De La Haye, principal of the Newington House school in Madras, India, was shot dead in his bed at the school on March 15, 1919.[37] One defendant was acquitted after a highly publicized trial; no others have ever been identified.
  • James Colosimo (42), a gangster who led a precursor to the Chicago Outfit, was shot and killed at his café on May 11, 1920.[38] No one was ever charged with the killing; it is believed that Al Capone, then one of Colosimo's henchmen, was involved.
  • Joseph Bowne Elwell (46), a bridge player, was shot and killed inside his locked house on June 11, 1920. One clearly false confession the next year was discarded, and no other suspects ever were identified. The intense media interest in the case inspired the development of the locked-room murder subgenre of detective fiction.[39]
  • Italian anarchists were suspected in the Wall Street bombing of September 16, 1920,[40] which killed 38, making it the deadliest terrorist act in the U.S. history at that point. Despite a number of arrests, no one was ever charged. One likely suspect, who was never arrested, fled to Italy shortly afterwards and never returned to the U.S.
  • Torokul Dzhanuzakov (28), the deputy chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, of the Commission for Refugees in 1916 and a Soviet politician who killed by Cheka authorities whose identities were unknown in 1921.[41]
  • Chrissie Venn (13), was a girl who was murdered on or around February 21, 1921, near the township of North Motton, near Ulverstone, Tasmania;[42] her body was found in a hollow tree. George William King, who claimed the incriminating marks on his hands were from injuries sustained during the three-day search for Venn, was acquitted after a trial which was the first change of venue ever granted in Tasmania. No other suspects were ever named.
Sketch of the corpse of Little Lord Fauntleroy, unidentified since his discovery in 1921
  • "Little Lord Fauntleroy", an unidentified boy who was murdered in late 1920 or early 1921, was found on March 8, 1921. He was killed by a blow to the head and drowning after being dropped into a quarry in Waukesha, Wisconsin, United States.[43]
  • Anthony D'Andrea (48), an early Chicago Mafia boss, was shot and killed while entering his apartment on May 11, 1921,[44] near the end of the city's aldermen's wars. No one was ever charged or named as a suspect.
  • Professional golfer James Douglas Edgar (36), whose book The Gate to Golf changed the sport considerably, died shortly after he was found on an Atlanta street late at night on August 8, 1921, with a leg wound.[45] Reports that this was the consequence of his involvement in a love triangle have never led to any suspects being identified.
  • William Desmond Taylor (49), a popular Irish-born American actor and director of silent movies, was killed by a shot in the back on February 1, 1922, inside his bungalow. His murder, along with other Hollywood scandals, such as the Roscoe Arbuckle trial for his alleged murder of Virginia Rappe, led to a frenzy of sensational and often fabricated newspaper reports, and a deathbed confession of dubious veracity. The murder remains an official cold case.[46]
  • The Hinterkaifeck murders occurred at a small farmstead named Hinterkaifeck, between the Bavarian towns of Ingolstadt and Schrobenhausen (approximately 70 km (43 mi) north of Munich). It was the scene of one of the strangest and most notorious unsolved murder cases in German history. On the evening of March 31, 1922, all six inhabitants of the farm were killed with a pickaxe.[47] Although some suspects were identified, the circumstances remain unclear and no one was ever charged. The case has inspired many books, films and other works of art, fictional and non-fictional.
  • Michael Collins (31), who was commander-in-chief of the Irish Army was shot and killed by an unknown assailant at Béal na Bláth in County Cork, Ireland on August 22, 1922.[48] The murder remains unsolved.
  • Edward Hall and Eleanor Mills, both of New Brunswick, New Jersey, were found dead of gunshot wounds in a field in nearby Franklin Township on September 16, 1922.[49] Hall, an Episcopal priest, had apparently been having an extramarital affair with Mills, who sang in the church choir. His wife and her brothers were charged with the crime. After one of the first trials to attract heavy media interest, they were acquitted of all charges. No other suspects were ever identified.
  • The plane crash that killed early aviator B. H. DeLay (31), a pioneering stunt pilot, on July 4, 1923, in Venice, California, was found to have been the result of sabotage to the aircraft. No one was ever formally charged or identified as a suspect.[50][51][52]
  • Pancho Villa (45), was a Mexican revolutionary general and one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution. On July 20, 1923, Villa was killed while visiting Hidalgo del Parral.[53] The murder remains unsolved.
  • The Lava Lake murders occurred in January 1924 near Little Lava Lake in Central Oregon. The victims were Edward Nickols, 50, Roy Wilson (35), and Dewey Morris (25). The three were working as fur trappers and staying in a private cabin while trapping animals over the winter. Their bodies were discovered in April 1924 in Big Lava Lake, where they had been placed under the ice sometime shortly after Christmas 1923. The men had been bludgeoned with a claw hammer and shot to death.[54]
  • Father Hubert Dahme, a popular local Catholic priest, was shot dead at an intersection in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on February 4, 1924. A local vagrant, Harold Israel, was arrested and charged with the crime.[55] But at the trial, prosecutor Homer Stille Cummings, later U.S. Attorney General, not only dropped the case, but discredited the evidence the city's police department had collected against Israel. No other suspects have ever been named; thirty years later. a witness to the killing said it was not Israel, but refused to identify the real killer out of fear for his life.
  • Janet Smith (22), a Scottish nursemaid, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the temple in a home in an exclusive neighborhood of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on July 26, 1924.[56] Although she was initially labeled a suicide (despite much evidence to the contrary), her friends were able to get the case reopened and deemed a murder. The initial suspect, Chinese houseboy Wong Foon Sing, was kidnapped and tortured for weeks in an unsuccessful attempt to extract a confession, causing a major scandal when it was discovered that various police officials and respected members of society were directly involved. Wong was eventually tried and acquitted for lack of evidence. A law was proposed, banning the employment of Asians and white women in the same household, but failed to pass.
  • Responsibility for the October 29, 1924, bombing of a Canadian Pacific train in British Columbia that killed Russian émigré Peter Verigin (65), leader of the pacifist Doukhobors, along with seven others including a member of the provincial legislature.[57] Government investigators believed the culprits were Verigin's rivals among the Doukhobors, while the remaining members of the sect accused the government of committing the crime. No suspects have ever been officially named.

1925–1949[edit]

  • The killing of Lizzie O'Neill in Dublin was the June 1925 shooting of a sex worker who was also known as Honour Bright. Two suspects were brought to trial, but were acquitted.[58]
  • The Milaflores Massacre: Three Detroit gangsters were shot down in the Milaflores Apartments on March 28, 1927. The killings are widely believed to have been a revenge attack by members of The Purple Gang; two members were arrested the next day, but were never charged and the case remains unsolved.[59]
  • Hyman Goldstein (57–58), Australian politician who was mysteriously murdered on September 3, 1928, in Australia.[60] It is believed that Federal Nationalist MP Thomas Ley played a part in his death, but this has never been proven, so the case remains unsolved.
  • Morduch Halsman, a Latvian Jewish dentist, was hiking with his son Philippe in Austria's Tyrol on September 10, 1928, when he slipped and fell down a ravine. He survived the fall, but when Philippe returned with assistance, he had been beaten to death and robbed. Philippe was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison in a trial marked by the antisemitism prevalent in Austria at the time. After prominent Jews of the time, including Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud drew attention to the case, Halsmann was pardoned and emigrated to France to begin his career as a photographer.[61] No other suspect in his father's murder has ever been identified.
  • Jewish gangster Arnold Rothstein (46), an avid gambler best remembered for his alleged role fixing the 1919 World Series, died on November 6, 1928, of gunshot wounds, inflicted the day before during a New York City business meeting.[62] He refused to identify his killer to the police. A fellow gambler who was believed to have ordered the hit as retaliation for Rothstein's failure to pay a large debt from a recent poker game (Rothstein in turn claimed it had been fixed) was tried and acquitted. No other suspects have ever emerged.
  • Seider Meyer, the head of the protection of the Peregonovsky sugar factory in 1922–1925, was known for shooting Soviet military figure Grigory Kotovsky on August 6, 1925. In 1930 it became known that Meyer Seider was killed in Kharkov, not far from the local railway station. His corpse was found on the canvas of the railway. It is likely that, strangling him, the murderers threw Zayder on the rails in the hope of imitating the accident, but the train was late, and their plan failed.[63] His killers are unknown.
  • Morduch Halsman was a male Latvian Jewish dentist while on a hiking tour with his son in the Zillertal valley in the Austrian Tyrol was murdered on September 10, 1928.[64] The murder remains unsolved.
  • The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre occurred on February 14, 1929, when seven members and associates of the North Side Gang were lined up against a wall and shot by four men in police uniform. No-one was ever charged, although notorious gangster Al Capone is believed by many to have ordered the killing.[65]
  • The Wallace case was the unsolved murder of Liverpool housewife Julia Wallace on January 20, 1931.[66] Her husband, William Herbert Wallace, was convicted and sentenced to be hanged, but the verdict was overturned on appeal[67]—the first such instance in British legal history. The chess-like quality of the puzzle has attracted a host of crime writers. Raymond Chandler said, 'The Wallace case is the nonpareil of all murder mysteries ... I call it the impossible murder because Wallace couldn't have done it, and neither could anyone else. ... The Wallace case is unbeatable; it will always be unbeatable.' In 2018, author Antony Matthew Brown surveyed all the published theories, both evidentially and logically, in his book Move to Murder,[68] before rejecting them all, and concluding that a previously-unpublished theory "is the best explanation for one of the most puzzling murder cases in British criminal history."
  • Harry C. Beasley (42), a Medal of Honor recipient who later became a Newark, Ohio police officer, died after being shot while confronting robbers on July 2, 1931.[69] No one was ever identified as a suspect.
  • On September 12, 1931, Arthur Brennan (50), a World War I veteran and early Australian rules football player, was shot and killed while struggling with a burglar he was trying to apprehend on a neighbour's property.[70] After investigating for three months, police announced they could not find a suspect. No arrests were ever made.
  • The murder of Vera Page (10), occurred on December 14, 1931. Page was a schoolgirl from Notting Hill, London, who was last seen walking towards her home, having visited her aunt to show her new swimming certificates she had been awarded.[71] Her raped and strangled body was found two days later.[72] Despite strong circumstantial evidence linking a local man named Percy Rush to the crime, a jury recorded an open verdict of "Murder by person or persons unknown."[73]
  • Jack "Legs" Diamond (34), an American gangster, was found shot dead in the Albany, New York apartment of his mistress on the morning of December 18, 1931.[74] While he had many enemies among the underworld who wanted him dead, Daniel P. O'Connell, boss of the city's political machine, claimed in an interview with author William Kennedy four decades later that he had ordered the killing after Diamond ignored police warnings to stay out of the city's rackets. The case remains officially unsolved.
Vials of blood recovered from Lilly Lindeström's flat. Scene of the 1932 Vampire murder case. On display at Stockholm's Police Museum
  • The Vampire murder case is an unsolved murder relating to an unknown assailant who committed the murder of a sex worker named Lilly Lindeström in Stockholm, Sweden. Lindeström was found dead with a crushed skull in her apartment on May 4, 1932.[75] Police noted that someone had drunk her blood.
  • The body of Erik Jan Hanussen (43), an Austrian Jewish publicist who claimed to have psychic powers and was a confidant of Hitler, was found in a field in Zossen, Germany, outside Berlin in late April 1933,[76] a month after he had last been seen on March 25 in the city. He had been shot execution style, twice, in the back of the head at close range. No one was ever charged with the crime, although it is believed that it may have been carried out by stormtroopers. Possible motives range from resentment of Hanussen's relationship with Hitler to a desire to keep secret inside information on the Reichstag fire, which Hanussen claimed to have foreseen.
  • Left-wing Zionist leader Haim Arlosoroff was shot and killed late on the night of June 16, 1933,[77] while walking with his wife on the beach of Tel Aviv in what is now Israel but was at the time British Mandate Palestine. Three men belonging to a rival political faction were arrested and tried; all were ultimately acquitted. Theories as to who was really responsible have ranged from the Soviets or Nazis to a failed attempt to rape Arlosoroff's wife.
  • Joan Winters (23) was a Broadway dancer who was murdered in the Garden of Gethsemane, outside Jerusalem, in October 1933.[78] According to a UPI wire report from November 4, 1933, Winters' corpse was discovered together with the body of Mohammed Karamini.[79][80] Her killer is unknown.
  • Sergei Kirov (48) was a prominent Russian revolutionary and a Soviet politician.[81] He was a close, personal friend to Joseph Stalin, and his death in 1934 was used as a pretext to launch the Great Purge.[82] On December 1, 1934, Kirov was shot and killed by a gunman[81] at his offices in the Smolny Institute. There is a widespread belief that Joseph Stalin and elements of the NKVD were behind Kirov's assassination, but evidence for this claim remains lacking,[83][84] so the murder remains unsolved.
  • A man who died of beating injuries and stab wounds on January 5, 1935, after a brief stay in room 1046 at the Hotel President in Kansas City, Missouri, which he had checked into under an assumed name, was not identified as Artemus Ogletree (20) until his mother in Alabama saw a magazine article about the case late the following year. His stay at the hotel was marked by unusual behavior and occurrences and the motive for the killing was unknown; some later anonymous callers to a newspaper and funeral home suggested it had been a revenge killing for cheating on his fiancée. The case remains open.[85]
  • Welsh journalist Gareth Jones (29) was killed by bandits who had been holding him for ransom near what is now Zhangjiakou, China, on April 12, 1935. A fellow journalist with him had been released two weeks earlier, ostensibly to collect the money demanded. Since Jones had two years before been banned from the Soviet Union for life after being the first journalist to report on the 1932–33 Ukrainian famine, it has been believed that the Soviet NKVD had him killed in retaliation, as some of those connected to the kidnapping were its agents. No suspects have ever been identified.[86]
  • The Shark Arm case refers to a series of incidents that began in Sydney, on April 25, 1935, when a human arm was regurgitated by a captive 3.5-metre tiger shark. The tiger shark had been caught from the beach suburb of Coogee in mid-April and transferred to the Coogee Aquarium Baths, where it was put on public display. Within a week the fish became ill and vomited in front of a small crowd, leaving the left forearm of a man bearing a distinctive tattoo floating in the pool. Before it was captured, the tiger shark had devoured a smaller shark. It was this smaller shark that had originally swallowed the human arm that belonged to a man named James Smith who was last seen drinking and playing cards with a man named Patrick Brady at the Cecil Hotel in the southern Sydney suburb of Cronulla on April 7, 1935, after telling his wife he was going fishing.[87] On June 12, 1935, a man Reginald Holmes who was investigating Smith's murder thinking that he was fed to the shark by Brady was found dead in his car in Dawes Point after being shot.[88] The police charged Brady with his murder although he was later found not guilty and acquitted.[89] Whether or not Smith was killed and fed to the shark also remains unknown.
  • Louis Amberg (27–28) was an American mobster was who was murdered on September 30, 1935. Less than a month later, Amberg's body was found the back seat of a flaming car early in the morning of October 23, 1935, across from 131 North Elliot Place, Brooklyn. He had been stripped of his clothes, a sack placed over his head with his hands tied with wire. A witness who first spotted the flames saw several men running away from the scene.[90] His murder remains unsolved.
  • American journalist Walter Liggett (49) was shot in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on December 9, 1935,[91] while investigating connections between that state's governor and organized crime.[92] Kid Cann was a suspect, but was acquitted after he provided an alibi.[93][94] No suspects were ever identified.
  • Federico García Lorca (38) was a Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director. On August 19, 1936, he was executed by Rebel faction forces at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.[95][96] His body or bones have never been found, and his killers are unknown.
  • The body of Pamela Werner (19), the only daughter of British China scholar E. T. C. Werner, was found near the Fox Tower in Beijing on the morning of January 8, 1937; she had last been seen alive leaving an ice skating rink nearby the night before. After being killed by several blows to the head, her body had been severely mutilated, with several internal organs removed, among them her heart, by someone with professional skills, and sexually violated. An unusual joint British-Chinese investigation found some possible suspects among the city's foreign community, where she was socially prominent, but was unable to develop any evidence to the point of arrest before the coroner officially concluded that the killers were probably Chinese and closed the case; after the Japanese occupied the city a few months later there would be no further official investigations. E. T. C. Werner funded an unofficial investigation which identified an American dentist as the killer; his conclusion was endorsed by Midnight in Peking, Paul French's 2011 book about the case.[97] However. some of the dentists' descendants have strongly disputed that finding. Other theories of the case suggest Japanese revenge for the death of two army officers allegedly at British hands the summer before, mistaken identity by Blue Shirts intending to kill Helen Foster Snow, or a local serial killer.[98]
  • Russian banker and politician Dimitri Navachine (47) was stabbed to death while walking his dog in Paris' Bois de Boulogne on the morning of January 25, 1937.[99] No suspects have ever been identified, although theories as to who might be responsible suggest the Soviet NKVD, as while he had initially worked with the communists despite not sharing their ideology he had broken with them under Stalin and was reportedly about to reveal evidence which would have shown that some prominent political prisoners were in fact innocent of the crimes with which they had been charged. Another theory implicates the French fascist organization La Cagoule, which did not like a Jew closely advising the French government on economic matters and supposedly hoped that his death would be blamed on communist operatives, appearing to strengthen La Cagoule's claims of foreign Communists operating in France.
  • On May 16, 1937, Laetitia Toureaux (29), was found fatally stabbed in an empty first-class car on the Paris Métro when it stopped at Porte Dorée.[100] The crime received considerable media attention as not only was it the first homicide on the Métro, Toureaux had boarded the train at the previous station, meaning the crime had to have been committed in just minutes. Further investigation found that she was leading a double life, working a factory job during the day under her own name but then at a dance hall at night under another name, and making frequent if discreet visits to the Italian embassy. Eventually it was revealed that she was a spy, infiltrating La Cagoule, who it is believed may have discovered this and killed her. The onset of World War II two years later put a stop to the investigation before any suspects were identified; it has not been reopened.
  • King D. Gray (52), American cinematographer who was active in Hollywood, California for over two decades was shot and killed in front of a post office in Hollywood on June 30, 1938, and his killer remains unknown.[101]
  • Margaret Martin (19), of Kingston, Pennsylvania went missing on December 17, 1938, and was found dead in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, several days later on December 21, 1938. Many suspects were investigated, but nobody was ever convicted.[102]
  • Pete Panto (28), a labor leader who had fought Mafia control of the International Longshoremen's Association local on the Brooklyn docks who had not been seen since leaving his house on July 14, 1939, was found in a Lyndhurst, New Jersey lime pit in January 1941.[103] No one was ever arrested in the case; one suspect who was questioned was found dead a month later.
  • Zinaida Reich (45) was a Russian actress and became one of the main stars of the Meyerhold Theatre until it was closed under Joseph Stalin. Reich married poet Sergey Yesenin and had two children with him. After their divorce, she married the director Vsevolod Meyerhold. On July 15, 1939, Meyerhold was arrested by the NKVD, and she was brutally stabbed in her apartment by NKVD agents who staged a robbery[104] Her killers are unknown.
  • Louis B. Allyn (65–66) was an American chemistry professor and influential figure in the pure food movement who was murdered by persons unknown on May 7, 1940.[105][106] His is the only unsolved murder in the history of Westfield, Massachusetts.
  • Stanisław Bułak-Bałachowicz (57) was a notable general, military commander and veteran of World War I, the Russian Civil War, the Estonian War of Independence, the Polish-Bolshevik War and the Invasion of Poland at the start of World War II. On November 28, 1940, he was surrounded with a group of young conspirators in a house in Warsaw's borough of Saska Kępa and arrested by the Germans. According to the most common version, Bułak-Bałachowicz, was shot by Gestapo agents on May 10, 1940, in the Warsaw centre, on the intersection between Francuska and Trzeciego Maja streets.[107] His killers are unknown and the case remains unsolved.
