This list of unsolved deaths includes notable cases where victims have been murdered or have died under unsolved circumstances, including murders committed by unknown serial killers. The mysteriously-deceased are listed chronologically by year. (For 'serial killer cases' which span multiple years, entries are listed under the year the first murder took place.)
Thomas C. Hindman, an American politician assassinated by one or more unknown assailants on 27 September 1868. The assassins fired through his parlor window while he was reading his newspaper with his children in Helena, Arkansas, United States.
John M. Clayton, American politician, shot and killed instantly by an unknown assailant on the evening of 29 January 1889 in Plumerville, Arkansas, after starting an investigation into the possible fraud of an election he took part in. After his death he was declared the winner of the election but his assassin was never found.
Andrew Jackson Borden and Abby Durfee Borden, father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden, both killed in their family house in Fall River, Massachusetts on the morning of 4 August 1892, by blows from a hatchet. In the case of Andrew Borden, the hatchet blows not only crushed his skull but cleanly split his left eyeball. Lizzie was later arrested and charged for the murders, because she and a maid were the only ones in the house at the time of the killings, but she was acquitted by a jury, and the case remains technically unsolved.
The Gatton murders occurred 1.5 miles from the rural Australian town of Gatton, Queensland on December 26, 1898. Siblings Michael, Norah and Ellen Murphy were found deceased the morning after they left home to attend a dance in the town hall which had been cancelled. The bodies were arranged with the feet pointing west and both women had their hands tied with handkerchiefs. This signature aspect has never been repeated in Australian crime and to date remains a mystery.
William Goebel, an American politician who was shot and mortally wounded on the morning of 30 January 1900 by an unknown assailant in Frankfort, Kentucky, one day before being sworn in as Governor of Kentucky. The next day the dying Goebel was sworn in and, despite the best efforts of eighteen physicians attending him, died on the afternoon of 3 February 1900. Goebel remains the only state Governor in the United States to die by assassination while in office.
Rose Harsent, a six-months-pregnant maid who was stabbed to death on 1 June 1902 in Suffolk, England by an unknown assailant. At the time it was alleged that the murderer was a preacher of the Primitive Methodist Chapel named William Gardiner, who was having an affair with the victim. Gardiner was tried twice for the murder but each time the jury failed to reach a verdict. The case has been investigated in BBC One's Julian Fellowes Investigates.
Elsie Paroubek, five-year-old daughter of Czech immigrants, either wandered away from her home or was kidnapped in Chicago on April 8, 1911. Her disappearance was the subject of intense police investigation over three states, with massive newspaper coverage. Her body was found a month later. Elsie, under the name "Annie Aronburg" became one of the principal characters in Henry Darger's immense novel The Story of the Vivian Girls in the Realms of the Unreal.
Joseph Wilson, the sixty-year-old stationmaster, shot dead at Lintz Green railway station, in the North East of England, on 7 October 1911. His murder sparked one of the largest murder investigations in the North East.
William Desmond Taylor, popular American actor and director of silent movies. Killed by a shot in the back on 1 February 1922 inside his bungalow. His murder, along with other Hollywood scandals, such as the Roscoe Arbuckle trial, led to a frenzy of sensational and often fabricated newspaper reports, and a deathbed confession but doubted.
The Hinterkaifeck murders. Hinterkaifeck, a small farmstead between the Bavarian towns of Ingolstadt and Schrobenhausen (approximately 70 km north of Munich), was the scene of one of the most puzzling crimes in German history. On the evening of 31 March 1922, the six inhabitants of the farm were killed with a pickaxe, and the murder is still unsolved.
The Janet Smith case. On July 26, 1924, the 22-year-old Scottish nursemaid was found dead of a gunshot wound to the temple in a home in an exclusive neighborhood of Vancouver, Canada. Although she was initially labeled a suicide (despite much evidence to the contrary), her friends were able to get the case reopened and deemed a murder. The initial suspect, Chinese houseboy Wong Foon Sing, was kidnapped and tortured for weeks in an unsuccessful attempt to extract a confession, causing a major scandal when it was discovered that various police officials and respected members of society were directly involved. Wong was eventually tried and acquitted for lack of evidence. A law was proposed, banning the employment of Orientals and white women in the same household, but failed to pass.
