The FBI is pretty good at solving most cases. That is why if you search the FBI website for open and unsolved cases, there really are not that many. At least not many whose information the FBI releases to the public. Scouring through the government archives, The Richest has found 15 cases direct from the FBI Vaults that remain unsolved. Some border on the insane, while others are just scary.
With shows about these types of cases, we can use this medium to inspire the crack detective in all of us and perhaps give the government a hand in solving these crimes. There are a couple in particular on this list that will have conspiracy theorists and fans of secret messages all a flutter. Upon reading this list one thing comes to mind for many of the institutional victims. Invest in modern technology such as modern video cameras, it saves lives and money. It also goes to show that VHS was so bad, that even NASA isn’t good enough to clear up some of those images.
15. UFO Sightings And The Guy Hottel Memo
Technically this one is solved in the eyes of the FBI, but not in the eyes of the public for good reason. The memo was written by Guy Hottel, the head of the Washington D.C field office in 1950, the year that the document above was written. Reading the first paragraph, one can be completely stunned at the facts stated. It clearly states that an Air Force investigator found three flying saucers that had been recovered in New Mexico, each containing three small three foot tall aliens covered in metallic suits. How can one dispute that fact by reading that first paragraph alone?
The last paragraph is probably the most shocking, as it states that no further evaluation was attempted concerning this claim. What does that mean? Apparently the FBI has a reasonable explanation. Four months after this document, director Hoover himself at the request of the Air Force, ordered all agents to stop investigating UFO claims. This leads many today to believe that the FBI did not think too much of this report. Maybe they heard it all before and just didn’t care. But the memo clearly states that the intel came from the Air Force itself! The same department that stopped all flying saucer investigations. The FBI however, interprets this intel as second-hand if not third-hand info and as such, insignificant. This sure does nothing to stop even the least skeptical conspiracy theorist.
The document has been available for public viewing since the 1970s and re-released a few years ago. It’s the most popular document the FBI has and has been viewed by millions. Keep in mind that this is not related to the Roswell documents from 1947, three years earlier. Those documents are also available to the public.
14. How To Walk Out With $300 Million In Art And Not Get Caught
Ever see the Thomas Crown Affair about a bored millionaire playboy who amuses himself by stealing artwork? The original movie with Steve McQueen, was set in Boston, and it was in Boston where in real-life, one of the biggest art heists in U.S history occurred in 1990. According to the FBI an estimated $300 million in art, about 13 pieces in all, was stolen on St. Patrick’s Day, by two unknown men that the FBI still can’t find.
The plan was simple. Two men dressed as police officers waited until 1:00 in the morning, in their cars for the St. Patrick’s Day crowd to disperse. At 1:24 on March 18th, one of the crooks dressed as an officer, buzzed the museum door asking to be let in claiming that there was a disturbance in the courtyard, and that as a police officer, he needed to attend to. The lone security guard at the door buzzed the fake officers in. At the time there were two security guards patrolling the museum, one of whom was making his rounds. Once in the museum, the fake police officers asked the security guard to step aside from his police buzzer and to provide ID. At this point the crooked officers asked the guard to turn around and promptly arrested and handcuffed him. It took a while for the security guard to realize that this was a hoax. Long enough for the crooks to handcuff the second security guard once he returned from his rounds.
Motion detectors tracked the thieves’ movements for the entire 86 minute raid. Which begs the question: where were the cameras? They did exist at the time. Alarms did go off but the art thieves smashed them in time before the police could come. Eventually the crooks fled with the stolen artwork in their red Dodge Daytona. The FBI did have suspects, both of whom were connected to organized crime syndicates. However, both these suspects died before anything could happen. As such the case still remains open today with neither the fugitives nor the artwork found. The only thing the FBI has discovered so far is the fact that the artwork was sold some 10 years later. If you can help the FBI on this one, there is a $5 million reward waiting for you.
