50 Mysterious Disappearances & Kidnappings That’ll Scare You

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26Theodosia Burr Alston

Theodosia Burr Alston

Theodosia Burr Alston, daughter of U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr, disappeared mysteriously at sea in 1812. At the age of 29, she sailed from Georgetown, South Carolina, aboard the Patriot. The ship and everyone on board were never seen again.

27. Etan Patz was the first missing kid to ever appear on a milk carton after his disappearance in New York in 1979. 40 years later, his killer was finally caught.

28. A woman named Lucy Ann Johnson disappeared from her house in British Columbia in September 1961. Her husband reported her missing in 1965 and he was suspected of her murder. In 2013, she was found alive. She said that she had left because her husband had been abusive.

29. In 1950, conjoined twins Masha and Dasha Krivoshlyapova were kidnapped shortly after their birth by Soviet doctors and tortured for years with medical experiments. One twin developed psychopathic traits while the other despite all remained an empath.

30. Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt loved swimming and diving, so much that when his press secretary expressed concern about this he said, “Look, what are the odds that a PM would drown or be eaten by a shark?” In 1967, Holt went for a swim in the ocean and was never seen again.

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31Terrance Williams & Felipe Santos

Terrance Williams & Felipe Santos

Two men Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos went missing in 2004 and 2003, respectively, under similar circumstances in Naples, Florida. Both men were last seen being arrested by police officer Steve Calkins, who claims he changed his mind about both arrests and let them go.

32. Nazis kidnapped “Aryan-looking” children from across Europe and brought them back to Germany for indoctrination.

33. Madalyn Murray O'Hair was an ardent atheist, who got prayer kicked out of American schools. She was kidnapped along with her son and granddaughter and dismembered, not by a religious fanatic, but by a fellow atheist. He also robbed $600,000 from the victims.

34. A 12-year-old Rosalynn McGinnis was kidnapped by her stepfather and smuggled into Mexico, where she had 9 children fathered by her kidnapper. At the age of 32, 20 years after her kidnapping, her neighbors helped her and 8 of her children escape their captor and return to the U.S.

35. In 1973, when 16-year-old John Paul Getty III was kidnapped, his billionaire oil tycoon grandfather agreed to pay no more than $2.2 million, the maximum amount that was tax-deductible, and lent the remainder to his son, who was responsible for repaying the sum at four percent interest.

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36Joe and Evangeline Combs

Joe and Evangeline Combs

A pastor and his wife (Joe and Evangeline Combs) kidnapped a 4-month-old baby to raise as a slave. They forced her to serve them and consistently beat, tortured, and molested her. The victim Elsa Garcia (name changed) was rescued at the age of 19 years old and had 410 scars on her body.

37. Boris Weisfeiler was a Soviet-born American mathematician who was kidnapped in 1985, allegedly for his Jewish faith, by the Colonia Dignidad, a Nazi commune in Chile. His fate remains unknown, as several witnesses have claimed to have seen him in the Colonia even decades later.

38. “Fetal abduction” is a rare crime of child abduction by kidnapping of a pregnant mother and extraction of her fetus through a crude C-section. In a small number of cases, a few pregnant victims and about half of their fetuses have survived the assault.

39. During the Watergate scandal, the then-wife of Nixon’s Attorney General, Martha Mitchell, was kidnapped, beaten, and forcibly sedated by her husband’s security detail to keep her from speaking to reporters.

40. Well-known English writer Agatha Christie disappeared mysteriously for 11 days in 1926. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle even tried to find her by having a psychic read her glove. She was eventually found safe, but the mystery behind her disappearance was only solved 80 years later. In 2006 it was discovered that she was under the grip of a rare but increasingly acknowledged mental condition known as a ‘fugue state’, or a period of out-of-body amnesia induced by stress.

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41Graeme Thorne

Graeme Thorne

In 1960, an Australian man named Bazil Thorne won nearly $3 million in the lottery and his picture was plastered all over the news. Shortly after, his 8-year-old son Graeme Thorne was kidnapped for ransom and eventually murdered. This changed anonymity laws for lottery winners in Australia forever.

42. Five times F-1 Champion Juan Manuel Fangio was kidnapped by Cuban rebels just before the Cuban Grand Prix. He shortly after lied to the kidnappers about his teammate Stirling Moss being on his honeymoon, as they wanted him too. Moss would go on to win the race. Juan was later returned unharmed, and he described it as “one more adventure.”

43. Jairo Mora Sandoval was a 26-year-old, who dedicated his life to protecting leatherback sea turtle nests from poachers on Moin Beach in Costa Rica. He and volunteers, would collect the eggs and guard them in a hatchery. On May 30, 2013, he was kidnapped and murdered.

44. Guillermo del Toro’s father was kidnapped by Mexican kidnappers in 1997 and James Cameron paid the one million dollar ransom. The kidnappers were never caught.

45. Actor Justin Long was once drugged with PCP-laced weed and kidnapped from a bar in Michigan. He made his escape by jumping out of a moving car.

46Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe died mysteriously after having been missing for six days. Though still alive when he was finally found, he was wearing someone else’s cheap clothes and not coherent enough to tell where he’d been. He had disappeared en route to his own wedding.

47. A waitress named Tonda Dickerson was tipped a lottery ticket and won $10,000,000. She was then sued by her colleagues for their share. Then she was sued by the man who tipped her the ticket. Then she was kidnapped by her ex-husband, and had to shoot him in the chest. Then she went to court against the IRS.

48. New York City once had a “Divorce Coercion Gang” made up of Ultra-Orthodox Jews who would kidnap and torture Jewish men who were refusing to divorce their wives.

49. A man named Gary Mathias disappeared with his four friends after attending a college basketball game and was never seen again. His four friends were found decaying in/around a remote cabin 20 miles away from their car having died from starvation and hypothermia, despite there being an ample supply of food and heating materials.

50. In 2009 a man named Felix Batista, who was an expert on “avoiding being kidnapped in Mexico” was kidnapped in Mexico after giving a lecture on “how to not be kidnapped in Mexico."

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