Can you imagine living in a slasher movie universe? You've got some flamboyant monster out there eating people's faces and then effortlessly avoiding capture, ready to pop up in the next sequel? Of course you can imagine that, because we're all living in precisely such a universe. As we've shown you many times before, the world is full of bizarre, gruesome crimes so baffling and creepy that the only one-liner the investigators would muster up is "I've got nothing. Please hold me."
In 2014, a student got in a taxicab in Fiji and found a cellphone someone else had left behind. Either wanting to locate the owner or hoping to find lewd photos (most likely a combination of both), he decided to look at the contents of the phone. What he found was a ten-minute video of four men being murdered while clinging to wreckage in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by four ships.
Over 40 rounds were fired into the victims, even as they raised their arms in surrender, while an unidentified voice kept yelling "shoot, shoot, shoot" in Mandarin over loudspeakers. And of course the student posted that shit right on YouTube.
It Gets Weirder ...
To this day, no one has any idea who these people are. Authorities have ruled out the possibility of the video being a hoax (or, like, viral marketing for a new found-footage movie), but no bodies have ever been found, and there's no official reports of an incident like this anywhere. They think the victims were pirates who tried to mess with the wrong fishing boats, but that's only a guess. The murderers haven't been identified either, because it's not like they turned the cameras on themselves and posed for selfies ... wait, no, that's exactly what they did. For several minutes.
The only major clues in the video are a banner with "Safety is No. 1" written in Mandarin (how do they write "irony"?), along with a registration number on the hull of a ship passing by in the background. That ship was eventually identified as a Taiwanese tuna vessel called Chun I 217. The owner of this boat was tracked down, but had little information to offer, since he owns over a dozen fishing vessels and claims it's super hard to keep track of who he lends them out to.
Meanwhile, Fijian authorities have pretty much taken a "not our problem" attitude, since they've had no reports of any missing mariners and believe the murders didn't occur on their turf. Oh well, at least they tried.
One September evening in 2015, 32-year-old Minnesotan Henry McCabe went out to a nightclub with two friends, but never returned home. One of the friends, William Kennedy, claimed that he dropped McCabe off at a gas station convenience store shortly after 2 a.m. (don't act like you've never experienced 2 a.m. convenience store burrito cravings), but had no idea what happened to him after that.
Nearly two months later, McCabe's body was found in a lake about six miles away from that gas station. There were no noticeable signs of foul play. According to McCabe's friends, he had gotten quite wasted, so was this merely another tragic case of a drunk man stumbling into the water? That explanation might be easier to believe if McCabe hadn't used his cellphone to leave the most terrifying voicemail ever.
It Gets Weirder ...
McCabe's wife was in California that night, and at 2:28 a.m., she received a call from him in which she could hear him screaming and saying he'd been shot. When she tried to phone McCabe's brother, the brother's voicemail recorded the last two minutes of the call, which contained bizarre unexplained growling noises (imagine a Wookie giving birth), followed by what sounded like high-pitched moans of pain. Have a listen if you think the concept of sleep is overrated.
This noise is followed by sudden silence, and then the call concludes with a male voice saying "Stop it." What in the fuck happened to this guy?
Well, suspicion fell upon William Kennedy's story, because the gas station's surveillance cameras didn't show him dropping off McCabe like he claimed. Not only that, but Kennedy also had McCabe's keys on him, even though McCabe would have needed them to enter his house. McCabe's wallet also happened to be in the possession of his other friend, who claimed he took it from McCabe at the nightclub to prevent him from buying any more drinks. Did McCabe's friends murder him because they envied his, uh, wallet and keys? Probably not, since cops soon found footage of Kennedy dropping McCabe off at a different gas station. He simply got the name wrong.
Even if you suspect some sort of robbery-murder plot here, how would that account for the weird-ass voicemail? Did the perpetrators morph into werewolves before they murdered McCabe? And even though McCabe was heard saying he'd been shot, there were no gunshot wounds or injuries on his body. What the shit?
