Despite the ‘best intentions’ of police departments and their detectives, sometimes murder cases remain unsolved…for a long time. In real life, investigations don’t unfurl with the ease and speed seen in crime shows like Law and Order and CSI. This might be due to insufficient evidence and if so it can take years before new evidence linking to the case can be found. Some of these cases are particularly gruesome in nature and can haunt the families and detectives involved. Each year presents a ghoulish new tableau of unsolved deaths and murders and for this article we tracked down the most mysterious and haunting unsolved cases of 2017.
Shane Stewart and Sally McNally Cold Case
The arrest of John Gilbert, a 77-year-old man who was found with marijuana and a gun on July 11, turned out to be a big break in the 1988 cold case killing that involved two Texas teens. The two teens were reported missing in July 1988, and their bodies were later found with gun wounds five months later. After deputies executed a search warrant for evidence relating to drug trafficking, they stumbled upon evidence that linked to Shane and Sally murder.
The evidence found in his house included fingernails, blood, hair and other biological substances that constitute potential evidence in a murder case. Gilbert has not yet been formally charged with the murder, and a lot of people are waiting for the latest developments. The creepiest aspect about this case is that John Gilbert kept some of the items from the murder case, such as hair and fingernails for twenty-nine years.
The Kim Wall Killing
Peter Madsen, the suspected killer of a Swedish journalist Kim Wall, is still in police custody pending investigation into the case. Kim’s body was found with fifteen stab wounds, but the prosecutor argued that the cause of the death is yet to be established since the injuries might have been inflicted after the death or at the time of death.
Traces of a saw blade that was consistent with the removal of limbs and head, as well as Madsen DNA, were found on Kim’s body. Some explicit content featuring women being killed or tortured were also recovered from Madsen computer. During the court hearing, Madsen refuted the claims saying that he wasn’t the only one who had access to the computer that was stationed at his office. He also noted that Kim might have died when a hatchet fell on her head as she climbed on the submarine. Although the defense argued that the hatchet might have fallen on her head while she was climbing the submarine, the question that a lot of people ask is how Madsen DNA found its way on Kim’s body.
This is a particularly chilling case given that the last known photograph of Kim features her standing with Madsen before descending into the submarine.
The Snapchat Murders
Joy Williams and Rose Lynn were found murdered near the Delphic historic trail, which is about one and a half mile from the Monon high bridge. The only lead to the case was a three-word audio clip posted to Snapchat of a man saying “down the hill.” According to Indiana state police sergeant Bursten, it is possible that more than one person could have undertaken the killing. In fact, authorities have in possession additional video evidence which they aren’t going to release since they are trying to preserve the integrity of the investigation. Investigations are still underway to determine whether the killer knew that the girls would be at the scene or it was as a result of chance. Although an audio and video clip was the main breakthrough in the case, police investigations have not yet linked the files to any suspect.
A man recently arrested in Colorado may be a new suspect in a case that has been dubbed the ‘Snapchat murders.’
The Clown Killer
A seventy-year old man from West Virginia attacked his wife with a hatchet then committed suicide with a chainsaw. According to police reports, the chaos broke out in the afternoon of November 1st, but one of their relatives managed to save the woman from the confrontation. The man then tried to attack them after they had left the house but when someone called 911 he returned home and shut the door. Police officers found him with severe injuries resulting from a chain saw and he later died at the hospital. The police have not yet released the name of the suspect because they want to protect the identity of the victim. Although the dispute is seen as a domestic row, police investigations are underway to establish the reason behind the homicide.
Tampa’s Serial Killer
The Mayor of Tampa has declared a manhunt for a serial killer who has been terrorizing the residents of Florida. The mayor urged the residents to call in if they have any information leading to the capture of the serial killer. The killer on the loose has already murdered three people in cold blood according to CBS news. The police are working on every lead that could assist with the arrest. Tampa police department has also urged residents who have a security camera to turn in any footage that presents suspicious activity. The police do not have any lead including even a sketch of anyone who is a potential suspect in the case.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has pleaded for the public’s help:
“We need you to call us and let us know what’s going on. That’s how we’re gonna catch this guy. And we will hunt this son of a b**** down until we find him!” Buckhorn said.
Needless to say, Tamp residents are locking their doors.
The Smothering Mum
Latisha Fisher, a 38-year-old mum, has pleaded guilty to smothering her one-year-old son at a burger joint. Her haunting confession to the first-degree manslaughter will earn her 18 years in prison for its part of a plea deal. Fisher has schizophrenia and if found guilty of second-degree murder then she might face life in prison. She was arrested at the burgers joint bathroom holding her baby who was already turning blue and foaming from the nose. Latisha will be arraigned at the Supreme Court on Nov 20th for sentencing. Although Latisha was schizophrenic, none of her family members made an attempt to watch her every move and a lot of people question whether this was the reason behind the manslaughter.
Barron County Triple Homicide
John Hengst shot his teenage daughter and ex-wife and later turned a gun on himself in Barron County. An autopsy report showed that all the victims died from a single gunshot wound. However, the man’s wife, Brenda Turner had blunt force on her torso, neck, face and also a rib fracture, which pointed to domestic abuse. Brenda and John had filed a divorced over a year but continued to live in the same apartment. In fact, a 911 call was made to the police before the shooting.
Gail Peck cold case
Brian Peck, a suburban Chicago man, was charged with one count of concealment of a homicidal death and two counts of murder. According to police reports, his mother had gone for a walk, but she never returned home. On the day of the arraignment, it was argued that Brian dismembered his mother and concealed the body in a piece of luggage that he recently purchased. Apart from the usual family issues Brian had a good relationship with his mother and the police are trying to figure out the reason why he would dismember her.
The Killer Ex-Boyfriend
Avilla Feliz, a 22-year-old mother, was found face up and unresponsive in her Bronx home on November 1st. She also had stab wounds on her hands, arm, shoulder, neck and face. Police have arrested Avilla’s ex-boyfriend in connection with the murder and has charged him with criminal possession of a weapon, assault, manslaughter and murder. He is currently in police custody awaiting his arraignment in court. Although Avilla had ended the relationship with her ex-boyfriend, he still wasn’t over her. Police reports indicated that she had filed several reports which indicated that her boyfriend was still stalking her and this could have been the reason for the cold blood killing.
The Rapist Trio
According to the Age newspaper, Jason Colton, Ryan Smart and Craig Levy were all charged with raping a 36-year-old while staying at a 30 dollar a night east Brighton home. The victim had met the trio a week earlier, but he planned on cutting his stay since he was not into the “energy.” The cause of death has not been fully established, but paramedics have ruled as cardiac arrest. According to police reports the three appeared to have fun at the hotel but when the victim realized that he was in the wrong company he tried opting out. Whether this was the reason behind the killing is yet to be established.
Airbnb said it is “deeply saddened and outraged” by the tragedy.