More Murder Mysteries Waiting for an Answer

0

Did you really think that we were done with murder mysteries? This is not a well that will run dry anytime soon, so today we examine a few more creepy cases from the past where the killer has never been caught.

8. The Happy Valley Murder

When Josslyn Hay was born in 1901, he already seemed set for life. As the oldest son of British diplomat and Earl of Erroll Victor Hay, he stood to inherit his father’s title and follow him into a successful career in politics. However, Josslyn Hay caused a scandal in his early 20s, when he married Lady Idina Sackville, a woman who was older than him and twice divorced. Looking to escape the prudish and judgmental nature of England, the two of them moved to Kenya, where they became part of a group of wealthy expats known as the Happy Valley set, who developed a reputation for parties, booze, and promiscuity. 

Hay divorced Sackville in 1930, but he married again that same year and his second wife passed away in 1939. The following year, Hay began a new relationship with Lady Diana Broughton, but there was something different this time – she was married to Sir Jock Delves Broughton.

The affair was quite public so, unsurprisingly, the husband found out about it. Allegedly, he tried to convince his wife to leave together to Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, but Diana refused because she was head-over-heels in love with Hay. Then, on the night of January 24, 1941, Josslyn Hay was found slumped over in his car, dead from a single bullet wound to the head.

Obviously, everyone thought that Sir Jock Broughton was the killer. He was arrested and charged but his lawyers pointed out during the trial that nothing directly connected Broughton to the crime and that there were other people who may have wanted Hay dead, including a former lover with a history of violence. Broughton was acquitted due to lack of evidence, but he committed suicide a year later. In the minds of many, he still remains the most obvious suspect, although the murder of the Earl of Erroll remains officially unsolved.

7. Death at Lintz Green

For almost a hundred years, Lintz Green was a station on the Derwent Valley Railway in County Durham, England. It closed down in 1963 but still remains notorious due to the unsolved murder of its stationmaster which occurred in 1911.

His name was Joseph Wilson and he was a 60-year-old man who lived just a stone’s throw away from the station. At first, the night of October 7, 1911, seemed to be just like any other. Only three people were at the Lintz Green station: Wilson, a clerk named Fred White, and the porter, John Routledge. They were all waiting for the last train of the day from Newcastle, which arrived at 10:42 p.m. Routledge got on, while four other men, all local miners, got off the train and started making their way home. 

The stationmaster also set off for home, leaving Fred White behind to lock up the office. There were no lampposts so the night was pitch black and, in the darkness, White heard a gunshot. Then, he heard Joseph Wilson’s daughter, Bertha, scream out that her father had been shot. White rushed to the scene, as did the four miners, who heard the loud noise and came running from the opposite direction. One of them tried performing first aid on Wilson, but it was no use. The stationmaster was dead.

The following day, the investigation was in full swing. Wilson didn’t seem to have an enemy in the world so the motive had to be robbery. A lot of people knew that he always carried the day’s takings with him at night in a leather pouch. Except that he didn’t do it on that day. For some reason, he took the money home an hour earlier.

The case turned into one of the biggest investigations in the north of England. Police questioned hundreds of people until they arrived at Samuel Atkinson, a 25-year-old relief porter at Lintz Green. They liked him for the crime, and three of the miners claimed they saw him hang around the station late that night.

Atkinson was arrested but, the day of his appearance at the Assize Court, the chief constable claimed there was no evidence against the porter and made the shocking request that Atkinson be discharged. The case was dismissed and the investigation was stopped. Why exactly this happened has never been established.

6. The Hemlock Valley Killings

In 1995, three women were killed in the Canadian province of British Columbia under almost identical circumstances. They were all around 30 years old, with a history of drugs and prostitution, and could usually be found looking for johns in the Downtown Eastside neighborhood of Vancouver. All three had been found beaten to death and dumped in the wooded areas of Hemlock Valley.

The police had no doubt that this was the work of a serial killer. They even had a really solid suspect named Ronald McCauley. He had been released on parole in 1994 after serving time for rape but was arrested again in September 1995, after taking a prostitute to Hemlock Valley and beating her senseless. She survived the attack, however, and was able to ID him, which got him locked up for attempted murder.

Given the nature of McCauley’s crimes, he became the prime suspect in the Hemlock Valley murders, which took place while he was on the loose. However, no definitive links were found and, since McCauley was already in prison and wouldn’t be getting out anytime soon, police moved on to other suspects. 

Over the years, notorious killers such as Gary Ridgway and Robert Pickton were put forward as possible culprits, without any definitive conclusions. Then, in 2001, it looked like there could be a break in the case due to advances in criminal technology. The killer had left DNA behind. It was deemed unusable during the 90s, but things were different in 2001. The samples were checked again and they yielded conclusive, but surprising results: Ronald McCauley was not the killer. DNA evidence cleared him and, although he spent the rest of his life in jail for other crimes, these three murders remained unsolved.

5. The Murder of the Second Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale, also known as the Lady with the Lamp, is often hailed as the most famous nurse in history for her work during the Crimean War. Following the war, in 1865, she became godmother to a second cousin who was named Florence Nightingale Shore in her honor.

Like her famous godmother, Shore also became a nurse and was decorated for her service during World War I. She survived the horrors of war only to meet a violent end shortly after returning to England. On January 12, 1920, the 55-year-old Florence Nightingale Shore left London aboard the 3:20 p.m. train to Hastings. Just a few hours later, she was in the hospital fighting for her life, a fight which she lost a few days later.


