No place is without its share of mysterious and dark parts in its history. Some of these crazy – at times gruesome – mysteries have never been solved even to this day. Here are five such baffling cases that happened right here in North Dakota.
1. Kenneth Engy
This man is also known as Kenneth Nygaard (have any of you seen the new TV series 'Fargo'? This is where the name inspiration for the main character of the first season came from, in case you were wondering). He and his work partner, Curtis Heck, got into a bar fight in Edmore, ND in October of 1988. Coincidentally, or not so much, Engy was found dead in his garage that night. The death was ruled an accident due to carbon monoxide poisoning, but his family strongly believes that it was no fluke - this was a murder by none other than Heck. As of today, the case is still open and we'll never really know for sure what happened that night.
2. Russell Turcotte
This mystery unfolded on July 12, 2002 in Grand Forks. 19 year old Russell Turcotte was last heard from when he called his mother asking for money for a bus ride home. He never actually made it home that day, or the next, or any day after that. He went missing for nearly four months until his naked body was found 100 miles away near Devils Lake. A farmer, looking for a few stray cattle, found it in a tree row covered in leaves and frost. Not much else is known besides that. The autopsy information is being kept fairly secretive and all that is known is that Turcotte died from blunt force trauma to the back of the head. There are very few leads and the case remains unsolved to this day.
3. Kathy Bonderson
New Rockford, ND, 1987 - Kathy Bonderson left her house after an argument with her husband to go look for her teenage son who had snuck out that night. Her son, who was hanging out under a bridge, saw her car pass and hid to stay out of sight, but he also observed that another car had been following hers. She did not return home that night. The following morning her car was found completely engulfed in flames.
After the fire had been put out, Bonderson's body was discovered inside. This at first was ruled a tragic accident, in which her car had just swerved off the road and caught fire on its own. However, after some investigation, there seemed to be an entirely other possibility that started to seem all too likely: she had been murdered and her car had been intentionally set on fire. There was tons of evidence supporting this, but who did it? The case was still closed but reopened in 2005 and a new autopsy on the body performed. Not only did they pretty much find concrete evidence of murder, but also that her husband had vanished not long after the case had been reopened. He took his own life in an isolated cabin and it is believed he did it, but we will never know for sure, as both of them took the story with them to the grave.
4. The body of Norman Limesand
The murder in this case is no mystery - Steven Thomas pleaded guilty to the murder of Norman Limesand that occurred near Bismarck in 1999. The murder had to do with a dispute with a water drain on Thomas' property. Limesand was an official township officer and managed such things; he had to confront Thomas about a clogged culvert. Issues arose and Limesand disappeared...forever. His body has still not been found to this day.
Thomas pleaded guilty to the murder three years after the fact but could not tell anyone where the body was. He says he can't remember where he put it at all, even after hypnosis was performed on him. He had to help search the area but had no luck in finding or recollecting where the body was. The grave is still empty and nothing can make Thomas spill as to where he put it. He was released a couple of years ago after 10 years in prison and the body still remains missing.
5. Anita Knutson
The murdered body of Anita Knutson was found in her Minot apartment on June 4th, 2007. She had been stabbed repeatedly and left bleeding out on her bed - nothing but a dirty knife left in the sink as any evidence. The doors were locked, no windows broken, and no other signs of a break in or a suspect. And to this day, there still isn't any new evidence. Knutson was known as a spirited and happy person. She had some issues with her roommate once in a while but at the time of the murder they were apparently resolved. We still don't know who did it and they could still be at large. As time goes on the case gets colder, but it will never be forgotten.
These kinds of mysteries can freak me out, especially since some of the people responsible were never caught. I think I might be sleeping with the lights on tonight…