Listen, I love Unsolved Mysteries as much as the next person, but let’s be honest – it can be totally frustrating that we never really know what happened (even if we’re sure we know what happened).
I love other true crime shows just as much, the ones that wrap it all up in the last five minutes and let us know that the perpetrator is safely behind bars – and so do these 15 Redditors, who are dying (heh) to share their favorite real-life mysteries with you!
15. You just feel like some people are unlucky.
The case of Jacob Wetterling.
He was and 11 year old boy abducted near his home in 1989. Him and his friends had gone to a local video store and were on their way home when a man stopped them and forced Jacob to leave with him at gunpoint. He forced the others to turn and run and threatened them that they would be shot if they didn’t.
For almost 30 years the case went unsolved. His friends and his brother grew up feeling the guilt of not being able to stop the abductor. His parents and family had no closure as they had no idea where he was taken, or who had taken him. But they held out hope for all those years that maybe he was still alive. A local man had even been falsely accused of abducting him.
Sadly, his remains were found in 2016. About 30 miles from where he was abducted. Investigators were able to find the man responsible, and he confessed to the crime. He had assaulted Jacob and killed him on the same night he was abducted.
It’s a tragic story and there are a lot more details. Thankfully detectives never gave up on this case and they were able to solve it after all those years.
14. It’s just water? Whoa.
That one where the rocks moved in the dessert leaving an eerie trail.
Some guy put a camera on the area for like two years and discovered that when there is a thin layer of water with ice on it, the wind will move the ice as it starts to melt and so moving the rocks.
13. Well that was a mystery that obviously needed solving.
The mysterious In-N-Out burger found on the street in New York City, apparently still warm (In-N-Out is a hamburger chain only found on the west coast).
The person who bought this cheeseburger responded to the post with the explanation: they had bought lots of cheeseburgers prior to boarding their San Diego to NYC flight and lost one after their arrival while boarding a bus.
12. It’s just the sound of our doom.
“The Bloop”. For years science was baffled, not having a good explanation. Some supposed it may be an as of yet undiscovered creature, but the magnitude of the sound itself was such that if it were produced by an animal, it would be larger than even a blue whale, by a wide margin.
A few years back we recorded the sound again, along with solid seismological data. Turns out the famous “bloop” was the sound of a large piece of the Antarctic ice shelf cracking and falling into the ocean.
11. One final finger to the public. I like it.
Al Capone’s vault is the most hilarious solved mystery. A renovation team found the vault and some underground tunnels under his hotel over 50 years after his arrest. Geraldo Rivera hosted a huge 2-hour live grand reveal of the opening of the vault which they hope would contain a huge fortune. 30 million people watched the live spectacle. The vault was finally opened and……….there was nothing there.
10. It was nice to find him, I guess.
For years it was speculated about King Richard III’s appearance. Due to many different historical perspectives on him as a King some believed he had a hump back of sorts and others believed this stuff was added when the historical rhetoric was added as he became less favorable.
A few years ago they discovered his skeleton buried under a carpark in Leicester. They determined they he actually probably had scoliosis and likely did have a hump of sorts.
My favourite part about the discovery was the presence of a woman who was part of some Richard III group that adamantly denied the appearance he was described who then realises the truth and is very disappointed.
9. There are probably still sea monsters though.
Giant squids. I remember when they were a myth like the loch ness monster or bigfoot then boom discovered. Kid me was like whaaaaat
8. You never really know a person.
Lori Erica Ruff. This guy in Texas married a woman he met in bible study, had a child with her, and then she started showing signs of mental illness. They divorce and she commits suicide in 2010. She left a suicide note that was incomprehensible and full of random phrases and references.
When her ex was going through her stuff, he found a birth certificate with the name Becky Sue Turner on it, who was a 2 year old girl who died in a house fire in WA in the 70s. Lori had stolen Becky’s identity and used it to get her name changed to Lori Erica Kennedy. There were no clues whatsoever as to who she was before she acquired the false identity and her backstory remained a mystery for years.
A few years later she was identified by matching her daughter’s DNA to a distant relative in Pennsylvania. It turns out Lori’s real name was Kimberly McLean, and she’d left her home in PA in 1986 as she didn’t get along with her mom and stepdad.
