Why did this man travel 200 miles to die in the Peak District? The BBC looks at the unsolved death in December of an unidentified man who travelled from London to Manchester by train only to be found on the moor. The article is a companion piece to a Radio 4 podcast.
In the late 1950s, Serbian authorities closed grain milling wheels made of lead used by a handful of villages in the Balkans. They were aiming to eliminate Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN), a kidney disease limited to certain spots along the Danube and some of its tributaries. They failed, but they weren't the last to fail. Perhaps no other human disease has generated so many different hypotheses and ideas in an attempt to explain its causal factors. In 2013, Elif Batuman traveled to the Balkans with her father, a nephrologist who had studied the disease before the region was ripped apart by war. She found medical records destroyed by the fighting, balkanized health services, skeptical villagers, and a handful of scientists who think that the most important clue was discovered in 1992, when two women in a clinic waiting room in Belgium nodded ‘Hello’ to each other. [more inside]
A forensic psychiatrist and first cousin, once-removed, examines the sad case of a dreamer who left behind riddles, explanations, and a confession to a series of unsolved murders.
The Lead Masks Case is the name given to a bizarre incident in August of 1966 in which two Brazilian television repairmen were found dead of unknown causes, wearing radiation-proof lead eye masks and raincoats, on a hilltop just outside the city of of Niterói in Rio de Janeiro. Along with a bizarre note left by one of the men which reads (in English), "16:30 (04:30 PM) be at the agreed place. 18:30 (06:30 PM) swallow capsules, after effect, protect metals, wait for mask signal," the unusual circumstances have prompted decades of speculation. [more inside]
For 30 years, an ex-con drifter from Saskatchewan named Dennis Melvyn Howe has eluded police in connection with the abduction, rape and murder of a 9 year old Toronto girl. In 2008, an Idaho man named Robert James Miller wrote two long, bizarre posts on the forum at unsolvedcanada.ca. He claimed to have identified Howe and turned him in after seeing a 1998 episode of America's Most Wanted. The FBI is now investigating the possibility that Miller himself is Dennis Melvyn Howe. [more inside]
"Meanwhile, the Ruffs are wondering, too. They want to solve the mystery. At the very least, they want to be able to tell Blake and Lori’s daughter who her mother was. Yet they worry they’ll find out something terrible, something they wish they had never known." An East Texas woman commits suicide. Her distraught former husband opens the strongbox she'd forbidden him from accessing. The contents, however, continue to baffle investigators (and the public) - who are now requesting help with identifying the woman formerly known as "Lori Ruff".
The Ax Murderer Who Got Away - Shortly after midnight on June 10, 1912—one hundred years ago this week—a stranger hefting an ax lifted the latch on the back door of a two-story timber house in the little Iowa town of Villisca. [more inside]
Human foot washes up on beach near Vancouver for 11th time in four years Previously - The DNA matchup - previously again
Back in 2003, MetaFilter noted a very strange bank robbery in which the robber was also a particularly desperate victim. Seven years later, the story has become even more gnarled and mysterious, despite the ultimate conviction of a 'mastermind'. The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist. [more inside]
Nine experienced cross-country skiers hurriedly left their tent on a Urals slope in the middle of the night at around -30 degrees Celsius for no obvious reason, casting aside skis, food, boots and most of their clothes. Soon they would be dead, some with injuries more suited to car crash victims, and apparently dosed with radiation. Their deaths are still unexplained, 49 years later. The Mystery of the Dyatlov Pass Accident. [more inside]
Unmasking D.B. Cooper: On a rainy night in 1971, the notorious skyjacker jumped out of a 727 and into American legend. But a chance lead to a Manhattan P.I. may have finally cracked the case, despite the fact this isn't the first time someone has claimed to be D.B. Cooper.
... the eighth young man since 1997 was found dead in the Mississippi River in the La Crosse [Wisconsin] area on Monday.