The Most Difficult Crime to Investigate, Ranked

Choose the crime you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 14, 2024 06:24
Determining which crime is the toughest to investigate can greatly aid law enforcement and investigative strategies. By understanding public perception and aggregated opinions, authorities can better allocate resources and training efforts. This acknowledgment also helps in raising awareness about the complexities involved in solving different types of crimes. Here, everyone can cast a vote on what they believe represents the most arduous challenge in crime investigation. This active participation not only reflects societal views but also builds a dynamically updated list that adapts to new insights and trends. Your input is crucial as it contributes to a broader understanding and potentially guides future investigatory approaches.

What Is the Most Difficult Crime to Investigate?

  1. 1


    Cybercrime encompasses any criminal act dealing with computers and networks, including hacking, phishing, and the distribution of viruses. Its complexity and the anonymity of the internet make it exceptionally difficult to investigate.
    • Anonymity: High level of anonymity for perpetrators
    • Jurisdiction Issues: Cross-border nature complicates legal jurisdiction
  2. 2

    Human Trafficking

    Human trafficking involves recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring, or receiving people through coercion, for the purpose of exploitation. Its hidden nature and the fear of victims to come forward make it hard to investigate.
    • Coercion: Use of force, fraud, or coercion to control victims
    • Underreporting: High level of underreporting by victims
  3. 3

    Money Laundering

    Money laundering is the process of making large amounts of money generated by a criminal activity, such as drug trafficking or terrorist funding, appear to be earned legally. Its complexity and the use of sophisticated methods and technologies make it hard to trace.
    • Complexity: Use of complex financial systems to obscure illegal origins
    • Global Scale: Operates on a global scale, complicating jurisdiction
  4. 4


    Terrorism involves the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. The ideological motivation, secrecy, and willingness of terrorists to die for their cause make prevention and investigation extremely challenging.
    • Ideological Motivation: Driven by strong political, religious, or ideological beliefs
    • Secrecy: High level of operational secrecy and planning
  5. 5

    Environmental Crime

    Environmental crime includes illegal trade in wildlife, pollution, illegal logging, and fishing. These crimes often involve complex networks and are driven by high profits, making enforcement and investigation difficult.
    • High Profits: Driven by high profits, making it attractive for organized crime
    • Complex Networks: Involvement of complex networks and international operations
  6. 6

    Serial Crimes

    Serial crimes, including serial murder, sexual assault, and arson, involve repeated offenses by the same perpetrator. The often random selection of victims and geographical mobility of the offender make these crimes difficult to link and solve.
    • Random Victim Selection: Victims often selected at random, complicating profiling
    • Offender Mobility: High geographical mobility of offenders
  7. 7

    Drug Trafficking

    Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. The vast networks and financial power of drug cartels make it a difficult crime to combat.
    • Financial Power: Drug cartels have significant resources and influence
    • Global Networks: Complex international networks
  8. 8

    Cold Cases

    Cold cases refer to criminal investigations that have not been solved after many years and are no longer being actively investigated. Lack of evidence, witnesses, or new leads makes these cases particularly difficult to solve.
    • Lack of Evidence: Deterioration or absence of physical evidence over time
    • Witness Challenges: Loss of witnesses or fading memories over time
  9. 9

    Intellectual Property Theft

    Intellectual property theft involves the unauthorized use, reproduction, or distribution of copyrighted or patented material. The digital age has exacerbated this issue, making it difficult to monitor and enforce.
    • Digital Age Challenges: Increased difficulty in monitoring and enforcement due to digital distribution
    • Global Issue: Cross-border nature complicates jurisdiction and enforcement
  10. 10

    White-Collar Crime

    White-collar crime refers to financially motivated, nonviolent crime committed by businesses and government professionals. Its complexity, the sophistication of methods used, and often the involvement of respected professionals make it difficult to detect and prosecute.
    • Complexity and Sophistication: Use of sophisticated methods to conceal activities
    • Professional Involvement: Often involves respected professionals, complicating investigations

Missing your favorite crime?

Error: Failed to render graph
No discussion started, be the first!

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult crime to investigate. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or crime is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 146 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each crime once every 24 hours. The rank of each crime is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Difficult Crime to Investigate

Rank #1 for the most difficult crime to investigate: Cybercrime (Source)
When it comes to investigating crimes, some are more challenging than others. Law enforcement agencies face a variety of obstacles when trying to solve crimes, including lack of evidence, uncooperative witnesses, and the complexity of the crime itself. However, some crimes are notoriously difficult to investigate, posing unique and intricate challenges for investigators. These crimes can range from white-collar crimes like embezzlement and fraud to violent crimes like murder and kidnapping. The most difficult crimes to investigate often require extensive resources, specialized knowledge, and a great deal of patience and persistence. In this article, we will explore some of the most difficult crimes to investigate and the challenges that investigators face when trying to solve them.

Share this article