From murder to missing persons, there are an endless number of true crime cases. Whether you prefer to surf through reddit threads or read formal court statements, here are five chilling true-crime cases that will keep you pondering all night long. If you want a more detailed explanation of each crime, head over to crime junkie podcast (on Spotify).
Missing: Asha Degree
What could possibly cause a timid nine year old girl, living in a stable home in the early 2000s, to pack her bags and run away in the middle of the night during a heavy storm (did I mention she was deathly afraid of storms.)
Living in a household without internet, the possibility of an online predator can be ruled out. Eyewitnesses have testified seeing Asha walking on the highway at 3:45 a.m; one man even offered her help, but she refused and ran off into the woods.
Her backpack was found eighteen months later by a construction worker in the nearby site. Most theories claim that Asha was groomed by a trusted elder in her life-- possibly her basketball coach, teacher, or family friend. Other theories suggest that the backpack was a red herring that distracted police from focusing on what really happened that night. Some even claim she was never abducted, but instead she died of exposure in the woods; after all she was not wearing a coat in February.
There have been no breakthroughs since 2001, and the case remains cold.
Missing: Maurra Murray
As a nursing student at University of Massachusetts, a star track athlete, and in an alleged perfect relationship, Maura Murray's life was the epitome of perfect, until she went missing, which caused light to be shone on her far-from-perfect past.
On February 9th, 2004, she emailed her professors and employer to inform them of the death of a family member, which was later proven to be a false statement. She took her textbooks and schoolwork with her, so it is evident she was planning on returning to college. After leaving campus, she drove to a nearby ATM machine and withdrew money to purchase alcohol. But why did she lie about a death in her family just to get a few days off from school? What was bothering her to this extent?
To get a better understanding of Maura Murray's past, which not many people are aware of, you must know a few things about her. She was accused of credit card theft and stealing makeup from a mall; she had an affair with her track coach; her sister relapsed shortly after rehab; Maura had an eating disorder; her relationship with her boyfriend was problematic.
The most plausible theory is that she decided to take a short break from reality, due to the overwhelming issues present in her life, and sometime during her journey, she encountered foul play. This is probably someone who followed her car.
One theory that stands out is that allegedly she disappeared to start a new life with a new identity, but there has been no new breakthroughs, and the disappearance of Maura Murray remains unsolved.
Wanted: Yogurt Shop Killer
When you hear the words "yogurt shop," what comes to mind? Before hearing about this case, I would associate yogurt shops with liveliness and lightheartedness. After learning the gruesome details of this crime, I can never look at yogurt shops the same.
The night of December 6th 1991, a police officer patrolling the area reported smoke coming from the "I Can't Believe It's Yogurt!" yogurt shop. Once the firefighters arrived at the sight, they were confronted by the dead bodies of four teenage girls all stacked one on top of the other. It was later confirmed that the yogurt shop was set on fire by the murderer(s) to destroy evidence.
With 342 suspects, four murdered teenage girls and a public that was insistent for answers, this case was high-priority for law enforcement.
The suspect list got narrowed down to four teenagers: Robert Springsteen IV, Michael Scott, Maurice Pierce and Forrest Wellborn. These teenagers were arrested, but their convictions got overturned because of a violation in their constitutional rights during the trial.
After the release of the four teenagers, the case was back on the cold case shelf.
Missing: Sneha Phillip
The disappearance of Sneha Philip is one of the most chilling missing persons case. Surveillance footage from September 10th, 2001 (one day before 9/11), puts her in a department store in Manhattan. That night, she did not return to her apartment, but her husband was not concerned. It was common for her to crash at a friend's place.
Little did he know, the next day--September 11, 2001-- would be the biggest terrorist attack in American History, and his wife would still be missing amidst the catastrophe.
The easy answer would be she died in the twin tower attacks--but there is more you should know.
Sneha's life was falling apart in the time leading up to her disappearance.
She had a history of alcohol/drug abuse, multiple affairs and pending criminal charges from malpractice. To top it all off, she was on the verge of getting her medical license revoked.
Did Sneha Philip use 9/11 as an opportunity to escape her troubled life and start fresh?
Or was she actually killed in the twin tower attacks?
Murdered: Angela Mischelle Lawless
Deputy Rick Walter found the body of Angela Mischelle Lawless inside her car at 1:30 a.m. At first, he assumed she was drunk and/or passed out, but once he opened the door, blood gushed out. Allegedly, Angela was shot in the head three times.
Joshua Kezer was wrongfully accused and sentenced to 60 years in prison for the death of Angele Lawless. The case was later reopened and his innocence was proven.
According to ABC News, "No physical evidence connected him to the murder victim -- no blood, no prints, no fingernail scrapings, no murder weapon. Apparent blood spatter on his clothes had turned out to be not blood at all, but vegetable matter."
If it was not Joshua Kezer, who killed Angela Mischelle Lawless?