Sometimes, Unsolved Mysteries profiled cases that went a little...strange. We’re not just talking about the UFOs and crazy theories (usually filed under: The Unexplained). We’re talking criminal cases that dabbled in the paranormal and occult.
In this ONTD original series, resident true crime junkies beaarthursdrug and patchsassy go to the way-back machine for some of our favorite segments from the 1980s classic Unsolved Mysteries. (Note: all old episode numbers correspond with episodes on Amazon Prime.)
Ann Sigmin (old: 1x10, new:2x19)
Charlie Sigmin fell under the spell of Ann Sigmin, and they married and had children together. However, friends and family started noticing cracks in the marriage. It was alleged that Ann was cheating on Charlie, and one night in turn he went out to the backyard shed and discovered Ann, clad in a negligee, performing a satanic ritual, ripping up the photo of her alleged fling and burning it in the fire while chanting, with a poster of a Satan-like-figure on the wall. Several days later he found a strange doll on their bed, which Ann confirmed to be a voodoo doll that traps evil spirits. Charlie essentially told her to GTFO, which she did by taking their two kids and moving to another state.
Charlie became extremely depressed and drank a lot, because there was no such thing as Tinder, Grindr, or Scruff back in the 1980’s. On the night of October 19th, 1986, he received a phone call from Ann, threatening suicide with their boys crying in the background. Charlie rushed to the house, where it was alleged by Ann that he got into an altercation with her and her new boyfriend. The boyfriend, Garey Goff, shot Charlie five times, killing him. He and Ann fled, after police had a friend of Ann’s meet her in a parking lot, wearing a wire, to try to get her to confess about Charlie’s death. They got what they needed, but hours later Ann and Garey vanished.
Eventually Garey Goff turned himself in and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Goff was sentenced to twenty years and was released after serving thirteen years and five months. From prison, he pleaded for Sigmin to also turn herself in, but she refused. There is still a warrant for the arrest of Ann Sigmin for first-degree murder. She may be living in Oregon or Arizona under the alias Andy Hayes or Andy Partlowe.
Kurt McFall (old: 1x02, new: 6x03)
Kurt McFall was a 17-year old high school student who was found dead on the beach at San Francisco Bay in September 1984. He was lacking a shirt, shoes, and socks. His body showed no external injuries, and the coroner had trouble determining the cause of death.
It was revealed that Kurt had a fascination with mysticism as well as recreational Medieval jousting (think LARPing….but 1980’s!) For years, Kurt had been interested in the game "Dungeons and Dragons" and a year before his death he joined the Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA, in which members participated in events related to medieval times.
Disillusioned with the group, Kurt left only to join a group focused on Pagan religion, and one of his friends introduced him to the much older Gabriel Carrillo, who would turn out to be an important figure in the investigation. Carrillo was an openly-gay Pagan cult leader who was known to frequently let Kurt stay at his house. He claimed that on the night that Kurt disappeared, he went swimming in Ocean Beach in San Francisco, and then went back to Carrillo’s apartment. He left Carrillo’s apartment at 3:30 AM, and that was the last time Kurt was seen alive.
Another strange factor surrounding his death was that beer bottles were found scattered around the area where he was found. Kurt’s parents found this strange because Kurt was not known to drink. They believe he was murdered after finding out something in one of the organizations he was involved with. The case is still unsolved.
Shane Stewart and Sally McNelty (old: 4x01, new:3x01)
Shane & Sally were spending a relaxing 4th of July together in the small town of San Angelo, Texas. On the morning of the 5th, Shane’s car was found near a lake. They were nowhere to be found, but there was no sign of a struggle.
The police felt they had just run off and gotten married, but Shane’s father knew he would never leave his car behind. (insert eyeroll here)
In November, two skeletons were found near a different lake 17 miles away from where Shane’s car was found. Both were killed with a shotgun. Then the rumors started about them being involved with a Satanic cult.
Sally was rebellious and resentful of growing up without a father. She began sneaking out and her need to feel loved and accepted may have led her towards a cult (or the closest thing that small-town central Texas has to a cult). One of her friends accompanied her to a group meeting, where she seemed to go into a trance-like state while playing with a Ouija board. Sally eventually called the police, asking their assistance for her and Shane to get away from the cult due to drug use and group sex.
Shane and Sally left town for awhile (separately), but they eventually came back in early summer, around a month before they were killed. Sally was paranoid that they were trying to kill her and Shane was overheard saying that he owed someone money, but he was reluctant to tell his father all the details. On the night of their murders, they watched the fireworks show, then were hanging out at a lake. An eyewitness who was out for a leisurely 1 a.m. fish saw a truck pull up and chat with the couple, who refused to leave with them because “they weren’t into that no more.” This case is unsolved. The police have not ruled out those involved in the “cult-like activity” but cannot bring them before a Grand Jury due to lack of evidence.
Magic: the Gathering (old: 8x13, new: 3x07)
Michael was 25 and married. Rochelle was 19. They were lovers, and they were also part of a group that gathered regularly to play the game Magic: The Gathering. The investigators don’t know if it was jealousy over their relationship or if there was something that happened during that night’s round of Magic that lead to the double murder.
Michael was found near his car the next morning. Rochelle was found later that day in a different place. A large cardboard box covered her body. It is believed they left the party together and went to park (and all of the things involved with parking, apparently) where Michael’s body was found. They were apparently forcibly removed during their activities (as they were hastily dressed) by parties unknown and violently attacked.
Police believe that Michael was an bystander and Rochelle was the target, due to evidence at the scene and on both bodies. Rochelle felt she was being stalked by a guy who watched her closely at work. Michael’s wife, despite having knowledge of the affair and a large life insurance policy, took a polygraph exam and was cleared.
When the police were at a dead end, the police hired Nancy Myer, a psychic. She disagreed with the police. Her senses told her that Michael was the target of the murderer, likely because of his connections to the occult. Authorities discount this and believe that the biggest clue is the box that Rochelle’s body was under - it was a large box used to store professional-grade printing paper. This case is still unsolved.
Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4