13. Police Officer Shot And No One Cared In Corrupt Small Town
Most cop murders get solved for the obvious reason. You just can’t kill a police officer, it becomes the number one priority for any investigation. Maywood, Illinois, is a Chicago Suburb, therefore the manpower to solve this case was definitely there, yet no one has found the killer. According to the FBI in 2006, Maywood police officer Wood, was shot by an unknown subject (or subjects) while sitting in his police vehicle on October 23rd. The officer was on duty in a marked patrol SUV, accompanied by his K-9 partner in the backseat. The assailants shot him multiple times in the chest. Wood would not survive as the 37 year old police officer later died from his wounds. His K-9 partner was not injured.
Maywood was a rather violent small town with a notoriously corrupt police force. As a result, many were not surprised that the killer did not turn up. So in 2011, investigative journalists Dane Placko and Robert Herguth, embarked on a nine-month fact-finding mission. These journalists came up with interesting theories, none of which panned out, but they also wrote a scathing article in Chicago Magazine a year later, detailing excessive incompetence and corruption by the Maywood police force that led to the bungling of this case. It is now 10 years later and the FBI still has no clue.
12. Master Of Disguises Gets Away With Murdering A Police Chief
This case is not necessarily unsolved. The criminal is a known entity, he is just nowhere to be found. The FBI still can’t find him 36 years after the brutal murder of a police chief in a tiny western Pennsylvania town. A burglar by nature, specializing in jewelry stores, Donald Eugene Webb went to jail several times for his crimes. The last time he was arrested was in 1979 for a series of house burglaries in Albany, NY. He posted the $35,000 bail the judge set. Free from jail, this time around he did not return for his court date, deciding to flee and hide. The FBI described this career criminal as a master of disguise and identity, thus allowing him to evade police until December 4th, 1980, when he got stopped for a simple traffic violation in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania (a small village of under 2000 people near Pittsburgh). The officer that stopped him was 31 year old police chief Gregory B. Adams. For some reason the officer was not wearing his vest, and took one bullet from Donald Eugene Webb. The officer fought back only to be pistol-whipped with his own gun by the criminal, sustaining several injuries to his head and face, and eventually dying. The master criminal, now 85 years old and probably dead, has never been found.
11. Three Separate Cold Case Homicides From The 70s Finally Linked
Pascagoula is a small town with roughly 20,000 people in Mississippi. It is not, however, the safest small town in the state and 40 years ago, three separate women paid the price. Janie Sanders, a teenager, was abducted by a man while walking home from school. Debra Gunter, a young woman herself was taken while she was working at a convenience store, and Clara Turk was taken on a street not far from where Sanders was abducted. Sanders’ body was found dumped in the woods. She died within an hour after being abducted. No one thought that these murders were related at the time.
For four decades the homicides remained unsolved. Earlier this year, police managed to find a link between the three murders. The link is unspecified but police are searching for the El Camino seen above.
10. Prison Break
This is a case of the justice system just plain screwing up. It does happen from time to time. The place was Suwanee, Georgia, and the year was 1974. The career cat burglar abducted a local teacher along with his younger friend Anthony Prevatte. The two men drove the teacher to the woods, made him walk barefoot in the woods towards the edge of a lake where they shot and instantly killed the man with a shotgun. Some time later, police found his hideout in North Carolina, the state where he committed most of his crimes. William and his partner were hiding in a car parked on the driveway. Upon seeing the police, they drove away. A high speed chase ensued, and shots were fired by both parties and in true Hollywood fashion, the chase ended with the killers rolling their car in a ditch.
Here is where the story goes wrong. William was initially sentenced to death, but was later sent to a minimum security location where he worked on a farm. One of his chores was to refuel a pickup truck which he did consistently, until one fateful day in 1984 when he just decided to drive off with the truck, never to be found again. The FBI suspects that he may be in West Virginia. So if you live there, look out for a tall and very skinny man in his 70s.
9. Times Square Bombing
A bomb straight from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq was detonated in front of an Army Recruiting Station in Times Square. No one was wounded but the implications of such an attack are far reaching for obvious reasons. The bomber was seen fleeing on a blue bike that was later recovered on 38th street. The suspect was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and pants of an unknown color. The picture you see above is all the FBI has to go on.
