There are a lot of true crime stories that are so infamous it feels like we hear about them all the time — Ted Bundy, the Zodiac Killer, Jeffrey Dahmer...the list goes on, and on. But there are actually just as many (if not more) little-known true crime stories from history you may not have heard about. Bettmann / Bettmann Archive So when we asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about a true crime story we haven't already heard 100x before, they came back with some truly bone-chilling examples. Here's what they shared: Warning: Disturbing and graphic content ahead. 1. The story of Terry Jo Duperrault, aka the "Sea Orphan" from 1961.
"Terry Jo Duperrault was found floating on a small raft in the ocean when she was 11 years old. A few days before she was discovered, another man, Julian Harvey was rescued from a sinking yacht — supposedly the sole survivor. But when it was discovered that Terry was another survivor from the same yacht, Julian was notified, and he killed himself shortly after.
Turns out, Julian was hired by Terry’s family to be the captain of the yacht for an around-the-globe, once-in-a-lifetime trip that the family had saved up for. Julian, however, proceeded to murder everyone on board, and he left Terry on the sinking boat to drown before escaping the yacht. He did not expect her to survive."
chant2 Lynn Pelham / Getty Images
"She was 16 years old when she went camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains with a 43-year-old man named Russell Welch. Only Welch returned from the trip...he claimed that Theresa was abducted by Bigfoot. He was initially charged with abducting Theresa but these charges were later dismissed. Theresa is still missing."
jennbaxter826 Bob Riha Jr / Getty Images 3. The Wednesday Strangler, aka the Saga Prefecture Strangler who was active from 1975–1989 in Japan.
"In the late 1970s and 1980s, each of the seven victims disappeared on a Wednesday and all were later found dead, having been strangled, in random places within 12 miles of each other. The killer was never caught."
superkay Paolo Koch / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images 4. The murder of Skylar Neese by her two best friends in 2012.
"Skylar Neese mysteriously disappeared but was then later discovered, murdered, by her two best friends."
Neese was last seen on July 6, 2012, and was initially considered to be a runaway. However, in early January 2013 one of Neese's friends, Rachel Shoaf, confessed to the planning and murder of Neese alongside another friend, Shelia Eddy. Neese's body was later found on Jan. 16, 2013. According to
State Police, their reasoning for murdering Neese was, "We just didn't like her." WBOY 12 News / Via youtube.com
"'Bella' was a skeletonized woman found in the trunk of a wych elm tree in Worcestershire, England in 1943. Some popular theories range from Bella being a Birmingham sex worker, a German spy, a Dutch spy, and the victim of an occult ritual, but no one ever discovered her identity. The location of her remains and autopsy records are unknown."
The "Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?" was a graffiti message that mysteriously appeared on a wall in Birmingham in 1944 after the 1943 discovery of "Bella's" remains. Since the 1970s, similar graffiti has occasionally appeared on a nearby obelisk.
u/Warburton_Warrior / Via reddit.com 6. The Satanic Verses murder of Hitoshi Igarashi in 1991.
The Satanic Verses murder is one I just looked up while searching for true crime stories from Japan. On July 12, 1991, scholar Hitoshi Igarashi was found dead in his office at the University of Tsukuba after he’d translated the novel The Satanic Verses into Japanese.
For context: In 1989, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa on Salman Rushdie, the author of that novel, due to how controversial it is within Muslim communities. Two years later, Khomeini’s successor Ali Khamenei issued another fatwa on anyone who was involved with the novel’s publication in some way. This, of course, included Igarashi.
Igarashi’s killer(s) have never been found, even 31 years later."
zoisitemoon Bettmann / Bettmann Archive 7. The murder of Peace Corps volunteer, Kate Puzey, in 2009.
"Puzey was murdered while working with the Peace Corps in Benin. She was concerned about inappropriate relationships a male working at her school was having with students. She reported it to the Peace Corps and they let the man she was concerned about know that she had reported him... Then she ended up murdered. The man and a couple of his supposed accomplices were held in prison without any real trial for a few years and then it was determined that they didn’t do it and then nothing. No one was held accountable least of all the Peace Corps (an official government agency)."
judin ABC News / Via youtube.com 8. The "Hangman" or "Killer Cop", aka Gerard John Schaefer Jr., a former sheriff's deputy and suspected serial killer active in Florida in the '70s.
"I just recently learned about this horrible horrible man. He is responsible for the murders of many women, which were carried out in such horrific ways. If you love listening to True Crime, I recommend listening to a podcast about this guy. My jaw was on the floor that someone could carry out such horrific acts."
20th Television / Via youtube.com 9. The Ant Hill Kids cult, which was active from the '70s to the '80s.
"Just look it up. Seriously the worst cult I’ve ever read about."
