Police Detectives Discuss Disturbing Cases They Wish Were Never Solved

Given the nature of many crimes, you are better off not knowing who had committed them. Sometimes the answer is too hard to bear or it may not result in the desired outcome.

The -life police detectives here discuss the acts that they wished had gone unsolved, whether for tragic reasons, humorous ones, or gruesome ones. These stories, all from Reddit, are of real-life stories, leading you to the answer that, yes, there are answers that even law enforcement didn’t wish to find.

A Lethal Dose Of Morphine

From Redditor /u/getthatsugarcrisp:

I had been alerted to a well-known local philanthropist who passed. These were the days where physician-assisted euthanasia was illegal in most of the developed world.

This man in question I knew quite well, and he had been suffering from a very serious terminal illness that was going to kill him before his 40th birthday, shattering his family, especially his two young children.

He was always donating to local charities, he gave a struggling single mother $25,000 at Christmas one year so she could pay off her debts, repair her car, buy and presents for her children.

An autopsy had determined that he had been murdered, intentional overdose of morphine. The Authority and Department of Justice wanted us to investigate and bring the person who essentially [had killed] him to justice.

We chalked it up [to the fact] that there was no way we could ever determine who it was that killed him.

Years later, his wife sent our department a letter saying she gave her husband the lethal dose to put him out of his misery.

I wish I had never known.

She was brought in for an interview and to write her statement of confession.

We had no other supporting evidence to prove she had done it, but one thing she mentioned was his “dying wish” to end his suffering.

The Crown Prosecutor declined to pursue as the likelihood of conviction was low.

Swung The Kid Around By His Ankles

From Redditor /u/camp_anawanna__:

Bit of background: We are often, if not always, dispatched to rescue calls depending on the severity/type, due to the fact that we are closer than FD. We responded to a 4-year-old who was unconscious and vomiting. Without getting into the details, it didn’t take long after my arrival to realize it was a coverup. My partner and I already knew where this incident was headed, but you keep your head down and try and do the job without getting emotional.

Mother and father both adamantly lied that the child had just eaten some junk food and had gone to sleep before he started vomiting. Without getting into the details, investigation revealed that the father was mad at the child for eating some junk food. So he grabbed the child by the ankles and swung him around the house into furniture all over the home, nearly killing him.

It’s one of those cases that you don’t want to investigate because you know ahead of time what the outcome is going to be and how bad it’s going to get.

Mom’s Boyfriend Killed Her Child

From Redditor /u/yosemitesambo:

Had an 18-month-old murdered by his mom’s boyfriend. I don’t know if it was intentional or accidental.

Mom found the kid after she got off work. He was staged in his crib all tucked in, but hadn’t been breathing for several hours. Suspect had cut his wrists, written an apology in his blood on the bathroom wall: “I’m sorry Tammy.” The suspect had laid down in bed to wait to bleed out. Both wrists. We could tell because of the blood pooling on the bed.

It took too long so the suspect got up and left the house, and I didn’t care to find him to save him from his suicide attempt. I would have tried to to save the guy so he could go to court, but his death was easier and seemed more just. But part of the job requires us to look.

We put out a search on his car, and received a hit immediately. The suspect had driven into a neighboring county out in the country. He drove into a concrete barrier, going an estimated 80 mph. He wasn’t belted-in and was ejected through the windshield. The vehicle rolled and landed on him. The coroner couldn’t tell which impact killed him.

I still remember the kid’s full name. His mother’s name. I remember my [sergeant] saying, “[The victim] hasn’t been down long, he’s got a full belly,” while I hooked up an AED and my partner did CPR. I remember thinking, “He’s not full, his stomach is distended. He’s been down too long.”

This was some years ago. The guys on the case all got Grand Cordon Awards. I wear the ribbon on my class A’s. We didn’t do anything though really. It’s just a reminder of how f*cked up it gets.

That was a time I didn’t want to find a suspect.

Two Sexual Offenders Killed In A Two-Month Span

From a deleted user:

I really never wanted to find the answer to two particular murders in my area. Two known offenders were killed in the of eight weeks. One assaulted a child, the other used to drug women. The two issues were unrelated.

Only one of the alleged offenders was caught (also a scumbag). He was released after a week due to lack of evidence.