What is scarier was that this was the third such bombing in New York City within a three-year period; The British consulate was bombed in 2005, and the Mexican consulate in 2007. All of these bombs were delivered by a man on a bicycle and all of them were set off at roughly 3:00 in the morning. None of these bombings have been solved.
8. 16 Year Old Girl Murdered 10 Years Ago In Phoenix
In a horrific story for any parent, a young girl’s body was found in a shallow grave near a pond in 2006. A search in and near the pond was conducted in unison with the White Mountain Apache Tribal Police. Not a single shred of evidence was found in the initial search that led to the capture of the killer. That is to say until two months ago when police finally found new evidence (as yet undisclosed) that may lead to the killer. This prompted a complete all out search of the pond in question some 10 years after the initial one. Sometimes you just can’t give up.
7. The Only Person To Hijack A Plane Without Being Caught
There was a two-decade period where almost every other month a plane was being hijacked by one terrorist group (or madman) somewhere in this world. The madness came to an end for probably one reason; everyone who tried this got killed or got caught, except for one man, 41 year old American D.B Cooper. On November 24th, 1971, Cooper purchased a one-way ticket from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. Upon sitting in his seat on the plane, the seemingly quiet Cooper ordered a bourbon and soda. A short time later when the plane was finally airborne, he handed the stewardess a note indicating that he had a bomb and asked her to sit down with him. The note asked for $200,000 and parachutes.
When the plane landed Cooper got what he wanted in exchange for 36 passengers. He kept a few crew members and ordered the plane to Mexico. Five hours after the initial hijacking, somewhere around Reno, Nevada, he did the unthinkable: he jumped out of the plane with the parachute. The pilots landed safely but no one knows what happened to the hijacker.
The FBI investigated 800 suspects. D.B Cooper was not necessarily his real name. All were exonerated of the crime. Many speculate that the hijacker died on impact because he wasn’t dressed appropriately for this jump, nor did he have the experience to land properly. Another key piece of evidence appeared when a young boy found $5600 from the ransom money near that area. However, no body or parachute was found at the scene. Cooper would be 86 years old today, so he may already be dead from old age, but no one really knows.
6. A Hit And Run Gone Mad
Even Hollywood or any soap opera couldn’t script a better series of plot twists and depravity than this story. Following the plot is going to be a nightmare. It all started in 1990, when a hit and run driver killed 21 year old Tonya Hughes in Oklahoma City. Tonya Hughes was not actually her real name. She was someone else entirely and it took decades to figure that one out. But wait, there’s more.
Tonya had a son named Michael and a husband named Clarence Hughes, who claimed to be Michael’s father. But Clarence was actually Franklin Delano Floyd, a federal fugitive from Georgia who was wanted since 1973, and Michael was not his son. So Clarence (aka Franklin) immediately gave up the child to children’s services and then disappeared hoping the police would not discover who he was.
Floyd eventually got caught and served a 3 year sentence for his crimes in 1973. Upon leaving prison, he was determined to get back custody of the kid, even though testing revealed that it wasn’t his. So he kidnapped the then 6-year old. Authorities later found Floyd and jailed him for the kidnapping of the child. The child was not with him at the time and Floyd would not say where the child was.
During the kidnapping investigation, authorities discovered a tape showing a young woman who appeared bound and beaten. That woman’s remains were later found and Floyd was charged for her murder. The woman had been killed in 1989, prior to the beginning of this mess. The subsequent murder investigation also showed that Tonya Hughes, the child’s mother, was also kidnapped by Floyd around 1975. He paraded Tonya around as his daughter before eventually marrying her. Tonya’s real name was revealed as Suzanne Marie Sevakis. In 2013 Floyd admitted to murdering the 6 year old child on the same day he kidnapped him. A decade earlier, Floyd had been sentenced to death and probably felt it was a good time to confess. God knows who else Floyd killed or kidnapped, as authorities are waiting for more confessions. As of today, Floyd still lives on at the age of 73.
