For today’s Blotter, I wanted to try something different. Instead of sharing my account of an old case, I want to offer up some tantalizing resources you can either enjoy as standalone creepy stories, or choose to follow them down the rabbit hole.
This first case is among the strangest I’ve ever heard, combining elements of mystery, violence, and one of those logic puzzles they used to throw at you in junior high (“But I can’t operate on this boy. He is my son.”). How does a man with no past exist? What made him check into a motel room in a strange city? How can a man be locked inside a room asleep when the door only locks from the outside? There are so many more questions to ponder, but let’s start with the primary source material.
This account of the incident, sometimes referred to as either “The Horror of” or “The Mystery of Room 1046” was written by a historian who had first unearthed this disturbing true crime story from the 1930s while digging through the archives deep inside a Kansas City library. (Note: You’ll want to begin reading at the third paragraph—those above have nothing to do with the story) This two-parter kept me glued to my seat for the twenty minutes it took to read, leaving me with the feeling of having watched an old noir film in its entirety.
Next, let’s take a look at the mysterious deaths of nine hikers deep in Russia’s Ural Mountains in 1959 in what came to be known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Much like the case above, the victims are clear, as well as the causes of death (there are several), but not how the dead sustained their life-ending injuries. In the case of these hikers, guesses range from radiation, to a Yetti encounter, to more mundane causes, like hypothermia or an avalanche. Intrigued?
You’ll never go wrong by starting with Atlas Obscura’s account of the tragedy. As a bonus, the article contains some of the group’s final photos taken early on in the trip. Seeing them laugh is an unsettling counterbalance to the looming darkness of the rest of the story.
By the way, in 2016, RT reported on another body found in the same area where the others had died more than 60 years prior. That story continues, but ours ends for the day. I’ll be back Thursday with your weekend true crime links!
Featured Image: Aldamisa Releasing