  • On March 24, 1941, Josslyn Hay, 22nd Earl of Erroll (39) was found shot dead behind the wheel of his car at a crossroads in Kenya.[108] Reporting on the murder investigation outraged the British public with its accounts of carousing and partying by Lord Erroll and fellow members of the Happy Valley set while the homefront endured the hardships of World War II. Sir Jock Delves Broughton, another peer in Happy Valley whom Hay might have cuckolded, was acquitted after being tried with a weak case later that year; he committed suicide the following year. No other suspects have ever been named. The crime has inspired several dramatisations, most notably the 1987 film White Mischief, which have attempted to offer solutions.
  • Carlo Tresca (63), an Italian American labor leader who led opposition to Fascism, Stalinism and Mafia control of unions, was shot dead at a Manhattan intersection on the night of January 11, 1943. Given the enemies he had made and their propensity for violence, the list of potential suspects was long; however, the investigation was incomplete and no one was ever officially named. Historians believe the most likely suspect was mobster Carmine Galante, later acting boss of the Bonanno family, seen fleeing the scene, who had likely acted on the orders of a Bonanno underboss and Fascist sympathizer Tresca had threatened to expose.[109]
  • The beaten and partially burnt body of Sir Harry Oakes (68), an American-born British gold-mine owner and philanthropist, was found in his mansion in Nassau, Bahamas on July 8, 1943. His son-in-law, Count Alfred de Marigny, was arrested shortly afterwards based on evidence allegedly uncovered by two Miami police detectives brought in to work the case, who had upset their Bahamanian counterparts by completely taking over the investigation. However, weaknesses in the case led to de Marigny's acquittal; no one else has ever been tried. The murder became the subject of worldwide press coverage at the time as well as several books, films, and documentaries.[110]
  • Actor David Bacon (29), best known for playing Bob Barton in the Masked Marvel serials of the 1930s, died shortly after crashing his car in Santa Monica, California on September 12, 1943.[111] Afterwards, he was found to have been suffering from a stab wound to the chest;[112][113][114] no suspect has ever been identified.
  • Georgette Bauerdorf (20), an heiress who was found face down in a bathtub in her home at West Hollywood, California, on October 12, 1944. She had been strangled with a piece of towel stuffed down her throat, and although there was a large roll of $2 bills and thousands of dollars' worth of sterling silver lying in an open trunk, Bauerdorf's jewelry and other valuables were not stolen. The police believe her murderer had unscrewed an automatic night light over the outside entrance of the apartment so it would not come on and lain in wait for her.[115]
  • Tamil film critic C.N. Lakshmikanthan was stabbed while riding back to his Madras, India, home on November 8, 1944;[116] he died in hospital the next day having been able to describe the attack to police but not identify the assailants. Six men, all film actors whom he had feuded with, were arrested; three were tried and two convicted. Their convictions were overturned on appeal three years later but their film careers were ruined. No other suspects have ever been identified.
  • Charles Walton (74–75) was found dead at a farm at Meon Hill, Warwickshire, on February 14, 1945.[117] He had been beaten over the head with his own stick, his neck had been cut open with a slash hook and he had been pinned to the ground by his neck with a pitchfork. His employer, Alfred John Potter, was suspected of the murder but never charged. The case attracted notoriety because of suspicions the murder had been related to witchcraft, and because of its similarities to the murder of a local woman, Ann Tennant, in 1875, who was also killed with a pitchfork by a man accusing her of witchcraft.
  • Nevio Skull (42) was a Fiuman Italian businessman and politician from Rijeka (now Croatia). From his father, Skull inherited the property of the "Foundry and factory machines of Matthew Skull", founded in Rijeka in 1878 and quickly became the largest private industry in the city before being taken over in 1935. On the night of May 3–4, 1945, following the Yugoslav occupation of Rijeka, Skull was arrested by agents of OZNA and disappeared. His body was found on the riverbed of the Rječina 25 days later with a gunshot wound to the neck.[118] His killer is unknown.
  • Ernst Dehmel (30), a decorated officer in the German Waffen-SS, was allegedly beaten to death by French soldiers who had him in their custody at Remscheid-Lüttringhausen on August 7, 1945.[119] No charges have ever been brought.
  • Oto Iskandar di Nata (48) was a fighter for Indonesia's liberation from Dutch rule, and an Indonesian State Minister and was also a National Hero of Indonesia. Based on witness information, Oto was murdered on December 19, 1945, on a beach in Mauk District, Tangerang Regency in Banten (formerly West Java). He was abducted by a group called "The Black Troop" (Indonesian: Laskar Hitam), who killed him and dumped his body into the sea; the body was never found.[120][121] His kidnappers and killers were never identified and were not charged with his murder.
  • Oak Grove Jane Doe, an unidentified murder victim found dismembered in the Willamette River south of Portland, Oregon near Oak Grove over a period of several months in 1946. The first discovery consisted of a woman's torso which was found wrapped in burlap, floating near the Wisdom Light moorage on April 12, 1946;[122] this led the media to dub the case the Wisdom Light Murder.
  • The Texarkana Moonlight murders were a series of murders committed by the unidentified "Phantom Killer" between February 22 and May 3, 1946. Eight people were attacked by the Phantom Killer, five of whom died. A profile was released for the killer, but his identity remains unknown.[123]
  • The Carterons, a French family of three and a foster child who lived with them, as well as their family dog, were all found shot execution-style face down on the floor of their Bommiers farmhouse on July 25, 1946, several days after signs of their apparent inattention to their farming duties had been noted by a neighbor. Robbery was seen as an unlikely motive since the family was very poor, and there were no signs of a struggle. The investigation was hampered by the still chaotic nature of French society barely a year after the end of the war; not until two years later was it established that the weapon used to kill the four was a Sten, a submachine gun commonly used by the French Resistance, giving rise to theories that the killings had something to do with it. A friend of Kléber Carteron said he had been claiming he was being followed the previous winter. No suspects have ever been named,[124] although most residents of the area believe the killer was someone local who had a dispute with the family.
Elizabeth Short, known posthumously as the "Black Dahlia," is one of the most famous victims of an unsolved murder in American history.
  • The Black Dahlia (Elizabeth Short) (22), a woman who was found severely mutilated and her body cut in half in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California on January 15, 1947. Her unsolved murder has been the source of several books, films, and widespread speculation.[125]
  • On June 20, 1947, gangster Bugsy Siegel (41), known for making Las Vegas into a gambling destination, was shot several times with an M-1 carbine from outside as he read the newspaper at a friend's house in Beverly Hills, California. There are many suspects. Police believe he was killed by his own associates, but have never put together enough evidence against any one of them to declare the case solved.[126]
  • Osterby Man, also known as "The Osterby Head" is a bog body that was found with only the skull and hair survived. It was discovered by peat cutters to the southeast of Osterby, Germany. The hair is tied in a Suebian knot. The head is at the State Archaeological Museum at Gottorf Castle in Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein. The head was discovered on May 26, 1948, by Otto and Max Müller of Osterby, who were cutting peat on their father's land.[127] The skull of the body of Dätgen Man, who also had a Suebian knot, was found several metres from his head.[128] The murders remain unsolved.
  • In the Tamam Shud case, an unidentified man was found dead on Somerton beach in Adelaide, South Australia on the morning of December 1, 1948, at 6:30 am.[129] Also known as the Mystery of the Somerton Man, this case is considered "one of Australia's most profound mysteries", and no suspects have been named nor has the man ever been identified despite the best efforts of many world agencies. He was killed by an unknown poison with a piece of paper in his pocket that reads "Tamám Shud", meaning "The End".
  • Emily Armstrong (69), found in a dry cleaner's shop in London, England on April 14, 1949, about an hour after she had been murdered. An autopsy showed she was beaten to death and her skull shattered by at least 22 blows from a blunt object, believed to be a claw hammer.[130] The case remains unsolved.[131]
  • Three people died when a train derailed near Matsukawa, Japan on August 17, 1949.[132] Investigators found that the track had been sabotaged going into a curve and arrested 20 people; all of whom were initially convicted and, in several cases, sentenced to death. However, during the appeals process, it eventually emerged that prosecutors had suppressed exculpatory evidence, and after all the defendants were released in 1970 the case was closed. No other suspects have ever been identified.

1950s[edit]

  • Philip Mangano (53) was an Italian-born caporegime[133] and second consigliere in the Gambino crime family in New York City and reigned consigliere for 20 years between 1931 and 1951 when his brother, Vincent, was boss. On April 19, 1951, a woman in a fishing boat discovered Philip Mangano's body in a marshland area of Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn while she had been walking through the tall grass.[134] Mangano had been shot three times; once in the neck and twice in the face.[135] No one was ever charged with his murder, so it remains unsolved.
  • Liaquat Ali Khan (56), who was one of the leading founding fathers of Pakistan, died on October 16, 1951, after he was shot twice in the chest while he was addressing a gathering of 100,000 at Company Bagh (Company Gardens), Rawalpindi.[136][137] The police immediately shot the presumed murderer who was later identified as professional assassin Said Akbar, but the real killer remains unknown.
  • Harry and Harriette Moore (45 and 49) were severely injured by a bomb that exploded underneath the bedroom of their Mims, Florida, home on December 25, 1951.[138] Harry died in the ambulance on the way to the nearest hospital that would treat African Americans; his wife succumbed to her injuries nine days later, after his funeral. They had both been active in the local civil rights movement, and investigations have concluded that was the motive for the bombing, making them not only one of the earliest martyrs to that cause but the only married couple killed for their activism in it. By the time four suspects, all senior members of the central Florida Ku Klux Klan, were identified, they had all died, and the case was closed in 1991 with no arrests.
  • Arnold Schuster (24), a clothing salesman who had provided the tip that led to the capture of legendary bank robber Willie Sutton, was shot dead outside his Brooklyn home a month afterwards, on March 8, 1952.[139] Police interviewed 300 people but never identified any as a suspect, although they came to believe the killing was carried out by either the Mafia or Sutton's associates. A lawsuit against the city by his family led to a landmark state-court ruling that the state has a duty to protect anyone who cooperates with the police to the extent that they seek.
  • Jack Burris (35), Mayes County, Oklahoma, county attorney, was killed with a shotgun blast just outside his house in June 1952.[140] has been the basis for several books and screenplays for over 50 years.[141] Investigators were unable to obtain a tape that purported to be the killer's confession later in the decade; there have been no suspects since then.
  • John Acropolis (43), a New York labor leader with organized crime connections, was shot by an unknown assailant in Yonkers on August 26, 1952.[142]
  • The severely beaten body of Betty Shanks (22) was found in a Grange, Queensland, garden on the morning of September 19, 1952.[143] The largest criminal investigation in the state's history yielded no solid suspects or leads; the case remains open.
  • Babes in the Wood murders (Stanley Park) were two unidentified boys located on January 14, 1953, in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They were likely murdered in 1947.[144]
  • On April 9, 1953, the body of Wilma Montesi (21) washed up on a beach at Torvaianica, Italy, near Rome.[145] The investigation delved into accounts of orgies and drug use in Roman society, but no one was ever charged.
Kyllikki Saari (back right) was murdered in Isojoki, 1953. Her case remains one of Finland's major unsolved murder cases.
  • The body of Kyllikki Saari (17), of Isojoki, Finland, was found on October 11, 1953, almost five months after she was last seen. Several suspects have been considered, but no one has ever been prosecuted.[146] The case remains one of the country's best-known mysteries.
  • Alma Preinkert (58), registrar of the University of Maryland, was stabbed by an intruder in her Washington home on February 28, 1954, and died shortly afterwards. No suspect has ever been named.[147]
  • Marilyn Reese Sheppard, pregnant wife of Sam Sheppard, attacked and killed in their home in Bay Village, Ohio, United States, on July 4, 1954. Sam Sheppard was convicted of killing her, but this was overturned in 1966, and he was acquitted in a new trial. He claimed his wife was killed by a bushy-haired man who also attacked him and knocked him unconscious twice. Their son slept through the night, just down the hall from the bedroom in which his mother was murdered. The trial of Sam Sheppard received extensive publicity and was called "carnival atmosphere" by the U.S. Supreme Court.[148] The Sheppard case was a large part of the inspiration for the 1960s television series The Fugitive and the 1993 movie of the same name.
  • Carolyn Wasilewski (14) was found dead in a rail yard near her Baltimore, Maryland home on November 9, 1954.[149] The case generated nationwide media attention, and police still get calls about the case. However, no suspects have ever been named. Filmmaker John Waters says the case and the media frenzy over some aspects of Baltimore's youth culture of the time inspired his film Cry-Baby, later adapted into a Broadway musical.
  • Serge Rubinstein (46), a stock swindler and international playboy was found strangled in his Manhattan mansion on January 27, 1955. Because of his notoriety, there were numerous suspects but the murder remained unsolved.[150] The following year, the film Death of a Scoundrel, loosely based on Rubinstein's life, was released.
  • Early civil rights movement leader George W. Lee (51) was killed by an assailant who drove up alongside his car and shot him several times on May 7, 1955, in Belzoni, Mississippi.[151] After local and state authorities insisted that the death was a traffic accident, U.S. Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr. ordered a federal investigation which was able to prove it was a homicide; however, although some suspects were identified but never named publicly no arrests were made since witnesses were afraid to testify.
  • Another Mississippi African American civil rights activist, Lamar Smith (63), was shot and killed on August 13, 1955, outside the Lincoln County courthouse in Brookhaven,[152] where he had been helping other African American registered voters fill out absentee ballots for an upcoming primary to avoid attempts to intimidate them at the polls. Dozens of witnesses reportedly saw the killing, and three men were arrested, but an all-white grand jury refused to indict them.
  • William Morris Bioff (55), a labor leader with organized-crime ties, was killed by a bomb that detonated when he started his car on the morning of November 4, 1955, outside his Illinois home. No suspects have ever been named.[153]
  • Barbara and Patricia Grimes disappeared on December 28, 1956, in Chicago, Illinois after going to a cinema to view a screening of the Elvis Presley film Love Me Tender (1956).[154] Their disappearance launched one of the biggest missing-persons hunts in Chicago history. However, police were not able to determine what happened to the Grimes sisters.[155] On January 22, 1957, their naked bodies were found off a road near Willow Springs, Illinois. The corpses contained various bruises and marks (for example puncture wounds in the chest that may have come from an ice pick) that were never fully explained.
  • Discovered in a box in the Fox Chase section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 25, 1957, was a young boy. Known as "The Boy in the Box" and "America's Unknown Child", to this day his homicide, as well as his identity, remains unsolved.[156]
  • Mafia boss Albert Anastasia (55) was shot to death while being shaved at a Manhattan barbershop on October 25, 1957.[157] The list of suspects includes many other organized-crime figures of the era; no one has ever been officially named although authorities think the actual assassins were members of the Boston-based Patriarca crime family, in keeping with the mob's practice of hiring for such major hits from out of town.
  • Rosemarie Nitribitt (24), a sex worker, was found dead in her luxury apartment in Frankfurt, Germany, on November 1, 1957.[158] She had been strangled and beaten; the investigation established that this had happened three days beforehand. Police arrested Heinz Pohlmann, a businessman and friend of Nitribitt's who had visited her that day. He was tried and eventually acquitted due to questions about whether the time of death had been accurately established. No other suspects have ever been identified; the case has inspired novels, films and plays.
  • Insuranceman Harry Baker's (61) body was found just off A50 (near Knutsford) 17 days after he was last seen in Bootle. Despite many promising leads his case remains unsolved.[159]
  • Dancer Pearl Eaton (60) was found dead in her Manhattan Beach, California, apartment on September 10, 1958. The police called the death a homicide, but never solved the case.[160]
  • Gus Greenbaum (62), another Chicago Outfit figure, was stabbed and beaten to death along with his wife in their Phoenix, Arizona, house on December 3, 1958, supposedly as punishment for his continued skimming of casino profits.[161] No suspects were ever identified.
  • Kelso Cochrane, an Antiguan expatriate to Britain, was stabbed to death by a gang of white youths in Notting Hill on May 17, 1959. No arrests were made.[162]
  • Lynne Harper (12) was last seen alive on June 9, 1959, riding on the handlebars of her friend Steven Truscott's bike near an air force base which is now Vanastra, Ontario, Canada. Two days later her body was discovered in a nearby farm woodlot. She had been raped and strangled with her own blouse. Fourteen-year-old Steven Murray Truscott was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder, becoming Canada's youngest person to be sentenced to death. The sentence was later commuted to life in prison. Truscott was held in custody for 10 years: in 2007, his conviction was ruled a miscarriage of justice, although he was not declared innocent.[163]
  • After a friend of Dutch sex worker Blonde Dolly (32), born Sybille Niemans, found her shades drawn and the door locked on the morning of November 2, 1959, police in The Hague found her body upstairs. She was determined to have been strangled two days before, but in the years since no suspects have ever been identified.[164][165]
  • Almost 600 possible suspects have been considered in the Walker family murders of December 12, 1959, in which two children and their parents were shot by intruders at their Osprey, Florida, farmhouse.[166] Among them are the two men executed by Kansas for the Clutter family murders, which formed the basis for Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.

1960s[edit]

Lake Bodom murders in Finland is the most famous unsolved homicide cases in Finnish criminal history.[167] The tent is investigated immediately after the murders in 1960.
  • All 34 passengers and crew aboard National Airlines Flight 2511 from New York to Miami were killed on January 6, 1960, when a bomb exploded aboard the plane in mid-flight. The FBI is still investigating the case and no suspects have been named.[168]
  • The Lake Bodom murders were a multiple homicide that took place in Finland on June 5, 1960. That night four teenagers were camping on the shores of the Finnish lake when between 4 am and 6 am, they were attacked by an unknown individual or individuals with a knife and a blunt object. Three of them died, and the fourth one was wounded but survived. Although the sole survivor became a suspect for some time in 2004, the case remains unsolved.[169]
  • Paul Guihard (31), an Agence France-Presse reporter covering the Ole Miss riot of 1962, was found dead near a building on September 30, 1962, of what turned out to be a gunshot wound. He was the only journalist killed during the civil rights movement; his killer has never been identified.[170]
  • Enrico Mattei (56), an Italian public administrator, was killed on October 27, 1962, on a flight from Catania, Sicily to the Milan Linate Airport, Mattei's jetplane, a Morane-Saulnier MS.760 Paris, crashed in the surroundings of the small village of Bascapè in Lombardy. The cause of the accident has been a mystery. There are strong indications that the crash was caused by a bomb hidden in the airplane.[171][172]
  • Manuel Moreno Barranco (30) was a Spanish novelist and short-story writer, who on February 22, 1963, suffered a violent death at the prison of Jerez de la Frontera.[173] Who killed him is unknown.
  • Chicago alderman Benjamin F. Lewis (53) was found dead in his ward office in the early hours of February 28, 1963; he had been chained to a chair, burned with a cigarette and shot in the back of the head three times two days after winning a lopsided re-election victory. His killing, the last assassination of an incumbent politician in the city, is believed to be related to the Chicago Outfit, but no suspects have ever been officially identified.[174]
  • The body of William Lewis Moore (35) was found on the side of U.S. Route 11 near Attalla, Alabama, on April 23, 1963;[175] he was in the middle of a one-man civil rights protest in which he was marching from his home in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to the Mississippi Governor's Mansion to deliver a letter supporting racial equality and desegregation to that state's governor, Ross Barnett. He had been shot twice with a rifle shortly after giving an interview to a local TV station; the gun's owner was identified but neither he nor anyone else was ever charged.
  • Louis Allen (44) was shot dead on January 31, 1964, on his Liberty, Mississippi farm.[176] An African American who had attempted to register to vote and reportedly was willing to talk to federal investigators about a 1961 murder of another black Liberty resident by a white state legislator, Allen had faced increasing harassment and was to move to Wisconsin the next day. The sheriff at the time, Daniel Jones, has long been suspected of involvement; in a 2011 television interview he denied it. No one has ever been prosecuted.
