The recent wildfires in California had negative effects on many communities, including the students and staff of Paradise High School in Paradise, Calif. Many students and staff members lost their homes in the fire, which either destroyed or significantly damaged eight of the nine school buildings in the district.
However, it wasn’t all bad news for the students and staff members, who were also the benefactors of an extremely generous businessman who saw an opportunity to help. That man was Bob Wilson, a 90-year-old real estate developer who decided that he was going to personally help each and every member of the school district.
Wilson, who also owns restaurants and does business out of San Diego, arrived at Paradise High School last week with two briefcases filled with $1,000 checks. Each of the check had a specific name on it: the name of a high school student or staff member at the school. Nobody was left out.
Wilson’s gesture would be extended to 980 students along with 105 employees. Janitors, teachers, bus drivers, and office workers were all included. The total tab for his kind gesture? A total of $1.1 million.
Wilson even thought about the best way to go about giving out the gifts so that each person could get the maximum possible benefit from his generosity. Originally, he was working with local non-profit organizations so that he could purchase stacks of gift cards, but he thought better of it since he realized that cash would be more helpful to many. He decided to give out checks so that the recipients could spend the money as they see fit.
“I made the decision within two or three minutes of reading the news, that I would like to give these kids something,” Wilson explained to NBC News. “So they could have some good times and I could put a smile on their faces and maybe lift their spirits.”
There are so many mysteries of the world that could very well be straight out of a fictional or mystery novel. The tragic part about all of this is that many of these puzzles go unsolved. Despite nationwide searches and highly trained law enforcement, some people are just never found. If they are found, it’s usually too late, and we’re all left wondering what happened. Take a trip with us to review 25 creepy cases that will undoubtedly keep you at the edge of your seat. Some of these stories will give you chills, and others will make your toes curl.
The Springfield Three
It was June 7th, 1992, when the Springfield Three suddenly vanished. After a late-night of graduation parties, Suzie Streeter and Stacy McCall decided to call it a night and went home to Streeter’s house. Suzie’s mother, Sherrill Levitt, was waiting at home for both of them. When a friend came to visit the next day, all three women had already disappeared.
All of their personal belongings (cars, purses, wallets) were left behind. There were no signs of struggle besides a broken porch light. As of November 2019, the case remains unsolved despite tips from the public.
John Ruffo, a former business executive, conned U.S. banks out of $350 million. When he was caught, Ruffo faced a 150-count indictment. Because he was considered a flight risk, bail was set at $10 million, so Ruffo’s immediate family put up their homes as collateral to secure his pre-trial release.
Ruffo was ultimately found guilty on all counts and was sentenced to seventeen years in prison, but he disappeared in November 1998 before turning himself over. He was last seen pulling money out of an ATM the afternoon he was to give himself over to the authorities.
Jim Sullivan, a musician, released his album U.F.O in 1969 but didn’t gain much mainstream fame from it. In March 1975, at 34 years old, Sullivan left LA in his VW Beetle. He checked into a motel in New Mexico, but reports suggest that he didn’t sleep there. His car was later found abandoned at a ranch.
Reports have attributed his disappearance to being murdered, becoming disoriented and lost, or even an alien abduction — weirdly enough, U.F.O. was all about driving to a desert and leaving his family only to get abducted by aliens.
Charles Kingsford Smith
Charles Kingsford Smith, often nicknamed Smithy, was an Australian aviator. A pilot that crossed off many ‘firsts,’ Smith made the first non-stop crossing of the Australian mainland. After many successful trips, Smith and his co-pilot were flying overnight from India to Singapore when they disappeared in the early hours of November 1935.
Eighteen months after Smith’s disappearance, an undercarriage leg and wheel were discovered by fishermen. Although that was found, the wreckage of the plane and the body of Smith remains a complete mystery to this day.
Paula Jean Welden
Paula Jean Welden, born in October of 1928, was an American college student. A sophomore at Bennington College, Welden disappeared while walking on Vermont’s Long Trail hiking route in 1946. She had finished up a shift at the dining hall before returning to her dorm room to change into her walking clothes. She only expected to be gone for a few hours, but she ultimately vanished without a trace.
The next morning, when her roommate noticed that Welden hadn’t returned, the search started and would continue for weeks. Unfortunately, her body was never found, although a local man told at least two people that he knew where Welden was buried.
