Famous Murder Mysteries

Throughout history, the public has found themselves enraptured by the macabre and titillated by the terrible. The following are just a selection of unsolved murder mysteries, that still create a lot of interest to this day.

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
— Friedrich Nietzsche

Jack the Ripper

Victorian London’s most celebrated maniac, Jack the Ripper roamed the streets of Whitechapel in the late nineteenth century, butchering prostitutes. He was never caught or identified, and reports even differ on how many victims lost their lives to the Ripper; he may have had between four and eight victims. There have been countless theories and suspects, from royalty to children’s authors, but the truth remains a mystery. Follow this link for a huge wealth of information about Jack the Ripper.

The Axeman of New Orleans

Another unsolved series of grisly murders were carried out by the Axeman of New Orleans. This man plagued New Orleans in the early part of the 20th century. His Modus Operandi was to enter his victims bedrooms and savage them with... you guessed it, an axe! A letter received by newspapers reportedly from the Axeman gave a time and a date for his next murder, but said he would spare the occupants of any place where jazz music was playing. On that night jazz was played throughout New Orleans, in dance halls and private homes. Nobody died that night. The Axeman’s reign of terror stopped as abruptly as it started, and no conclusive suspects have ever been named.

The Zodiac Killer

A puzzle-loving maniac, the Zodiac Killer operated in Northern California in the 1960s and 1970s. He knocked up seven confirmed victims (and claimed another 30). Zodiac didn’t care much for complicated killing, simply shooting his victims in the head. He entertained himself by sending a series of taunting cryptograms and ciphers to the local press. To this day only one cipher has been cracked and the identity of the killer is still unknown.

The Black Dahlia Murder

The Black Dahlia was the nickname given to Elizabeth Short, the victim of a terrible murder in Los Angeles in 1947. She was mutilated and her body was cut in half, before being drained of blood and then left on a vacant lot. Over 50 people have ‘confessed’ to the crime over the years, due to the sensation it became in the press. However, the real killer has never been caught.

The St Valentine’s Day Massacre

A notorious mob hit on 14th February 1929, the St Valentine’s Day Massacre saw Al Capone’s men kill seven associates from the North Side Gang. The seven were lined against the inside wall of a garage and sprayed liberally with the contents of two machine guns. Two of the gunmen were dressed as police officers, and they led the others out at gunpoint, making initial witnesses believe the matter had been taken care of. One man, Frank Gusenberg, survived just long enough to be questioned by police. Before he died he was asked who had pulled the trigger. Despite his 14 bullet wounds he replied “Nobody shot me".