  • Oneal Moore (34) was the first black deputy sheriff for the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office in Varnado, Louisiana. He was murdered on June 2, 1965, by alleged members of the Ku Klux Klan in a drive-by shooting, one year and a day after his landmark appointment as deputy sheriff.[177] The murder remains unsolved.
  • Mary S. Sherman (51), an orthopedic surgeon, was found dead of stab wounds and burns in her New Orleans apartment on July 21, 1964.[178] No suspects have ever been named.
  • Mary Pinchot Meyer (43) was a socialite from Washington, D.C. who had been married to CIA Director of Operations Cord Meyer, and mistress of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.[179] On October 12, 1964, Meyer was shot once in the head and once in the chest by an assailant while walking along the towpath of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.[179] A witness identified the assailant as Raymond Crump Jr., but without hard evidence, Crump was tried, acquitted, and released.[179]
  • The bodies of Marianne Schmidt and Christine Sharrock, both 15, were found beaten and stabbed on Wanda Beach near Sydney on the morning of January 11, 1965,[180][181] having last been seen on the beach the previous evening; the killer had apparently also attempted to rape them. Several suspects have been identified over the years, but none ever formally charged; a DNA sample was taken from the preserved blood and semen at the scene but it is not known if a match has been made.
  • James Reeb (38), a Unitarian minister from Philadelphia, died on March 11, 1965, in a Birmingham, Alabama hospital of injuries sustained during a beating at a restaurant outside Selma four days earlier, where he was dining with other civil rights activists.[182] Four men were indicted for the crime; three were acquitted and one fled the state. The FBI reopened the case in 2007 only to close it four years later as the only living suspect was among those acquitted.
  • On March 25, 1965, Viola Liuzzo (39), a civil rights activist from Michigan, was shot and killed after a car driven by four local Klansmen ran hers off an Alabama highway outside Selma.[183] The four Klansmen were arrested, but prosecutions were complicated since one was an FBI informant. The other three were convicted on broad federal civil rights charges, but the only suspect to face trial on the murder charge was acquitted despite a strong circumstantial case brought by prosecutors.
  • No suspects have ever been identified in the July 8, 1965, bombing of Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 21 above British Columbia, which killed all 52 aboard.[184]
  • Similarly, the bombing that killed all 66 passengers and crew of Cyprus Airways Flight 284 over the Mediterranean between Greece and Cyprus on October 12, 1965, remains unsolved.[185]
Sammy Younge Jr.. Murdered in Tuskegee January 3, 1966
  • Sammy Younge Jr. (21) was shot and killed January 3, 1966, by a Tuskegee, Alabama, gas station attendant with whom he had been arguing while trying to use a bathroom reserved for whites.[186] He had been a member of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, which decided three days later to start opposing the Vietnam War because of his death. The attendant's trial was moved to a neighboring, whiter county, where he was acquitted by an all-white jury in December.
  • Early in the morning of June 17, 1966, two black men walked into a Paterson, New Jersey, bar and began shooting. The bartender and one patron died at the scene; a female customer died of her wounds a month later. Former professional boxer Rubin Carter and a friend, John Artis, were charged with the crime and convicted the following year, despite their own alibi, weak evidence and alleged racial bias by police and prosecutors. They always protested their innocence, and their case became a cause celebre, inspiring Bob Dylan's "Hurricane". In 1978, they won a second trial, but were convicted again;[187] after another habeas corpus petition was granted in 1985, the state declined to retry them. No other suspects have ever been identified.
  • Clarence Triggs (24) was an African-American bricklayer and veteran, who was murdered on July 30, 1966, in Bogalusa, Louisiana, about a month after participating in a civil rights march for voting.[188] The murder remains unsolved.
  • Valerie Percy (21) was stabbed and beaten to death by an intruder who broke into her family's lakeside house in Kenilworth, Illinois before dawn on September 18, 1966. Despite some evidence left behind, and a sketch of the suspect that was widely distributed, no arrests were ever made. Her father, Charles Percy, was elected to the U.S. Senate several weeks later. In 1973, an award-winning series in the Chicago Sun-Times suggested the murder was a botched robbery committed by a gang with organized-crime connections; however, nothing was taken from the house and investigators today believe the motive was personal.[189]
  • Allen Redston (6) was an Australian schoolboy from Bendigo, Australia. He was kidnapped and murdered on September 28, 1966, having disappeared the previous day.[190] No one was ever charged with his murder, and the person who was thought to have killed him had denied it and has now died, and it remains an infamous cold case in Canberra to this day.
  • Cheri Jo Bates (18) was a young woman who was murdered in Riverside, California, on October 30, 1966. Bates was a college freshman, and was stabbed and slashed to death on the grounds of Riverside City College. Police determined the assailant had disabled the ignition coil wire and distributor of Bates' Volkswagen Beetle[191] as a method to lure her from her car as she studied in the college library.[192] The murder itself remains one of Riverside's most infamous cold cases[193] and has been described by some locals as a murder which "stripped Riverside of its innocence".[194]
  • Ephraim Kapolo (23–24) was a Namibian activist who participated in the pre-independence movement. Kapolo was arrested with other prominent members of SWAPO following the battle of Omugulugwombashe. He was detained with no trail and was held in solitary confinement in Pretoria, South Africa for more than a year.[195] He died in police custody in 1967 during the "terrorism trial". His death cause is murder, but the killers are unknown.
  • Mohamed Khider (54) was an Algerian politician,[196] who was assassinated in Madrid, Spain on January 4, 1967.[197] Most observers blamed his murder on Col. Boumédiène, yet his true murder cause is unknown.
  • Mima McKim-Hill (21) was an Australian woman who was abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled on March 9, 1967.[198][199] After she had gone missing, her body was found on March 26, 1967, north-east of Biloela. Her murder remains an unsolved cold case.[200]
  • Cook County, Illinois, deputy sheriff Ralph Probst (30) was shot and killed in the kitchen of his Hometown home from outside on April 10, 1967. In the weeks before he had told family and coworkers that he was investigating "something big" that would lead to his promotion. Since he had been working in the organized-crime unit, suspects, including Silas Jayne, have been named, but none ever charged.[201]
  • On August 25, 1967, two men dressed as road maintenance workers stopped Hong Kong radio commentator Lam Bun (37) as he drove home, then poured petrol all over him, a cousin who was with him, and his car, all of which they then set aflame.[202] Both Lam and his cousin died; it is believed that the killers may have been associated with the leftist groups that Bun often ridiculed on air during that year's ongoing leftist riots, since many of the latter have refused to condemn the killing. While public outrage over the killing led the government to finally suppress the protests and riots, no arrests have ever been made.
  • All six members of the Robison family were found shot in the head in their Good Hart, Michigan, vacation cabin on July 22, 1968; investigators established that the killings had taken place on June 25.[203] A lengthy investigation led police to Joseph Scolaro, an employee of Richard Robison's who may also have been embezzling from him. There was much circumstantial evidence linking him to the crime, but it was not enough to charge him. Four years later the case was reopened in the Robisons' county of residence, and when Scolaro learned that he was about to be charged this time he killed himself, leaving behind a typed suicide note in which he confessed to previous thefts and swindles but protested his innocence of the Robison killings. The case remains officially open.
  • Melitón Manzanas (61–62) was a high-ranking police officer in Francoist Spain, known as a torturer[204][205] and the first planned victim of ETA. On August 2, 1968, he was murdered in the first planned killing committed by ETA in response to the killing of Txabi Etxebarrieta,[206] after being shot him seven times.[207] The murder remains unsolved.
  • On October 1, 1968, the body of Stevan Marković (31), Serbian-born bodyguard to French film star Alain Delon, was found in a garbage dump on the western outskirts of Paris.[208][209] Possible nude photographs of the wife of French president Georges Pompidou were found in his car shortly afterwards, leading to a political scandal around allegations of blackmail and Marković's connections to Corsican organized crime. The murder officially remains unsolved.
  • Barbara Ann Hackmann Taylor's (24) body was found alongside a road near Georgetown, Kentucky, on December 17, 1968.[210] Until her identification in 1998, she was known only as "Tent Girl". Her husband was suspected at the time, but is now deceased.
  • The body of Jane Britton (23), a Harvard University graduate student in Near Eastern archaeology, was found beaten to death and raped on January 7, 1969, in her Cambridge, Massachusetts, apartment. Red ochre powder was found sprinkled around her body, which along with the killer's lack of interest in her valuables suggested to police and the media at the time that it might have been someone familiar with her academically, since the powder was used in ancient Iranian burial rites; a possible second Boston Strangler or copycat was also suggested. No suspects were ever identified, until DNA analysis in 2018 matched that at the crime scene with Michael Sumpter, who had an arrest record that included several rape convictions; his DNA was also matched to that found at some additional unsolved rapes and murders in the 1970s. However, Sumpter had died in 2001, and although police closed the investigation there could be no prosecution, so the case will remain officially unsolved.[211]
  • Edwin T. Pratt (38), then-director of the Seattle Urban League, was shot and killed outside his Shoreline, Washington, home on January 26, 1969. Despite an extensive investigation, no arrests were ever made. Later research by area newspapers has identified three likely suspects, all of whom have since died.[212]
  • Clarence 13X (41), founder of Five-Percent Nation (splinter group of the Nation of Islam) was fatally shot by a group of attackers in the lobby of his wife's Harlem apartment building on the morning of June 13, 1969.[213] One suspect was arrested two months later; charges were dropped. New York police believe the murder was related to an extortion attempt; no other suspects have ever been named.
  • Catherine Cesnik (27) was a Catholic religious sister who taught English and drama at the formerly all-girls Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, Maryland. On November 7, 1969, Cesnik disappeared.[214] Her body was discovered on January 3, 1970, near a garbage dump in the Baltimore suburb of Lansdowne.[215] Her homicide remains unsolved.
  • Joyce Malecki (20) was an American office worker from Baltimore who was employed at a liquor distributor. She disappeared on November 11, 1969. Her body was discovered on November 13, 1969, at the Soldier Park training area of Fort Meade, two days after her disappearance. Her murder remains unsolved.[216]
  • Betsy Aardsma (22), from Holland, Michigan, was a graduate student at Penn State University. She was stabbed to death in the stacks of Pattee Library on Penn State's campus on November 28, 1969. She was stabbed a single time through the heart with a single-edged small knife. Approximately one minute later two men told a desk clerk, "Somebody better help that girl," and then left the library. The men were never identified. Twenty–five to 35 minutes later she was pronounced dead at the hospital. She had been wearing a red dress, and since there was only a small amount of blood visible, no one realized immediately that she had been stabbed.[217]
  • On September 2, 1999, a 55-gallon drum in the basement of a house in Nassau County, New York turned out to contain the pregnant body of Reyna Marroquin, a Salvadoran immigrant murdered 30 years earlier in 1969.[218] Police suspected a former owner of the house who had also run a dye company that used the drum. He had reportedly been having an affair with Marroquin. The day after police interviewed him in Florida and told him they would get a court order to produce a DNA sample, he killed himself. DNA tests later showed he had fathered the fetus. Police consider him their main suspect, but as he is dead himself, he cannot be charged and the case remains officially open.

1970s[edit]

  • David Chingunji (34–35), served as a top commander in the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA),[219] who became pro-Western rebels in the subsequent Angolan Civil War. Chingunji died when UNITA forces tried to ambush Portuguese forces in 1970,[220][221] and whoever killed him remains unknown.
  • San Francisco police Sgt. Brian McConnell died of fatal shrapnel wounds suffered in the bombing of a police station on February 16, 1970.[222] Later investigations have suggested the Weather Underground terror group was involved, but no individual suspects have ever been named.
  • UCLA Black Student Union co-founder Melvin X (22), was found fatally shot in the driver's seat of a borrowed car outside Mira Loma, California (7), in June 1970; he had last been seen the previous evening.[223] A suspect who was arrested four months later on unrelated charges in Las Vegas was released after passing a lie detector test along with two other persons of interest. The case remains open.[224]
  • Leon Jordan (65), a civil rights movement leader in Kansas City, Missouri, was shot dead outside a tavern he owned on July 15, 1970.[225] Three men, connected with local organized crime, were arrested and charged with the crime; one was acquitted and charges were dropped against the other two. In 2010, the case was reopened after The Kansas City Star uncovered evidence that had gone missing during the original investigation; it uncovered more definite evidence that the killing was a mob hit, but by then all the suspects had died.
  • The bodies of Harvey and Jeannette Crewe (28 and 30), were found in New Zealand's Waikato River near their Pukekawa farm in August and September 1970, respectively. They had been reported missing on June 22 of that year, five days after last being seen.[226] Both had been shot with a rifle. After a short investigation, police arrested Arthur Thomas, another farmer, later that year. He was tried and convicted twice, but there was evidence that police had fabricated key evidence against him. This led to an inquiring commission that severely criticized two of the lead investigators without holding them accountable otherwise, and Prime Minister Robert Muldoon pardoned Thomas in 1979. Authorities have never identified any other suspects, although two journalists have written books proposing alternative theories of the case.
  • Investigations have strongly suggested that Italian journalist Mauro De Mauro (49), who disappeared on September 16, 1970, was killed by the Mafia to prevent him from completing his own inquiry into the death of Enrico Mattei after he was kidnapped while returning from work in Palermo.[227] However, it has never been clear which of several possible motives led to his death, and his body has never been found. In 2011, the only living suspect was tried and acquitted; the prosecution continues to appeal.
  • Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee was found in Lake Panasoffkee, Florida on February 19, 1971. She has never been identified and possibly originated from Greece.[228]
  • Rhonda Johnson and Sharon Shaw (13 and 14), were two teenage American girls who disappeared in Harris County, Texas, on the afternoon of August 4, 1971. In early 1972, skeletal remains of both girls were discovered in and around Clear Lake near Galveston Bay.[229] A local man, Michael Lloyd Self, was charged with their murders in 1972 and convicted of Shaw's murder in 1975. Controversy arose in 1998 when serial killer Edward Harold Bell confessed to the murders. Bell's confession—and corroborating statements from both law enforcement and prosecutors that Self had been coerced into a false confession—led many to believe that Self had been wrongfully convicted.[230] Self died in prison of cancer in 2000. The case remains unsolved.[231]
  • A man claiming to be a Croatian nationalist called a Swedish newspaper to claim credit for the January 26, 1972, bombing of JAT Flight 367 over what was then Czechoslovakia on its way back to Yugoslavia from Denmark, which killed 27 of the 28 onboard (surviving flight attendant Vesna Vulović set the world record for longest fall survived without a parachute, at 10,160 metres [33,330 ft]).[232] No suspects have ever been identified; some alternative theories have claimed the plane was actually shot down when it flew too close to a sensitive military facility, although the evidence largely supports the official finding that the plane was destroyed by an explosion at high altitude.
  • Joe Gallo (43), was shot to death in a Manhattan clamhouse on April 7, 1972,[233] as part of a war between New York City Mafia families. The investigation identified no suspects, although Frank Sheeran claimed shortly before his death 31 years later that he was the lone gunman.
  • On April 20, 1972, New York City police officer Philip Cardillo (32), died in the hospital of a gunshot wound inflicted six days earlier during an incident at a Harlem mosque. Another officer involved said he had seen one of the mosque's congregants, Louis 17X Dupree, standing over Cardillo with a gun pointed at his chest. Due to political complications resulting from the incident, suspects who had been in custody were not identified before being released and evidence was not collected at the scene. The detective in charge of investigating the shooting later claimed interference from senior officers impeded his efforts and procedures were ignored. Two years later, Dupree's first trial, based largely on the testimony of an informant, resulted in a hung jury and his second in an acquittal. He later served a prison sentence in North Carolina on drug charges and is currently in a Georgia prison on another charge. A later police informant in another case identified another suspect; he was never tried. Detectives who continue to investigate the case have complained that the FBI, which also had informants within the mosque, lied about what it knew in the past and is still withholding relevant information.[234]
  • George Duncan (41), was an Australian law lecturer at the University of Adelaide who drowned on May 10, 1972, after being thrown into the River Torrens by a group of men believed to be police officers. Public outrage generated by the murder became the trigger for homosexual law reform which led to South Australia becoming the first Australian state to decriminalize homosexuality.[235] The murder remains unsolved.[236]
  • Parts of Dolores Della Penna's body were found in two separate South Jersey locations in July 1972. The 17-year-old had last been seen leaving her house in Philadelphia's Tacony neighborhood on July 11. Her fingertips had been removed from her hands to prevent fingerprint identification and her head has never been found. In the mid-1990s police identified several suspects and claimed the motive had been revenge against her boyfriend for stealing drugs from some local dealers; however, most of them were dead by that time and the living ones were not charged. No other suspects have ever been identified.[237]
  • Thomas Eboli (61), acting boss of the Genovese crime family, was shot and killed as he walked from his girlfriend's house in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn to his car in the early hours of July 16, 1972.[238][239] It has been speculated that he was killed over unpaid debts, but no one has ever been charged.
  • Jeannette DePalma (16) was found dead and is believed to have been killed on or around August 7, 1972, in Springfield Township, New Jersey.[240] The murder has not been solved.
  • Yosef Alon (43), a military attaché at the Israeli embassy in Washington, was shot fatally in his Chevy Chase driveway as he and his wife returned from a party shortly after midnight on July 1, 1973. The Palestinian Black September urban guerrilla claimed responsibility, in retaliation for the slaying of one its members by Israeli operatives, but officially the case remains unsolved.[241]
  • Brian McDermott (10), a boy who went missing on September 2, 1973, in Belfast. His partly-burned remains were found in a sack in the River Lagan a week later.[242]
  • Albert DeSalvo (42), a convicted serial rapist widely believed at the time to have been the Boston Strangler, was found stabbed to death in the infirmary at Walpole state prison on the morning of November 25, 1973.[243] Charges brought against another inmate led to a mistrial when the jury deadlocked; no other suspects have ever been named.
  • On December 20, 1973, Chicago Outfit member Richard Cain (42) was shot to death by masked gunmen in a Chicago sandwich shop. The killers have never been identified.[244][245]
  • Luis Carrero Blanco (69) was a Spanish Navy officer and politician, who served as Prime Minister of Spain from June 1973 until his assassination.[246] Shortly after his ascension to the premiership Carrero Blanco was assassinated in a roadside bombing on December 20, 1973, by the armed Basque nationalist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) while returning from mass in his car.[247] The murder remains unsolved.
  • Jane Doe, a woman who American convicted serial killer Richard Laurence Marquette said who he had killed in 1974 whose skeleton was shown to detectives by Marquette, excluded it's head, whose identity remains unknown.[248]
  • Athalia Ponsell Lindsley (56), a former model and Broadway dancer, was fatally assaulted with a machete on the porch of her St. Augustine, Florida, home on January 23, 1974. The investigation centered on a neighbor she was having a dispute with at the time; he was tried and acquitted due to mishandling of the evidence. No other suspects have been named.[249] Later that same year, on November 3 Frances Bemis, a socialite friend of Lindsley's who had reportedly been conducting her own investigation of the murder, was found with her skull crushed in the neighborhood. That case also remains unsolved.[249]
Facial reconstructions of the Lady of the Dunes. Found murdered on July 26, 1974, in Provincetown, Massachusetts
  • Lady of the Dunes, who remains unidentified, was found in Provincetown, Massachusetts on July 26, 1974. She may have been murdered by Boston gangster Whitey Bulger or individuals working for him, but no charges have ever been brought.[250]
  • Martha Morrison's remains were found in Vancouver, Washington on October 12, 1974, alongside Carol Valenzuela. Morrison's body was unidentified until July 2015. Until 2017, there were no conclusive leads to their killer, until Morrison's DNA was found on a weapon owned by serial killer Warren Leslie Forest, who was later charged.[251][252]
  • Arlis Perry (19) was found dead in Stanford Memorial Church, where she had gone the previous night after an argument with her husband, on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, early on October 13, 1974. She had been beaten and sexually assaulted before her death but not raped; an ice pick found lodged into the base of her skull during the autopsy turned out to be the murder weapon. David Berkowitz, the "Son of Sam" serial killer, told investigators he had heard details about the killing from another inmate purportedly linked to the Manson family, but they ultimately discounted his information.[253] In 2018, DNA tests led police to Stephen Blake Crawford, the security guard who had found Perry's body, but he shot himself when officers arrived at his house to arrest him.[254]
  • Writer Donald Goines (37), and his wife Shirley Sailor, were found shot dead in their Detroit apartment on October 21, 1974.[255] No suspects have ever been identified.