The Wallace Case was the unsolved murder of Liverpool housewife Julia Wallace on 20 January 1931. Her husband, William Herbert Wallace, was convicted and sentenced to hang, but the verdict was overturned on appeal - the first such instance in British legal history. The chess-like quality of the puzzle has attracted a host of crime writers. Raymond Chandler said, ‘The Wallace case is the nonpareil of all murder mysteries ... I call it the impossible murder because Wallace couldn’t have done it, and neither could anyone else. ... The Wallace case is unbeatable; it will always be unbeatable.’
Vampire Murder Case is the nickname given to the case of an unknown assailant who committed the unsolved murder of a prostitute who was found dead with a crushed skull in her apartment on 4 May 1932 in Stockholm, Sweden. Police noted that someone had drunk her blood.
Sir Harry Oakes, an American-born British gold-mine owner and philanthropist who was found murdered in his mansion in Nassau, Bahamas on 8 July 1943. His murder became the subject of worldwide press coverage at the time as well as several books, films, and documentaries.
Georgette Bauerdorf, a 20-year-old oil heiress who was found face down in a bathtub in her home at West Hollywood, California on 12 October 1944. She had been strangled with a piece of towel stuffed down her throat, and although there was a large roll of $2 bills and thousands of dollars worth of sterling silver lying in an open trunk, Bauerdorf's jewelry and other valuables were not stolen. The police believe her murderer had unscrewed an automatic night light over the outside entrance of the apartment so it would not come on and lain in wait for her.
The Black Dahlia (Elizabeth Short), a 22-year-old woman who was found severely mutilated and her body cut in half in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California on 15 January 1947. Her unsolved murder has been the source of several books, films, and widespread speculation.
Emily Armstrong, found in a dry cleaner's shop in London, England on 14 April 1949, about an hour after she had been murdered. An autopsy showed she was beaten to death and her skull shattered by at least 22 blows from a blunt object, believed to be a claw hammer.
Liaquat Ali Khan: On 16 October 1951, Khan was shot twice in the chest during a public meeting of the Muslim City League at Company Bagh (Company Gardens), Rawalpindi. The police immediately shot the assassin who was later identified as Saad Akbar Babrak. Khan was rushed to a hospital and given a blood transfusion, but he succumbed to his injuries. The exact motive behind the assassination has never been fully revealed. Saad Akbar Babrak was an Afghan national and a professional assassin from Hazara.[self-published source] He was known to the police prior to the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan. The assassination is still a very big question mark because it was never investigated properly.
La Crosse, Wisconsin. 15-year-old Evelyn Hartley was babysitting for Professor Viggo Rasmusen on the evening of October 24, 1953 when she was kidnapped. That was the night of the La Crosse football game and attendance was high. There were signs of a struggle in the living room where her broken glasses were left. In the basement there was blood and an open window where the kidnapper came in and took Evelyn out. Though her body was never found, weeks later bloody undergarments resembling hers were discovered on Highway 14, two miles south of La Crosse. There was a fifteen-minute window between the Rasmusens's leaving and her disappearance.
Jamestown, Ohio. The Hernandez family has been missing since 1953. After the disappearance of the father and his two children, police officials searched the house finding Mr. Hernandez's wife stored in a cold room below their bedroom. To this day there is no record of the two children, or the father. J. Hernandez is suspected in the murder of his wife, E. Hernandez, and the disappearance of their two children.
Marilyn Reese Sheppard, wife of Sam Sheppard, attacked and killed in her home in Bay Village, Ohio, United States, on 4 July 1954. Sam Sheppard was later convicted of killing his pregnant wife, but this was overturned in 1966, and he was acquitted in a new trial. He claimed his wife was killed by a bushy-haired man who also attacked him and knocked him unconscious twice. Their son slept through the night, just down the hall from the bedroom in which his mother was murdered. The trial of Sam Sheppard received extensive publicity and was called "carnival atmosphere" by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Sheppard case was a large part of the inspiration for the television series and later movie The Fugitive.