Richard Lancelyn Green was considered the world's foremost scholar on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the badass creator of Sherlock Holmes and a devoted fairy believer. Sadly, Lancelyn Green would not live to see his favorite character portrayed by the guy from Ally McBeal. On May 24, 2004, he was found dead on his bed in his London flat. He had been garroted to death -- a shoelace had been wrapped around his neck and tightened with the handle of a wooden spoon. Hmm, it almost sounds like a scene out of an Agatha Christie novel or something.
It Gets Weirder ...
Prior to his death, Lancelyn Green had implied that his life was in serious danger. In order to complete an ambitious biography on Doyle, Green wanted access to a recently unearthed archive of the author's private papers and journals, and he didn't seem deterred by the fact that they were rumored to be cursed. When Lancelyn Green discovered the items were going to be auctioned off to private collectors, he attempted to put a stop to this, and as far as he was concerned, this was enough to bring the wooden-spoon-carrying assassins out into the open.
Lancelyn Green became increasingly paranoid, and told people he believed he was being followed by an unidentified American. When he invited a friend over for coffee, he insisted they talk outside because his flat was bugged. If that wasn't enough, when Lancelyn Green's sister attempted to call him on the night of his death, she was baffled to hear an American voice on his answering machine. Was Lancelyn Green knocked off by a killer so brazen that he literally left his voice behind at the murder scene?
Well, it turned out the voice was a generic automated recording which popped up whenever you deleted your own message, which Lancelyn Green apparently did ... for some reason. Since there were no signs of forced entry into his flat, many people started leaning toward the idea that he took his own life after deliberately planting clues to make it look like a murder -- which, incidentally, mirrors a plot device from a Sherlock Holmes story.
solving fictional cases based on the real unsolved Green case, which may have been inspired by a fictional case taken by the fictional Sherlock Holmes, who was inspired by the real Doyle's real instructor. Got it?" width="450" height="332" class="lazy" data-src="https://s3.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/article/3/9/8/634398_v2.jpg" />Bantam, Twelve
So did Lancelyn Green commit the most batshit suicide imaginable to make everyone else assume foul play? Maybe, but the problem is that it seemed a little too batshit. The coroner would not rule the death a suicide, and had a rather valid argument for doing so: Garroting yourself to death with a shoelace is very, very difficult. There had been only one recorded case of suicide by garroting in the past 30 years, and one expert found it unlikely that Lancelyn Green could have asphyxiated himself before passing out first. In the end, the coroner returned an open verdict, so Lancelyn Green's death is officially still unsolved. It would take some sort of brilliant, one-of-a-kind sleuth to solve this one.
On June 25, 1986, a truck was seen speeding at over 75 miles per hour down Spain's Somosierra mountain pass, which isn't recommended when you're transporting over 5,000 gallons of sulfuric acid. Sure enough, the truck wound up crashing and overturning, spilling acid all over the place. After the mess was cleaned up, the two deceased occupants of the truck were identified as driver Andres Martinez and his wife, Carmen Gomez. The authorities then had to share the tragic news with Andres' parents, who asked if their grandson was OK, and ...
Wait, what grandson?
It Gets Weirder ...
It turned out the couple had a 10-year-old son, Juan Pedro Martinez Gomez, who was seen having breakfast with them that very morning. That at least explained the children's clothes, toys, and cassette tapes the authorities had found in the truck, but there was an even bigger problem now: There was no child.
We know what you're thinking. Since there were 5,000 gallons of sulfuric acid involved, maybe the poor kid got dissolved into nothingness? That's what investigators initially thought, but experts determined that this scenario was impossible. At the very least, some bones would have been left behind. So what happened to Juan Pedro? Also, what would compel his father to drive down a steep mountain pass at such a high speed? Hint: It rhymes with "brugs."
You see, one year after the accident, a package of heroin was discovered inside a hidden compartment of the truck, leading to speculation that Juan Pedro was kidnapped in order to force his father to participate in drug smuggling. The truck's tachometer showed that it had come to a stop a total of 12 times while driving up the mountain, each time for no more than 30 seconds. Was Juan Pedro's father chasing the abductors? Was he desperately looking for his kid? Was he delivering heroin to mountain-dwelling junkies? Who the hell knows.