  • Betty van Patter (52), bookkeeper for the Black Panther Party, was last seen leaving a San Francisco tavern on December 13, 1974. A few weeks later her beaten corpse was pulled out of San Francisco Bay. It has been believed that members of the party were behind her death, as she had reportedly uncovered financial irregularities that pointed toward criminal activity, but authorities have never named any suspects.[256]
  • A car bomb on March 18, 1975, in Lusaka, Zambia, killed Herbert Chitepo (51),[257] the first black lawyer in Rhodesia, a bodyguard and, later, Chitepo's neighbour. No suspects have ever been named. A 2001 investigation blamed infighting among members of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), which Chitepo had helped found, but a memoir by a former member of Rhodesian intelligence says instead that his agencies were behind it and planted evidence to implicate ZANU.
  • Gold prospectors in southern Oregon discovered four decaying bodies near a creek in the Siskiyou Mountains on April 12, 1975; these were identified through dental records as the Cowden family of White City, who had disappeared from their campsite, where there was some evidence of a struggle, near Copper the previous year's Labor Day weekend. One of the original searchers said the bodies had not been where they were found; police find his story credible. Dwain Lee Little, of nearby Ruch, who was on parole from a previous rape and murder conviction at the time and is currently serving consecutive life sentences for an attempted murder of a mother and her infant child, is considered a suspect due to circumstantial evidence but it has not been enough to support charging him with the crime.[258] True-crime writer Ann Rule's 2009 book about Little, But I Trusted You, goes into the case.
  • Sam Giancana (67), a longtime leader of the Chicago Outfit, was shot and killed in his kitchen on June 19, 1975,[259] shortly before he was to testify before a Senate subcommittee investigating possible CIA and Mafia collaboration in plots to assassinate John F. Kennedy over a decade earlier. This has led to much speculation as to who wanted him dead, with the actual shooter believed to be someone Giancana knew well. However, no charges have ever been brought in the case.
  • On June 23, 1975, the body of brothel keeper Shirley Finn was found shot dead in a parked car in South Perth, Australia.[260] No suspects have ever been identified; the investigation is continuing.
  • Barbara Colby (36) and James Kiernan (35), both American actors, were shot to death while walking to his car in Venice, California, on July 24, 1975.[261] Colby died instantly, but Kiernan was able to describe the shooting to the police before he also died from his wounds. He said the shooting occurred without reason or provocation and said that there were two gunmen whom he did not recognize. There was no attempt at robbery, and the killers and their motivation are still unknown.[262]
  • Claude Snelling (45), a journalism professor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California, was shot and killed by an intruder in his home on the night of September 11, 1975, after discovering the man trying to kidnap his teenage daughter. Police believe the killer was a serial burglar active at the time known only as the Visalia Ransacker, now suspected to be Joseph James DeAngelo.[263]
  • Vladimir Herzog (38), nicknamed "Vlado", was a Brazilian journalist, university professor and playwright of Croatian Jewish origin was a member of the Brazilian Communist Party and was active in the civil resistance movement against the Brazilian military government. On October 25, 1975, Herzog, then editor in chief of TV Cultura, was tortured to death by the political police of the military dictatorship, which later forged his suicide. Over 37 years later, his death certificate was revised to say that Herzog had in fact died as a result of torture by the army at DOI-CODI.[264] His death cause remains unknown and had a great impact on the Brazilian society, marking the beginning of the redemocratization process of the country.
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini (53) was an Italian film director, poet, writer, and intellectual, who also distinguished himself as an actor, journalist, novelist, playwright, and political figure. He remains a controversial personality in Italy due to his blunt style and the focus of some of his works on taboo sexual matters. On November 2, 1975, he was murdered on the beach at Ostia.[265] He had been run over several times by his own car. Multiple bones were broken and certain body parts were crushed by what appeared to be a metal bar. An autopsy revealed that his body had been partially burned with gasoline after death. The case remains unsolved.
  • When Harlem businessman Wesley Diggs returned to his Teaneck, New Jersey, home on the afternoon of December 6, 1975, he found the bodies of his wife and four children, shot sometime after he had left for work that morning. Despite an extensive investigation by local police, no suspects were ever identified. It is the largest mass killing in the history of Bergen County.[266]
  • The 1975 LaGuardia Airport bombing occurred on the evening of December 29, 1975, at the TWA baggage claim at New York's LaGuardia Airport,[267] killing 11. It has been suspected that Croatian nationalists were behind it, due to a similar bomb found at Grand Central Terminal a year later, but the group responsible for that event has denied responsibility for the earlier attack. Officially it remains unsolved.
  • All 81 aboard died on January 1, 1976, when a bomb exploded on Middle East Airlines Flight 438. No suspects were ever identified.[268]
  • Joseph Barboza (43), a former operative with Boston's Patriarca crime family, was killed by four shotgun blasts at close range on February 11, 1976, while walking back to his car after visiting a friend's San Francisco apartment.[269][270] It is believed that his killing was in retaliation for his testimony against members of the family at trials in the 1960s; however, no one has ever been charged.
  • David Stack (18) was shot and killed somewhere near Wendover, Utah, on or about June 9, 1976, while hitchhiking from his home in Broomfield, Colorado, to visit relatives in California. His body was found in a landfill and remained unidentified until 2015, when DNA and dental records verified the body was his. The investigation is continuing now that his identity is known.[271]
  • Jim Leslie (38), a publicist and lobbyist for the government of Shreveport, Louisiana, was shot fatally in the parking lot of a Baton Rouge hotel July 9, 1976, on his way to celebrate a legislative victory.[272] Shreveport's public safety commissioner, George W. D'Artois, was charged with ordering the murder but died before he could face trial. No one has ever been identified as the actual gunman.
  • World War II German colonel Joachim Peiper (61), who led the troops responsible for the Malmédy massacre as a member of the Waffen-SS, was defending his home in Traves, Haute-Saône, in eastern France, from unidentified vigilante attackers on the night of July 14, 1976, when he died of what is believed to have been smoke inhalation. His badly-burned body was identified by a fellow veteran of the Wehrmacht who lived nearby; the circumstances of his death and autopsy have led to allegations that he faked it.[273]
  • Seewen murder case: 5 people were shot with a Winchester rifle during Pentecost weekend 1976 in a weekend house near the Swiss village Seewen. The main suspect, owner of a Winchester, was Carl Doser, who disappeared without a trace in 1977. The Winchester used for the crime was found in 1996 in Carl Doser's mother's former appartement. A witness came to police in 2013 saying that he met Doser in late 90', Doser declaring that "he couldn't go back to Swiss, being chased for murder.[274] The murderer remains unknown.[275]
  • Priscilla Childers maintained to her 2001 death that her former husband, oil heir T. Cullen Davis, entered her house disguised with a wig on August 2, 1976, and fatally shot her 12-year-old daughter Andrea Wilborn, then ambushed her and her boyfriend Stan Farr as they returned home, also killing Farr. A judge had just granted her an increase in the support payments Davis owed her. He was indicted only in Wilborn's death, making him the wealthiest person to ever be tried for murder in the United States; at trial he was acquitted although Farr's children settled a wrongful death suit they brought against him. A few years later Davis was also tried and acquitted on charges he had conspired to have Childers and the judge murdered. Both cases have been the subject of books.[276]
  • Susanne Lindholm (25) was found raped and strangled in the basement of her Käpylä, Helsinki apartment building on August 8, 1976. Despite numerous tips over the years and several arrests, her murder remains unsolved. According to some of the investigating authorities, Lindholm could have been the victim of a yet-unidentified serial killer who committed similar killings in the city.[277]
  • The Sumter County Does, unidentified male and female homicide victims, were shot to death in Sumter County, South Carolina on August 9, 1976. Neither has been identified. From one eyewitness account, the victims may have been French-Canadians who were travelling the country.[278][279][250]
  • On October 24, 1976, the half-naked body of a teenage girl was found off the A12 motorway in Maarsbergen, Netherlands. The decedent, nicknamed the Heul Girl, is suspected to be a German kidnap victim who was supposedly disposed of by two unknown suspects. Her identity, and that of her killers, remain unknown.[280]
  • Dallas police officer Robert W. Wood, 27, was fatally shot during a traffic stop in the early hours of November 28, 1976. Randall Dale Adams was initially convicted of the murder and almost executed. Errol Morris's 1988 documentary film The Thin Blue Line re-examined the case and suggested that another Texas inmate, David Harris, who had testified against Adams, was the more likely suspect after a taped statement from Harris at the end of the film that implicated him. Harris recanted his trial testimony at Adams' habeas corpus hearing, which resulted in the charges against Adams being dropped, freeing him. But Harris never explicitly confessed to the crime before his own execution for another murder in 2004, leaving the killing officially unsolved.[281]
  • Beth Doe[282] is the name given to an unidentified young European-American woman who was found murdered on December 20, 1976, in White Haven, Pennsylvania. The brutality of the crime, the fact that she was pregnant when she was killed and the length of time that she has remained unidentified created national attention.[283] Beth Doe is believed to have been an immigrant from a Central European country. In September 2019, a potential identity was announced as runaway Madelyn Cruz, last seen between 1974 and 1976, who may have been pregnant around the time of Beth Doe's murder.[284]
  • The stabbing deaths of Suzanne Armstrong and Susan Bartlett occurred on January 10, 1977, in Collingwood, Victoria, Australia. These murders have been linked to the disappearance of a North Melbourne woman two years earlier. However, no suspect has ever been named.[285]
  • Frank Bompensiero (71), a longtime Mafia contract killer, was himself shot and killed on February 1, 1977,[286] while making a phone call in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego, California. Several defendants were arrested and charged with the killing. One died before trial and the others were acquitted.
  • Another Mafia assassin, Charles Nicoletti (60), was shot three times in the back of the head while waiting in his car outside a Northlake, Illinois, restaurant on March 29, 1977.[287] No suspects were ever identified.
  • On April 7, 1977, Siegfried Buback, then Attorney General of Germany, and two other people were fatally shot in their car by a gunman on a motorcycle in Karlsruhe. While it is certain that the German left-wing terrorist group RAF was responsible, the identity of the killer has not been established.[288] Even though four RAF members (Christian Klar, Knut Folkerts, Günter Sonnenberg, and Brigitte Mohnhaupt) were formally charged and prosecuted, important details of their involvement have not been solved. German authorities have so far been unable to find out who was driving the motorcycle and who was firing the weapon.
  • Septic Tank Sam is the nickname given to an unidentified murder victim who was found in a septic tank thirteen kilometers west of Tofield, Alberta on April 13, 1977. Authorities suspect he wasn't from Alberta, but most likely worked as a migrant worker.[289] His case remains unsolved.
  • On May 13, 1977, Mickey Spillane (42), head of the Westies, the last major Irish-American criminal organization in New York City, was killed outside his Queens apartment.[290] It is believed one of his underlings ordered the crime to take control of the organization from him, but police have never formally suspected anyone.
  • Javier Ybarra Bergé (63) was a Basque industrialist, writer,[291] and politician from Bilbao. On May 20, 1977, Javier Ybarra was kidnapped by renegade members of the Basque separatist group ETA,[292] who entered his home in disguise, bound and gagged members of his family, and took him away in an ambulance. The body of Javier Ybarra was found near a farmhouse on June 22, 1977, in Navarra. He had been shot in the head and wrapped in a plastic sheet.[293] The murder remains unsolved.
  • On the morning of June 13, 1977, the bodies of three young girls, beaten, strangled and raped, were found at Camp Scott, a Girl Scout camp near Locust Grove, Oklahoma. An escaped prisoner believed to have been involved was taken into custody; he later died after being returned to prison following his acquittal. No one else has ever been charged although various other theories of the crime have been floated in the intervening years.[294]
  • Australian wallpaper designer Florence Broadhurst (78) was found bludgeoned to death in her Paddington studio on October 15, 1977. No one has ever been officially named as a suspect;[295] speculation has ranged from serial killer John Wayne Glover to an acquaintance (the evidence suggests she knew her killer, and s/he was familiar with the layout of her studio).
  • South African National Party politician Robert Smit and his wife were found shot and stabbed in their home in a Pretoria suburb on November 22, 1977.[296] The words "RAU TEM" were spray painted on the walls and cupboards of the house. Their meaning remains unknown, as does the identity of the perpetrators.
  • On December 28, 1977 Karin Grech (15), of Malta, died of severe burns a half-hour after the wrapped package addressed to her father that she opened in the belief that it was a Christmas present exploded. Her father, the letterbomb's intended target, had been one of the few doctors at his hospital not on strike; another nonstriking doctor received that day a similarly rigged package that did not detonate. A connection to that was investigated but no suspects were identified. Later investigations have suggested some of Dr. Grech's students may have been responsible, and provided clues about the bombers. In 2010 a court ordered the Maltese government to compensate the Grech family for the loss of their daughter.[297]
  • On January 8, 1978, a shot through the window of his home in a suburb of the South African city of Durban killed anti-apartheid South African philosopher Rick Turner (35).[298] An extensive investigation at the time turned up no suspects, and none have been named since, although it is widely believed that he was murdered by the security forces due to his activism.
  • Denise McGregor (12) was abducted on her way back from doing errands in the Melbourne suburb of Pascoe Vale on the evening of March 20, 1978. Her body was found the next day, raped and with injuries so brutal the pathologist likened them to those suffered by victims of plane crashes. Robert Arthur Selby Lowe, convicted of the 1991 murder of Sheree Beasley, was suspected until DNA evidence eliminated him. The case remains open.[299]
  • The Pemiscot County Does were found murdered on June 17, 1978. Although both were found in different states, they are believed to have been killed by the same person, as they were both seen together before their murders.[300] Thirty-nine years later, they were identified as Jimmy Hendricks and Kim Mills, respectively; their murders remain unsolved.
  • No arrests have ever been made in the June 28, 1978, Blackfriars massacre, in which four mobsters and investigative journalist John A. Kelly were killed at a pub by that name in downtown Boston.[301] The murders remains unsolved.
  • Bob Crane (49), an American actor best known for his role in Hogan's Heroes, was discovered bludgeoned to death with a weapon that was never found (but was believed by police to be a camera tripod) at the Winfield Place Apartments in Scottsdale, Arizona, on June 29, 1978. Crane had allegedly called his friend John Henry Carpenter the night before to tell him their friendship was over. Crane was involved in the underground sexual scene and filmed his numerous escapades with the help of Carpenter, who was an audio-visual expert.[302][303][304][305] Police reportedly found blood smears in Carpenter's car that matched Crane's blood type, but no charges were filed against Carpenter for more than a decade. When he was charged in 1994, he was acquitted. Carpenter maintained his innocence until his death in 1998, and the case is now officially cold.[306]
  • Nancy Spungen (20) was the American girlfriend of English Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and a figure of the 1970s punk rock scene. On October 12, 1978, Spungen was found dead in the bathroom of the couple's room, of a single stab wound to the abdomen. The murder has never been solved.[307]
  • Theresa Allore (19) was a Canadian college student who disappeared on November 3, 1978, from Champlain College Lennoxville in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Five months later, on April 13, 1979, her body was discovered in a small body of water approximately one kilometer from her dormitory residence in Compton, Quebec.[308] An autopsy revealed there were no drugs in her system. She is believed to have been murdered by a man who is thought to have killed other females in the same area.
  • The Burger Chef murders of four employees of that restaurant outside Speedway, Indiana, on November 17, 1978, have never been solved despite extensive investigation.
  • Ten guests, mostly visiting Canadians, died in a November 26, 1978 fire at a Holiday Inn in Greece, New York, outside Rochester. Investigators found that it was set but were not able to make progress until 2014, when after a three-year reinvestigation of the case they announced they had one suspect, but did not identify that person.
  • Kerry Graham and Francine Trimble disappeared on December 16, 1978, and were found dead on July 9, 1979. They remained unidentified for 36 years and no suspects have been named in the case.[309][310]
  • Shortly after a private meeting with Cambodian dictator Pol Pot on December 22, 1978, British Marxist academic Malcolm Caldwell (47) was shot and killed by unknown assailants at the Phnom Penh guest house where he was staying[311] with two Western journalists, the first allowed to visit the country since Pot's Khmer Rouge had taken power three years before. Three days later, Vietnam invaded Cambodia, forcing the Khmer Rouge from power and exposing their genocide, reports of which Caldwell had been one of the most forceful deniers of in the West. His killing is believed to have been an inside job since he and his companions were under heavy guard the whole time they were in the country. It is believed that either Pot had him killed over a disagreement (although he reportedly returned from the meeting in very high spirits) or that anti-regime subversives did it in preparation for the Vietnamese invasion, to eliminate one of the Khmer Rouge's most passionate defenders abroad.
  • On January 6, 1979, the bodies of the four Tan children were found in their family's apartment in the Singapore neighborhood of Geylang Bahru,[312] stacked on top of each other after they had been extensively stabbed and slashed with a knife and chopper. Police believe the killer or killers had planned the crime for some time and knew the family, as a Chinese New Year card sent a month after the crime used personal nicknames and seemed aware that the couple could not have more children. However, no suspects have ever been identified.
  • Adolph Dubs (58), then U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, who had been kidnapped by militants, was found to have been shot in the head at close range on February 14, 1979, after an abortive rescue attempt by Afghan police. The investigation of the crime was perfunctory; who the kidnappers were, and which of them killed Dubs, has never been determined. U.S. authorities came to believe that the Soviet KGB was behind the murder, and documents released from the Mitrokhin archive in the 1990s, after the Soviet Union collapsed, have lent some support to these allegations; the Soviets in turn accused the CIA of having done it to discredit them. In the wake of the killing the U.S. began disengaging from Afghanistan and more openly supporting opponents of the government, setting the stage for the Soviet invasion of the country later that year.[313]
  • Actor Victor Kilian (88) was beaten to death during a burglary of his Los Angeles home on March 11, 1979.[314] No arrests have ever been made.
  • Carlos Muñiz Varela (25), a Cuban refugee in Puerto Rico who supported independence movements on the island, was shot dead while driving to his mother's house in Guaynabo on April 28, 1979.[315] A group calling itself Comando Cero took credit, but no arrests have ever been made. Documents released in 2012 by the FBI suggest the Cuban exile Julio Labatud may have been involved.
  • Perry County Jane Doe was found on June 20, 1979, in Perry County, Pennsylvania. Her body has never been identified. Isotope tests indicate she may have originated in the Midwestern part of the country, or perhaps Southern Canada. In the months preceding her death, she may have spent time in the Southwest and later died in Pennsylvania.[316][317]
  • Raymond Washington, original founder of the South Central Los Angeles street gang that came to be known as the Crips, was murdered on August 9, 1979. Washington was shot dead at the age of 25 when he walked up to a car on the corner of 64th and San Pedro streets in Los Angeles. At the time of his death, Washington no longer had any real control over the gang he founded. He wanted to unite warring gangs in peace and had always opposed guns. Different theories exist on why he was killed and who did it but no one was ever arrested for his murder.[318]
  • Ronald McPherson and Don Rose were found shot to death on August10, 1979 in Tuolumne County, California. No arrests have been made.
