5 Of The Most Famous Unsolved Murders

by Criminal Defence Blawg on February 25, 2013

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Unsolved murders fascinate the public even decades or more than a hundred years after the fact. Read on for some of history and contemporary culture’s most puzzling unsolved crimes.

Andrew and Abby Borden

Lizzie Borden is widely known in the public imagination as the famous murderess who chopped up her parents with an axe, but in fact she was acquitted of the crime, and other theories include an illegitimate son of Andrew Borden, the maid Bridget Sullivan and older sister Emma, who lived some miles away. A number of books have been written exploring the various possibilities.

The Jack the Ripper murders

Theories about the identity of Jack the Ripper have inspired countless books, short stories, films and television shows. Jack the Ripper murdered five women, all prostitutes, in London’s Whitechapel District in 1888. Speculations as to his identity have ranged from a member of the British royal family to suggestions that “Jack” may have been a woman or more than one person. Documents recently declassified from Scotland Yard shed little additional light on the mystery, and the Ripper murders are likely to remain unsolved.

The Black Dahlia

Elizabeth Short was one of the many young women who left her small town for dreams of Hollywood glamor. Unlike most of those young women, Short ended up brutally murdered, her mutilated body found in a park on January 15, 1947. She had been cut in half. Dubbed “The Black Dahlia” by journalists because she wore a dark suit and “The Blue Dahlia” was the name of a popular film at the time, Short quickly became an object of public fascination. More than 50 people have confessed to the crime, but likely suspects include a surgeon named Walter Bayley and Robert M. “Red” Manley, the last person with whom she was seen alive. Crime writer James Ellroy wrote a book, “The Black Dahlia,” based on the case which was later made into a movie directed by Brian De Palma.

JonBenét Ramsey

Images of six-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey transfixed the United States when they appeared on television screens across the nation over the 1996 holiday season. Found murdered in the basement of her home on Christmas Day in Boulder, Colorado, JonBenét had been strangled to death. A ransom note was found, but the house showed no signs of forced entry. For years the parents were suspected, but evidence was not sufficient to move forward with prosecution and in 2008 DNA evidence cleared them entirely. In 2006, a man arrested for child pornography in California confessed to the murder, but police found no evidence to link him to the case which remains open to this day.

Jill Dando

British journalist Jill Dando was gunned down outside of her London home in 1999. The execution-style manner of her death led many to speculate that her murder was related to her investigative work, and speculation included that it was revenge for work she’d done on her “Crimewatch” show to a theory that Serbian warlord Arkan was behind it due to NATO bombings that resulted in the death of several Yugoslavian TV news personalities. These were all looked into and dismissed, however, and eventually the investigation settled on a suspect, Barry George, who had a history of stalking and sexual assault. George was tried and convicted of her murder in 2001, but the case was overturned and he was acquitted in 2008.

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As a homicide detective, Roger Garner is deeply bothered by unsolved cases, and has written about several unsolved crimes in hopes that perhaps evidence will surface. Roger has also contributed to “How To Become A Homicide Detective” for others who want to work for justice when lives are taken and ensure that the perpetrator is not allowed to hurt anyone else.

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal law blogger at CriminalDefenceBlawg
Criminal Defence Blawg is a criminal law blog, sharing legal expertise and intelligence from the UK, US, Australia and beyond. Contributions from those who share great legal information. Want to get published? Contact us today.
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