We humans have a morbid curiosity, there’s no doubt about that. And today seems a good day to satisfy it, even if just for a very short while. So let murder be our domain and poor innocent victims our main interest. The world we live in can be an awful place, but awareness has never killed anyone. Enough about cynicism, here are 10 murders scarier than a horror movie.
1.The boy in the box
This is still an unsolved mystery as we speak. The story goes that back in 1957, an unidentified white young male, probably aged between 4 and 6, was found naked, wrapped in a cheap flannel blanket, and lying face up inside a large cardboard carton just a few feet from the edge of Susquehanna Road in Northeast Philadelphia. The body was dry and clean. The boy’s arms were carefully folded across his stomach. The finger and toenails had been recently trimmed short and neat. His hair had been cut recently in a hurried way, perhaps as a deliberate attempt to conceal the child’s identity. Small clumps of cut hair clung to his entire body, suggesting that someone had groomed him while he was unclothed, probably either shortly before or immediately after death. There were many bruises all over the child’s body, particularly on the head and face. But that’s all they know.
2. Harold Shipman
Family doctor Harold Shipman is known to have murdered 218 of his patients. Shipman, who was 54 when he was caught, worked in Hyde in Cheshire. He dispatched his victims at their own homes with deadly injections of diamorphine. He usually preferred older women, but his youngest one was a 41-year old male. Concerns were first raised about his activities in 1998 when a local undertaker told police an unusually large number of his patients were dying. But an initial police investigation cleared him. Shipman was eventually jailed for life in 2000. He hanged himself in Wakefield jail in 2004.
3. The Atlas Vampire Case
In 1932 in Stockholm, Sweden, an unnamed 32-year-old prostitute was found dead approximately 48 hours after her murder. Though murders of prostitute weren’t that rare at the time, the woman who had been killed by a crushing blow to the skull had attracted significant media attention as it appeared in the autopsy note that the killer had apparently been drinking the woman’s blood. Due to the absence of forensic technology and the lack of witnesses, this spine-chilling mystery remained unsolved.
4. The Zodiac Killings
These bizarre and notorious killings are one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time, second only to the top contender Jack the Ripper. The Zodiac Killer, as the assailant came to be known, was involved in the killings around the San Francisco area from December 1968 to October 1969, though he may have slain others before and after this as well. He had killed seven people, four men and three women and taunted the police with coded, clue-laden messages that he sent out to San Francisco newspapers for over a decade. Although the police investigated over 2,500 suspects, it was never officially solved and still remains open until today.
5. The Monster of Florence
Between 1968 and 1985, a monster stalked the streets of Florence, Italy. He (or she) wielded a 22-caliber pistol, murdering 16 people (and occasionally mutilating the genitals of female victims) before inexplicably vanishing. The killer almost always struck couples, and police have been utterly stymied in their attempts to definitively solve the case. Independent investigations have arrived at the conclusion that Antonio Vinci, a relative of two other suspects in the murders, is a likely culprit. Vinci is still alive and free.
6. Jack the Ripper
Traditionally, Jack the Ripper is considered to have killed five women, all London prostitutes, during 1888. The Ripper generally killed by strangling his victims, then laying them down and cutting the arteries in their throats; this was followed by a varied process of mutilation, during which parts of the body were removed and kept. During the autumn and winter of 1888-89 a number of letters circulated among the police and newspapers, all claiming to be from the Whitechapel murderer; these include the From Hell letter and one accompanied by part of a kidney.
7. The Lead Masks Case
On August 17, 1966 two repairmen, Miguel Jose Viana and Manoel Pereira da Cruz, left Campos dos Gostacazes, Brazil to buy some supplies for a car. Three days later they were found dead by a teenager in Vintem Hill. The odd thing about the case was the fact that both men were wearing identical impermeable suits and lead eye masks with no holes like the one worn to protect from radiation. Found on the scene were empty water bottles, two towels, and notebook containing the words: “16:30 be at agreed place, 18:30 swallow capsules after effect protect metals wait for mask signal.” Creepy.
8. JonBenét Ramsey
Six-year-old daughter of a wealthy Boulder, Colorado executive was found bludgeoned and strangled to death in the basement of her family home around Christmas of 1996. Clashes between the family and the police and district attorney fed the media frenzy while public speculations centered on her parents John and Patsy Ramsey.
9. Alexander Litvinenko
A former officer of the Russian Federal Security Officer, FSB and KGB, Alexander Litvinenko had received political asylum in the United Kingdom. However, on November 1, 2006, he became the first person ever to be poisoned with polonium. He died a few days later and speculations on who could inflict such merciless murder became rampant though no one was charged. The mystery only fanned the fear and mass hysteria regarding the use of biological and chemical weapons.
10. Andrew and Abby Borden
The murder of husband and wife Andrew and Abby Borden on August 4, 1892 attracted media attention not only due to their affluence in Fall River, Massachusetts, but also for the fact that the suspect who was tried and acquitted was a family member named Lizzie Borden. Andrew sustained 11 blows from an axe on his head while taking a nap on the couch, while Abby, who died an hour or so before him, had suffered 18 or 19 blows.