  • Sahara Sue's body was found on August 14, 1979. She was never identified although she wore dentures at a very young age. Recent investigation has uncovered the possibility she used the name "Shauna" or "Shawna," with a previous residence in a trailer park.[319][320]
  • Tammy Vincent's body remained unidentified for 31 years after she was found beaten, shot, stabbed and set afire after her death on a beach near Tiburon, California, on September 26, 1979.[321][322] It was believed the 17-year-old runaway was a victim of Gary Ridgway, the "Green River killer," although she likely died because she was due to testify in court against a pimp while in California.
  • Cevat Yurdakul (37) was a prosecutor[323] and the chief of police of Adana Province, Turkey,[324] when he was assassinated on September 28, 1979.[325] The murder remains unsolved.[326]
  • Debra Jackson (23), known until her 2019 identification through a DNA match with her sister as "Orange Socks" for the only articles of clothing on her body, was found murdered on October 31, 1979, in Georgetown, Texas. Henry Lee Lucas falsely confessed to her murder and was sentenced to death; his sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment due to doubt over the veracity of his confession.[327]
  • The body of Tammy Alexander (16), of Brooksville, Florida, was found in a cornfield off U.S. Route 20 in Caledonia, New York on November 9, 1979. She had been shot twice the night before. She remained unidentified, known as Caledonia Jane Doe or Cali Doe, for over 35 years until being identified via a DNA match with her sisters in 2015. Law enforcement in both states are continuing to investigate.[328]
  • Cavit Orhan Tütengil (57–58), was a Turkish sociologist, writer and columnist, who was assassinated on December 7, 1979,[329] by persons unknown.[330] The murder remains unsolved.

1980s[edit]

Pastel drawing of Óscar Romero, murdered Archbishop
  • Philadelphia mob boss Angelo Bruno (69), was killed by a shotgun blast to the back of his head as he sat in his car in front of his South Philadelphia house on March 21, 1980. Antonio Caponigro, one of Bruno's underlings, is believed to have ordered the killing over a drug dispute; since the murder had not been sanctioned by the Commission, Caponigro himself was reputedly killed on its orders within a month. However, no suspects have ever been identified as having actually shot Bruno.[331][332]
  • Óscar Romero, the fourth Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador, was killed by a shot to the heart on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass at a small chapel located in a hospital. It is believed, but was never proven that the assassins were members of Salvadoran death squads. During the funeral a bomb exploded in Plaza Barrios fronting San Salvador Cathedral, and shots were fired. Many people were killed during the subsequent mass panic.[333]
  • Dorothy Jane Scott (32), disappeared on May 28, 1980, in Anaheim, California after heading to pick up a colleague who had been discharged from the hospital following treatment for a spider bite. Her car was found burnt out in an alleyway 10 miles (16 km) from the hospital the following morning, and her decomposed remains were discovered in August 1984.[334] Her murderer and cause of death remain unknown, but police believe an unidentified male who stalked Scott with harassing phone calls prior to her disappearance and subsequent murder is the likely suspect.
  • The naked and beaten body of Antonio Caponigro (68), nicknamed "Tony Bananas", a Philadelphia mobster, was found in the trunk of a car in the Bronx on April 18, 1980, along with that of his brother-in-law Alfred Salerno. He was believed to have ordered the killing of his own boss, Angelo Bruno, a month earlier over a drug dispute; since he had not gotten the approval of the Commission he was himself killed at their order. No suspects have ever been named.[331]
  • War saxophonist Charles Miller (41), who co-wrote and sang their hit "Low Rider", was killed during a robbery in Los Angeles on June 14, 1980.[335] No suspects have ever been identified.
  • The explosion that killed all 81 on board Itavia Flight 870 near the Italian island of Ustica on June 27, 1980, has been variously attributed to a bomb or a missile strike. Whatever the cause, the investigations have been criticized as ineffective, and no culprits identified. There has also been a series of suspicious deaths, murders or suicides among people involved in or investigating the case,[336] further raising suspicion of a conspiracy.
  • Suzanne Bombardier (14), was a teenager girl who was kidnapped on June 22, 1980, and found dead on June 27, 1980, as body was found floating in the San Joaquin River east of Antioch, California near its bridge, by a fisherman, and her body revealed stab wounds.[337] On December 11, 2017, after extensive DNA analysis, a man named Mitchell Lynn Bacom, who was a convicted sex offender, was arrested and has been charged with her murder.[338] The trial has not yet taken place.
  • John Favara (51) was the backyard neighbor of Gambino crime family crime boss John Gotti, in Howard Beach, New York, who disappeared on July 28, 1980, after he struck and killed Gotti's 12-year-old son, Frank Gotti, by car as he darted into the street on a motorized minibike.[339]
  • Arroyo Grande Jane Doe, an unidentified girl, was discovered on October 5, 1980, in Henderson, Nevada. She was between fourteen and twenty-five and had a distinct gap between two teeth on the right side of her mouth.[340]
  • Another Philadelphia mobster believed to have been involved in the Angelo Bruno assassination, Frank Sindone (52), was found dead with three gunshot wounds in the back of his head in a South Philadelphia alley on October 29, 1980.[341] His death is believed to have been ordered by the Commission as punishment for the unsanctioned killing of Bruno, but no suspects have ever been identified.
The Walker County Jane Doe is an unidentified murder victim found in Texas. She was murdered on October 31 or November 1, 1980.
  • Walker County Jane Doe, an unidentified girl aged between 14 and 18 whose body was found on November 1, 1980, in Huntsville, Texas, United States. A possible runaway matching her description was reported by a witness to have asked for directions to a prison unit, which she never arrived to. The victim was killed by strangulation and beating, also being sexually assaulted.[342][343]
  • Carol Cole (17), was discovered stabbed to death in Bellevue, Louisiana in January 1981, after her 1980 disappearance. Her body was identified in February 2015. The man who found her, now in prison for killing his wife, is considered a person of interest.[344]
  • The Harris County Does consist of two currently unidentified murdered youths discovered on January 12, 1981, in Houston, Harris County, Texas near Wallisville Road. Extensive investigation has been conducted with few leads, and has been unsuccessful.[345]
  • Philip Testa (56), known as "The Chicken Man", was killed when a nail bomb exploded under his porch as he stepped into his Philadelphia house on March 15, 1981,[346] the second local mob boss to be assassinated within a year. At the time he and several associates were under federal indictment for their activities; Testa's killing sparked a four-year war for control that left 30 other mobsters dead. Two of Testa's underbosses have been described as responsible; however, no actual suspects have ever been named.
  • Thor Nis Christiansen (23), was a Danish-American serial killer from Solvang, California. He committed his first three murders in late 1976 and early 1977, killing young women of similar appearance from nearby Isla Vista. His crimes motivated large demonstrations opposed to violence against women, and in favor of better transportation for the young people residing in Isla Vista.[347] On March 30, 1981, Christiansen died after being stabbed in the exercise yard at Folsom State Prison. His killer was not identified.[348]
  • The Keddie murders, in which four people were found dead in Keddie, California on April 11 (and possibly into April 12), 1981.[349]
  • Brenda Gerow (21), was found murdered in early April 1981 in Tucson, Arizona. Her body remained unidentified until 2015 after a photograph of her was found in a convicted killer's possession and led police to believe she was the unidentified victim, based on a resemblance to a facial reconstruction. Gerow was subsequently identified to be the girl in the picture and later confirmed to be the victim through DNA tests. The man who possessed her photograph is considered a person of interest and her murder remains unsolved.[350][351]
  • Marcia King (21), who had been nicknamed "Buckskin Girl" prior to her identification in 2018, was found in Troy, Ohio on April 23, 1981. She had been beaten and strangled to death.[352]
  • Mostafa Chamran (48), was an Iranian physicist, politician, commander and guerrilla fighter who was killed on June 21, 1981, in Dehlavieh during the Iran–Iraq War ranging war.[353][354] The mystery behind his murder remains largely unsolved.[355][356]
  • Raymond Nels Nelson (79), Administrative Assistant to Senator Claiborne Pell and former bureau chief of The Providence Journal, Rhode Island. He was found bludgeoned to death with a typewriter in his Washington, D.C. apartment on June 1, 1981.[357]
  • Wonderland murders are four unsolved murders that occurred in Los Angeles on July 1, 1981.[358] It is assumed that six people were targeted to be killed in the known drug house of the Wonderland Gang, five were present, and four of those five died from extensive blunt-force trauma injuries: Billy DeVerell, Ron Launius, Joy Miller, and Barbara Richardson. Launius' wife, Susan Launius, survived the attack. The attack was allegedly masterminded by organized crime figure and nightclub owner Eddie Nash. He, his henchman Gregory DeWitt Diles, and porn star John Holmes were at various times arrested, tried, and acquitted for their involvement in the murders.
  • Ken McElroy (47), long considered the "town bully" of Skidmore, Missouri, was shot dead while in the cab of his pickup truck on July 10, 1981. None of the 46 potential witnesses to the crime have ever come forward to identify a suspect.[359]
  • Vishal Mehrotra (8) was abducted from Putney, South London on July 29, 1981.[360] Vishal's partial remains were discovered February 25, 1982, on an isolated farm in Sussex. His murder remains unsolved.
  • Zoya Fyodorova (71), was a Russian film star who had an affair with American Navy captain Jackson Tate in 1945 and bore a child, Victoria Fyodorova in January 1946. Having rejected the advances of NKVD police head Lavrentiy Beria, the affair was exposed[361] resulting, initially, in a death sentence later reprieved to work camp imprisonment in Siberia; she was released after eight years. She was murdered in her Moscow apartment on December 11, 1981.[362] The murder remains unsolved.
  • Dana Bradley (14), disappeared while hitchhiking in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador on December 14, 1981. Her body was found four days later in a wooded area south of St. John's. An intense and highly publicized investigation followed, and in 1986 a man confessed to her murder, but later recanted.[363] As of 2018, the case remains open and unsolved.
  • Jorge Sangumba (37–38), served as the Foreign Minister of UNITA during the Angolan War of Independence.[364] It is believed that Jonas Savimbi, leader of UNITA, allegedly ordered Sangumba's assassination[365][366] along with several other potential rivals for leadership of UNITA during the Angolan Civil War in 1982.[367] The murder has been investigated, but nothing has been found out and remains unsolved.
  • Marcel Francisci (62), French member of Union Corse criminal organization who created the French Connection drug pipeline, was shot fatally as he walked to his car from his Paris apartment on January 16, 1982.[368] No suspects have ever been identified.
  • Valentine Sally (approximately 16–17), was an unidentified female discovered along I-40 in Arizona on February 14, 1982. She had likely been seen at a truck stop with an older male, possibly her father, early in the morning on February 4 and had been murdered soon after. No suspects have ever been identified.[369]
  • The decapitated head and dismembered remains of Nava Elimelech (11), were found in plastic bags at the beaches in Herzliya and Tel Baruch, Israel on March 20, 1982. She had likely been murdered in her hometown of Bat Yam that same day; despite extensive searches and several arrests, the true culprit hasn't been found yet.[370]
  • Rusty Day (36), was an American singer who was fatally shot at his home on June 3, 1982. His son, his dog, and Garth McRae were also fatally shot during the same attack. The murder officially remains unsolved, although the Seminole County Sheriff's Office believe the victims may have known the perpetrator, and that the killings may have been drug-related.[371]
  • Roberto Calvi (62), CEO of Banco Ambrosiano, found hanged under Blackfriars Bridge in London on June 17, 1982. Initially considered a suicide, authorities later changed their minds and investigated it as a homicide. An Italian court acquitted five defendants in 2009; charges against a sixth defendant were later dropped.[372]
  • The body of a strangled teenage girl found on July 1, 1982, outside Baytown, Texas, remained unidentified for 32 years. In 2014, the corpse's DNA was matched to Michelle Garvey (15), a runaway from Connecticut. The investigation is continuing.[373]
  • In Blairstown, New Jersey, an unidentified girl dubbed "Princess Doe" was found on July 15, 1982. Extensive research and investigation to discover the identities of her and her killer have been unsuccessful.[374]
  • Rachael Runyan (3), was abducted from a park near her home in Sunset, Utah on August 26, 1982.[375] Her body was found three weeks later in a creek approximately 50 miles (80 km) away. Her murder remains unsolved.[376]
  • The bodies of seven people were found on board the remains of the fishing vessel Investor after it burned off the coast of Craig, Alaska, on September 7, 1982; a coroner's jury found that an eighth known to have been on board died as well even though their remains were not found, and that the fire had been set. Two years later, police arrested a former crewman and charged him with murder and arson. After the first trial ended in a hung jury, he was acquitted in 1988. No other suspects have ever been named.[377]
  • Delta Dawn, also known as "Baby Jane" are the names given to an unidentified child murder victim whose body was found in Moss Point, Mississippi in December 1982. In a suspected filicide, the child—aged approximately 18 months—was partially smothered before she was thrown alive from the eastbound Interstate 10 bridge into the Escatawpa River, where she ultimately drowned. Her body was recovered between 36 and 48 hours after her death.[378] She is believed to have been murdered.
  • The FBI continues to investigate the Chicago Tylenol murders which took place in late 1982, but has not identified any suspects.[379]
  • On January 20, 1983, three days before he was to be sentenced for attempting to bribe a U.S. Senator, Allen Dorfman (60), an insurance agency owner, and close associate of Jimmy Hoffa believed to have ties to the Chicago Outfit, was shot to death in a Lincolnwood, Illinois, hotel parking lot.[380] While it is believed he was killed by former associates to prevent him from offering information about them in exchange for a reduced sentence, no suspects have ever been named.
  • St. Louis Jane Doe is the name given an unidentified girl who was found murdered in an abandoned house on February 28, 1983, in St. Louis, Missouri.[381] She has also been nicknamed Hope and the Little Jane Doe.[382] The victim was estimated to be between eight and eleven when she was murdered and is believed to have been killed by strangulation. She was raped and decapitated.[383] The brutality of the crime has led to national attention.
  • Peter Ivers, television host and musician, was found bludgeoned to death in his Los Angeles apartment on March 3, 1983. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) failed to properly secure the crime scene and the murder was never solved,[384] although on the basis of new information found in the book In Heaven Everything Is Fine: The Unsolved Life of Peter Ivers and the Lost History of New Wave Theatre (2008) by Josh Frank and Charlie Buckholtz, the LAPD has reopened their investigation into Ivers' death.
  • On April 10, 1983, Palestinian Liberation Organization peace negotiator Issam Sartawi (48), was shot and killed in the lobby of a Portuguese hotel while attending that year's Socialist International conference.[385][386] The Abu Nidal organization later claimed responsibility, but no arrests have ever been made.
  • On May 10, 1983, Nancy Argentino (23), the girlfriend at the time of professional wrestler Jimmy Snuka died from being attacked. Thirty-two years later Snuka was indicted and arrested in September 2015 on third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges, in relation to Argentino's death. Snuka pleaded not guilty,[387][388] but was ultimately found unfit to stand trial in June 2016 due to being diagnosed with dementia.[389] As his health declined,[390] the charges were dismissed on January 3, 2017, and he died twelve days later.
  • While Dursun Aksoy (39), an administrative attaché at the Turkish embassy in Brussels, Belgium, was starting his car on Avenue Franklin Roosevelt July 14, 1983, a man walked up to him and shot him twice in the head; he died almost instantly. Two militant Armenian groups claimed responsibility, but no one has ever been charged. The murder remains unsolved.[391]
  • The Newton County John Does, also dubbed Adam and Brad, or simply as Victims A and B are two young unidentified males whose remains were discovered with those of two other men on October 18, 1983, in Lake Village, Newton County, Indiana by mushroom foragers.[392] Their nicknames were given by Newton County coroner Scott McCord, elected in 2008, to remember that they were people. He learned that the "victims had never been identified, returned to any family or buried". He renewed the investigation, recruiting Stephen Nawrocki, a noted forensic anthropologist at the University of Indianapolis, to examine the remains and help develop descriptions of the victims. Nawrocki also gained the assistance of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, whose experts drew portraits of the young men.
  • Gérard Lebovici (51), a French film producer, was found in his car on March 7, 1984, in a Paris parking garage.[393] He had been shot several times two days earlier. No suspects have ever been identified.
  • On November 13, 1983, Canadian mobster Paul Volpe (56), was murdered and found dead the next day in the trunk of his wife's BMW at Toronto Pearson International Airport; Pietro Scarcella is said to have been the last person to see Volpe alive before his unsolved murder.[394] Johnny Papalia has also been linked with Volpe's death, but no charges were laid.[395]
  • Karl Brugger (41), was a German foreign correspondent for the ARD network and author,[396] best known for his book The Chronicle of Akakor about the alleged lost city of Akakor that was published in 1976.[397] Brugger was shot down in Rio de Janeiro on January 3, 1984, after being shot several times,[398] while walking with his friend Ulrich Encke at the famous Ipanema beach.[399] Neither his killer, nor the motive for his killing is known.[400]
  • On the morning of April 14, 1984, the body of a male infant, its neck broken and repeatedly stabbed, was found on the beach at Cahersiveen in Ireland's County Kerry. Later named Baby John, the police investigation became known as the Kerry Babies case after it led to a young woman in nearby Abbeydorney who was mistakenly charged with the crime along with her family. While she had in fact hidden the corpse of a baby she gave birth to who died of undetermined causes shortly afterwards, she was found to have no connection to the Cahirseveen baby, whose identity and killer remains unknown.[401]
  • Vernon County Jane Doe, an unidentified victim was found on May 4, 1984, near Westby, Wisconsin. Her hands were severed and never found, making identification through fingerprinting impossible.[402]
  • Kristina Diane Nelson (21) and her stepsister Jacqueline Ann "Brandy" Miller (18), were found dead in a rural area near Kendrick, Idaho. Nelson and Miller had vanished from Lewiston, Idaho on September 12, 1982.[403][404] Pearsall was never located.[405] Police link their deaths with a cluster of other disappearances and murders occurring in the Lewiston–Clarkston metropolitan area between 1979 and 1982.
  • Catrine da Costa was Swedish sex worker. Parts of her dismembered body were found in Solna, just outside Stockholm, during the summer of 1984.[406] Her murder remains unsolved.
  • The strangled bodies of Margaret Tapp (35), and her daughter Seana (9), were found at their home in Melbourne's Ferntree Gully neighborhood on August 7, 1984; Seana had been sexually assaulted as well.[407] Two suspects were cleared after their DNA did not match that left at the scene; the case was reopened in the 2010s.
  • Lenny Breau (42) was a music teacher and guitarist. His body was found floating in the swimming pool at his Los Angeles apartment complex on August 12, 1984; the coroner's office found that rather than having drowned he was strangled. While his wife was suspected, she was never charged, and no one else has been.[408]
  • Christine Jessop (8), of Queensville, Ontario, was raped and murdered in October 1984. Her next-door neighbour, Guy Paul Morin, was convicted of the crime in 1992 but DNA testing led to a subsequent overturning of this verdict in 1995.[409][410]
  • After an anonymous caller to the house of Grégory Villemin (4), of Lépanges-sur-Vologne, France, told his family on October 16, 1984, he had taken the boy, who had been playing unsupervised in front of the house, a search found Grégory's body, bound and gagged, in the Vologne River 7 km (4.3 mi) away, where he had apparently been drowned (although the autopsy suggested the drowning had occurred in a different body of water). This began a case that has continued to receive extensive national media attention. An anonymous note suggesting the writer had killed the boy led to the arrest of Bernard Laroche, a Villemin cousin, who was now suspected of having written a long string of threatening anonymous letters to members of the family, socially and economically prominent in that area of the Vosges. Grégory's father, Jean-Marie, shot and killed Laroche several months later; he would serve several years in prison as a result. Handwriting experts then linked Grégory's mother to the notes; she was charged with the murders but, after seven years and two trials, acquitted. Efforts to recover DNA from the principal evidence in the early 21st century failed, but in 2017 three of Grégory's other relatives were charged, although police say they do not yet know who actually killed him.[411]
  • Günther Stoll, a German food-engineer, is suspected to have been murdered under strange circumstances on October 26, 1984, after leaving behind the cryptic message "YOGTZE".[412]
  • The bombing of a Madrid restaurant on April 12, 1985, killed 18,[413][414][415] making it at the time the deadliest terrorist attack in Spain since the Spanish Civil War. Responsibility has been claimed by both domestic groups such as the ETA and radical Muslim groups, all of whom it is believed may have been wanting to target the restaurant since it was popular with U.S. Air Force personnel from a nearby base. The investigation is continuing.
