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1  the Unexplained / Vanishings / List of unsolved murders and deaths on: May 21, 2010, 03:20:09 pm
List of unsolved murders and deaths
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Contents [hide]
1 Unsolved murders
2 Unsolved serial killer murders
3 Suspected serial killers
4 Unsolved deaths
5 Date of death disputed
6 See also
7 References
This list of unsolved murders and deaths covers notable cases where people have been murdered or have died under unsolved circumstances, including murders committed by unknown serial killers. People are listed chronologically by year. (For serial killer cases which span multiple years, the entries are listed under the year the first murder took place.)

[edit] Unsolved murders

Benjamin Bathurst, a British diplomatic envoy who was disappeared on or around 25 November 1809 in the town of Perleberg, Germany, and who was likely murdered.[1]
Thomas C. Hindman, American politician assassinated by one or more unknown assailants on 27 September 1868, who fired through his parlor window while he was reading his newspaper with his children in Helena, Arkansas, United States.[2]
John M. Clayton, American politician, shot and killed instantly by an unknown assailant on the evening of 29 January 1889 in Plumerville, Arkansas after starting an investigation into the possible fraud of an election he took part in. After his death he was declared the winner of the election but his assassin was never found.[3]
Andrew Jackson Borden and Abby Durfee Borden, father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden, both killed in their family house in Fall River, Massachusetts on the morning of 4 August 1892, by blows from a hatchet, which in the case of Andrew Borden, not only crushed his skull but cleanly split his left eyeball. Lizzie was later charged and arrested for the murders as she and a maid were the only ones in the house at the time of the killings, but was acquitted by a jury and the case remains unsolved.[4]

William Goebel, American politician who was shot and mortally wounded on the morning of 30 January 1900 by an unknown assailant in Frankfort, Kentucky one day before being sworn in as Governor of Kentucky. The next day the dying Goebel was sworn in and despite 18 physicians attending him, died the afternoon of 3 February 1900. Goebel remains the only state governor in the United States to be assassinated while in office.[5]
Rose Harsent, a 6 month pregnant maid who was stabbed to death on 1 June 1902 in Suffolk, England by an unknown assailant. At the time it was alleged that the murderer was a preacher of the Primitive Methodist Chapel named William Gardiner who was having an affair with the victim. The case has been investigated in BBC One's Julian Fellowes Investigates.[6]
Joseph Wilson, the sixty year old stationmaster, shot dead at Lintz Green railway station, in the North East of England, on 7 October 1911. His murder sparked one of the largest murder investigations in the North East.
William Desmond Taylor, popular American actor and director of silent movies from Los Angeles, United States. Killed by a shot in the back on 1 February 1922 inside his bungalow. His murder, along with other Hollywood scandals such as the Roscoe Arbuckle trial, led to a frenzy of sensationalistic and often fabricated newspaper reports.[7]

Vampire Murder Case, is the nickname given to the case of an unknown assailant who committed the unsolved murder of a prostitute who was found dead with a crushed skull in her apartment on 4 May 1932 in Stockholm, Sweden. Police had also noticed that someone had been drinking her blood.
Sir Harry Oakes, an American-born British gold-mine owner and philanthropist who was found murdered in his mansion in Nassau, Bahamas on 8 July 1943. His murder became the subject of worldwide press coverage at the time as well as several books, films and documentaries.[8]
Georgette Bauerdorf, a twenty-year-old oil heiress who was found face down in a bath tub in her home at West Hollywood, California on 12 October 1944. She had been strangled with a piece of towel stuffed down her throat and although there was a large roll of $2 bills and thousands of dollars worth of sterling silver lying in an open trunk, Bauerdorf's jewelry and other valuables were not stolen. The police believe her murderer had unscrewed an automatic night light over the outside entrance of the apartment so it wouldn't go on and was lying in wait for her.[9]
The Black Dahlia (Elizabeth Short), a 22 year old woman who was found severely mutilated and her body cut in half in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California on 15 January 1947. Her unsolved murder has been the source of several books, films and widespread speculation.[10]
Folke Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg and Swedish diplomat assassinated on 17 September 1948 in Jerusalem, Israel by a four-man team who ambushed Bernadotte's motorcade, shot at the tires of the UN vehicles, opened the door of Bernadotte's car and shot him at close range. The bullets also hit a French officer who was sitting beside him. Both were killed.[11]
Emily Armstrong, found in a dry cleaners shop in London, England on 14 April 1949 about an hour after she was murdered. An autopsy showed she was beaten to death and her skull shattered by at least 22 blows from a blunt object, later believed to be a claw hammer.[12]

Marilyn Reese Sheppard wife of Sam Sheppard, attacked and killed in her home in Bay Village, Ohio, United States, on 4 July 1954. Sam Sheppard was later convicted of killing his pregnant wife but this was overturned in 1966 and he was acquitted in a new trial. He claimed his wife was killed by a bushy-haired man who also attacked him and knocked him unconscious twice. Their son slept through the night, just down the hall from the bedroom in which his mother was murdered. The trial of Sam Sheppard received extensive publicity and was called "carnival atmosphere" by the U.S. Supreme Court.[13]
Barbara and Patricia Grimes disappeared on 28 December 1956, in Chicago, Illinois after going to a cinema to watch an Elvis Presley movie. Their disappearance launched one of the biggest missing-persons hunts in Chicago history. However, police were not able to determine what happened to the Grimes sisters. In a statement, Elvis Presley asked the girls to go home. [14] On January 1957 their naked bodies were found off a road near Willow Springs, Illinois. The corpses contained various bruises and marks (for example puncture wounds in the chest that may have come from an ice pick) that were never fully explained.
Mary Jane Hanselman, a 16 year old sophomore at Sacred Heart Academy, Springfield, Illinois, was discovered north of the fairgrounds on April 27, 1958. She was bound with her own stockings and clothed in the uniform she was last seen wearing at a restaurant where she worked in Springfield. A dishwasher at the Georgian, the restaurant where Hanselman worked, was arrested but there was insufficient evidence to hold him.[15]
Boy in the Box, sometimes known as "America's Unknown Child" is a name given to an unidentified murder victim, approximately 4 to 6 years old. The body of the boy was found battered and naked inside a cardboard box on 25 February 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The case received massive media attention and pictures of the boy were placed in every gas bill in Philadelphia. It has been featured on the America's Most Wanted television series but despite all attention the case remains unsolved and the boy's identity unknown.[16]
Lynne Harper, 12 years old, was last seen alive on 9 June 1959 riding on the handlebars of her friend Steven Truscott's bike near an air force base which is now Vanastra, Ontario, Canada. Two days later her body was discovered in a nearby farm woodlot, she had been raped and strangled with her own blouse. 14 year old Steven Murray Truscott was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder, becoming Canada's youngest person to be sentenced to death. The sentence was later commuted to life in prison. Truscott was held in custody for 10 years and in 2007 he was formally acquitted, the case remaining unsolved. [17]
The Lake Bodom murders, were an infamous multiple homicide that took place in Finland on 4 June 1960. That night four teenagers were camping on the shores of the lake when between 4 am and 6 am they were attacked by an unknown individual or individuals with a knife and a blunt object. Three of them died and the fourth one was wounded but survived. Although the sole survivor became a suspect for some time in 2004, the case remains unsolved and the killer(s) identity unknown.[18]
Mary Meyer, a socialite from Washington, D.C., and close friend of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.[19] Shot to death on 12 October 1964 by an unknown assailant after finishing a painting and going for a walk. She was heard screaming for help by a mechanic on a nearby road who also heard two gunshots and saw an unidentified man standing over her body. Her murder would later stir speculation relating to the Kennedy assassination.[20]
Betsy Aardsma, was a 22-year-old woman from Holland, Michigan, United States, who was stabbed to death in broad daylight in a school library on 28 November 1969. She was stabbed a single time through the heart with a single-edged small knife. Approximately one minute later two men came from Betsy's location and told a desk clerk, "Somebody better help that girl," and then exited the library. The men were never identified. 25–35 minutes later Betsy arrived at a hospital where she was pronounced dead. She had worn a red dress, and since there was only a small amount of blood visible, no one immediately realized that she had been stabbed.[21]

