Unsolved Mysteries and Scary Stuff: Bizarre Cases of the Missing and Murdered Vol. 15

Zigmund Adamski
When Zigmund Adamski left his house in June of 1980 to pick up some potatoes, he never came back. Five days later his body was discovered laying on top of a pile of coal in Todmorden, which was 20 miles away from his home in Tingley, which is within the United Kingdom. He was dressed in a suit but his wallet, shirt and watch were all missing. His shoes were untied and his pants zipper was down. Bizarrely, in spite of being located a matter of hours after being placed on the coal, there was no trail showing Adamski having walked to the spot, being dragged, or anything else of the sort. It seemed he had just inexplicably been placed there from the heavens.


The police noticed burns on his neck, shoulders and the back of his head. The local coroner, James Turnbull noted that despite being gone for five days, his face showed only a day’s worth of beard growth and his burns had been treated with an ointment that Turnbull and other forensic scientists couldn’t identify This prompted a check with local hospitals to see if Adamski had been cared for by them and nothing could be found. The burns were determined to have happened two days before Adamski’s death.  No struggle was evident and his body didn’t appear emaciated. The ultimate cause of death was ruled to be a heart attack.

Six months later, the case took another strange turn when one of the police officers who discovered Adamski’s body, Alan Godfrey, was placed on patrol of an area that had been reporting cows disappearing from fields. Some of the cow’s remains were later found in the middle of remote pastures, with no marks in the moist ground to indicate how they had arrived at that point. Godfrey and other officers were driving about the countryside near the coal stockpile where Adamski was found when they each independently reported seeing a strange light in the sky. Godfrey would provide the most detailed and perhaps unbelievable account of the lights as he stated the flying diamond shaped craft came within 75 feet of his police car before he suffered a black out that lasted between fifteen minutes to possibly over a half-hour. When he came back to consciousness he found himself only slightly further down the road than where he was when he spotted the object. He also discovered that his boot had somehow split in half at the sole.

Godfrey reported what happened to him in official records despite ridicule from his colleagues. This sparked interest in the story from UFO researchers and Godfrey became a reluctant participant in their investigation. He was soon mordified by the negative attention this drew to his family but he nonetheless willingly underwent hypnosis and in those sessions it was revealed that he had been abducted by aliens. This led to his story making front page news in some places and it became a subject of scrutiny for many years after the fact.

Godfrey has stated that he officially feels that Adamski was taken by a UFO and perhaps died while under the aliens “care” and thus had to be dropped off in a similar fashion to the cows. Two British UFO researchers took on the case in 2005 and they revealed a far more plausible means of how and why Adamski met his fate. The pair interviewed Zigmund’s relatives who explained that a family member had placed a restraining order on her husband and then moved in with Adamski and his wife. This upset the husband dearly and they seem to believe he kidnapped Zigmund and held him in a garage for several days before Adamski suffered a heart attack. The corpse then had to be disposed of, but no one is sure why he chose such a peculiar place. With only circumstantial evidence, no investigation was put forth and the husband was never a suspect.

As far as the strange burns went, the Adamski family revealed that Zigmund was going to an acupuncture clinic where part of his treatment was having bamboo tubes that were stuffed with cotton pressed against his skin and then set aflame. An alternative theory is that the man who kidnapped him may have tortured Adamski with fire while detaining him. No official solution to this case was ever rendered.

Arlis Kay Perry

On October 12th of 1974 19-year-old Arlis Kay Perry was found dead inside the Stanford University’s Memorial Church. She had gone to the church very late in the evening after a fight with her husband over inflating car tires of all things. Once there Arlis was preyed upon by persons unknown. Perry was sexually penetrated with a pair of two foot long altar candles and then killed by having an ice pick driven into her skull so deep that the end of it was barely visible. Semen was found on a kneeling pillow near her body but she had not been raped by the perp himself.

Perry’s body was found six hours after she was last seen. Her husband had been searching for her and when he discovered the church to be locked he found a guard who was willing to open the place back up. It was the watchmen who discovered her body under a pew. Many man hours went into solving the crime but no substantive leads were found.

David Berkowitz, the man who became nationally infamous for the “Son of Sam” killings in New York City hinted several times that he heard from the killer via letters and could perhaps identify him. The investigators looked into this and decided Berkowitz was merely bloviating and had nothing much to offer the case. Perry’s death remains unsolved.


Carl Alfred Eder 
Carl Eder was a 16-year-old runaway who managed to travel all the way from New York to California. It was there that he met Thomas Prendergast, a local who saw the homeless child hitchhiking and in an act of altruism took Eder into his home. He told the teen that he was welcome to live with the Prendergast family until he could find a means to support himself. The boy stayed for six weeks, until one day in mid-December he met Thomas outside the family’s house as Prendergast was returning home from work. He asked for a ride to San Diego and Prendergast took him to a service station and dropped him off. When Prendergast returned home he discovered that Eder had butchered his entire family. His wife had been shot and his four children were all killed with a hunting knife, some so violently that they were disemboweled.

Eder was picked up by authorities within a matter of days. He explained that he snapped when Prendergast’s toddler daughter Diane wouldn’t stop making noise. He grabbed her and threw her to the floor, then shot her mother and killed the children one by one. Eder’s trial ended with him sentenced to two life sentences. He served his time until October of 1974, where he escaped from his minimum security prison, leaving behind a note that said “I’ve done enough time and I’m leaving.”

Two years after his escape, a dead body showed up on the Pendergast property, chained to two cinder blocks. Tests proved it was not Eder. In the following years Eder was linked to motorcycle gangs, and radical left-wing groups. He had connections reaching from Mexico to California to New York, parts of the mid-west, Canada, Germany, Latin America and South America, making a concise search extremely difficult for authorities. America’s Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries both profiled his case but no capture followed. Some information leaked indicates he was killed by members of the fringe groups he joined due to his violent rhetoric, but nothing concrete was ever proven. Eder is possibly still living today.


Thanks for reading! I’ll be back with more mysteries soon!  

If you enjoyed this, you can catch up with the whole series here.

I have many other cases I’ve done articles for including looks at the Sodder Children’s disappearance, John Wayne Gacy’s undiscovered burial sites, the East Area Rapist, Gen. MacArthur’s “missing” son, Tina Resch’s poltergeist and many other stories of crime and the paranormal. All those can be found at the link above.

I also run the After Dark Radio Show‘s Facebook page and add 3-4 stories from the world of true crime, UFOs, cryptids and other such things each day. Please consider “liking” us if that sounds of interest to you.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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