  • Tony "Spaghetti" Eustace, Australian fugitive, was found murdered on April 23, 1985 after he had been shot back six times.[416][417] He was found dead by two schoolchildren who were returning home from sports training at about 7 pm. The murder remains unsolved
  • In June 1985, a bomb at Germany's Frankfurt Airport killed three, with several Islamic organizations taking credit; the Abu Nidal Organization is believed to have been the real perpetrator, but no arrests have ever been made.[418]
  • Haruo Ignacio Remeliik (52), was a politician from Palau. He served as the first President of Palau from March 2, 1981, until his assassination on June 30, 1985.[419] In March 2000, former presidential candidate and convicted felon John O. Ngiraked claimed responsibility for the conspiracy to kill Remeliik,[420] but has not yet been charged with his murder, so the case is not yet solve
  • On July 1, a bombing of several international airline offices in Madrid was followed by a submachine gun attack on another nearby airline office, killing one. Representatives of several Muslim groups claimed credit; it is today believed by some to have been perpetrated by the Abu Nidal Organization. No individual suspects have ever been identified.[421][422]
  • The Rev. Niall Molloy (52), a Catholic priest, was found beaten to death in the master bedroom of Kilcoursey House in Clara, County Offaly, Ireland on July 8, 1985. There were signs of a struggle and evidence that the body had been moved. Richard Flynn, the owner and a longtime friend of Molloy's, confessed the killing to the garda but, at trial, the judge granted the defense a directed verdict of not guilty after merely four hours, believing the medical evidence insufficient to support a manslaughter charge. A coroner's jury later found that Molloy died of head injuries, which led to calls to reopen the case. In subsequent years, it emerged that the investigation had been perfunctory, leaving much evidence unexamined and witness uninterviewed; a 2011 review of the surviving medical evidence found it highly likely that Molloy had survived his injuries for several hours, which raised the question of why emergency services were not called until after he was dead. In 2015 the Irish government declined to open a review, since many of the original witnesses had since died and it did not think any new information would be obtained; Molloy's relatives felt otherwise.[423]
  • Tscherim Soobzokov (61), was a Circassian man accused of collaborating with the Third Reich during the invasion of the Soviet Union and serving as a Waffen-SS officer.[424] Soobzokov denied these charges and sued CBS and The New York Times.[425] On August 15, 1985, a pipe bomb set outside his home in Paterson, New Jersey critically injured Soobzokov.[426][427] He died of his wounds in the hospital on September 9, 1985.[428] An anonymous caller claiming to represent the Jewish Defense League (JDL) said they had carried out the bombing. A spokesman for the JDL later denied responsibility.[429] No one was ever charged with his murder.
  • Dian Fossey (53), was an American primatologist and conservationist known for undertaking an extensive study of mountain gorilla groups from 1966 until her December 26, 1985, murder,[430] by persons unknown.
  • Olof Palme, Prime Minister of Sweden and the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party was shot in the back while walking home from a cinema together with his wife shortly after 11 pm on February 28, 1986, in Stockholm, Sweden.[431]
  • No charges were ever brought after Italian banker Michele Sindona (65), who was found dead in his prison cell on the morning of March 22, 1986, after drinking a cup of coffee that had been laced with cyanide. He was serving a life sentence for murder; investigation of his activities and ties to the Sicilian Mafia had led to the exposure of Italy's P2 Masonic lodge.[432]
  • Pauline Martz, on April 13, 1986, was left in her burning home after being bound and gagged by someone who had broken in. A man named Johnny Lee Wilson would be imprisoned for her murder after confessing, but was pardoned in 1995. Another man, Chris Brownfield, also confessed to the crime with an accomplice. No other charges have been made in this case, and is currently inactive and remains unsolved.[433]
  • Lolita (36), was an Italian pop singer. The night of April 27, 1986, she had to attend a musical event, but did not show up; she was found dead the morning later, murdered by stabbing, and with her body disfigured in several parts. The crime remains unsolved.[434]
  • Alejandro Gonzalez Malave, Puerto Rican who was involved in the Cerro Maravilla murders case, was shot at his mother's home on April 29, 1986. The assailants were never apprehended.[435]
  • Tanya Moore (31) and Tina Rodriguez (27) were two transgender friends working as prostitutes on Philadelphia's thirteenth street in 1986.[436] The pair disappeared on June 30, 1986, after getting into the car of a couple of clients. On July 3, 1986, their mutilated and dismembered bodies were found burning at a baseball diamond in Middletown.[437][438] The murder remains unsolved.
  • Yvan Leyvraz (32), a Swiss member of the international solidarity brigades in Sandinista-run Nicaragua, was killed in a contra ambush upon leaving Wiwili, with four others, on July 28, 1986.[439] No arrests have ever been made and the murders remains unsolved.
  • Dutch mathematician Willem Klein (73), was found dead of stab wounds in his Amsterdam apartment on August 1, 1986. A young man was arrested shortly afterwards, but was released. No other suspects have ever been named.[440]
  • Dele Giwa (39), was a Nigerian journalist, editor and founder of Newswatch magazine who was killed by a mail bomb in his Lagos home on October 19, 1986.[441] The murder has never been solved.
  • Immanuel Shifidi (57), was a Namibian activist. He was one of the fighters at Omugulugwombashe.[442] On August 26, 1966, when eight helicopters of the South African Defence Force attacked SWAPO guerrilla fighters at the camp. was arrested and tortured after the defeat at Omugulugwombashe. He was convicted under the Terrorism Act and received a death sentence. Following international pressure the sentence was converted to life in prison at Robben Island. He served 18 years of this sentence and was released in December 1985. On November 30, 1986, he was assassinated at a SWAPO rally marking the United Nations International Year of Peace.[443] His killer is unknown.
  • Police in East Orange, New Jersey, initially believed that the March 8, 1987, death of 79-year-old Harry Dudkin, former judge, Congressional candidate and clerk of the state Assembly, was due to a fall in his family's stationery store. But the autopsy revealed a bullet lodged in his brain, and on further investigation discovered the store's receipts for that day were missing.[444] The case remains open.
  • Daniel Morgan, was a private investigator who was murdered in Sydenham, south-east London, on March 10, 1987, by an axe blow to the back of the head.[445] He was said to have been close to exposing police corruption, or involved with Maltese drug dealers. Morgan's death has been the subject of several failed police inquiries, and in 2011 it was at the centre of allegations concerning the suspect conduct of journalists with the British tabloid News of the World. This unsolved murder has been described as a reminder of the culture of corruption and unaccountability within the Metropolitan Police Service, London's main police force
  • A body found June 11, 1987, in Fort Collins, Colorado, field turned out to be that of Peggy Hettrick (37). She had been stabbed and "sexually mutilated." Police initially suspected Timothy Masters, a teenage boy who lived nearby, and eventually arrested him a decade later. His 1999 conviction was vacated in 2008 when physical evidence that had been withheld from the defense at his original trial was found to rule him out as a suspect.[446] Two other individuals, one of whom took his own life in 1995, have been described as possible suspects. The case remains open.
  • In July 1987, in a case dubbed the Viking Sally murder mystery, German tourist Klaus Schelkle (20), was murdered and his girlfriend Bettina Taxis (22) seriously injured, on board the cruise ferry MS Viking Sally, en route from Stockholm, Sweden, to Turku, Finland.
  • Don Henry (16) and Kevin Ives (17) – on August 23, 1987, a 75-car, 6,000-ton Union Pacific locomotive en route to Little Rock, Arkansas spotted two boys lying motionless across the tracks,[447] who were run over by the oncoming train. They also claimed they were wrapped in a green tarp.[448] Nearby was a .22-caliber rifle and a flashlight. How the boys ended up there and who caused this murder is unknown.[448]
  • Nadji al-Ali, a Palestinian cartoonist noted for his political criticism of the Arab regimes and Israel in his works, was shot at outside the London office of Kuwaiti newspaper Al Qabas in Ives Street on July 22, 1987, causing him to fall into a coma. He died on August 26, 1987. It remains unknown who shot at him, with the PLO or Mossad being suspected to be responsible for the killing. Force 17, acting under orders from Yasser Arafat, has also been claimed to be responsible for his assassination.[449]
  • On November 17, 1987, police found the beaten bodies of Elaine Dardeen (30), and her son Peter (3), as well as a newborn female infant to whom she had apparently given birth prematurely during the attack, tucked into bed in the family mobile home south of Ina, Illinois.[450] Her husband Keith (29) was the prime suspect until his body was found in a nearby wheat field the next day. After shooting him, the killer had cut his penis off. Nothing of value was taken from the home and Elaine had not been raped, nor were police able to find any other evidence that might have suggested a motive. In 2000, serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells confessed to the crime; however, he was never charged as there were doubts about his confession and authorities in Texas, where he was imprisoned, would not allow him to be taken to Illinois to resolve them before he was executed in 2014. No other suspects have ever been named.
  • The decomposing body of Deanna Criswell (16), was found off Interstate 10 near Tucson, Arizona, on November 23, 1987.[451] She had been there for any time from several days to several weeks. She remained unidentified for 28 years until DNA tests matched her with her family in Spokane, Washington; they had not reported her disappearance at the time because she habitually ran away only to return later. Another DNA profile at the scene matched that of the main suspect in her death, William Ross Knight, a local criminal who had died in 2005.
  • Alexander Harris (7), of Mountain View, California, vanished from the video arcade of Whiskey Pete's Hotel and Casino in Primm, Nevada, on November 27, 1987. His body was found 33 days later under an off-property trailer. Howard Lee Haupt, a computer programmer from San Diego who was staying at the hotel when the boy disappeared, was arrested on suspicion but acquitted in 1989 after a five-week trial. No further arrests were ever made in the case.[452]
  • Víctor Yturbe (51) was a Mexican singer, nicknamed "El Pirulí",[453] who was murdered on November 28, 1987[454] in Atizapan de Zaragoza.[455] Yturbe was shot after he opened the door to his house. The cause was never established and no one has ever been charged with his killing.[456]
  • Several motorcyclists opened fire on Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila (27), and his wife as they got out of a car before a performance in Mehsampur on March 8, 1988. The couple and two of Chamkila's musicians were killed. Several theories as to who might have been responsible for the killings have been floated since then, but no suspects have ever been officially identified.[457]
  • Brian Spencer (39), who played for several National Hockey League teams during a 10-year career that ended in 1979, was shot during a robbery after allegedly buying cocaine in Riviera Beach, Florida, on June 2, 1988. He died the next day. The year before, Spencer had been acquitted of a 1982 murder and kidnapping. Despite not entirely believing the story told them by Spencer's companion that night, police said he was not a suspect. No one else has ever been named in connection with the crime.[458]
  • Two Victoria Police constables, Steven Tynan, 22, and Damian Eyre, 20, were shot and killed in an apparently planned ambush as they responded to a report of an abandoned car early on the morning of October 12, 1988, in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra.[459] Police suspected six members of the local Pettingill gang of having carried out the killing in response to recent police killings of other gang members which they believed to have been premeditated. Two were themselves killed when police attempted to arrest them; the other four were tried and acquitted. In 2005 the widow of one of the acquitted men said in an interview that she believed her late husband was guilty. The case later inspired the 2010 film Animal Kingdom and the similarly named American TV series.
  • Skeletal remains found November 11, 1988, off a road near Lake Nasworthy outside San Angelo, Texas turned out to be the bodies of Sally McNelly (18), and Shane Stewart (17), missing since they had last been seen on the lakeshore, alone, the night of the previous July 4. Both had been shot in the head. Local rumor at the time connected the killings to a supposed Satanic cult the two had been involved in and were trying to get out of, but no arrests were ever made. In 2017, a drug arrest led police to identify a local person of interest.[460]
  • Julie Ward was murdered in Kenya on September 6, 1988, while on safari in the Maasai Mara game reserve. Her burnt and dismembered body was found a week later. The original statement by Kenyan officials was that she had been eaten by lions and struck by lightning, but this was later revised to say she was murdered.[461]
  • Jaclyn Dowaliby (7), disappeared from her home in Midlothian, Illinois during the night of September 10, 1988. Her body was found in a nearby dump four days later. Her mother and adoptive father were charged with her murder; she was acquitted and he was convicted, a verdict later overturned on appeal due to lack of evidence.[462] No other suspects have been named since then.
  • Seymour and Arlene Tankleff were found murdered in their Long Island home on September 17, 1988. Their 17-year-old son Martin was charged with the crime and convicted, a verdict overturned on appeal in 2004; the state decided in 2008 not to retry him.[463] His lawyers accused the police detective who originally arrested Martin of having lied during the investigation to cover for a business associate who they believe was the actual killer; he denies it. Neither the business associate nor anyone else have ever been formally named as a suspect.[464]
  • Kazem Sami Kermani (52–53), was Iran's minister of health in the transitional government of Mehdi Bazargan and leader of the Iranian Nation Liberation Movement (JAMA). He was found murdered on November 23, 1988, in his private medical clinic in 1988, under suspicious circumstances.[465] The case has not been solved.
  • Venus Xtravaganza (23), featured in the documentary film Paris is Burning, was found strangled under a New York City hotel bed on December 21, 1988, four days after having been killed. There are no suspects.[466]
  • On February 3, 1989, the partially undressed body of 10-year-old Christina Beranek was found in an apartment complex situated in the Favoriten district of Vienna, Austria. She had been abused and strangled to death, then tied to a nearby railing with her own clothes. Her murder was the second in a series of three murders that occurred in the area, initially thought to be the work of a serial killer, but the two other cases were later found to be unrelated. The investigation into her killing was the largest in Austrian history, but to this day, nobody has been convicted. Authorities suspected that Herbert P., the man who killed one of the other two victims in the so-called "Favoriten Girl Murders", is responsible for her death.[467]
  • Paul C. McKasty (24), better known as "Paul C", was an East coast hip hop pioneer, producer, engineer, and mixer in the 1980s.[468] On July 17, 1989, McKasty was shot to death in Rosedale, Queens.[469] His murder was featured on America's Most Wanted, and the murder remains unsolved.
  • Luis Carlos Galán (45), Colombian journalist and liberal politician and who murdered on August 18, 1989 in Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia[470] by unknown persons before he was to give a speech. The murder remains unsolved.
  • Anton Lubowski (37), was a Namibian anti-apartheid activist and advocate. He was a member of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO). On September 12, 1989, Lubowski was shot by a group of assailants who were operatives of South Africa's Civil Cooperation Bureau in front of his house in Sanderburg Street in central Windhoek. He was hit by several shots from an AK-47 automatic rifle and died from a bullet wound to his head.[471] The true identities of the killers is unknown.
  • Alfred Herrhausen (59), then chairman of Deutsche Bank, was assassinated on November 30, 1989, in his hometown Bad Homburg when an explosively formed projectile penetrated his armored car.[472] The German left-wing terrorist group RAF claimed responsibility shortly after, but while it seems likely that the group was responsible, the actual killers could not be identified so far.

1990–2000[edit]

A circular issued by the FBI depicting facial composites of the individual believed to be responsible for the murder of Amy Mihaljevic
  • The body of Amy Mihaljevic (10) was found in Ruggles Township, Ohio, on February 8, 1990.[473][474][475] She had been abducted from a Bay Village shopping center three months earlier. No suspects have ever been named, although police have been exploring some leads in recent years.[476]
  • Despite extensive investigation and publicity, the gunmen who killed four people, including two children, at a Las Cruces, New Mexico, bowling alley on February 10, 1990, have never been identified or apprehended.[477]
  • Çetin Emeç (54–55) was a prominent Turkish journalist and columnist, who was assassinated on March 7, 1990, by persons unknown.[478][479] The case has not been solved.
  • Canadian-American weapons designer Gerald Bull (62), died in Brussels, Belgium, on March 22, 1990, two days after being shot several times near his apartment. It has been speculated that the Israeli Mossad was behind his death, as they may have believed his work for Saddam Hussein's Iraq might allow that country to develop weapons that could be used against their country, after he had refused to work with Israel. Other theories have implicated Iraq itself, Iran, the U.S. or other countries he was known to have dealt with. The identities of the killers remain unknown.[480]
  • Lü Wei (23–24), a female Chinese diver who was a gold medalist in the Olympics from 1982 to 1987 who while at her friend's house on May 9, 1990, was murdered along with the friend.[481] The killers were never found.
  • French Baptist minister Joseph Doucé (45), disappeared on July 19, 1990, and was found dead in a forest in October 1990,[482] two months after he was last seen being led away from his apartment by two men who claimed to be police officers. No suspect has ever been identified.
  • Alexander Men (55) was a Russian Orthodox priest, theologian, biblical scholar and writer on theology, Christian history and other religions.[483] He was murdered early on September 9, 1990, by an ax-wielding assailant outside his home in Semkhoz, Russia.[484] The case is currently unsolved.
  • The Bowraville murders, is the name given to three deaths that occurred over five months from September 13, 1990, to February 18, 1991, in Bowraville, New South Wales, Australia. All three victims were Aboriginal. All three victims disappeared after parties in the Aboriginal community in Bowraville, in an area known as The Mission.[485][486][487] Two of the victims were later found dead.[488] A local labourer, who was regarded by police as the prime suspect, was charged with two of the murders but was acquitted following trials in 1994 and 2006. On September 13, 2018, the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal decided that the man could not be retried for the murders. The murders remain unsolved.
  • Bahriye Üçok (70–71) was a Turkish academic of theology, left-wing politician, writer, columnist, and women's rights activist whose assassination on October 6, 1990[489] remains unresolved.
  • The dismembered body of gay porn star William Arnold Newton (25) was found in a Los Angeles trash container on October 29, 1990. No suspects have ever been named.[490]
  • Janie Perrin (73) was sexually assaulted and murdered on November 2, 1990, in her home in Bourke, a town in the Far West of the Australian state of New South Wales. The crime remains unsolved and the New South Wales Government offered a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.[491]
  • On November 20, 1990, the body of Susan Poupart was discovered in Wisconsin's Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, six months after she had last been seen leaving a party in Lac du Flambeau. The two men she was last seen with have been considered suspects. Charges against one led to several hearings in 2007, but were dropped after witnesses failed to testify.[492]
  • Enrique Bermúdez (58), aka "Comandante 380", was a Nicaraguan who founded and commanded the Nicaraguan Contras. In this capacity, he became a central figure in one of the most prominent conflicts of the Cold War. On February 16, 1991, Bermudez was assassinated in Managua,[493] by persons unknown.
  • Five boys aged 9 through 13 went to the woods around South Korea's Mount Waryong on March 26, 1991, to hunt for salamanders (which became known as frogs because salamanders weren't known that well at that time) and never returned. Despite a massive search of the mountain and surroundings, their bodies were not found until 2002, after an anonymous phone call led police to an area that had already been searched near the boys' village. At first, it was theorized that they had died of exposure, a conclusion disputed by their families since the boys knew that area well and their clothes had been tied in knots. An autopsy showed that four had died of blows to the head and the other had been killed with a shotgun. Although the statute of limitations on the case expired in 2006, police continue to investigate for historical reasons.[494]
  • On Monday, April 1, 1991, at 23:30, Detlev Rohwedder, president of the German organization Treuhandanstalt, was shot and killed,[495] through a window on the first floor of his house in the suburb of Düsseldorf-Niederkassel by the first of three rifle shots. West German far-left militant group Red Army Faction (RAF) claimed responsibility for this act, but the sniper was never identified. In 2001, a DNA analysis found that hair strands from the crime scene belonged to RAF member Wolfgang Grams. However, the Attorney General did not consider this evidence sufficient to name Grams as a suspect of the killing.
