26 True Crime Fans On The Unsolved Mystery That Haunts Them (And Their Pet Theory)
1. Fort Worth Missing Trio
The case of the Fort Worth Missing Trio has always stuck with me.
To try and summarize, on December 23, 1974, three girls from three different families, 17-year-old Rachel Trlica, 14-year-old Renee Wilson, and 9-year-old Julie Moseley, all went to a crowded mall, the Seminary South Shopping Center, to help Rachel do some last minute Christmas shopping. However, they never came back, and nearly fifty years later the families still have no answers and not a trace of the girls has been found.
Looking at all the evidence, and listening to the families’ accounts and testimonies and opinions, I believe that the girls were most likely killed by someone that Rachel Trlica knew and was familiar with/trusted. The other two girls, Renee Wilson and Julie Moseley, were collateral damage and had to be eliminated as witnesses.Bjnboy
2. Far Fetched Theories
The disappearance of Bryce Laspisa. A big part of the reason why it sticks with me is because I don’t really have a theory. Almost every theory in this case feels far fetched. He is one of few missing people who I believe may still be alive. This write up about the case is really fantastic for anyone who isn’t familiar.
3. Many Unanswered Questions
Bryce Laspisa is my sticky case too. I saw the episode of Disappeared on the case, and I’ve never been able to forget it. My theory is mainly centred around Bryce having a mental health crisis, perhaps exacerbated by his use of ADHD medicine – I remember reading some insight from someone on here who took the same medication, and what it was like to miss doses or stop taking it cold turkey (something you should never do, kids). I’m convinced he was going through something big, perhaps addiction or sexuality or his troubles at school, his mental health was in freefall, perhaps he had something undiagnosed too, but made so much worse by the ADHD meds or else other drugs.
What always bugged me though, and I think it’s mentioned in the comments of the case write up, is the behaviour of Bryce’s parents. Namely his mother. Watching the Disappeared episode was my first introduction to the case, so I didn’t have any pre-existing biases, and something about her manner and actions on that night, and in the interviews for the episode, seemed odd to me. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, and I know people cope with trauma in very different ways, but to repeatedly hear her son was acting so strangely, sitting alone in the car in the same place for hours and hours, and the mother not getting up and driving out to him? Yes it was a few hours away, and yes eventually it was the middle of the night, but I’ve seen many comments from parents saying they would have driven out there immediately, let alone when it was clear something was wrong. His mother’s complete refusal to even entertain the idea that Bryce needed help with drugs or alcohol, or had any mental health problems, set off alarm bells for me. IIRC on the Disappeared episode, she says she’d rather believe he was dead, than that he disappeared deliberately due to mental health or drug problems. I thought that was an incredibly strange and sinister thing to say, and the idea that Bryce was really struggling with something big, and that his parents didn’t understand or try to support him, has never left me. Why did he enrol in a community college so far from home? Why did his parents deny his substance problems? Why is the only identifying information he had in the car left in the middle of the road, before the car ends up in the lake?
I don’t know what it is, but Bryce haunts me. I tend to believe he found his way to live amongst California’s transient and unhoused communities, and perhaps succumbed to his mental health or addiction problems, one of millions of faceless people, forgotten by society. He’s on my mind often.sheparrrd
4. Her Disappearance Slipped Through the Cracks
The cases about kids always get to me, for personal reasons. JonBenet Ramsey, for one, but her case is well-known and argued about all over the internet.
But this sweet little girl named Relisha Rudd is another that sticks with me. Her last-seen date was around my birthday, so that’s probably another reason.
She fell through the cracks, being poor, black, and homeless. It took her school reporting her missing to get any movement. She hadn’t attended since February, and though they had received a doctors note that didn’t check out, from a non-existent “Dr Tatum,” they didn’t call to report her missing until March 20!
Kahlil Tatum, the janitor at the shelter where they were living, is the only suspect that I know of. He was well known to be “inappropriate” with kids and other residents, so why on earth did the mother let that little girl sleep over at his house?? Apparently he took her to things like Disney on Ice, but at what cost??
There’s been theories about her parent(s) selling her to or letting the janitor pimp her out. His wife was found dead by a gunshot wound right after Relisha was reported missing, and he was seen buying large trash bags, lime, and a shovel. He was found dead by the same gun, suicide. I think the police tore up his living space (house?) and what they could of the park he was found in. I assume they did.
Basically the people that were supposed to protect her, failed her. I try really hard not to victim blame, but everything I’ve read makes me think the mom was not that much a victim in this.
