5 Unsolved Mysteries With Strange Written Clues5. John Hill
Ottumwa is a small city in southern Iowa and it is home to a disturbing unsolved mystery. Early on the morning of November of 22, 1976, two men walked into the Ottumwa Launderette and in a small room they found the dead body of the 51 year old owner of the launderette John Hill. He had been stabbed multiple times and shot. The police were called to the scene and they found a .25 caliber handgun on the floor near Hill's body.
Near the entrance of the launderette the police found five bullet holes. The police concluded that Hill died as a result of a robbery gone wrong. Hill fired his gun five times at the robber and missed with each shot. The robber attacked Hill stabbing and shooting him. The police said that it was a long drawn-out struggle. Then the killer did something really unusual.
Despite having multiple gunshots go off, which would have drawn a lot of attention, the killer took the time to write something in the victim's blood at the crime scene. It either said black or lack and then the second word was older. The police are unsure what the words refer to or their significance. There were two suspects in the case who are a couple, but neither were charged because they had strong alibis. Unfortunately the case has never been solved and Hill's family is still looking for answers as to who is responsible for his brutal and senseless murder.
4. Tracey Neilson
After a day of classes at Medical School on January 5, 1981, Jeff Neilson returned home to the apartment that he shared with his wife of five months, Tracy Nielsen, in Moore Oklahoma It was Tracey's birthday, she had turned 21. When Jeff got to the apartment he found the door unlocked. Inside the apartment, he found Tracy on the bed. She was lying face up. Her throat had been slit and she had been stabbed multiple times in the chest. During the police investigation they were quickly able to rule Jeff out as a suspect. What the police learned is that on the morning of her birthday, Tracy ran around and did some errands.
Then a neighbor saw Tracy finishing up her chores around the apartment at about noon. During the afternoon her friends and family have been calling to wish her a happy birthday but no one answered the phone. The medical examiner placed her time of death at some time around noon. She had not been sexually assaulted. There was no evidence of a break-in and there was no signs of a struggle inside the apartment. Robbery doesn't appear to be a motive because there was only one item missing from the apartment. It was a one inch by four inch keychain that Tracy used, which had her name on it.
The police think that the killer took it with him as a souvenir. The killer left several clues in the apartment, notably a single fingerprint but unfortunately no match to it has ever been found. The second clue is a cable ticket book from Southwestern Bell for cable repair, which may explain how the killer got into the apartment without breaking in or forcing his way in because Tracy may have let him in since he was a repairman.
The last ticket in the book lists Tracy's address as the service address Whoever filled out the ticket said that the work was completed and then they signed or initialed it at the bottom. The ticket said that the work was finished at 11:51 a.m. on the day of the murder. The police and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation are hoping that someone will recognize the signature or the handwriting Since the murder the police have followed up on 1500 leads, but after 35 years they are no closer to figuring out who killed Tracy Nielsen on her 21st birthday.
3. Gary Grant Jr.
January 12 1984, was a Thursday, but 7-year-old Gary Grant Jr. of Atlantic City, New Jersey, had the day off of school because there was a teacher conference. Gary left his house at about 2:30 in the afternoon and he told his mother that he had an appointment. His mother never thought to ask what he meant by appointment. Gary was supposed to return home by four o'clock and when he didn't, his mother called the police His neighborhood was searched and two days after he went missing his body was found two blocks from his house in the vacant lot.
The 7-year-old had been bludgeoned to death with a metal pipe. The last person seen with gary was his 12-year old friend Carl Mason, whose nickname was "Boo." The police interviewed Carl, who has developmental disability and was smaller than Gary, without a guardian or a lawyer present and he confessed to the murder. He was arrested and sent to juvenile detention. Once he was incarcerated Carl said that he was innocent.
He was given two polygraph tests; one was inconclusive and the other showed that he was telling the truth about being innocent. The judge eventually threw out the confession and Carl was released. Not long afterwards, the investigation into Gary's murder frosted over. This was especially tough on Gary Grant Sr., who was a police officer with the Atlantic City Police Department.
On January 4, 1986, a message was found scrawled on the side of an Atlantic City police car. It read: "Gary Grant's dead. I am living. Another will die on January 12th if all goes right." January 12th was the second anniversary of Gary's murder. Luckily, January 12th, came and went and no one was murdered in Atlantic City on that day. A few weeks later, a second message was found. This time it was scratched onto a sidewalk. It said: "Gary Grant Jr. lives. I still killed him. Son of the pig officer. Payback is a M.F."