Barbara and Patricia Grimes disappeared on 28 December 1956, in Chicago, Illinois after going to a cinema to watch an Elvis Presley movie. Their disappearance launched one of the biggest missing-persons hunts in Chicago history. However, police were not able to determine what happened to the Grimes sisters. On January 22, 1957 their naked bodies were found off a road near Willow Springs, Illinois. The corpses contained various bruises and marks (for example puncture wounds in the chest that may have come from an ice pick) that were never fully explained.
Boy in the Box, sometimes known as "America's Unknown Child" is a name given to an unidentified murder victim, approximately 4 to 6 years old. The body of the boy was found battered and naked inside a cardboard box on 25 February 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The case received massive media attention and pictures of the boy were placed in every gas bill in Philadelphia. It has been featured on the America's Most Wanted television series, but despite all attention the case remains unsolved and the boy's identity unknown.
Geneva "Jean" Hilliker Ellroy, a 43-year-old divorced nurse, was found strangled to death near Arroyo High School in El Monte, California on 22 June 1958. No promising suspects were ever produced, though she was seen with an unknown man and woman in the hours before her death. The case received only superficial notice from the media, possibly due to the recent homicide of Johnny Stompanato. The victim's ten-year-old son James Ellroy, (then Lee Earle Ellroy), would become a bestselling crime novelist later in life and would revisit his mother's murder in his 1996 memoir, My Dark Places.
Lynne Harper, 12 years old, was last seen alive on 9 June 1959 riding on the handlebars of her friend Steven Truscott's bike near an air force base which is now Vanastra, Ontario, Canada. Two days later her body was discovered in a nearby farm woodlot. She had been raped and strangled with her own blouse. Fourteen-year-old Steven Murray Truscott was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder, becoming Canada's youngest person to be sentenced to death. The sentence was later commuted to life in prison. Truscott was held in custody for 10 years: in 2007 his conviction was ruled a miscarriage of justice, although he was not declared innocent.
The Lake Bodom murders were an infamous multiple homicide that took place in Finland on 5 June 1960. That night four teenagers were camping on the shores of the lake when between 4 am and 6 am, they were attacked by an unknown individual or individuals with a knife and a blunt object. Three of them died, and the fourth one was wounded but survived. Although the sole survivor became a suspect for some time in 2004, the case remains unsolved and the killer(s) unidentified.
Mary Meyer, a socialite from Washington, D.C., and close friend of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Shot to death on 12 October 1964 by an unknown assailant after finishing a painting and going for a walk. She was heard screaming for help by a mechanic on a nearby road who also heard two gunshots and saw an unidentified man standing over her body. Her murder would later stir speculation relating to the Kennedy assassination.
Betsy Aardsma was a 22-year-old woman from Holland, Michigan, United States and a graduate student at Penn State University, who was stabbed to death in broad daylight in the stacks of Pattee Library on Penn State's campus on 28 November 1969. She was stabbed a single time through the heart with a single-edged small knife. Approximately one minute later two men came from Betsy's location and told a desk clerk, "Somebody better help that girl," and then exited the library. The men were never identified. 25–35 minutes later Betsy arrived at a hospital where she was pronounced dead. She had been wearing a red dress, and since there was only a small amount of blood visible, no one immediately realized that she had been stabbed.
Barbara Colby, an American actress from Venice, California, United States, was shot to death while walking with a colleague to his car on 24 July 1975. She died instantly from her wounds but her colleague was able to describe the shooting to the police before he also died from his wounds. He said the shooting occurred without reason or provocation and said that there were two gunmen whom he did not recognize. There had been no attempt to rob the two, and the killers and their motivation are still unknown.
Seewen murder case: 5 people were shot during Pentecost weekend 1976 in a weekend house near the Swiss village Seewen. Although the weapon was found in 1996, the murderer remains unknown.
Helen Brach, heiress to the E. J. Brach & Sons Candy Company, disappeared on February 17, 1977, and was declared legally dead in May 1984. Richard Bailey, a suspect, was charged with conspiracy to murder Helen Brach, but not convicted of it. Instead, he was convicted of defrauding her.
