It’s shocking enough that over 3 million violent crimes go unreported every year, but the real shock comes in the fact that there are a lot of crimes that people don’t know about despite their size or sheer intensity. Crime happens all the time; 24 hours a day, seven days a week, criminals are out committing all kinds of acts, from the simplest vandalism to serious murders and serial killings. Rape, torture, and sexual violence are the categories where most crimes go unreported, but there are plenty of cases, motives, and types of crimes that cause people to avoid reporting or think they can’t report crimes. Plus, there is so much crime in the world that the news media certainly can’t capture it all. Some of the biggest crimes aren’t the ones that you see on television, but the ones with the big costs: lives lost, people affected, and so forth.
Case #1: Love Gone Wrong
The first that a lot of people don’t know about is one Arthur Eggers. In 1946, Eggers wife was notorious for running around and having affairs while he wasn’t home. One night, he came home to see her lover leaving and her lying in bed, naked. He grabbed his gun to kill the lover, but the wife (Dorothy Eggers) stepped in. After a short fight, the gun “accidentally” fired, which killed her. Instead of calling the police, Eggers cut off her hands and head, dumping her body in the San Bernardino Mountains outside of L.A. The head was never found, and no one really knows what happened to it.
Case #2: Not So “Yummy” After All
Robert “Yummy” Sandifer lived in Chicago in the 1990s. The 11-year-old was an active gang member, and was out wandering in his neighborhood on the South Side on a summer morning in 1994. He approached a group of teenagers (some from a rival gang) and asked who they were affiliated with. Upon getting the answer, Sandifer opened fire on one of the teens, causing severe spinal cord damage. At the time, Yummy fled the scene but he was far from done. Later that evening, he opened fire on a crowd of children playing football. One 16-year-old boy was shot and wounded while another 14-year-old girl was shot in the head, later dying from the injuries sustained. A 77-hour manhunt ensued for the young offender but he was caught by other gang members and shot, execution style, before police could apprehend him.
Case #3: The Real Ocean’s 11?
In Boston in 1983, a group of 11 men got together to commit a well-planned, huge crime. Their goal? To rob the Brinks Security headquarters and take as much as they could in cash, securities, and checks. The men broke in, tied up the night watchmen, and escaped with over $3 million in checks, cash, and securities. They actually got away with the crime for a number of years, but eventually the truth caught up with them. One member of the group shot another after fighting over who would get the biggest cut. The victim was rushed to the hospital, where the FBI met him and he gave up all of his co-conspirators in the heist.
Case #4: More Armored Car Action
In 1997, Dunbar Armored was carrying millions of dollars in and out of its vaults on a daily basis. Employees at facilities like this are screened and checked out before hiring, but their background doesn’t predict the future. Such is the case of Allen Pace, who eventually gave into temptation. With the help of five of his friends from childhood, he orchestrated a heist that netted almost $19 million for the group. This was the largest amount of cash ever stolen, and the men got away with it for a number of years. As with most group crimes, though, someone eventually screwed up and then gave up everyone else involved in the robbery.
Case #5: No Justice for Mona Lisa
In 1911, the original Mona Lisa was hanging in the Louvre museum in France, where it had been for many years. DaVinci was Italian, though, which caused some people to be resentful of the fact that their homeland wasn’t in possession of such a masterpiece. Vincenzo Peruggia, an employee and Italian national, actually took the Mona Lisa out under his coat and returned it to Florence, Italy. For two years, it remained there and he remained in hiding. Eventually, though, Peruggia was discovered and the painting was returned. Rather than facing a heavy sentence for his serious crime, Peruggia only served 7 months in jail and remains a patriotic hero in his home country.
Serial killers, kidnappings, robbery, and other big crimes happen all the time. Whether they’re old or just under-reported, there are a lot of crimes like these that are more interesting than you think. A true crime fan can never get bored with the volume of stories that are out there to be told, or the captivating nature of most of them. While heinous and awful cases like Ted Bundy, Elizabeth Smart, and others might be known worldwide on a first-name basis, the stories you don’t hear are often worse.