Founded by a man named Roch Thériault in 1977, the Ant Hill Kids was a doomsday cult. Thériault had multiple wives and impregnated all female members of the cult as a "religious requirement." He fathered 26 children. Members of the cult were subject to both physical and sexual abuse. The cult dissolved in 1989 and Thériault was eventually convicted of murder in 1993.
Emmanuel Lavigne / Getty Images/EyeEm 10. The Pizza Killers, aka Thomas Koskovich & Jayson Vreeland from 1997.
New Jersey teens Koskovich and Vreeland were just 18 and 19 years old, respectively, when they killed two randomly chosen pizza deliverymen — Georgio Gallara and Jeremy Giordano. The deliverymen were lured to an abandoned house in a remote location and violently shot to death, multiple times, in their car. According to law enforcement at the time, the teens'
motivation was that "they just wanted to see what it would be like to kill somebody." Apisorn / Getty Images/iStockphoto 11. The brutal murder of Timothy Coggins in 1983.
"This happened in the '80s in Georgia. Coggins, a 23-year-old Black man, was accused of flirting or messing around with a white girl. The girl’s boyfriend and his friend, who were both white, brutally killed him and left him in the woods. The cops didn’t do shit about it and it turns out a lot of them on the force were a part of the KKK. The case recently got reopened and the two white men are now paying for their crimes. It’s crazy how I had never even heard of him until a few months ago. The police protected those murderers and didn’t care."
mimi777 GMA / Via youtube.com 12. The Somerton Man, an unidentified man found on a beach in Australia in 1948.
"Maybe it’s well known in Australia, but in the States, you barely hear about it. The basic gist is that the body of an unidentified man was found on Dec.1, 1948, at Somerton beach near Adelaide, South Australia. He had nothing in his pockets, aside from a scrap of paper from the book
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám, and the phrase roughly translated to, 'is over.' The police found the book from which the message was torn, and there was a coded message in it. To this day, the message has not been decoded. But there are rumors that he may have been identified."
"Recent DNA analysis suggests he was a man named Carl 'Charles' Webb. And his mysterious scraps of paper are thought to be from poetry books, some of which were his own poems — although there's still a lot of mystery surrounding his death!"
justsomerandom1 ABC News / Via youtube.com 13. The Bender family, aka the "Bloody Benders," a family of serial killers.
"They were a family of serial killers that lured weary travelers to their B&B and accumulated at least eleven victims between 1872–1873. Despite numerous attempts, they were never apprehended."
blackbird68 Thomas Faull / Getty Images/iStockphoto
"Not long ago, I was watching
Hell Dogs (2022), a Japanese crime thriller, with an elder relative when he thought the murder of three supermarket employees in the film seemed familiar.
Turned out, he was thinking of the Hachioji Supermarket Triple Murder in 1995. Three part-time supermarket employees — a 16-year-old, a 17-year-old, and a lady in her 40s — were found in the office at the supermarket with their hands bound and heads shot. The police believed each was shot when they couldn't provide the safe combination. The killer was never caught. The triple murder dominated the news until the 2000s."
superkay Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images 15. Michael Ryan and the “Church of Yahweh” Cult murders in 1980s Nebraska.
"Ryan was a survivalist who formed a religious cult in the small town of Rulo, Nebraska. He and his followers became involved in many horrific acts of abuse, culminating in the gruesome torture of fellow members and their murders. Ryan was eventually convicted of murder and sentenced to Death. The crimes were truly horrifying and involved skinning the victims alive, among other atrocities."
jenm47faa724d Oxygen / Via youtube.com 16. The murder of Tair Rada in 2006.
"This is a very famous case in Israel where I live but I'm not sure how known it is outside the country. Tair was a 13-year-old girl who in 2006 was found brutally murdered in a girls' bathroom at her school. The investigation began and a craftsman that worked in the school was suspected and arrested. He eventually confessed to the murder but his confession didn't really match the evidence. He eventually claimed he was innocent and now there's a re-trial to prove his innocence and to find the real killer."
orenlevko1 i24 News / Via youtube.com 17. The Monster of Miramichi, aka Allan Joseph Legere, a serial killer active in the 1980s.
"Serial Killer Allan Legere (along with two accomplices) robbed and beat an elderly couple in their convenience store. The woman was also sexually assaulted, and her husband died. After being convicted and going to jail, Legere escaped prison, then went on a months-long revenge killing spree in this small northern New Brunswick town in Canada before being recaptured."
Alfsky / Getty Images 18. David Parker Ray, aka the Toybox Killer, who was active in the '90s.
