5 Suspicious Details Of Famous Crimes No One Can Explain
Conspiracy theorists thrive precisely because the world is full of more weird connections than should be possible. "This can't be coincidence!" they'll say.
Oh, but it can. Real events are full of bizarre circumstances that happen to fall exactly the right way due to pure, dumb luck. For examples, look no further than ...
JonBenet Ramsey's Creepy Santa Claus Connection
The most sensational unsolved crime in modern American history is arguably the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Ramsey was a six-year-old beauty queen who was killed in her own home on Christmas Day, 1996, and was discovered the next day after a ransom note was found nearby. There are numerous theories, ranging from a murderous intruder to her parents killing her to JonBenet still being alive and touring the world as Katy Perry. And if you think that sounds absurd, then let's talk about the time police suspected Santa Claus.
And his little dog, too.
That's Bill McReynolds, who got a lot of gigs playing Santa because he was a jolly fellow whose kickass beard was 100-percent real. One of his Santa jobs included an appearance at the Ramsey's holiday party three days before JonBenet's death, where he gave JonBenet a card which said "You will receive a special gift after Christmas." JonBenet also gave McReynolds a tour of their elaborate house, so he would have known the layout if he broke in.
But so what, right? Lots of people were probably in and out around that time. What's shady about that? And this guy was a lovable Santa! Well, there's the fact that, 22 years to the day before the murder, McReynolds' nine-year-old daughter and her friend were kidnapped, and the friend was molested. The kidnapper later released them, but was never caught.
Oh, and McReynolds' wife once wrote a play about a young girl who gets molested, tortured, and murdered in the basement of her own home, which probably isn't going to topple Hamilton as a Broadway hit anytime soon.
Especially not with her weak-ass bars.
Take a wild guess as to what room JonBenet was found in.
Holy shit! The guy had all that in his past, had just been in the Ramsey home and thus presumably could have figured out a way in, left that cryptic note for the victim ... end of investigation, right?
Nope, as DNA testing cleared McReynolds completely. He was never even seriously considered as a suspect. The accusations would haunt him until the day he died (in 2002), but it seems he was guilty of nothing more than having some of the shittiest luck imaginable.
Chris Benoit's Wikipedia Page Mentions His Wife's Death ... Hours Before It Happens
On June 11, 2007, Monday Night Raw ended with WWE chairman Vince McMahon getting into a limousine which promptly exploded, in what was widely regarded as the 27th silliest plot twist the WWE had that year.
For the next two weeks, the main storyline on a show about people in their underwear punching each other was the FBI's investigation into McMahon's "murder." The June 25th edition of Raw was even slated to be a tribute show to McMahon, but it was preempted by the sudden need for a tribute to this man:
"Soooo, my death thing was totally fake, but this one is real ... Uh, seriously, I swear."
That's wrestling superstar Chris Benoit, who was found dead in his home earlier that day. In a move that had to have been incredibly confusing for fans ("What happened to the other storyline?"), the WWE scrapped the "Vince is dead" thing and threw together a tribute show for Benoit, spending the entire evening celebrating his accomplishments. It would have been an inspirational moment, had it not emerged hours later that Benoit had killed himself after murdering his wife and son (they didn't get their own elaborate Raw tribute). And we're only now getting to the weirdest part ...
Someone anonymously edited Benoit's Wikipedia page to claim that he missed the previous night's show because of the death of his wife ... 14 hours before the body of his wife was discovered. Was Benoit such an anal-retentive killer that he wanted to make sure his Wikipedia page was updated before he took his own life? Or was this an eerie sign that someone else was involved? Or was it a third, even more unlikely explanation? Well, when they traced the IP address of the edit, they found that it originated in Stamford, Connecticut ...
The location of the WWE's fucking corporate headquarters.
Which you can own for the low price of $9.99, apparently.
Wait, what? Did somebody on the inside somehow know what was about to happen? Was this all a viral advertising stunt?
Actually, it ended up being the work of a random troll with a history of vandalizing Wikipedia pages. If you throw enough nonsense onto the internet, eventually you're going to make a lucky guess. When the vandal realized that a police investigation had begun, he submitted an anonymous confession and apology. Still, the cops looked into it (even seizing the guy's computer), but there was no connection. He just happened to live a few miles from WWE HQ and make up awful things about famous people. It's thought that he may have heard a rumor about the deaths on WWE chat rooms, but who would be spreading them? Again, this was 14 hours before the police found the bodies. This shit is freaky no matter how you slice it.
A Week After The JFK Assassination, A TV Show With A Weirdly Similar Plot Was Set To Air
Route 66 was a '60s TV show about two young Americans who drifted around the U.S. and inevitably found themselves caught up in crazy situations, kind of like a more serious Scooby-Doo. In "I'm Here To Kill A King," the pair arrive in Niagara Falls, and one of them encounters a guy who happens to look exactly like him. Unfortunately, the lookalike is also planning to assassinate an Arab king.
The episode was scheduled to air on November 29, 1963, and would have been a fun hour of wacky misunderstandings if the most famous assassination of the 20th Century hadn't taken place a mere week earlier.
According to YouTube, the "Arab king" thing clearly foreshadowed Obama's election, too.
The episode was pulled from the schedule, but it aired a couple of years later, and was so full of eerie coincidences that viewers had to have thought it was a crass attempt to fictionalize the tragedy. For starters, we see the assassination target rolling through town in a motorcade exactly like Kennedy's ...
Then, during the climax, the assassin attempts to shoot the king from a grassy knoll, like the one conspiracy theorists insist Kennedy was really shot from.
This is more like the Kennedy assassination than the actual Kennedy assassination.
