1. Jason Allen, 26, and Lindsey Cutshall,23.
Engaged couple Jason and Lindsey were shot in their sleep as they camped on Fishhead Beach in Jenner, California. They were found on August 18, 2004. The camp counselors spent the summer working as whitewater rafting guides at a Christian outdoor adventure camp in Sacramento. Both were shot in the head at point blank range with an 1894 Marlin .45 long rifle.
There were several persons of interest and similarities to other murders in the area, including possible ties to the Zodiac Killer, but no one was ever charged. Cutshall's father is an Evangelical minister in Ohio and believes the murders are linked to satanic activity. There is no evidence to support his theory. The case remains unsolved, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department.
The little girl was last seen in her bedroom in Orange, Texas on the morning of July 4, 2002. Reported missing later that afternoon, it's unknown whether she was taken from her bedroom or outside the home.
Her body was discovered four days later in an isolated area on Pleasure Island in Port Arthur, Texas, approximately 27 miles from home. Raped and then strangled, she was wrapped in a torn, flowered sheet. Hair follicle and DNA test results were taken and tests were performed for months on area sex offenders and other persons of interest. In 2004, police claimed they had enough evidence to indict, but a suspect was never named and the official status of the case is open.
3. Sherry Carey
On October 29, 1992, an explosion rocked a residential neighborhood in Long Beach, California. When fire officials arrived, they discovered the front door of the home open and found the body of Sherry Carey lying facedown on a bed.
Sherry had suffered blunt force trauma, strangulation, and multiple stab wounds. She'd been coated with an accelerant and then set on fire. Sherry suffered third degree burns across her entire body.
I couldn't find much information about the case or investigation, but if you have any information concerning this case, please contact your Local FBI Office.
4. Betsy Aardsma
Betsy was 22 when she lost her life. On November 28, 1969, the Penn State grad student was stabbed to death in broad daylight in the stacks of Penn's Pattee Library. The murder weapon was a single-edged small knife. Right after the stabbing, two men went to the desk clerk and said, "somebody better help that girl," and then left. They were never identified. Betsy was pronounced dead a half hour later. The red dress she wore initially hid her blood loss and no one immediately realized she'd been stabbed.
Unsolved for 42 years, the murder and investigation will be revisited in Who Killed Betsy: UncoveringPenn State University's Most Notorious Unsolved Crime. The book is due to be released in fall 2011.
5. Amber Hagerman, 9
Amber's abduction is more well known, but it's so heartbreaking I had to include it. Her abduction resulted in the creation of the Amber Alert System. In 1996, little Amber was visiting her grandparents in Arlington, Texas. She and her brother Ricky were riding their bicycles around the block when Amber decided to ride to a parking lot of an abandoned grocery store. Witness Jim Kevil said Amber was riding around when a white or Hispanic man in a black pickup raced up to her and dragged her into his truck.
Ricky arrived home and said he didn't know where his sister was. He searched for her but came up empty, and then their grandfather drove to the parking lot to look for Amber. Police had already arrived. They told Amber's grandfather Kevil had seen a man snatching a young girl.
Amber's grandfather said only eight minutes passed from the time Amber rode away on her bicycle until Kevil called 911.
Police believed the crime was unplanned as Amber had no pattern of riding her bicycle in the area. A task force was formed and a search immediately launched. The search lasted for several days and included the resources of the FBI. Four days after she was taken, Amber Hagerman's body was found in a creek bed by a man walking his dog. The autopsy revealed she'd been alive for two days before her throat was cut.
A Dallas man asked a question on the mind of everyone involved: when a child is abducted and each minute matters, why can't the police and media join forces to inform the public with the same urgency of weather warning?
The Dallas Amber plan was initiated in July, 1997. Sixteen months later, it saved the life of an 8-week-old baby. In 2000, the US Justice Department began coordinating the program for all states, and today all 50 have the Amber Alert in place. According to the Federal Government, the lives of 240 children have been saved by the program.
Do you know of any unsolved crimes in your state or local area? Have you ever been involved in an Amber Alert search?