Murders, disappearances and unidentified human remains – the world abounds with cold cases and unsolved mysteries. In fact, some crimes can take years or even decades to solve. Sometimes, like finally locating a missing puzzle piece, unexpected new evidence arises. Alternatively, new technology (especially DNA analysis) can shed new light on old evidence. The following 20 mysteries are examples of cases that initially puzzled investigators, but were all solved in time.
20. Bella in the Wych Elm
On April 18, 1943, four boys discovered a female skull in the hollow trunk of a Wych Elm tree in Hagley Woods, United Kingdom. She was dubbed “Bella” by local graffitists, but her identity and the reasons behind her death were a mystery. One theory suggested she had been murdered in a frightening occult ritual called “Hand of Glory”. In fact, later-declassified wartime MI5 files suggest Bella was probably a German actress and Nazi spy called Clara Bauerle. But who killed her, and why, is still not known.
19. The Unabomber
The Unabomber killed three people and injured 23 others in one of the most infamous bombing campaigns in American history. Defying capture for 17 years, he targeted universities and airlines with mail bombs, driven by the credo that technology destroys human freedom. He was caught in 1996 after his manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future, was put in the public domain. Two of his relatives recognized its style of prose and its content and contacted the FBI. The Unabomber is in fact a mathematical prodigy called Theodore Kaczynski, now serving a life sentence.