Best True Crime Podcasts – Part Two: Mysterious Deaths

Now that you’ve had your fill of mysterious disappearances, let’s move on to the next installment, Part Two: Mysterious Deaths.

(In order of remains discovery date)

1.  Hagley Woods Mystery – April 18, 1943

In April 1943, four teenage boys in England discover a woman’s skeleton in a hole in a hollow tree.  Months later, mysterious graffiti began to appear: “Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?”.  To this day, “Bella” has yet to be officially identified and her cause of death remains a mystery.

2.  Taman Shud – December 1, 1948

A man is found dead on the coast of Australia, of unknown causes with a mysterious code in a hidden pocket, causing an international, six decade long search for his identity, and for someone who can break the code.

3.  The Boy in the Box – February 25, 1957

The “Boy in the Box” is the name given to an unidentified murder victim, approximately 4 to 6 years old, whose naked, battered body was found in a cardboard box in the Fox Chase section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 25, 1957.  His identity has never been confirmed and the case remains open.

4.  Dyatlov Pass Incident – February 2, 1959

The Dyatlov Pass incident was an event that resulted in the deaths of nine hikers in the northern Ural Mountains on the night of February 2, 1959. The incident happened on the eastern side of Kholat Syakhl.  Investigators determined that the skiers had torn their tents from the inside out in order to escape from an apparent threat. They fled the campsite, some of them barefoot, under heavy snowfall. Although the bodies showed no signs of struggle, such as contusions, two victims had fractured skulls and broken ribs. Soviet authorities determined that an “unknown compelling force” had caused the deaths.

5.  Lynne Harper / Steven Truscott – June 11, 1959

Episode Link:

On June 9, 1959, 12-year-old Lynne Harper disappeared near an air force base that lay south of Clinton, Ontario. Two days later, on the afternoon of June 11, searchers discovered her body in a nearby farm woodlot. Harper had been raped and strangled with her own blouse.  She was last seen being given a ride on classmate Steven Truscott’s bicycle.  He has long been a longtime suspect, but maintains his innocence.


6.  Dr. Bogle and Mrs. Chandler – January 1, 1963

The mysterious deaths of Dr. Gilbert Stanley Bogle (1924–1963) and Mrs. Margaret Olive Chandler née Morphett (1934–1963) on the banks of the Lane Cove River in Sydney, Australia on 1 January 1963. The case became celebrated because of the circumstances in which the bodies were found and because the cause of death could not be established.


7.  Peter Gibbs (the mull air mystery) – December 24, 1975

On Christmas Eve 1975, wartime pilot Peter Gibbs took a night flight in his plane and never came back. Four months later his body was found part-way up a hill a mile from the airfield on the Isle of Mull. There was no sign of the plane and Gibbs had no visible injuries.


9.  Shelley Tyre – March 12, 1999

Married couple Shelley Tyre and David Swain went on a scuba-diving vacation, but Shelley never made it back.  She drowned while diving down to a shipwreck at a site called Twin Tugs.  Her husband is the number one suspect.


10.  Ricky McCormick and The McCormick Cypher – June 30, 1999

In 1999 Ricky McCormick was killed on the side of a freeway, 12 years later the FBI finally asks the public for help in decrypting a cypher found in his pants pocket. Ricky wrote them and to this day no one is really sure what them meaning is.


11.  Peter Bergmann – June 16, 2009

A man calling himself Peter Bergmann showed up in the Irish coastal town of Sligo in June 2009. Over the following 3 days he carefully erased all evidence of his identity, after which point his body was found on a beach north of town, dead of unknown causes.


12.  Lori Erica Ruff – December ?, 2010

After her death by suicide in 2010, Lori Erica Ruff (nee Kennedy) was discovered by her family to have been living under a false name, and that her real name was Becky Turner, except… Becky Turner died in 1971 at the age of 2. Who was Lori Ruff? Lots of people have been trying to find out, with no success.


13.  Kendrick Johnson – January 11, 2013

On January 11, 2013, Kendrick Johnson’s body was found in a rolled up wrestling mat in the gymnasium of Lowndes High School, Valdosta, Georgia, USA, where he was a student. A preliminary investigation and autopsy concluded that the death was accidental, but now authorities suspect fowl play.

14.  Spreckles mansion: Rebecca Mawii Zahau – July 13, 2011

The Deaths At Spreckels Mansion. After a young boy is gravely injured in a fall at his father’s home in California, his father & his birth mother head to the hospital, hoping & praying for him to recover. Just two days later, his father’s girlfriend is found hanging from an outside balcony.

15.  Elisa Lam – January 31, 2013

The body of Elisa Lam was discovered in a water tank on the top of the Hotel Cecil in Los Angles on February 19th, 2013. How she got there, why she was there, and what happened to her in the days before her death are still unknown. The only thing that is known for sure is that she was alive on the 1st of February exhibiting unusual behavior.


16.  Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers – April 1, 2014

On April 1 of 2014, Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers, young women from the Netherlands took off on an easy day hike in Panama near the town of Boquete. When they missed an appointment on the 2nd with a local guide, he checked with their host family, who had not seen them since the day prior. The girls were never found, save for some bones and a boot, however their backpack was found containing more questions than answers.

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