When a couple from Ohio purchased an old house built around the 1940s', they got a lot more than they bargained for. With it being such an old structure, they decided to renovate, breathe some life into their new home. The house seemed to have all the signs of it falling apart. From mold to dilapidated walls which can easily crumble and seriously injure someone. When it comes to houses, the foundation is key, yet they decided to start at the top
So, they began upstairs and ended in the basement where the most unused items are stored. With this historical house came many amazing discoveries, but it also came with a shocking truth. It turned out to be something out of a horror movie and eventually, their discoveries got so out of hand the FBI had to get involved..
DIY Renovations and All the Time in the World
The married couple from Ohio started with a ton of enthusiasm and big hopes. The husband, 35 years old, loved being hands-on and doing most of the renovations himself. His confidence at this stage was skyrocketing and everything seemed normal about the house. The couple finally moved all their belongings in and the renovations were finally about to start.
Cleveland seemed like a great place to start their new lives and they had all the time in the world for it. Knowing very well the whole process could take many years, they committed to this house and spent all their time dedicating themselves to getting it fixed up.
The Top Was Done and the Basement Was Calling
After most of the renovations were done on the top two floors, they started making their way to the basement. The top two floors were looking good, they were proud of the work they had put in, and with so much love and energy put into their work, they were excited to round it all off by turning the last level upside down and inside out.
Unfortunately, they had no idea what they were about to stumble upon. They experienced some minor difficulties with their renovations thus far, which considering how old the house is, was quite surprising. We guess the real difficulties were kept for last.
The Mysterious Vintage Suitcase
The couple entered the basement and snapped some photos of the graffiti on the walls together with some walls and areas they wanted to renovate. They thought very little of the graffiti as it looked like the previous owners had some kids who drew on it. After assessing the work that needed to be done, they found their first suspicious object. It was a suitcase wedged between two wooden slabs in the basement roof.
Before reaching for the suitcase a few walls and pieces of the ceiling fell down around him, just missing his head. That should have been the first sign of a world of bizarre things to happen over the next few weeks. This was where the events started which would change their lives forever.
A Slow Buildup to an Unexpected Find
The couple decided to procrastinate with the opening of the suitcase. They allowed their imaginations to run wild and the excitement to build, each taking turns at guessing what it could be carrying inside. With a suitcase this old, the possibilities are endless. From ancient war items of clothing to sports cards, there was no limit to what this couple was guessing. They dragged the suitcase outside, cleaned the dust off, and prepared to open it.
As they started opening the old, dusty, gray, and green colored suitcase, they were very confused as to what they saw. After a little more digging, they realized there was far more than meets the eye.
Them First of Many Life-Changing Discoveries
The much anticipated grand opening finally came about and what the couple saw at first was a rectangular object covered in very old yellow wax paper. At first, they were disappointed but it did not stop them from digging a bit deeper. They soon tore it open and found their wildest dreams had just come true. They hit the jackpot when the rectangular bundles turned out to be wads of cash.
Old cash, in perfect condition, piles of it. The couple's first reaction was to be overjoyed. They were planning to use the cash to contribute to the renovations, which surprisingly enough, they did. Yet, there was so much more still to be discovered and they had no idea how much more they were still in for.
The First Wad of Cash Succumbed to More Than $20K
While the husband unwrapped the bundles of cash, they both soon realized that this was not just a lucky note you find as a placeholder in a book at the bookstore, this was big money. After the couple peeled away all the old waxy layers of paper from the note, they realized their discovery was worth $20,000 in cash.
Their immediate estimation was only around $2000 so you can imagine their surprise when the notes of 50 and 100 dollar bills started piling up and ended up being $18,000 more than they predicted. At this stage of their discovery, involving the FBI didn't even cross their minds. Besides, why would anyone want to just give $20K away they found in a house they just paid for?