I know it’s bad to wish death on , but these two blokes were just rancid. As a cop, it was my job to find the offenders, but as a human I had no interest in solving the issue at all. Luckily I was never in charge of the investigations.

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Woman Claimed Someone Had Broken In And Used Her Toilet

From Redditor /u/monstere316:

A lady wanted us to come out and investigate because she believed while she was out, two people broke into her home and crapped in her toilet. Just one of them though, while the other was acting as a lookout. Didn’t really delve into that one.

Amish Men Burning Wood Scraps

From Redditor /u/Davran:

I’m not a cop, but I do investigate and enforce against environmental violations. [About] 99% of the time I deal with companies who have environmental staff or attorneys that can address issues and work with us to resolve them. They have deep pockets, and they know they screwed up. Every once in a while, though, I get something a little different.

A few months back, I got a call from one of our actual cops who received a complaint. Turns out a couple of Amish guys decided to open a sawmill. They got a hold of an old steel tank, had someone weld a chimney on it, and torch a hole for a door. They used it to burn all of their wood scraps (branches, bark, waste pieces, etc.). Unfortunately, the property they were doing it on was across the street from some jerk who complained, so I had to investigate.

I dragged my feet for a while because I knew that once I found a violation (operating an non-permitted emission source) I would have to act on it, but I can’t sit on forever, so I had to go out there. We explained everything to the gentlemen, who were confused, but very nice about the whole situation, and fortunately, our legal folks were fine with waiving any penalties so long as they stopped doing what they were doing.

I really hope I didn’t put those guys out of business.

Beat Up A Guy Who Had Crimes Against Children

From Redditor /u/BlueStateBoy:

Not the cop, but the guy they didn’t want to find.

In 1983 [I] stopped a guy that was beating a 6-year-old. I beat him pretty bad and got arrested when the cops got there. Several witnesses came forward and gave statements, and the cops ran a “wants and warrants” check and found he had a conviction for “crimes against children” (still don’t know what that is) and a restraining order to stay away from children.

The sergeant made me a deal on the scene. They would not charge me with aggravated assault if I left and forgot they had me in custody.

Deceased Children By The Interstate

From Redditor /u/a_social_antisocial:

My uncle was a cop in Florida in the ’90s. They were finding deceased children by the interstate for maybe five years or so before my uncle retired. No suspects, kids abducted within 100 miles or so. At the peak, it’d be one body every two months, but usually they found two a year. Never been solved.

After he retired, evidence in some of those cases got destroyed in a flood. For like 10 years after uncle’s retirement, his department would call him when a similar case came through, so he’d reproduce the details for them. He stopped responding to those requests at some point, said he wants to live the rest of his life without seeing another child who had passed.

Called In On A Well-Being Check

From Redditor /u/WarOtter:

Every time you smelled “that” smell on a welfare check.

The smell of decomposition.

Usually gets really strong just as you get up to the door.

Bystander Effect Takes Over

From Redditor /u/Rahbek23:

My sister had a boyfriend that was a [law enforcement officer] who told a story about this very scary phenomenon.

A guy had been doing some advances on a girl on a train and she wasn’t having it, but he refused to call it quits. A bystander (guy around 30) actually intervenes and tell him to cut it out and go away. The bad guy leaves, and everything is fine, but apparently his mates were elsewhere in the train, so they get off at the same station as the guy that intervened and begins beating him.

This is where the police are called – they arrive a few minutes later and find that the guy is still on the ground being beaten by these five/six people, while 15-20 other people were just looking. The guy I knew was furious that no one as much as told them to stop, much less intervened (admittedly that can be dangerous, but there were no weapons involved).


From Redditor /u/JobberTrev:

One time I had to pick up a soldier who had shot his team leader and a friend in Iraq/Afghanistan. It was about a 10-minute drive from where I picked him up.

I didn’t say anything. I felt if I did, I would get too emotional towards him on his actions. So I just kept my mouth shut.

She Vandalized His Car

From Redditor /u/Socialistpiggy:

Just this past weekend, a guy’s car was just destroyed. [It was a] 2013 Chrysler 300, pretty nice. Girl’s name etched into both sides, all windows smashed. Huge rock through the sunroof. Massive dent to the hood from something unknown. All four tires flat. Just destroyed this car.

