1. OJ Simpson - Everyone knew this guy would be on the list. OJ Simpson was the running back for the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers who was the first person to run for 2000 yards in a single season. On June 12, 1994, Simpson’s wife, Nicole, and her friend Ron Goldman were found murdered on his property. Simpson ran from the police in his famous Ford Bronco but was eventually caught and brought to trial. The trial featured some of the most predominant defense and prosecuting attorneys of the 1990s including: Johnnie Cochran, F. Lee Bailey, Marcia Clark, and Christopher Darden. The criminal trial found Simpson not guilty, but he was later found responsible for murder in the civil court hearing. In 2007, Simpson was responsible for breaking and entering a Las Vegas hotel room and robbing the occupants of what he claimed were his things. He is currently serving a prison term.
2. Robert Blake – Robert Blake, actor famous for his portrayal in the Our Gang series and the 1970’s tv series Baretta, was suspected of killing his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakely. Blakely had just recently had a child with Christian Brando (son of Marlon Brando) while married to Blake. While sitting in her car, she was shot in the head. Blake claimed he went back to the restaurant where they were eating to retrieve a gun he left on the table (who does that?) and then returned to find her dead.
A year after the incident, he was arrested for conspiracy in her death along with his bodyguard, Earle Caldwell. The arrests came after two former stuntmen came forward and testified that Blake had tried to hire them to kill Bakely. The court hearing was had after Blake spent a year in jail and he was acquitted of murder. However, he was later sued in a civil case by Bakely’s three children and was ordered to pay $30 million dollars for wrongful death.
3. Jack The Ripper – The 1890’s, Victorian England, a killer stalked prostitutes along London’s Whitechapel District. The killings went on from August – November in 1888, and included five prostitutes. However, new evidence shows that they might have started as early as April, 1888 and went on all the way into February, 1891 with 11 murders occurring. Jack the Ripper was never caught, though many people were suspected, ranging from local Jewish immigrants all the way to Prince Albert. In the end, it is still a mystery.
4. Lizzy Borden – Elizabeth Borden was the suspect of killing her father and step-mother in the August of 1892, with a hatchet. The only people in the house at the time were the maid, Lizzy’s father, her step-mother, and Lizzy. A sister and an uncle were staying at the house, but were not present at the time of the murders. The maid testified that she was taking a nap at the time of the murders and that Lizzy found her father’s body and called to her. A while later, the maid found the mother’s body.
According to testimony at the time, the daughters were not happy with the older Borden’s decision to split the wealth of the family up with the step-mother upon the father’s death. Mr. Borden was not a popular man in town and right before the murders occurred, his wife thought they had all been poisoned when they all turned up violently ill.
Lizzie Borden was acquitted after conflicting evidence came forth to the jury. They had found the murder weapon in the family home and she had burned a blue dress during the investigation, but since there was no evidence, she was not convicted. She died a lonely, rich spinster in 1927. Few people attended her funeral and the house is now a bed and breakfast.
5. Cleveland Torso Murderer- The Cleveland Torso murders, also known as the Kingsbury Run murders, happened in Cleveland, Ohio between 1935 and 1938. They involved 13 victims, but investigators put the total possibly over 40, with victims being found as far away as Youngstown and Pittsburgh. The victims were almost always poor people, found everywhere during the depression, who were never identified. The headless and sometimes mutilated bodies were usually well-hidden, and decomposing, which made identification nearly impossible.
Famous lawmen Eliot Ness was the Public Safety Director at the time in Cleveland and was completely unsuccessful in finding the killer. This failure cost Ness his job and he was noted as the killer’s last “victim”. Only two of the 13 victims were ever identified and the murderer was never found. Two people were suspected, including one Dr. Francis Sweeney, which Ness suspected of being the real killer. However, Sweeney was the first cousin of Ness’ political rival in Cleveland and he had himself committed in 1938 shortly after the last murder. Ness did not pursue this any further and the murders stopped.