Mysterious Cold Cases From Small Towns As Told By Locals.
Small towns are usually knowns as being extremely safe, to the point that locals keep their doors unlocked. Any random act of violence belongs to big cities. However, there are many unsolved mysteries in small towns that still haunts them to this day.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
My wife's grandmother went missing from her ranch home in Snowflake AZ. There were no signs of struggle, her bowl of cereal was half eaten and nothing was missing from the house. She was a widow and very close to her family and lived on over 10 acres. Her car was at the house.
She was a mail lady and a lot of people speculate that she saw something she wasn't supposed to on her route to a bad area of town with a lot of meth addicts but no one knows. No leads, no nothing.
It's a very rural, mormon town so it was a big mystery and a huge deal, yet, nothing. It's been over 15 years now. The hardest part for my wife and her family is that there's never been any closure.
I think probably no one will ever know.
Someone once stole thousands of dollars worth of quilts from our local craft shop. Later that week there was a report on tv and all those old ladies that made those quilts were crying. The quilts showed up in boxes, unharmed, down the road in a ditch. No one knows who did it, but as a true Canadian, they sure did feel bad about it.
A little boy's body was found at the bottom of a ravine, a few miles away from where he was last seen. Cops ruled it an accident.
The thing is, everyone knows it was murder. Our town is so small that we don't have a forensics lab or anything, so the crime scene photos were printed at Walmart after shutting down the lab. They'd been seen by the technicians and there were several pictures of a bloody rock and this kids body. It was obvious he had been murdered.
The Gunter Hotel. Room 636. 1960's. Maid walks in despite the Do Not Disturb sign on door handle. The guest was passed their checkout time. Opens the door to Walter A. Emerick, standing beside the bed tying a blood soaked bed sheet. He puts his finger to his lips and tells her to "shhh" as she begins to scream. He runs off into the night with the bloody sack. He hides the evidence in an unknown location. Cops find him checked into a hotel down the street and knock on his door. A gun shot goes off and the cops find him in bed with gun shot wound in the head. They found blonde hair in the room where the murder took place, a cigar with lipstick and meat stuffed into the drain of the bath tub. They dont know who he killed, or where he hid the body.
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My friend Bethany and her mother went missing about 17 years ago. I'm about 99.9% sure the mom's boyfriend did it, but no one can prove it. He's out living his life, working as a mechanic and my friend is dead at 15. Life is so unfair sometimes.
I grew up in a small town of about 2,500. When I was a Sophomore in high school someone broke into the school one night and planted a bunch of pipe bombs. A couple of them actually went off and burned the gym and several classrooms down. They searched the school and found the other unexploded bombs.
This happened in the 1980's. They never caught who did it. Most people believe it was a student at the school which means there is a very good chance one of my fellow classmates is still out there, an arsonist, who got away with it.
There used to be an urban legend that was proven true, too. Rumor had it that there was a train locomotive from the old timber days in the lake. Apparently, there used to be a train bridge and it collapsed and dumped the train in the lake. People used to argue over whether or not it was really there, then the Navy or the Coast Guard (I forget which) decided to use our lake to test some new sonar or radar or something and confirmed that yep, there is in fact a train in the lake. That one was an unsolved mystery for decades, though.
So there's been a few, all relatively recently.
A few years ago, a local police officer was murdered around 3 am on a local highway while trying to clear a branch out of the road. Then a few months later, a teacher and her teenage daughter were murdered in their home. Then about two years ago, a mother went missing and no one has seen her since. They found her car abandoned on the highway with all her stuff in it. Her boyfriend is a suspect and his brother, who is a cop, had to resign after he was accused of trying to help cover it up. Still, they haven't proved anything yet and no one has been charged. Then the missing women's father was shot while hunting and they're not sure who did it.
There have been rumors about who's responsible but nobody is sure. The town has gone terribly bad over the last decade or so which is one of the reasons my family and I don't live there anymore. So much drugs and it's destroying lives.
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My town allegedly had a UFO crash in the area before Roswell. There was apparently a pastor brought in to give last rites to the victims of the crash who claimed to have seen everything. Definitely our best local legend.
This guy literally lived 2 houses down from my best friend and a few blocks from my aunt. I have seen him in his yard a few times and he always seemed like a nice guy. He would always wave to me and asked how my day went. Imagine my shock when I saw his face on TV convicted as the longest running serial killer in the state of California. I feel fortunate to never have anything happen to me or my friend, as we fit his victim profile being young AA females.
