In the absence of many forensic tools yet to be invented, 18th-century investigators had their work cut out for them. This was especially true in murder cases where the victim’s body was never found. These are called bodiless murders or no-body cases. In the past, no-body cases made it nearly impossible to convict anyone of murder—what if the “victim” actually reappeared alive and well, after their accused murderer had been executed? That exact scenario, where the victim came “back to life,” happened at least two times. There have been an estimated 500 trials for no-body cases in the United States as of 2020. Of those 500 trials, approximately 40 cases have been solved in 15 states. On September 19th, 2005, the state of Georgia solved its first no-body case when it convicted the murderer of 19-year-old Shannon Melendi.
Content Warnings: murder, sexual assault, abductions & missing persons, harm to a pregnant person, police negligence
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This episode was researched by Haley Gray and written by Andrea Marshbank.
Content editing by Brittney Martinez.
Produced by Neeks at WeTalkofDreams – check him out on Twitter @WeTalkofDreams or wetalkofdreams.com
Production assisted by Jesse Hawke
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