"He had an RV that he turned into a torture wagon. He would abduct women with the help of a female accomplice and play this seriously demented recording where he would lay out every horrible thing he was going to do to them. You can find the transcript online and it’s absolutely terrifying. It’s probably the most horrible thing I’ve ever read. He died in jail before the trial could really take off and the victims never got justice."
"That guy was a true demon. Ya gotta hope there’s a hell so he can boil, fry, and grill."
boxingcleverlancaster KRQE / Via youtube.com 19. The Shankill Butchers, a gang active between 1975–1982 in Northern Ireland, that was responsible for dozens of deaths.
"Growing up, we didn't hear a lot about it other than it happened. It was to be expected in Ireland at that time that Catholics were murdered and no one really gave a shit, and talking about it wasn't really 'done.' There's no mystery behind it, there's no real content to be gleaned from it by today's podcast enthusiasts and creators, it's just a really sad and terrifying story that it seems like very few people know about or are even interested in outside of Ireland."
irishpanda Pa Images / PA Images via Getty Images
"In November 1983, mother Susan Hendricks and children Becky (9), Grace (7), and Benjamin (5) were found murdered by an ax in their beds. The investigation quickly zeroed in on husband and father David Hendricks to the exclusion of all other possibilities. He was tried, convicted, overturned, and released. Officially, the murders are unsolved, and the court of public opinion is very divided. The book
Reasonable Doubt by local journalist Steve Vogel chronicles the investigations and trial. I've read it multiple times, and each time I have more questions than answers about the case."
arflurer87 Yorkfoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto 21. The unsolved murder of Frank Little in 1917.
"He was a labor leader who was murdered in Butte, Montana. No one was arrested for his lynching."
Little joined the Industrial Workers of the World union in 1905, eventually joining their executive board. Aside from leading the union, he was also a strike organizer and an anti-war protestor. According to reports at the time, Little was beaten by six men, abducted, and then hanged at a railway embankment with a note pinned to his leg that read, "First and last warning."
Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images
"This happened in Memphis. Jesse Dotson got in a fight with his brother. He wound up killing him and then proceeded to kill everyone in the house. But there were three survivors. All children. When they were able to talk to the police they all said, 'uncle Jesse did it.' Jesse was sentenced to death for six counts of first-degree murder. There were theories that it was a drug deal that went bad or a gang-related killing."
allysonjadem Fox 13 Memphis / Via youtube.com 23. The disappearance of Ray Gricar in 2005.
"The disappearance of Ray Gricar has always given me the heebie-jeebies. He was the District Attorney in Centre County, PA, and disappeared in 2005 under suspicious circumstances. He hasn’t been found or recovered since. There are a few theories as to what happened. Some think he was killed after having busted a heroin ring and others think he was killed in an attempt to delay prosecuting Jerry Sandusky for his SA crimes against young boys, among other theories."
2dabdeb WTAJ / Via youtube.com
"She has been missing from Wetumpka, Alabama since 1998. Her car was found abandoned with her unharmed 2-year-old daughter still inside as well as her purse. She was due to start a new job the next day and it’s noted that her divorce was finalized 16 days prior to her disappearance."
Subjug / Getty Images/iStockphoto 25. Bruce McArthur, a serial killer active in the 2010s in Toronto, Canada.
"He targeted marginalized people, primarily gay men of color. He buried their body parts in landscape pots at a client's home that he landscaped at, and police arrested him right before he was about to murder his next victim. They found the victim tied up when they entered his home."
Bernard Weil / Toronto Star via Getty Images 26. Richard Wershe Jr., aka "White Boy Rick," a former drug trafficker and FBI informant active in the 1980s.
"He was 14 and the son of another FBI informant. His dad was supposed to go undercover as a coke dealer, but it was thought that a middle-aged white man selling drugs in the middle of Detroit might raise some red flags, so they decided to send Rick out. As a 14-year-old. To sell drugs. They TRAINED HIM on how to make sales and he became fully immersed in that world. After his time working undercover was over, he decided to sell drugs for real in order to support his impoverished family. He was arrested when he was 17 for cocaine possession and was recently released. It's more of a story of corruption than crime, but still technically fits the category, and is such a bizarre story that I don't think a lot of people know about."
hhaleyy Fox 2 Detroit / Via youtube.com 27. Finally, the unsolved Santa Rosa hitchhiker murders that took place from 1972–1973 in Northern California.
"There’s so much unknown and they’re retesting DNA now 50 years later."
The Santa Rosa hitchhiker murders involved a series of seven (possibly more) murders of all female hitchhikers. All of the victims' bodies were found in rural areas near steep embankments or near the road. The murders remain unsolved.
Ullstein Bild Dtl. / ullstein bild via Getty Images Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity. What's a little-known true crime story you want to share? Tell us in the comments below or use this anonymous form here and, who knows, maybe there will be a part two! View comments