People Break Down Which Unsolved Mysteries Should Have Already Been Cracked
Aaron Burden/Unsplash

One of the first things you learn as a storyteller is that good stories have a resolution.

Bad guys get caught.

Mysteries get solved.

People are found.

But not every story is a "good" one.

Conflict isn't always resolved.

Some questions never get answers.



Reddit user numbnesstolife asked:

"What are some mysteries that should have been SOLVED by now?"

Sometimes, even piles of evidence and loads of data aren't enough to give us answers. Often, it just means more questions.

Trigger warning; a lot of the mysteries people wanted to talk about were disappearances and murders. True crime stories can be upsetting.

Who Was He?

"Who is DB Cooper?"

- llcucf80

"Best conspiracy theory I've heard is that he made the parachute landing successfully but lost the money on the way down. Since he had nothing to show for the crime, he made his way back home and went back to his normal life."

- agreeingstorm9

Giphy

"I’ve always had a tinfoil hat theory he did it for the thrills and never planned on keeping the money."

"Like he just dumped the bag when he was parachuting down. Or maybe he knew the bills were numbered so he couldn’t spend them."

- retroverted_uterus

"My favorite theory is that DB Cooper wasn't one person, but a member of the flight crew and they were all in on it."

- hectoByte

The Setagaya Family

"The Setagaya family murders."

"A family of four were murdered in their Tokyo home in late December 2000, after which the killer stayed in the house for several hours leaving behind a ton of evidence; clothes, bag, murder weapon, DNA from blood and stool (he used the toilet and didn't flush.)"

"Sand was found in the bag that the killer left behind, which was analyzed and determined to have come from Edwards AFB."

"Despite all this and literally millions of man-hours spent by Japanese police and investigators, they're still no closer to solving the crime."

- jnhummel

"There’s a lot of the things that could narrow down the suspect pool: his DNA suggests he is Eurasian, with Italian on the mother’s side and Korean on the father’s."

"He left behind a T-shirt that was one of a few hundred sold in some area of LA. The soil on his boots could only have come from an area of Southern CA near or on one of the military facilities, probably at 29 Palms. Yet we still haven’t gotten anywhere."

"It’s frustrating."

- SniffleBot

"Considering that they found sand in the shoe tracks that was from an Air Force Base in the US, and evidence pointing to the killer wearing designer limited edition clothing from South Korea, as well as the strong US military presence in parts of Japan, I wonder if the killer was some US military high-up’s kid and it’s been heavily covered up…"

- hotpotatoyo

"The killer used the toilet and didn’t flush…? Now that’s just disrespectful. And I’m not even joking."

"This dude was legit challenging the investigators."

- Lanky_Accountant_453

"My guess is it was a US military dependent or member."

"Evidence links to Korea and California. Can't find him in Japan because he isn't."

- ikonoqlast

Giphy

Max Headroom

"The Max Headroom signal hijacking occurred on the night of November 22, 1987, when the television broadcasts of two stations in Chicago, Illinois, United States, were hijacked in an act of broadcast piracy by a video of an unidentified person wearing a Max Headroom mask and costume."

"Really wish this was solved."

- Curiousthrowzone

"I saw that real time. SOB interrupted Dr. Who."

- EgberetSouse

"It seems to me that, by now, someone (possibly the girl) should have leaked it out. I think the statute of limitations expired a long time ago."

"It's all so odd."

"At the very least, three people had to be involved - the cameraman, the girl who swats his butt, and the guy. And not one person has told anyone?"

- jeremyxt

Giphy

Anybody Out There?

"If we're alone in the universe."

"There's an entire argument for it called the Fermi Paradox. Essentially the argument is: with the extremely vast number of stars in the universe, and the number of habitable planets that must orbit them, it seems incredibly unlikely that someone wouldn't have found us already, or at the very least, we would have stumbled upon evidence of them."

"All it would take is 1 civilization in our galaxy to create self-replicating probes (that mine materials to replicate themselves) to fill the galaxy in relatively short time."

- LifeIsOnTheWire

"Another theory suggests that one possible conclusion of the fermi paradox is that no civilization survives long enough to invent long distance space travel, they all go extinct first."

- Ch1ef_Walrus

"I always subscribed to the theory that there IS alien life out there, but they’ve observed us as a species and decided we aren’t worth contacting due to how we treat each other and how we’d essentially try to attack or destroy them if they did make contact."

- Spudzley

"One thing I've been wondering about the past couple years is how likely it is for advanced civilizations to last long enough without killing themselves off to progress to the stage of long-distance space travel and finding other civilizations."

"Considering we could well be wiping ourselves out via climate change in the next couple centuries...it's possible we won't ever make it to a stage where we could discover life on other planets. Is the same true for other advanced civilizations in the universe?"

"That would explain their absence."

- Ilyeana

"My favorite 'theory' on that is it would (require) nuclear power to travel outside of the immediate vicinity of the home planet, but civilizations that reach nuclear capability wipe themselves out with nuclear war before they can explore farther into space."

- YayAdamYay

Giphy

The Tylenol Murders

"I read that the FBI believes Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, was the real killer but since he is in Supermax and there have been no other poisonings they haven’t investigated further."

