The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been responsible for bringing down some of the most notorious criminals over the years, since their inception in 1908. In recent years their number one priority has been to protect the American people from any terrorism attacks. Some cases however have proven to be less successful due to the sheer mystery that envelopes them. Here is a list of 10 of the most mysterious FBI cases.
1. D.B. Cooper – The Skyjacker
The mystery of D.B. Cooper has become one of the FBI’s most legendary cases. In 1971 Cooper parachuted out of a Northwest Airplane with $200,000 ransom money and was never seen again. The name he used to board the plane was Dan Cooper, but this was no doubt a false identity. His notoriety grew because he has evaded capture from the FBI over the years, remains at large and can boast the only skyjacking in history that remains unsolved.
2. The Tylenol Murders
In September 1982, seven people in the area of Chicago were murdered with cyanide-laced Tylenol. A nationwide call was made and an FBI investigation was made. Yet, no one was ever charged. The Chicago Tribune has announced that the FBI are planning on reopening the case. But, they will have their work cut out for them as the initial case involved over 100 investigators, 6,500 leads, 400 possible suspects, around 2,000 pages of reports, no crime scene and no motive.
3. The Zodiac Killer
Between December 1968 and October 1969 in northern California, a serial killer attacked seven people killing five of them. He gained the name The Zodiac because of the cryptic letters he sent to the press which highlighted his madness and offered clues to his next murders. His trademark signature was the symbol, as in the image above.
4. JonBenét Patricia Ramsey
JonBenét Patricia Ramsey was just six years-old when she was murdered in 1996. Her killing attracted a lot of media coverage because of participation in beauty pageants and the mysterious circumstances behind her death. Eight hours after being reported missing, the little girl’s body was found in her parents basement, in Boulder, Colorado. After several hearings the case remains unsolved.
5. Anthrax Attacks
The anthrax attacks began on 18 September 2001, just a few days after the September 11 attacks. Letters that contained anthrax were posted to several news media offices and two Democratic U.S. Senators. The bizarre post injured 17 people who came into contact with the contents and killed five. It was seven years before the FBI narrowed their attention to Bruce Edwards Ivins, a scientist working for the government’s biodefense labs in Frederick, Maryland. After learning of his impending prosecution Ivins killed himself with an overdose of acetaminophen. The FBI officially closed the case in February this year with federal prosecutors declaring Ivins to be solely responsible for the crime.
6. The Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa
Former president of Teamsters Jimmy Hoffa vanished in 1975 and was never seen again. He was convicted of jury tampering, attempted bribery, and fraud in 1964, imprisoned in 1967, and released in 1971. Upon his release U.S. president Richard Nixon had blocked Hoffa’s chances of any union activity until 1980. Hoffa was working to overturn this decision when he disappeared. On the day of his disappearance, July 30 1975, Hoffa was meeting with two Mafia leaders in a parking lot of the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Michigan. Anthony Giacolone and Anthony Provenzano were the Mafia men he met. Provenzano was also a union leader with the Teamsters in New Jersey, who had earlier been quite close to Hoffa. The FBI’s search was inconclusive and Hoffa was declared legally dead in 1982.
7. The Case of the Mutilated Cattle
Over a period in the late 1970s an investigation was carried out in various states of the USA where mysterious animal mutilations had occurred. News soon began to spread that UFOs were responsible for the cattle carcasses left across the states. Other theories were also put forward such as satanic cults, pranksters, natural predators, and even unknown government agencies. One thing remains certain: the case of the mutilated cattle was never solved and remains a mystery to this day.
8. The Unabomber
Theodore Kaczynski, otherwise known as The Unabomber, was born a child prodigy who excelled academically. He gained a degree from Harvard University and a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan. In 1971 he moved to a remote cabin without any electricity or water. He became angrier as the wilderness around him was slowly destroyed for development and decided to begin his bombing campaign. His first target in 1978 was the University of Illinois, followed a year later at the same building. In all The Unabomber set 16 bombs, killing three people and injuring 23. His identity remained a mystery to the FBI for 17 years before finally his brother David noticed the similarity in handwriting between that of his brother and The Unabomber.
9. The Black Dahlia
One of the FBI’s most mysterious cases also happens to be one of its grisliest. Elizabeth Short, nicknamed the Black Dahlia by the press, was brutally murdered in 1947. Her body was found severed at the waist in a vacant lot in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles. Short was just 22 when she disappeared on January 9; her remains were discovered six days later. Her death has always remained a mystery and the killer was never found. Her story has been recreated many times in books and films.
10. The Whereabouts of Osama bin Laden
The man responsible for the 9/11 attack on America has remained at large since the atrocity in 2001. Although he was quick to reveal himself not long after the terrorist attack, he has so far evaded capture. He tops the FBI’s most wanted list and has done so for nearly a decade now. The founder of al-Qaeda has often sent video footage inciting that more acts of terrorism will follow. Although rumors have circulated that bin Laden could have since died, the FBI believe he could be hiding on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.