Poor baby. Never been found.pisceschick
5. Bear Brook Murders
The Bear Brook State Park Murders.
Basics are here:
I’m fairly local, and have followed the case for years. It’s fascinating and infuriating that the barrel with the first two victims was found in 1985, but the second wasn’t found until 2000–considering that they were only about 100 feet apart and apparently dumped at the same time. But everything about the case is wild. There were four unidentified victims (one woman and three little girls), and a perpetrator using one of many aliases (later identified as Terry Rasmussen) who turned out to be responsible for at least one more murder and a kidnapping in other states. Genetic genealogy helped to determine that three of the four victims were related to each other, while the fourth was the daughter of the killer. A librarian managed to identify the three related victims with online research. And we still don’t know the identity or maternal relatives of the last victim (though it sounds like they’re making headway there through genetic genealogy).
A few years ago, a family member of mine hiked with a friend out to the location behind Bear Brook. There were other barrels dumped back there. Now, I don’t think they were related; it’s a popular dump site for exactly that sort of thing—which is a reason why Rasmussen may have dumped his barrels there. But it was eerie nonetheless, considering that a barrel was missed once before.
I went to the memorial service for Marlyse Honeychurch and Marie Vaughn (two of the three related victims) in November 2019. It was amazing to see how many people turned out for the service of a mother and daughter who’d been murdered almost 40 years before and remained unidentified for nearly all of that time.
I hope they identify the last little girl soon.wiggles105
6. Family Murder/Suicide
The disappearance (murder) of Susan Cox-Powell and her husband’s suicide/murder of their two children in front of their caseworker. They have never found her body, first of all. And second, I just think of that poor caseworker outside of that house on the phone to the oblivious 911 operator trying to explain why Josh slamming the door in her face is SO BAD and them not getting it and then seeing the house go up in flames and knowing there’s nothing she can do. I almost have secondary trauma from hearing the recordings. I really hope she got therapy.polish432b
7. Pregnant Women Murdered
Celina Mays. She was a 12 yr old girl from New Jersey. She was 9 months pregnant when she vanished. I just have so many questions about this one! Like how the hell did a 12 yr old get pregnant? Who was the dad? If someone killed her to cover up the pregnancy, why wait till she is practically due?
My only guess is something went wrong during birth. Mom and baby died. Her family was religious and involved in a weird church Church covered it up. That’s all I got.
The Dardeen family murders. The pregnant wife was brutally beaten until she went into labor and succumbed to her injuries. Then the newborn baby girl was beaten. Then the two yr old son. Then! The husband was taken to a field, had his dick chopped off before also being murdered. I think they had one suspect but otherwise nada. Case is still unsolved.
I got nothing here.KnifexCalledxLust
8. Dardeen Family
The Dardeen Family is the one that sticks with me, mainly because of the brutality of the attack, but, also, the thought of that pos roaming around free. There is no way, imo, that perpetrator didn’t commit other crimes before and after. Also, how can such a violent crime scene have no physical evidence left behind by the perpetrator? No fingerprints? No bloody footprint? No skin cells? No hair? No DNA at all from this monster?theemmyk
9. Science Fair Disappearance
Kyron Horman. 7 year old boy goes to the school science fair with his step mother, and after the fair is over he goes back to his classroom to continue the school day. When Kyon’s parents went to go pick him up from the bus after school, they were informed that he never got on the bus and was actually marked absent from school that day. He has never been seen since.
Everyone has their theories on what happened to him, and most people think that his step mother Terri had something to do with Kyron’s disappearance. I 100% believe that Terri is innocent. I think the police department halted the investigation by focusing seemingly all of their energy on her and not following any other leads.
I think that with the chaos of the science fair that day (the school was open for parents and family members to walk around the science fair to look at the children’s projects) that someone came into the school and took Kyron. Its either that or that Kyron wandered off into the woods behind the school, got lost, and died. This case most likely has a very simple explanation, although it’s very strange that no one seems to know anything and how this 7 year old seemingly vanished out of existence in the middle of a school day is just mind boggling.xandrenia
10. Case Dropped Because of Being Blind
She was 31, been blind since 13, vision impaired her whole life. She was found under a bridge in a fenced off area and investigators just left it at “oh shes blind, it’s like being blindfolded”. Ignored that she was and had always been an extremely independent person, lived on her own and knew how to get around all by herself and I believe had just finished or was about to finish her masters
One of the first notes they took was “find her full time carer”. They didnt listen to her family, the blind community, her mobility specialist who teaches vision impaired people to get around the city.