The last message led to speculation that grant may have been killed and his payback against his father because he arrested somebody. However, that theory has never been proven. In fact, to this day the police are uncertain if the killer actually wrote the messages or if they were just a horrible prank. The case has sat cold ever since. The new clue emerged in 2006. Gary Grant senior was converting some audio tapes to mp3 files when he came across one that was labeled phone calls.
On the audiotape, he heard the following call that was made to the 911 dispatch on March 8, 1986, weeks after the messages were found. This wasn't the only mysterious phone call on the audiotape A few weeks after the bizarre confession, the 911 dispatch received a second strange phone call regarding the murder of Gary Grant. The caller didn't identify themselves but they accused the man of killing Gary because his father was a cop. The man's name was never made public because he was never charged.
Gary Grant Sr. knows the man, but says that he never had a problem with him. We should also point out that the accused man was arrested in 2011 for sexual contact with a child under the age of five and child endangerment. He ended up pleading guilty to child endangerment in 2013. Again, it is unclear at the calls are genuine or just a disturbing prank. Tragically, despite his father conducting his own investigation the murder of Gary Grant Jr. remains unsolved.
2. The Freeway Phantom
The evening of April 25th, 1971, was a warm one in Prince George's County, Maryland, and it was just an ordinary Sunday for 13-year-old Carol Spinks and her family. Around dinnertime Carol's older sister asked her to walk to the 7-Eleven, which was about a half a mile away from the family's home to pick up some TV dinners, bread and soft drinks Carol made it to the store and purchased her items but then she disappeared on her way home. Her body was found six days later on a grassy embankment next to a highway.
A few months later on the morning of July 8, 16-year-old Darleina Johnson, who lived a few blocks away from Carol, left her home to go to her summer job at a local recreation center. Sadly, she never made it to work. Her body was found 11 days after she went missing. She had been dumped about 15 feet away from where Carroll's body was found. 19 days after Darlenia disappeared 10-year-old Brenda Crockett was sent to the store by her mother.
When she didn't return home her family searched the neighborhood for her. Three hours after Brenda left for the store, her, 7-year-old sister was at home and the phone rang. She answered it and it was Brenda. She was crying. She said that a white man picked her up and she was heading home in the cab. She also said that she thought she was in Virginia. she then hung up the phone quickly. Minutes later the phone rang again.
Brenda's mother's boyfriend answered it this time. Again it was Brenda calling. She repeated what she told her sister and then she added that she was alone in the house with a man. The boyfriend told Brenda to put the man on the phone to tell him where she was and he'd come get her. Brenda then asked, "Did my mother see me?" The boyfriend responded, "How could she see you when you're in Virginia? Tell the man to come to the phone."
The boyfriend then heard the sound of heavy footsteps and Brenda said "I'll see you..." And then the line went dead. Hours later Brenda's body was found along the highway in Prince George's County. Her body wasn't hidden like the first two victims. She had been raped and strangled to death. A scarf was tied around her neck. The police think that the killer made Brenda call her home to give them false information to throw investigators off his track.
On October 8, 12 year old Nenomoshia Yates went missing while walking home from the store in Prince George's County Her corpse was found dumped along the side of the road just hours after she went missing She had been raped and strangled Then around 10:25 on November 15, 18 year-old Brenda Woodward was seen getting off the bus to transfer to another one Her body was found near an access ramp early the next morning. She had been strangled and stabbed.
Her coat was then laid gently over her body in her coat pocket there was a note that said: A handwriting analysis was performed on the note and the handwriting expert said that the note was written by Brenda herself; meaning the Phantom dictated the note to her. At this point the FBI was called in and they got thousands of tips, but none of the tips led anywhere. Around the same time that the FBI got involved the killer took a hiatus. But then on September 5, 1972, he popped back up again On that day, witnesses saw 17-year-old Diane William heading home on the bus after visiting her boyfriend, but she never made it home she was found strangled to death off the side of the road hours after she was seen exiting the bus After the murder of Diane Williams the Freeway Phantom killings came to it end.
Over the course of two years he claimed at least six lives. All the girls were between the ages of 10 and 18 and all of them were african-american. The FBI continued to work on the case but then in 1974 they reassigned the agents that were working on the case because manpower was needed to investigate the Watergate scandal and the freeway phantom killings went cold. In the ensuing years cold-case investigators have continued to look into the string of murders.