They Were Now Riddled With So Many Questions
No one finds $20.000 worth of money and doesn't try to make any sense of it. Their minds were riddles with questions and assumptions. Their most prominent line of thought was whether or not the money was worth more now due to the date it was printed. The dates ranged between 1928 and 1934 but aside from the dates, there were no other clues as to why it was there, who had hidden it there, or why.
It was the ultimate mystery that had the couple's minds working overtime and they had no idea where to start looking for clues. The money was clearly well hidden and all they knew at this stage was that whoever hid the money, did not want anyone to find it. Why was the money still in such perfect condition? Why was it never used? Why was it in their basement?
Shedding Light on the Value of Their Discovery
The couple decided to do some serious digging into finding clues to this anonymous money mystery. After many assumptions and false predictions, the husband decided the suitcase had to be from the 1950s due to its style and color scheme. After turning all their attention to the suitcase in the hopes of some answers, they noticed a small folded newspaper right at the bottom of it.
It was an old newspaper article from 25 March 1951, over 70 years old. Inside was an article from The Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The data clearly indicated that the money had been hidden away in the suitcase for a very long time. Before doing anything with the money, the couple decided to speak to someone who could shed more light on the value of these old bills.
They Decided to Count Their Blessings
As it turned out, the money was worth more than the number on the bills added up to. After seeing an expert on the value of the money, they discovered the $20K was now worth $23K. The couple was completely blown away by the discovery and after much confusion decided to accept their new mini fortune as a gift to help them with furthering their renovations. Besides, renovations come at a hefty price.
Unfortunately, they were still baffled by the many questions that came with their discovery. Why? Where? When? As much as the questions baffled them, they tried hard to just accept it and enjoy their blessings. This was still only the beginning of many more questions to be baffled by.
When Tabloids Got a Whiff of the Story It Sparked off Great Interest
Newspapers across town heard of the couple's story and it received tons of media attention. The couple was new to town and at the same time, sparked off many questions pondered by the public. The coupe became somewhat famous as the tabloids covered it not only in their own little town, but spreading across the country and international waters.
The story made headlines and became a media sensation as so many wanted to get to the bottom of it. The story had people searching their own homes in the hopes to find some old money. The couple embraced their luck and quick rise to fame for a short while until further discoveries soon made the limelight turn into a creepy concern.
The Husband Discovers a Second Suitcase Filled With Cash
After the dust settled on the media front, the couple continued to renovate their basement area. Never in their wildest dreams did they think they would find more money, let alone the horrific findings to follow. Hitting the jackpot very seldomly happens twice in a lifetime and when the husband came across another suitcase filled with cash, he was gobsmacked. Again, it was found in the ceiling area of the basement covered in dust.
After giving it a good clean the husband waited for his wife to return home and didn't hesitate to open it with her when she arrived. In the hopes to find more clues to their discoveries they quickly began digging. However, this one gave even fewer clues than the previous, with no dates or newspapers anywhere.
Moments Before the Wife Arrived to Open the Second Suitcase
Before the wife arrived home the husband took some photos of the two identical suitcases next to each other to document their surreal events of the most bizarre findings during home renovations. This alone sounded like it would make a good series. After all the media attention during their first find, they decided to keep this one to themselves. Staring at the suitcases, the man could only assume that it was filled with more cash to the same equivalent as the first suitcase.
He was in for a much bigger surprise. This, of course, had the couple even more excited about further and deeper renovation plans as they now believed the house could actually be filled with suitcases filled with cash. There were more findings, but they didn’t bring joy as the money did.
Their Second Big Reveal Left Them With Mixed Emotions
Unlike the first suitcase, this second one had money stacked in a different way. It was done in a way that fits a whole lot more into the case. It was placed all lined up in small stacks with no space for anything else in the case. Many more questions soon surfaced yet again. Where did it come from? Who had placed it there and why? The couple initially thought this suitcase would contain more or less the same amount as the previous one but it contained so much more.
