There are thousands of murders that go unreported and unsolved around the world. Over time police investigations come to a standstill, tips lead to dead ends, families are left without closure, and the cases begin to slip from the public eye. But there are some unsolved cases that stand out among the rest. Though some of the unsolved murders we’ll be discussing today happened decades ago, they are simply too bizarre to fade from public interest.
The Jamison Family Disappearance
On October 8, 2009, video surveillance shows Bobby and Sherilynn packing up a few belongings with their daughter Madyson in tow in order to look at plots of land available in the mountains of Oklahoma. There is no audio to the video, but many have pointed out that the couple seems to be moving in a “trance-like state.” Nine days after the Jamisons were last spotted, their truck was found abandoned. Inside of the vehicle their dog was discovered, along with $32,000 in cash and the couple’s cellphones.
Four years later, their bodies were found a couple miles away from where their truck was recovered, but it had taken an additional year to confirm that the bodies had belonged to the Jamisons. The cause of death was never determined, but all three of the family members were found lined up side-by-side and face down. The case remains unsolved to this day.
There have been a number of theories on what had happened to the Jamisons. Some of the more plausible theories have included a drug deal gone wrong, murder-suicide, or an altercation with Bobby’s father who had threatened to hurt the family prior to their disappearance. Then there are those who say that something much more sinister occurred that day while the family was hiking in the mountains. Stories of witchcraft, ritual sacrifices and a family pastor who claimed that the Jamisons were under “spiritual warfare” by a ghost of a past relative. Whatever the truth behind the Jamisons’ disappearance may have been, this is one case that will drive you head first down the rabbit hole.
The Eyeless Head of Jane Doe
On December 12, 2014, a boy identified only as Charles uncovered a decapitated head as he was walking home from school one day. Being the winter months in Pennsylvania, the fact that the head was frozen and covered in snow was not particularly unusual. What did make this case unusual is that the eyes from the head had been removed and in their place were two red balls made of rubber, similar to the ones children often receive from the toy and candy machines in the front of grocery stores. Though the rest of the woman’s body was never recovered, the head had appeared to have been embalmed before the neck was sliced away from the rest of the body with surgical precision.
The woman has never been officially identified, but investigators were eventually able to link the rubber balls in the woman’s eye sockets to what they believe is the black market organ trade.
“Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?”
In April of 1943 four boys hunting on private property uncovered a skeleton inside a hollowed out tree trunk after climbing it to scout for birds’ nests. At first believing the skeleton belonged to an animal, a closer look revealed that the skull had human teeth and hair. The four boys put the skeleton back and went home. For fear they would get in trouble for trespassing on the land, most of the boys decided to keep quiet about the discovery, but the youngest boy in the group was shaken by what he had seen and decided to tell his parents.
Inside of the tree police recovered most of a human skeleton, a shoe, a wedding ring, and scraps of fabric. Near the base of the tree, a hand was also found to have been buried. Forensic tests showed that the body had belonged to a female and her remains had been inside the tree for at least 18 months prior to their discovery. It is believed that she had been asphyxiated prior to her dismemberment, as a piece of cloth was found stuffed inside her mouth. The woman was never positively identified, and having taken place during WWII, the sheer number of missing people made the task nearly impossible to narrow down any possible matches.
In 1944, police received a tip on another case that was possibly related. The tipster told police that a prostitute named Bella had disappeared in a similar fashion three years prior. Shortly after police received the tip, graffiti began popping up in various places asking “Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?” The case remains unsolved, but the graffiti still remains in at least one location.
Ritual Sacrifice in Golden Gate Park
For homicide investigators in San Francisco, finding a dead body at Golden Gate Park is nothing unusual. Discovering the corpse of a man wrapped in a sleeping bag, with his head missing, and the wings of a dead chicken and pieces of corn stuffed into his bloodied neck stump, however, is not something they come across every day. The victim was later identified as LeRoy Carter, Jr.. Detectives were so perplexed with the crime that they had to hire an expert in cults and occult rituals in order to understand exactly what they were dealing with.
The expert, Sandi Gallant, determined that the man had been sacrificed as part of an odd religion, brought to the Caribbean by Congoan slaves called Palo Mayombe. Similar to Santaria, practitioners use the “forces of darkness” by performing bizarre rituals including animal and human sacrifices in order to aid them in their black magic spells. Gallant told investigators that the perpetrator would return with the head 42 days later in order to complete the ritual, but police officials laughed at the idea and didn’t follow up on any of the leads Gallant was able to provide, given her knowledge of the occult. The head did return, as Gallant had predicted, on March 22, 1981, but no one was able to identify who was behind the ritual sacrifice and the murder remains a mystery.
Checking his muskrat traps in the woods of Rupert, Idaho, a boy discovered what he thought was a burnt monkey inside of a metal barrel. Wanting to avoid trouble if police found his illegal animal traps, the young man kept quiet about what he had saw inside the barrel. Several days later some teenagers four-wheeling in the area were helped by Robert Boesiger and his son after getting stuck in the mud. Boesiger was unable to help the trapped teens and only managed to get his own truck stuck in the mud during his efforts. The barrel was spotted by the teens, Boesiger, and his son, but they initially assumed it was trash from a nearby landfill. Their attention was only drawn to the metal drum when Boesiger’s son attempted to reach inside to touch whatever had been inside of the barrel. Boesiger was able to make out the barrel’s contents and quickly ushered his son away, before alerting the police to the discovery later that evening.
Inside the barrel was the body of an infant girl. She had been dismembered, disemboweled, and possibly skinned before being placed in the barrel and doused with gasoline. What was left of her remains were burned and abandoned. Investigators were quick to jump to the conclusion that the girl had been used as a sacrifice as some sort of “Satanic ritual,” due to the horrific nature of the crime, but no definitive evidence has been found to support that notion and that theory has since been ruled out completely. No one knows who the infant belonged to or why she was murdered. She is only known as “Baby X.”