  • Karmein Chan (13) was abducted from her family's home in Templestowe, Victoria on April 13, 1991, by an unidentified man who was later dubbed "Mr. Cruel" by Melbourne newspapers. Her body was discovered on April 9, 1992, in Thomastown; she had been shot in the head. Although Victoria Police knew a great deal about the perpetrator from previous, non-fatal child abductions and rapes dating back to 1985,[496] there has never been enough evidence to charge any of the 27,000 men interviewed at the time.[497] The case is still open, with a second police operation, Taskforce Apollo, formed in 2010 to examine new evidence and material from the original Operation Spectrum.[498] If the perpetrator is still alive, he would be between approximately 60 and 75 years old in 2014.[499] The murder of Karmein Chan is still one of the most extensive and expensive investigations in Victorian history, with a combination of investigative errors and the perpetrator's precautions preventing his identification and arrest.[500]
  • Ioan P. Culianu (41), a Romanian American professor of religion at the University of Chicago, was shot in the back of the head in a bathroom of the university's divinity school building on May 21, 1991. While rightist Romanian nationalists in the then-new Romanian government of Ion Iliescu, some of whom openly celebrated his death, and members of the Communist-era Securitate intelligence service were suspected, along with occultists who also clashed with Culianu, no one has ever been formally identified as one.[501]
  • El Dorado Jane Doe is the name given to an unidentified American woman and identity thief, estimated to be between eighteen and thirty years of age, who was murdered on July 10, 1991, in El Dorado, Arkansas in Room 121 of the now torn down Whitehall Motel.[502] She had used multiple names while alive.
  • Hitoshi Igarashi (44), a Japanese scholar of Arabic and Persian literature and history and the Japanese translator of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses. He was murdered on July 12, 1991, in Tsukuba, Ibaraki in the wake of fatwas issued by Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini calling for the death of the book's author and "those involved in its publication."[503][504]
  • A retired police officer accused of killing four security guards in the course of stealing $200,000 from the United Bank Tower in downtown Denver, Colorado, on June 14, 1991, was acquitted the following year. He died in 2013; the case remains open.[505]
  • The body of Robert Donati (51), a Boston-area mobster believed to have masterminded the theft of $500 million worth of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum the year before, was found beaten and stabbed multiple times in the trunk of his car on September 24, 1991, three days after he had last been seen alive leaving his nearby home in Revere, Massachusetts. He was likely a casualty of an ongoing war for control of the Patriarca crime family, but no suspects have ever been charged with the crime.[506]
  • Igor Talkov (34) was a Russian rock singer-songwriter,[507] who was shot backstage at the Yubileiny concert hall in Leningrad on October 6, 1991.[508] While Valeriy Schlyafman, Talkov's one time manager, was found guilty of the murder by a Russian court, he fled via Ukraine to Israel before he could be arrested.[509] He remains in Israel to this day, insisting he is not guilty of the crime while Israel refuses to extradite him. Schlyafman and his supporters have claimed that the KGB orchestrated the murder. Since no one has been charged and it is unclear for sure who the true killer is, the case remains unsolved.
  • Wilson dos Santos had served as the representative of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), a rebel group in Angola, to Portugal.[510] Wilson dos Santos was murdered in November 1991 by unknown persons.[511] The murder remains unsolved.
  • On December 6, 1991, police in Austin, Texas, discovered the bodies of four young women, stripped, bound and shot in the head, after a nighttime fire at a yogurt shop. Eight years later, two suspects were convicted, but those convictions were overturned in 2009 and charges dismissed due to questions about the DNA evidence. No other suspects have ever been named although the investigation is continuing.[512]
  • Katrien De Cuyper (15), disappeared on her way home in Antwerp, Belgium, on the night of December 17, 1991. Her body was found buried in the port of Antwerp six months later. In 1997, Regina Louf confessed to killing De Cuyper while being part of a "paedophile network", but no concrete evidence was found to support her testimony.[409] In 2006, a 35-year-old man was arrested and charged with De Cuyper's kidnapping and murder after it was established that he had written anonymous letters about her to a magazine, but he was later released due to a lack of evidence.[513]
  • Writer Joe Cole (30) was shot and killed on December 19, 1991, during a robbery outside the Venice Beach, California, home he shared with Black Flag lead singer Henry Rollins, who was present and escaped. No suspects have ever been identified.[514]
  • Akio Kashiwagi, a wealthy Tokyo-based real estate investor who was known for the large amounts of money he wagered at Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos.[515] On January 3, 1992, he was killed by being stabbed as many as 150 times with a samurai sword. His body was discovered in his home in Japan near Mount Fuji. According to a story published in Politico magazine, Trump was still owed $4 million in unrecovered gambling debts.[516] The murder remains unsolved.
  • Patrick Pearse Sullivan, a member of the Irish People's Liberation Organization, was fatally stabbed by an unidentified individual in Belfast on February 23, 1992.[517]
  • A suicide bomber drove a truck filled with explosives into the Israeli embassy in Argentina on March 17, 1992, killing 29[518] in the deadliest attack ever on an Israeli diplomatic mission. Argentinian officials said they strongly believed Iran was behind the attack. They have not formally prosecuted any suspects, though they suspected that Imad Mughniyah was involved in both this attack and the deadlier AMIA bombing two years later.
  • Anjelica Castillo (4) was discovered in a cooler in Manhattan, New York on July 23, 1992, several days after her death. The victim remained unidentified for 22 years. Her cousin, Conrado Juarez, was arrested for her murder and sexual assault after the remains were identified in 2013. Juarez would later claim his confession was coerced and he died before his trial in 2018, changing his plea to "not guilty".[519] Juarez died in police custody on November 19, 2018, from pancreatic cancer.[520]
  • Exiled Iranian dissident Fereydoun Farrokhzad (53) was found dead of multiple stab wounds in his house in Bonn, Germany, on August 13, 1992. The autopsy established that he had been killed five days earlier. No one has ever been named as a suspect although it is widely believed that he was killed at the behest of the Iranian government.[521] Prior to his murder, Farrokzhad had been involved in producing an opposition radio program and reportedly received death threats. In his show at the Royal Albert Hall in London, he had criticized Ruhollah Khomeini and made fun of Khomeini's obsession with sex in his Ressaleh book. He had consequently received death threats and there were concerns for his safety.[522]
  • Piotr Jaroszewicz (82), a former Prime Minister of Communist Poland, was found murdered along with his wife Alicja Solska at their home in the Warsaw suburb of Anin on September 3, 1992. He had been strangled with a belt, which was still around his neck, after being beaten; his wife had been shot several times with one of the couple's hunting rifles after her hands were tied behind her back. She may have injured one of their attackers, who apparently also tried to kill the couple's dog with poison gas, while fighting back. A safe was left open and documents were taken from it while valuables were left behind. The killings were found to have occurred two days before; friends and family say that Jaroszewicz, who was obsessed with security to begin with, had been acting extremely paranoid in the days before the murders. No suspects have been named.[523]
  • German politicians Gert Bastian and Petra Kelly (Die Grünen) were found dead in their house in Bonn in October 1992.[524] They were both shot in the head. Investigators ruled out third-party involvement and concluded that Bastian first shot Kelly and then himself in an act of murder-suicide, but the circumstances of the case as well as the possible motive remain unclear.[525]
  • Jeremias Chitunda (50) and Elias Salupeto Pena were both representatives of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), an anti-Communist rebel group that fought against the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in the Angolan Civil War, to the Joint Military and Political Commission.[526] Chitunda and Pena were killed on November 2, 1992,[527] and their murder remains unsolved.[528]
  • Clare Morrison (13) was an Australian girl who was murdered on December 19, 1992, in Geelong, Victoria. Her near-naked body[529] was discovered by surfers early morning on December 19 near Bells Beach, bashed, strangled and shark-bitten. As of 2019, the murder remains unsolved.[530]
  • Uğur Mumcu (50), a Turkish investigative journalist for the daily Cumhuriyet, was assassinated on January 24, 1993, by a bomb placed in his car outside his home.[531] His murder remains unsolved.
  • Retired Canadian professional wrestler Adolfo Bresciano (44), who performed under the name Dino Bravo, was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in his Laval, Quebec, home on March 10, 1993.[532] It is believed by law enforcement and those who knew him that he was killed by the Montreal Mafia over his successful cigarette smuggling business. Officially, no suspects have ever been identified.
  • Madan Bhandari (41), the General-Secretary when CPN (ML) merged into the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) in 1991, and the husband of Biddha Devi Bhandari, who was the second president of federal democratic Nepal, died in a car accident on May 16, 1993.[533] His death is suspected of being a murder case.
  • Jayne Furlong (17), was a New Zealand teenager from Auckland who disappeared from a street in Auckland on May 26, 1993, while working in the sex trade. She had been abducted and murdered.[534] The case remains unsolved.
  • Colin Ridgway (56), the first Australian to play in the National Football League, was murdered in his University Park, Texas, home on May 13, 1993. Police suspect that a man serving time in Florida for a 2011 murder committed the crime after being hired by Ridgway's wife and his father; however, they have not found sufficient evidence to arrest anyone.[535]
  • Brett Cantor (25), part-owner of the Dragonfly nightclub in Hollywood, was found stabbed to death in his nearby home on July 30, 1993;[536] no suspects have ever been identified.[537] The case gained renewed attention a year later when O.J. Simpson's defense team successfully petitioned the court trying him for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson, his ex-wife, and Ronald Goldman, for access to the case file, on the grounds that the way in which all three were stabbed suggested the same killer.[538] Since Goldman had worked for Cantor as a waiter, and Nicole Simpson was a regular at Dragonfly, some books about the case have raised the possibility that the three killings may also have resulted from involvement in drug trafficking.[539][540][541]
  • The body of Holly Piirainen (10), was found on October 23, 1993, in the woods of Brimfield, Massachusetts. She had disappeared in August while visiting her grandparents in nearby Sturbridge. Police have identified two persons of interest, one of whom died in 2003, the other of whom has been named in connection with the Molly Bish murder which occurred several years later in the region. Neither has been named as a suspect in the case, however.[542]
  • Raúl Esnal (37), was a football defender from Uruguay, who was murdered on December 15, 1993, in El Salvador,[543] on the road between Ahuachapán and Acajutla. The murder case has never been solved.
  • Sergei Dubov (54), was a Russian journalist, publisher and entrepreneur; The Independent called him a "brilliant businessman".[544] He was murdered in Moscow on February 1, 1994.[545] The assassin waited in a phone booth; when Dubov was going to his car in the morning, he was shot in the back of the head. Earlier, Dubov had received threats by telephone and by mail. Dubov's son, Sergei Dubov Jr, aged 15, was killed the year before by being thrown from a 14th floor window.[546] Both murders remain unsolved as their killers are unknown.
  • Miran Hrovatin (44), was an Italian photographer and camera operator killed in Mogadishu, Somalia, together with the Italian journalist Ilaria Alpi (32),[547] under mysterious circumstances on March 20, 1994. In 2000, Somali citizen Hashi Omar Hassan was convicted and sentenced to 26 years in prison for the double murder. In October 2016, a court in Perugia, Italy, reversed the conviction and Hassan was awarded more than three million euros for the wrongful conviction and nearly 17 years he had spent in prison.[548] Both of the murders remain unsolved.
  • Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana (57), and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira (39), were both killed when their plane was shot down over Kigali by a surface-to-air missile on April 6, 1994.[549] The assassination was the spark that ignited the Rwandan genocide. Responsibility for the attack is disputed, with most theories proposing as suspects either the Tutsi rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) or government-aligned Hutu Power followers opposed to negotiation with the RPF. The true perpetrator remains a mystery.
  • Dada Vujasinović (30), was a Serbian journalist and reporter for the news magazine Duga, published in Belgrade.[550] Vujasinović was found dead in her apartment on April 8, 1994, and the murder remains unsolved.[551]
  • The Inokashira Park dismemberment incident happened in Japan, on April 23, 1994; the people repsonsible for it remain unknown.[552]
  • Provisional IRA volunteer Martin Doherty was gunned down on May 21, 1994[553] while attempting to prevent members of the Ulster Volunteer Force planting a bomb in the Widow Scallans pub in Dublin.[554]
  • Savaş Buldan (32–33) was a Turkish citizen of Kurdish descent. He was kidnapped,[555] tortured and killed on June 3, 1994.[556] The murder has never been solved.
  • Nicole Brown Simpson (35) and Ronald Goldman (25) were found dead with multiple stab wounds in front of Simpson's condo in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles late on the night of June 12, 1994. Her ex-husband, former professional football star O. J. Simpson, was arrested and charged with the crime two days later; after an eight-month trial covered heavily by the media, in which the defense argued that there had been extensive mishandling of the evidence and that some investigators were racially biased, he was acquitted. However, strong public sentiment remained that he was guilty, and he was held liable in a suit by the victims' families later. No other suspects have ever been officially named.[557]
  • David Cullen Bain of Dunedin, New Zealand, was initially convicted of the June 20, 1994 murder of his parents and three siblings at their home. Prosecutors claimed he had staged the crime to look like his father had committed a murder-suicide of his family while David was out delivering papers; his defence claimed that murder-suicide was exactly what had happened. With help from former rugby star Joe Karam, David pursued appeals and was eventually acquitted after a 2009 retrial. Other than David and his father, no other person was suspected.[558]
  • The July 18, 1994 suicide bombing of a Jewish organization's building in Buenos Aires killed 85,[559] surpassing the similar attack on the Israeli embassy two years earlier as Argentina's deadliest terror attack. Five suspects, four of whom were local police officers, were acquitted in a 2004 trial; the investigating judge was removed from the case and later impeached after it was disclosed that he had paid for evidence. British authorities arrested an Iranian suspect named by Argentina in 2003, but declined to extradite him due to weak evidence. No other suspects have been named although investigations continue, one of which has since led to the unsolved murder of Alberto Nisman,[560][561] the investigating prosecutor.
  • The day after that bombing, another suicide bomber brought down a plane in Panama, killing 21, 12 of whom were Jews.[562] While an apparently fictitious Arab terrorist organization claimed responsibility, no suspects have ever been identified.
  • Irish crime boss Martin "The General" Cahill (45) was shot and killed at a Dublin intersection on August 18, 1994.[553] The Provisional IRA claimed responsibility, citing Cahill's dealings with the Ulster Volunteer Force; however, it has also been reported that the IRA took exception to this only after being paid by two of Cahill's subordinates who were not eager to share profits from a drug operation with him. No arrests have ever been made.
  • Dmitry Kholodov (27) was a Russian journalist who investigated corruption in the military and was assassinated on October 17, 1994, in Moscow. His assassination was the first of many killings of journalists in Russia.[563] The murder remains unsolved.
  • Johan Heyns (66), an Afrikaner Calvinist theologian, was shot and killed from outside his house in Pretoria, South Africa's capital, while playing cards with his wife and grandchildren on November 5, 1994.[564] While no suspects have ever been identified, it is widely believed the killing was the work of radical white supremacists unhappy with Heyns' increasingly liberal political views, which in addition to opposition to apartheid had also called for tolerance of homosexuals.
  • Segametsi Mogomotsi (14) was a schoolgirl who was found murdered on November 6, 1994, in Mochudi, Botswana. Her body was found mutilated in an open space. The discovery was followed by many protests at the school she attended.[565] Her murder remains unsolved to this day.
  • Igor Platonov (60) was a Ukrainian–Soviet Grandmaster of chess (Soviet Union Grandmaster, Гроссмейстер СССР). He was active between 1958 and 1984, with his best years from 1967 to 1972, when he earned the Soviet Union Grandmaster title.[566] On November 13, 1994, he was murdered in his Kyiv apartment by two thieves.[567] The identities of the killers remain unknown.
  • Ali-Akbar Sa'idi Sirjani (62) was an Iranian writer, poet and journalist who died on November 28, 1994[568] in an Iranian prison under mysterious circumstances after having been arrested for openly criticizing the government.
  • Melanie Carpenter (23) was a Canadian woman who was abducted and murdered in Surrey, British Columbia, on January 6, 1995. Carpenter was taken from her workplace and found dead in the Fraser Canyon several weeks later; the prime suspect, Fernand Auger, committed suicide before arrest.[569][570]
  • Lazım Esmaeili (49–50), was a Kurdish Iranian spy and Askar Simitko (41–42), a spy who were both operating in Turkey were both found tortured and shot dead on January 28, 1995, by unknown persons in Istanbul.[571]
  • Vladislav Listyev (38), was a Russian journalist and head of the ORT TV Channel. On the evening of March 1, 1995, when returning from the live broadcast of his evening show Chas Pik, Listyev was shot dead on the stairs of his apartment building[572] by persons unknown.
  • Deanna Cremin (17), from Somerville, Massachusetts, United States, was murdered on March 30, 1995. Her body was found behind a senior housing complex. An autopsy revealed she had been strangled. She was last seen alive by her boyfriend who, unlike on other occasions when he would walk her to the door, walked her only halfway and she continued on her own toward her house. Her murder remains unsolved.[573]
  • Haluk Baskinci (47) was a Turkish architect, engineer and musician, who was found murdered on June 28, 1995.[574] Very little is known about the circumstances of his death. He was found dead in his apartment by his sister Süheyla and one of his friends. Haluk was stabbed to death and his murderer remains unknown.
  • Michael Ljunggren (33), president of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club in Sweden, was shot and killed by a sniper while riding his motorcycle on the E4 motorway, south of Markaryd, Småland on July 17, 1995. No-one has been charged with his murder, although it is believed that he was killed by a member of the rival Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in relation to the Nordic Biker War that was occurring at the time.[575]
  • Michael Nigg (26), an aspiring actor and waiter at a Los Angeles restaurant, was shot and killed during an attempted robbery on September 8, 1995, while withdrawing money from an ATM.[576] Three suspects were arrested a month later but released for lack of evidence and the case remains unsolved. Since Nigg was a friend of Ronald Goldman, with whom he had worked, and seemed to live quite well for someone in his position, leading to some reports that he was involved in drug trafficking, his death has been used to support theories that the murders of Goldman and O.J. Simpson's ex-wife Nicole the year before were drug-related as well.
  • Victoria Cafasso was a 20-year-old Italian tourist found stabbed 17 times and some of her clothing missing on Beaumaris Beach in Tasmania on 11 October 1995.[577]
  • Gojko Zec (60) was a Serbian football manager. He coached OFK Beograd,[578] FK Partizan, FK Borac Banja Luka,[579] NK Rijeka,[580] Red Star Belgrade, Aris,[581] Yugoslavia FK Borac Čačak.[582] He was murdered during an armed robbery on November 3, 1995, in Luanda, Angola.[583][584][585]
  • A body was found in Greece and is thought to be a murder victim was thought to be that of Bruno Bréguet (45), who last seen on November 12, 1995, after he disappeared at sea. This wasn't proven to be true,[586] and the murder case remains unsolved.
  • Rapper Randy Walker (27), better known as Stretch, was shot and killed by the occupants of a vehicle passing his minivan in Queens Village, New York, shortly after midnight on November 30, 1995.[587] No suspects have ever been identified, but it is often believed to be related to Tupac Shakur's later death, since it took place exactly one year after an apparent robbery attempt in which Shakur had been seriously injured.
