Sometimes reality really is stranger than fiction. Everyone loves a good puzzle, but some of these bizarre Massachusetts unsolved mysteries are almost too baffling to believe. Read on for a collection of chilling head-scratchers.
1. The Lady of the Dunes
On July 26, 1974, the remains of a woman were found in the Race Point Dunes in Provincetown. She was naked, partially decomposed and thought to be in her mid-twenties. Multiple facial reconstructions have been commissioned, and one theory holds that she may have been an extra in the movie “Jaws”, which was being filmed in the area in 1974. In once scene of the film, a woman that resembled reconstructions of the victim is shown in a crowd, wearing a blue bandanna and jeans, which were also found with the victim. Since her discovery, her body has been exhumed three times in efforts to solve the mystery of her identity and her murderer.
2. The New Bedford Highway Killer
Between July 1988 and April 1989, the bodies of nine women were found along New Bedford-area highways. All of these women were known to have abused drugs, and some worked as prostitutes. Police determined that the killings were the work of one individual due to the manner of their deaths. The killer was never apprehended, though reports of similar murders in other locations suggest the so-called “New Bedford Highway Killer” may still active.
3. The “Lost Savior” of Waltham
In 1996, Donna and Rick Roberts were involved in a car accident on Route 128 with their ten-week old baby daughter Samantha in the car. The couple managed to pull their two-year-old son Scott from the wreckage, but Samantha was trapped in the mangled vehicle. It was then that an unknown man appeared and was able to rescue Samantha. However, the individual remained silent throughout the ordeal and left the scene before the couple could speak with him. All attempts to locate the man have been unsuccessful.
4. The Lizzie Borden Killings
Massachusetts natives will surely be familiar with this one. In 1892, Lizzie Borden’s parents, Abby and Andrew Borden, were found murdered in their Fall River home. They had been brutally hacked to death with a weapon resembling an axe. Though Lizzie was ultimately acquitted of the murders, the bulk of local suspicion remained fixed on her until her death. Curiously, though no bloody clothing was found at the scene, a few days after the murder Lizzie was caught burning a dress in the kitchen stove. She claimed that it had been ruined when she brushed against fresh paint
5. The Black Flash of Provincetown
This local folktale is more than a little chilling. “The Black Flash” was a nickname given to a man (or creature) that terrorized the Provincetown area in the late 1930s. According to the legend, the Black Flash was nearly eight feet tall, clothed in all black clothing, and had an unusually gaunt frame. He was said to leap over high fences and haunt dark alleys, and there were two reports of physical assaults on adult men. The sightings ceased after December of 1945, and the Black Flash was never seen again.
6. The Bridgewater Triangle
The Bridgewater Triangle is to an area of around 200 square miles in southeastern Massachusetts. It is the site of numerous alleged paranormal phenomena, as well as several officially documented crimes. On the more far-fetched side of things, the area is reportedly the home of giant snakes, UFOs, violent woodland spirits, and spectral orbs of light. More chillingly, there were several documented instances of animal mutilation in 1998. The Freetown-Fall River State Forest has also been the site of multiple gang-style killings and a number of suicides.
7. Dighton Rock, Berkley
The Dighton Rock is a 40-ton boulder, originally located in the riverbed of the Taunton River in Berkley. The rock is noted for its petroglyphs, or carvings, that depict designs of ancient and uncertain origin. Hypotheses about the carvings are numerous. Some believe that they are inscriptions dating from the early indigenous peoples of North America, while others hold that they are proof that ancient explorers visited the area before European colonization began.
8. Gloucester Harbor Sea Serpent
Sea serpent sightings on the coast of New England have been documented as far back as the year 1638. In August of 1817, locals claimed that they had seen a serpent-like creature rise out of the waters of Gloucester Harbor. Sworn statements made were made before a local Justice of the Peace and published across the state in 1818. The etching pictured is meant to depict the Gloucester monster.
9. The Great Plymouth Mail Truck Robbery
At the time of its occurrence, this robbery was the largest cash heist of all time. On 14 August 1962, two gunmen stopped a postal truck that was delivering $1.5 million ($12 million adjusted for inflation) in small bills from Cape Cod to the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston. Wielding submachine guns, they tied up the driver and drove the truck to an unknown location. The money has never been recovered, the identities of the robbers remain a mystery.
10. Death of Molly Bish
Molly Bish was a 16-year-old girl who disappeared while working as a lifeguard in Warren in 2000. The search for Bish was the largest and most expensive search for a missing person ever held in Massachusetts. On June 9, 2003, her body was found five miles from her family home. Her mother, Magi Bish, claimed that she saw a suspicious man in a white sedan in the parking lot of the beach where Molly was working as a lifeguard the day before her daughter’s disappearance. The identity of Bish’s killer has not been discovered.