My husband is 31, blind, studying his masters currently. It sticks with me for so many reasons but it hits so close to home.SnowPaw850
11. The Delphi Murders
Delphi murders definitely drive me crazy. I am nowhere near Delphi (I am not even in the US) but I check the sub dedicated to it almost every day hoping to see improvements. It just drives me crazy that there is seemingly so much info but in reality we have none. I also do not have any solid theory besides believing that someone local did that (but i guess i believe in it just because it gives me hope that it will be solved sooner or later. if it was a drifter we may never see justice)antipleasure
12. The Short Family Murders
The Short family murders, because it happened close to me. I was a kid at the time and the day it happened I remember hearing in the news about the parents being shot, the phone lines being cut, and the daughter being abducted. I thought it’d be solved fairly quickly and by the time they found the daughter’s body they had a suspect(Bowman), but he was cleared eventually. It was in the back of my mind until a few years later when there was news of serious corruption in the police department and there were rumors about that having something to do with why the case wasn’t solved.
There really aren’t a lot of details available to the public, but the theory I keep going back to is just some predator who took notice of Jennifer, scoped out the family/home, and killed the parents so they could get away with Jennifer. Though was it just someone in the area temporarily or was there a local behind it all? Maybe someone was hired to kill the parents and kidnap Jennifer? The fact that they cut the phone lines, managed to shoot both parents in their sleep, and abduct Jennifer without ever being caught shows that they were either very skilled or very lucky. If not a local, maybe just some creep passing through the area (they lived right on hwy 220 so very visible to a lot of travelers) and saw the opportunity.eirii
13. Denying Any Involvement
Mine is Morgan Martin(17F) of Saint Petersburg, FL in the summer of 2012. She was a pregnant teenager excited to have her baby girl and after her midterm ultrasound went to speak to the reluctant father of her unborn baby Jacobee Flowers the night she disappeared. She walked out her front door leaving her personal possessions behind and was never seen or heard from again. He was later charged with her murder but Morgan and her unborn daughter Ja’Leah were never located or heard from again. Her cell phone’s last ping was over 30 miles away before the signal was lost. Flowers denies being the father or any involvement with Morgan or her disappearance. Investigations revealed he had trips in the middle of the night to his job at kfc and a fire there, the sunshine skyway bridge and text messages where he begged her to get rid of the pregnancy but she was keeping it and was going to charge child support. Flowers didn’t want another child with the 3 he already had and didn’t want his girlfriend to find out he was in bed with her, a minor, much less pregnant with his baby. This was enough for investigators to bring those homicide charges. Nothing else has been mentioned about this case since 2019, but I check back frequently for more updates.
I think he took their lives and he dumped her somewhere in southwest Florida.tlclonely25
14. Baby Skylar
There’s so, incredibly little known, but the Baby Skylar Doe case. In 2005, a newborn was found that had been deceased for a few hours in a trash can in the busiest terminal of Sky Harbor airport in Arizona. The baby died of exposure. They call her baby Skylar.
They used phenotyping to make an image of what the mother may have looked like, but not much else has been released. I just find it so sad and also mysterious since that part of the airport is so busy.
Also, we had Safe Haven laws at that point, so it’s beyond me why it happened. Just very tragic and I’d love to know the “why,” even if there isn’t a good reason. I’m not entirely sure why this one sticks with me so much compared to some other cases, but it does.midwestskies16
15. Disney Cruise Disappearance
I used to think about the Rebecca Coriam disappearance a lot.
She was a young woman in her 20’s who disappeared from her job as a Disney Cruise employee while the ship was at sea. She had been seen on a cctv talking on the phone in the very early morning and wearing clothes that didn’t belong to her, then heading to another deck to sit alone and think, as she often did. Disney claims not to have video of that private employee pool where she was headed, but it’s speculated that she either committed suicide of was swept overboard by rough ways. There was also some conjecture over a pair of sandals that the company insisted were hers and her family said they weren’t her “style”. The family seemed adamant that she was totally happy and not at all depressed.
Then a couple years ago this article came out in some magazine that might have been a bit trashy, I can’t remember, and it was an interview with Rebecca’s good friend from the ship. The article described how Rebecca had been struggling with her sexuality and had participated in group sex that she might have regretted, was definitely depressed and abusing substances, etc. The oversize clothes were a man’s from the night before. The phone call was to her best friend at like 3am, right after the group sex.
Long story short, it gave all the answers and made a lot of sense. I googled it a lot after the article came out but nothing ever happened. I see a lot of sites still list her as missing and make no mention of the article at all, as if it’s not considered credible. Very strange.