5. Crypt Analysis
What is it about crimes with secret messages that excite so many people? This case received such an outpouring of public response that the government dedicated its own webpage to this one for public comments.
On June 30th, 1999, 41 year old Ricky McCormick was found dead, dumped in a field, in St-Louis, Missouri. In his pocket were two encrypted notes, which investigators believe give clues about his death. The notes were most likely written by the victim himself as he was known to write such cryptic messages as a child. Even agents from fancy sounding organizations, such as the Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), and the American Cryptogram Association could not crack the code. These two organizations themselves are asking for help from the public. Too bad his family did not keep any of them or even understand any of them, as having some basis for code is essential to cracking it. No reward is offered for this one, just a challenge.
4. Two Teenage Girls Found Unclothed And Strangled In Ohio
In 1994, two young girls were found in Alliance, Ohio. The first body discovered was that of 17 year old Kathryn Menendez. She was found near the Berlin reservoir, strangled to death and unclothed. Her body was found four days after she was declared missing. Eerily enough, two months later, police found another dead girl at the same reservoir in this small Ohio Town. This second young female was not identified until 2003, when DNA testing revealed her identity as 14 year old Sarah Rae Boehm. Sarah lived two hours away in neighboring Pennsylvania at the time. Despite the fact that the two murders seem connected, investigators are not so sure. Nevertheless they do not know enough to close the case some 22 years later.
3. Customer Pays For Soda, Shoots Store Clerk For No Reason
Cozad, Nebraska, is a small highway pitstop-type of town along interstate 80. On March 10, 1997, it became known for a bizarre crime. At around 10:30 a.m. that day, a white male filled up a red Pontiac Grand Am with gasoline, before entering the Amoco Convenience Store. The subject then purchased a soda. The surveillance camera then tells us what happens next. The gas station clerk placed the soda in a bag before going to the floor. The clerk was then shot three times, once in the back of the head and twice in the arm. All three shots were from a semi-automatic 9mm firearm. The killer then walked back to his car. Surveillance cameras clearly show the car, although the license plate number and everything else seems blurry. Despite the video, the killer remains unknown and remains at large.
2. New Hampshire Man Kidnaps His Sons And Neither Him Nor His Sons Are Ever Seen Again
Custody battles are frequent and heartbreaking. What Charles Martin Vosseler did in 1987 was not out of the ordinary. He lost a custody battle and instead of obeying the law, he kidnapped his kids. However this man had everything well planned out, because unlike everyone else before and after him, he succeeded. The man disappeared without a trace and even his two sons, aged 2 and 4 at the time, have never been found. His two children were named William and Charles. The FBI is offering $25,000 for information leading to the arrest of a man with ties to 5 states; Oklahoma, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Florida.
1. The Wild West Returns As Man Robs Bank, Kills Three Workers And Disappears With All The Money
In 2003, the Blue Ridge Savings Bank in Greer, South Carolina, experienced an old school bank robbery that turned deadly. The three victims included the bank teller and two elderly female clients who just happened to arrive 3 minutes before the killer. The alarm sounded immediately, and within one minute the police were dispatched. Police are used to false alarms and expected no more out of this one. They came quickly, but not quickly enough, as they found 3 dead bodies in the back of the bank, shot to death with the same .40-caliber Glock. Realizing that the killer wasn’t too far away, the crime scene was secured. But by then the killer was gone. The crook left with little money, suggesting that he got too scared and ran away quickly.
An hour later the police found a surveillance video from a nearby store. The grainy surveillance video showed the killer getting away in a red car. The video quality was so poor that even NASA could only narrow the make of the car to a couple of models, possibly an Oldsmobile Alero. Which begs the question: doesn’t the bank have a surveillance video? In 2003, VHS was gone and DVDs were in, couldn’t someone invest in some decent cameras?! Regardless, the killer remains unknown.