An Early Serial Killer

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:World_Columbian_Exposition_-_White_City_-_1.JPG" src="http://static.flickr.com/27/52223584_420c0d0084_m.jpg

Wander too far away from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and you might disappear forever.

Herman Mudgett, an enterprising serial killer, built a row of three-story buildings near the Chicago fair and opened it as a hotel. Guests discovered — too late — that it was a maze of more than 100 windowless rooms, where Mudgett would trap them, torture them in a soundproof chamber, and then asphyxiate them with a custom-fitted gas line.

Then he’d send the bodies by chute to the basement, where he’d cremate them or sell them to a medical school.

This went on for three years, until a fire broke out and police and firemen discovered the trap. No one knows how many people Mudgett killed; he confessed to 27, but estimates go as high as 230.

He was hanged in Philadelphia in 1896.

“The Lindow Man”

In 1963, Peter Reyn-Bardt killed his wife and buried her in a peat bog in Cheshire County, England. Twenty years later, when a body was discovered, he assumed he’d been caught and turned himself in.

He should have waited. An investigation showed that the body was not his wife’s, but that of an Iron Age man who had died two thousand years earlier and been eerily preserved in the cold acid bog.

They convicted Reyn-Bardt anyway.

The Ultimate Murder Mystery

On New Year’s Day, 1963, two bodies were found in a lovers’ lane in Sydney, Australia. They belonged to Gilbert Bogle, a top research physicist, and his mistress. Both were partially undressed and covered with clothes and cardboard. Police could find no trace of poison; their hearts had simply stopped beating.

To this day, no one has determined whether they were murdered, and if so, how or why. It is a perfect mystery.

Unquote

“When I see a pretty girl walking down the street, I think two things: One part of me wants to take her home, be real nice and treat her right; the other part wonders what her head would look like on a stick.” — Serial killer Edmund Kemper

MV Joyita

In 1955, the merchant vessel Joyita disappeared en route from Samoa to the Tokelau Islands, about 270 miles away.

A search and rescue mission found nothing, but five weeks later she was sighted more than 600 miles from her scheduled route. The ship was partially submerged and there was no trace of her 16 crewmembers or 9 passengers, including two children.

An inquiry found that the disappearance of the passengers and crew was “inexplicable on the evidence submitted.” But the Fiji Times and Herald quoted an “impeccable source” saying that the Joyita had passed through a fleet of Japanese fishing boats and “had observed something the Japanese did not want them to see.”

What was it? No one knows.

Jimmy Hoffa’s Grave

Rumored whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa’s body:

  • Buried in northern Michigan
  • Buried under the New Jersey Turnpike
  • Buried in an abandoned coal mine near Pittston, Pa.
  • Buried in Fresh Kills landfill, Staten Island, New York
  • Buried under the end zone at Giants Stadium in New Jersey
  • Buried in PJP Landfill in Jersey City, underneath the Pulaski Skyway
  • Mechanically converted to cement
  • Dissolved in an acid tank used to rechrome car bumpers
  • Rendered into fat at a rendering plant

His body has never been found, and in 1982 he was declared legally dead.

Ironically, his middle name was Riddle.

J.L. Hunter

The world’s oldest active bank robber was 91-year-old J.L. Hunter, who robbed the First American Bank in Abilene, Texas, of $2,000 in 2003. It was his third robbery in five years.

When asked why he did it, he said he hadn’t liked banks since they forced him into bankruptcy.