In May 1985 he picked up an 8 year old girl named Rima Traxler (he was a close friend of her family.) She was actually walking down the street past where my house is today. Anyway he picked her up because he figured out her mom's "password" for her, and she was never seen again. Her case remained "unsolved" per se, until 1997 when Joseph was charged with another murder and abduction of another little girl, and he confessed to killing Rima. He was sentenced to 55 years and it's mysterious and unsolved mainly because her body was never, ever found. He even told them presumably where he buried her but they never located her body...it's been 32 years at this point and her body still hasn't been found...the case eventually went cold and Kondro died in prison in 2012.
Small town resident here. Population of 1,008.
There's a spot in town where the railroad runs under one of the main roads at about a 45 angle. Its about 150 yards long and when its day time, its pretty well lit. There's a decent amount of homes near either tunnel entrance and we have a train every 18 minutes (on average).
At some point, during the day and in between neighbors living their lives and trains flowing through the tunnel, someone dumped 22 dismembered animal remains on the tracks. All of them in black trash bags. All of them clearly experimented on by someone who was curious (and in serious need of help). The FBI even took notice.
Its obvious that at one point during that afternoon, a serial killer in the making was in that tunnel with his very first victims. It's very unsettling and a lot of people said some very hurtful things in their fear.
Nothing came of it. But its been 2 years and people haven't forgotten the train tunnel.
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Someone robbed the bank and no one knows who did it, or how it was done but all they took was gold and quarters (most likely thinking it was gold). they got about $500 in quarters and $12,000 in gold (sold in little over priced flakes in a card).
They were there, then they weren't. Security camera went offline and was back on in under a minute. In that time someone walked past the security guard, past employees, into the manager's office, opened the safe, took the cards and a bag of quarters (cards are more novelties sold as a souvenir), left, all without being noticed. It's been 6 years now and nothing ever came up. So either all the employees are covering for someone, it's a ghost, or it's a ninja
There's a big white plantation style house near me, which is odd because I live in the Midwest. History shows that Al Capone once had ties to it and when the property was dredged at one point, human remains were found. Because we're near to Chicago and because it's river ground, the rumors are always that it was a dumping ground to the mob. The mystery, then, is who owns the house today. When we were in high school, it was always a dare to get as far up the driveway as you could before the security lights and a guy with a flashlight would come out. I recently ran by it and it's still pretty ominous. Old, classically styled, doesn't fit at all with the area. Seems well maintained although no one seems to really live there — so who does? The mob? Al Capone's ghost?
Formerly lived in Bloomington, IN during the time Lauren Spierer disappeared. Her face was posted everywhere and I couldn't go out without seeing a poster. There was even one posted inside my complex. An underage girl in a college party town drinking at a popular bar just disappears. She left her phone and shoes in the bar. She was intoxicated, short and blonde, weighting like 100lbs, walking alone in the middle of the night. She had a heart condition as well so they were worried about that. They even had her on camera and it didn't help. My coworkers and I would speculate what happened to her. I saw her dad in McDonalds one time asking to put up more posters. There's even a website dedicated to her called Find Lauren. They never did and it's been 6 years.
I'm from Salem, Indiana. There was a roughly ~16 foot python released at one of our little lakes around 9 years ago. I saw it twice over the course of that summer (I was a young man in high school looking for adventure and I searched for it). It was so gorgeous but I was always afraid to get in the water where I saw it at. I was hoping I'd find it on or near land and be able to capture it and get it taken somewhere it wouldn't freeze when winter hit. I unfortunately failed.
Nobody knew where it came from but there were stories in the paper and pictures for weeks. Somebody probably just got tired of their pet that was big enough to be eating whole roosters. I still feel bad such a pretty animal was just thrown away.
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In the 80s, my uncle shared a car with his wife, who worked one town over. She would always call him before she left work at night and then drive the 10-15 minutes home. After half an hour, she still hadn't made it home so he called the convenience store where she worked, and they said she had already left. He waited another half hour and she still wasn't home.
Finally, he borrowed a friend's car to go look for her. He found her car down by the river with the front door wide open and his wife nowhere in sight. He immediately went to a nearby gas station and called the police.
They found her body the next day six miles away from her car. My uncle had an alibi, and was never a suspect. They never found out who killed her, but they still look at her case every now and then. A lot of the evidence from the case was destroyed in Hurricane Rita, though, so they don't have much to work with.
