5 Tragic Cold Cases That Never Got Solved

These tragic cases got national attention but were never solved.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

Crimes occur every day yet some incidents get national attention. Whether it be a case featuring a celebrity or a particularly gruesome crime, some cases make national—and international—headlines. Still, many of these cases go ultimately unsolved. Cold Justice investigates such cold cases and premieres on Oxygen on July 22nd at 8/7c. Here are 5 tragic cold cases that were never solved.


Keddie Cabin Murders

A quaint family getaway turned into murder in 1981. Glenna “Sue” Sharp and her five children were staying in a cabin in Keddie, California. On April 11, 14-year-old Sheila came home to find her mother, brother and a family friend murdered.  All three victims at the crime scene had been bound with medical and electrical tape. Sue and Johnny had been stabbed and Sue had also been bludgeoned with a rifle. Wingate had been strangled and bludgeoned with some other object. Two young children, who were ages 5 and 10, slept through the violence in a back room while 12-year-old Tina was missing. Although two of the original suspects questioned have died, a new sheriff hopes to crack the cold case of what happened in Cabin #28.


Kristin Smart

What happened to Kristin Smart? 20 years ago, the fun-loving Cal Poly student went to an off-campus party over Memorial Day weekend. There, she possibly drank tequila (though some students said she wasn’t seen with any drinks) and appeared to be “on something.” She apparently passed out on the lawn at 2 a.m and was walked by to her dorm by fellow students Cheryl Anderson and Paul Flores. That was the last time she was seen alive. Flores apparently tried to kiss Smart and she refused. He was also spotted later with a black eye but never charged. Smart was never seen again.




Highway of Tears

A 450-mile stretch that cuts through dense forests in British Columbia, from Prince George to Prince Rupert, is known as the the Highway of Tears. Since 1969, women and girls—most of them indigenous—have been murdered or have vanished. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have officially linked 18 cases to the Highway of Tears, but The New York Times shares that many believe the body count is closer to 50. And most of those cases remain unsolved, including 14-year-old Monica Ignas who was strangled in 1974 to 26-year-old Alberta Williams who was sexually assault and strangled in 1989. With hitchhiking and poverty often present on the remote road, the Highway of Tears has attracted several Canadian serial killers.


Black Dahlia

It’s the classic story of a young woman moving to Hollywood to make it. But like a film, her life ended in tragedy. In 1947, Elizabeth Short was murdered in Los Angeles. Her naked body was found in two pieces on a vacant lot. She was severely-mutilated and her face had been slashed into a Glasgow smile. Her corpse was "posed," with her hands over her head, her elbows bent at and her legs spread apart.  The LA Times initially reported her grisly death: "Girl Victim of Sex Fiend Found Slain." Short was nicknamed the "Black Dahlia" and earned more fame in death than she did in life. Since then, the tale of the Black Dahlia has fascinated the public imagination yet remained unsolved.


O.J. Simpson


It was called the "trial of the century". The murder case against O.J. Simpson in the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman turned a Beverly Hills crime into must-see-TV in 1995. The beloved football star was charged on two counts of murder. The highly-publicized case highlighted Simpson's fame as well as issues about race and wealth in America. The lawyers, from prosecutors Marcia Clarke and Christopher Darden to defense attorneys Johnnie Cochran, F Lee Bailey and Robert Kardashian, became household names in their own right. Perhaps the most epic moment was when Cochran asked his client to put on a pair of gloves that were allegedly worn during the crime. "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit."

Simpson was acquitted on October 3, 1995. Despite much speculation, no one really knows what really happened in the murders. Some speculate that Simpson is indeed guilty while others points to other suspects like serial killer Glen Rogers.

[Photo: Oxygen, AP, Getty Images]

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