A man has finally confessed to the 1979 of Etan Patz.While the case is far from solved, we still decided to look for other cold cases that were cracked after many years.
The cases cover everything from five teenagers locked inside a burning house to a woman allegedly killed by her stepchildren.
Robert Peterson, 14; John Schuessler, 13; and Anton Schuessler, 11; disappeared in October 1955.
Their naked bodies were later found near Chicago, in a Cook County forest preserve, according to an AP article from 2007.
After 40 years of no results, police eventually stumbled upon Kenneth Hansen while investigating horse killings and the 1977 disappearance of Helen Vorhees Brach. During the investigation, Special Agents John Rotunno and Jim Grady found people who implicated Hansen in the Schuessler-Peterson murders, the AP reported.
Hansen was eventually arrested in 1972 on an arson charge and later charged with killing the three boys. He was convicted in 1995 but the Illinois Appellate Court overturned the conviction five years later.
Hansen went on trial again in 2002 and was found guilty, according to the AP. He later died behind bars in 2007.
Jimmy Casino was killed with a shot to the back of the head execution style in 1987.
Casino, whose real name was James Lee Stockwell, was known as Orange County's strip club king, and was famous for his business schemes and extravagant lifestyle, The Los Angeles Times reported in 2008.
Richard C. Morris was charged in 2008 with murder for financial gain during the commission of a robbery, according to the Times. The arrest may have stemmed from a DNA match from Morris tied to a 2005 DUI arrest in Hawaii, the LA Times reported.
Melonie Biddersingh, 17, was living in Canada in 1994 with her father and stepmother when police found her body stuffed inside a burning suitcase.
But police were not able to identify her body until 2012 when they arrested the couple they believed were responsible for her death, The Daily Mail reported at the time.
When police found Biddersingh's remains, the body had 21 broken bones, and her fingerprints, hand prints, and footprints were burned off.
The case broke when someone called the Toronto police homicide squad with information. After travelling to Jamaica to visit Biddersingh's biological mother, who did not know her daughter was dead, police were led to her father Evertone Biddersingh and stepmother Elaine Biddersingh, The Daily Mail reported.
As of March 2012, the couple was being held in custody.
The six-year-old son of TV host John Walsh was decapitated in 1981.
Adam Walsh went missing from a California mall in 1981. Fishermen found his head in a canal the same year, ABC reported in 2008. The rest of his body was never recovered.
Police had long suspected Ottis Toole, who confessed to the crime twice and recanted each time, of killing the child. However, Toole confessed to killing hundreds of people and police dismissed most of his confession as lies.
But Toole's niece told John Walsh her uncle confessed to Adam's murder on his prison deathbed, ABC reported.
Police officially declared the case closed in 2008.
Adam's death prompted his father to launch the popular television show 'America's Most Wanted.'
Maria Ridulph disappeared in 1957 when she was only 7 years old. Her best friend at the time, Kathy Chapman, said a neighbourhood man named 'Johnny' offered them piggyback rides.
Kathy ran home to get mittens and when she came back 'Johnny' and Maria were gone, the AP reported in 2011.
The girls' remains were found in 1958 near Sycamore, Ill. Police initially suspected Jack Daniel McCullough who lived near the Ridulph family. However, McCullough claimed he had been on a train from Rockford to Chicago when Maria was abducted, the AP reported.
But in 2010, police had a break in the case when they interviewed a woman who dated McCullough in 1957. When the woman searched through personal items, she found an unused train ticket for the same route the day Maria went missing.
Police also found McCullough had given a ride to a relative during the time he had claimed to be on the train. Kathy was then able to identify a photo of the teenaged 'Johnny' as the man who offered Maria a piggyback ride.
McCullough pleaded not guilty in September 211 to charges of kidnapping and murder, Northern Star reported.
Diane Maxwell Jackson was forced into a shack near her workplace in 1969 where she was raped, strangled, and stabbed to death.
Police gathered latent prints from Jackson's car but no suspects were identified and the prints were filed away, according to the FBI.
In 1989 her brother David Maxwell, a law enforcement officer in Texas, reopened the case and asked Houston police to run the latent prints through the system. Houston police didn't score any hits but the FBI's fingerprint system returned 20 potential matches.
Police were then able to narrow the suspect list down to James Ray Davis, according to the FBI. Officers found Davis, who eventually confessed, living near the Texas-Arkansas.
Davis pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison in 2003.
Carla Ann Austin was killed in 1999. Her aunt first reported her missing in August of that year but remains weren't found until three months later, KFVS Channel 12 reported.
Austin's body was found inside a patch of trees off a field road.
It took 13 years, but in early 2012 police arrested Austin's stepdaughters, another member of her late husband's family, and a family friend, according to KFVS.
Police said they interviewed witnesses who were at the bar Austin visited before she died. The night she died, witnesses reported she and the four suspects were arguing because the suspects accused her of killing her late husband Mike Austin.
Vietnam veteran Gerald 'Jerry' Jackson was stabbed 50 times and found dead in his apartment in 1972.
His car radio was stolen and his apartment ransacked, The TODAY Show reported in 2008.
30-eight years later, Gabrielle Wimer, a criminal justice major interning at the San Diego Police Department, began combing through cold case files and came across Jackson's murder.
When she saw the case contained fingerprints, Wimer sent the prints to the FBI, the TODAY Show reported. And three months later, the FBI found a match to the prints.
Gerald Metcalf, 60, was arrested in Texas in 2008. He ultimately pleaded guilty in 2010 to second-degree murder, according to SDNews.com
Seven-year-old Dalbert Aposhian went fishing in San Diego with a friend in 1933 but never returned home. Six days later his body washed up in the San Diego Bay, U-T San Diego reported in 2005.
At the time of the incident, an autopsy surgeon declared the boy had been mutilated and sodomized, calling the incident the work of a 'fiend.'
But the case went unsolved, making Aposhian one of the area sheriff's department's 300 unsolved murders since 1933, according to that news report.
However, in 2005, detectives learned Dalbert hadn't been murdered but had drowned. And the injuries to his body weren't actually the work of a fiend but of fish and crustaceans that devoured the body while it was in the bay, U-T San Diego reported.
Detectives determined that his wounds came from his time in the water, something investigators in the 1930s were not as equipped to do.
Aposhian's parents reportedly died thinking their son had been murdered.
One of New Jersey's longest-running cold cases was put to rest last year after a man confessed to the crime.
Melvin Pittman, Ernest Taylor, Alvin Turner, Randy Johnson and Michael McDowell were last seen in 1978 on a busy street in Newark, the AP reported in 2011.
Philander Hampton told police in 2008 that he brought the boys to an abandoned house in Newark with the promise of odd jobs. He said he then locked the boys in the house and set it on fire, according to the AP.
Hampton tried to recant the confession but finally pleaded guilty in 2011, the AP reported.
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