Barbara Colby, an American actress from Venice, California, United States, was shot to death while walking with a colleague to his car on 24 July 1975. She died instantly from her wounds but her colleague was able to describe the shooting to the police before he also died from his wounds. He said the shooting occurred without reason or provocation and said that there were two gunmen who he didn't recognize. There had been no attempt to rob the two and the killers and their motivation are still unknown.[22]
Daniel J. Guyton, A1c USAF, an Air Force Military Policeman (MP) from Mattituck, New York, United States, was shot to death in his patrol jeep on Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, Illinois at 9:12am December 2, 1977. Guyton was found with a shotgun between his legs and what appeared to be a suicide note next to him. His death was originally ruled a suicide, until the coroner reported that Guyton's arms were too short to have reached the trigger from that position. Additionally, two shotgun shells were found on the floor of the jeep, which suggested that someone else may have pulled the trigger. Along with this evidence, several key witnesses questioned the legitimacy of the handwriting in the so-called "suicide note". At the time, Guyton was involved in a drug-smuggling investigation that other US Airmen were allegedly involved in. Due to this investigation, it was deemed likely that Guyton had numerous enemies with access to the base, and to his daily schedule. Because of these factors, his death was eventually declared an Unsolved Murder, and the case remains open to this day.[23]
Bob Crane, an American actor, was discovered violently bludgeoned to death with a weapon that was never found (but was believed by police to be a camera tripod) at the Winfield Place Apartments in Scottsdale, Ariz., on June 29, 1978. Crane had allegedly called his friend John Henry Carpenter the night before to tell him their friendship was over. Crane was involved in the underground sexual scene and filmed his numerous escapades with the help of Carpenter, who was an audio-visual expert.[24][25][26][27] Police reportedly found blood smears in Carpenter's car that matched Crane's blood type, but no charges were filed against Carpenter for more than a decade. When he was charged, in 1994, he was acquitted. Carpenter maintained his innocence until his death in 1998, and the case is now officially cold.[28]
Raymond Nels Nelson, Administrative Assistant to Senator Claiborne Pell. Bludgeoned with a typewriter in his Washington, D.C. apartment, former bureau chief of the Warwick Journal, Rhode Island.
Raymond Washington, original founder of the notorious South Central Los Angeles street gang that came to be known as the Crips. Washington was shot dead at the age of 25 when he walked up to a car on the corner of 64th and San Pedro Streets in Los Angeles. At the time of his death, Washington no longer had any real control over the gang he originally founded. He wanted to unite warring gangs in peace and had always opposed guns. Different theories exist on why he was killed and who did it but no one was ever arrested for his murder.[29]
Óscar Romero, the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador, was killed by a shot to the heart on 24 March 1980 while celebrating Mass at a small chapel located in a hospital. It is believed, but never proven, that the assassins were members of Salvadoran death squads. During the funeral ceremony, a bomb exploded on the Cathedral square and shots were fired, many people were killed during the subsequent mass panic.[30]
Dian Fossey, an American zoologist who observed and studied gorilla groups over a period of 18 years in Rwanda. She was brutally murdered in the bedroom of her cabin on 26 December 1985. Her skull had been split by a native panga, which she had confiscated from poachers years earlier and hung as a decoration on the wall of her cabin. Fossey was found dead beside her bed and 2 meters away from a hole in the cabin that was cut on the day of her murder.[31]
Olof Palme, Prime Minister of Sweden and the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party was shot in the back while walking home from a cinema together with his wife shortly after 11 pm on 28 February 1986 in Stockolm, Sweden.[32]
Julie Ward, murdered in Kenya in 1988 while on safari in the Masai Mara game reserve. Her burned and dismembered body was found a week after she went missing, The original statement by Kenyan officials was that she had been eaten by lions and struck by lightning but this was later revised to say she was murdered. [33]
Deanna Cremin, a 17-year-old girl from Somerville, Massachusetts, United States, was found behind a senior housing complex an autopsy revealed she had been strangled. She was last seen alive by her boyfriend who unlike other occasions when he would walk her to the door, he walked her only half way and she continued on her own toward her house. Her murder remains unsolved.[34]
Amber Hagerman, victim of an abduction and murder. On 13 January 1996, she was riding her bike near her grandparents' home in Arlington, Texas, and was kidnapped soon thereafter. Four days later, a man walking his dog found her body in a creek bed. An autopsy revealed that her throat had been cut. Although a $75,000 reward was offered for information leading to Hagerman's killer, the perpetrator was never found. Her murder would later inspire the creation of the AMBER Alert system. [35]
Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Wife of French filmmaker Daniel du Plantier, found beaten to death outside her home in Toormore near Schull in Co Cork Ireland on the morning of the 23 December 1996. Former French President Jacques Chirac was a friend of the couple and gave the case national attention.[36][37]
JonBenét Ramsey, a six-year-old American girl who had competed in child beauty pageants, was made famous by her Christmastime murder and the subsequent media coverage. She was found dead in the basement of her parents' home in Boulder, Colorado, on December 26, 1996, nearly eight hours after she was reported missing. The official cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation associated with craniocerebral trauma. After several grand jury hearings, the case is still unsolved. [38] Her parents were the target of intense media coverage that suggested they were suspects, but authorities eventually confirmed that the couple had been cleared of any involvement.
Tupac Shakur, a top-selling American Rapper who was shot four times in a drive-by shooting on 7 September 1996, in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, and died six days later of respiratory failure and cardiac arrest at the University Medical Center.
Notorious B.I.G., a famous Jamaican American rapper killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting on his way back to his hotel, while waiting for a red traffic light to change on 9 March 1997, in Los Angeles, California, United States. Even though a composite sketch[39] of the perpetrator was made, the case is still unsolved.
Ita Martadinata Haryono, an Indonesian human rights activist, found dead on 9 October 1998 in her bedroom in Central Jakarta, Indonesia. She was stabbed ten times and her neck had been slashed. The murder occurred just three days after a Jakarta press conference held by the human rights organizations she had been involved with.[40]
Big L, Harlem rapper. Was shot multiple times in the head and chest near his Harlem home on 15 February 1999
Jill Dando, an English journalist and television presenter who worked for the BBC for 14 years. She was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head on 26 April 1999, after leaving the home of her fiancé. Her death sparked "Operation Oxborough", the biggest murder inquiry and largest criminal investigation since the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.[41]
Catrine da Costa, Swedish prostitute. Parts of her dismembered body was found in Solna, just outside of Stockholm, during the summer of 1984.
Suzanne Jovin, a 21-year-old senior at Yale University, was found stabbed to death in 1998 on the campus of Yale.[42] Allegations that her thesis advisor was a suspect led to the end of his career at Yale, but the crime remains unsolved.
Raonaid Murray, Raonaid Murray (1 January 1982 – 4 September 1999) was an Irish murder victim, stabbed to death at the age of 17 within a few hundred metres of her home in Glenageary, Co. Dublin, in the early hours of Saturday morning, 4 September 1999.

