Unsolved Mysteries of the 1970s That Will Give You Chills

By Sarah Norman | August 16, 2023

The Freeway Phantom gripped Washington D.C. in fear

The 1970s were full of glorious parties at Studio 54 and post Vietnam celebrations, but it was also a decade full of chilling crimes that remain unsolved to this day. From gruesome murders to raucous heists and supernatural sightings, the mysteries chronicled here will leave you scratching your head and wondering exactly what happened in each of these stories.

Many of these stories are too upsetting for younger readers, so keep younger eyes shielded from the gruesome stuff. Keep in mind that many of these unsolved mysteries are cases that remain open, if you or someone you know can shine a light on these eerie crimes from the '70s don't be afraid to reach out... you could change everything.

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The self proclaimed "Freeway Phantom" was an active serial killer in Washington D.C. from April 1971 to September 1972. In that time he claimed six victims - one of them was left with a note pinned to her jacket reading:

this is tAntAmount to my
insensititivity [sic] to people
especiAlly women.
I will Admit the others
wheN you cAtch me iF you cAn!
FRee-wAy PhanTom

There was a substantial investigation into the crimes of the Freeway Phantom, complete with a task force and a call in number; the FBI was even called in at one point, but no leads were ever generated in a way that a suspect could be pinpointed. The case is currently open, and a $150,000 reward is open to anyone who can help put an end to the Freeway Phantom's reign of terror.

Ronny DeFeo murdered his entire family, but we still don't know how he did it

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The DeFeo murders that occurred on November 13, 1974, are some of the strangest crimes of the era. While Ronald DeFeo Jr. was technically found guilty of shooting and killing six members of his family at 112 Ocean Avenue, the details surrounding these murders are truly mind boggling.

That night, six members of the DeFeo family were all shot in their beds without a struggle. It's unclear how Ronald was able to accomplish this with no one hearing a gunshot that night, but during his lifetime he claimed the murders were the outcome of everything from demonic possession to a mob hit. During his trial in 1975, DeFeo claimed insanity and stated that he heard voices telling him to kill his family, but he was found guilty of second-degree murder and received six terms of 25 years to life in prison. He passed away in custody in March 2021 without ever saying what really happened in the house on 112 Ocean Avenue.