October 18, 2021
On Dec. 1, 1948, beachgoers came across a dead man on Australia’s Somerton beach. Well-dressed, and with no signs of trauma, his identity and cause of death eluded local police. Soon, investigators dubbed him the “Somerton Man.”
It looked as though he’d simply laid down for a rest and died peacefully in his sleep. But when police arrived and began examining the body, a baffling and disturbing mystery began to take shape.
The man had no obvious signs of trauma; someone had cut all the tags out of his clothing, and, most puzzling of all, he had a tiny slip of paper sewn into a hidden pocket in his trousers, which simply read "Tamam Shud.” The phrase, mystifying to investigators at first, is Persian for "it is finished” and the slip of paper was torn from a rare edition of poems by the 12th-century writer Omar Khayyam.
September 30, 2021
On the morning of February 4, 1912, a man named Franz Reichelt stepped out onto the edge of the Eiffel Tower. He paused there for about 40 seconds as if he was gathering his courage. Then, he threw himself into the air.
He didn't intend to die — this wasn't an Eiffel Tower suicide attempt. Instead, Franz Reichelt had set out to prove that his prized invention, a bizarre parachute suit, could deliver him safely to the ground.
September 17, 2021
In the 1840s, waves upon waves of Americans headed west to forge a new life. Many of these stories had happy endings while some suffered great tragedy -- but then there was the infamous Donner Party. To this day, nearly 200 years later, their torturous journey and especially their desperate turn toward cannibalism cast a haunting shadow over American history.
August 31, 2021
After he was last seen being blown away by gale-force winds in Mount Everest's "Death Zone," Beck Weathers' wife was notified that her husband was dead. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle: Beck Weathers climbed down Everest on two frozen feet and somehow lived after having his hands, feet, and nose amputated.
August 12, 2021
In 2005, The Exorcism of Emily Rose terrified movie audiences around the world as it depicted the aftermath of a fatal exorcism and posed lingering questions about whether or not the character of 19-year-old Emily Rose had truly been possessed by the devil.
But as unbelievably chilling as the movie’s central story was, it had not actually been invented by some Hollywood screenwriter. In fact, it was based on the horrifying true story of a real exorcism that took place in Germany in the 1970s.
July 22, 2021
On July 23, 2011, British singer Amy Winehouse was found dead inside her London home. Just 27 years old, she joined the tragic club of other music icons, like Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain, who had died tragically at that same young age.
To some, Winehouse’s death seemed like a terrible yet predictable end to a long, public downfall. Right in front of the world’s eyes, Winehouse’s frame had grown skeletal and her behavior erratic. Rumors swirled about her drug addiction, her heavy drinking, and her volatile relationship with her then ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.
This is the story of Amy Winehouse’s tragic death and the downward spiral that preceded it.
July 1, 2021
Sometime in the early morning hours of July 3, 1971, Jim Morrison — the iconic lead singer of The Doors — died of heart failure at the age of just 27. He was found by his girlfriend, Pamela Courson, unconscious in the bathtub of their Paris apartment.
The questions surrounding his death have endured for half a century — did Morrison truly die of heart failure, as the official reports said, or was it a heroin overdose, or perhaps something else altogether?
In recent years, new witnesses have come forward to challenge the official account of Jim Morrison’s death. They tell quite a different story, one that might finally rewrite the history of this doomed rock star’s untimely demise.
June 25, 2021
February 13, 2017, started as a surprisingly warm winter day in the small town of Delphi, Indiana. But the events of this one day would, in an instant, shatter a sense of calm and safety that its few thousand citizens had always enjoyed. That afternoon, 13-year-old Abby Williams and 14-year-old Libby German were out for a walk in the woods when they simply disappeared.
June 15, 2021
In the second half of the 19th century, in a lawless stretch of land in present-day Oklahoma known as Indian Territory, the name “Bass Reeves” struck terror into the heart of any criminal who was on the run. A deputy U.S. marshal with a quick trigger and a reputation for both doggedness and creativity in chasing down outlaws, Reeves was perhaps the greatest lawman of the Wild West. But Reeves — unlike most lawmen of his day — was Black.
May 27, 2021
On April 13, 2011, Holly Bobo disappeared into the woods behind her family's home in Tennessee, leaving investigators with few clues or leads.
Bobo’s disappearance rattled her small community of Darden, Tennessee. But despite having an eyewitness who’d seen her being abducted, authorities struggled to develop any leads. For years, the Bobo family had nothing but a handful of disturbing clues, as well as wrenching questions about the fate of their daughter.
By the time a pair of ginseng hunters finally found Holly’s bones in the woods nearby, several men had been arrested for kidnapping, raping, and killing her.