As much as there is an allure of living in small towns, there seems to be just as much mystery.
There is a sense of security in knowing that someone has your back.
But on the same token, as is typically depicted in movies, small towns have their fair share of nefarious activity that those in the know are sweeping under the rug to maintain their town's good name.
Curious to hear about bizarre cases that don't always make mainstream news headlines, Redditor descended_from_apes asked:
"Small Town Redditors, what's the weirdest unsolved crime in your town, old or new?"
Not all mysteries involve unsolved murders but are just as baffling
A Crime In The Turd-Degree
"Nowhere near the scale of disappearing children or Nazi collaborators, but my hometown's biggest mystery is who keeps sh**ting in the holes at the golf course."
"Person has been doing it for more than 20 years. Every 2-3 months, there's a hole that's been pooped in."
"I found out my grandma played cards with the mob in a liquor store basement. I was reading a news article on a cold case from the former owner disappearing for an English assignment and my grandma kinda just frowned, told me she used to play cards with him and never payed his debts."
House On Fire
"Not exactly 'small town', but small compared to the region. There was a house that burned down 3 times in the span of a decade. I remember hearing lots of rumors about divorces and revenge, gang activity, being cursed. Not sure if it was ever solved."
When Children Played No More
"In 2003 in my hometown, someone decided to burn down a playground. This was in a very small rural town. The nearest playground aside from that one was 15 miles away. This playground was decent sized too, and I believe it was made possible by a donation from someone in town. It was mostly wood with rubberized mesh, steel bars, and large plastic slides."
"Nobody ever figured out who did it."
Unsolved missing persons cases like the ones mentioned below must be pure torture for family members.
"Happened this year."
"A man rented a room at a guest house. When he left the host went to go clean/ prepare the room for the next occupant."
"The room was covered in blood. In the shower there was a chair with a pool of blood-it is assumed the person died in the chair."
"So the baffling part is that there is a camera trained in the room's door. The man entered and left alone without a speck of blood on him."
"The authorities assumed the blood belonged to a woman whose chopped-up body was found in a nearby damm. Blood tests came back and it doesn't."
"1973: My 4th grade buddy, Guy Heckle, disappeared during a boy scout camping trip. They found his coat, that was all. Not another clue after all these years."
The Bar Patron
"Man got kicked out of a bar 3 years ago this December and went missing. Nobody has come forward with tips at all. He went missing from a fairly busy part of town too."
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"My cousin, TJ Davison was abducted from a car in 1985 and has still yet to be found. He was 4 years old at the time. (Decatur, IL)"
And sometimes, when the bodies turn up, their identities can remain forever a mystery.
In Deep Trouble
"Where I grew up they found a dude who was buried under the cement in a building, no history or information about him. It's clear that he got into some deep trouble with someone."
Remains In A Lake
"About 15 years ago. A town near where I grew up drained a man made lake that was used for recreational swimming. This particular year they decided to drain the whole thing to do a clean up. They discovered an intact skeleton that had been sitting at the bottom of the lake for something like 50 years based on the class ring that was still on the skeleton. From my understanding this person had never been reported missing or anything."
"Two bodies were found on my island in SE Asia in the last 24 hours. One was found in the jungle after being there for a year in an apparent motorbike accident the other washed up on the beach."
What's In The Barrel
"There was an old story that during prohibition a big barrel showed up at the post office, addressed to someone no one knew. It was obviously filled with alcohol."
"When the time to pick up expired and it was still there, it was tapped to find whisky inside. It was enjoyed by many, but when it was gone, it was still quite heavy."
"So they opened it up to discover a dead body."
– Dudeinairport ·
Some of the saddest cases involve the deaths of a newborn.
"Back in 1903 a local woman poisoned many members of her family, including a baby over a few months. She served time and died but never really admit to a motive. One theory is that she really liked attending irish funerals."
"About 30yrs ago a refuse worker found the badly burned body of an 18 month old boy amongst the bags and recycling. Forensics deduced that due to the condition of his liver he'd died less than a week before his body was found."
"Hospital and medical records were used to establish that nobody in the county was missing a child."
"He doesn't have a name on his gravestone."
"Edit: it was in Cumbria, England."
"The police likely didn't retain a DNA sample, or we might have heard something about familial DNA by now.The local police aren't very good - look up the case of Poppi Worthington as an example."
"Most local people assume he died of SIDS, then his parents panicked and tried to conceal his body. Whoever did it must have had an element of local knowledge in order to know where to put the corpse."
A Proper Burial
"There is a street in my city called Park Ave. It's a very small city, mostly blue collar."
"In 2005, a newborn baby boy was found dead near a factory on Park Ave. Doctors could tell he was born alive and likely lived for a few hours before he died. I don't know if he was abandoned (left to die) or killed in some way; that info was never released. Police made a statement saying please come forward, we want to help you bury this child properly."
"The mother sent an anonymous letter to the police station two weeks later, and said she would come to the station soon. The letter didn't explain the circumstances, but it did say she was afraid."
"She never came forward. The baby was named 'Baby Parker' and money was raised to give him a proper burial. People still leave gifts at his grave."
Thanks to horror movies, small towns get a bad rep.
Under the veneer of warm hospitality and kindness lies an unsettling sense of discomfort.
Are the denizens covering up a murder committed by one of their own? Or was there a grifter who dumped a body in their unassuming town and fled the scene?
In the game of life, no one gets out alive. But hopefully, your life's journey won't end in a small town.
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