A few weeks ago, word spread that a photo had proved Amelia Earhart had survived her suspected plane crash in 1937, sending history buffs everywhere into a frenzy. The theory has since been debunked, so for now we’re back to square one. But, never fear: there a plenty of other questions that need answering. Here are a few other famous, infamous, and lesser-known unsolved mysteries that will keep you guessing until the next big reveal.
The Lost City of Z
In 1925, legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle in search of a fabled civilization and never returned. It became an perennial quest for historians, scientists, and explorers—find out what happened and whether the city of Z actually existed. After stumbling upon a number of hidden diaries, David Grann set out to solve the mystery for himself, making stunning discoveries along the way.
In 1925, British explorer Percy Fawcett set off into the Amazon rainforest in search of a fabled civilization, only to never return. In this piece of narrative nonfiction, David Grann begins his own quest into the Amazon, interweaving Fawcett’s story with his own. Both stories will combine to create an epic adventure for moviegoers.
RELEASE DATE: 2016
For decades, people have offered suggestions about who D. B. Cooper—the strange man who hijacked and then jumped out of a plane in 1971—really is. Starting with a tip from a private investigator, Geoffrey Gray reopened the mystery to chase down new clues and evaluate the most promising suspects. The result is a page-turning manhunt that will make an obsessive out of even the greatest skeptic.
The Monster of Florence
Perfect for fans of John Berendt and Erik Larson, this gripping account of Italian crime and punishment blurs the lines between life and legend. When Douglas Preston moved to Italy with his family in 2000, he soon learned that the olive grove in front of his farmhouse had been the scene of an infamous double murder committed by a serial killer known only as the Monster of Florence. Teaming up with Italian journalist Mario Spezi, Preston became determined to learn more and find answers about the man who—still alive—might have been responsible.
When the bodies of four young women sex workers were found on Gilgo Beach, Long Island, in 2010, it became increasingly clear that this was the work of a serial killer who combed the Internet for his next victim. Kolker, an award-winning investigative reporter, presents a humanizing account of a ripped-from-the-headlines story.
There is a serial killer at large on Long Island with five murders to his credit. Lost Girls is the haunting account of the unsolved case and a humanizing depiction of Craigslist escorts. Robert Kolker reveals the three-dimensional truths about the lives of the five known victims—the struggling towns they came from and the dreams they chased. He also gained unprecedented access to the remote, idyllic Oak Beach neighborhood where the police have failed, the body count has risen, and neighbors have begun pointing their fingers at one another—and where these women’s stories come together in death and a dark mystery.
The Zodiac Killer is one of the most famous criminals in American history, but his identity remains a mystery. He first struck in the San Francisco area in 1968, and wrote to several local newspapers claiming to have killed 37 people. Robert Graysmith, who was on staff at the San Francisco Chronicle when Zodiac first appeared, became obsessed with seeing the killer brought to justice. Here is a blistering and riveting account of Zodiac’s 11-month reign of terror, complete with his letters and tons of previously unreleased information.
On December 4, 1872, a ship was discovered drifting on the North Atlantic without a soul on board. There was no sign of a struggle, of damage, of piracy—or evidence. In this riveting reconstruction, journalist Brian Hicks dives deep (no pun intended) into this nautical legend to figure out not only what happened on board but in the bizarre aftermath of the discovery.
There are the most compelling—and controversial—questions in literary history: Was William Shakespeare a real person, and did he actually write those plays? For most of history, there was no doubt that the answer to both was a resounding yes. But after some time, many began to propose other candidates like Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, and the Earl of Oxford. Scholar James Shapiro unravels one of the greatest mysteries in this story of forgeries, codes, conspiracies, deception, and art.
America’s oldest mystery, the fate of the colony of Roanoke, has been debated by nearly everyone who has learned about it. What caused nearly 115 men, women, and children to disappear? Was it famine? An attack? A simple relocation that colonial communication could not convey? Lee Miller goes back to the original evidence and offers a fresh and unexpected solution that stretches across the ocean into the inner circle of Queen Elizabeth’s government.
The Message of the Sphinx
We know that someone built the Sphinx; the question is how? And how long has it been there? In this provocative (and controversial) report, Egyptologists Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval examine the monument and its relation to others in the area using research, documents, and computer analysis to try to determine whether it is in fact much older than we previously imagined.
The Message of the Sphinx
The Princes in the Tower
Despite centuries of investigation, no one has been able to definitively solve the murders of the boy king Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, in the Tower of London. Was the scheming Richard III the culprit, or was it someone else? Examining every shred of existing evidence, Alison Weir reconstructs the time line and offers her own answers in this fascinating and riveting account.