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10 Thrilling Mysteries That Remain Unsolved

The truth behind these crimes may never come to light. Inspired by Gone Girl, in theaters today.

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1. D.B. Cooper

In 1971 (when airport security was nonexistent), a man hijacked a plane flying from Portland to Seattle. Upon landing in Seattle, the hijacker emptied the plane of passengers and demanded $200,000 and four parachutes. He then ordered the pilots to fly him to Mexico. Shortly after takeoff, the hijacker jumped from the back of the plane with two parachutes and a bag of cash, and he was never seen or heard from again. 15 copycat hijackers attempted the same stunt in the following year. Four of them actually survived the jump and were arrested shortly thereafter, thanks to the FBI's money-tracking prowess, but the true identity of the hijacker known only as D.B. Cooper remains a mystery.

2. The Schiphol Diamond Heist


In February of 2005, several thieves, dressed as employees of KLM airlines, drove onto the tarmac of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. Once there, they hijacked another truck full of diamonds that were bound for Antwerp, Belgium. The stolen truck was recovered later on, but the thieves and the diamonds were never located. The diamonds were valued at $118 million, which would make this unsolved crime also the most high-stakes diamond heist in history.

3. The Gardner Museum Robbery

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Late in the evening in March of 1990, two thieves dressed up as police officers and went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Once inside, they convinced the security there that they were answering a call. The impostors then promptly restrained the security guards with handcuffs and duct tape and left them in the basement. The thieves made off with incredibly valuable artwork by Rembrandt, Degas, Manet, and others.

The best part about this unsolved mystery is that the Gardner Museum is offering a cool five million dollars to anyone who can help them recover the stolen art.

4. Jack the Ripper

Perhaps the most famous murderer in London's history, Jack the Ripper is believed to have murdered at least five prostitutes in the Whitechapel district between August and November of 1888. A dozen more murders between 1888 and 1892 may also have been the work of the Ripper. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, "in each instance the victim’s throat was cut, and the body was usually mutilated in a manner indicating that the murderer had at least some knowledge of human anatomy." The killer was bold and even once mailed a victim's kidney to the police. The inability to identify the Ripper led to the resignation of London's police commissioner. On September 7, 2014, the Daily Mail reported that an amateur sleuth had identified the killer. However, the evidence has not yet been peer-reviewed, and some still profess doubts regarding the validity of the evidence.

5. The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko

Alexander Litvinenko was a member of Russia's FSB (formerly known as the KGB). He made a bunch of enemies when he decided to start speaking out regarding corruption, foul play, and general shadiness in Vladimir Putin's Russia. He claimed that the FSB ordered the murder of the Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky. He also claimed that the FSB bombed an apartment building, killed 300 people, and then blamed it on Chechen separatists.

When it became unsafe for Litvinenko to stay in Russia, he fled to London, where he started getting paid by the British secret service, MI6. On November 23, 2006, Litvinenko died from radiation poisoning. It was never discovered who poisoned him, but many believe it was a political assassination ordered by the Kremlin.

6. Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.

As the East Coast–West Coast rap rivalry heated up in the 1990s, so did the rivalry between Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. When Tupac was first shot in 1994, he claimed that the culprit was likely one of the rappers from the East Coast. According to Time, Tupac released "a number of scathing rhymes" against Biggie, "including one in which he claimed to have slept with Biggie's wife." In 1996, Tupac was shot outside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A few months later, Biggie was shot in Los Angeles. To this day, neither case has been closed.

7. JonBenét Ramsey

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JonBenét Ramsey was a child beauty pageant star whose Christmas-day murder captivated the nation in 1996 and 1997. Murdered in her home in Boulder, Colorado, JonBenét's body was found beaten and strangled in the house's basement. Investigators initially thought her father, mother, and brother were the most likely suspects. In 2008, DNA evidence would exonerate them from the crime. While court documents from grand jury trials continue to surface, there is still no definitive evidence as to the killer's identity.

8. The Black Dahlia

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The Black Dahlia is a nickname given to 22-year-old Elizabeth Short, the victim of a gruesome murder in Los Angeles in 1947. Short's body was found cut in half at the waist and dumped in a city park. During their investigation, the LAPD received 60 confessions to the crime. From those confessions, the police followed leads on 25 viable suspects, but a culprit was never named. The Black Dahlia remains one of the oldest unsolved murders in the history of Los Angeles.

9. Jimmy Hoffa

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Jimmy Hoffa was a prominent labor union leader who mysteriously vanished in Detroit, Michigan in 1975. Throughout his career as a teamster, Hoffa is known to have maintained intimate ties with the mafia. As a result of his involvement with organized crime, many believe that he was executed by the mob. Hoffa was last seen outside of a Detroit restaurant, where he was meeting two known mafia associates for lunch. His body has never been found.

10. The Zodiac Killer

The Zodiac Killer terrorized the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At least five people were killed by his hand. He taunted the police and the media with ciphers and codes, stating that if his cipher was not printed in the newspaper, he would continue killing. The San Francisco police investigated over 2,500 suspects in the case, but the true killer was never identified.

Inspired by Gone Girl, in theaters October 3.

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