A sad truth is that many murders are never solved; furthermore, the more time that passes after the crime is committed, the less likely it is that the murderer or murderers will be caught. As time goes on and on, murder cases grow colder and older; despite the best efforts and hard work of law enforcement—even with advancements in forensics and DNA testing—there are just some deaths that will forever remain a mystery. Here are ten murder mysteries that will likely leave us scratching our heads.
1. Cangrande della Scala
It wasn’t until 2004, after an autopsy using modern technology was performed, that the world came to learn that Italian nobleman Cangrande della Scalla was indeed murdered. For almost seven centuries, it was assumed the nobleman’s death, which occurred in 1329, was an accident. As it turned out, it is likely that the Lord of Verona was deliberately administered a fatal amount of Digitalis. Digitalis, also known as foxgloves, is a genus of roughly 20 species of perennials, biennials, and shrubs; the word is often used to describe drug preparations extracted from one of the plants of the genus.
It was originally believed that della Scala died after drinking from a “polluted spring”. He had been vomiting and experiencing diarrhea before his death. However, when his mummy was exhumed and autopsied, the presence of Digitalis purpurea was noted in his colon and feces. Analysis of hair and the liver confirmed the aforementioned findings.
While it is almost certain that della Scala was murdered, and it seems likely that his nephew—who took power after his uncle’s death—took his life, the world will never really know for sure.
H/T – Source
2. Jean Marie Townsend
Jean Marie Townsend of Ruislip, England was just 21 years of age was she was murdered in 1954. At the time of her death, Townsend worked as a theatrical costumer in London’s West End. The night of September 14, 1954, she was returning to her home after a social function in the West End, and she was last seen at around 11:45. After leaving South Ruislip Station, she wound up walking alone down Victoria Road, and that’s where she was found the next morning. She had been strangled with her own scarf. Sexual assault was not a factor in the murder, despite the fact articles of Townsend’s clothing had been removed.
Rumors of an American being involved in the death were intense because American servicemen were stationed at a nearby Royal Air Force station. A resident near the scene of the murder reported hearing men shouting on the night of the murder; one of them had an American accent. United States Air Force authorities cooperated with the Metropolitan Police, and several women reported being confronted by strange men in the area where Townsend’s body was found in the days leading up to her murder.
Despite the leads, detectives never identified a suspect in Jean Marie Townsend’s murder. The case was briefly reopened in 1982 after a number of mysterious, anonymous phone calls were made regarding the case. No arrests were made as a result of the calls. While there is still a lot of interest in the case, it is unlikely we will ever know who killed the 21-year-old Jean Marie Townsend.
Curiously enough, South Ruislip was the site of another murder in 1971. A 29-year-old housewife was murdered, and she too died as a result of strangulation by a scarf.
H/T – Source
3. Betty Shanks
The murder of 22-year-old Betty Shanks is the oldest unsolved murder in Brisbane, Australia. Her death resulted in—at the time—the largest criminal investigation ever in Queensland.
The murder occurred on September 19, 1952 during a short walk home after Betty got off a streetcar. Her body wasn’t found until the morning of September 20 by a policeman who lived close to where her violently beaten, battered body was located.
A taxi driver claimed to have seen a man jump a fence towards the scene of the crime at about 10:30 PM on the night of September 19. This information led to dozens of interviews and more than one confession, but the true killer was never identified. At one point, it was believed she was killed by a sexual predator, but that possibility was ruled out for various reasons.
Even today, the murder of Betty Shanks fascinates Australia and the world. There was even a book written about the murder in 2014, and there is still a reward of $50,000 for information that could lead to catching Shanks’ killer.
H/T – Source