So how did she end up like that? Her friend, Mabel Rogers, had accompanied Shore to the station to wave her off. She said that as soon as she got up to leave the train, a man entered the carriage where Nightingale was sitting. The two of them were alone for one stop, after which the man got off. At the next stop, three workmen boarded the train and entered the carriage, but they left Shore alone as she was sitting in a dark corner with what appeared to be a veil covering her face and they thought she was sleeping. It was only a while later that they realized that the “veil” was, in fact, a crimson mask of blood that had covered Shore’s face after being clubbed in the head repeatedly. She was taken to the hospital in Hastings but, as we said, she died a few days later.

Obviously, the stranger who was alone with Nightingale was the prime suspect, but identifying him proved tricky. Police thought they had a strong candidate when they arrested William Ernest Clements for a separate crime. He fit the description and had a revolver with human blood on it, which could have been the weapon used to bludgeon Shore. However, neither Mabel Rogers nor the train conductor were able to positively ID him, so police eventually released him and they never found another strong suspect.

4. A Murder Mystery from Outer Space

We move on now to Zigmund Adamski, a Yorkshire coal miner whose death is so strange and mysterious that people have blamed it on aliens.

On June 6, 1980, the 56-year-old Adamski left his home in Tingley to do some shopping and nobody ever saw him alive again. His wife feared that he may have been kidnapped, but his body was found five days later, laying on top of a 10-foot high pile of coal in a coal yard about 20 miles from his home.

That’s when things got weird. Zigmund had severe burn marks on his back, neck, and shoulders, which had been covered with some kind of ointment that forensic scientists could not identify. His watch and wallet were missing, which is pretty normal, but so was his shirt, even though he was still wearing his suit which had been improperly fastened over his body. His hair had been cropped short and he only had a day-old beard stubble, even though he’d been missing for five days. 

The authorities were baffled by the circumstances of Zigmund Adamski’s death, so people soon started looking for a paranormal explanation. Obviously, the most sensible solution was that Adamski died after being abducted by a UFO by mistake. Well, maybe “sensible” is the wrong word to use here, but more plausible explanations have been few and far between.

3. Death of a Governor

George Burrington was an early 18th-century politician who served as Governor of North Carolina back when it was still a British colony. He was named governor twice and each time he was removed from office due to his recalcitrant, confrontational, and, at times, even violent behavior. 

Burrington was an angry man who did not hesitate to throw insults and threats at any person he disliked, which included almost everyone. It’s not really a surprise, then, that by the end of his political career, he had managed to alienate pretty much every person around him. At one point in 1736, he even claimed to have uncovered a plot by three provincial officials to assassinate him. 

Burrington’s allegation was never investigated, but it would be pretty fair to say that the man had a lot of enemies. Therefore, when he was murdered in 1759, nobody was really surprised. His death, however, was labeled a robbery-gone-wrong. While struggling with his attacker, Burrington was overpowered and thrown into the canal. His murder was never solved and his assailant was never identified.

2. The Chrissie Venn Tragedy

Next up is a harrowing murder mystery from Australia, where the victim was a 13-year-old girl named Chrissie Venn who disappeared after leaving her home in the village of North Motton in Tasmania, on February 20, 1921. Once people realized that Chrissie was missing, they conducted an extensive search, but it wasn’t until March 1 that her body was found hidden inside a tree stump.

Suspicions soon fell on a local laborer named George William King based mainly on some scratch marks that he had on his arms at the time of the murder. He was eventually arrested and his trial began in August. Fortunately for King, he was defended by one of the best lawyers in the country: Albert Ogilvie, who went on to serve as Premier of Tasmania. Ogilvie succeeded in destroying the case against his client by showing that the evidence was unreliable and speculative, while the investigation had been handled with incompetence by the police and the local coroner. Specifically, he argued that the police ignored multiple leads once they made their minds up that King was the killer, while the coroner mishandled several pieces of evidence.

The jury found George King not guilty. His acquittal was followed by several resignations from the investigators, but no other arrests were ever made in the murder case.

1. A Killer at Gorse Hall

For hundreds of years, Gorse Hall stood as one of the most impressive manors in the Greater Manchester area of England. Only ruins remain today, as the house was demolished during the early 20th-century, following the murder of its owner, George Harry Storrs.

A successful mill owner, Storrs was one of the wealthiest men in the county. Then, for reasons known only to himself, in late 1909 he started fearing for his life. On September 10, he reported to the police that a stranger had fired shots through his window. The police investigated and couldn’t find any traces of gunshots. They concluded that Storrs probably made the whole thing up but, since he was a very prominent and influential man, they decided to start patrolling the estate anyway, just in case. As another security measure, they also installed a giant bell on the roof, which could be heard over long distances.  

But perhaps Storrs did have something to fear, after all, because an armed stranger showed up at Gorse Hall on November 1. He got into a fight with Storrs, who prompted his wife to go ring the bell. This attracted the attention of two constables who rushed to Gorse Hall but, by the time they reached the scene of the crime, they found George Harry Storrs lying in a pool of blood, having been stabbed 15 times. 

Two men were charged with the murder separately, but both were acquitted. One was a cousin named Cornelius Howard and the other was a local man named Mark Wilde. But if Storrs feared either of these men, why would he not just tell the police? Why would he fake an attack on himself? 

People speculate that Storrs wanted police protection without actually saying why because he feared a scandal. There were rumors that Storrs had an affair with the governess of a friend named Maria Hohl. She committed suicide in 1907, possibly after getting pregnant, so could it be that Storrs’s murder was revenge by somebody close to her?


Other Articles you Might Like
Liked it? Take a second to support Toptenz.net on Patreon!

Leave A Reply

sixteen − five =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.