Unsolved Mysteries of the 1970s That Will Give You Chills

By Sarah Norman | August 23, 2023

The 1978 Holiday Inn Fire That Claimed The Lives of 10 people

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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On November 26, 1978, 10 guests at the Holiday Inn in Greece, New York, were killed in a fire that whipped through the building. Initially, the Greece Police Department believed that the fire was accidental, but there were a few fishy facts about this fire. It's not clear if the fire alarms in the hotel went off during the blaze. First responders claim that they couldn't hear the bells when they arrived, although the hotel manager states that the alarms were ringing loud and clear.

Aside from the disagreement over the alarm, there were no smoke detectors or sprinklers in parts of the building, and the fire alarm system was not connected to the fire department. When John Stickevers, a New York City fire investigator was brought onto the case look into the blaze he found traces of a rare, very flammable liquid accelerant inside a storage cupboard beneath the first floor stairwell. No suspects were ever named in this truly chilling arson, and it wasn't until 2014 that the police identified two suspects.

The Freeway Phantom gripped Washington D.C. in fear

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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.