Most Mysterious Deaths in History

Most Mysterious Deaths in History
Most Mysterious Deaths in History

History is replete with examples of people dying for unknown reasons and being killed on unclear grounds. Many of these deaths have disturbed the minds of the those who heard about them and continue to do the same even decades later.

There have been many murders and deaths throughout the history of humanity where authorities never found the murderers and the cause of death remain unknown. For example, the assassination of John F. Kennedy caused one of the most thorough investigations in history, but the killer remains unknown even today.

Furthermore, Jack the Ripper who killed at least five people (and according to various sources the total number of victims likely exceeds several dozens) even sent letters to mock the police and still managed to stay free.

Several deaths and murder cases are especially noteworthy because they are shrouded in darkness. Furthermore, this is despite detectives following a process of detailed investigation, additionally with genuine interest from the general public.

One may assume that the skills and knowledge of investigators can solve virtually any murder; however all these cases are still unsolved, and only time can give answers to the broad range of questions about them. Let’s look at the most famous examples of these mysterious death stories:


Murder of Kyllikki Saari

Mysterious deaths - Murder of Kyllikki Saari
Mysterious deaths – Murder of Kyllikki Saari

At the time, this was one of the most high-profile crimes to take place in Finland. More than 5000 people were involved in the investigation process, and the police had a list of more than ten suspects. Nevertheless, the police were not able to prove any of them guilty.

Kyllikki was only 17 years old when she was working at a church office in the small village of Kortteenkylän and living with her poor farmer parents, three sisters and two brothers in the neighboring village of Heikkilän.

One evening she was riding her bicycle, returning home with one of her friends. The road passed through a forest, and Saari knew it perfectly, as she had used that way many times. However, on this occasion, at one of the intersections, Saari and her friend had to use different roads, and nobody saw her again from that moment.

The next day her father went to the police, and all of the citizens of the local villages tried to find her over the course of several weeks. Unfortunately, their searches proved fruitless. A couple of months later, one of the local hunters found her dead body in a well-hidden grave.

The girl was half-naked, while her face and skull appeared utterly destroyed. Her body had started to decay, so it was impossible to identify if someone had raped the girl before death.

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Suspect list unclear

The list of suspects included the pastor of the local church where Kyllikki had been working, her father (he was widely known as a very strict and despotic person), a local digger, one of the policemen, a hippie from the neighboring village and a visiting musician with his band. The digger had been working just 50 meters from the place where someone had killed the girl. The pastor had a prior criminal record for corruption of minors.

Additionally, the digger found several pages of sheet music in the forest. According to one version, musicians hit the girl with their car and decided to hide her body in the woods. When they discovered that the girl was still alive, they decided to kill her.

Suspiciously, one of the band members later killed his wife and drowned himself, another one decided to commit suicide, while the third one died from an overdose of pills (it’s still unknown if he did it occasionally or intentionally).

It’s worth noting that each and every suspect had solid alibis and the police were not able to confidently prove guilt.


The Dyatlov Pass incident

Mysterious deaths - The Dyatlov Pass incident
Mysterious deaths – The Dyatlov Pass incident

It’s one of the most well-known accidents to occur in the USSR. In February 1959 a group of nine experienced skiers decided to make a ski trip to the Pre-Polar Urals. They managed to make the largest part of their journey without any accidents. Bizarrely, during one of nights, all of them decided to leave their camp, some wearing only underwear.

They went down from the mountain pass to the forest, tried to build a fire and even made a shelter against the wind. Nevertheless, the group all died even before the night was over. Additionally, there was no sign of an avalanche, other people or wild animals at their camp. Furthermore, the dead bodies showed no signs of having experienced a violent death.

However, several skiers had sustained severe internal damage, which couldn’t have been made by a human being. The rib cage of one person was ruptured; the tongue of another girl appeared completely torn off, and a third person’s skull destroyed.

All valuable items remained at their camp, and all the girls showed no signs of having been sexually assaulted. Eight skiers died because of hypothermia, while one girl had heart hemorrhages due to damage sustained from her ruptured rib.




Contradictory clues

The most mysterious part of this case is that all the clues and circumstances contradict with all the possible theories and versions of the investigation. Firstly, that particular location was at no risk of experiencing an avalanche (too flat slope and the tent was not damaged).

Secondly, there were no people (no signs of presence or attack) or wild animals (once again, there were no damages on the extremities of their bodies and local hunters confirmed that the area itself is simply useless to hunt in). All the skiers had been acting totally normally.

Envisage a group of people wandering desperate and naked through the frozen forest, yet even still; they fought for their lives. They made a shelter, tried to build a fire, tried to collect firewood, and took clothes from dead friends to try to make themselves warmer.

According to the most credible theory, something that left no signs (it could have been infrasound from the hurricane wind in the mountains) scared these nine adult people out of their tents. Furthermore, it made them go down into the forest to freeze to death. Even today nobody can say for sure what is the reason for their deaths.


Lake Bodom murders

Mysterious deaths - Lake Bodom murders
Mysterious deaths – Lake Bodom murders


In 1960, four teenagers from Finland decided to take a walk along the Bodom Lake. A stranger with a knife attacked them when they stopped for dinner, managing to kill three of them and seriously injuring the fourth. Investigations into this case produced no results.

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The list of suspects included the remaining teenager, the owner of the kiosk on the beach (he drowned himself later) and a German fisherman, who had abandoned all his fish near the lake and confessed to the murder in front of his wife. Gustafson, who was the survivor, was arrested and then released, receiving financial remuneration.


Death of Elizabeth Short (“The Black Dahlia Murder”)

Mysterious deaths - Death of Elizabeth Short
Mysterious deaths – Death of Elizabeth Short


In the history of the USA, this is one of the most mysterious and high-profile crimes. Authorities discovered the body of 22-year old Elizabeth Short not far from the city of Los Angeles. Her body severely damaged, cut into two parts. Gruesomely, some internal organs were missing, while her mouth was extended to both ears from a cut from a knife. The police managed to track down around one hundred suspects, 22 of them were arrested and then released due to lack of evidence.

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Major national media outlets covered the case, and more than 60 people sought cheap fame by confessing to her murder. Detectives considered none of them to be the real murderer. It’s worth noting that Elizabeth wasn’t a prostitute, she had no mental diseases or “bad” friends. This crime remains unsolved even today.


Hinterkaifeck farm murders

One of the most mysterious crimes in the history of Germany happened on a remote farm. The owners of the farm were wealthy; however, they had pretty bad relations with their neighbors and the citizens of the neighboring town. Authorities had previously charged the father with raping his adult daughter and had been subsequently punished.

His daughter conceived a baby with him (it was her second baby since the death of her husband). A couple of days before the murder the family hired a new housemaid who hadn’t been able to find any work in the neighboring cities due to her constant depression. It is clear that the family was vicious and closed, thus their neighbors knew almost nothing about their lives.



One day a local technician came to repair a family car and found all of them dead, including their 7-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. Someone had hidden their bodies in the barn.

Further investigation confirmed that the killer had been living in the house one day before the crime. Additionally, he had stayed two or three days more, adding wood to the stove and feeding the animals. The murderer killed all the members of the family with an axe or a hoe. The 7-year-old granddaughter managed to stay alive for a couple of hours longer than the others. Evidence revealed that she had been running between the dead bodies of her mother and grandmother, tearing her hair out.

The official investigation of this case is still ongoing. The police talked with more than 100 suspects, but they weren’t able to solve the case. The motive of the crime is also unclear because the killer didn’t touch any valuables inside the home.