Helen Brach (AKA “The Candy Lady”, 1911 – 1977, body never found)
Devoted to her dogs and the widow of a tycoon named Frank V. Brach (1890 – 1970), Helen Brach inherited a significant portion of a $23 million estate (the equivalent of $135 million or £87.8 million today) in 1971. The daughter of a streetcar driver from Port Union, Ohio and divorced from her first husband at the age of 21, this coat checker married the head of the Brach confectionery empire in 1950 and became known for her pink Rolls-Royce cars and luxury homes in Chicago and Florida. Described as “reclusive and eccentric” by the social commentator Dominick Dunne, Brach became involved with a “cold-blooded conman” and horse dealer named Richard Bailey in 1973 after the death of her second husband. After a routine medical checkup at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota on 17th February 1977, Brach disappeared and has never been seen again and though Bailey was sentenced to 30 years in prison for defrauding her in 1995, no one has ever been convicted in relation to her disappearance. In January 2015, the Mail Online suggested she was actually “killed and disposed of in a steel furnace on the orders from a notorious Chicagoland horse dealer”. Helen Brach was declared dead in 1984 but the mystery of how her demise came about remains very much a source of speculation.