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Most bizarre/shocking/chilling/baffling unsolved mysteries

SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,370
edited January 14 in Off-Topic

Not sure how much interest there will be in this topic, but I'll give it a go and see what comes of it.

I'm looking to start a thread devoted to discussing famous and perhaps not-so-famous unsolved mysteries. I'm inviting everyone here to not only post examples of mysteries that are particularly fascinating and/or chilling to them, but also provide any additional info, opinions, and theories that they may have regarding any cases that are discussed.

I'll try to get the ball rolling with a mystery that has always sent shivers down my spine: The Hinterkaifeck Murders.

* in best Robert Stack voice *

Neighbors had begun to worry about the Gruber family.

Sure, smoke continued to billow from the chimney of their Bavarian farmhouse, but the family members themselves had not been seen or heard from in a few days.

And so, on April 4, 1922, the concerned neighbors headed out to the Grubers' farm located about 1 kilometer north of the hamlet of Kaifeck (hence the name "Hinterkaifeck," or "behind Kaifeck"). What they discovered upon arriving there would surely haunt them for the rest of their days.

Inside the Grubers' barn lay the bodies of the family patriarch, Andreas, his wife Cäzilia, their widowed daughter Viktoria, and Viktoria's daughter, also named Cäzilia. All of them had been bludgeoned to death with a mattock- or pickaxe-type tool and then covered with hay. Inside the farmhouse, the neighbors found two more bodies - those of Viktoria's son Josef and the Grubers' new maid, Maria Baumgartner.

Police estimated that the murders had occurred on the evening of March 31. The victims in the barn were believed to have been lured to their deaths one at a time, after which the killer(s) entered the house and slew the remaining two victims. The younger Cäzilia had apparently remained alive for some time after being attacked, as police found that she had torn out tufts of her own hair. But perhaps the most chilling aspect of this crime may be that the killer(s) continued to live in the house for some days after the murders, going about his/her/their daily routine like dining in the Grubers' kitchen and even feeding the farm animals (hence also the smoke seen rising from the chimney).

As police investigated the horrific crime, even more chilling details began to emerge about the Grubers' final days. Neighbors reported that Andreas had complained to them about a number of unusual incidents that occurred on his farm in the days preceding the murders. A mysterious set of footprints was found in the snow, leading from the outskirts of the property toward the farmhouse, but not back out again. An unfamiliar newspaper was found on the property that did not belong to any of the family members. A sound resembling footsteps could be heard emanating from the attic at night, but Andreas could not find any indication of anyone being in there when he searched. One of the house keys went missing, a padlock on a shed was found broken, and one of the farm cattle was untied. None of these incidents had been reported to the police, however.

In a twist of tragic irony, the maid Maria had only JUST arrived at the Grubers' farm a few hours before the murders for her very FIRST day on the job. Her predecessor had suddenly quit several months earlier, and reportedly complained to others that she believed the house to be haunted.

Police initially believed that robbery was the likely motive for the crime, but that notion was quickly dispelled once large sums of money were found inside the house that would have been easily accessible to the killer(s). However, other, sordid details about the Grubers' lives led to a number of alternate theories and suspects.

Andreas and his daughter had previously engaged in an incestuous relationship, for which they had both received prison sentences (a year for Andreas and a month for his daughter). Rumors swirled that Viktoria's son Josef was the fruit of their incest. Viktoria insisted that one of their neighbors, Lorenz Schlittenbauer, was the boy's father. Schlittenbauer initially corroborated the claim, but later denied it and accused Andreas of being the father. As a result, Andreas was taken into police custody, but he was released after Schlittenbauer recanted his allegation and reaffirmed his fatherhood. At the time of the murders, Viktoria was preparing to sue Schlittenbauer for alimony.

Schlittenbauer has always been one of the leading suspects in the case. It has been theorized that, in order to deflect suspicion from Andreas, he may have agreed to pose as Josef's father in exchange for money and/or Viktoria's hand in marriage. When the Grubers failed to uphold their end of the bargain and threatened to sue for alimony, this naturally led to a lot of friction and animosity between the two households. Schlittenbauer also organized and led the "search party" that discovered the Grubers' bodies, and those who were with him later complained that he had privately accessed and possibly disturbed the crime scene.

Police also questioned whether Viktoria had actually been a widow. Her husband was reported to have been killed in WW1, but his body was never recovered. His fellow soldiers were adamant that he was killed, but that didn't stop rumors from spreading that he had secretly returned from the trenches and exacted a brutal revenge on his wife's family for her unfaithfulness. "Sightings" of Viktoria's husband would be reported through at least the end of WW2.

