TOP 15 SCARIEST DEATHS THAT REMAIN UNSOLVED



15. “Please Recycle”
On September 22nd, 2012, Canadian student Garrett Elsey sent a text message to his parents letting them know he had made it to the United Kingdom without a problem. By the next day, the 22-year-old was found crushed to death in the back of a garbage truck. Investigators pieced together the events of the night before and learned that Garrett had gone out drinking with an old friend.

At some point during a night of drunken bar hopping, Garrett was kicked out by bouncers while his friend was using the restroom. This was the last time anyone saw Garrett again. According to police officials, Garrett most likely wandered around the streets for a while in a drunken haze. He then came across a large metal bin and climbed inside to avoid the harsh cold of the autumn night.

When he woke up two hours later, he was being slowly crushed to death. All of the injuries suggest that Garrett was still alive as the walls of the trash compactor slowly closed in on him. A neighbor with his window open heard the screams, but he was used to hearing rowdy students so he did nothing about it. Still, nobody can say for sure exactly what happened to Garrett after he was thrown out of the bar that night.

Could Garrett have angered someone at the bar enough to follow him, knock him out and toss him in one of the disposal bins? Garrett was not robbed. His passport was on still him and his wallet contained all of his money, so if anybody did hurt him, it had to have been out of anger.

The workers at the recycling plant have caught three other people sleeping in their containers before, and they say nobody has ever chosen the large steel bin that Garrett was found in. Instead, they always preferred to sleep in the plastic ones because they were softer. This isn’t enough to prove police wrong, but it certainly does raise some suspicions.

14. “Don’t Open the Trunk”
In 1986, a man named Newell Sessions was living in Thermopolis , Wyoming when he decided to finally open an old trunk that was laying around in his shed. His friend had left the trunk with him a full six years ago and he had since grown tired of waiting for him to come back for it. When Newell pried open the lock, a full skeleton grinned back at him.

Newell immediately called his friend to ask where he got the thing from, but his friend couldn’t remember. A garage sale was his best guess. The police disagreed and found this story incredibly suspicious. Who would buy a large and heavy trunk at a garage sale and not open it for years? When they x-rayed the skeleton, they found a bullet in its head. The angle of the bullet suggested the person had been murdered as opposed to committing suicide.

All signs pointed towards Newell’s friend as the murderer. Later, when they found out the bullet was fired from a gun made in 1908 – well before the murder suspect was even born – then they knew it was not him. His name has since been withheld by police to protect his innocence. Still, no matter how hard authorities pressed him, Newell’s friend could not recall exactly when or where he bought the trunk.

He said he could have bought it in one of as many as three different states, and maybe as early as 1973. Police think that he knows more than he is letting on, but even though he probably knows who originally killed the man, they can’t pin anything on him. The case remains unresolved to this day.

13. “Dead and Rotting”
In 2006, London housing officials conducted a sweep on a shady apartment building where almost all of the tenants owed rent money. The building was also a haven for drug use and all sorts of other types of local crime. Just the other week, for example, someone was found dead in the elevator still holding onto a bag of alcohol.

They housing officials came across one apartment in particular that the residents said had been abandoned for years. When they took the door off the hinges and stepped inside for a look, they were surprised to find a skeleton rotting on the couch. All of the food and medication in the apartment had expired in 2003, meaning the person had been dead for around three years.

Some stuff didn’t make sense though, like how their television and electricity were still running, why they hadn’t been evicted for not paying rent in years, and why they were surrounded by unwrapped Christmas presents. The corpse was eventually identified by dental records as Joyce Carol Vincent, a loner who drifted in and out of people’s lives for years at a time.

As such, nobody noticed when she went missing and nobody reported her. Since the government paid for half of her housing, it looked like she was still making partial rent payments, and her electricity stayed on due to automatic  payments and a debt forgiveness system aimed at helping the poor.

Neighbors thought the constant rotting smell was coming from two nearby dumpsters outside, and nobody investigated any further until they noticed that she owed thousands in back rent. Joyce’s exact cause of death is unresolved. Her remains were too decomposed to tell for sure. Theories range from asthma to a stomach ulcer, but other people are convinced of murder. She was 38 when she died, and 41 when she was discovered.