Jill-Lyn Euto, an 18 year old student, was found stabbed to death in her sixth-floor apartment at 600 James St, Syracuse, NY on 28 January 2001. No arrests have been made. .[43]
Amanda Dowler, a 13-year-old girl from Walton-on-Thames, England. Last seen walking home around 4 pm on 22 March 2002, her skeletal remains were found almost six months later in a forest 25 miles from where she was last seen. None of the clothes, purse, rucksack or mobile phone Dowler had with her at the time of her disappearance were found, and as of 2008 they are still missing.[44]
Evelyn Hernandez, and her 5-year-old son Alex, last heard from on 1 May 2002 at her residence in San Francisco, California. Her wallet was found several days later, in South San Francisco. Hernandez was nine months pregnant at the time and on 24 July 2002 her torso was found floating in San Francisco Bay. Her unborn child and her son Alex have not been found. The case was profiled twice on America's Most Wanted during the summer of 2003.[45]
Rashawn Brazell, disappeared after leaving his home in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York, United States, on the morning of 14 February 2005. His dismembered body parts were later found in garbage bags. America's Most Wanted profiled the case three times, on 29 September 2005; 1 April 2006; and 9 December 2006. [46][47]
Gail DeLay, age 49, was murdered sometime between July 22 and 23, 2005, in her Dallas, TX, apartment. She was found on the morning of July 23 severely beaten and partially ****. Dallas police are continuing to pursue leads.[48][49]
Robert Wone, age 32, was murdered on August 2, 2006, in his friend's Washington, D.C., apartment. He was "restrained, incapacitated, and sexually assaulted" prior to his death. The only individuals present in the apartment at the time were its three residents, all friends of Wone. They have denied involvement and insisted that an intruder committed the crime. Authorities claim that there was no evidence of a break-in, the apartment appeared to be washed cleaned, the three residents appeared freshly showered, and the evidence was not consistent with the residents' accounts. In addition, the residents tampered with the crime scene, waited an inordinate amount of time to call 911, and exhibited strange behavior when paramedics and police arrived. Authorities believe that either some or all of the three house-mates murdered Wone and engaged in a cover-up.[50] [51]
[edit] Unsolved serial killer murders

Servant Girl Annihilator (aka Austin Axe Murderer), Austin, Texas, 1884-1885.
Jack the Ripper murders, 1888 London, England,

Axeman of New Orleans murders, 1918-1919.
Cleveland Torso Murderer (aka The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run), Cleveland, Ohio, 1935-1938.
Phantom Killer, Texarkana (Texas and Arkansas), 1946.

Jack the Stripper murders, London, 1963-1964.
Zodiac Killer murders, Northern California, 1968-1969
Bible John murders, Glasgow, Scotland, 1968-1969.
Alphabet Killer murders, Rochester, New York, early 1970s.
Oakland County Child Killer, Oakland County, Michigan, 1976-1977.
Original Night Stalker murders, Southern California, 1979-1986.
1982 Chicago Tylenol murders, Chicago area, 1982.
Stoneman murders, Calcutta, India, 1989.
Lisbon Ripper murders, Lisbon, Portugal, 1992-1993.
Claremont serial killer, Claremont, Western Australia, 1996-1997
[edit] Suspected serial killers
John Bodkin Adams murder case, physician suspected of being a serial killer, England. One alleged victim, Gertrude Hullett, was found to have committed suicide at the inquest in 1956, but Dr. Adams was indicted for her murder the following year. The case was then dropped by the prosecution via a nolle prosequi, an action described by the judge as an "abuse of process."
[edit] Unsolved deaths

Harold II of England, (Harold Godwinson). Either killed by an arrow to the eye, by four Norman milites, or by some other manner (possibly a combination of both). Nothing is completely certain.
King William II of England, 1100, killed by an arrow while hunting.
Agnès Sorel, 1450, mistress of King Charles VII of France. While the cause of death was originally thought to be dysentery, scientists have now concluded that Agnès died from being poisoned by mercury. The culprit remains unknown.
Regiomontanus (aka Johannes Müller), 1476, German mathematician and astronomer died mysteriously in Rome. Some say of plague, others (most likely) by assassination.
Moctezuma II, 1520, Aztec emperor. According to Spanish accounts he was killed by his own people; according to Aztec accounts he was murdered by the Spanish.
King Charles XII of Sweden, 1718, killed in action.
Emperor Kōmei of Japan, 1840, Emperor of Japan. He died of smallpox at the age of 35. There is a theory that he was actually poisoned by the anti-Bakufu clique.

Émile Zola, 1902, French author, died in Paris in, 1902 of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a stopped chimney. His enemies were blamed, but nothing was proved.
Death of Rudolf Diesel, 1913, the place is unknown and many theories are given about Diesel's death. He disappeared in the English Channel and was found dead in the Schelde river[citation needed] in Rupelmonde, Belgium.
S. L. MacGregor-Mathers, 1918, well-known magician and occultist, died of an unknown cause; it is known that he had many enemies. The manner of death is unknown; his death certificate lists no cause of death. Violet Firth (Dion Fortune) claimed his death was the result of the Spanish influenza of 1918. As few facts are known about Mathers' private life, verification of such claims are very difficult.
B. H. DeLay, 1923, Aviator Actor who died while performing on 4th of July in Venice Beach (Los Angeles) California area, died when the wings of his plane were sabotaged causing him to die instantly in the subsequent crash.

Ottavio Bottecchia, 1927, Italian Cyclist, was found by the side of a road, covered with bruises and with a serious skull fracture. His bicycle was undamaged, propped against a nearby tree. He was brought to a hospital but died soon afterwards. An official inquiry concluded accidental death but many suspected that he had run afoul of the powerful and growing fascist movement in Italy at the time.
Death of Ivar Kreuger, 1932, in a Paris hotel room. Probably a suicide.
Ghazi of Iraq, 1939, King of Iraq, He died in a mysterious accident involving a sports car he was driving. Some believe he was killed on the orders of Nuri as-Said.
King Ananda Mahidol of Thailand, 1946. Died of gunshot wounds; suicide, accident or assassination.
Jan Masaryk, 1948, son of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk; Czech diplomat, politician and Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia, was found dead in the courtyard of the Foreign Ministry below his bathroom window. The initial investigation concluded that he committed suicide by jumping out of the window, although many are convinced that he was pushed.
The Taman Shud Case, 1948, Adelaide, Australia, a man was found dead on the beach. His dental records did not match any known person. He carried no identification. The labels on his business suit and clothing were all missing. In one trouser pocket there was a piece of paper with the words 'Taman Shud' on it. This is a phrase on the last page of collection of poems called the The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and it means 'the end.'

