11 Of The Worst Murders Ever And The Stories Behind Them

Published July 9, 2023
Updated April 3, 2024

From the assassination of Gianni Versace in front of his Miami mansion to JonBenét Ramsey's unsolved killing, explore some of the most famous murder cases in history.

Some deaths stick with us. Some lives are extinguished in such strange and horrifying ways that they haunt us for years. They become those famous murders that dominate headlines and airwaves around the world and haunt our collective dreams.

It’s not just the deaths themselves that makes these murder cases so chilling. Millions of lives end every day without a single peep on the news. But in a handful of cases, there’s something else that hits us on a deeper, more primal level, something that feeds into our darkest fears.

Victims Of Famous Murders

Wikimedia Commons, Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images, Julian Wasser/Online USA Inc./GettyVictims of some of history’s most famous murder cases, from left: Elizabeth Short, Sharon Tate, Kitty Genovese, JonBenét Ramsey, Lizzie Borden (infamously, not a victim but a suspect), and Dorothy Stratten.

Below, read the full stories behind some of history’s most famous murders and see for yourself why, after so many years, we’ve never been able to shake the chill of these nightmares.

Famous Murders: The Boy In The Box

Famous Murders Boy In The Box

Wikimedia CommonsThe boy in the box, depicted on a flyer sent out to residents of surrounding towns.

It started on a chilly February day in 1957, on a roadside highway just outside of Philadelphia. A young muskrat hunter, checking his traps, stumbled upon a cardboard box lying in the woods. Inside was the dead body of a young boy, stripped naked and mutilated.

The muskrat hunter didn’t tell a soul. He was terrified that, if he reported it, the police would come down on him for his illegal traps. And so, for days, until a braver soul found him, the boy’s body lay cold and rotting, alone in the woods.

The boy was somewhere been three and seven years old, and he had undergone terrible neglect. He was small, malnourished and unkempt. His hair had been cut around the time of his death; clumps of it still clung to his body. The body itself was covered in small scars, most notably on his ankle, groin, and chin.

Only one small act of care had been given to the boy abandoned naked in that box. Whoever had killed him had wrapped up tightly in a blanket before leaving him to rot. It was the only hint of love he’d been shown.

Boy In The Box Facial Reconstruction

Wikimedia CommonsA facial reconstruction of the boy in the box.

The police fingerprinted the boy in hopes of finding a match, but nothing came up. Hundreds of thousands of flyers were sent out to the surrounding area, begging for information about the unidentified boy, but no one came forward. His parents never claimed him as their own.

The investigators tried everything they could. They analyzed the evidence from the crime scene, from the cardboard box to the blanket he was wrapped in.

Every clue they followed, though, just led to a new dead end.

Caroline Redmond
Caroline is a writer living in New York City who holds a Bachelor's in science from the University of Florida. Her work has appeared in People, Yahoo, Bustle, Entertainment Weekly, and The Boston Herald.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Redmond, Caroline. "11 Of The Worst Murders Ever And The Stories Behind Them." AllThatsInteresting.com, July 9, 2023, https://allthatsinteresting.com/famous-murders. Accessed May 29, 2024.