- Sam-I-Am56

"James Lewis. He served 13 years in prison for extortion in relation to the murders. Technically it’s 'unsolved' much like the Nicole Brown Simpson murder was 'unsolved.' "

- the-samizdat

"That dude flew out with his wife to NYC on 5th September and returned after the murders."

"Nobody could place him in Chicago at the time of the poisonings, which had to be carried out quickly else the potassium cyanide would eat through the pills."

"I agree he was suspicious, but they’ve never had the correct/enough evidence to convict him of the poisonings."

- FenderForever62

Giphy
"The Tylenol murders is a good one! That story with no suspect(s) after all these years is nuts.""Hard to believe Tylenol, as a brand, was able to come back after that."- m_nels"Probably the best theory is that one of the seven victims was the intended target.""The perp was at least smart enough to realize that a single death would point straight to who did it, so they contaminated multiple containers to spread out the investigation."- Dynasuarez-Wrecks

Missing In Panama

"Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon."

"I'd definitely like to see this one solved too although I do think this is a case which could just as easily be as a result of something other than foul play."

"It's very easy to get disoriented and hopelessly lost in the wilderness, especially in an environment you're not familiar with."

"The random photographs, it's been speculated, were them using the flash as a light to find their way, which seems plausible."

"And there is plenty of scavenging wildlife in that area which would explain the girls' remains being disturbed. Bones get sun-bleached all the time."

- jnhummel

Giphy

"The two girls that went missing in the jungle in Panama."

"There are only a few photos from the girls phones, attempts to call for help, and then apparently one of the phones were turned on later and the wrong PIN was entered a few times (not confirmed if it was just random)."

"Some clothes were found later during a search, mainly scattered bones with some skin on them and one of the girls bones were bleached."

"The photos and the bones suggest maybe someone killed them. For some reason there was 90 photos taken, but none of them except for 3 are even remotely clear to see anything, it's chilling as hell..."

"I hope it gets solved one day, those families deserve more closure other than what they have now."

- superfnliminal

What's Lurking

"The mysteries of the deep ocean. We know about the likes of the Deep Sea Angularfish and Colossal Squid, but it's probably just a fraction of what else is lurking down there."

- Quit_social_media

"As out Tech capacity has improved, scientists are 'discovering' weird and wonderful things all the time. I read somewhere they discovered 10 new creatures just in 2021."

- oceanbreze

"I think about this a lot. I have a 75 gallon aquarium. And even in that small contained space, I can rarely see all the fish in there."

- guppy89

Giphy

Stolen Sisters

"Why are there so many Native American women going missing and why did the US government only start keeping track of this in the last month?"

"I have a theory that some, if not most, are being sold into sex trafficking. I live close to the Keshena reservation here in Northeastern Wisconsin. The reservation is maybe a 30 minute drive from Shawano, Wi."

"Shawano is considered a sex trafficking hub, as well as Green Bay which is only an hour from the Keshena reservation."

"The Keshena reservation is very isolated."

"What I mean by this is you could very easily kill someone and dump a body in the woods out there and no one would find it. No, I do not know this by experience."

"A young lady by the name of Katelyn Kelley went missing on June 18th 2020, her remains weren’t found until March 25th 2021. They were found in the woods near the reservation."

"The story of her death is a mess."

"She was loved by so many people, yet none of the people with her that night would open their mouths about who she was with. The Menominee board offered a $5,000 dollar reward for any information leading to the remains of Katelyn Kelley and still no one talked."

"This is weird because the Menominee reservation in Keshena is easily one of the poorest reservations in the US. That money would have gotten people to talk."

Giphy

"I believe the murder was committed by someone outside the community. Sex traffickers."

"Many of her friends said that she was a fighter, she wouldn’t go down without putting up a fight. Secondly, she had a son who was an infant, giving her even more reason to fight."

"Personally, I believe that she was abducted and proved to be more of an issue then what it was worth so they just killed her and dumped her body in the woods on the reservation."

"To this day no arrests have been made and no new information has been presented."

"There are FED Dodge Chargers and SUVs everywhere on the reservation and in Shawano. How is this still happening?"

"Either the FEDs suck at their jobs on accident, or the US government is proving what we’ve known all along - that the US government doesn’t give two sh*ts about the indigenous population."

- Catman873

Lars

"Lars Mittank"

"He was a dude from Germany who went on vacation to Bulgaria with his friends in 2014. He 'apparently' got involved in a bar fight while drunk."

"I say 'apparently' because this happened when he was separated from his group of friends. All they knew was that he returned later with some injuries. None of his friends witnessed what actually happened."

"Because of this 'fight' he ended up with an injured jaw and a ruptured ear drum. The doctor on site told him that he had to wait a few days before he could safely fly."

"His friends offered to stay with him and take a flight back home later than planned, but Lars said it was ok and they should return to Germany without him. He would take a flight back home some days later. There are reports of him acting somewhat strange over the next few days. At one point he made a whispering phone call to his mother where he said that 'four men were coming to kill' him and advised her that she should cancel his credit cards."