Barthélemy Boganda, 1959, Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, in a plane crash.
Death of Dag Hammarskjöld, 1961, in Ndola, Northern Rhodesia, aeroplane crash.
Dorothy Kilgallen, 1965, New York City, death certificate reads "acute ethanol and barbiturate intoxication / circumstances undetermined." People who have said publicly that she could have been murdered (perhaps by needle injection after drinking an unknown amount of alcohol) include Larry King, Dominick Dunne, Bob Bach (who booked the mystery guests on Kilgallen's TV show What's My Line?), writer Mary Brannum Bringle (a colleague of Patricia Bosworth) and Kilgallen's son Kerry Kollmar.
Death of George Washington Vanderbilt III, (1961), in San Francisco, California.
Edward Mutesa, 1969, died, possibly from alcohol poisoning, in his London flat.
Hale Boggs and Nick Begich, 1972, Democratic U.S. House members whose plane disappeared in the Alaska wilderness. Remnants of plane and bodies never recovered.
Aman Mikael Andom, 1974, Ethiopian military figure, sources say that he committed suicide, while others say that he was killed by political rivals among the coup leadership, possibly including Mengistu Haile Mariam.
Jimmy Hoffa, 1975, International Brotherhood of Teamsters leader who disappeared from the parking lot of a Michigan restaurant. Body never recovered; declared legally dead by the state of Michigan in 1982.
Haile Selassie, 1975, Emperor of Ethiopia until his deposition in 1974. His death was officially said to be from natural causes, but a persistent allegation is that he was smothered with a pillow.

Pope John Paul I, 1978, has been contended by authors David Yallop and Malachi Martin, among others, to have been assassinated.
Omar Torrijos, 1981, brigadier general and president of Panama, died in a plane crash.
Roberto Calvi, 1982, CEO of Banco Ambrosiano, found hanged under Blackfriars Bridge in London.
Eduardo Frei Montalva, 1982, president of Chile from 1964 to 1970. As of 2005, his death is being investigated because of allegations that he was poisoned. [2]
Samora Machel, 1986, President of Mozambique, killed in air crash on the border of South Africa, hillside in the Lebombo Mountains. He was leading anti-Apartheid spokesman.
Uwe Barschel, 1987, minister-president of Schleswig-Holstein.
Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, 1988, military ruler of Pakistan, died in a plane crash in 1988.
Pablo Escobar, 1993, head of the Medellín Cartel, war against Escobar ended in 1993, as he tried to elude the Search Bloc one more time. Using radio triangulation technology provided as part of the U.S. efforts, a Colombian electronic surveillance team found him hiding in a middle-class barrio in Medellín. A shootout between Escobar and the Search Bloc personnel ensued. Some believe U.S. special ops snipers may have taken part in the final shootout with Escobar. Accordingly, how Escobar was killed during the confrontation has been debated, but it is known that he was cornered on the rooftops of Medellín and suffered gunshots to the leg, back, and the fatal one behind his ear.
Zviad Gamsakhurdia, 1993, former president of Georgia - In 1993, died in circumstances that were (and still are) very unclear. It is known that he died in the village of Khibula in the Samegrelo region of western Georgia.
Juvénal Habyarimana, 1994, President of Rwanda killed in mysterious plane crash in Kigali airport. The resulting political instability led to the genocide in Rwanda and the outbreak of full-scale war in Burundi.
Cyprien Ntaryamira, 1994, President of Burundi, killed in mysterious plane crash in Kigali airport. The resulting political instability led to the genocide in Rwanda and the outbreak of full-scale war in Burundi.
Jack Nance, 1996, cult actor, died of mysterious circumstances in his South Pasadena home.

Giorgi Sanaia, 2001, Georgian journalist known for opposition to government, shot in apartment in Tbilisi.
Enrique Salinas, 2004, brother of former Mexican president Carlos Salinas. Found with a plastic bag over his head in a parked car. The vehicle was abandoned in the upmarket municipality of Huixquilucan, Estado de México outskirts of Mexico City.
Nicola Calipari, 2005, Italian intelligence agent (circumstances of the death are well-established; the motives are unclear), Calipari was killed by American soldiers while escorting a recently rescued Italian hostage, journalist Giuliana Sgrena, to Baghdad International Airport.
John Garang, 2005, Sudanese politician and former rebel leader (suspicious helicopter crash), Southern Sudan. One theory was poor visibility. Second one was arranged by Sudanese Government.
[edit] Date of death disputed
Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish humanitarian who worked in Budapest, Hungary, was most likely executed in Russia on or around 1947 after being captured by the Red Army in 1945. Death is dated by Soviet authorities as 16 July 1947, but this is disputed; remains an unsolved case.
[edit] See also
Cold case
Forensic science
[edit] References
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^ {}
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^ "How did Bob Crane die, anyway?". The Straight Dope. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
^ Krikorian, Michael (2005-12-14). "Tookie's Mistaken Identity: On the trail of the real founder of the Crips". Retrieved 2008-01-06.  
^ Christopher Dickey. "40 Killed in San Salvador: 40 Killed at Rites For Slain Prelate; Bombs, Bullets Disrupt Archbishop's Funeral". Washington Post Foreign Service. pp. A1. Retrieved 2008-01-17.  
^ Mowat, Farley. Woman in the Mists: The Story of Dian Fossey and the Mountain Gorillas of Africa. Warner Books, 1987.
^ "Experts doubt Palme case to reopen". BBC. 2001-10-29. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
^ Mcveigh, Karen (3 january 2003). "New Kenyan government may re-open Julie Ward murder case". Scotsman. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
^ Tench, Megan (30 March 2005). "A mother's renewed hope for justice". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
^ "About Amber Hagerman". Houston Regional Amber Plan. 3 December 2000. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
^ Phelan, Shane (14 July 2008). "High-profile killing remains unsolved over a decade later". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
^ Helm, James (19 January 2004). "'Black cloud' of unsolved murder". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
^ "Murder of JonBenét Ramsey". Tru TV Crime Library. Retrieved 2008-07-09.  
^ Lait, Matt and Glover, Scott "Ex-LAPD Officer Is Suspect in Rapper's Slaying, Records Show" Los Angeles Times, 1999-12-09. Retrieved on 2007-01-01
^ "Counselor of **** victims killed in Indonesia". CNN. 10 October 1998.****/. Retrieved 2008-10-07.  
^ "A meticulous investigation". BBC News. 2 July 2001. Retrieved 2008-10-07.  
^ "ABC News - ABC News". Retrieved 2009-09-14.  
^ "A Missed Meeting". America's Most Wanted. 3 March 2007.  
^ "Milly police seek fresh clues". BBC News. 21 September 2002. Retrieved 2006-08-05.  
^ Evelyn Hernandez killer, archived version of America's Most Wanted. URL last accessed 13 May 2007.
^ "Unknown Rashawn Brazell Killer". America's Most Wanted. 13 august 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-07.  
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^ [1]
^ [2]
^ The Robert Wone Stabbing: Anatomy of a Murder Case Part 1
^ The Robert Wone Stabbing: Anatomy of a Murder Case Part 2
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2  Archaeology / Archaeology / Huff Post Archaeology on: May 21, 2010, 03:07:17 pm
3  Ancient Mysteries / Lemuria, Mu & other sunken civilizations / The Lost Villages on: May 21, 2010, 03:05:51 pm
The Lost Villages

