The Hawkeye State is littered with an abundance of cold cases that, sadly, remain unresolved to this day. These are three of the most infamous in the state's history; cases that, not only loom large in the state of Iowa, but are known throughout the entirety of the US, and abroad.

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The Villisca Axe Murders of 1912

On June 10, 1912, six members of the Moore family and two of their guests were found bludgeoned to death with an axe in their residence. The horrific crime occurred in the small Southwest Iowa town of Villisca.

A lengthy investigation took place and several suspects were brought forward. However, police honed in on Reverand George Kelly, who vehemently proclaimed his innocence. Two trials were held on the matter, with the first ending in a hung jury and the second ending in an acquittal. The murders remain unsolved to this day.

The Abduction of Johnny Gosch in 1982

Credit: KCCI via YouTube
Credit: KCCI via YouTube

On a seemingly normal September morning, Johnny Gosch woke up at 5 am to deliver the Sunday Des Moines Register newspaper to its eagerly awaiting customers.

Johnny took his faithful dog along with him and began slinging the papers from his red wagon onto each doorstep within the neighborhood, and again, everything seemed perfectly normal until it wasn't...

Witnesses reported a blue Ford Fairmont approaching Johnny but no one saw him taken willingly or unwillingly into the vehicle.

When Johnny's parents (Noreen and John Sr.) realized he was missing, they immediately contacted the West Des Moines Police. A search party was formed later that afternoon, but sadly, no trace of Johnny was found.

In fact, no trace of Johnny has ever been found.

A few years later, another paperboy from the Des Moines Metro went missing. 13-year-old Eugene Martin has also never been found. He and Johnny became one of the first kids ever to be featured on the back of Milk Cartons during the '80s.

Back in 2000, Noreen also wrote a book, "Why Johnny Can't Come Home", which details the aftermath of when her son went missing and why she believes he'll never come home.

In 2014 a documentary titled "Who Took Johnny" was also released, diving into the case further. You can find it on multiple streaming platforms.

To watch a recent, in-depth look at the Johnny Gosch case, 40 years later, check out the video below from KCCI.

The Abduction and Murder of Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook in 2012

Credit: Merc True Crime via YouTube
Credit: Merc True Crime via YouTube/Canva

In the summer of 2012, two young girls were riding their bikes in the eastern Iowa town of Evansdale. Sadly, they both went missing near Myers Lake. Investigators searched the lake extensively and pursued numerous leads for the next several months. Eventually, both bodies of Lyric and Elizabeth were found in a remote wildlife area in Bremer County in December of 2012, but no arrests have been made in the case. While no official suspect has been named, several theories are floating around the World Wide Web.

LOOK: Most common fast food chains in Iowa

Stacker compiled a list of the most common chain restaurants in Iowa using data from the Friendly City Lab at Georgia Tech.

The following statistics are based on data from the year 2022

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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