On June 14, 1927, not even two years removed from his second Tour de France victory, Bottecchia was found dead on the side of the road in the village of Poenis (lolololol), Italy, not far from his home. His beloved bike was nearby, but totally undamaged, a few feet away from his body. No skidmarks were found to indicate that Bottecchia was forced off the road.
However, Bottecchia was in rough shape. His skull was smashed in, his collarbone was snapped, and several other bones were badly broken. Theories abounded; many suspected he died in a bike crash, while other surmised he had been mortally wounded in a fight. However, authorities eventually settled on the absolutely ridiculous notion that he died of sun stroke (you know, cause that is usually consistent with blunt force trauma to the head and all).
The eventual cause of death added ammunition to conspiracy theorists who believed Bottecchia was killed for speaking out against Italian Authoritarian Benito Mussolini, and his death covered up to protect a government hit on the cyclist.
Whichever theory you choose to believe, Ottavio Bottecchia’s death has never been adequately explained, and it is likely that his murderer died without ever seeing the inside of a jail cell.
8. Morgan Dana Harrington
Morgan Harrington was an attractive, vivacious 20-year-old who was attending college at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia. On October 17, 2009, Morgan and a few friends drove from Blacksburg to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia to attend a Metallica concert.
While the opening band was performing, Morgan decided to go use the restroom, figuring it was better to miss the opening act than her beloved Metallica. She was never seen alive again.
After Morgan failed to return for the beginning of Metallica’s performance, her friends became worried and called her on her cell phone. Morgan explained that she had not been allowed back in the venue due to a “no re-entry” policy. However, her friends were confused because THERE WERE BATHROOMS INSIDE THE ARENA. Morgan told her friends not to worry about her and that she would find a ride home. They assumed she would be fine and stayed for the duration of the concert.
Witnesses saw Morgan outside the venue, and stated that she did not appear to be with anyone, adding more mystery to who or what would have made her exit the arena entirely. The last confirmed sightings of Morgan placed her walking alongside the road, possibly hitchhiking, some distance from the concert venue.
Morgan’s disappearance was investigated tirelessly for weeks, and finally came to an end with a gruesome discovery. A farm owner living several miles outside of Charlottesville found skeletal remains on the outskirts of his property, about two miles off the map from any public road. The remains were tested and confirmed to be those of Morgan Harrington. She had allegedly met a violent end, and there were signs that she had been raped.
No evidence has surfaced pointing to Morgan’s final moments, or what made her leave the arena, and nobody has been charged with her murder to date.