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The Lost Villages are ten communities in the Canadian province of Ontario, in the former townships of Cornwall and Osnabruck (now South Stormont) near Cornwall, which were permanently submerged by the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1958.
The flooding was expected and planned for. In the weeks and months leading up to the inundation, families and businesses in the affected communities were moved to the new planned communities of Long Sault and Ingleside. These negotiations were controversial, however, as many residents of the communities felt that market value compensation was insufficient since the Seaway plan had already depressed property values in the region.
The town of Iroquois was also flooded, but was relocated 1.5 kilometres north rather than abandoned. Another community, Morrisburg, was partially submerged as well, but the area to be flooded was moved to higher ground within the same townsite. A portion of the provincial Highway 2 in the area was flooded; the highway was rebuilt along a Canadian National Railway right-of-way in the area.
At 8 a.m. on July 1, 1958, a large cofferdam was demolished, allowing the flooding to begin. Four days later, all of the former townsites were fully underwater. Parts of the New York shoreline were flooded by the project as well, but no communities were lost on the American side of the river.
A museum in Ault Park near Long Sault is devoted to the Lost Villages, including several historic buildings salvaged from the communities. Other buildings from the villages were moved to the site of Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg. The flooded area also includes Crysler's Farm, where a major battle was fought during the War of 1812. A monument commemorating the battle was also moved from Crysler's Farm to Upper Canada Village.
In some locations, a few remnants of sidewalks and building foundations can still be seen under the water, or even on the shoreline when water levels are sufficiently low. Some high points of land in the flooded area remained above water as islands, and are connected by the Long Sault Parkway.
Lock 21 of the former Cornwall Canal (since replaced by the Saint Lawrence Seaway) is a popular scuba diving site, a few feet from the shore along the Parkway.
4  Modern Historical Mysteries / Modern History / Details Emerge of Cold War Nuclear Threat by Cuba on: May 21, 2010, 03:04:14 pm
Details Emerge of Cold War Nuclear Threat by Cuba

Published: September 21, 2009

In the early 1980s, according to newly released documents, Fidel Castro was suggesting a Soviet nuclear strike against the United States, until Moscow dissuaded him by patiently explaining how the radioactive cloud resulting from such a strike would also devastate Cuba.

The cold war was then in one of its chilliest phases. President Ronald Reagan had begun a trillion-dollar arms buildup, called the Soviet Union “an evil empire” and ordered scores of atomic detonations under the Nevada desert as a means of developing new arms. Some Reagan aides talked of fighting and winning a nuclear war.

Dozens of books warned that Reagan’s policies threatened to end most life on earth. In June 1982, a million protesters gathered in Central Park.

Barack Obama, then an undergraduate at Columbia University, worried about the nuclear threat and later wrote as a student and a journalist about ways to avoid global annihilation.

The future president didn’t know half the danger.

The National Security Archive, a private research group at George Washington University, recently made public documents that reveal the nuclear threat in new detail. The two-volume study, “Soviet Intentions 1965-1985,” was prepared in 1995 by a Pentagon contractor and based on extensive interviewing of former top Soviet military officials.

It took the security archive two years to get the Pentagon to release the study. Censors excised a few sections on nuclear tests and weapon effects, and the archive recently posted the redacted study on its Web site.

The Pentagon study attributes the Cuba revelation to Andrian A. Danilevich, a Soviet general staff officer from 1964 to ’90 and director of the staff officers who wrote the Soviet Union’s final reference guide on strategic and nuclear planning.

In the early 1980s, the study quotes him as saying that Mr. Castro “pressed hard for a tougher Soviet line against the U.S. up to and including possible nuclear strikes.”

The general staff, General Danilevich continued, “had to actively disabuse him of this view by spelling out the ecological consequences for Cuba of a Soviet strike against the U.S.”

That information, the general concluded, “changed Castro’s positions considerably.”

Moscow’s effort to enlighten Mr. Castro to the innate messiness of nuclear warfare is among a number of disclosures in the Pentagon study. Other findings in the study include how the Soviets strove for nuclear superiority but “understood the devastating consequences of nuclear war” and believed that the use of nuclear weapons had to be avoided “at all costs.”

The study includes a sharp critique of American analyses of Soviet intentions, saying the Pentagon tended to err “on the side of overestimating Soviet aggressiveness.”
5  Search for the Sacred / Search for the Sacred / Waiting for the end of the world on: May 21, 2010, 03:02:50 pm
Waiting for the end of the world
By Todd Leopold, CNN
November 17, 2009 1:38 p.m. EST

(CNN) -- This is how the world ends -- at least at the multiplex this month.

Last weekend's box-office champ "2012" primarily uses an ancient Mayan prophecy to spin a tale of world destruction. "The Road," due out November 25, showcases a father and son navigating a post-apocalyptic world of ash, cold and cannibals. And the indie documentary "Collapse" gives voice to one man's belief that, as we exhaust natural resources, civilization is ready to crumble.

Such concerns have always been with us, says Alexander Riley, a sociology professor at Bucknell University who's incorporated eschatology (the study of the end times) into his courses.

"It's been a constant part of the landscape in the Western world for a long time," he says, though it's been particularly present in recent times, perhaps driven by ever-quickening social and technological change, he adds.

Video: Inside 'The Road'

Video: The end of days in two years? Examples can be found through the centuries. At the end of the year 999, pilgrims made their way to Jerusalem, convinced that the Last Judgment was at hand. In 1843, thousands of followers of the religious leader William Miller gathered on New England hilltops, waiting for ascension. In 1982, some believed the "Jupiter Effect" -- the rough alignment of several celestial bodies -- would cause catastrophe.

And the coming of the year 2000 led to fears about technological collapse -- in the form of the Y2K bug -- and rumblings about the return of Jesus.

The fact that none of these events led to the end of the world hasn't calmed end-times fears. Indeed, many people are still trying to interpret alleged prophecies -- such as the biblical Book of Revelation, Nostradamus' verses and that 2012-focused Mayan Long Count calendar -- in hopes of figuring out exactly when the other shoe will drop, and humanity will be freed from its vale of tears.

I think it's a desire to sort of say ... 'We won't have to worry about the future, because there is no future.'

--Wheeler Winston Dixon, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Riley observes that end-times passions find particularly fertile soil in the United States, which has a higher degree of religiosity compared to other developed nations, according to a 2008 Gallup survey. At the evangelical Friends Church in Yorba Linda, California -- one of the largest Quaker churches in the world -- Phil Hotsenpiller, the church's teaching pastor, gives a yearly series of lectures on end-times concepts and says interest has been high, with "lines out the door."

He says that he tries to educate his audience about the sources of apocalyptic thought, and why biblical prophecy is such a draw for some.

"Biblical prophecy lays out a scenario that God says this is what's going to happen, and just watch for these signs," he says.

The movie business has taken notice: The Weinstein Company, producers of "The Road," asked Hotsenpiller to take his show on, well, the road to discuss themes of the film.

But it's not just Christian groups that have an end-times fascination. Riley says that all the major monotheistic faiths -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- have variations on the belief that God interacts directly with humanity, and has made a promise "to wrap things up, and then we'll get on with Act Two."

That idea of an Act Two -- or, better yet, a conclusion -- satisfies something innate in humans, he says.

"Lots of people have an interest in cultural narratives ... that have a closure that coincides to some degree with their own lives," Riley says. Science provides a story as well, he says, "but it's very open-ended." The eschatological narrative, on the other hand, says "the world is going to come to an end, and it's likely going to come to an end in my lifetime. So conveniently, everything is going to wrap up when or before MY life wraps up."

