50 of the Strangest Unsolved Mysteries from Each State
Every state harbors unpleasant secrets—here are 50 of the strangest ones from around the country, and why we may never learn the real truth.
Alabama: The Brasher-Dye Disappearance
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The Dye brothers, Billy Howard and Robert, disappeared in 1956 along with their cousin, Dan Brasher. They were last seen leaving a relative’s house in rural Jefferson County in a 1947 green Ford, but no one even noticed they were missing because they were known to be heavy drinkers and often disappeared for days while sleeping off a binge. When a missing person’s report was filed, investigators’ questions were met with silence or tall tales—for example, of a bulldozer burying a car under a highway. The case remains unsolved. Check out these missing person mysteries that were eventually solved.
Alaska: The Investor murders
In 1982, an $850,000 fishing boat named the Investor was seen burning off of the coast of Craig. Inside, eight bodies were found (the owner, his pregnant wife, their two daughters, and four crewmen) They’d been shot to death and left to burn. One possible suspect was tried, but he’s been acquitted due to a lack of hard evidence. Authorities still haven’t determined a motive. The case is Alaska’s biggest and most famous unsolved mystery.
Arizona: Searching for Robert Fisher
Robert William Fisher (born 1961) is one of the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives. He’s wanted for the murder of his wife and two kids and for blowing up the house in which they lived in Scottsdale on April 10, 2001. Fisher, the only suspect in the case, disappeared the night of the fire and hasn’t been seen since. It’s possible he committed suicide, but equally possible he’s living under an assumed identity. The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Check out the 45 things police officers want you to know.
Arkansas: The Gurdon Light
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Ever since the 1930s, a floating light appears above the railroad tracks near Gurdon sometime in late October. It’s not in dispute whether the light appears because thousands of people have seen it. What remains a mystery is what causes the light. Some believe it’s the ghost of William McClain, a railroad worker murdered in 1931, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Others believe it’s a natural phenomenon caused by swamp gas or rock quartz beneath the land. It was featured on television’s Unsolved Mysteries in 1994 and remains unsolved to this day.
California: Did anyone survive the “Escape From Alcatraz”?
The supposedly escape-proof prison named for Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay claimed the lives of 33 prisoners who attempted to flee. But not necessarily John Anglin, Clarence Anglin, and Frank Morris: In 1962, they escaped from their cells through holes they’d drilled in the wall of their cell. Unfortunately, that’s where the story ends. “What happened next remains a mystery,” reads a portion of an FBI history of the investigation, according to NBC News. The case was closed in 1979, but people (including the families of the escapees) still wonder.
Colorado: The Black Forest haunting
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Within weeks of moving into their home in the Black Forest area of Colorado Springs, “all hell broke loose” for the Lee family, according to Our Community Now. There were flashing lights, footsteps, orchestra music, strange smells, and even sightings of ghostly faces. The Lee family lives there to this day, still reporting the same phenomena. No one can explain what it is, although a Hopi shaman who was called in to consult claims the house is located on a “rip in the space-time continuum,” where spirits can move freely between worlds.
Connecticut: The shallow graves beneath New Haven Green
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused a tree to fall on New Haven Green. Tangled in the roots was a human skull, dating back around 200 years. An archeological dig followed, yielding more body fragments, as well as coffin nails. It’s suspected more than 5,000 bodies are buried under the Green and that they may have been “dragged out in the middle of the night, wrapped in a sheet, and buried in shallow, unmarked graves.” Some theorize the people died during a terrible epidemic—though no one’s sure of what. Here are the diseases you probably didn’t realize still exist today.
Delaware: The inexplicable murder of Jane Marie Prichard
Jane Marie Prichard was conducting botany experiments in Blackbird State Forest in September 1986 when she was shot to death; campers stumbled across her body later. Many hunters were in the forest that day, but investigators quickly ruled out an accidental shooting, according to Delaware Online. What they couldn’t figure out and still haven’t is why someone wanted Prichard dead, and who might have killed her. The case remains cold to this day.
Florida: The spontaneous combustion of Mary Reeser
In July of 1951, authorities found the body of 67-year-old Mary Reeser in her St. Petersburg apartment. Or more accurately, the pile of mostly ash that once was Mary Reeser’s body (part of her lower leg and some of her spine remained). Apparently, her body had been almost entirely cremated, which is mind-boggling when you consider that cremation requires three hours of burning in a 3,000-degree fire. Even more bizarre—only Reeser’s body had burned: The rest of her apartment was intact, even a pile of newspapers beside her body.
Georgia: The Bleeding House
One night in 1987, Minnie Winston saw blood on the floor of her Atlanta house. Terrified, she ran to find her husband. He was fine, but there was more blood… everywhere. On the walls, oozing from the floor, seeping up from under kitchen appliances. She and her husband called the police, who found no evidence of a break-in. What they were able to surmise was that the blood had come from a living human. No one has ever figured out where or whom the blood came from. Here’s what your fears reveal about your personality.