One conclusion they drew, which is based on the areas where the girls were kidnapped and the locations where their bodies were dumped, that the Phantom's anchor spot is Congress Heights, which is a neighborhood in Washington DC, suggesting that he lived or worked in the area during the time of the murders. There have been several attempts to pull testable DNA from evidence left on the victims, but so far they have not been able to. They also found fibers from a green synthetic carpet on five of the six girls, however they have not been able to find the carpet that it belongs to.
Finally, something that may just be a total coincidence, but three of the six victims had the middle name Denise Over the years the police have had over 100 potential suspects. The strongest suspect is a man named Robert Askins. Before the freeway phantom murders he had been charged with murder three different times and he was convicted of one of them in 1938 proposing a prostitute with cyanide He was released 20 years later because of a legal technicality.
In 1977, Askins was arrested for raping a 24 year old woman in his house after the arrest the police searched his house. In his desk, they found his appellate court opinion and in one of the footnotes was the word "tantamount" However, there's no physical evidence tying Askins to the Freeway Phantom murders and he was never charged Askins ended up being found guilty of raping and kidnapping the 24 year old woman and he was sentenced to life in prison in the late 1970s He died in prison in 2010, at the age of 91, without ever confessing to the Freeway Phantom murders. The police are hoping that in the future some new technology will help them crack the case
1. Jeanne French, Elizabeth Short, Mimi Boomhower and Jean Spangler
February 10, 1947, was a Monday, and a construction worker on his way to work happened upon a woman's body in a field off of an isolated road in West Los Angeles. The body was identified as 45-year-old Jeanne French. When she was in her 30s, Jean was a pioneering female aviator, but in 1947, her glory days were long gone.
She was estranged from her fourth husband, Frank French who possibly suffered from PTSD, and was supposedly abusive. Jeanne herself was an alcoholic who liked to go out and party. On the night before her body was found, Jeanne was having dinner and drinks at a diner with two men During the meal she got up from the table and made a phone call. From the way she talked on the phone a waitress at the diner could tell that Jeanne was drunk on the phone Jeanne said, "don't bring a bottle the landlord doesn't allow it."
She then yelled over to the two men that she was dining with not to put any liquor in the car and not to take any liquor. About two hours later Jeanne was alone and she stopped in at a drive-in diner where she had coffee with the owner. She talked about her troubles and complained about her estranged husband Frank.
At 10:30, Jeanne was seen at a bar where she told the other patrons that she was going to commit her husband to the neuropsychiatric ward at the Veterans Hospital the following day Jeanne then made her way over to her estranged husband's rooming house. She asked him to come out with her and he turned her down. She hit him in the head with her purse and left. Next, Jeanne was seen at another drive-in diner with a man who had a dark complexion and was small to medium in size People remembered them because the man bragged about leaving a large tip.
After the diner, Jeanne and her friend were seen at a bar They were there from 1:30 until 2:00 when the bar closed as it closed. The bartender Jeanne arguing with her friend. When the bartender stepped out of the bar, he saw Jeanne and her friend get into an old beat-up sedan and they drove off into the night. Then, just hours later, James body was found in the field by the construction worker.
Jeanne had been viciously beaten and stomped. She had massive internal bleeding, her heart was punctured, her neck was broken. On her torso someone had written "F--- you B.D.and under it were the letters "T-E-X" The message was written in Jeanne's lipstick. The police and the media immediately knew what BD stood for. It stood for Black Dahlia.
Just four weeks before Jeanne French was beaten to death, 22-year-old Elizabeth Short's body was found in los angeles Short had been cut in half and her intestines had been removed. Her body was drained of blood, her skin was scrubbed, and her lips were slashed from ear to ear, making it look like she had a horrifying smile.
Like Jeanne French, Short had been dumped in the field. Supposedly Short also had something written on her body in lipstick. It was too small swear words. Eight days after Short's body was found, the story dropped from the front page and an editor at the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner got a call from someone claiming to be the Black Dahlia Avenger The caller told the editor that it seemed like they were running out of material on the Black Dahlia murder, so he would send them some of Short's personal belongings, like her birth certificate and her address book.
Sure enough, a package arrived at the newspaper two days later which containing several personal items that belong to Short. A note was also included with the belongings indicating that a letter would follow Four letters were sent in all. They were all signed off as the Black Dahlia Avenger, but the police are unsure at the letters were from the killer or from someone who knew Short well enough, or who had access to her apartment, like a landlord.