The guy tells us his ex-girlfriend did it. She is mad because he has a new girlfriend.

We go over to the ex-girlfriend’s apartment (same apartment complex) where we find an eviction notice on the door. She claims she had no idea who ruined the car… though we all know she did it. She further explains this guy left her and his four kids and ran off with neighbor chick, and [stopped] paying the power, gas, rent, etc. without telling her. When she came home today, she finds out bills haven’t been paid and they are getting evicted. She had quit her last job because he was a controlling d*ck and didn’t like her working, and had only just recently started working again. Alright, kind of feel bad, but she still did something illegal, so going to investigate further.

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We head back to the car owner, who is pissed we didn’t arrest her and is now pissing me off. I tell him we are going to contact the rental office to look at the cameras, casually mentioning that his kids are getting evicted. Condescending, self-centered prick corrects me and tells me only three of the four are his kids. That it’s not his problem, those are her kids and she needs to take care of them. We had words. He threatened to complain, never did or hasn’t yet.

I’m not going out of my way to investigate further. I’m sure a detective will get around to it in a few weeks. Too bad I know from previous calls the cameras at the… apartment complex only retain for about three or four days.

That being said, this case would have never been prosecuted. First, if she admitted that she did it, she may well have had a defense to the charge. She claimed that she used her tax return to help buy the car, which he didn’t dispute. That makes it shared property. You are free to destroy your own things.

Second, this guy never intended to press charges. He needs her to take care of his kids. He sure wasn’t going to do it. All that would have happened if she had gone to jail is she would have lost her job for missing work, then been out in a few days. He would have never shown up to court.

Either way, he had been arrested four times for various domestic violence-related offenses and she never shows up to court, because she needs him out of jail for money to support the kids. Same thing would have happened in this case. He just wanted to finally see her get arrested.

But he most definitely did not do it to himself. For one, the idiot didn’t have car insurance, which was one of the biggest reasons he was upset. When I talked to the ex-girlfriend, everyone in that conversation knew she was “responsible.” For one, I don’t think she did it all by herself; she had help. Two, she was quite proud of her work. She didn’t admit to doing it, but she shared her displeasure for how much he loved that car.

The Prostitute With The Bounced Check

From Redditor /u/reirarei:

A hooker with a nasty attitude screamed at me for fifteen minutes about how a check one of her less scrupulous clients had given her had bounced. Considering she didn’t know who he was or where we could find him, and we weren’t about to set up 24/7 surveillance to identify her John, we told her in no certain terms to next time take cash.

Refused To Turn On His Co-Worker

From Redditor /u/9gagiscancer:

The case of why I got fired.

A co-worker of mine had done something wrong. Nothing horrible, but a mere mistake. Though I was there at the time, I did not care. I told him to pay better attention next time, and be done with it.

But my superiors did not agree. They wanted him gone, so they ordered – yes, ordered – me to make the facts worse than they actually were. I was supposed to lie for them. I refused on the spot, and they told me that my actions could harm my career. I said I did not care, and that officers from the Army should not behave in such a way.

Before I knew it, they found someone else that lied about what he did and about what I did. As we had no way of disproving what they told people we did, we both got fired without honors. It was done publicly, stripped of rank and honors. We both laughed and walked away, said this is not the kind of people we wanted to work for in the first place. And that they could go and screw themselves. We were both police officers.

I got a new job shortly after that and made almost twice the money I did there. Best decision of my life, and I have no regrets for not putting in a false statement. So I decided not to press charges because we had no way of proving we did not do the things they claimed we did.

Disturbances Involving Naked People

From Redditor /u/Tyguy462:

Anything involving a naked person – man or woman. It’s never a fun time (drugs/mental illness/poo flinging).

Noise Complaint Revenge

From Redditor /u/PirateKilt:

Rolling along during early evening of a mid-shift patrol, I got a radio call from dispatch:

Dispatch: “Patrol-1, Dispatch, respond to 1234 XYZ Street, contact complainant.”

Recognizing the address, I replied back, “Dispatch, Patrol-1, mark us en route. Loud noise complaint yet again from that address?”