Which is where Hollywood, longtime manufacturer of great stories and seeker of customer satisfaction, comes in. iReporter: See "2012" in theatres

Mom used to say, "calm down, it's not the end of the world you know!" Maybe that is why we think about it

--Anolderguy, from Soundoff
 Movie history is replete with end-of-the-world scenarios, whether driven by religion ("The Seventh Sign"), alien invasion ("Mars Attacks!"), environmental disaster ("The Day After Tomorrow"), warfare ("Dr. Strangelove") or much of the above ("Beneath the Planet of the Apes"). Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, points out that the topic is almost as old as film itself: The first sound film of Abel Gance, who made the groundbreaking 1927 silent "Napoleon," was 1931's "The End of the World," in which a comet slams into Earth. (It flopped.)

Such films allow us to enjoy the present while watching a fantasy about the future, he says.

"I think it's a desire to sort of say ... 'We won't have to worry about the future, because there is no future,' " he says. "And so therefore, we can do what we want now, and all the debts are put off and all the responsibilities are avoided."

Besides, "the complete destruction of the world has always been attractive, because ... by witnessing that act and staying outside of it, you've witnessed the apocalypse," he says. "It's much like a horror movie. It allows you to participate without risk."

"We love adrenaline," adds Peter Hankoff, a writer-producer of documentaries for the National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel, among others. "We always have this need to be vigilant or hypervigilant. So when something like this comes on our radar of the possibility of the end, it peaks our adrenaline level. ... We love disaster, and we love to avert it."

But Hankoff, a pleasurably acerbic skeptic who has made documentaries about Nostradamus, says it's hard to persuade people invested in end-times theories to revise their views.

"The problem is, when you're faced with the facts, and faced with finding real concrete proof ... 2 plus 2 equals 4, no matter how many times you add it up." Believing in the end offers power to the dispossessed, he adds: "[If] there's this level of feeling of insignificance, what's the greatest equalizer in the world? The end of the world." iReporter: "2012" good, not great

Sometimes, the fixation can lead to tragedy. In 1995, members of the Japanese group Aum Shinrikyo released sarin nerve gas into the Tokyo subway system, killing 12 people. Two years later, members of the Heaven's Gate cult committed suicide in the belief that a spaceship was going to come and take them off earth.

And many terrorists and agitators subscribe to end-times beliefs, with hope that their provocations can lead to apocalypse.

Still, as optimists are fond of pointing out, "apocalypse" doesn't mean end, but is Greek for "revelation" -- an unveiling of truth. In that respect, says Hotsenpiller, a concern about the end can lead to a desire to fix things: hope that we, as humans, can make a positive impact.

"All of us deep down know that something's wrong with the world and with us as people," he says. "There is something wired into us, or placed in there by God, that says, 'Every one of you is going to have to deal with the issues that ... aren't right in your life.' That doesn't have to be a negative. It can be a positive. It can be where I come to grips with who I am as a person, with who I am before God, and I make some changes."

And for those who are still convinced that 2012 means the collapse of civilization, Hankoff -- who doesn't buy it for a minute (though he can't wait to see the movie) -- is pleased to offer a solution.

