Defined in different words by different legal systems, an unlawful, deliberate killing of a human being without any provocation is generally considered a murder. An unsolved murderis one in which the murder remains untraceable in spite of all-out efforts on the part of all the investigating agencies. It may become famous on account of the importance of the murdered person or on account of the mode of the murder. When solved, a murder does not become a less heinous crime, yet it is forgotten with the lapse of time. However, unsolved murders remain terribly shocking for a prolonged period of time. A few such murders are recent and still under heavy investigation, while quite a few are very old and remain unsolved mysteries up to now. Similarly, there are unsolved deaths considered by some as natural deaths or lawful punishment while others consider them as unlawful killings.
1. Benazir Bhutto Murder Case
Benazir Bhutto had been twice the Prime Minister of Pakistan and was a potential candidate for the third time. She exiled herself on account of corruption charges, but after a deal with General Pervez Musharraf returned to the country on December 27th. She was given a warm reception by the Peoples Party members. However, while returning from a rally in Rawalpindi city, she was killed during a bomb blast. She was a strong candidate for the general elections of 2008 which were scheduled just a couple of weeks after her assassination. Who was the assassin? Who fired the bullet? It could not be unveiled up to now. The murder still remains clad in the shrouds of mystery.
2. Osama bin Laden- A natural death or unlawful murder?
Osama bin Laden–Head of the terrorist organization Al Qaeda topped the list of ‘ most wanted’ by the FBI. On May 2, 2011, the American Marines (SEALS) attacked a private residence in Abbotabad without even being noticed by the Pakistani Forces. His corpse was air lifted by helicopters and was said to have been buried in the sea. Why was his body or burial kept secret? It gives rise to many doubts. Was the American attack a lawful act? It is still a matter of controversy and has created an unparalleled gulf between America and Pakistan.
3. Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper, also known as the Zodiac Killer on account of the zodiac sign left behind after the murder, is perhaps the most notorious and unidentifiable serial killer. He (or she) killed seven persons, three of them being women. All the murders took place from December, 1968 to October, 1969. More than 2,000 suspects were investigated but to no avail. The murderer and the motives for the murders are still unknown, and nothing has been found to trace the murders up to now.
4. Elizabeth Short
Elizabeth Short, also known as the Black Dahlia, was an American girl of 20 killed on January 15, 1947. She was found in a very bad condition. Her body was cut into two halves which aroused a wave of terror and shock among the masses. The murder took place in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. The horrific notoriety caused many to use the story as a plot for their horror movies or fictional accounts. There were strange instances that many even made false confessions as being responsible for the murder to gain cheap popularity.
5. JonBenet Ramsey
JonBenet Ramsey was perhaps the youngest and the prettiest little girl. She was only a child of six years murdered so brutally and so mysteriously that not a trace of the murderer could be made available even after the lapse of a prolonged period of time. On December 26, 1996, she was found missing and was killed for ransom money of $118,000 demanded by the murderer through a note. The child was found murdered in the cellar of her parent’s home in Boulder, Colorado.
6. Jack the Stripper
Different from Jack the Ripper, this murderer, Jack the Stripper, is also known as the London nude murderer or Hammersmith murderer on account of stripping the murdered and leaving the naked bodies of the victims, most of them being London prostitutes. The fanatic murderer might have been some religious bigot but that is an assumption only. The dead bodies of the murdered were thrown into the River Thames or found in different localities of London during the year 1964-1965.
7. The Anonymous Boy
An anonymous boy, generally known as ‘The Boy in the Box’ was found murdered, wrapped in a blanket, and kept in a carton which was left abandoned. The body was first discovered on the 25th of February by chance. The incident was not immediately brought to the authorities’ attention by the first discoverers. The child was considered to be about six years of age. No clue as to the murderer could be found in spite of wide coverage by the media.
8. The Axe Man
May, 1918 to October, 1919 was a period when nothing but terror reined in the city of New Orleans in Louisiana state. The Axe Man of New Orleans was a ferocious killer who killed many people so suddenly that many were struck unaware of their murderer, like a woman who was struck with the axe and murdered while she was pregnant and held an infant.
9. Oscar Romero
Oscar Romero; the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador was murdered during a mass on March 24, 1980. A day before his murder, Romero urged the soldiers of El Salvador to stop repression against the civilians and allow them their basic human rights contrary to the will of the government. Many were killed due to the bomb blast during his funeral. The assassin has not been traced currently. More than 30 persons were killed after his assassination like many were killed after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto the twice Prime Minister of Pakistan.
10. Amber Hagerman
Only nine years old, the little girl Amber Hagerman was abducted from the vicinity of her grandparent’s home while she was out riding a bike in Arlington, Texas. Her mother, Donna Norris, demanded tougher laws and the Congressman of her district proposed the ‘Amber Hagerman Child Protection Act.’ The bill entailed the creation of a National Sex Offender Registry. President Bill Clinton signed the bill to make it a law, and both parents of Amber Hagerman were present at the historical occasion. Her murder prompted the ‘AMBER Alert System’ officially standing for ‘America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response.’ Ree Leigh was the first missing American child recovered in response to the Amber Alert. Laura Bush inaugurated an AMBER Alert Center in remembrance of the event.
Both hunting and murder seem to have a resemblance in their mode of action, but they are notably different from one another in that the former satiates the physical appetite of the hunter while the latter satiates the evil spirit of the murderer. Of the above mentioned unsolved murders, three are related to children below ten years of age. People at such occasions react mostly with broken hearts, souls, and minds, but sometimes some people face the ordeal in an exemplary way. Amber Hagerman’s parents appear to me like a lighthouse and lesson learned that at times you cannot undo what has been done, but that ought not to hinder your efforts. You may at least do something to prevent the recurrence of such a tragic event as the parents of the little Amber Hagerman did.