I was really fascinated with this one when it was still unsolved, and I found the actual answer a bit anticlimactic. It was clear from everything she’d left that something was wrong with her, and it really gave me the creeps.
7. There are usually reasonable explanations. Usually.
In a Chinese science discovery type show, they went to investigate reports of a old haunted house where an alleged murder happened year ago. People say the light in the house would flicker on and off, no animals can be found near it, and any dogs/cats brought over would run away, very agitated.
Turns out the electrical cable connected to the house was damaged, so the light flickers. And the ground near the house became electrified, mildly shocking animals coming close. The people had shoes on so they never noticed.
6. Totally freaked you out in real time, though.
Those flying “rods” in the background of cave diving videos.
People in the 80s and 90s would go cave diving or sky diving and film it, and in the background would be all these foot-long, flappy, rod-shaped creatures that no one would see until they were caught on film. People thought they were inter-dimensional creatures that would slip into our dimension occasionally. Some studied the shape of these things in wind turbines to understand how they fly. I think there was even a hieroglyph found of the creature from ancient Egypt.
It turns out the frame rate of the shitty handheld cameras from that day made birds and bugs get caught in multiple frames at the same time, and so they looked like long rods with wings.
5. Missing groups and missing ships. Excellent fodder.
The voyage of HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, who in 1845 embarked on a journey around Canada to locate the Northwest Passage with the backing of the royal navy. The voyage was expected to take 2 years, but by 1850 it was suspected something had gone very wrong, as the last sighting of the ships had been as they entered baffin bay 5 years earlier, and all the search parties could find were some lonely graves, and a cairn with a scrawled message. It was only with analysis from the graves, some old testimonies about contact with local Inuit groups, and the discovery of the remains of the crew in the 1990s and the wrecks in 2016, that the full story could be pieced together.
Essentially the ships’ arctic modifications and stocks had been ill thought out for the voyage, and the cheap canned food the crew relied on had led them to contract lead poisoning and scurvy, but with no alternatives and being locked in ice for months at a time, they had no escape. The illnesses were compounded by the lack of alternative food sources in the harsh environment and diseases which crippled the already weakened crews. The poisoning (and associated hallucinations) combined with the deteriorating mental health of the crew created a living nightmare.
After the officer in charge died, the surviving crews abandoned ship and tried to cross the barren Arctic towards a known settlement in Canada, with everyone involved falling and dying en route. The bodies that were found were very well preserved, and contemporary Inuit testimonies corroborated the story. It made for a good horror series, even if there weren’t any supernatural polar bears involved in reality
4. Well now I definitely need to know who was behind it and WHY.
The search for “Cracks (a.k.a Crack Master),” the lost Sesame Street short that scared many children in the 70’s. For most of the 2000s, this short only seemed to exist in the collective subconscious of the kids who saw it and remained scarred as adults by it. No trace of it could seemingly be found for years.
Around 2008, someone involved in the search for Cracks recieved a mysterious email containing a video of the short, along with the explicit instructions to not release the file to the public. Later, in 2012, the head admin of the Lost Media Wiki recieved a similar email, but this one came without any specific instructions. He uploaded the short to YouTube immediately after, ending the long hunt.
People are still working on finding out which people were responsible for Cracks’ creation. So far, they’ve managed to track down the woman who narrated the short, but have been unable to turn up any leads.
3. Never give up hope, I guess.
The identity of Orange Socks, a famous old unidentifed murder victim. Her remains were recovered from beside an overpass, nude except for a pair of orange socks. Her story was particularly heart-wrenching and efforts were made for decades to identify the remains to give this woman her name back.
Well, just last year or the year before, she was identified as Brenda Jackson; if I recall correctly of Abilene, TX but I could have the geography wrong.
2. Not knowing would definitely be worse.
Australian teen who went missing without a trace from a bus station in 2003 around christmas time. Even though it turned he was molested and murdered and buried in the bush I’m just so glad the family has closure and never has to sit around another day thinking of where he is and what happened to him
1. It’s hard to even imagine that reality.
The escape of Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight in Cleveland in 2013. They were kidnapped and held captive for ten years.
True crime is my jam, y’all.
Tell me your favorite true crime shows, podcasts, books, whatever in the comments!