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Thanks to the American fascination with confounding unsolved cases, mystery is among the most popular genres of books, movies, and television. From heists and capers to murders and robberies, the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries spark media frenzies that grab headlines around the globe. S…

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On Nov. 24, 1971, a man in a business suit calling himself Dan Cooper (the media invented the popularized “D.B.”) boarded a plane from Portland to Seattle, told a stewardess he had a bomb, and showed her a briefcase with a device inside that convinced her it was real. He then demanded $200,0…

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On June 12, 1962, a headcount at Alcatraz—the most secure, remote prison in America—revealed that three inmates were missing. In their beds were dummies fashioned out of plaster and human hair, which fooled the guards the night before—all part of an ingenious and elaborate ruse that included…

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In 1966, the grisly murder of a prominent family rocked Tallahassee, Florida, when 17-year-old Norma Jeannette Sims returned home from a babysitting gig to find her mother, father, and 12-year-old sister bound, gagged, shot, and stabbed to death. The case, which changed the previously quiet …

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The mysterious man known as Jack the Ripper, who terrorized the Whitechapel district of London in 1888, is still the most famous serial killer in history. According to Science magazine, forensic analysts published genetic analysis evidence in 2019 that could finally reveal the long-anonymous…

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More than a dozen people have claimed to have killed Jimmy Hoffa since the powerful Teamsters union boss went missing in 1975 and was listed as “presumed dead” in 1982. Most recently, Martin Scorsese’s blockbuster “The Irishman” stoked new interest in a credible claim made by the movie’s nam…

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Aviation pioneer, feminist icon, and American hero Amelia Earhart made her final radio transmission on July 2, 1937, when she and her navigator disappeared while attempting to circle the globe across 30,000 miles in an airplane. In the decades since, there has been no shortage of speculation…

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Few murder mysteries have remained ingrained in the public imagination longer or more deeply than the 1892 axe murder of upper-crust Massachusetts residents Andrew and Abby Borden. Andrew’s daughter Lizzie Borden was 32 and unmarried (a minor scandal for the upper class at that time) when sh…

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In 1942, one of the strangest unsolved crime sprees understandably terrified the town of Pascagoula, Mississippi, when a man dubbed “The Phantom Barber” broke into homes, cut locks of hair off women and children, and left without stealing anything or otherwise harming anyone. Fifty-seven-yea…

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The ship Mary Celeste left New York City for Genoa, Italy, in 1872, only to be discovered at sea partially flooded and missing a lifeboat, but otherwise intact, seaworthy, packed with supplies, and empty. The disappearance of the 10 people on board remains one of history’s greatest maritime …

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The Lost Colony of Roanoke, founded in present-day North Carolina in 1587 and discovered empty in 1590, is the oldest mystery in American history, considering it took place two decades before the founding of Jamestown. Volumes have been written about what might have happened to the 100-plus …

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Officially named the Nevada Test and Training Range at Groom Lake, Area 51 is a highly secure, highly secretive Air Force training range in southern Nevada—and the epicenter of America’s UFO/alien conspiracy theory counterculture since the 1950s. Since rumors of a UFO crash near Roswell, New…