Bob Crane, an American actor best known for his role in Hogan's Heroes, was discovered bludgeoned to death with a weapon that was never found (but was believed by police to be a camera tripod) at the Winfield Place Apartments in Scottsdale, Ariz., on June 29, 1978. Crane had allegedly called his friend John Henry Carpenter the night before to tell him their friendship was over. Crane was involved in the underground sexual scene and filmed his numerous escapades with the help of Carpenter, who was an audio-visual expert. Police reportedly found blood smears in Carpenter's car that matched Crane's blood type, but no charges were filed against Carpenter for more than a decade. When he was charged in 1994, he was acquitted. Carpenter maintained his innocence until his death in 1998, and the case is now officially cold.
William Anthony Kagdis, On August 1, 1982 at approximately 11:50 AM Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Johnson Motel located at 9533 James Madison Highway, Fauquier County, VA, on a report that a guest had been found deceased in his rented room. Upon arrival at the Johnson Motel deputies were directed to room no.17 where they discovered the apparently dead body of a white male lying on one of the beds in the room. The victim was found lying face down in a large pool of blood. The room showed signs of a struggle having taken place. The victim was identified as William Anthony Kagdis, an aeronautical engineer with NASA, who checked into the room at the Johnson Motel the evening before. An autopsy revealed Mr. Kagdis’ death was due to the numerous blunt force injuries he received to his head. Mr. Kagdis had been traveling from his home in Baltimore, MD to Tennessee on business.
Raymond Washington, original founder of the notorious South Central Los Angeles street gang that came to be known as the Crips. Washington was shot dead at the age of 25 when he walked up to a car on the corner of 64th and San Pedro Streets in Los Angeles. At the time of his death, Washington no longer had any real control over the gang he originally founded. He wanted to unite warring gangs in peace and had always opposed guns. Different theories exist on why he was killed and who did it but no one was ever arrested for his murder.
Óscar Romero, the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador, was killed by a shot to the heart on 24 March 1980 while celebrating Mass at a small chapel located in a hospital. It is believed, but never proven, that the assassins were members of Salvadoran death squads. During the funeral ceremony, a bomb exploded on the Cathedral square and shots were fired. Many people were killed during the subsequent mass panic.
Peter Ivers, television host and musician, was found bludgeoned to death in his Los Angeles apartment in 1983. The murder was never solved, although on the basis of new information found in the book In Heaven Everything Is Fine: The Unsolved Life of Peter Ivers and the Lost History of New Wave Theatre (2008) by Josh Frank and Charlie Buckholtz, the Los Angeles Police Department has reopened their investigation into Ivers' death.
Christine Jessop, an eight-year-old girl of Queensville, Ontario, was raped and murdered in October 1984. Her next-door neighbour, Guy Paul Morin, was wrongly convicted of the crime in 1992 but DNA testing led to a subsequent overturning of this verdict in 1995.
Dian Fossey, an American zoologist who observed and studied gorilla groups over a period of 18 years in Rwanda. She was brutally murdered in the bedroom of her cabin on 26 December 1985. Her skull had been split by a native panga, which she had confiscated from poachers years earlier and hung as a decoration on the wall of her cabin. Fossey was found dead beside her bed, two meters away from a hole that was cut into the wall of her cabin on the day of her murder.
Olof Palme, Prime Minister of Sweden and the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party was shot in the back while walking home from a cinema together with his wife shortly after 11 pm on 28 February 1986 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Julie Ward, murdered in Kenya in 1988 while on safari in the Masai Mara game reserve. Her burned and dismembered body was found a week after she went missing. The original statement by Kenyan officials was that she had been eaten by lions and struck by lightning but this was later revised to say she was murdered.
On Nov. 10, 1993, Seann Campbell and Bryan Benson, both 20, were stabbed to death at a West Coast Video store in the leafy Philadelphia suburb of Warminster. The boys were attacked as they were closing the shop for the night. They had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest and neck, their bodies discovered the next morning. One major clue, a bloody earring apparently ripped from the ear of an assailant, has never helped police find the killer. $300 was taken from the store, but money was left in the register and the boy's wallets were not taken. Police believed the boys were killed by one or more persons using a long-bladed knife. Many suspects have been developed by police over the years, including a serial killer who was known to be in the area at the time. There was no evidence of forced entry and no motive has ever been established. This is considered the most notorious unsolved murder in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. 
