5 Of The Most Notorious Cases Never Cracked

From the Long Island Serial Killer to the Zodiac Killer, these headline-grabbing cases were never solved.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

Some of the most notorious crimes in America were never cracked. Whether it was wrong leads, conflicting motives or lack of witnesses, these 5 notorious cold cases remain open to this day. Cold Justice, which delves deep into cold cases like these, premieres on Oxygen on July 22nd at 8/7c. 

East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer


He may be the most prolific violent serial killer in America. In 1977, several women in the Sacramento area were attacked by a man only known as the East Area RapistAccording to The FBI, the East Area Rapist—also known as the Original Night Stalker, the Diamond Knot Killer, and Golden State Killer—committed at least 45 rapes, murdered 12 people and is responsible for at least 120 burglaries from 1979 to 1986. His MO began with teens and young women who were home alone and then focused on couples. He would make the couple tie each other up and often stay at the house long after the crime was over. He wore a ski mask and was never caught. Authorities believe he may still be at large (He would be a senior citizen). In 2016, the FBI put out a $50,000 reward leading to information about his arrest.

Learn more about him on Oxygen's Martinis & Murder podcast. Subscribe at iTunes or Google Play.

Zodiac Killer


A serial killer who taunted police for years. The Zodiac Killer is believed to have murdered at least 5 and as many as 37 people in northern California in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He received the name from mysterious crytograms he sent to the San Francisco Chronicle (see above) taunting the police. In 2004, the case was officially closed after authorities ran out of leads. In 2014, a man came forward sharing that he believed that his late father, Earl Van Best, Jr., was the killer based on a police sketch. With Best deceased, police were unable to question or charge him.

Long Island Serial Killer


A string of murdered women on Long Island, New York remains unsolved to this day. The Long Island Serial Killer also known as the Gilgo Beach Killer or the Craigslist Ripper is an unidentified man who allegedly killed 10 to 17 women, and one man, and dumped their bodies along Ocean Parkway over nearly 20 years. It began with the death of Shannon Gilbert, a prostitute who disappeared after visiting a client she met on Craigslist, in 2010. The search for Gilbert led to the discovery of more bodies.

Notorious B.I.G.


On March 9, 1997, the hip-hop world lost a legend. Christopher Wallace a.k.a. the Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down in Los Angeles in a drive-by shooting. The rapper was 24 years old. Despite the high-profile nature of the case, no suspects have been charged. Many have speculated that Wallace's murder was tied to the 1996 death of 2Pac Shakur, as the two had been embroiled in a coastal music beef. Weeks after his death, Biggie released a posthumous album eerily titled Life After Death. The murder remains a mystery.

Bruce Lee


Bruce Lee conjures strength and courage. The actor and martial artist was known for his breakout role in Enter the Dragon. In 1973, the 32-year-old died from a brain edema under mysterious circumstances. The case has resulted in numerous theories, ranging from an accidental reaction to painkillers to being murdered by Chinese gangsters and even a family curse. In 1991, Lee's son, Brandon, also died by accidental gunshot on the set of the film The Crow.

[Photo: Oxygen,  SF Gate, Suffolks County Police Dept, Getty Images]

Related Stories
Related Show

Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content. 

You May Also Like...
Recommended by Zergnet