Although the Grubers were fairly affluent by the standards of the day, they were also notoriously thrifty. As one of their cost-saving measures, they would often employ "cheap" migrant labor to carry out any work needed on the farm. Could they have, at some point, unknowingly hired their own killer(s)?

In more recent years, some have suggested that perhaps the killer(s) motive(s) actually corresponded to the maid Maria and not the Grubers, since the murders occurred only hours after her arrival at the farm. However, it appears that contemporary investigators may have largely overlooked this line of thinking.

So who was responsible for the Hinterkaifeck murders? Was it someone with a deeply personal grudge, or simply a psychotic passerby? Did the killer(s) lurk on the Gruber property (and perhaps even secretly live in their own house) for a time before committing the murders? Sadly, although more than a hundred potential suspects have been interviewed by police over the decades (some as recently as 1986), the mystery remains unsolved to this day.

For more information on Hinterkaifeck, I recommend translating (if necessary) its German wikipedia page:
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinterkaifeck

Post edited by SharGuidesMyHand on
Balrog99deltagoProontSkatantypo_tilly

Comments

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,370

    If anyone else here has a morbid fascination with the macabre, I STRONGLY recommend checking out this YT channel, Criminally Listed:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs3iFCPtX0gzkKxCrobO4ig

    It's very well-researched and typically features a lot of less well-known stories.

    This is one of their most profound videos IMO, although I must warn viewers that some of the subject matter is rather shocking and unnerving, particularly toward the end:



    deltagoProont
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,370

    THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LARS MITTANK:

    Lars Mittank was very nervous.

    On the night of July 6, 2014, in the midst of a vacation in Bulgaria with a group of friends, the 28-year-old German was assaulted and suffered a ruptured ear drum. A local doctor prescribed him an antibiotic and advised him to postpone taking a flight home for at least a few days. Lars' friends offered to remain in Bulgaria with him until he was healthy enough to fly, but they ultimately elected to return home without him after he insisted that he would be OK on his own.

    But he was not OK.

    After checking into a much cheaper – and seedier – hotel than the one in which he had previously stayed with his friends, Lars became overwhelmed with feelings of dread. He was convinced that a group of four men were stalking him, looking to get ahold of his antibiotic. That night, he gathered his belongings and checked out of the hotel. Throughout the remainder of the night – which he apparently spent on the streets of Bulgaria – he telephoned and texted his mother to explain his situation to her. He asked her to cancel his credit card and book a return flight home for him. He also asked her for information regarding his prescribed antibiotic.

    The following morning, Lars traveled by taxi to the local airport. At the urging of his mother, he paid a visit to the airport doctor so as to verify that he would be healthy enough to fly. As Lars was being examined, however, a man dressed in a security guard uniform entered the office and interrupted them. At the sight of the man, Lars panicked and fled from the office, leaving behind his luggage. He raced outside the airport terminal and across the parking lot, jumped over a barbed-wire fence, and disappeared into nearby woods.

    No one has seen or heard from him since.

    This is the last known footage of Lars, taken by the airport security cameras, which shows him running out of the doctor's office and across the parking lot:


    Lars' friends would later recall that his behavior struck them as odd even before they left him. Even though meals at their hotel were pre-paid for as part of a package deal, Lars elected to eat very little, often contenting himself with just a soup or a salad, or even forgoing meals altogether. None of Lars' friends had actually witnessed the assault on him. On the night in which it occurred, Lars had gotten into an argument with fans of a rival football (soccer) team – the World Cup was in progress at this time – but the argument defused without turning violent, his friends would say. Later that night, the group visited a fast food restaurant, but Lars elected to remain outside on a bench while the others purchased their meals. When the friends returned outside, Lars was nowhere to be found. The friends decided to return to their hotel in the hopes that Lars either was already waiting there for them or would eventually return there. As it turned out, Lars did return the following morning, but he was injured. He claimed that his injuries were the result of an assault by a group of men that had been hired by the football fans with whom he argued. Lars' friends did not know what to make of this story, but they did not press him any further on it.

    Both the driver and a fellow passenger in the taxi that Lars rode to the airport would later describe him as appearing on edge, with the pupils of his eyes being completely dilated. The doctor who examined Lars at the airport would later describe him as appearing physically and mentally exhausted.

