The five most infamous unsolved murders

The five most infamous unsolved murders

Nick Arrietta , Staff Writer

Murder cases have shaped and defined pop culture for many years.  They are featured in the press, in movies, and on TV. There have been thousands of murder cases, and many have gained international attention. While most are eventually solved, others, to this day, remain uncertain.  There may be speculation or theories, but there is no proven guilt in these well-known cases.

Number 5: The Black Dahlia

Elizabeth Short, also known as The Black Dahlia, moved to Los Angeles to fulfill her dream of becoming an actress. That dream would never come true because on January 18, 1947, in Leimert Park, a woman found Elizabeth’s body. When the woman found her she thought it was an abandoned mannequin. She soon realized that it was a real body.

Elizabeth’s body had been cut in half at the waist, and her blood had been drained out, hence the reason why the woman thought she was a mannequin. Her face had been cut from her mouth to her ears, in what many people would call a joker smile. She had many cuts and bruises all over her body. An autopsy revealed the cause of death was from lacerations (deep cuts) and hemorrhaging (blood  loss from a ruptured blood vessel). This hemorrhage was in her head due to blows to her face.

The murder made national headlines headlines because of its gruesome nature. Over fifty men and women claimed that they were the killer, but there was no evidence to lead to any of them being prosecuted. Since more than fifty people claimed to have killed Elizabeth, it messed up the police investigations. Investigations were also hindered by the media interfering in the case. Many police officers and detectives claimed that reporters were walking over evidence and withholding information they received from calls to their office.

Many people believe that Elizabeth’s murder was related to other murders such as the Cleveland torso murders or the lipstick murders. Most people believe that the case will never be solved and that the Black Dahlia will never get her justice.

Number 4: Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper terrorized the city of London in 1888, killing in total five women. He would mutilate the women’s bodies in unusual ways. All five of the women’s bodies were found a mile apart from each other. A number of letters were sent to the London police department claiming to be Jack the Ripper. He would taunt the police department in the letters by talking about his killing and saying there were more to come.

The name Jack the Ripper originated from one of the letters, which may have been a hoax. Over one hundred suspects have been named since 1888 but no one has been convicted of the crime.

Jack the Ripper still allegedly haunts London to this day. Many people consider him folklore and ghostly entertainment surrounding this mystery.

Number 3: The Zodiac Killer

From the 1960’s through the early 1970’s the Zodiac killer puzzled police officers. He or she would send letters and hints to help the police.

The murders first began in 1963 when seniors and engaged couple, Robert Domingos and Linda Edwards went to the beach on a Tuesday during senior ditch day. When the couple did not return home on Wednesday, Robert’s father went to the beach  and found the couple’s remains inside an old shack. The victims were tied with rope and Robert was shot eleven times while Linda was shot nine times. The killer tried to start a fire to cover his tracks but failed in doing so.

The killings went on and on; and with each one, newspapers would receive letters, presumably from the killer. He or she would also send cards, talk about the weapons used and give them riddles to figure out were the next murder would take place. He or she would even tell them the exact date and time a person was going to be killed.

Police spent years trying to figure out who it really was, but in the late 1970’s the murders stopped and the Zodiac killer vanished. The legacy of the Zodiac killer still carries on through books, TV, movies, and three real-life copycat killers.

With more than 37 victims and two dozen hints and clues given to the police, the Zodiac killer to this day has not been identified.

Number 2: Nicole Brown Simpson

One of the biggest murder stories was when ex-wife of football star OJ Simpson, Nicole, was found dead outside of her home along with a man named Ron Goldman. The couple divorced in 1992, and in 1994 Nicole would be found with her head almost completely off. The prime suspect in the eyes of media and police was her ex-husband, OJ.

When police tried to arrest him, a car chase ensued. He was finally arrested and brought in for questioning. The night of the murder, police found a trail of blood from Simpson’s car to his front steps. OJ’s trial began January 24, 1995, and lasted for 134 days. The trial revealed police calls from Nicole saying that OJ was trying to break in and that he was physically abusing her. Also in the trial the infamous glove scandal happened; the offense attorney tried to show that a leather glove found at the crime scene was his. When OJ tried on the glove and it did not fit, one of his attorneys, Johnny Cochran, said, “If the glove don’t fit, he must acquit.” Many people believe to this day that it was OJ’s glove but it didn’t fit because it was covered in blood which made the leather shrink.

At the end of the trial it seems like the whole world was split between those who thought OJ was guilty and those who believed he was innocent. To the shock of many, OJ was found not guilty on all accounts of murder. But OJ would be charged with his ex-wife’s murder again in civil court, where he was found guilty and fined $33.5 million.

OJ promised the world that he would find his ex wife’s killer; while many people believe that OJ did it, by legal standards, the killer has not been found.

Number 1: Jonbenet Ramsey  

In 1996 news of the murder of Jonbenet Ramsey spread through the nation. The six year old girl was found strangled to death. Daughter of wealthy businessman, John Ramsey, and his wife Patsy Ramsey, Jonbenet also had a brother, Burke.

The family came home on Christmas night from a party and went to bed. The next morning Patsy Ramsey woke up to find a three-page ransom letter on her steps from a supposed terrorist group who kidnapped Jonbenet. Patsy then woke up her husband John, and he told her to call the police. After she called the police, both of the parents frantically started making phone calls to everybody they knew, telling them to come over.

When the police arrived there were already many family members and friends at the Ramsey’s home, which  messed up the police investigations and the DNA tests. As the police were investigating, a family friend told John to look around the house. She told him to start at the top of the house and make his way down to the bottom. But instead John Ramsey went to the basement and found Jonbenet’s body. Jonbenet had been strangled to death, and her skull was fractured. She had duct tape on her her wrists and her mouth. After finding the body, John Ramsey picked up Jonbenet in his arms and carried her upstairs–ruining all the evidence police could have used to help solve the case.

Police found a bowl of pineapple on the table and found pineapple in Jonbenet’s digestive system, but John and Patsy said they didn’t give Jonbenet pineapple the night before. This made police even more question John and Patsy as the killers. Police believe that Jonbenet knew her killer and therefore trusted him/her enough to come out of her bedroom, possibly with the promise of pineapple.

Police also found that the ransom note was written inside the Ramsey’s home because it was written with the pen and paper from Patsy’s desk.

John and Patsy were tried in court but were found innocent. To this day, Jonbenet’s killer has never been found. Some people strongly believe that her parents killed her; some believe that her older brother Burke killed her, and John and Patsy tried to cover it up.



With DNA testing and stricter crime scene protocols, unsolved crimes such as these are becoming fewer and fewer.  While the speculation and debate, the books and movies, the TV series and conspiracy websites will likely continue for these and other unsolved cases, it is likely that the truth surrounding these murders will forever remain hidden.