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Number 8 Reddit user named Jeff
There were no clues pointing to the identity of the driver or the model of the car, except for a small piece of plastic. The police posted a picture of the car part to Twitter and it was later picked up by Reddit. A user named “Jeff” subsequently identified the piece as belonging to the headlight of a Chevrolet pickup. Jeff, who’d worked as a vehicle inspector in Maryland, named the model and went back to watching football. A few hours later he reportedly saw the massive amount of attention his post had received and realized the full extent of his input. Reddit users applauded Jeff’s contribution and Rainwater’s family expressed their gratitude.
Number 7 Todd Matthews
For nearly 3 decades, she would only be known as “Tent Girl”. During the 1980s, his daughter married Todd Matthews. The man became intensely interested in the case that still haunted his father-in-law. In 1997, he set up his own website for Tent Girl to increase awareness about her case. His efforts proved successful in 1998, when Mathews found a description matching 24-year-old Barbara Ann Hackman Taylor.
Number 6 Julian Hernandez
Either that or a user named Throwaway0805049 had done it for him. The 18-year-old had problems with his social security number when he tried to apply for college scholarships. Julian talked to his school counsellor and the authorities started working on his case. Instead of taking him to preschool, Bobby Hernandez had run away with the child in 2002. They moved 700 miles, from Ohio to Alabama, and lived with tampered records and assumed names. Julian never confirmed that he was Throwaway0805049 and the post was later deleted but other Reddit users in the thread were convinced of the connection.
Number 4 Ellen Leach
Ellen Leach is among the Internet’s most effective amateur investigators. Since 2004, she’s reportedly contributed to solving at least eight cases across the United States. Leach’s family couldn’t afford to pay for higher education, so, for over 20 years she served prepared foods while working at a supermarket steam table. Using an outdated computer, she managed to dig up relevant information for a number of investigations.
Number 3 Celia Blay
Blay managed to convince the teenager not to go through with it, saving her life. She warned others online about a user named “Li Do”, which was one of Melchert-Dinkel’s aliases. For months, Blay gathered evidence regarding the man’s activity. They got enough information to determine his IP address and Minnesota residence.
Number 2 Bradley Willman
He started his investigations in the 1990s under aliases “Omnipotent” and “Garbie”. In the early 2000s Willman used a Trojan Horse to gain access to thousands of computers. He posted the virus as a picture-file attached to a message on websites that would’ve been of interest to the target. Once a computer was infected, Willman could search, access and retrieve files from it.
Number 1 William Moldt
In 1997, 40-year-old Moldt had called his girlfriend from a nightclub and told her he was heading home. For roughly 22 years William Moldt’s fate would remain a mystery. Then, in September 2019, Barry Fay, a former resident of a neighborhood in Wellington, Florida, used Google Earth to check out his previous residence. It was then that Fay noticed what looked like a submerged vehicle at the edge of a pond. He contacted one of the homeowner from the area, who confirmed Fay’s suspicions by using a drone to explore the shoreline behind his house.