Sidney Leithman, a criminal lawyer from Montreal whose clients included Colombian drug cartels and the West End Gang was cut off while driving to work, whereupon the person who cut him off fired six shots into his Saab convertible, four of which hit Leithman. It has been speculated that this was a settling of accounts by a disgruntled client, but no suspects have ever been identified.
Deanna Cremin, a 17-year-old girl from Somerville, Massachusetts, United States, was found behind a senior housing complex. An autopsy revealed she had been strangled. She was last seen alive by her boyfriend who, unlike on other occasions when he would walk her to the door, walked her only half way and she continued on her own toward her house. Her murder remains unsolved.
Anne Barber Dunlap was found murdered in the trunk of her car in Minneapolis on 1 January 1996. Her husband Brad Dunlap was suspected but never charged, and he sued the insurance company to collect $1 million from a recently established policy. The case is notable because the U.S. District Court ruled that the police had to share with Brad Dunlap any information they shared with the insurance company.
Amber Hagerman, victim of an abduction and murder. On 13 January 1996, the 10-year old girl was kidnapped while riding her bike near her grandparents' home in Arlington, Texas. Four days later, a man walking his dog found her body in a creek bed. An autopsy revealed that her throat had been cut. Although a $75,000 reward was offered for information leading to Hagerman's killer, the perpetrator was never found. Her murder would later inspire the creation of the AMBER Alert system.
Karen A. Stiit, a 15 year old high school student was found stabbed over 60 times in the neck and chest on September 5, 1982. Her nude body was found in an alley behind the Honey Bee restaurant in Sunnyvale, California by a delivery driver making a delivery to the Woolworth Garden Center on Wolfe Road and El Camino Real. She was bound by her clothing, though no sexual assault was evident. Her murder remains unsolved.
Tammy Haas, a 19 year old high school student from Yankton, SD went missing after attending a homecoming party on September 17, 1992 with her date, Eric Stukel. Her body was later discovered in a ravine near Crofton, Nebraska not far from the party she attended the night of September 17, 1992. The case eventually went to trial years later and the primary suspect Eric Stukel was acquitted of class III felony manslaughter. It is believed the acquittal was partially due to a Nebraska law requiring the prosecution to prove the victim actually died within Cedar County. Eric Stukel maintains his innocence, and no others have come forward with information that could lead to an arrest.
Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Wife of French filmmaker Daniel Toscan du Plantier, found beaten to death outside her home in Toormore near Schull in County Cork, Ireland, on the morning of the 23 December 1996. Former French President Jacques Chirac was a friend of the couple and gave the case national attention. The main suspect, Ian Bailey, has been questioned 2 times by the Irish Authorities in relation to the murder, but the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) decided not to prosecute. In early April, 2010 the French authorities issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Bailey. On 24th, April, 2010 the Gardaí in Ireland arrested Ian Bailey and brought him in front of the High Court in Dublin to appeal his extradition. This case is ongoing and is expected to take many months.
JonBenét Ramsey, a six-year-old American girl who had competed in child beauty pageants, was made famous by her Christmastime murder and the subsequent media coverage. She was found dead in the basement of her parents' home in Boulder, Colorado, on December 26, 1996, nearly eight hours after she was reported missing. The official cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma. After several grand jury hearings, the case is still unsolved. Her parents were suspects, but authorities eventually confirmed that the couple had been cleared of any involvement.
Ita Martadinata Haryono, an Indonesian human rights activist, found dead on 9 October 1998 in her bedroom in Central Jakarta, Indonesia. She was stabbed ten times and her neck had been slashed. The murder occurred just three days after a Jakarta press conference held by the human rights organizations she had been involved with.
Big L, a Harlem rapper, was shot multiple times in the head and chest near his Harlem home on 15 February 1999.
Jill Dando, an English journalist and television presenter who worked for the BBC for 14 years. She was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head on 26 April 1999, after leaving the home of her fiancé. Her death sparked "Operation Oxborough", the biggest murder inquiry and largest criminal investigation since the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.
Suzanne Jovin, a 21-year-old senior at Yale University, was found stabbed to death in 1998 on the campus of Yale. Allegations that her thesis advisor was a suspect led to the end of his career at Yale, but the crime remains unsolved.
