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27 Extremely Dark True Crime Stories From Countries Outside The United States

The "Highway of Tears" is a 450-mile corridor of Highway 16 in British Columbia, Canada, where many Indigenous women have gone missing and or been murdered since at least 1986.

We recently asked the true crime fans of the BuzzFeed Community around the world to tell us about the most disturbing unsolved case from their countries (outside the United States). Here are their bone-chilling responses:

Warning: Graphic and disturbing content ahead including mentions of murder.

1. Australia — The recent case of Lesley Trotter, a 78-year-old woman from Brisbane who was missing for almost a month before being declared dead by police at the beginning of April 2023. It is believed that her body was "collected from a wheelie bin [and then] compacted in a rubbish pit."

Home photo of Lesley Trotter with short hair, wearing a blue button up shirt

2. Japan — The Setagaya family murder, aka the "Goldilocks Murder," which refers to the unsolved murder of the Miyazawa family who lived in the Setagaya neighborhood of Tokyo where they were brutally stabbed to death in December 2000.

skyline of the setagaya neighborhood with many homes, close together

3. Mexico — The death of Paulette Gebara Farah, a 4-year-old girl who disappeared, but was later found dead under suspicious circumstances. Her body was discovered seemingly hidden in her own bed.

A billboard with information on four-year-old Paulette Gebara is seen on a street

4. Canada — The "Highway of Tears", which is a 450-mile corridor of Highway 16 in British Columbia, and a location where many Indigenous women have gone missing and or been murdered since at least 1986.

Cars drive past a road sign on Canada's Route 16 that says girls don't hitchihike on the highway of tears, killer on the loose

5. Italy — The story of serial killer Leonarda Cianciulli who lured, then killed three women in her Italian village, and then turned them into soap to give to other people in the neighborhood.

old drawing of an italian town

6. Finland — The Lake Bodom murders, which involved the killing of three friends and the surprising survival of a fourth, is considered one of the most infamous unsolved homicide cases in Finland's history.

Nils Gustafsson in court with his lawyer

7. Bulgaria — The mysterious and confusing disappearance of Lars Mittank, a young German man on vacation in Bulgaria who was last seen on security footage running out of an airport and into a nearby forest.

video footage of a man running

8. France — The Dupont de Ligonnès murders, which involved the murder of five members of the Dupont de Ligonnès family (as well as their two dogs) and the disappearance of the father, Xavier, who is considered the prime suspect, in 2011.

9. South Korea — The deeply upsetting "Frog Boys" case about a group of five young boys who went missing for over a decade, until their remains were found with evidence of trauma.

Missing persons sign with the boys images on a wall in a street alley

10. Panama — The deaths of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon, Dutch students who went on a hike in Boquete, a small mountain town in Panama, in 2014 and never returned.

A poster handed out by the Dutch embassy with photos of Kris and Lisanne

11. Australia — The unsolved case of Phoebe Handsjuk, a 24-year-old woman in Melbourne whose body was found after she'd apparently fallen several stories, feet first, down into a high-rise building's garbage chute. Although her family believes someone put her into the garbage chute, her death remains a mystery.

CCTV footage of phoebe leaving her building

12. Finland — The Hausjärvi gravel pit murders, a series of two (and possibly more) violent crimes committed outside Helsinki in the 1990s by what is believed to be one perpetrator, known in the Finnish media as the Järvenpää Serial Killer.

gravel pit

13. Canada — The murder of Barry and Honey Sherman, billionaires who were found dead, strangled in their Toronto home in 2017. Although investigators initially speculated that the case was a murder-suicide, police later concluded that there was evidence of a homicide, saying they believed the couple was targeted.

flowers left outside of the house that has police tape around it

14. China — The Nanjing University mutilation case about a 19-year-old university student, Diao Aiqing, whose mutilated body parts were found scattered across different parts around the province of Jiangsu.

Overview of Nanjing University showing tall buildings and parks with trees

15. England — Jack the Ripper, an unidentified serial killer who mainly targeted sex workers in impoverished areas of London in 1888.

Newspaper report of 1888 about the notorious unidentified serial killer known as Jack the Ripper

16. Australia — The disappearance of the Beaumont children near Adelaide in 1966, who were believed to have been abducted and murdered.

17. Canada — The disappearance of Melanie Ethier, a teenager who went missing in New Liskeard, Ontario, and was last seen around 1:30–2 a.m. leaving a friend's house to walk home alone. Later that morning, Melanie's mother became concerned when she realized her daughter was not home and then did not show up to work later that day.

Missing person sign with a photo of Melanie by the side of the road

18. Australia — The case of suspected murderer and violent criminal, Mr. Cruel, who was active in the late '80s and early '90s. The perpetrator has never been identified, and as of 2016, there is a $1 million reward for information related to their crimes.

police sketch of a masked person

19. Norway — The "Isdal woman" case about an unidentified woman whose burned body was discovered in a remote part of the Isdalen valley on Nov. 29, 1970. Although many clues were found by authorities, her identity and mysterious death remain unsolved.

A lake in a valley in Norway

20. Belgium — The "Brabant Killers", aka the "Nijvel Gang" and "the mad killers of Brabant," who committed violent attacks, robberies, and murders in the central province of Brabant in the early to mid-'80s.

Police sweeping a river

21. New Zealand — The disappearance of Amber-Lee Cruickshank, a two-year-old toddler who was last seen on Oct. 17, 1992 and whose case shook the small town of Kingston where she lived.

A small train station in Kingston

22. Australia — The mystery of the Somerton Man, an unidentified man found dead on a beach in Somerton Park (a suburb of Adelaide) who had a scrap of paper with "tamám shud," meaning "ended" or "finished" on it.

strange writing on a piece of paper

23. England — The suspicious death of Gareth Williams, a British intelligence employee who was possibly assassinated in August 2010.

24. Russia — The Dyatlov Pass incident where nine people died in the mountains of Russia under very bizarre circumstances in 1959.

snow capped mountains

25. England — The strange and tragic death of Corrie McKeague, an RAF gunner who was last seen on CCTV footage entering a bin loading area before disappearing in Bury St Edmunds in 2016.

CCTV footage of Corrie walking on an empty street

26. Australia — The case of Harold Holt, a former Australian prime minister whose disappearance in 1967, while he was still in office, spawned several conspiracy theories — including wild ones like that he'd been taken by a Chinese submarine. Although his body was never found, Holt was later presumed dead.

27. Lastly, Portugal — The widely publicized Madeleine McCann case about a three-year-old British girl who went missing from her bed in 2007 while her family was on vacation in Portugal.

missing child poster

Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.


If you or anyone you know has information on a missing person case, call local law enforcement first. You can also contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 (THE-LOST) or visit the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System site for regional case assistance.