Mysterious Murders

In September, 1911, in Colorado Springs, CO, Nettie Ruth walked to her sister May’s house for a sewing gathering they had planned, but it was a date May never kept. Nettie and a friend discovered carnage in the house. As neighbors milled about the area after the revelation, they suddenly realized another family had not been seen recently. Entering that home, officials discovered the family hacked to death with an ax, making a total of six murders in, most likely, a single night in the quiet town.

Charles Watson, 74, certainly seemed to have few enemies in Warwickshire, England, in February of 1945. But somebody slit his throat and impaled him with a pitchfork. What could possibly be the motive for such an angry killer?

Somebody killed Julia Wallace in January of 1931. Besides that one fact, nothing is clear. Her husband seemed to both have an air-tight alibi and be the primary suspect. In the absence of clear evidence or motive, author Raymond Chandler dubbed the case “the impossible murder.”

Jane Stanford, co-founder of the university, was not one content to sit quietly through the twilight of her life. But who truly had reason to want her to suffer an agonizing death? After surviving one poisoning attempt, Stanford fell victim to a second and died in February of 1905. Although headlines at the time announced her death as murder, authorities weren’t so sure, and many believed the official cause of death to be a heart attack. But the facts show otherwise.

Strange: the family on the Hinterkaifeck farm in Bavaria, 1922, seemed to be home. Smoke curled from the chimney, the animals were fed and the tethered dog moved around the property. So why did nobody answer the door? Why was the little girl not in school? What would prevent them from attending church? Upon the discover of the bodies, the mystery only deepened.

Gareth Williams’ body was discovered zipped inside a duffel bag in his bathroom. In 2010, surely forensics would discover what happened in his apartment. Could Williams have actually killed himself in this bizarre manner?

Christmas should be a happy time, particularly for a comfortable family. For the Fayetteville, West Virginia family of the Sodders, however, Christmas 1945 began a nightmare from which they never awoke. How could five of their ten children simply disappear without a trace? Were they kidnapped, or did they die in a raging fire? If so, why were the bodies never found?

Janett Christman was only 13 when she agreed to babysit on a stormy night in March, 1950. Although the Columbia, Missouri, area had been plagued by sexual assaults, Janett never dreamed she would become a victim. Although she managed to phone for help, her screams went unaided. A clear suspect emerged but was never charged.

Read the full stories of these bizarre, unsolved murders inĀ Mysterious Murders.