This was clearly not just luck anymore. There was something seriously intriguing and baffling about their findings. The couple, nonetheless, were completely blown away with their discovery. The big reveal they shared had them both drowning in mixed emotions.
The Money Was Placed Differently to the First Suitcase
The money was very neatly bundled together using paperclips. The different dollar bills were stacked together with the bills to their same value. They ranged from $20 bills up to $100 bills. Again they decided to take it to experts to have it valued as these bills also dated back to over 70 years, just like the first suitcase. Due to the way the money was placed, they knew this find would be the motherload, bigger than the previous one.
This was not more than just a lucky draw, a jackpot, a potluck, a magical once-off discovery. There was now so much more to be found and they knew it. Unfortunately, this suitcase was the last happy discovery to a long line of horrific ones they would soon stumble upon.
Their Predictions Were Right
Lo and behold, the couple was right. The money estimated did, indeed, hold much more than the previous suitcase. After a thorough counting session, the money came to a whopping $45.000. The amount they have now discovered through the two suitcases amounted to a total of $68.000. The couple’s mini fortune found in their new home humbled them tremendously.
They could have very easily spent the money on luxury items like fancy clothes and vehicles, but they knew it was meant for the renovations which they were so passionate about finally finishing. They set the money aside for safekeeping while they decided which renovation project needed it next. As they went along they spent the money on the necessary next steps to finishing their home.
A Small Basement Door Sparked up Intrigue in the Hopes for More Cash
All these discoveries now had the couple wondering what their new home was used for? The possibilities were endless. It could have been for drug or weapon smuggling. It could have been anything. Their imaginations were running wild and through all of this speculation, they were hoping to find more money. They did, however, make more discoveries but it was not money. It was from here on out that things became quite dark.
Before purchasing the house, the realtor had told the couple that the mysterious door in the basement was covering the water tank so they weren't phased by it at all. The door was small like a cupboard door but had they not found all that cash stashed away, the need to explore what was behind it would not have existed.
Where the Horror Began - Husband Breaks Through Mystery Door
Without giving it too much thought, the husband broke the tiny door open in search of more clues or cash. It was not as easy as it sounds as there were layers of locks to get through. What he discovered was most certainly not a hot water tank. In fact, the realtor could not have been more wrong. With the tiny door now broken wide open the husband discovered a massive room with wooden floors and four carpets scattered across it.
By the looks of the carpets, it seemed that the room had been used frequently. What made no sense was how it could have been used as the room was so locked away, almost impossible to get in and out from. There were no windows or indications of movement from the other parts of the house to this dingy room.
They Knew the House Held Secrets Darker Than They Could Imagine
After discovering suitcases filled with cash, this new discovery seemed a lot more creepy and it made the couple very uneasy. The room was clearly hidden really well and whoever made it, did not want anyone going in, or escaping. The couple had by now already been living in their new home for a few years and it shocked them that they never knew about the room. After a brief exploring of the room, they knew they had to search every corner to get to the bottom of what was going on.
The mood got darker, something felt wrong. They knew from that moment on that their new dream home had secrets and they decided to dig deep to expose them. The couple entered the room and started searching…
A Hidden Safe and the Brown Leather Briefcase
They discovered that the walls had been soundproofed with a white plastic tarp. The couple felt uneasy but knew it needed to be done. The room quickly started turning into a crime scene documentary playing out before their very eyes. They stayed positive and believed there were more hidden treasures. What they found was far from treasurable. It was a leather briefcase filled with valuables, antique jewelry, and envelopes filled with cash from all around the world.
The items were of great value to someone, or perhaps even a few people. After digging deeper into the room they discovered a hidden black safe tucked away in the corner. It was hard to see at first but as soon as they found it, the couple got to work on opening it. A sense of horror and dread washed over them.
The Note That Broke Them
The husband finally managed to break open the safe by cutting through the locks with industrial bolt cutters. They discovered many things in this safe but the first thing that jumped at them was the note. The horrific note stated: "save yourself" in big, bold letters. The paper looked old and left the couple with a very nauseating feeling in their stomachs. Was this a prank left by the previous owners?