Jodi Huisentruit, a TV news anchor, was only 27 years old when she disappeared. In June of 1995, Huisentruit was scheduled to work at the station but failed to show up, so the producer called her apartment. Huisentruit answered and explained that she had overslept, but she was preparing to leave.
A couple of hours later, however, when Huisentruit had still not arrived, the producer called the police. When the police arrived at her apartment, they found her red Mazda in the parking lot, and it seemed as though a struggle took place near her car.
Ray Gricar was a district attorney who served for the Center County in Pennsylvania from 1985 to 2005. In April 2005, however, Gricar disappeared without a trace. He had told his longtime girlfriend Patty on April 15th that he planned on taking a half-day.
When he hadn’t returned home that night, though, Patty reported him missing. The very next day, investigators found Gricar’s red Mini Cooper abandoned in a parking lot. Half a year later, Gricar’s laptop was found under a bridge with no hard drive.
Brian Shaffer was a medical student studying at Ohio State University. He was just 27 years old at the time of his disappearance. In 2006, on the night of March 31st, Shaffer headed to a bar with some friends to celebrate the start of spring break.
At some point in the night, he had been separated from his friends, but the last he was seen was on the bar’s security camera around 2 a.m. Although there are various theories surrounding his disappearance, Shaffer was never heard from or seen again. Quite a puzzling mystery…
Lauren Spierer was a 20-year-old student studying at Indiana University at the time of her disappearance. She had gone out to a bar with several friends on the eve of June 2nd, 2011. She was last seen at 4:30 a.m. on June 3rd.
Although there are different theories regarding Spierer’s disappearance, her body was never found, and she was never heard from again. Still, though, her parents haven’t given up the fight and have maintained a social media presence in the hopes that it’ll help get their daughter back.
Tara Calico was nineteen when she disappeared near her home in New Mexico. In September 1988, Calico had gone for a bike ride but was never seen again. In July 1989, a Polaroid photo of an unidentified young woman and boy was found in a parking lot; they were both tied up and gagged.
Family and friends believed that the woman in the photo resembled Calico. While some believe that Calico was kidnapped, others believe that she may have been hit by a car while she was riding her bike and was buried the same day.
Teresa Butler was 35-years-old at the time of her disappearance. In 2006, on January 24th, Teresa went to work. She returned home in the evening to spend some time with her family before her husband, Gary, left for his night shift.
When he had returned home the next morning, Teresa was nowhere to be found. Her car was still at the house, but many valuables were gone, including her cell phone. Their two sons were left alone in the parent’s bedroom. Gary immediately called the police, but she has never been seen again.
Elisa Lam, aged 21, was a Canadian student who was traveling around California. In February 2013, her body was recovered from a hotel’s rooftop water tank in downtown LA. She was seen on a surveillance video the night she disappeared.
In the video, she was seen walking into an elevator and hiding as if someone was following her. When she got out of the elevator, it didn’t look like anyone else was with her, but no one ever saw her after that, and her body was found weeks later…
Asha Degree, from North Carolina, went missing when she was just nine years old. When her parents went to wake her up for school in February of 2000, she wasn’t there. For unknown reasons, Degree packed her backpack and left her home to begin walking on a nearby highway in the early hours of the morning, despite the tumultuous weather.
It wasn’t long before her books and pencils were found near a neighbor’s home. She disappeared without a trace and no one has any idea where she went…
Barbara Newhall Follett
Barbara Newhall Follett was a child prodigy novelist, with her first-ever novel being published when she was just twelve years old. By fourteen, she received critical acclaim on her second novel. After years of fame and success, however, Follett fell into a pit of depression.
She had married her husband by the time she was nineteen years old, and although they were initially happy, Follett soon came to believe that her husband was cheating on her. After an argument with him, Follett left their apartment and was never seen again…
Patty Blough, Renee Bruhl, and Ann Miller
In July 1966, three friends (Patty Blough — 19, Renee Bruhl — 19, and Ann Miller — 21) drove to Indiana Dunes State Park. After they parked the car and hiked to the lake, they decided to go for a swim. A couple saw the girls leave their stuff on the beach and head into the water.
A few minutes later, the couple spotted them getting onto a little motorboat heading west, and the three girls were never seen again. To this day, the girls were never found and their disappearances remain a mystery.
Ylenia Carrisi, an Italian television celeb, was only 23-years-old when she disappeared. The daughter of Italian singers and actors, Albano Carrisi and Romina Power, Carrisi decided she’d take a break from studying to travel the world.