The police were hesitant to say that the killings of Short and Jeanne branch were connected The victims did share similar physical features, but the methods of the murders were very different from one another Newspapers, on the other hand, thought that one person was responsible for both murders. Instead of focusing on the serial killer theory when investigating Jean French's murder, the police immediately looked at the most likely culprit in any murder - the romantic partner of the victim.
After all, Frank did seem like a plausible suspect. The couple did have a volatile relationship and Frank did see her on a night that she died. Frank's swore that he had nothing to do with the murder and he took a lie detector test to prove it. He ultimately passed the polygraph test. The police interviewed Jeanne's son and he said that Frank had tolerated a lot from his mother and that she was more than capable of getting herself into trouble.
After that, Frank was dropped as a suspect. However, without Frank the police were out of suspects. Nothing happened with the case for two years. But then two years later, there was another odd case that happened in Los Angeles that may or may not be related to the murders of Jean French and Elizabeth Short.
On August 18, 1949, a friend talked to 48 year old Mimi Boomhower over the phone sometime between seven o'clock and eight o'clock p.m. The call was upbeat and the women talked about an upcoming social event. However that day was the sixth anniversary of Boomhower's husband's death. Later that night, the police were summoned to her upscale house. The front door was open her lights were on and her car was in her garage.
Inside the house there was a salad on the table that Boomhower didn't eat, there was fresh food in the kitchen, and a dress that had recently been worn was lying on the bed. The house showed no signs of a struggle and nothing was out of place. However, the 48 year old widow was nowhere to be found. The immediate conclusion was that Boomhower who was having financial problems committed suicide.
In fact, on the night that she disappeared she was supposed to meet an unidentified man at her house. She was hoping that the man would be interested in purchasing the house. Boomhower's friends and family said that she seemed happy with her life, and was looking forward to upcoming social events so they thought it was unlikely that she would have killed herself Five days after she went missing her purse was found in a telephone booth in a supermarket in Los Angeles.
Nothing appeared to be missing from her purse but written on its side big letters was: "Police Department found this on the beach on Thursday." Thursday was the night that Boomhower disappeared. The purse didn't show any traces of seawater or sands weeks. After Boomhauer disappeared from her house, another woman in Los Angeles disappeared.
26 year old Jean Spangler was an actress that had bit parts in movies and she had recently acquired a powerful agents. On October 7, 1949 she walked out of her front door to go to the farmers market and she never returned home. Two days later, her purse was found at the entrance to a nearby park. One strap had been ripped and inside the purse was a note that read: The police looked into her disappearance and discovered that Spangler was three months pregnant leading to speculation that Dr. Scott was an abortionist.
However, they were never able to find out the true identity of Dr. Scott. Rhe police were also unsure who Kirk was and then they received a rather unusual phone call from movie star Kirk Douglas. He was on vacation and called specifically to tell the police that he wasn't the Kirk in the letter. The police thought that this was suspicious because they never considered him to be the Kirk in the letter. Because of the bizarre call, the police considered Douglas a suspect, and then they discover that Spangler had recently acted in a movie that had yet to be a release, which starred Kirk Douglas, However, Kirk Douglas was eventually cleared in the disappearance.
The bodies of Mimi Boomhower and Jean Spangler have never been found. Newspapers at the time thought that the murders and the disappearances were all connected, but the LAPD weren't convinced. Unfortunately, the LAPD never brought anyone to justice for any of the crimes. However, there is at least one former LAPD homicide detective who thinks that the crimes are all connected, but he didn't join the force until decades after the murders and disappearances Steve Hodel, who is now retired from the LAPD, believes that his father who was an unusual and sadistic doctor named George Hill Hodel is responsible for the four crimes plus five other murders.
George Hodel was on the police's radar and he was a suspect in the Elizabeth Short murder because of an incident that happened in 1945. His secretary died of a drug overdose, but the police thought that Dr. Hodel had killed her to cover up some financial fraud. The police weren't able to prove anything conclusively and Dr. Hodel was never charged.
After his father died in 1999, he wrote several books on the Black Dahlia murder arguing that his father is the real killer. For his investigation, he had the handwriting on Boomhower's purse compared to his father's handwriting, and the examiner said that was highly probable that it was the same handwriting. The theory of George Hodel being the murder of Short and the other women is still controversial. It is even unclear if one person is responsible for all the murders and the disappearances. Unfortunately, there's a good chance that these cases may never be solved.
Update New Topic