12. “6 Feet ‘Down Under”
There was an Australian physicist named Dr. Gilbert Bogle who worked for the government doing research on lasers. On New Year’s Eve of 1962, Gilbert and his wife, Margaret, snuck out on a nearby riverbank together to have a little late-night fun. It was the last time they would ever be able to enjoy each other’s company again. The next day, both of them were found half naked and dead, covered in vomit and feces. At first it looked like they may have suffered from a poisoning, but an autopsy revealed no signs of foul play.

In fact, they couldn’t determine a cause of death at all. The scene made absolutely no sense at all to investigators. The best they could come up with is an invisible gas bubble came out of the polluted river and choked them to death. Still, this riverbank was a popular make-out spot. Why would these two be the only people to die? Since he was a researcher, many people think that the doctor was murdered due to his government connections. The laser that he was working on was reportedly later used to guide smart bombs in Vietnam. Both of their deaths remain completely unsolved.

11. “Don’t Shoot the Messenger”
In 1999, a woman driving along a stretch of Missouri [“Miz-zor-ree” (say “zor” like the first syllable of “Zorro”) highway spotted a dead body frying under the hot June sun. Using fingerprints, police found out the rotten body belonged to Ricky McCormick , a 41-year-old man who lived about 15 miles from where he was found. Finding a body by the side of the road usually means foul play, and Ricky’s case seemed no different.

For one, this forgotten mile had long been a popular spot to dispose of murder victims in the past. Two, his throat appeared to be slashed. What separates this from most murders, however, was what they found in his pocket. Ricky died with couple sheets of paper of him. These mysterious papers had over 30 lines of letters and numbers arranged in some sort of code.

For whatever reason, Ricky’s handwritten documents have sparked the interest of the FBI ever since. Yet try as they may, even their best men have been unable to crack the code. Investigators didn’t have to look hard to find a motive. There were plenty of reasons for the local population to want to kill Ricky. The man had been convicted for raping a minor, but he had only served less than a year in prison. Still, why would the FBI continue to care about the letters for so many years after his death? What important information could Ricky and his message be hiding, if anything at all? The FBI has since asked public’s help with cracking the code.



10. “Another Encrypted Demise”
Ricky McCormick was not the only man to die with a mysterious message on him. In December of 1948, a dead body washed ashore on the South Australian beach of Somerton , and his bizarre message has made him famous ever since. The unknown man was first seen by a jeweler named John Bain Lyons and his wife as they were going for a romantic walk. They noticed him laying against the sea wall, hardly moving. He was dressed nicely and seemed to be of no harm, so they decided not disturb him. It was not until the next day when John returned and saw the body still there that he knew something was wrong.

Investigators found no identification on the body and fingerprints turned up nothing. Stranger still, the man’s clothing tags had been carefully cut away. It was as if someone really didn’t want his identity to be discovered. They eventually tracked down his suitcase by searching every nearby hotel and laundromat, but it had no stickers on it and the label had been torn off. The only way they were able to determine that it had belonged to him in the first place was by matching a spool of orange thread found in the suitcase with an identical piece of orange thread that he had used to sew his pants.

The clothing inside of the suitcase had some labels on it – somebody with the first initial of “T” and a last name of “Keane” . Police would later determine that there was nobody by this name. The fake labels had been deliberately put there to throw them off track. Then they found a hidden pocket in the trousers that the man was wearing. Inside this pocket was a scrap of paper torn from an extremely rare collection of Persian poems.

Somebody had ripped two foreign words from the pages which roughly translated into a phrase meaning, “It is ended”. Sometime later, a person comes forward with a copy of the extremely rare Persian book. Missing from the book are the exact same two words that were found in the man’s pocket. On the reverse side of the page is a coded message. The case has taken a number of different twists since then, but ultimately nobody has been able to figure out the code means, who the man was or even how exactly he died.

9. “The House Visit”
In December of 1966, Don Gosnell was a meterman living in Coudersport, Pennsylvania. He let himself into the basement of an elderly man named John Irving Bentley to read his electric meter like usual. J. R. Bentley had been a family doctor for 25 years, but now he was a 92-year-old man who lived entirely on his own. He didn’t leave the house much ever since a hip replacement left him with problems moving around. As soon as Don let walked into the  basement, he knew something was not right. There a giant hole in the ceiling and the edges were still glowing red with heat. Smoke was everywhere. Something had blown up recently. The air smelled strangely sweet.