16. So Many Theories
The case of Joan Risch will always stick with me. There are plenty of theories, and the problem is that all of them are seemingly equally viable and not viable at the same time. Planned disappearance, hired illegal abortion gone wrong, personal abortion gone wrong, mental break, and a few others.
If there was anything I could go back in time and see what actually happened, this would be it because it sticks with me so vividly.InsaneLeader13
17. Missing Children Cases
Leigh Occhi disappeared during Hurricane Andrew, with a significant amount of still-wet blood found by her mother when she returned from work to check on her daughter; a few months after her disappearance, her eyeglasses were mailed to her ex-stepfather. I feel that an adult who had attended her thirteenth birthday party a few days earlier, perhaps an acquaintance of her mother or the parent of one of Leigh’s friends, was responsible for her disappearance and likely death.
Four-year-old Joan Gay Croft was abducted from Woodward Hospital, where she and her sister were taking shelter from the 1947 Glazier–Higgins–Woodward F5 tornadoes. According to her sister, two men abducted Joan, claiming that they were taking her to a hospital in Oklahoma city. My personal theory is that she was chosen at random (as opposed to being targeted), murdered, and likely buried or hidden in an area of either Texas or Kansas that had also been affected by tornadoes.
Half of Italian-American immigrants George and Jennie Sodder’s children went missing on Christmas Eve around the time that their home caught or was set on fire. Many speculate that the fire could have completely destroyed the children’s bodies, while some believe that the fire was arson and the children were abducted. I lean toward the latter, although I don’t necessarily feel that whatever fate befell the children had much to do with the Sodder patriarch’s outspoken anti-fascist opinions.
18. 80-Year-Olds Murdered
The Lake Oconee (Georgia) murders of Russell and Shirley Dermond. The 7 year anniversary is coming up and no one has a clue what happened. This is one case that truly boggles the mind. The couple was invited to a Derby party but never showed up. When the neighbors went to check, they found Russell decapitated in the garage. Someone had shoved towels against the garage door to prevent blood from seeping out. Shirley was nowhere to be found. Her body surfaced in the lake two weeks later after breaking free from the weights used to submerge it. She’d been beaten to death. Both of them were in their late 80’s and their three children have been ruled out as suspects. Their estate was to be divided equally between kids so there was no real financial benefit. The cameras at the subdivision entrance did not work and no one saw a thing. The house was on the lake so the suspects likely used a boat to get in/out. We know a boat was used to dump Shirley’s body. Also, the sheriff refused to let the GBI assist on the investigation. It’s still one big mystery.T-MoGoodie
19. Never Made It Home From the Pub
The disappearance of Helena Andersson in Mariestad (Sweden) in june of 1992. She was on her way home from a pub, about 10-15 minutes walk home and she never made it. A blood stained shoe (with her blood, the stains were round as if the blood had dripped straight down on the shoes from her mouth or nose while she was bent slightly forward) and some accessories were found a few minutes walk from her home and she with all certainty knew her abductors (possibly a jealousy motive) well-an ex boyfriend of her sister among others were suspects. It was relatively close from where I live and she was only 3 yrs older than me so it always stuck to me through the years. Her body is-considering the location from where she went missing- likely hidden in lake Vänern(which is large and very deep). It’s frustrating to know her murderers are now middle aged and likely pretty well established in society.SnooCats3478
20. The Disappearance Of Judy Smith
The case of Judy Smith keeps me awake pondering at night.
She goes to Philly for her husband’s conference. Is seen at the hotel with her husband and then possibly acting strange around town. Then she disappears.
Months later, a skeletonized body is found in the woods 600 miles away. It is identified as Judy via dental records. She’s determined to have been stabbed, and was wearing hiking clothes and had no ID.
Apparently the area where the body was found was on a steep hill, and it would have been very difficult to carry a body there, especially by her reportedly overweight husband. So to this day it’s still unclear how Judy got there, and who killed her, or if it was even her in the first place.
I personally think this might be a case of mistaken identity. Something did happen to Judy, but I doubt that the body found in the middle of the woods in a different state was her.cerberus_cat
21. Back Roads Hitchhiking
Amber Tuccaro. Her case is so gut wrenching and shows how first nations and Indigenous people are treated like literal garbage by the police and government. Amber was failed and I just hope her family gets the justice they deserve. She just wanted to see the city for the first time with her child.