It all seemed so far-fetched that it really messed with the couple's heads. Never having been in a situation like this before, the couple seemed confused as to what further steps to take concerning the matter, but this was only the beginning. At this point, the couple still felt it was all manageable, that they didn't need to involve authorities.
They Found Coded Tapes Which Made No Sense
Underneath the note, they saw white letters painted onto the safe door which stated: "DO NOT". It was covering a box of tapes. There they were standing in their new home in Cleveland, Ohio caught in the middle of a creepy mystery. They had no idea as to what could have been recorded on these videotapes. Their imaginations were running wilder than ever with every conclusion leading them to a dark place.
The couple's new discoveries had them completely freaked out and the blanket of discomfort covering them was now alarming enough to consider calling the FBI. The husband dug a little deeper for clues and found the tapes to be slightly more recent than the briefcase. They also had codes written on them which, just like everything else in that basement, made no sense.
The Devastating Content on the Video Tapes
Spending hours trying to decipher the codes, the couple decided to rather forget about the tapes. The codes included numbers like 1195; IV; 11195; V and 194. At first, they thought the numbers were dates or an indication of a sequence. All the codes did was lead them further down a rabbit hole. After deciding to just leave the tapes, they committed to not watching the content. All the couple wanted was to renovate their home and live happily ever after. Instead, they have opened a whole can of worms which made them feel uneasy in their own home.
The couple's obsession with the tapes grew exponentially high and they eventually caved in. The content on the tapes was so horrific that it changed their lives forever. They knew then and there that the situation was too bad for them to handle by themselves.
They Called the Authorities and the Criminal Investigation Began
This had now turned into a serious investigation that needed to be done by the FBI. The truth was that their beautiful Cleveland home was in fact, a crime scene. Watching the tapes sent chills down their spines. Their dreams of finishing their Cleveland home renovations had to be put on hold as authorities had to be called in. They watched more of the footage on the other tapes and discovered them all to share the same type of content.
Disturbing, horrific, and inhumane according to sources. The FBI arrived and immediately got their warrant for a criminal investigation and started inspecting the home thoroughly for further clues to solve this disturbing case. The story very quickly received more media attention than the first suitcase filled with cash ever did.
Information Regarding Video Content Unavailable
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the case, authorities asked the couple to not share any information about the content they witnessed on the videotapes. The couple was forbidden to share the events on their social media or with friends. The husband took down everything he shared on his social media and made a statement that said: "The reason why I took everything down was at the request of the Sheriff." The story was taken down from Reddit and information concerning the tapes is nowhere to be found, until this day.
The Sheriff did mention that content might be exposed at a later stage once the case was closed, but we have not received or been able to find any information regarding this matter. Despite the world desperately wanting to know about the footage, possible links could be destroyed to solve the case.
Another Unsolved Mystery Leaving Us Uneasy and Wanting
After the story was removed from media platforms, much of the details of the Ohio home renovation discoveries are left to our imagination. Details like video content and other discoveries have been sealed. According to the investigators and authorities, all will be revealed after the case has been closed. Unfortunately, we also can't help but doubt this fact as it's been so long with no closure in sight.
Perhaps one day it will all be revealed but who knows? For now, we respect the privacy of the case and also take into consideration that many of the possible answers could be hindered through exposure. Perhaps the content reveals family bloodlines connecting them to people we might all know today? The possibilities are endless and so is the lack of details.
No Answers in Sight
So many questions, with so few answers. The clues do, however, all lead to something dark and scaly and of that, we can all be pretty certain. Where did the money come from? Was the money related to the horrific footage seen on the videotapes? Were there different people involved? Did someone die or get tortured on the tapes? Above all, why are they really keeping things such a big secret?