    Ironically, the man that Lars may have mistaken for a security guard was not actually that at all, but rather, was actually a construction worker who was looking to speak with the doctor about scheduled renovations at the airport.

    Testing of Lars' luggage did not reveal any trace of illegal drugs.

    There are a number of theories as to the reasons for Lars' erratic behavior and sudden disappearance. It is widely speculated that he suffered some form of psychotic break that caused him to experience paranoid delusions, but if so, what was the cause? Did he have an underlying, undiagnosed mental illness that suddenly manifested itself at the worst possible time? Was he experiencing unexpected and unusual side effects from the prescribed antibiotic? Did the injury to his ear drum also leave him with damage to his brain that went undetected by the doctor? Did he perhaps try any "street drugs" while staying at the second, seedier hotel?

    Those who speculate that Lars wasn't having delusions and was actually being stalked by a group of people suggest that he may have run afoul of local gangsters and/or been acting as a "drug mule."

    Sometime after Lars' disappearance, a local truck driver claimed to have encountered a scruffy-looking hitchhiker who matched his description. Aside from that unconfirmed sighting, however, the investigation into Lars' disappearance is colder than a winter in Antarctica.

    deltagoBalrog99Proont
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,370

    THE BLACK DOODLER:



    The Black Doodler (sometimes referred to as just "The Doodler") was the nickname given to an unidentified serial killer believed to be responsible for at least 14 murders and three assaults that occurred in San Francisco between January of 1974 and September of 1975.

    The Doodler's victims were all men, all believed to have been homosexuals (though in many cases, his victims' lives were almost as shrouded in mystery as his own). A number of his victims were immigrants, and at least one was fairly well-known in the San Fran nightclub circuit as a stand-up comic and female impersonator.

    The Doodler is believed to have typically met his victims at gay bars and nightclubs, and endeared himself to them by drawing sketches of them - hence his nickname - before leaving with them. Once alone with his victims, he would repeatedly stab and slash them as if in a frenzied rage. Police profilers believed that his attacks may have been driven by a sense of "shame" or guilt that he had felt after having engaged in homosexual behavior. Police initially believed that the attacks were the work of three different serial killers before attributing them all to a single one.

    By 1977, police were able to single out a chief suspect in the case, thanks in large part to information provided by three surviving victims. However, these victims were unwilling to testify in open court against the suspect, due to their unwillingness to "out" themselves as being gay. One was reported to have been a European diplomat, the other vaguely described by police as a "well-known entertainer." Without cooperation from these witnesses, no charges were ever brought against the suspect. Police have never publicly named the suspect, and the identities of the surviving victims also remain unknown.

    To date, the murders remain officially unsolved.

    Detailed information regarding this case is very hard to come by. There has never been a great "revival" of interest in it as there has been with so many other unsolved crimes, nor does there seem to be a vocal clamoring from families of the victims for police to step-up their investigation. A contemporary news article from July of '77 can be found here: https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=FkYRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=m9kDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6925,1839185

    The most detailed piece that I've seen written about the case can be found here, although it should be noted that the writer questions whether The Doodler was really responsible for all 14 of the murders that are attributed to him: https://www.theawl.com/2014/12/the-untold-story-of-the-doodler-murders/

    Proont
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,916
    How about this for a mystery: we don't know what 95% of the detectable stuff in the universe is made of. All the things we can identify -- gas, dust, stars, light, cosmic microwave background -- account for 5% of the energy we can detect (via galaxy rotation, gravitational lensing, etc). Astronomers and physicists have no idea what rest -- lumped in the categories "dark matter" and "dark energy" -- could possibly be.

    ProontDrHappyAngryStummvonBordwehr
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 2,482
    edited February 25
    tbone1 said:

    How about this for a mystery: we don't know what 95% of the detectable stuff in the universe is made of. All the things we can identify -- gas, dust, stars, light, cosmic microwave background -- account for 5% of the energy we can detect (via galaxy rotation, gravitational lensing, etc). Astronomers and physicists have no idea what rest -- lumped in the categories "dark matter" and "dark energy" -- could possibly be.

    Hmmm, could it be? Maybe just possibly? Let's see, how about...

    SATAN!!!