As Bentley went through the house to investigate, he came across the good doctor’s remains in the bathroom. All that was left was a burned lower leg next to 2-by-4-foot hole in the floor. The doctor’s foot was still inside of his slipper, his burnt bathrobe was still partially there, and his walker had fallen against the tub. The rest of him was completely missing.

When the fire marshal investigated, he didn’t know what to think. He knew that it would take 2,500 degrees of heat and several hours to disintegrate a body like that. So why then was the bathtub hardly burned, why were the rubber tips of the walker not melted, and why was the rest of the house completely fine? Nobody knows. Many people believe this was a case of spontaneous combustion , which is where a person literally blows up for no reason at all.

8. “The Unluckiest Irishman”
Dr. John Irving Bentley may be an early case of spontaneous combustion, but he is far from the last. In 2010, Michael Faherty made Irish history by similarly blowing the heck up for no reason at all. Michael was 76 years old when he was found dead at his house. According to investigators, he was lying on his back with his head next to an open fireplace. The fireplace was roaring with a fire that was determined to have somehow started from Michael’s body. His corpse was completely burnt and the ceiling and floor were burnt as well, which meant that at one point there was a huge flash of heat. Everything else in the home was fine.

The official cause of death was spontaneous combustion, the first verified case in the country’s long history. A lot of people have trouble believing this verdict, but they can offer no other explanation as to why Michael’s would be completely burned, yet the surrounding areas of his house still relatively intact.

Even though Michael’s death has an official-sounding name, the actual mechanisms behind spontaneous combustion are so little understood that at this point it’s little more than a working theory for now. A true case of instance of spontaneous combustion has never been witnessed or recorded in real time. Until then, all scientists have to work with is the grisly aftermath.

7. “Bewitched”
In 1991, a woman living in Fayetteville , North Carolina got a disturbing phone call from her old friend in Washington, a man named Christopher Case. Christopher was 35 years old and had recently moved to Seattle, but it didn’t sound like the move was going very well at all. In fact, he sounded to be on the verge of panic.

Chris explained how, of all the things that could have gone wrong, a witch had actually managed to put a curse on him. The witch had fallen in love with Chris at first, but he had refused her advances, so she put a curse on him instead. When Chris hung up the phone, his friend felt worried for him, so she called Seattle police and told them to check on his residence. When they got there, what they found was beyond strange.

Chris had crammed his house with candles and crucifixes everywhere. He had also poured salt all around the perimeter of his apartment walls. He was found dead with all of his clothes on in a bathtub that had no water in it. The official ruling of his death was heart failure, but nobody could tell exactly why. The supposed witch who cursed him has never been found.



6. “Nevermore”
Edgar Allen Poe died as mysteriously as any character did in his poems or short stories. He himself was found in the gutters of 1849 Baltimore, Maryland by a journalist named Joseph Walker. Poe told him to write to a magazine editor friend named Joseph Snodgrass because he had medical training and could help. While they waited for a response, Poe ranted and raved for days as his health got worse.

He was hallucinating and kept calling out for somebody named “Reynolds”. Four days later, he was dead. Medical examiners said the cause was brain swelling, and theories of his death range from alcohol abuse to a beating – even rabies. Nobody but Poe will ever know what truly happened.

5. “Hoffa Nice Day”
When something is lost forever, an older person might say that they “put it next to the body of Jimmy Hoffa”. But who exactly is this person, and why is their disappearance famous enough to get its very own euphemism? Jimmy Hoffa was in charge of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which was the largest workers’ union in the United States. In 1975, federal authorities learned that millions of dollars had gone missing from the Teamsters’ pension. Two weeks later, Hoffa went missing with it.

Jimmy Hoffa had a lot of enemies during his lifetime, including the entire Kennedy family. They had been going at it since the 1960s, ever since Robert Kennedy held monthly committee meetings to grill Hoffa on his union activities. When his brother, JFK, was assassinated, Jimmy Hoffa stood on a chair and clapped. Eventually, the many lawsuits against Hoffa got the best of him. He was found guilty by way of jury tampering and pension fraud.

He was eventually pardoned by Richard Nixon in 1971 for helping him win the election earlier. Nixon told him that he could not participate in any more union business, but Hoffa decided to assume his former position as head of the union anyway. He went to the parking lot of a restaurant one day to hold a meeting and never returned. To this day, absolutely nobody knows what happened to him.