A local teenager who disappeared out of his high school one morning in a little Colorado town. Just arrived at school, a friend saw him at his locker, he said something like he'd be right there in class. That's the last anyone ever saw of Roger again and more than 30 years have gone by with no answers. If you read the articles or study the case you'll see it's not that Roger was a runaway either. Just one minute he was there in his life, the next gone. I grew up in the town. I'd moved two years before Roger's disappearance, but didn't hear about the case until I was an adult.
There's actually a movie that was made about these unsolved disappearance/murder cases in my hometown, it's called "Confluence" and I'm sure you can find it on the internet somewhere.
So back in the early 80's, these two girls went out in the evening to go to a gas station and on their way they passed our local community theater, which is this giant Gothic-looking building and people say this thing is haunted. They go down a large hill just past the theatre, and were never seen again.
A guy who liked to practice his clarinet at this theatre after work also went missing sometime in the early 80s.
Around this time, a young girl (maybe 12?) went missing when she was walking back to her house from the county fair.
None of these disappearances have ever been solved, but there was one guy who was connected to all of them. I think he was a janitor at the theatre for a while. Police questioned him, but they were never able to get enough proof to arrest him. He ended up moving away from my hometown and lives somewhere on the East Coast now.
Kennebunk, Maine USA
On July 7, 1978, 18-year-old Mary Ellen Tanner crossed the Mousam River Bridge in Kennebunk, Maine, headed toward home after a summer day of fun. The three friends who saw her on the bridge were the last people to see her alive except for the person who killed her. Marys body was found the following Sunday, miles from the bridge, near a grass airstrip known as Gracie Evans Field, a place so remote only locals knew where it was.
Thirty-seven years later, the murder unsolved, Mary Tanners friends and loved ones still grieve over the death of a remarkable young woman whose smile and laughter and love of life brought joy to everyone she encountered.
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In December 2009 the entire Powell family (Susan, her husband Josh, and their two boys) were reported missing after Susan failed to show up for work and the boys weren't dropped off at daycare. Josh and the boys showed up and claimed that they went camping while Susan took a nap and when they came home she was gone.
Except that the oldest son said Susan had gone with them, and hadn't come back. His teacher reported that he drew a picture of a van with three people in it and said "mommy is in the trunk."
Josh immediately moved out of state. Later his brother killed himself and his father was found to have collected 4,500 pictures of Susan that he had taken without her knowledge.
In 2012 Josh killed the two boys with a hatchet and then blew up his house. In 2013 a hand-written will from Susan was found stating: "If I die, it may not be an accident, even if it looks like one.
Two little girls named Lyric and Elizabeth went missing in the town where I grew up. They were cousins just out riding their bikes. They ended up finding the bodies a few months after the initial search (went missing in the summer, found the bodies that winter) in a local wooded area that hunters regularly went through.
If I remember correctly, the dad of one of them is serving jail time for their murder. It's believed that he was heavy into drugs and owed some very bad people a lot of money. The poor girls paid the price for their family member's selfishness.
I'm from a reasonable-sized town in the UK, and back in 2011/2012 someone in our town won the Lotto Jackpot; I think it must've been around 20 million. Nobody claimed the prize, so the Lotto company looked up where the winning ticket had been printed/sold, and it was somewhere in our town. For the next few weeks, there were signs all over the town's shopping centre and in supermarkets with the winning numbers, saying things like "Do you have this ticket?". Local news also ran a small segment every couple of days where they would update on the search for the jackpot winner. Eventually, the deadline for claiming the prize passed and so nobody ended up 20m richer, so it remains unsolved to this day.
However, on the news one day during this whole fiasco they interviewed a lady with a small toddler who said that she thinks she recognises the numbers from a lucky dip ticket she bought the same week as the winning draw, but her child accidentally got hold of it and ate it. She said she had no proof of purchase so couldn't retroactively claim it and was about 50% sure that the numbers matched... so there's a good chance her baby ate 20m.
13 years ago yesterday, my local unsolved mystery began. One of my sisters friends vanished without a trace. He was hanging out with them in the afternoon, and decided to walk home about 4:00pm. He cut through the woods, and never came out. The wooded area is only about 1.5sq/mi, surrounded by major roads and businesses. He was a high school senior, had a good family life, many friends, future ahead of him. Searches have found nothing, no remains, no sightings. Accounts untouched, nothing that he would have taken if he wanted to leave was gone. At this point, those of us that remember him just want to know what happened.