  • Randi Boothe-Wilson (34), originally referred to as the "Jacksonville Jane Doe", was found on December 6, 1995, in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She remained unidentified until February 2019, when her DNA was matched to Randi Boothe-Wilson, who had last been seen in Greenburgh, New York on October 26, 1994.[588]
The Amber alert child abduction alert system, implemented across America, is named after nine-year-old Amber Hagerman
  • Amber Hagerman (9), who was abducted on January 13, 1996, while riding her bike near her grandparents' home in Arlington, Texas. Four days later, a man walking his dog found her body in a creek bed. An autopsy revealed that her throat had been cut. Although a $75,000 reward was offered for information leading to Hagerman's killer, the perpetrator was never found. Her murder would later inspire the creation of the Amber alert system.[589]
  • The body of Barbara Barnes (13), from Steubenville, Ohio, was found strangled on a riverbed on February 22, 1996, over two months after she was last seen walking to school. Some of her relatives have been suspected, but the case remains open.[590]
  • Kutlu Adalı (60–61) was a Turkish Cypriot journalist, poet, socio-political researcher, and peace advocate who on July 6, 1996, was fatally machine-gunned outside his home. Some sources state the Grey Wolves are responsible for his death;[591][592] however, another source states the Turkish Revenge Brigade is responsible.[593] To this day, the perpetrators of this crime are yet to be brought to justice
  • On July 11, 1996, the half-naked body of Canadian Blair Adams (31) was found in a parking lot in Knoxville, Tennessee; scattered around his body was German, Canadian, and U.S. currency, totaling nearly $4,000. Authorities believe he knew no one in Tennessee, and investigators retracing his steps found the way he arrived made as little sense as the way he died.[594]
  • Paulo Cesar Farias (50) and Suzana Marcolino were both found dead, shot by a .38 Special caliber Rossi revolver in Farias's beach house in Maceió, Brazil on June 23, 1996.[595] The deaths were at first ruled as suicide, but it was later said to be a murder which has yet to be solved.
  • Jan Krogh Jensen (37), a Danish member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, was shot and killed on July 16, 1996, in Mjøndalen, Norway. A member of the rival Hells Angels Motorcycle Club was prosecuted for the murder but later acquitted in court.[596]
  • On the morning of August 13, 1996, Indonesian journalist Udin (33) was beaten to death at his home[597] with a metal rod by two men who gained entry by claiming they wanted to leave a motorcycle with him for safekeeping; they then fled on that motorcycle. The investigation became a political issue with opponents of the Suharto regime claiming the dictator himself or other government officials were behind it as retaliation for his reporting on their misdeeds, while the government and police suggested it had been the work of a jealous husband. A suspect arrested on the latter theory was later acquitted, protesting his innocence as his trial revealed some investigation shortcomings, among them that he had been pressured to confess. The police have declined to investigate the case further, saying their responsibility was fulfilled when they arrested the original suspect.
  • Nigerian businesswoman Bisoye Tejuoso (80), daughter of a former Egba tribal chief, was assassinated on September 19, 1996, during a dispute over the tribe's obaship. The killers have never been identified.[598]
  • Sophie Toscan du Plantier (39), who was the wife of French filmmaker Daniel Toscan du Plantier, was found beaten to death outside her home in Toormore near Schull in County Cork, Ireland, on the morning of December 23, 1996. Former French President Jacques Chirac was a friend of the couple and gave the case national attention. The main suspect, Ian Bailey, has been questioned twice by the Irish authorities in relation to the murder, but the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) decided not to prosecute. In early April 2010, the French authorities issued an arrest warrant for Bailey. Later that month, the Gardaí in Ireland arrested Bailey and brought him in front of the High Court in Dublin to appeal his extradition.[599][600] The court sided with Bailey in his appeal in 2012; Bailey then brought a civil suit against the Garda, alleging improprieties in the investigation, which he subsequently lost.[601] Bailey is now expected to be tried in France for the murder during the first half of 2019.[602]
  • JonBenét Ramsey (6), American girl who had competed in child beauty pageants, was found dead in the basement of her parents' home in Boulder, Colorado, on December 26, 1996, nearly eight hours after a ransom note was apparently found and she was reported missing. The coroner listed cause of death as "asphyxia due to strangulation, associated with" a broken skull and concussion. Police suspected the parents of staging the ransom note and strangulation to cover up an accidental killing by either the mother or nine-year-old brother. A 1999 grand jury recommended charging the parents with obstruction and endangerment, but the district attorney declined to prosecute. Discovery of trace DNA from an unknown male in 2003[603] led a new district attorney in 2008 to write an apology to the Ramseys, declaring them "cleared of any involvement".[604] Contradictory evidence seems to support both the family and outside intruder theories, and after several independent investigations, the case is still unsolved as of February 2020.[605]
  • Ahmad Tafazzoli (59), was a prominent Iranian Iranist and professor of ancient Iranian languages and culture at Tehran University,[606] who was found in January 1997[607] in Punak, a suburb northwest of Tehran. He had been murdered and the case remains unsolved.
  • On February 5, 1997, Richard Aderson (47), a school administrator from LaGrange, New York, had a minor collision with another driver just before crossing the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge along Interstate 84. Across the river, just outside Fishkill, the two pulled over to exchange information. After they argued briefly, the other driver shot Aderson. He was able to describe the assailant and his vehicle before dying at the scene. A sketch has been circulated, but no suspect has ever been identified.[608]
  • Ali Forney (22), an advocate for homeless LGBT youth in the New York neighborhood of Harlem, was found shot dead on a street there on February 5, 1997. The case remains unsolved.[609]
  • The Notorious B.I.G., an American rapper killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting on March 9, 1997, in Los Angeles, California, United States. Even though a composite sketch[610] of the perpetrator was made, the case is still unsolved.
  • Yasuko Watanabe (39) was a senior economic researcher at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), moonlighting as a prostitute on the streets by night who disappeared on March 11, 1997. She fell victim to murder by strangulation[611] by an unknown assailant; after being reported missing from home by her mother, with whom she lived, her body was discovered on March 19, 1997[611] in a vacant apartment in the Maruyamachō neighborhood of Shibuya, Tokyo.[612]
  • On April 8, 1997, a Turkish German male Adem Bozkurt (45) was found dead in his car that apparently had crashed into a tree by a road near Bad Nauheim. The case was ruled an accident, any involvement of other parties was ruled out and Bozkurt was buried without an autopsy. However, 21 years later, after doing some tests, questioning some witnesses and finally exhuming the body and doing an autopsy on it, the police found out that Bozkurt had been shot in the neck. Investigations were resumed, but so far no definite suspect has been identified.[613]
  • Jaidyn Leskie (1) was an Australian child who kidnapped and murdered on June 15, 1997.[614] On January 1, 1998, his body was found in a lake far from his home. Despite leads, and the arrest and trial of a prime suspect,[615] his murder remains unsolved.
  • Bones found on a hillside by hunters in Pisgah National Forest near Asheville, North Carolina, on September 7, 1997, were later identified as those of Judy Smith (50), a nurse from Newton, Massachusetts, who had last been seen five months earlier at a Philadelphia hotel where she was accompanying her husband at a legal conference. Cutting marks on the bones, along with slash and puncture marks on a bra found near the body, led investigators to conclude she had been stabbed to death. The case remains open.[616]
  • Jane Thurgood-Dove (34), was shot outside her car, in full view of her young children, as she pulled into the driveway of her home in the Melbourne suburb of Niddrie on November 6, 1997; the killer escaped into a waiting getaway car which was found burnt shortly afterwards not too far away.[617] Her husband and a police official believed to have been infatuated with her have been eliminated as suspects. More recently a theory has been floated that the killers were members of a local biker gang who had mistaken her for their real target, another local woman of similar appearance married to a fellow criminal. Police believe that the shooter and getaway car driver have since died of a heart attack and boating accident, respectively; they have offered the remaining participant immunity if he testifies against the man who they believe ordered the killing.[618]
  • Australian organized-crime boss Alphonse Gangitano (40), the "Black Prince of Lygon Street", was found in his home dead from gunshot wounds shortly before midnight on January 16, 1998, the first of the Melbourne gangland killings. Graham Kinniburgh and Jason Moran, both of whom were believed to have been in Gangitano's home that night, were suspected. They were both murdered later themselves. No arrests have been made. The majority of Melbourne gangland killings murders are still unsolved as well, although police from the Purana Taskforce believe that Carl Williams was responsible for ten of them.[619]
  • Stephanie Crowe (12) was found stabbed to death in her Escondido, California, bedroom on the morning of January 21, 1998. Since there were no signs of forced entry, police focused on and eventually arrested her older brother Michael and two friends; however, charges against them were abruptly dismissed when later lab tests found several drops of Crowe's blood on a local transient. He was tried and convicted, but the conviction was overturned on appeal and a 2013 retrial acquitted him. The Crowe family reached a legal settlement with San Diego County over the wrongful prosecution of their son. No other suspects have been named.[620]
  • Vjekoslav Ćurić (40), a Bosnian Franciscan friar and humanitarian known for his work in aiding the victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, was murdered under unclear circumstances in Kigali on January 31, 1998.[621] No suspects have ever been identified.
  • Father Alfred Kunz (56), a Roman Catholic priest, was found with his throat cut on March 4, 1998, in his Dane, Wisconsin, church. A wide pool of initial suspects was narrowed to one unnamed individual by 2009, whom police say they still track in the hope that eventually they will have enough evidence to arrest.[622][623]
  • In the predawn hours of March 15, 1998, the body of Hans Plüschke (59) was found in the countryside 70 metres (230 ft) from his car near Wiesenfeld in central Germany. He had been shot through the right eye. Since no money or valuables were taken, this led to theories that the killer or killers had intended to avenge the death of Rudi Arnstadt, an East German border guard Plüschke had killed with a similar shot during a August 14, 1962, shootout[624] during Plüschke's service as a West German border guard, which got him sentenced to 25 years in prison in absentia by an East German court; West Germany insisted the shooting had been justified as return fire and never extradited him. Plüschke had publicly identified himself as the shooter two years earlier and reportedly received regular death threats afterwards. A Special Commission formed by the German police to investigate was dissolved a year later when it exhausted all its leads; the case remains open.
  • On March 25, 1998, NASCAR driver Chris Trickle (24), died of injuries sustained in a Las Vegas drive-by shooting on February 9, 1997. A quirk in Nevada law at the time meant that the gunmen could not be prosecuted for his murder, since his death had occurred more than a year and a day after the attack; it was subsequently changed. No suspects have ever been identified, and the case is considered cold.[625]
  • Tristan Brübach (13) was last seen alive at Frankfurt Höchst railway station on March 26, 1998, at 3:20 pm. Later that afternoon, his dead body was found near the railway station. He had been knocked unconscious and choked, and parts of his body had been cut out. The cause of death was a cut in the throat. The murderer was never identified.[626]
  • Tomás Caballero Pastor (63) was a Spanish union leader and politician from Navarra. He was assassinated by the Basque separatist organization ETA on May 6, 1998.[627] The murder remains unsolved.[628]
  • Marek Papała (38), former Chief of Polish State Police, was shot in the head on June 25, 1998, while parking his car.[629] In 2012, a former car thief turned state witness given immunity of prosecution came forward with the revelation that he had killed Papała. He also testified that some Polish mafia bosses had encouraged the crime. However, in 2013 the indictment against the mafia bosses was dropped due to numerous factual and logical inconsistencies. The murder of Papała remains unsolved.
  • Nicky Verstappen (11), was a Dutch boy who disappeared on the morning of August 10, 1998, from a summer camp he was attending in Brunssum, Limburg.[630] His body was found on the evening of August 11, 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) away in nearby Landgraaf. Despite extensive investigation, the case remained entirely unsolved for twenty years. On August 26, 2018, a 55-year-old man was arrested in Spain when DNA from his belongings and relatives matched samples taken from Verstappen's clothing, following the largest DNA-harvesting operation in Dutch history. The suspect claims that he is innocent and the trial is underway.[631]
  • 1998 abduction of foreign engineers in Chechnya happened on October 3, 1998 when four male specialists from the United Kingdom were seized by unidentified Chechen gunmen in Grozny, kidnapped and later killed.[632] The killers remain unknown.
  • Ita Martadinata Haryono (18), an Indonesian human rights activist, was found dead on October 9, 1998, in her bedroom in Central Jakarta, Indonesia. She had been stabbed ten times and her neck had been slashed. The murder occurred three days after a Jakarta press conference held by the human rights organizations she had been involved with.[633]
  • Galina Starovoitova (52), was a Soviet dissident,[634] Russian politician and ethnographer known for her work to protect ethnic minorities and promote democratic reforms in Russia. She was shot to death in her apartment building on November 20, 1998, by persons unknown.[635]
  • Suzanne Jovin (21), a senior at Yale University, was found stabbed to death on December 4, 1998, on campus.[636] Allegations that her thesis advisor was a suspect led to the end of his career at Yale, but the crime remains unsolved.
  • Mohammad-Ja'far Pouyandeh (44) was an Iranian writer, translator and activist. He was a member of the Iranian Writers Association, a group that had been long banned in Iran due to their objection to censorship and encouraged freedom of expression.[637] Pouyandeh was last seen alive leaving his office at four o'clock in the afternoon of December 8, 1998, and still hadn't returned home three days later when his wife wrote and delivered a letter to Iran's president expressing her anguish over his disappearance. His body was discovered on December 11 in the Shahriar district of Karaj, south of Tehran, and he appeared to have been strangled.[638]
  • Tito Díaz (28) was a Salvadoran professional footballer,[639] who was shot dead in a bar in Santa Rosa de Lima on December 12, 1998.[citation needed] The murder remains unsolved.
  • Bindy Johal (27), a self-confessed drug trafficker, who operated in British Columbia, Canada; on December 20, 1998, he was killed from behind at a crowded nightclub in Vancouver, British Columbia, by a person whose identity was and remains unknown.[640][641]
  • Kirsty Bentley (15), a teenage girl from Ashburton, New Zealand, went missing while walking her family dog in the afternoon on December 31, 1998; after an extensive search lasting several weeks, her body was found in dense scrub approximately 40 km (25 mi) away.[642] Police consider the case to be a homicide, and it remains one of the highest-profile unsolved murders in New Zealand. Her killer has never been identified.
  • Lois Roberts (37–38) was an Australian woman who was last seen outside The Nimbin Police Station on July 31, 1998.[643][644] Her badly mutilated body was found about six months after her disappearance in January 1999.[645] Her murder remains unsolved.
  • Big L, a Harlem rapper, was shot multiple times in the head and chest as was killed near his Harlem home on February 15, 1999.[646]
  • The body of Immigration and Naturalization Service attorney Joyce Chiang (28) was found in the Potomac River in April 1999 by a canoeist, three months after she had last been seen. Washington police, who had initially called the case a suicide, later changed their minds and said it was a homicide. They have suspects, who are currently in prison, but have not publicly identified them.[647]
  • Jill Dando (37), an English journalist and television presenter who worked for the BBC for 14 years. She was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head on April 26, 1999, after leaving the home of her fiancé. Her death sparked "Operation Oxborough", the biggest murder inquiry and largest criminal investigation since the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.[648]
  • Ricky McCormick, whose body was found in a field by sheriff's officers in St. Charles County, Missouri, on June 30, 1999. The only clues to the mystery are two notes in his pockets, apparently written in a complex cipher.[649]
  • Ezzat Ebrahim-Nejad (24–25), was an Iranian student, poet and demonstrator who was shot and killed on July 9, 1999, in the attack by security forces on Tehran University dormitory,[650] that preceded and provoked the July 1999 student riots in Iran. The case remains unsolved.
  • Raonaid Murray, an Irish (17), a youth who was stabbed to death within a few hundred metres of her home in Glenageary, Co. Dublin, in the early hours of Saturday morning, September 4, 1999.[651]
  • Katarzyna Zowada (23), a Polish woman who was murdered between November 12, 1998, and January 1999 in Cracow, Poland. Investigators and experts from other countries were called to assist in solving the crime, including the FBI.[652] Police made the first arrest in 2017 after discovering new evidence.[653] As of September 2019, the suspect remains in custody while investigators continue to gather evidence, yet the case remains unsolved
  • On December 28, 1999, a friend visiting the apartment of Larry Dale Lee (41), an American journalist in Guatemala City, found his body with multiple stab wounds.[654] It was determined that he had been killed two days earlier, shortly after he was last seen alive. Police developed several theories of the crime but no arrests have ever been made.
  • William Pokhlyobkin (70), was the foremost expert on the history of Russian cuisine and the author of numerous culinary books.[655] Pokhlyobkin was found murdered in his apartment, in Podolsk somewhere between March 27 and 31, 2000.[656] His dead body was uncovered by the chief editor of the Polyfakt publishing house, who was worried about the delay of the book Cuisine of the Century and came from Moscow to Podolsk to see Pokhlyobkin.
  • Radio Haiti-Inter journalist Jean Dominique (69), and Jean-Claude Louissaint, another station employee, were fatally shot outside the station as Dominique arrived at the station's offices in Port-au-Prince on the morning of April 3, 2000.[657] Political pressure and threats, possibly from those whose corruption Dominique reported on, have allegedly hindered the investigation. No suspects have ever been officially named.
  • André Desjardins (69), was a Canadian union official noted for his involvement with organized crime. Desjardins served as the president of the Conseil des métiers de la construction and vice-president of the Fédération des travailleurs du Québec (Quebec Federation of Labour, FTQ) union between 1970 and 1974, becoming known as Le roi de la construction ("the king of construction"). During this time, Desjardins was involved in the scandal that led to the Cliche commission of 1974–75 headed by Judge Robert Cliche to examine corruption in Quebec construction unions. Afterward, Desjardins was one of the leading loan sharks in Montreal until his murder by unknown persons on April 27, 2000.[658]
  • Mark Moran (35), of Australia's Moran crime family, was shot and killed outside his Aberfeldie home on the evening of June 15, 2000,[659] another of the many still-unsolved Melbourne gangland killings. Carl Williams, who was beaten to death by a fellow prison inmate in 2010, is the prime suspect.
  • An August 17, 2000 bombing at the Centrs shopping mall in Riga, the capital of Latvia, killed one person.[660][661] A suspect arrested and tried for planting one of the bombs was acquitted a year later by the country's Supreme Court. No one else has ever been identified.
  • Loyalist paramilitary Jackie Coulter (46), was shot and killed on August 21, 2000, along with Bobby Mahood,[662] a former member of the Ulster Volunteer Force, while sitting in a parked car along Crumlin Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland. While the Progressive Unionist Party later admitted that the UVF, its military wing, had carried out the killings in reprisal for an attack on it by members of Coulter's rival Ulster Defence Association, no suspects have ever been named. It is believed the real target may have been Mahood's brother, Jackie, who the killers may have mistaken him for. Coulter and Bobby Mahood were reportedly trying to broker an end to Loyalist feud that claimed both their lives.
  • The Persian Princess or Persian Mummy is a mummy of an alleged Persian princess who surfaced in Pakistani Baluchistan in October 2000. After considerable attention and further investigation, the mummy proved to be an archaeological forgery and possibly a murder victim.[663] Her identity remains unknown.
  • Ernest Lluch (63), was a Spanish economist and politician from Catalonia.[664] He was Minister of Health and Consumption from 1982 to 1986 in the first post-Francisco Franco Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) government of Felipe González. He was assassinated on November 21, 2000[665] by unknown members of the Basque terrorist organisation, ETA. The murder remains unsolved.
  • Haris Brkić (26) was a Yugoslav basketball player who played for Partizan. He was shot on December 15, 2000, by an unknown assailant while unlocking his car at the parking lot in front of Pionir Hall in Belgrade. Brkić died three days later.[666] It is still not known who had killed him.[667]
  • A Japanese family of four was found murdered in their Tokyo home on December 31, 2000.[668] Police were able to find a considerable amount of forensic evidence, including undigested food in excrement, that would help identify the suspect but no arrests have been made.

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