Amber was a first nations women who disappeared outside of Edmonton, Alberta. She was attempting to hitchhike into Edmonton by herself after flying there for a trip with her friend and child. When she entered the car of the man who is suspected of murdering her and in the car, she makes a phone call to her brother who was in prison at the time. You can hear her asking over and over again where they were going and why they were going on dirt roads. The man tells her not to worry and they are taking the “back roads” into the city. The phone call cuts off when she says the word “gravel” and I assume her cell service cut out. It is chilling and after I heard it for the first time I just sobbed. I grew up rural on a reservation and sometimes hitchhiking is the only way you can get somewhere and to think this could’ve happened to my sisters, mother, aunties, cousins. It hits home HARD.
When the phone call was aired on the local news, the community (mostly women) called in and instantly knew who the man in the phone call was. However, the police refuse to look into him. The most frustrating part is Amber was found not that far away from his ranch and there have been other women in the same area who were found murdered too. This man even has a website set up by someone who he abused and there are dozens of people who have posted on the website about how nasty, abusive, and invasive this man is. He runs a ranch and would “hire” mostly women to come and work for him, but he would sexually abuse them. Hence why the website exists: to warn other women about him.
I believe this man in the phone call is the one who murdered her and because she’s a first nations woman, the police don’t care enough to look into the case. If anything, to the police she’s just another statistic in the dozens of murdered and missing Indigenous women database.ausodevon
22. Paper Delivery Boy Missing
The Disappearance of Johnny Gosch.
I read in an interview someone said something along the lines of “if it had happened now, social media would have reported his disappearance all over so fast we could have found him” It just made me realize how helpless his poor parents must have felt.
he went missing between like 430 -530 am . Who the hell is up at that hour ? Let alone up to kidnap a 12 year old ? Did they stalk him? Even if they did , he normally had his dad with him to deliver papers so that doesn’t fit .
his mom had a lot of claims over the years that he had been kidnapped and sold into sex trafficking and even wrote a book about it. I don’t know if I believe the sex trafficking claim. Especially as he grew up he would be less valuable to them and his mom claims he visited her as an adult but still couldn’t come home? I just don’t know. An innocent 12 year old goes out to deliver papers and then … bam down the rabbit hole of who knows what. 😩esoterisch
23. From Philly to the woods in North Carolina
The murder of Judy Smith what the heck happened there??!
A short summary:
Judy Smith and her husband traveled to Philadelphia for a work conferense. Judy disappeared from the hotel while her husband was out, and there were several assumed sightings of her around philly, but they still could not locate her.
Later her decomposed body was found in the woods of North Carolina (close to Ashville), along with belongings she did not disappear with. It appeared as she had been stabbed.
No one knows why (or if) she left Philly on her own, how she ended up in NC and was murdered. What was the motive? Did she know her killer? Why would the killer leave all these items with her body (money and expensive sunglasses were found buried next to her). This case has so many layers of which i understand none of.sofbup
24. The Oakland County Child Killer Case
The Oakland County Child Killer is a case that won’t stop haunting me since I listened to Don’t Talk to Strangers. In addition to the incredibly tragic circumstances, the possible connections to powerful people shakes me, especially because it’s likely it may never get solved. It also seems to be a part of a much larger story. I listened to the Clown and the Candyman and some of the theories, especially the ones where a lot of these pedophiles are interlinked seemed plausible to me.
I also feel like this case doesn’t get as much coverage as one would expect.
My theories though are that more than one person was involved, but the main killer was probably the son of a high ranking GM employee. His death was ruled a suicide, I think, but there are a lot of weird circumstances surrounding his death. His death is one of the many reasons why I feel like this case may never see closure.bebacterial
25. The Boy in the Box
The boy in the box case always haunted me. I don’t have much original theory abt it tho. I personally believe that someone brought this boy as a slave or something and abused him to the point of death. And then they abandoned they body of the poor boy. I really really wish whoever did this will pay for their sin but this case is pretty old…the murderer might be already dead.SummerJinkx
26. No-Show at Work
The disappearance of Jennifer Kesse in Florida. All the evidence shows she got ready and left for work in the morning as per usual, but never showed up. Her car was missing from her driveway and later found abandoned in front of an apartment complex. What makes this case so infuriatingly frustrating is that a person of interest is seen parking her car and walking away, all caught on security camera footage that captures a photo every three seconds. Sadly the person’s face is obstructed by a fence post in every. single. still shot.
There was lots of construction being done at Jennifer’s own apartment complex and lots of workers on site who had been catcalling/verbally harassing Jennifer and making her feel unsafe. I suspect she fell victim to foul play by someone who was watching her and became familiar with her schedule/routine, and attacked her while she was walking to her car early in the morning. Many of the workers were undocumented, making follow up by investigators more difficult. I hope her family can get closure one day.thealterego5