After visiting New Orleans in January 1994, Carrisi went missing. From abduction to running away, there are many theories surrounding the young woman’s disappearance. Some people have even reported sightings of her alive. Still, upon her father’s request, Carrisi was declared legally dead in January 2014.
Keith Reinhard was forty-eight years old when he went on sabbatical from his sports reporter job. He wanted to exercise more, write a novel, and open his own antique shop. After relocating with his wife and opening his store across the street from a friend, Reinhard learned that the store used to be a bookstore owned by a man named Tom Young, who had mysteriously disappeared a year earlier.
Reinhard became obsessed with the mystery and wrote about Young’s story. A week later, Young’s body was found and Reinhard went for a hike only to never return…
Barbara Bolick went missing while on a hike in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana with a family friend that was visiting from California. On the way back, her friend stopped to look at the scenic view. According to the friend himself, he “turned to look at a distant peak off to the West for about a minute with my back to her,” he said.
“When I turned back to continue heading down, Barb was nowhere to be seen.” She was just fifty-five years old when she disappeared without a trace and has never been found…
The Sarah Joe Mystery
The Sarah Joe Mystery is a story about five men who went on a fishing trip in February 1979 in Hawaii only to never return. When they first hopped aboard their boat (the Sarah Joe), the weather couldn’t have been any better — it was literally smooth sailing. But that changed within a few short hours.
The guys failed to return, which fueled a massive search. A decade later, the boat was found wrecked on the coast of one of the Marshall Islands. It was next to the grave of one of the five men in the boat…
Kinross Incident: Felix Moncla was a United States Air Force pilot. In November of 1953, at 27 years old, Moncla disappeared while performing an air defense intercept over Lake Superior. After First Lieutenant Moncla was sent to check on an unidentified aircraft, the radar showed his aircraft overlapping with the unidentified aircraft, or what was believed to be a UFO.
It wasn’t long before the radar operator (Robert L. Wilson) noticed that there was no trace of Moncla or his aircraft. Wilson attempted to contact Moncla via radio but received no response.
Cheryl Gene Grimmer, born in 1966, was just a three-year-old toddler when she went missing. In January of 1970, the Grimmer family went to the Fairy Meadow Beach for the day. In the early afternoon, when the weather turned, Cheryl’s mother decided it was time to head home so the kids went to the showers to rinse off.
Moments later, though, Cheryl disappeared and was nowhere to be found. While there have been suspects and evidence to suggest what happened, Cheryl’s body was never found but she was declared legally dead in 2011.
Forrest Schab, better known by his stage name DY, is a Canadian rapper and hip-hop artist. After signing with CP Records, DY decided to fly to Mexico for a vacation. Unfortunately, though, he wouldn’t ever make it back to Canada as he disappeared with no one hearing from him in months. By November 18th, 2010, DY was reported missing in Mexico.
On December 10th, his family released another statement expressing their worry regarding his disappearance. While there are a lot of rumors surrounding the rapper’s disappearance, many believe that it was related or linked to organized crime.
Thomas H. ‘Boston’ Corbett, better known as “Lincoln’s Avenger,” killed Abraham Lincoln’s assassin — you know, John Wilkes Booth. Largely regarded as a hero, Corbett was appointed assistant doorkeeper of the Kansas House of Representatives in January 1887. Soon after, he became paranoid and attempted to attack the House officers.
After a judge declared him insane, Corbett was sent to the Topeka Asylum. It wasn’t long before he escaped to Kansas, where he briefly stayed with a friend. Corbett is believed to have settled in a cabin he built in Minnesota before dying in the Great Hinckley Fire.
Lieutenant-Commander Lionel Kenneth Phillip Crabb, known as Buster Crabb, was a Royal Navy frogman who served in WWII. In 1956, at 47 years old, Crabb was recruited by M16 to help investigate a Soviet cruiser. Once he got his diving gear on and jumped into Portsmouth Harbour, his M16 controller never saw him again — he disappeared immediately.
A little over a year later, a body in a diving suit was found by two fishermen. Unfortunately, it was impossible to identify who it was using then-available technology, as the body was missing its head and both hands.
Ken McElroy, nicknamed ‘the town bully,’ was a very hated man in the town of Skidmore, Missouri. He was accused of various different crimes including violence and assault among many other felonies. The other people in town decided to take matters into their own hands since law enforcement wasn’t really doing much.
Two people were involved in the murder of McElroy but they were never caught. McElroy was forty-seven years old when he died on July 10th, 1981.