Will more clues be found in other basements across the state of Ohio? We will never know, but we can only hope. Our hearts go out to the couple who found all the evidence leading to one of the most bizarre mysteries to take place in Cleveland. What started out as an exciting new project for a couple's house renovations, turned into a crime scene investigation led by the FBI.
Thanks to These Peoples’ GoPros, Closure Was Given to Grieving Families
GoPro cameras have been popular for a long time. They provide creators and videographers with unique ways of capturing footage during adventures such as hiking and swimming. However, GoPros have also been useful for other purposes like solving mysteries.
In two separate instances, GoPro footage was used to help give families of accident victims some closure to their loved ones’ deaths. These two stories share the amazing lengths two young men went through to use their GoPro footage for good. Keep reading to see how handy Max Werenka and Rich Aloha are with a GoPro camera and how exactly they used their footage.
Just Another Day
Max Werenka woke up one day in August of 2019 thinking that it was just another summer day. He figured he would spend it just like every other day that summer - going on an adventure with his GoPro.
However, what Max didn’t know was that this wouldn’t be a typical summer day and his life was about to be turned upside down. His day was about to take a crazy turn and everything was going to change when he got out his GoPro that day.
Small Town Living
At the time, Max was 13 years old. He lived with his family in British Columbia in a small town called Revelstoke. Revelstoke was a quaint little town with picturesque buildings and gorgeous mountain views.
Lots of people loved to spend time in Revelstoke, especially when the weather began to warm up. That’s when Revelstoke became the place to be. There was one spot in particular that drew quite the crowd when the weather was warm: Griffin Lake.
Griffin Lake was a tourist hotspot in the summer. Many people took advantage of the warm weather by laying out on the large beach at Giffin Lake surrounded by mountainous views. Besides sunbathing, people also swim and play in the cool water at the lake.
On the day in August that changed everything for Max, this was what Griffin Lake looked like. It was full of people enjoying the summer sun. Max was also able to enjoy some time at Griffin Lake because his family ran a business that was close to the lake.
The Family Business
The Werenka family was in the tourism business. They owned a handful of cabins close to Giffin Lake and rented them out to people who wanted to spend some time in the great outdoors. Many of their customers rented cabins so they could enjoy time at Griffin Lake by swimming and boating, as well as hiking and fishing.
Max was very familiar with spending time in the water. He often went fishing in his spare time and had his boat to drive around.
On this particular August morning, that’s exactly what Max was preparing to do. He was taking out all of his fishing equipment and getting it ready to put on his boat. His boat was offshore as he loaded up and he soon took off, boating out into the lake.
Max began gliding through the water on Griffin Lake. He was enjoying his warm summer morning catching fish. However, things began to change for Max as soon as he saw something startling.
Something in the Water
The startling thing Max saw was at the bottom of Griffin lake. It was massive! And on all of his fishing trips out on the lake, he had never seen it sitting there before. He allowed the boat to drift closer to the massive object so he could get a better look.
When he finally got a closer look, Max realized that what he was seeing should not be at the bottom of the lake at all. He got a bad feeling about what he saw and turned his boat around to go home as quickly as possible.
It Was a Car
What Max saw at the bottom of Griffin Lake was a car. Max was concerned about the crash and the potential victims, so he told his mother what he saw. His mother was not as concerned.
Max’s mother was aware that there had been a car crash at Griffing Lake back in 2009. A car had ended up in the lake. However, as far as she knew, the police had completely taken care of the car crash when it happened. They probably already knew about the car. But, she wasn’t completely certain.
But Whose Car Was It?
The day after Max saw the car, his mother told a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer about the car when she saw him while going about her daily activities. What the police officer told her next totally startled her.
He told her that the car that crashed into Griffin Lake had already been removed from the lake way back in 2009. She was shocked. She also realized that if the 2009 car had already been removed, the car Max saw yesterday meant something else had happened.