Then there's all the little stuff. After being told that his target will have body armor, the assassin remarks that he'll simply aim for the head, a strategy shared by Lee Harvey Oswald. Speaking of Oswald, one character offhandedly remarks that his father's name is Lee. Oh, and when the target is warned that their location (Niagara Falls) might be unsafe, Dallas is suggested as an alternate destination, because what could go wrong in such a nice city? A cop even mentions that he's going to "Fritz's" for lunch, and the name of the police officer who interrogated Oswald was Will Fritz.
Oh, and JFK conspiracy theorists will be happy to learn that there's a conspiracy in the show as well, as the plot is orchestrated by the king's own head of security.
Played by noted Arab actor Robert Loggia.
And maybe all of that isn't so weird if it airs a year before the assassination, or six months -- hell, then you could say it's what gave Oswald the idea. But the episode was in the can and set to air seven days later. They were filming their assassination while Oswald was planning his.
A Serial Killer Was Caught Because One Of His Tenants Randomly Gave A Ride To One Of His Victims
If you think that headline is convoluted, imagine being the cops in this case.
The Eyeball Killer was a Dallas serial killer who murdered prostitutes and removed their eyes with an X-ACTO knife (with murderer nicknames, they always go with the first draft). The guy was brought to justice via a series of coincidences so improbable that if you read them in a mystery novel, you'd have flung the thing to the floor and covered it in piss.
Which is coincidentally also a serial killer MO.
It all started when a pair of patrol officers encountered Veronica Rodriguez, a prostitute who claimed she'd been attacked. Rodriguez said she was rescued by a truck driver, Axton Schindler, who presumably then gave her a job making faulty shells for the Nazis, although Schindler said he was only giving her a ride and knew nothing about her injuries. Either way, when police questioned Schindler and checked his driver's license, his address was 1035 Eldorado Street.
Months later, after three prostitutes were found murdered and de-eyed, the two cops remembered the Rodriguez incident and wondered if her attacker was the Eyeball Killer. They decided to re-question Schindler to find out if he had seen something or, being a noted weirdo, done it himself. The cops discovered that 1035 Eldorado wasn't Schindler's address; he'd intentionally put a fake address on his license out of paranoia. Instead, the property belonged to someone named Fred Albright. Plus, Fred was dead, so that was that.
And none of the hookers were named Fred, so it was a dead end.
But then, a nearby deputy overheard and said he thought that the name Albright sounded familiar. He drudged up a memory of a phone call from weeks ago with an anonymous woman who said she was friends with one of the Eyeball Killer's victims. She claimed that the victim once dated a man named Charles Albright, who had a weird obsession with eyes and kept X-ACTO blades in his attic (as one does). It turned out Charles was Fred Albright's son, and had inherited 1035 Eldorado. When Rodriguez identified Albright as the man who attacked her, he was arrested and eventually convicted.
Okay, so what the hell was Schindler's connection? None whatsoever. He just happened to have lived in a rental property owned by Albright, happened to use another Albright address as his fake address, and happened to be in the right time and place to give a ride to one of Albright's would-be victims. The cops interrogated him for hours, thinking there had to have been some connection, but not a single witness had ever seen him before, and there was no physical evidence that he had ever been at the crime scenes or knew about Albright's murderous hobby at all. In general, he seemed to have no idea what the hell was going on. He helped a woman in need, and probably was wondering why everybody was treating him like a monster all of a sudden.
A Jack The Ripper Victim Gave Police A Fake Name Which Turned Out To Be The Name Of The Next Victim
On September 29, 1888, London police took prostitute Catherine Eddowes to jail for lying drunk in the middle of a Whitechapel street, because the government can't let us live our lives, damn it. By midnight, she had sobered up enough to be let go, and upon her release, she gave the police a fake name: Mary Ann Kelly.
Meanwhile, Amanda Hugginkiss continued to languish in jail.
But Eddowes would have been better off spending all night in a cell. On her way home, she was attacked and murdered so brutally that her intestines were found draped over her shoulder. And less than an hour earlier, another prostitute named Elizabeth Stride had been murdered a few streets away. It was almost like someone was stalking prostitutes through Whitechapel ...
Alright, you got us. This is totally about Jack the Ripper. Stride and Eddowes brought his victim count to four and sent London into a panic. Then, a month later, Jack committed the fifth and final murder officially attributed to him. The victim was another Whitechapel prostitute by the name of Mary Jane Kelly.
Even in black and white, this is all that we can show you of the crime scene.
Yes, the Ripper somehow selected a victim who had virtually the same name Eddowes gave to the police. There was no indication that the two women knew each other, which has prompted all sorts of theories from hobbyists who still investigate the case. Was Eddowes' murder a case of mistaken identity because the Ripper was targeting Mary Kelly that night? If so, how could the Ripper have known Eddowes used that name with the cops? Did he have connections on the inside? Was he a policeman? Did he decide to retire from serial killing once he killed the "correct" Mary Kelly?
The likelier explanation is that prostitutes expecting legal trouble had several aliases ready to go (the real Mary Kelly also had a few aliases). Kelly happened to be the surname of Eddowes' boyfriend, and it's not a huge leap of logic to assume that she pulled a couple of generic first names to go with her go-to fake last name. In fact, the Ripper's first victim was named Mary Ann Nichols, making Eddowes' pseudonym a weird hybrid of the two. Still, it's not like the city only had five prostitutes, or that half of them all had the same name, right?
Robin Warder analyzes some more freaky unsolved crimes on his true crime podcast The Trail Went Cold.
For more happenings that'll make you believe in conspiracy theories, check out 5 Eerie Conspiracies Theorists Were Right About All Along and 18 Real Sinister Conspiracies That Actually Happened.
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What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror, the third book in David Wong's John Dies at the End series, is available now!