    DrHappyAngryProont
  • DrHappyAngryDrHappyAngry Member Posts: 519
    edited February 25
    Super nerdy moment, but I've got to mention we still don't know how to translate Linear A, the old Minoan writing system. We know Linear B (Primarily used by the Mycenaeans), because it was an archaic form of ancient Greek, but Linear A doesn't seem to be related. It leads to a lot of questions, like who the hell were the Minoans, were they even related to the Greeks, and if not where did they come from? What we know is there was ancient civilization, with plumbing, including hot and cold running water, an advanced culture that died out around 1100-1200BC, but no idea where those people came from. Think about that, it'd be like 1000 years before Rome had hot and cold running water, and nearly 3000 years for a lot of the Western civilizations to catch on.

    Of course you can almost be sure that most of their remaining writings are financial transactions like tax records, so rather boring stuff, but you can still learn a lot from those. Most ancient civilizations developed writing for that exact purpose.

    Balrog99tbone1JoenSoProont
  • JoenSoJoenSo Member Posts: 612
    The Voynich manuscript is always a classic when it comes to mysteries. A 15th century book filled with an unknown writing system and pictures of weird tubes, strange plants, naked people and dragons.

    A coded pharmacopoeia? A hoax? Or has the answer always been obvious?

    Balrog99Proont
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 2,482
    edited February 25
    JoenSo said:

    The Voynich manuscript is always a classic when it comes to mysteries. A 15th century book filled with an unknown writing system and pictures of weird tubes, strange plants, naked people and dragons.

    A coded pharmacopoeia? A hoax? Or has the answer always been obvious?

    It was the 15th century equivalent of 'fake news'.

    Edit: Apparently with boobs...

    Proont
  • JoenSoJoenSo Member Posts: 612
    If only all fake news were written in weird alien writing systems that no one can decipher.

    Balrog99Proontsemiticgod
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 2,482
    JoenSo said:

    If only all fake news were written in weird alien writing systems that no one can decipher.

    You mean they aren't? Cough...(vague prophesies), hrrrrm...

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,370
    edited February 26

    Duo Fish is a great YT channel with a number of interesting and very informative videos. They release videos very infrequently, but what they lack in volume is compensated for with quality IMO.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmgqOTnpqC96sU5wyp3iA1g


    This video gives brief, but informative overviews of 15 unsolved disappearances.



    It should be noted that the #2 mystery (Jacob Wetterling's kidnapping) was recently solved, although tragically, Jacob had been killed. His killer led police to his remains as part of a plea deal in connection with another murder charge.

    Balrog99Proont
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,370

    A quick run-down of 5 unidentified serial killers still at large.



    The #2 one strikes close to home for me, as I live on Long Island.

    Balrog99Proont
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,370

    This video always creeped me out - admittedly largely because of the music.


    Proont
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 4,953
    I grew up less than two hours from where Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped (I believe in 1989) and drove by the gas station he had been walking to with his brother and his father's chiropractor practice billboard at least twice a year on the way to visit relatives. Back then, in rural MN, it was the kind of event that made the (frankly) unlikely event of kidnapping by a stranger seem alot more plausible. It was always generally assumed in MN that Jacob had more than likely been killed and that his body was probably buried in the woods somewhere, never to be found. It turned out the killer only lived 30 miles away, and he had been buried in his pasture the entire time. So yes, technically a mystery, but anyone who looked at the sketches of what Jacob would possibly look like in 1999, and 2009, when the story hit it's anniversaries, wasn't particularly taking the idea that he was alive very seriously, if at all. I would venture to guess that most people in history who have just disappeared have been killed.

    Balrog99Proont
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,370

    I would venture to guess that most people in history who have just disappeared have been killed.

    Although we always hope for the best (and there are occasions when it occurs), this does appear to be the sad truth.

    jjstraka34Proont
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 5,268
    This is one of my favourite chilling ones: The Chair of Death.

    Thomas Busby was arrested, tried and condemned to death after he murdered his father-in-law Daniel Auty (or Autie) in 1702. Auty and Busby were running a coin counterfeiting business (as well as other criminal enterprises) and they argued about the business which ended with Busby killing Auty. One variation of the story has Busby cursing the chair whilst on his way to his execution, whereas another says that he was drunk in the chair when he was arrested and cursed it then.

    Locals claimed that during the Second World War, Canadian airmen from the nearby base at Skipton-on-Swale, went to the pub and those who sat in the chair, never returned from bombing missions over mainland Europe. In the 1970s some fatal accidents were linked with the chair. In 1978 the chair was ultimately hung from the ceiling of Thirsk Museum to prevent occupancy, even by maintenance.

    Proont
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