Giphy

"On the day he was supposed to fly back home, the airport CCTV recorded him going into the airport office to consult a doctor. It later shows him SPRINTING OUT OF THERE and running out of the airport altogether."

"We don't know why. He just ran, hopped the fence, and fled into a field of sunflowers (all captured on CCTV). He was never seen again."

"The most popular theory is that he had a reaction to the medicine he was given. In rare instances it can cause hallucinations and paranoia."

- enumaelisz

The Frog Boys

"Who killed the frog boys in South Korea?"

"5 boys between 9 and 13 go missing in 1991 while playing together looking for salamander eggs. The parents, community, and government searched for the boys."

"The parents blamed one another for years until the boys were found in 2002 buried in the mountainside behind the town - in an area that had been searched in the initial investigation and that the kids knew well."

"Due to police incompetence officers with no forensic experience were digging up the bodies and destroyed evidence."

"The local military took the families of the boys to the mountainside in the middle of the night 'to spiritually guide them' to the bodies."

"To be honest, I think the military personnel shot the boys by accident and covered it up. There was a military range in the mountainside."

"Years later they 'felt bad' so they tried to guide the parents to the bodies found on the mountainside."

- tabbeycatty

Happy Producers

"Ancient First Nations artifacts that the film crew and these diggers are completely unequipped to uncover. Why at all would you keep the guy who screwed up the last expedition onboard?"

- FilmGamerOne

"The real mystery is how this is a tv show with multiple seasons. Who watches this?!!"

- Actual_Hat9525

Giphy

"What’s on oak island?"

- Tremmorz

"Some very happy producers and tv execs"

- the_clash_is_back

down the hill...

"The one with the two girls in Delphi Indiana. It has been I believe close to 5 years since those girls were murdered and the only clue they had until recently within the last year and a half or so is the voice clip of down the hill."

"I know that more things have been found recently and hopefully that case will be solved soon."

Karenhunter50

Oh Miss

"Missy Beavers. She was murdered in a church that she held fitness classes in very early one morning. There’s video that shows the suspected killer was already waiting for her inside the church, wearing full-body SWAT gear from head to toe, so that police aren’t even sure if it’s a man or a woman."

"It’s even more suspicious bc she had changed her class meeting location last-minute due to there being bad weather, yet her suspected killer was still able to be there ahead of time waiting for her. Besides the video from inside the church, there’s surveillance footage from outside showing a lone car circling in the parking lot, but it’s not very good footage."

"Overall it’s one of the weirdest cases I have ever come across, especially bc it didn’t seem like anyone close to her had anything to gain from her death. Usually most murders are committed due to a love triangle situation, or so that someone can get some money or something like that."

Laika_JR1390

Face

"Jennifer Kesse. She was murdered and the suspect was caught on security camera but had the craziest luck ever when their face was obscured behind a fence post when the camera took a picture."

"Edit: I guess she’s still technically listed as missing, not confirmed murdered."

thesch

That Guy

"Don't remember the guy's name but was last seen on camera leaving a bar above ground level and never being seen again despite seconds prior being with few of his friends."

Ciryl_Lynyard

"Brian Shaffer, and in case anyone else is going through reading all the details, here’s the wiki link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Brian_Shaffer"

artsytiff

DNA

"Boy in the Box is another case. Hopefully with DNA genealogy they can finally put names to these cases. Unfortunately they have to rely on public DNA databases. And those are a crapshoot if the matches are distant relatives, you really want second cousin or closer matches and even then the person they match to has to be willing to talk and has to know their family history. I bet if they ran these cases against the closed databases like 23andMe and Ancestry they would get pretty good leads but that won't happen."

Keudn883

History

"Who killed Jonbenet."

ChinaLouise

"Good grief what a debacle this was. theres not really any detail about this story thats not completely bizarre and contradictory. It should be a case study in how not to start a missing child case and how hopelessly screwed up DA - Police politics are."

lego_office_worker

Details

"Where is Susan Powell's body? Josh should've been arrested within days of her disappearance and then he would be in jail and her boys would be alive."

illbeyourlittlespoon

"Agreed. The boys were utterly failed by the system. There's a great podcast called Cold about Susan Powell if anyone is interested. It goes really deep into the details."

dizzylyingdown

"Grew up in Utah. The entire west desert is full of abandoned mine shafts. You could search for a century and never find them all- my mom’s theory is she’s in one of them."

blubbertank

Mr. Sodder

"I wish we could know what happened to the Sodder Children. Don’t think it’ll ever be solved, though."

vangoghawayy

"There was a door to door salesman who literally threatened to kill his (Mr. Sodder) children and burn down his house. Not only was he not questioned but he was on the jury who decided the fire was an accident."

Paradox_Mae

"There is a theory that they were kidnapped and trafficked out of state and possibly out of country. But yeah not enough evidence to support either claim."

REDDIT


Whether these mysteries are on a scale as big as the universe or as small as one person, they still keep us up at night.

People like to tie up loose ends.

We expect it.

We demand stories with conclusions and resolutions—but it's clear that doesn't always happen.

What mysteries keep your brain in overdrive?

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