People say you can’t run away from your problems but you really can. It’s a viable option, especially if your problem is all the laws you have broken. If you are ever accused of breaking any law I suggest you run away. It’s been done before. There are many notorious criminals who disappeared through history, never to be seen again. From the greatest pirate of his generation to the current head of the Italian mafia, here are ten notorious criminals who disappeared mysteriously.
Greatest Criminals Who Disappeared
10: Lord Lucan
In 1974 a British lord vanished without a trace. Lord Lucan was a notorious gambler, spending his days with all kinds of shady figures. It’s said he partly inspired the character of James Bond. But Lucan was a worse gambler than he believed, almost losing everything. In 1972 his marriage fell apart. What followed was a bitter and lengthy custody battle. Then in 1974 their children’s nanny was beaten to death in the family home. His wife was also beaten badly but survived. She later claimed Lucan was the attacker. But police never found him, just his car covered in blood. Since that night his whereabouts have been unknown. In 1999 he was declared legally dead but Lord Lucan could easily still be alive. Sightings of him have been reported in Australia, South Africa and the Caribbean.
9: William J. Sharkey
William Sharkey was a corrupt politician in New York who in 1872 shot a man dead. The next year he was sent to a notorious prison known as The Tombs. Resembling a large mausoleum, Sharkey feared he would not survive here. So before long he escaped. Disguised as a woman, he simple walked out, the guards assuming he was a female relief worker. Although, one guard did later remember him as “Peculiar looking for a woman” which is a pretty rude thing to say. Little is known about his post-escape life, only that like many other criminals who disappeared he fled to Cuba under a fake name. Despite a large reward for his capture, Spanish authorities in Cuba refused to extradite him. His fate is unknown.
8: Bradford Bishop
Bradford Bishop is among the most mysterious people in American history. A career diplomat, he spent years working in various African countries, eventually being posted in Washington DC. Then one day in 1976 he murdered his wife and their children in their sleep, bludgeoning them with a sledgehammer. It was nine days before anyone realized they were missing. But by that time so was he. Taking his diplomatic passport and supplies for a long journey, he simply disappeared. 17 days after the murder his car was found abandoned near the Great Smoky Mountains. A week long search for bishop came to nothing and still today he is a wanted man. A trained pilot who spoke 5 languages, he could have gone almost anywhere In 2014, at the age of 78, he was added to the FBI most wanted list.
7: Belle Gunness
Belle Gunness was a Norwegian serial killer active in the late 19th century. By cunning use of her vagina she would lure men back to her house where she would then murder them. It’s known she killed at least 14 people. But the true number could be as high as 40. Only when her house burned down was she exposed. That was in 1908 and the remains of 11 people were found in the rubble. Among them was a woman around the age of Belle Gunness. But not long after the fire, rumor spread she had faked her death and was actually on the run. She was never seen or heard from again. But most at the time came to believe she escaped.
6: Matteo Denaro
Matteo Denaro is the current head of the Italian mafia, acting as the Boss of all Bosses. This of course makes him a prime target of authorities in Italy. But in 1993 Denaro went into hiding. Born into a mob family, Denaro committed his first murder while still a teenager. He once bragged of killing an entire cemetery worth of people. Rising to power, he formed new relationships with Colombian drug cartels. Through this he directly trafficked cocaine to Europe, becoming a billionaire in the process. But at the same time high ranking mobsters were targeted by authorities more than ever before, forcing him into hiding. Still now his location is a complete mystery. Yet where ever he is Matteo Denaro rules as the unchallenged ruler of the Italian mafia.
5: Henry Avery
Known to some as the king of pirates, Henry Avery was feared across the Indian Ocean. Despite being active for just two years he amassed a fortune other pirates could only dream of. His greatest raid was on a large convoy of 25 ships. Returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca, the convoy was owned by the Indian royal family. Needless to say it held a wealth of treasure. The value of said treasure was around 900 thousand dollars, which in today’s money is more than 100 million. It made Avery the world’s richest pirate. But it also made him the target of a global manhunt, the first in recorded history. But then Henry Avery joined the long list of criminals who disappeared. His fate and that of his immense treasure is a complete mystery. Perhaps it’s buried on a remote island somewhere waiting to be found.
4: Dave Brown
Dave Brown was an early baseball star of the 1920s. At the time baseball was racially segregated and brown was considered one of the better black players. However his promising career was cut short when he killed a man in a bar fight. But before police could question Brown he disappeared. The FBI began a nationwide search for him but had no success. Rumor told he was playing baseball in a small town under the name Lefty Wilson. So that’s fun..
3: Tommy O’Connor
In 1921 Tommy O’Connor was sentenced to hang. Earlier that year he had murdered a police officer in Chicago so no one was surprised by his sentence. But while at the courthouse just four days before the execution, he and several other prisoners overpowered a guard, stole his gun and escaped. That was the last confirmed sighting of Tommy O’Connor. Through the 1920s and 1930s many rumors told of his fate. The most popular told he joined the North Side Gang, one of Chicago’s two main criminal organizations of that era.
2: Bela Kiss
Bela Kiss was a mysterious serial killer in 1900s Hungary. Like a male version of Belle Gunness he would lure women back to his house, murder them, and preserve their bodies in large barrels. For more than a decade he continued this practice in secret. Until 1914 when he was drafted to fight in world war one. Two years later the pickled corpses were found at his home and police began to pursue Kiss. But in the chaos of war finding him was no easy feat. Eventually police received word he was injured and could be found in a Serbian hospital. Yet by the time they arrived at said hospital Kiss had gone, leaving the corpse of another soldier in his bed as a decoy. We don’t know how he knew authorities were coming for him, nor where they went. Only that he was never apprehended.
1: D.B. Cooper
In 1971 a passenger jet flying over Oregon was hijacked. Wearing a dark suit, one passenger revealed ere was a bomb in his suitcase. Demanding 200 thousand dollars and four parachutes, the flight crew were terrified he would detonate the bomb. Soon the plane landed and the money delivered to it. Authorities decided to just grant his demand. Taking off again, the plane headed to Arizona. But during the journey the man jumped out, parachuting away with the money. No one knows who that man was. But the media referred to him as D.B. Cooper. Neither he nor the money were ever seen again despite each bill having a unique serial number. For years the FBI searched far and wide for him, but had no success. 49 years later it remains the only unsolved case of air piracy, and the greatest case of criminals who disappeared.