SIGN UP for an Insider's Guide to all my books!

#Thriller Thursday: Unsolved Murders

Due to this post from Roni Loren (thank you for the warning, Roni) I’ve decided to remove most photos from Thriller Thursday. I hope you’re still able to enjoy them!

History is full of famous unsolved crimes: the Ripper murders, The Black Dahlia, The Boy in the Box, The Borden Murders, Jon Benet Ramsey and many more. These cases make the history books and crime programs, but hundreds of others wait for their chance to be heard. These are just a few of them.

1. Jason Allen, 26, and Lindsey Cutshall,23.
Engaged couple Jason and Lindsey were shot in their sleep as they camped on Fishhead Beach in Jenner, California. They were found on August 18, 2004. The camp counselors spent the summer working as whitewater rafting guides at a Christian outdoor adventure camp in Sacramento. Both were shot in the head at point blank range with an 1894 Marlin .45 long rifle.
There were several persons of interest and similarities to other murders in the area, including possible ties to the Zodiac Killer, but no one was ever charged. Cutshall’s father is an Evangelical minister in Ohio and believes the murders are linked to satanic activity. There is no evidence to support his theory. The case remains unsolved, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department.
The little girl was last seen in her bedroom in Orange, Texas on the morning of July 4, 2002. Reported missing later that afternoon, it’s unknown whether she was taken from her bedroom or outside the home.
Her body was discovered four days later in an isolated area on Pleasure Island in Port Arthur, Texas, approximately 27 miles from home. Raped and then strangled, she was wrapped in a torn, flowered sheet. Hair follicle and DNA test results were taken and tests were performed for months on area sex offenders and other persons of interest. In 2004, police claimed they had enough evidence to indict, but a suspect was never named and the official status of the case is open.
3. Sherry Carey
On October 29, 1992, an explosion rocked a residential neighborhood in Long Beach, California. When fire officials arrived, they discovered the front door of the home open and found the body of Sherry Carey lying facedown on a bed.
Sherry had suffered blunt force trauma, strangulation, and multiple stab wounds. She’d been coated with an accelerant and then set on fire. Sherry suffered third degree burns across her entire body.
I couldn’t find much information about the case or investigation, but if you have any information concerning this case, please contact your Local FBI Office.
4. Betsy Aardsma
Betsy was 22 when she lost her life. On November 28, 1969, the Penn State grad student was stabbed to death in broad daylight in the stacks of Penn’s Pattee Library. The murder weapon was a single-edged small knife. Right after the stabbing, two men went to the desk clerk and said, “somebody better help that girl,” and then left. They were never identified. Betsy was pronounced dead a half hour later. The red dress she wore initially hid her blood loss and no one immediately realized she’d been stabbed.
Unsolved for 42 years, the murder and investigation will be revisited in Who Killed Betsy: UncoveringPenn State University’s Most Notorious Unsolved Crime. The book is due to be released in fall 2011.
5. Amber Hagerman, 9
Amber’s abduction is more well known, but it’s so heartbreaking I had to include it. Her abduction resulted in the creation of the Amber Alert System. In 1996, little Amber was visiting her grandparents in Arlington, Texas. She and her brother Ricky were riding their bicycles around the block when Amber decided to ride to a parking lot of an abandoned grocery store. Witness Jim Kevil said Amber was riding around when a white or Hispanic man in a black pickup raced up to her and dragged her into his truck.
Ricky arrived home and said he didn’t know where his sister was. He searched for her but came up empty, and then their grandfather drove to the parking lot to look for Amber. Police had already arrived. They told Amber’s grandfather Kevil had seen a man snatching a young girl.
Amber’s grandfather said only eight minutes passed from the time Amber rode away on her bicycle until Kevil called 911.
Police believed the crime was unplanned as Amber had no pattern of riding her bicycle in the area. A task force was formed and a search immediately launched. The search lasted for several days and included the resources of the FBI. Four days after she was taken, Amber Hagerman’s body was found in a creek bed by a man walking his dog. The autopsy revealed she’d been alive for two days before her throat was cut.
A Dallas man asked a question on the mind of everyone involved: when a child is abducted and each minute matters, why can’t the police and media join forces to inform the public with the same urgency of weather warning?
The Dallas Amber plan was initiated in July, 1997. Sixteen months later, it saved the life of an 8-week-old baby. In 2000, the US Justice Department began coordinating the program for all states, and today all 50 have the Amber Alert in place. According to the Federal Government, the lives of 240 children have been saved by the program.
Do you know of any unsolved crimes in your state or local area? Have you ever been involved in an Amber Alert search?

