Natalee Holloway Vanishes, Newlyweds Slain on Honeymoon and Other Notorious Vacation Nightmares
Acclaimed American Scientist Goes Missing in Greece -- Then Turns Up Brutally Murdered
Suzanne Eaton, a molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Germany, disappeared while out for a run on the Greek island of Crete on July 2, 2019. She had been visiting the island to attend a conference.
As her desperate family descended on Crete to help search for her, Eaton's story gripped the globe. But it ended in tragedy on July 8, when Eaton's body was found in a former WWII Nazi bunker. The 59-year-old had been sexually assaulted and suffocated. She also had minor stab wounds to her body.
A 27-year-old man named Yiannis Paraskakis was identified by local police as the suspect, and Paraskakis has since been charged with Eaton's rape and murder.
Natalee Holloway: Years-Old Aruba Mystery with Few Answers and No Body
When it comes to disappearances, few are as enduring in the public consciousness as that of 18-year-old Alabama high school graduate Natalee Holloway, who went missing in May 2005 while on a trip to Aruba with friends. There have been theories, sightings, arrests and accusations in the case — but more than 12 years later, few answers have been found and Holloway or her remains have not been located. Although Joran van der Sloot has long been suspected, he has never been charged in connection with her going missing. He is serving 28 years in a Peruvian prison for the 2010 murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores. Once released, he will likely be extradited to the United States to face charges for allegedly extorting Holloway's mother, Beth, out of $250,000 in exchange for information about her missing daughter. Holloway's father, Dave, continues to search for what happened to her.
Sisters on Safari Found Dead in Luxury Villa
Sisters Anne and Robin Korkki were on the vacation of a lifetime when they were found dead on Sept. 22, 2016, in their $2,000-a-night villa at the upscale Maia Luxury Resort and Spa on the Seychelles, an archipelago nation off the coast of East Africa. The sisters — described as close, outgoing and adventurous — were staying at the Maia after being on safari in Africa since mid-September, according to their Facebook pages. Seychelles police said that, according to an itinerary found at the hotel, they had already visited Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar. In December, police announced that "excess water in the lungs and brain due to acute combined drug intoxication," including a mix of alcohol, codeine and morphine, led to both sisters' deaths, which they called accidental.
Ex-Survivor Producer Kills Wife on Mexican Vacation
When the 41-year-old wife of former Survivor producer Bruce Beresford-Redman was reported missing in 2010 and found dead days later at Mexico's Moon Palace resort, police immediately set their sights on him. Hotel guests reported that the couple, who had been vacationing with their two young children, had allegedly been fighting the day before Monica Beresford-Redman's corpse — naked, strangled and beaten — was discovered in a sewage tank within sight of the couple's room. Prior to her death, Monica allegedly told family members that her husband was having an affair and they were going to Mexico in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, the Los Angeles Times reported. Bruce was convicted of Monica's murder in a Mexican court in 2015 and sentenced to 12 years in prison. He has maintained his claims of innocence from behind bars.
3-Year-Old Disappears from Family's Vacation Apartment
What started off for one British family as a trip abroad in the Portuguese village of Praia da Luz turned tragic when 3-year-old daughter Madeleine McCann vanished without a trace from their rented apartment on May 3, 2007. Police initially zeroed in on a British man living in Portugal before setting their sights on McCann's parents, Gerry and Kate. Those inquiries were ultimately dropped, however, and authorities began investigating a man who had assaulted five other British girls in resorts in the same area — though no charges were ever brought. Four other men declared suspects in 2013 have also since been cleared. After a decade-long investigation, thousands of leads and international attention, the whereabouts of the little girl remain a mystery. “The two themes that seem most appropriate to me as we reach this 10-year mark are perseverance and gratitude: We will go on, try our hardest, never give up and make the best of the life we have,” Madeleine's parents said in April 2017.
The Murder of an Amateur Photographer in Turkey
Sarai Sierra originally planned to travel to Turkey with a friend in January 2013 — but when her friend canceled, Sierra decided to go alone. A day before the 33-year-old mother of two was set to return to her home in Staten Island, New York, she disappeared. American and Turkish authorities searched for nearly two weeks before they found Sierra's body behind the old city walls in the Fatih district of Istanbul. She had been bludgeoned to death. Ziya Tasali, a homeless scrap metal collector, was charged with her slaying. He admitted to authorities that he killed the amateur photographer — who was out taking photos — after she encountered him and physically resisted his advances. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2014, the New York Times reports.
Backpacking Brits Slain in Thailand
A trip to paradise for British backpackers David Miller and Hannah Witheridge ended in violence when their battered bodies were found on Sept. 15, 2014, on a beach on the diving resort of Koh Tao in Thailand. The two had met on the island while staying at the same hotel. They suffered from head wounds, apparently after being beaten with a garden hoe, according to the Guardian. Witheridge had also been raped. Two Burmese migrants, Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, who denied being responsible, were sentenced to death in 2015 for the gruesome murders, the Associated Press reports. Human Rights Watch described the verdicts as "profoundly disturbing," pointing to questionable DNA evidence linking the two men to the crime and their accusations of torture at the hands of the police, the AP noted.
A Strange Death at L.A.'s Cecil Hotel
A maintenance worker discovered the body of 21-year-old Canadian tourist Elisa Lam inside a water tank on the roof of the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 19, 2013. Lam, who was visiting from Vancouver, Canada, had been missing for nearly three weeks. How she died became a subject of intense speculation and conspiracy theories. Much of that rumor centered around elevator surveillance video, released by police, of Lam's odd behavior hours before her disappearance. The video shows her, clad in a red hoodie, inside an elevator pushing buttons for multiple floors, peering out of the opened elevator and cautiously stepping out while waving her arms. Her death added to the low-budget tourist hotel's dark history: the "Night Stalker," Richard Ramirez, was a guest in 1985, as was Austrian journalist and serial killer Jack Unterweger, according to Los Angeles magazine. Four months after Lam's death, the L.A. coroner's office determined she died in an accidental drowning. But how she got onto the locked roof and into the water tank remains unclear.
Welsh Couple Fatally Shot on Honeymoon in Antigua
While on their two-week honeymoon in Antigua, Welsh newlyweds Ben and Catherine Mullany, both 31, were fatally shot in their luxurious beachside hotel room on July 28, 2008. The couple's killers, Avie Howell and Kaniel Martin, shot them in the back of the head before robbing them of a digital camera, mobile phone and a small quantity of cash, according to the Guardian. Catherine, a doctor, was killed instantly in the shooting. Her husband, a former police officer, died a week later. Three years after the murders, Howell and Martin were convicted and sentenced to life behind bars, the BBC reports. In 2014, Howell was reportedly shot to death in a prison escape.
Italian Newlywed Killed on Venice Boardwalk
Alice Gruppioni's dream of visiting L.A. turned fatal when the 32-year-old Italian newlywed was killed after Nathan Louis Campbell bulldozed his Dodge Avenger into pedestrians on the packed Venice boardwalk in California on Aug. 3, 2013. Seventeen others, including Gruppioni's husband, were injured. Witnesses said it looked like Campbell intentionally aimed his car at victims. During his trial, Campbell claimed he meant to shift the car into reverse and panicked when it went forward, the Los Angeles Times reported. But his defense was not persuasive and he was found guilty of second-degree murder, 17 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 10 counts of leaving the scene of an accident. In 2015, he was sentenced to 42 years to life in state prison, according to local TV station KTLA.