Special Report

The 25 Most Mysterious Disappearances in America

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

16. Jimmy Hoffa
> Year: 1975
> Location: Bloomfield, Michigan

Colorful Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa was famous for crossing swords with Attorney General Robert Kennedy during a federal investigation into organized crime’s influence in American labor unions. On July 30, 1975, Hoffa was reportedly waiting for two mobsters outside of a restaurant in Bloomfield Township, Michigan He was seen leaving the restaurant in a red 1975 Mercury Marquis Brougham. He was never seen or heard from again. Hoffa’s body has never been found, though urban legend has placed his remains in various spots in New Jersey.

17. Etan Patz
> Year: 1979
> Location: New York City

Six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared on May 25, 1979. The boy had been on his way to the bus stop in the SoHo section of Manhattan walking alone two blocks from his home when he vanished.

The case produced a publicity firestorm, with Patz’s picture among the first photos of a missing child to be printed on a milk carton. Despite a massive search and various leads, Patz was never found. He was declared dead in 2001. Patz’ disappearance helped launch the missing children movement, which included new legislation and methods for finding missing children.

In 2017, Pedro Hernandez was convicted of the kidnapping and felony murder of Patz after a public confession from years previous was brought to light.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

18. The S.S. Poet
> Year: 1980
> Location: North Atlantic

The S.S. Poet was a former World War II troop transport vessel converted into carrying cargo. On the morning of Oct. 24, 1980, the ship left Philadelphia with a hold full of corn and was bound for Egypt where it was due to arrive on Nov. 9. The ship sent its last message as it passed Cape Henlopen off the coast of Delaware later that morning. A large storm blew into that part of the Atlantic the next day. There was no trace of the ship and no distress signal was ever heard.

Source: blackred / iStock via Getty Images

19. Mary Badaracco
> Year: 1984
> Location: Sherman, Connecticut

Mary Badaracco disappeared from her Sherman, Connecticut, home on Aug. 19, 1984. Her car was found parked in the driveway with the driver’s side of the windshield smashed inwards. Badaracco’s wedding ring and car keys had been left on the kitchen counter; her personal belongings, including photographs, had vanished. Badaracco was known to have had a troubled marriage with her husband Dominic Badaracco Sr. and had left him for brief periods. Mary Badaracco had filed for divorce at the time of her disappearance.

Source: aydinmutlu / E+ via Getty Images

20. Tara Calico
> Year: 1988
> Location: Belen, New Mexico

Nineteen-year-old Tara Calico went missing on Sept. 20, 1988, after she had left her home in Belen, New Mexico, for a bike ride and never returned. On June 15, 1989, a suspicious photo was found in a Florida parking lot more than 1,200 miles away from the site of her disappearance. The photo showed a teenage girl and a young boy with their mouths taped and hands bound behind their backs. Calico’s parents insisted it was their daughter, despite the fact that the FBI has not been able to verify it was her.

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