9 comments on… “#Thriller Thursday: Unsolved Murders”

  1. Oh Stacy, these cases are so sad. The only one I knew of beforehand was Amber Hagerman. I am glad that the Amber Alerts have been established as each minute gone missing is so important!

  2. Oh, Stacy….I love reading and learning about unsolved crimes. They serve as my inspiration to tell stories. I hate that they happen though – so many crazies in this world. My WIP is actually inspired on an old cold case (I don't want to give too much away). I just saw a story on Amber Hagerman. I've never been involved in an Amber Alert search, but I love that the DFW area has them posted immediately on all of the highway signs. In Texas, you don't mess with kids or animals! We don't take too kindly to those who do….

  3. Stacy, thanks for sharing the stories. I wasn't familiar with a few of them. Like Tiffany, they give me ideas for stories, but I like to make a happier ending, or at least catch or kill the bad guy! People snatching kids makes me sick. (not that the others don't) I NEVER let my kids leave my sight on their bikes. Or well, at all. It's too scary.

  4. AnnieYes, they are. I didn't know much about the Amber case, only that her abduction started the Amber Alert. I can't imagine her parents pain.TiffanyMe too. Cold Cases from the 70s and 80s are some of my favorite. Yes, they are good inspiration but very sad. Your story sounds really interesting – love reading books centered around them. Iowa has Amber Alerts too. I always feel sick when I see them but grateful for the system. Thanks for commenting!

  5. JessicaYou're welcome. I wasn't familiar with most of them either. It's so sad that so little is know about most of them. Kid snatchers are the worst kind of evil. I won't let Grace either. Terrifies me.Thanks for commenting!

  6. What sad stories. They sort of remind me of those Disappeared episodes on the ID channel. Lifetime has started a similar show called Vanished. Those are so chilling because nobody knows what happened to those people. One day, I was watching a rerun of one of them. At the end of the program, a message popped up on the screen that said the woman had been found less than a mile from her home buried in a shallow grave. It's a good message to keep a close eye on what's happening around you. Good, intriguing subject matter. I loved this post.

  7. CatieI've seen Disappeared. That's a really interesting show. Haven't seen Vanished yet. It is chilling that people can literally disappear, and I can't imagine being the family, wondering what happened. That is so sad … less than a mile.Thanks so much!

  8. There is no doubt there are some evil forces at work in the world. These cases are so chilling! And seemingly so random! I thought I read a headline while in line at the grocery store that they were close to making an arrest in the Joan Benet Ramsey case. It will be interesting to see if that is ever solved.To flip your true case crimes, I was fascinated by Su Grafton's book "Q is for Quarry" which is a fictional solving a true-life case of finding a "Jane Doe" body in California. It's sad to think nobody every went missing for her.Anyway, great post, and thanks to Catie for direting me your way!

  9. JayneYes, they are. The randomness is the most scary part. It could happen to anyone. Really, an arrest in Jon Benet's case? That would be awesome. Her poor parents. "Q is for Quarry" sounds like a good book. I'll have to pick it up.Thanks for posting, and big thanks to Catie for pimping my blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with an *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    Signup for news on new releases, sales and GIVEAWAYS!!!