Ashley Ouellette, a fifteen-year-old female from Saco, Maine, was found lying in the middle of Pine Point Road in Scarborough, Maine, by passing motorists on 10 February 1999 at 3:57am. Ouellette was last seen alive at approximately 2:00am at Earl Sanborn Jr. and Muriel Sanborn residence in Saco. She was allowed to spend the night there, however, by morning Ashley had disappeared from the residence. Ouellette was not seen again until found in the road.
Raonaid Murray, an Irish young woman stabbed to death at the age of 17 within a few hundred metres of her home in Glenageary, Co. Dublin, in the early hours of Saturday morning, 4 September 1999.
Ricky McCormick whose body was found in a field by sheriff's officers in St. Charles County, Missouri, on June 30, 1999. The only clues to the mystery are two notes in his pockets, apparently written in a complex cipher.
Jill-Lyn Euto, an 18 year old student, was found stabbed to death in her sixth-floor apartment at 600 James St, Syracuse, NY on 28 January 2001. No arrests have been made.
Evelyn Hernandez, and her 5-year-old son Alex, last heard from on 1 May 2002 at her residence in San Francisco, California. Her wallet was found several days later, in South San Francisco. Hernandez was nine months pregnant at the time and on 24 July 2002 her torso was found floating in San Francisco Bay. Her unborn child and her son Alex have not been found. The case was profiled twice on America's Most Wanted during the summer of 2003.
Rashawn Brazell, disappeared after leaving his home in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York, United States, on the morning of 14 February 2005. His dismembered body parts were later found in garbage bags. America's Most Wanted profiled the case five times, most recently in 2008.
Sergeant Chris Reyka. On August 10, 2007, Sergeant Chris Reyka of the Broward County Sheriff's Office was shot and killed while investigating a report of suspicious vehicles in a Walgreen's parking lot in Pompano Beach. At some point during the stop one of the suspects opened fire on Sergeant Reyke, killing him. The suspect's vehicle was captured on a security camera fleeing the scene, but no arrests have been made.
Robert Wone, age 32, was murdered on August 2, 2006, in his friend's Washington, D.C., apartment. He was "restrained, incapacitated, and sexually assaulted" prior to his death. The only individuals present in the apartment at the time were its three residents, all friends of Wone. They have denied involvement and insisted that an intruder committed the crime. Authorities claim that there was no evidence of a break-in: the apartment appeared to be washed and cleaned, the three residents appeared freshly showered, and the evidence was not consistent with the residents' accounts. In addition, the residents tampered with the crime scene, waited an inordinate amount of time to call 911, and exhibited strange behavior when paramedics and police arrived. Authorities believe that either some or all of the three house-mates murdered Wone and engaged in a cover-up.
Lane Bryant shooting – on February 2, 2008, a gunman trying to rob a Lane Bryant store killed five women (a manager and four customers). The shooter has not been apprehended, although police do not consider it a "cold case" yet.
Mallory Manning, a formerly drug-addicted prostitute was picked up by a supposed client on her usual corner in an inner city street in Christchurch, New Zealand on 18 December 2008. She was taken to a property and brutally murdered before being dumped in a nearby river where she was discovered the next day.
Thomas C. Wales (b:1952) was an American federal prosecutor and gun control advocate. On October 11, 2001, he was killed by a bullet fired through the window of his basement home-office in Seattle, Washington. No suspects have been charged, and the investigation continues.
Police Officer Jason Ellis, 35. Shot and killed while returning home from work on the Bluegrass Parkway near Bardstown, Kentucky in the early morning hours of May 25, 2013. Debris was placed in the road and an assailant killed Officer Ellis with a shotgun from a nearby hill as he exited his marked patrol car to clear the debris. No suspects have been identified
John Bodkin Adams, a physician suspected of being a serial killer, England. One alleged victim, Gertrude Hullett, was found to have committed suicide at the inquest in 1956, but Dr. Adams was indicted for her murder the following year. The case was then dropped by the prosecution via a nolle prosequi, an action described by the judge as an "abuse of process."
Agnès Sorel, 1450, mistress of King Charles VII of France. While the cause of death was originally thought to be dysentery, scientists have now concluded that Agnès died from being poisoned by mercury. The culprit remains unknown.
