Unsolved mysteries are some of the most exciting and terrifying stories in the world. Disappearances and deaths that have no easy answer are passed on for generations, hoping that one day a new piece of evidence or clue will surface. Some of the most famous unsolved murders have been:
- The Zodiac Killings,
- The Black Dahlia,
- JonBenét Ramsay.
Though these have been much publicized (and fictionalized) over the years, there are also many unsolved cases that appear even more puzzling thanks to our increased reliance on security cameras around the world. These people are caught hours before their disappearances (or deaths) through multiple cameras. The most eerie part is how clueless they seem as to what’s about to happen, as if nothing was wrong.
While the list of unsolved cases is always growing, here are five of the weirdest instances in which the victim was caught on camera:
1. Jacky Sutton was working for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) when she headed to the airport in Istanbul for a flight to Iraq. She was the director of the organization in Iraq, and a career journalist who once worked as a producer for the BBC.
Sutton missed her flight connection, couldn’t afford another ticket and became distraught. She eventually killed herself in the bathroom with her own shoelace. Or, at least, that’s what the Turkish media reported.
People who knew Sutton doubted that she would take her own life after missing a flight. After she died, reports surfaced showing that she clearly had the means to buy another ticket. She was found carrying thousands of dollars in cash and two credit cards.
Sutton also was spotted on security footage with shopping bags just moments before apparently taking her own life. Friends and colleagues pointed to this detail as evidence she was not close to suicide.
2. Lars Mittank had been on holiday in Bulgaria when he got into a fight with some FC Bayern Munich fans. Mittank complained to his friends after the fight about ear pain, and was diagnosed with a ruptured ear drum after seeing a doctor.
Now grounded because of the injury, Mittank cancelled his flight home and instead booked a room at a hostel to heal. Immediately, he had a weird feeling and called his mother, telling her to put a hold on all his credit cards.
After calling his mother again saying he was being followed by four men, Mittank headed to the airport with his luggage where he was seen on security footage. 46 minutes later, he bolts from the terminal without his luggage, climbs a fence and disappears into the woods.
Mittank was never found, though his friends do say he had been given a medication for his ear trouble that had many possible side effects. Whether he was being followed isn’t clear from the footage.
3. Brian Shaffer was a 27-year old medical student at Ohio State University. The mystery begins when he was celebrating spring break at a pub called the Ugly Tuna Saloona near campus. Shaffer is seen entering the bar around midnight, casually talking to a few friends.
After being spotted again at the front of the establishment with two women around 2 AM, Shaffer seems to walk back in. That’s the last time anyone would see him. He would never show up on security footage leaving the bar, and has never been found.
Earlier that night, Shaffer had called his long-time girlfriend Alexis Waggoner to tell her he loved her. The two were planning a trip to Miami on the very next day, which many family members believed he would propose.
Though there was technically another exit from the bar through an area under construction, the security cameras outside the building did not pick up his exit either. No one knows where or how Shaffer disappeared that night, though some believe he left for a new life elsewhere.
4. Alan Jeal is one of the most bizarre examples of the CCTV program in Britain. In one night, he was spotted aimlessly walking the streets of four different cities.
He started in Wadebridge, his home, at 6 PM and traveled to Truro by bus. Seen wandering the streets, he would later take another bus to Newquay that passes through the city of Perranporth. Again, after a few hours of walking, he returns to Perranporth and takes to the streets again. Last spotted alive at 10:30 PM, police would find his body the next day washed up on the beach.
Jeal was found naked except for one sock and one shoe, with the paired sock stuffed in his mouth. It had been wrapped in headphones and jammed deep in his throat. A coat was found nearby with his wallet which still contained £95 but no debit or credit cards.
The oddest piece of evidence found with the wallet was a photo of Jeal at the age of two, digging in his front yard. The jacket which held the wallet was not the same one he had been seen wearing in the CCTV video. His case remains unsolved.
5. Bobby, Sherilynn and Madyson Jamison were a normal family living in Oklahoma when they first reported to a pastor that they had seen demons and spirits inside their home. They claimed the house was haunted with two beings named Emily and Michael, and that they had seen them several times.
On October 8th, 2009 the family was recorded on their own front yard security camera slowly moving things from the house into their GMC pickup truck. They did not appear to ever stop to speak to each other or rest, though it took several trips. The footage of them driving off would be the last time they would ever been seen at the house.
A few days later police found the truck abandoned at the side of the road in Latimer County, with over $32,000 in cash, all of their IDs and a GPS system inside. The family dog was still alive, malnourished and dehydrated. The family was nowhere to be found.
Four years later, a hunter discovered the remains of two adults and a child just three miles from where the truck was found. They were so decayed it took more than six months to determine whether it was the Jamisons. Eventually, in June of the next year a positive identification was made; it was indeed Bobby, Sherilynn and Madyson. How they were killed or why remains unanswered.