"I want everybody that believes that 2012 is going to happen to send me their stuff," he says. "And if you get mad at me for saying that 2012 is totally insane, you can send me an apology on December 22, 2012 -- which is a Saturday, by the way -- because I'm still going to be here."
6  Mesoamerican Cultures / the Ancient Americas / Re: America's Top 10 Mound Sites on: May 21, 2010, 03:00:33 pm
#1 Newark Earthworks, OH
Newark Earthworks, Ohio • Earthworks & Mounds • Hopewell
National Historic Sites—operated by the Ohio Historical Society. Located throughout Newark, OH at various sites bounded by Union St., 30th Street, James Street, Waldo Street, and Rt. 16.
Newark is the largest set of enclosed earthworks known to exist in the world. Its uniqueness, vastness, preservation, and almost incomprehensible design make it the #1 mound site in America. The huge complex is divided into several distinct but connected sites including Octagon Mound State Memorial, The Great Circle Earthworks, and the Wright Earthworks.
The Octagon Mound State Memorial is nearly perfectly preserved and is the best manicured earthworks and mound location in America and perhaps in the world. The huge circular and octagon-shaped earthworks at the site have been incorporated into the pristine Moundbuilders Country Club Golf Course.
The near perfect circular earthwork at this site encloses about 20-acres and has earthen walls 8 to 14-feet high. The Great Pyramid of Giza could fit within the confines of the circular earthwork. A narrow set of parallel walls connects the circle to an earth walled octagon enclosing an astonishing 50-acres. The size of the octagon is so immense that Four Roman Coliseums could fit into it. There are 8 gaps in the earthen walls of the octagon; however, sight lines from inside the octagon through the gaps are blocked at all 8 points by truncated pyramid mounds deliberately erected at each location. Several small circular earthworks, with lower walls, are located outside the octagon.
Although they are essentially now destroyed, there were originally three sets of parallel walls leading from the octagon. The walls were about 3-feet high and spaced to form flat walkways a uniform 175-feet in width. One set of walls enclosed a walkway to the south-southwest. Archaeologist Bradley Lepper, head of the Ohio Historical Society Museum in Columbus, began tracing the walls in the late 1980’s. In 1996 Lepper reported that he had evidence that the walled road ran in a straight line from the Newark octagon for 56 miles terminating at the nearly identical circle and octagon at the High Banks, Ohio site at Chillicothe. Lepper termed it The Great Hopewell Road.
In the mid-1980’s two professors from Indiana’s Earlham College, Hively and Horn , found that a precise astronomical alignment was embedded into the plans of the circle and octagon earthworks. What they found was that the geometric circle and octagon forms were used for visual alignments that tracked the moon’s cyclic movements. The moon goes through an 18.61 year cycle where the maximum and minimum moonrise and moonset is predictable. The lunar “standstill,” an event that was encoded into England’s Stonehenge, was also predicted by the sightlines in the Hopewell earthworks. By aligning the precise rise and set of the moon using sightlines on the geometric formation and its mounds, solar eclipses can be predicted.
Two long sets of parallel walls forming walkways ran about 1.5 miles to the east from the octagon to the nearly inexplicable maze of the Wright Earthworks area. Curving linear earthworks, linear embankments, circular embankments, and long enclosures formed by walls of earth were arranged into a geometric maze. One large earthwork, part of which remains as Wright Earthworks, formed a large square that enclosed 20-acres. Seven small mounds stood at the inner edges of the square. To the southwest of the square, a set of parallel walls lead to another set of curving walls. This feature led to what was once called the Fairgrounds Circle but is now known as The Great Circle Earthworks.
Great Circle Earthworks is a near perfect circle enclosing 30-acres. Its outer wall is formed by a 9-foot wall of earth. On the inside is a moat 7-feet deep. Its size and basic layout is identical to England’s Avebury (except without the standing stones present at Avebury). The circle has one opening oriented toward the northeast. The walls of earth are higher and wider at this opening. In the center of the Great Circle is a mound, which has long been thought to be a bird effigy mound. The head of the bird is oriented toward the opening. Excavations in the mound revealed that it had been used in burial ceremonies including cremations.
The purposes of the Hopewell earthworks and enclosures has long been a great mystery and Newark has posed the greatest enigma. Archaeologists have simply related that they served ceremonial purposes and archaeoastronomers have found that lunar and solar events were calculated from some types of earthworks.
Hopewell and Native American beliefs have revealed that the ancients believed that the soul had to be released from its physical binding—the body—before the soul could make its way back to its point of origin somewhere in the heavens. The Milky Way is incorporated into these beliefs in that some tribal lore relates that the Milky Way is a Ghost Trail or a River of Souls making their journey back to the portal between heaven and earth.
In 2004 British science writer Andrew Collins visited Newark and was drawn to investigate the Great Circle further. At the time Collins was working on a book, The Cygnus Mystery (2006), which traced the alignments of archaeological sites in Europe to the northern sky—specifically to a constellation in the Milky Way called Cygnus. Cygnus, the stellar representation of a bird, was known to Native Americans as the Northern Cross, and it played a key role in many legends of death and rebirth. Collins found that in 100 B.C. — 2 hours before the sunrise at midsummer — the Milky Way stood straight up into the sky starting from the only opening in the Great Circle. Directly overhead and aligned in the same way as the bird effigy mound was Cygnus. Collins believes that a burial/cremation ceremony was held at specific times at the mound in the Great Circle. The ceremony was held to release the souls of the deceased and propel them through the only opening from the Great Circle into the Milky Way and on to Cygnus.
While this top 10 list can be debated, the fact remains that America's mounds are one of the most incredible yet unappreciated archaeological wonders of the world. All of America's 48 contiguous states contain mounds, yet relatively few people know of their existence.
7  Mesoamerican Cultures / the Ancient Americas / Re: America's Top 10 Mound Sites on: May 21, 2010, 03:00:10 pm
#4 Serpent Mound, OH
Serpent Mound, Ohio • Effigy Mound & Burial Mounds • Hopewell
Serpent Mound State Memorial Park—located on Rt. 73, 4 miles northwest of Locust Grove, OH.
Serpent Mound is a 1348-foot long earthen effigy of an uncoiling snake. The snake is formed from a 20-foot wide, 4 to 5-feet high embankment of earth with stone lying at the inner base. The snake is depicted with an open mouth and a circular embankment inside the mouth depicts the snake swallowing an egg. The effigy is on top of a 90-foot high promontory above Ohio Brush Creek and steep cliffs are found on several sides of the bluff. The entire hill is a magnetic anomaly. For many years it has been assumed that Serpent Mound was a Hopewell site that probably dated to 500 B.C.; however, many now believe the structure may be related to a later Fort Ancient culture, perhaps around A.D. 1000. The snake is aligned to Polaris and the head and egg are aligned to the sunset at the summer solstice. Other solar alignments were also incorporated into the undulations of the serpent’s body. Serpent Mound comes in at #4 because it is the largest animal effigy mound in the world.
#3 Cahokia, IL
Cahokia Mounds State Park • Mound Complex & City • Mississippian
State Park—located off 7850 Collinsville Rd., Collinsville, IL just east of East St. Louis, IL.
For its sheer vastness and massive scale, no Native American mound site compares to Cahokia. Cahokia was the largest and most powerful of all Mississippian era chiefdoms extending its power from Wisconsin down the entire Mississippi River valley. The city was inhabited from A.D. 700 to 1400. Estimates of the city’s population vary; however, it is likely that about 20,000 people once inhabited the site in its vast residential areas, which covered 6-square miles. Houses in the residential areas were arranged in rows along vast plaza areas. The site originally contained over 120 mounds but only 68 mounds are inside the park. Other mounds dot the town and agricultural land around the park. Estimates are that over 50 million cubic feet of earth were used to construct the mounds at Cahokia.
The largest mound at Cahokia is called Monks Mound named for a French Trappist Monk who lived at the site in historic times. The four-terraced mound was built in stages over a 300-year period. It rises to 100-feet and covers over an astonishing 14-acres—larger than the Great Pyramid at Giza. The base of Monk’s Mound is 955-feet by 775-feet. By way of contrast, the Great Pyramid at Giza has a square base of 756-feet and covers 13-acres. On the summit of Monks Mound a huge temple structure stood. The building is estimated to have been 105-feet long, 48-feet wide, and 50-feet tall. Cahokia comes in at #3 because of its vast size and preservation.
#2 Poverty Point, LA
Poverty Point, Louisiana • Mounds & Earthworks • Poverty Point
Poverty Point State Commemorative Area & Museum—located near Epps. LA. From the LA Hwy. 17 exit off Interstate 20 go north to Epps and follow La. 577 to the site.
Poverty Point was known before 1933, but it was that year when archaeologist James Ford noticed unusual semi-circular patterns on a U.S. Army aerial photograph of the site. Subsequent examination of the site revealed a three-quarter mile long set of earthworks arranged into a semi-octagon. The earthworks were found to be elevated terraces upon which small houses had been erected. The terraces were all at least 6-feet high with a uniform 80-foot width and were evenly spaced about 150-feet apart. The combined length of the terraces was just under 8 miles. On the western side of the terraces a massive mound had been built. This mound is thought to be a bird effigy depicting an eagle with its wings spread. The mound is 72-feet tall and measures 640-feet from wing tip to wing tip and 710-feet from the head to the tail. The mound and embankments are believed to have been built around 1800 B.C. However, recent research now points to part of the huge mound possibly being erected as early as 3800 B.C. An associated mound known as the Lower Jackson Mound, located about 1.6 miles to the south, has also been dated to about 3800 B.C.—making it the oldest known mound in America.
