Most of the crime thrillers of the world are inspired by reality. For crime thriller addicts, it can be interesting to know that many such crimes have been unresolved. These are the crimes where all investigations were futile, and the police could hardly provide an explanation. In this listicle, we’ve detailed 10 such bizarre unsolved crimes from around the world.
1. The Setagaya Family Massacre took place in Tokyo, Japan, where four members were assassinated, and the murderer stayed in the house for several hours, leaving much DNA evidence – yet, the killer remained unidentified.
On 31 December 2000, Mikio Miyazawa, along with his wife and two children, were murdered in their Setagaya-based home in western Tokyo. Mikio’s son Rei was strangled in his sleep while the rest of the family members were stabbed to death.
What’s shocking is that this murderer remained inside the house for several hours after these assassinations. The murderer used the home computer, prepared tea, used the toilet and sanitary products, and even slept on the sofa. The family computer was last connected to the Internet at 10 a.m. the next morning. Around this time, Asahi, the mother of Mikio’s wife Yasuko, had come to the house. She had been trying to reach her daughter since last night and was worried, so she came to check on them. Asahi was the one who discovered this horrific incident first.
The murderer had left several DNA traces across the house. The investigations stated that the murderer did not belong to the Miyazawa family as his blood group was type-A. The police had further investigated that the murderer was a male, and he had both European and Asian ancestry in his DNA. The police even took assistance from the International Criminal Police Organization as they thought the murderer could be from Korea or China.
2. In the 1940s, a man was found dead in Somerton Beach, Australia, along with a paper full of ciphers in his fob pocket. Despite getting international assistance, the local police could not identify this man or the reason for his death.
On 30 November 1948, the body of a well-dressed man was found on Somerton Beach, Australia. There were no traces of violence on his body. The witnesses had observed a half-smoked cigarette on his collar.
Initial reports had stated that this man was either poisoned or he died of cardiac failure. It was difficult to identify him as no ID or name tags were found. The only belongings found in his pockets were a packet of cigarettes, two combs, matches, chewing gum, and tickets to the beach. The autopsy report of this man was also not very helpful for the investigation. The only information obtained pointed to poisoning, but no poison was found in his blood. Some found athletic aspects to his body, some experts also said that he could be a ballet dancer as his toes were odd and wedge-shaped.
The man’s fingerprints were circulated all over Australia with the hope of identifying him. The local people of Adelaide were also all contacted so that a name could be found. However, all these efforts went in vain. When the police were about to dismiss all investigations, they found a suitcase at the Adelaide railway station that was left there on 30 November. It was believed to be the dead man’s. The things found in the suitcase included clothes, screwdrivers, cuffs, scissors, etc.
Even though the identification marks from all clothes were removed, the cops found the name “T. Keane” on a tie. Using this name, a detailed search was performed in all English-speaking countries with the help of international assistance. However, the man remained unidentified.
Around this time, a tiny piece of paper was found in a hidden pocket of the man’s trousers, and it read “Tamam Shud.” This was a Persian phrase taken from a rare poetry book named The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The phrase meant “It is ended.” This newly found evidence suggested that it could be suicide as no missing reports were filed describing this man. The body was later buried.
3. In 1968, a robbery worth 294 million yen took place in Japan. It is still considered as the biggest heist in Japan, and the identity of the motorcyclist behind this robbery is still a mystery.
In December 1968, a man dressed in a Tokyo Metropolitan Police uniform robbed Nihon Shintaku Bank. As of the exchange rates of that year, this man had successfully stolen $817,500.
The man behind this heist was smart enough to wave down a car of Nihon Shintaku Bank. When he told the four bank employees in that car that their branch manager’s house has been blown up and there was dynamite planted within the car, the employees got out of the car in terror. The young man then entered the vehicle and started fake-searching for the dynamite. The employees could see smoke, and the young man warned them the car was about to explode.
This was when the bank employees ran away in terror, and the mysterious man drove away with the car full of money. The police tracked down the car, which was abandoned at a park, and afterward, the man drove off on a motorcycle. The police did not find any trace of the man after that.
In the hurry to solve the case fast, all youths of Western Tokyo with a motorcycle were brought in for interrogation. In 1975, the statute of limitations was also passed so that the robber could surrender without getting prosecuted. That didn’t help either. After 50 years, the case remains an unsolved crime. (source)
4. Panchen Lama is the second most influential figure in Tibetian Buddhism. In 1995, a six-year-old boy was chosen as the 11th Panchen Lama. However, the little boy and his family vanished after three days of this announcement.
In 1995, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, then six years old, was chosen as the 11th reincarnation of Panchen Lama. However, within three days of this revelation, this boy and his family mysteriously disappeared.
The Tibetans believe that their spiritual leaders get reincarnated after their death. In Buddhism, Panchen Lama is an influential leader with major spiritual authorities. He comes second only to the Dalai Lama. The word “panchen” means a great scholar.
It is known that the Dalai Lama himself had selected this boy after the death of Panchen Lama’s 10th reincarnation. It was heard that the Chinese government was not very happy with this choice. They believed that Gyancain Norbu, the government’s selected candidate, was the real Panchen Lama.
It is believed that the Chinese government had something to do with the disappearance of Choekyi Nyima and his family. Later, the government’s candidate Gyancain Norbu occupied the position. Since Norbu became an adult, he continued to participate in important political events in China.
The Chinese government has recently stated that Choekyi Nyima is now living the normal life of a 31-year-old as he has graduated and has a job. He and his family do not want any interruptions and that’s why their identities have been kept secret. However, there are not suitable proofs to back up this statement, and the whole episode still remains a mystery. (1, 2)
5. British resident, Julie Ward, died in 1988 during her trip to the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. Initially, the Kenyan government stated that she was either eaten by a lion or was struck by lightning. However, Ward’s father conducted a campaign and established that she was murdered.
Julie Ward was a budding wildlife photographer and she was based in England. In 1988, she went on a long vacation in Africa. During her trip to Masai Mara Game Reserve, she was accompanied by an Australian named Glen Burns. On 5 September, their vehicle had broken down and Burns had to go to Nairobi to repair the car. Ward, however, stayed back in a lodge.
On 6 September, when the vehicle was repaired, Ward was seen at a nearby camp, collecting some equipment. Afterward, she went missing. According to the Kenyan officials, she was either eaten by a lion or had died due to a strike of lighting. However, Ward’s father soon flew down to Kenya to find his missing daughter.
John Ward, her father took the investigation in hand as he continued his search by hiring a plane. Soon he found the vehicle and then Julie’s disjointed and burned body. Her father collected evidence that led the officials to admit that she was murdered. It was found that Julie’s bones were cut by a sharp blade, and it was done by a human, not an animal. It was also found that after disjointing her body, it was set on fire.
John Ward had spent over £2 million in this case, and he also claimed that the Kenyan government was trying to cover-up the murderers. Though three people were charged, none of them were convicted due to a lack of evidence. (1, 2)