To further complicate matters, eyewitnesses claimed that they saw a white van driving behind the truck before the accident. After the crash, a "Nordic-looking" couple supposedly came out of the van, approached the truck, and were seen carrying a bundle when they returned to their vehicle. Was Juan Pedro in that bundle? If the couple was involved in drug smuggling, why would they grab the boy after the crash? And if they weren't drug traffickers, what would their motive be for taking him? And if Juan Pedro was in the truck when it crashed, could he even survive that to begin with? He would be in his 40s now, if he's still out there. One way or the other, he isn't talking.
In May 2008, 18-year-old Josh Maddux, a chill dude by all accounts, left his home in Woodland Park, Colorado and was never seen again. His disappearance remained a mystery until seven years later, when a cabin only a quarter-mile from Maddux's residence was about to be demolished ... and a mummified corpse was found inside the chimney, in what appeared to be in a fetal position. The body was eventually identified as that of Josh Maddux. And we haven't gotten to the weird part yet.
It Gets Weirder ...
Officially, the coroner ruled Maddux's death accidental, and he came up with a rather horrifying scenario: The young man attempted to slide down the chimney, but wound up getting stuck and died in there. And in case this story hasn't already ruined Christmas for you forever, the coroner even used the phrase "Santa Claus-style" to describe it.
No real explanation was offered for why Maddux would have climbed into the chimney in the first place, but the bigger question was whether it was even physically possible. The cabin's owner insisted that when the chimney was originally built, a heavy steel mesh rebar was installed near the top in order to keep animals out. Was Maddux's desire to get into that damn chimney so intense that he Hulked out and pulled the rebar away?
Then there's the matter of his clothes, or lack thereof. When Maddux's body was found, the only piece of clothing he had on was a thermal T-shirt. The rest of his clothes were found next to the fireplace inside the cabin. Maybe, seeing that he couldn't access the chimney from the roof, he stripped half-naked and climbed in through the fireplace? Two problems with that: 1) The owner had dragged a large wooden breakfast bar in front of the fireplace, blocking it, and 2) that's nuts. We should mention at this point that Maddux didn't use drugs.
So did a particularly strong murderer kill Maddux, move the cumbersome stuff blocking the chimney, and stuff his body in there? If so, no one can prove it. While there have been rumors that a currently incarcerated man once bragged about killing Maddux, there was no sign of trauma on his body and no hard evidence of foul play. So officially, his death is still considered to be an accident and destined to remain the only story involving a chimney more traumatizing than Phoebe Cates' monologue from Gremlins.
In August 2016, a pair of EMS workers were taking a break at a gas station convenience store in Norwalk, Ohio when their work followed them there in a rather grisly way. They noticed a Ziploc bag in a nearby field, which it turned out contained a heart. A human one, too (with 95 percent certainty). Well shit, someone's getting fired over that one, right?
It Gets Weirder ...
Things took on a creepy vibe when officials tried to match the heart up to a body and just ... couldn't. Even after the story got coverage in the media, no one ever came forward to claim any misplaced body parts. Norwalk is a small rural town not known for many homicides or violent crimes, and there were no reports of any grave robberies or dead bodies which were missing their tickers.
Worse yet, since the heart was fresh and had few signs of decomposition, it had likely been removed from its owner shortly before the workers stumbled upon it. Investigators looked into the possibility that the heart might have been lost accidentally during transit, as it's not uncommon for organs to be transported after autopsies. Who knows, maybe there was some dude waiting for a heart transplant somewhere, awkwardly checking his watch and saying: "I'll give him another 20 more minutes, but that's it." However, unless there were serious budget cuts in local organ donation services, it's highly unlikely that anyone would have been transporting a human heart in a Ziploc bag.
So obviously, the most terrifying explanation here is that some serial killer lost one of his trophies, and there's a murder victim out there who had their heart removed and has still not been found. That, or the Thuggee cult now has branches in rural Ohio.
To hear Robin Warder analyze more unsolved mysteries like these, check out his true crime podcast, The Trail Went Cold.
If you're addicted to weird true crime like we are, or NOT, then try this gateway book Volume One of Famous Crimes the World Forgot: Ten Vintage True Crime Stories Rescued from Obscurity.
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