Sometimes the good guys don’t win, and the bad guy gets away. Open cases haunt detectives for years and true crime enthusiasts write books about these criminals who were never brought to justice. Which are the most mysterious, shocking, or simply badly handled cases that remain open?
Up, Up and Away
The only unsolved American airline hijacking dates back to November 24, 1971. An unidentified man later named by the press ‘D B Cooper’ hijacked a Boeing 727 by displaying what appeared to be a working bomb in a briefcase.
Cooper’s demands were simple; two front and two back civilian parachutes, a safe refuel for the plane on the ground at Seattle-Tacoma, $200,000 in unmarked $20 bills, and a flight towards Mexico City.
As the plane approached Reno, Nevada for a second refueling, the crew noticed Cooper was gone - presumably he parachuted out at some point. A massive ground and aerial search ensued, but no trace of Cooper was ever found.
An 8 year old boy found a little over $5,000 of the money floating in the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. None of the rest of the money ever turned up, and the case remains open.
For the in-depth story of this ingenious criminal, you may want to check out www.trutv.com/DB_Cooper/
On July 31, 1975, former mobster Jimmy Hoffa’s car was found in the Machus Red Fox Restaurant parking lot in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. According to his wife, Hoffa had been there to meet Detroit mobster Anthony "Tony Jack" Giacalone and New Jersey labor leader Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano (a made member of the Genovese crime family).
The trio were to discuss the possibility of Hoffa’s resuming his place as president of the powerful International Brotherhood of Teamsters - something both crime families were against. Hoffa’s wife said he had called from a nearby pay phone to tell her he had been stood up.
Jimmy’s body was never found, and the two mobsters both had airtight alibis and claimed to never have known of the impending meeting. To this day, the whereabouts of Hoffa’s final resting place are unknown, and the subject of much speculation.
What’s Your Sign?
In the 1960s and ‘70s, a string of murders of couples and young people between the ages of 16 and 29 occurred in northern California. Letters directly referencing several of the crime scenes were sent to local newspapers by someone claiming responsibility for the crimes and calling himself the ‘Zodiac’.
The letters also included cryptograms (which when cracked proved to be useless) and threats which were not carried out. Some letters contained pieces of a shirt worn by one of the victims. The Zodiac Killer claimed to have killed 37 people in total.
A wide reaching investigation failed to deliver a sure suspect, and the case is still open. Many movies have been made about the Zodiac Killer, the most recent being Zodiac released in 2007.
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Thursday, 10 February 2011