Top 5 Cold Cases that will keep you up at night

Kailyn Dawkins, Features Editor

During spooky season, many people are gathering together, going to haunted houses or watching fictional scary movies to get the most out of the frightful festivities. While these activities do add to the creep factor of October, what could be scarier than true unsolved cold cases that still remain mysteries to this day. Some of these mysteries are recent while others date back decades. All of these are guaranteed to keep one up at night, wondering who dunnit?

Number 5: Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper is a case that has been unsolved for centuries. It is one of the most infamous cold cases in England and there is little evidence pointing to a single killer. Jack the Ripper terrorized London in 1888 between August and late September. He killed at least 5 women, each one within a mile of each other, mutilating their bodies and leaving them almost unrecognizable. The killer would even send letters to the police, taunting them about previous murders and ones to come. There are theories that Jack the Ripper’s identity may have been a famous painter, a polish migrant, or even the grandson of Queen Victoria. Even with these theories, his true identity still remains a mystery today, making the case into a guessing game on who truly committed these gruesome murders.

Number 4: Boy in the Box

While this case may seem childish at first with such a name, it is far from that. The boy in the box case emerged in Philadelphia and has puzzled investigators for over 60 years. In 1957, a cardboard box was found discarded in a park. While the outside of the box seemed relatively normal, the contents inside were horrific. Investigators found the nude body of a small boy wrapped in a plaid blanket and stuffed inside the box. He was a young child and his body was unrecognizable. His identity remains unknown today, but there are several theories that circulate on who and where this mystery child came from.

Photo Courtesy of E!Online

Number 3: JonBenet Ramsey

This case has baffled the police for years now. On December 26th, 1996, the Ramsey parents awoke to find their 6 year old daughter missing. All that was left was a ransom note demanding a large sum of money. The Ramsey family called the police along with their friends who came over. Due to having the friends over, potential evidence was destroyed that could’ve pointed to the true killer of JonBenet Ramsey. Her body was eventually found a few hours later in the basement of the Ramsey House. Her body was already in poor condition, however, on top of  the house already being contaminated before police could collect evidence, it was difficult to pin both a suspect and an actual murderer. This case has remained unsolved since, but some evidence points to the parents, although they deny the accusations.

Number 2: The Zodiac Killer

One of the most infamous that took place right here in sunny California in the San Francisco Bay area. The Zodiac Killer became a well known and equally feared serial killer during the late 1960s. The Zodiac Killer is linked directly to five murders but it is believed they killed several more people. With these killings, The Zodiac Killer would leave behind coded taunts and clues, threatening to kill more if the letters were never printed. The only clue to their identity was a sketch made after witnesses stepped forward, describing a man who had left the murder scene of one of the Zodiac Killer’s victims. While his identity is still unknown today, several movies have been inspired by this serial killer’s string of murders, like Zodiac, a movie regarding the killer himself.

Taken from Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

Number 1: Elisa Lam

One of the most well known, unsolved and disturbing cases known today. This case regards the disappearance and death of college student Elisa Lam, who stayed at the infamous Cecil Hotel in LA in 2013. She went missing for around 20 days before her nude body was found in the hotel’s water tank on the roof. That isn’t the most interesting part. What makes this case so fascinating is on the day of her disappearance, a four minute video was recovered from the hotel’s security cams showing Elisa Lam entering an elevator that’s doors never closed. She appeared to be delusional, talking and gesturing to things that never appeared in the video while she remained in the open elevator for the majority of the video. That video was the last known footage of her before her body was recovered more than two weeks later. There are several theories that have circled regarding her death, whether it was an accident or a murder. It remains unsolved today, but a new documentary on Netflix titled “The Vanishing at Cecil Hotel” reveals more evidence that sheds some light on this cold case.

These five cases are only a sliver of the large number of unsolved cases out there. Each of these cases are creepy and chilling in their own way, but with the new technology of today, perhaps they will be reopened and solved eventually. But for now, they stay cold and a mystery to the public. The unsolved cases of the past remain the horror stories of the present.