 4. “The Secret Base of Death”
At first glance, the small town of Fernald , Ohio looks safe and unassuming, especially back in the early 1980s. Most of the town at that time worked at The Feed Materials Production Center, a nearby dog food processing plant that they thought was owned by the Purina Chow company. Little did they know, however, that the plant was involved in something much more dangerous than just making dog food.

Dave Bocks was one of the pipefitters who inspected and repaired various mechanical systems throughout the factory. He was a vital asset to the plant, so they let him in on a big secret – a secret so big, it most likely cost him his life. One morning, a technician noticed that his furnace was acting strange and had a foul odor. The plant workers didn’t think much of it until Dave Bocks failed to show up for an important meeting later.

This was totally unlike him, so when they checked their logs, they were surprised to find that the plant’s core temperature took a dip at around 5 in the morning, something that happens only when something large falls into the furnace – like a body. When they searched the furnace, they found a set of keys belonging to Dave Bocks. It looked like a simple accident to everyone, but this didn’t sit right with a worker named Harry Easterling.

He had watched as Dave put his keys on top of his workbox at the beginning of his shift. The keys remained there until at least 7 in the morning when Harry came back for his next shift the day after. So if Dave fell in the furnace at 5 in the morning, and the keys were found with his remains, then how did Harry see the same keys on top of the workbox a full two hours later? Unless someone had thrown Dave into the furnace at 5am and then chucked his keys in there a couple hours later.

But why would someone want to kill Dave? Well, it turns out that this no dog food processing plant, and Dave knew about it. They did happen to make some dog food, but that was just a cover-up for their real purpose. This was actually a nuclear weapons plant owned not by Purina, but rather by the government, and it had been leaking high levels of radiation into the environment ever since the 1950s. Dave’s mysterious death occurred only weeks before the scandal became public. Many people think that he was murdered before he could blow the whistle, but the official ruling is still an accident. Weirder still is that he died in a different area of the plant then he normally works at. What he was doing there and how he fell in is unresolved.

3. “India’s Deadliest Canal”
There’s a place in India where bodies have been constantly washing up for the past five years. The Bhakra Canal in India has a steady supply of dead bodies that get stranded on land and eaten by stray dogs. Nobody knows why all of these bodies are showing up, but many guess that they are farmers who have committed suicide.

Since the mid-1990s, it has been estimated that more than 250 million Indian farmers have killed themselves. Other explanations for the mass deaths could be family homicides and fatal accidents while using industrial farming equipment. Why they choose the Bhakra Canal as a dumping ground is anyone’s guess. Although government officials have pledged to identify as bodies as best as they can and give them a proper burial, nobody will truly know why the bodies are there to begin with.

2. “The Jack-and-Dive”
In 1971, a man boarded a plane heading for Seattle, Washington at the Portland International Airport. Once the plane was in the air, he gave the flight crew a note saying that he had a bomb in his briefcase, and that he wanted 200  thousand dollars along with some parachutes. His ticket identified himself as Dan Cooper, though this name is obviously a fake.

Somehow, his plan seemed to be working. The plane landed Seattle and Dan traded most of the hostages with the FBI for the parachutes and the cash. He ordered the plane to take off again, and then he actually used one of the parachutes to skydive out of the plane with all of the money.

The FBI decided that he most likely died somewhere over the woods of the state of Washington and have written this case off ever since. At one point, they were even sure that they had found his skull. However, nine years later, in 1980, a little boy found $5,800 buried by the Columbia River in Washington. The serial numbers of the bills are the same as the money that the FBI gave to the hijacker. Apparently somebody had found the money and buried it. Could it have been Dan Cooper?

1. “Sliced and Crashed”
In 2003, a 54-year-old man named Philip Michael Shue fatally ran his car off of a Texas roadway into a tree. He had just bought a new home and drank coffee in bed with his wife that morning. Two hours later, he was dead. Aside from the expected head trauma, examiners found that his camo fatigues had been ripped wide open. There was a large gash in his abdomen that was made with a sharp instrument, and his pinky finger along was removed along with both nipples. None of these missing body parts were ever recovered from the scene. Duct tape was on both of his wrists and on his boots, too.

Over the course of three years leading up to his death, Philip Shue had been receiving letters that threatened his life. He also decided to update his will only five days before he died. Still, the medical examiners decided to rule this death as a suicide. They offer no explanation as to how Philip could have gone from calmly drinking coffee with his wife to mutilating himself and crashing into a tree on the same day.


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