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Calling all amateur sleuths: These cold cases are begging to be solved.

Cold cases are some of the most fascinating of all true crime stories because they emulate a puzzle that has yet to be solved. They shed light on unsolved cases that have mystified law enforcement, lying dormant until a skilled detective or a true crime junkie comes along and solves it. These books present you with all the necessary details of a case and possibly offer a potential explanation. The appeal is in the potential. With fresh eyes, new ideas, and steadfast determination on an unsolved case, closure is always a possibility.

Delving into the most famous cold cases of all time, it becomes frustratingly clear that as more time passes, the less likely it is to be solved. Physical evidence in cases gets lost to time, and key suspects and witnesses pass away. Like the infamous Zodiac Killer of the late 1960s, who sent coded letters and ciphers to the police after murdering his victims. Despite countless investigations and several suspects, the case remains cold, with little evidence to crack it. Or the murder of young beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey in 1996, whose case was so badly mishandled by the police that no suspect was ever prosecuted and is still being investigated today.

New advances in forensics and crime-solving technologies can help close cold cases, but it's often not enough to bring justice to victims. Maybe you’ve got what it takes to unravel the mind of a criminal, find out what went wrong, and solve a cold case.

If you’re a fan of this mystifying sub-genre, here are some taunting good stories to start investigating:

And after you’ve worked your way through those, browse the stories below to discover the cold cases that continue to shock the world and puzzle law enforcement.


What Really Happened to Josh Guimond?

Netflix's Unsolved Mysteries hopes to lead to an answer.

The Alford Plea’s Most Famous Cases—and What the Plea Really Means

Popularized by The Staircase, is the Alford Plea a true admission of guilt, or something else? 

The Strangest True Crime Cases in States Across the Country: Part Four

Is your state's most bizarre true crime case on the list?

Paul Holes Exposes the Dark Side of Clearing Cold Cases

In his new memoir, the celebrated cold case investigator shares an inside look at the reality of solving infamous crimes.

Inside the Insidious Mind of the Zodiac Killer

Venture into the encrypted taunts and horrific crimes of one of America's most disturbing serial killers.

UNSOLVED: The Grizzly Case of the Ice Box Murders

A disturbing unsolved murder and the elusive suspect who disappeared without a trace.

The Lineup's Most Disturbing True Crime Bestsellers

The Lineup's community has terrifying taste—these are your most beloved titles.

The Haunting Tragedy of the 1979 Sydney Ghost Train Fire

On June 9th, 1979, approximately 35 riders boarded the Sydney Ghost Train ride in Australia’s beloved harbor attraction Luna Park. Seven of them would not leave the train tunnel alive. 

The Mysterious Secrets of Bog Bodies

These human cadavers were mummified naturally by peat bogs. 

A Body in Kentucky: The 30-Year-Long Mystery of “Tent Girl”

In 1968 her body was found. Her identity would remain a mystery for decades.

A Suspect Has Confessed to the Long-Unsolved Murder of Kaitlyn Arquette

Lois Duncan’s once-eternal question, Who Killed My Daughter?, seems to have been finally answered.

Ruthie Mae McCoy: The Chilling True Case Behind Candyman

Her murder bears eerie similarities to the 1992 horror film.