Dispatch: “Patrol-1, Dispatch, that’s a negative. Subject has a damage complaint.”

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The subject at that address had been a frequent flier member of our seemingly nightly list of loud noise complaints for the area, always having beer-fueled parties with his buddies, often dragging his large speakers out onto his back patio to entertain themselves (and the surrounding three blocks) with their taste in tunes.

Pulling up out front, we exited the patrol car and approached the house, sort of surprised at it being so quiet for the time of night. Subject opens the front door and steps out to greet us dressed in the standard attire: jeans, no shirt, no shoes. (It’s almost like a uniform.) He immediately starts to yell at us.

Average Joe: “Always coming around to bother us when we’re just having a little fun, but where were you when I needed you to do your job?”

Me: “You are right, Joe, this is a change to have you calling us instead of the normal routine. What’s going on?”

“Here, I’ll show you.” He then walked around the side of the house (much to my relief, as I was fairly sure we’d find piles of paperwork-inspiring problems if we’d gone through the house) to the side gate and into the backyard. Bemused, we followed along, coming to a stop as Joe [said], “I just got home to find this,” pointed with both hands and just starts cursing.

His two tower speakers were there, but the wires had been cut several times. Each of the speakers themselves bore several stabbing holes. From the size of the holes, I’m guessing someone used one of those large Rambo knives to vent their frustrations over lost sleep. To top it all off, as I stepped closer to get a better look at the damage, the smell of gasoline hit me. They had doused both towers with gas and even poured some inside each one.

Me: “Well, Joe, this all looks like the work of someone with some emotional investment in what they were doing. If these had been people we’d be looking for the girlfriend or wife. Obviously this was someone who knew you. Do you have anyone you’ve made angry that you know of?”

My partner devolved into an unexpected coughing fit, hiding his mouth behind his fist.

Joe was doing his best impersonation of a groundhog with the comment flying high over his head. “No way man,” he said. “This had to be one of those idiots that always calls you whenever I have a few friends over. You should pull that list to find out who did this!”

Me: “Hmmmm. Great idea, Joe. We’ll do that. Here, let us get a few photos; we already have your info on file, so we should be able to put the report together pretty easy.”

Minutes later, [while we were] seat belting back into the car as we calling in clear to dispatch, I look over at my partner, “Dinner?” He nodded.


Raped And Assaulted By His Own Parents

From Redditor /u/sparkle_dick:

I worked with a guy who was a former CO, he told me about one of the inmates who was raped and assaulted by his parents. He was in prison for killing them, and based on his story, I don’t think he was wrong.

Lots Of Repeat Offenders

From Redditor /u/HonoraryCassowary:

My mom was a small-town reporter for years, and she said there were always Ought To Be Killeds (or OBKs for short) around – people who had had the cops called on them repeatedly for assault, domestic violence, child abuse, etc. If they died because they committed the same damn crime they committed 20 times before, it “ought” to have happened.

For example, a guy who repeatedly had the cops called on him for domestic disturbances threatened his girlfriend with a gun and then later the gun “went off while he was cleaning it.” Well, they had an explanation. Why dig further?

He Told A Grand Story

From Redditor /u/BlueHerogen:

Had a guy report he had been kidnapped and drugged against his will. He had managed to escape and had run across town to evade his captors. I was able to rendezvous with him and bring him back to the station.

He told me this grand story about being taken across the county and by people he thought were his family, no less. When I asked him their names and where he had been held, he got all sheepish and said he didn’t want to make enemies and just wanted to go home.

I started driving him towards his home and dropped him off at a gas station just outside my jurisdiction. Sorry neighboring detachment, he’s your problem now.

Crimes Ignored In A Large City

From a deleted user:

Large city police officer here. Every day there are jobs we get that we don’t really care about. Most people would be surprised if we said we found stolen cars and returned them to the owner without much investigation afterwards.

Most retails thefts in the city are reported and receive no further investigation. If all the store has is a short video of a dude wearing a hoodie walking out a store with $40 bucks worth of merchandise, there’s not going be much investigating. A retail theft will never be a big city priority.

Vandalism, unless there is a video of it, we personally witness it, or we get a confession, [then] we can’t arrest. We just take the report and refer them elsewhere.