The Unsolved Mystery Of The YOGTZE Case

The word "YOGTZE" has no meaning to most people, but it plays a central part in a bizarre case that remains one of Germany's most head-scratching unsolved mysteries. The six letters — although some have argued that the "G" may have actually been a "6," in which case five letters and one number — were scrawled on a piece of paper by a man named Günther Stoll. He wrote them not long before he left home, and after several stops in-between to a pub, his hometown, and a quick visit to see a woman he knew from childhood, Stoll was found barely alive and completely naked in his car, which had clearly been involved in an accident (via CrimeBeat).

Stoll died en route to the hospital, preventing him from explaining what had happened and leaving investigators and his family with a mind-boggling mystery comprised of other mind-boggling mysteries that remain unsolved nearly 40 years later.

Apparent paranoia and a strange epiphany

Günther Stoll was a food engineer who lived in Anzhausen, Germany, but in 1984, he found himself dealing with a stretch where he was unemployed. To make matters worse, those around him believed that he was slipping further and further into the clutches of worsening mental health issues. According to The Morbid Library, Stoll's friends and family saw him becoming increasingly paranoid. He had a habit of talking about "them" and how "they" wanted to hurt him, but he never elaborated on who — or what — "they" or "them" were.

On October 25, 1985, at around 11 p.m., Stoll was at home with his wife. According to CrimeBeat, seemingly out of nowhere, he stood up and shouted "Jetzt geht mir ein Licht auf," which in English means something along the lines of "now I get it!" He reached for a piece of paper and quickly scribbled down, "YOGTZE."

Stoll ran off to the pub

YOGTZE — or YO6TZE, depending on how one sees it — means nothing in German or English. Whatever it means, it caused Günther Stoll to exhibit a strange sense of urgency because after scribbling down the series of letters, he abruptly left his house. It was the last time his wife would ever see him alive, but others saw him throughout the rest of the night (via CrimeBeat).

According to The Morbid Library, Stoll went to a pub in the town of Wilnsdorf. There, Stoll ordered a beer. There is, of course, nothing unusual about ordering a beer in a German pub, but what others witnessed next was odd, to say the least. Without even touching his beer, Stoll fell on his face. Since he hadn't even had a sip, it's not believed that drunkenness was the cause for his fall, which left him with some minor injuries. Witnesses said that it appeared as though Stoll had suddenly lost consciousness. As soon as he regained consciousness, he hopped in a Volkswagen Golf and drove off into the night.

He went back to where he grew up

According to The Morbid Library, it's unknown where exactly Günther Stoll was or what he was doing from the time he left the pub at around 11:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. when he arrived in the town of Haigerseelbach, which, per CrimeBeat, is where he had spent his childhood.

In Haigerseelbach, Stoll went to the house of an elderly woman he had known since he was a kid. When she answered the door, she was met with Stoll rambling about ​​some forthcoming event. "Something's about to happen tonight, something pretty terrifying," he told her, per CrimeBeat. The woman later told investigators that Stoll didn't offer any specifics about the event he was talking about.

Seeing Stoll as she did, the woman was concerned for his well-being and suggested that he not drive home and instead spend the rest of the night at his parents' house, which was nearby. He didn't listen and once again disappeared.

He appears to have been involved in a mysterious accident

Two hours after Günther Stoll left Haigerseelbach, a pair of truck drivers discovered his Volkswagen Golf crashed in a ditch along the Autobahn A45. They also noticed someone walking away from the apparent crash site but rushed to check on the car. Inside was Günther Stoll, who was still alive in the car and inexplicably naked.

According to Historic Mysteries, while waiting for help to arrive, Stoll told the truck drivers that there had been four others in the car with him, and they had all runoff. He also told them they weren't his friends. Sadly, that was the last bit of information Stoll could pass along about what happened to him that night, as he died on his way to the hospital.

Stoll's cause of death was labeled vehicular manslaughter. This meant that police felt he hadn't died in an accident but had been injured and placed at the scene of the accident.

Possible Explanations

The truth of the matter is that no one knows what happened to Günther Stoll before his death in October 1984 or what his cryptic message — YOGTZE — meant, but that doesn't mean that there's a shortage of theories floating around (via Historic Mysteries).

Given that YOGTZE isn't a word in any known language, some have speculated that the "G" is a "6," while the "O" could be a "0" and the "Z" a mistaken "2." This would be Y06T2E, which some have argued could be a license plate, meaning Stoll was leaving a clue as to who may have wanted him dead and who was involved in his death. Of course, seeing as the word was written hours before his death, that seems unlikely. That same number is also the call sign for a Romanian radio station, but there's nothing else to this connection apart from the coincidence.

Others have pointed out how YOGTZE is an anagram of "zygote," one of the earliest stages of human development, and have speculated that perhaps the word somehow ties back to Stoll's work if he had worked on a project related to food — or even genetic — modification.