Getting to Work
Since the 2009 car had already been removed from Griffin Lake, it meant that the car Max saw while fishing was the result of another unknown accident. It was a good thing that Max’s mother told the police officer.
Once the authorities got word of the car Max had seen, they jumped into action. There was a team checking out the location that Max had told them about. Max even showed up to watch everything unfold, but he had a hard time seeing because of a glare from the sun.
Max Started to Help
The police officers were also having a hard time seeing because of the sun’s glare on the water and Max was worried that they would leave because of this. Max wanted to know what happened and wanted to make sure that the officers would come back.
So, Max jumped into action himself. Max had his GoPro camera with him at the time, so he figured he could get to the bottom of things quicker. Max turned on his camera and then jumped in the water to swim to the wreck at the bottom.
Capturing GoPro Footage
As Max began swimming at the bottom of the lake, he didn’t see anything. He couldn't find the vehicle at all. He began to worry that he had given the wrong location to the police because he was having no luck locating it.
However, Max decided to keep going and dove just a little deeper. That’s when the car came into view. He found the large vehicle upside down on the floor of the lake. He wondered if he had found a missing puzzle piece for a recent crime.
In Come the Scuba Divers
Now that he had good proof of the car at the bottom of Griffin Lake, Max returned to the surface and showed the video to the police. In a matter of hours, the police had brought scuba divers onto the scene.
As the scuba divers investigated further, they called for a tow truck. The police had a tow truck parked on the very edge of the water. Then, the scuba divers took the roped from the tow truck and secured them to the sunken car.
Shock and Surprise
Very slowly and carefully, the tow truck began to move the car. It pulled until the car began to emerge from Griffin Lake. Mud from the bottom of the lake fell away and the submerged car finally came to rest in the grass of the bank.
A crowd had begun to gather around the lake to see what the police were doing. Everyone, even the police, was shocked to see the car come out of the lake. Everyone was especially surprised that no one had ever seen it until now.
Finally Out of the Water
It took several hours to remove the car from Griffin Lake. Once the car broke the surface and stopped on the bank, the tow truck had to keep working to load the car up on the back of a truck so it could be taken to a safe location where the police could investigate further.
However, a few things were immediately visible about the sunken car. First, all of the metal was eroded from its time in the lake. Next, the car’s front end was damaged from what could be an accident or car crash. Lastly, the driver’s body was intact in the front seat.
After the authorities had examined the wreckage as well as the deceased body of the driver, they figured out who it was and what had happened. They had solved a nearly 30 year-long mystery.
The authorities were certain that the driver of the vehicle was a woman who had gone missing over 27 years ago. Her name was Janet Farris and she was from Mill Bay, British Columbia. When she went missing in 1992, she was on her way to a wedding in Alberta.
Unknown for Nearly 30 Years
When Janet Farris went missing in 1992 on her way to the wedding in Alberta, police correctly posited that she had been in a car accident at Griffin Lake. They said that something caused her car to jump a guardrail.
The police figured that her car landed in Lake Griffin, but they had never been able to find it and they had very little proof that this was true. Even her family had no concrete evidence and had to wonder what happened to Janet for almost 30 years.
Max Saved the Day
If Max had not accidentally seen the car while fishing that August day, Janet’s family might still be wondering what happened to her. Who thought that a fishing trip could solve a 30-year-old mystery?
When asked about Max’s discovery of the car, Corporal Thomas Blakney with the Revelstoke Royal Canadian Mounted Police said, “That’s good detective work on his part.” Corporal Blakney was over the moon with Max’s discovery and very happy to finally give some answers to Janet’s family.
Minds at Ease
Even Max himself was happy that he found the car and thought to investigate further. He was ever happier that his day of fishing resulted in putting the minds of Janet’s family at ease once and for all.
While Max never thought he would find a dead body on one of his many fishing trips, he thinks that it was a good thing. He also said that it made him feel good to know that others like him who had a big sense of curiosity could be giving the same closure he gave to Janet’s family to other families all around the world.