The habitation terraces in the main Poverty Point complex were broken by straight line walkways, which were used for astronomical or solar alignments. The rising and setting of the sun on the equinoxes is seen from the paths of the walkways. The amount of earth used to construct Poverty Point is estimated at 20 million basket loads.
Archaeologists suspect an Olmec influence at Poverty Point. Some of the unique artifacts found at Poverty Point are similar to artifacts found at Olmec sites along the Gulf of Mexico in Mexico. It is also known that the people of Poverty Point engaged in extensive trading. Materials from Ohio, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, and North Carolina have been excavated from the site. Poverty Point is ranked #2 because of its unique structures and being the oldest known mound site in America.
8  Mesoamerican Cultures / the Ancient Americas / Re: America's Top 10 Mound Sites on: May 21, 2010, 02:59:47 pm
# 6 Portsmouth Earthworks, OH/KY
Portsmouth Group, Ohio • Mounds & Earthworks • Hopewell
National Historic Site—located in Mound Park on 17th Street in Portsmouth, OH.
On a high terrace near the confluence of the Scioto and Ohio rivers a complex and intricate set of amazing earthworks were constructed by Hopewell era people, from 500 B.C. to A.D. 1000. The central point of this complex was on a high terrace to the north of the Ohio River in what is today Mound Park in Portsmouth. Two horseshoe-shaped embankments with walls 12-feet in height were the focal point of the site. Only one of these remains at the park today. Around these earthworks was a circular embankment, part of which survives today. To the east of the embankments was a truncated mound. From this central point, three sets of parallel earthen walls, spaced at a uniform 160-feet wide, ran to the northeast, the southwest, and the southeast. The walls forming the walkways were 20-feet thick and 4-feet high. The southeast walls ran for 5 miles to the Ohio River and picked up on the other side of the river in Kentucky. From that spot they ran another 1.5 miles to a complex circular embankment with a central mound. This circular earthwork was curiously arranged with the same basic shape as the Center City of Atlantis as described by Plato. This Kentucky site was nearly obliterated and a greenhouse and pasture is now located there. This formation consisted of four concentric circles with four spaced “avenues” leading into the formation. One of the avenues into the multiringed circle was made by the walkway coming from the Ohio River. The concentric circles were formed of earthen walls from 2 to 5-feet in height. In the center of the circular complex was a conical mound with a flattop. This mound was 22-feet high. This mound remains at the site.
The walkway that led 7 miles to the southwest to the Ohio River picked up on the Kentucky side leading to what is known as the Old Fort Earthworks. Dominating this earthworks area was a 15-acre square enclosed by 12-foot high earthen walls that were 35 to 40-feet wide. Each side of the square enclosure ran for 800-feet. There are 6 openings into the square. The square originally had two long “wings,” which extended to the northeast and southwest. These wings were formed by parallel earthen walls extending for 2100-feet in each direction. The wing to the southwest ran through a deep ravine and ended at a spot where the ends of the parallel walls bend close together somewhat like the opening of an eyedropper. A small circular earthwork and several small burial mounds were located at this point. Portions of the square and mounds are still there located on private land.
Portsmouth comes in at number 6 because of its intricate design, the 15-miles of earthen walled walkways, and partial preservation.
# 5 Fort Ancient, OH
Fort Ancient, Ohio • Hilltop Fort/Enclosure • Hopewell
Ohio Historical Society Park & Museum—located 7 miles southeast of Lebanon, OH on State Rt. 350.
Sometime around 500 BC, a Native American cultural group called the Hopewell erected fort-like enclosures on the flat summits of steep mountain tops in an area stretching from New York state to Tennessee. High walls of earth and stone were made along the edges of the bluffs. Sometimes huge wooden posts were embedded into the walls forming a defensive wall known as a palisade. Fort Ancient is the best example of these so-called Hilltop Enclosures. The Fort Ancient site was constructed from 100 B.C. to A.D. 500. It is a 100-acre flat area with a steep bluff 270-feet above the Little Miami River. Earthen walls up to 68-feet in width and 4 to 23-feet in height, extend over 18,000 feet in length around the outer edge of the hilltop. Fort Ancient was initially thought to be a defensive embankment, however, the presence of over 80 large gaps through the outer wall has shown it probably wasn’t a fortress. There are numerous earthen mounds, stone mounds, walkways paved with limestone slabs, and stone circles at Fort Ancient, all of which are believed to be associated in a complex way with gaps or openings in the exterior walls. Recent work suggests that lunar and solar sighting lines were employed from mounds inside through the enclosure through gaps.
9  Mesoamerican Cultures / the Ancient Americas / Re: America's Top 10 Mound Sites on: May 21, 2010, 02:59:33 pm
# 8 Pinson, TN
Pinson Mounds, State Archaeological Park, Tennessee • Mound Complex • Woodland
State Park & Museum—located in Pinson, TN. From Jackson, TN take TN Hwy. 45 8-miles south to Ozier Rd. and go left 2.5 miles to the park.
Pinson Mounds, once called the City of Cisco, is one of the most important mound complexes remaining in America, with the oldest know platform mound at the site. In an area covering over 400-acres along the South Fork of the Forked Deer River are at least 12 mounds including the second tallest remaining in the United States. Sauls Mound, named after a landowner, is a truncated pyramid standing 73-feet tall with a base diameter of 120-feet. It sits near the center of the site. Over 2.1 million cubic feet of dirt was used in its construction. The five platform mounds at Pinson contain a combined 3.6 million cubic feet of dirt. The other platform mounds are between 9 to 30-feet in height with base diameters up to 140-feet. A perfect circular earthwork, called the Eastern Citadel, is about 7-feet tall and is 1190-feet in diameter. Another 33-foot tall platform mound, called Oziers Mound, has been dated to A.D. 100. and another mound at Pinson has been dated to 200 B.C. Pinson’s importance is partly due to the early dates of the platform mounds and its preservation.
# 7 Moundville, AL
Moundville, Alabama • Mound Complex • Mississippian
University of Alabama Archaeological Park & Museum—located 13 miles south of Tuscaloosa, AL and Interstates 20/59 off Highway 69.
The Moundville site is a 326-acre archaeological park with 20 large, flat topped pyramid-shaped mounds arranged around a wide central plaza area. Several other mounds are also found at the site as well as smaller mound villages along the banks of the Black Warrior River in both directions. The site was constructed next to the Black Warrior River around 1200 A.D.
The 20 pyramid-shaped mounds are between 3 to 60-feet in height. The bases of the larger mounds are approximately 200 by 300-feet. Archaeologists believe that the central area of the site, dominated by the 20 truncated mounds, was walled with a palisade and was inhabited by 1000 people who were the elite members of the society. Another 10,000 people probably lived scattered around the central area in widely dispersed village areas.
Excavations at Moundville uncovered some of the most exquisite artifacts ever found at mound sites. Ceremonial axes, polished stone disks engraved with complex designs, effigy pipes, and inscribed pottery are among artifacts on display. Several intriguing designs are found on Moundville artifacts. Among these are the feathered serpent and the eye in the hand symbols. Moundville comes in at #7 because of its preservation, the vast number of pyramid mounds, and the incredible artifacts revovered there.
10  Mesoamerican Cultures / the Ancient Americas / Re: America's Top 10 Mound Sites on: May 21, 2010, 02:59:18 pm
# 10 Coastal Shell Mounds
America's shell mound culture is thought to be the oldest and least understood of all the mound builders. The earliest Mound Builders constructed huge mounds of shells arranged into complex oval and geometric formations along the southern coastal areas as long ago as 6000 years, but older shell mounds are probably to be found in now sumberged areas along the coast. They are found in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida and some were once located in Mississippi. Many of them are now badly eroded and not easily visited, but they come in at #10 because of their size, age, and the mystery associated with them.
# 9 Effigy Mounds Natl Mounment, IA
Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa • Effigy, Linear, & Burial Mound Complex • Hopewell
National Park & Museum—located 3-miles north of Marquette, IA off Hwy. 76.
At one time, over 10,000 mounds once existed in northeast Iowa alone. At least 54 different Iowa mound groups were located along the Mississippi River once containing at least 1,438 separate effigy mounds. Nine different animal types are represented in the mounds including bears, panthers, and birds. Effigy Mounds National Monument contains some of the finest examples of the Hopewell effigy mounds known to exist today. Within the 2526-acre park are just over 200 mounds. The site was inhabited as early as 3000 B.C. but the mounds are generally dated to 500 BC to ad 1000. They come in at number 9 because of their preservation, mystery, and vast numbers.
11  Mesoamerican Cultures / the Ancient Americas / America's Top 10 Mound Sites on: May 21, 2010, 02:58:08 pm
America's Top 10 Mound Sites
By Dr. Greg Little

America's mounds and earthworks are some of the least appreciated ancient structures in the world. Yet they are some of the most impressive and accessible ancient remnants to be found anywhere. There are probably at least 100,000 mounds still in existence but every year hundreds more are destroyed. Few people realize that American mound building began as early as 3800 BC, and that the largest and most complex geometric earthworks in the world are found in America.
In recognition of the remaining sites, here are the top 10 remaining mound sites, as discussed in the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Native American Mounds & Earthworks.
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