King Charles XII of Sweden, 1718, killed by a bullet in siege trench while observing enemy. Bullet entered the side of his head, leading to speculation he was shot by one of his own men.
Émile Zola, 1902, French author, died in Paris in 1902 of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a stopped chimney. His enemies were blamed, but nothing was proved.
Death of Rudolf Diesel, 1913, the place is unknown and many theories are given about Diesel's death. He disappeared in the English Channel and was found dead at sea ten days later.
Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, 1918, well-known magician and occultist, died of an unknown cause; it is known that he had many enemies. The manner of death is unknown; his death certificate lists no cause of death. Violet Firth (Dion Fortune) claimed his death was the result of the 1918 flu pandemic. As few facts are known about Mathers' private life, verification of such claims are very difficult.
B. H. DeLay, 1923, Aviator/actor who died while performing on 4 July in Venice Beach (Los Angeles) California area, died when the wings of his plane were sabotaged causing him to die instantly in the subsequent crash.
Ottavio Bottecchia, 1927, Italian Cyclist, was found by the side of a road, covered with bruises and with a serious skull fracture. His bicycle was undamaged, propped against a nearby tree. He was brought to a hospital but died soon afterwards. An official inquiry concluded accidental death but many suspected that he had run afoul of the powerful and growing fascist movement in Italy at the time.
Ghazi of Iraq, 1939, King of Iraq, died in a mysterious accident involving a sports car he was driving. Some believe he was killed on the orders of Nuri as-Said.
King Ananda Mahidol of Thailand, 1946. Died of gunshot wounds; suicide, accident or assassination.
Jan Masaryk, 1948, son of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk; Czech diplomat, politician and Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia, was found dead in the courtyard of the Foreign Ministry below his bathroom window. The initial investigation concluded that he committed suicide by jumping out of the window, although many are convinced that he was pushed.
The Taman Shud Case, 1948, Adelaide, Australia, in which a man was found dead on the beach. His dental records did not match those of any known person. He carried no identification. The labels on his business suit and clothing were all missing. In one trouser pocket there was a piece of paper with the words 'Taman Shud' on it. This is a phrase on the last page of collection of poems called The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám and it means 'the end.'
The Dyatlov Pass incident was the death of nine hikers on the Kholat Syakhl mountain in the northern Ural Mountains range on 2 February 1959. Two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue. After testing, the clothing of the victims was found to be highly radioactive. There were no witnesses or survivors to provide any testimony, and the cause of death was listed as a "compelling unknown force" by Soviet investigators.
Zviad Gamsakhurdia, 1993, former president of Georgia, died in circumstances that were (and still are) very unclear. It is known that he died in the village of Khibula in the Samegrelo region of western Georgia.
Cyprien Ntaryamira, 1994, president of Burundi, killed in a mysterious plane crash at Kigali airport. The resulting political instability led to the Rwandan Genocide and the outbreak of full-scale war in Burundi.
Giorgi Sanaia, 2001, Georgian journalist known for opposition to government, shot in apartment in Tbilisi.
Joyce Carol Vincent, 2003, a 38 year old woman whose remains lay undiscovered in her London flat for three years, by which time the body had decomposed so much as to make identifying a cause of death to be impossible; her story was profiled in the 2011 documentary Dreams of a Life.
Elisa Lam A 21 year old Vancouver resident traveled to Los Angeles in January 2013. Last seen at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, 31 Jan. She disappeared while at the hotel, but surveillance videos show her acting strange in an elevator prior to her disappearance. Weeks later, her body was found in a water tank on the roof of the Cecil Hotel in LA. Autopsy remains unknown. The only entrance to the roof is through the fire escape, or employee only activated access. The water tank had to be cut open and drained to recover her body.. The way she got in was through a small opening at the top which contained a lid. The lid was closed after she drowned. It is unknown whether or not she was being followed, or it was an accidental drowning or murder. Guests had a complaint from low water pressure. This led up to check the water tanks.
Date of death disputed
Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish humanitarian who worked in Budapest, Hungary, was most likely executed in Russia in or around 1947 after being captured by the Red Army in 1945. Death is dated by Soviet authorities as 16 July 1947, but this is disputed; remains an unsolved case.