Before we dig into the new series, a brief history lesson:
During the 80’s and 90’s, Unsolved Mysteries was a beloved night time television staple that explored bizarre cold cases and paranormal phenomenons. Documentary style interviews were accompanied by dramatic recreations of each case, drawing the audience (including my childhood self) even further into each mystery.
Each episode of Unsolved Mysteries featured three or four cases/segments and was hosted by the late Robert Stack, who would also give updates on past cases and instruct anyone with information about the crimes/mysteries they’d seen to call the show’s hotline.
Unsolved Mysteries ran from 1987 until 2002. Stack, who had been battling prostate cancer, died of heart failure in 2003 at the age of 84.
There was an attempted revival of the show in 2008, but it was only edited versions of past cases/episodes. Now, however, we appear to have a proper successor to the series along with some brand new mysteries to solve.
Unlike the original program, Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries will focus on one mystery for each episode. Instead of a hotline, viewers will be directed to send any tips or information they have about the cases to Unsolved.com or their local law enforcement agency. There also won’t be any host/narration (which is honestly for the best since no one could top Robert Stack).
The first season of Unsolved Mysteries will contain 12 episodes with the first six debuting July 1 on Netflix. The show is being produced by the show’s original creators, John Cosgrove and Terry Dunn Meurer, along with Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy. For those of you who want to get a head start on some sleuthing, the first six episode’s titles and descriptions are reprinted below.
‘Mystery on the Rooftop’
The body of newlywed Rey Rivera was found in an abandoned conference room at Baltimore’s historic Belvedere Hotel in May 2006, eight days after he mysteriously disappeared. While the Baltimore Police maintained that the 32-year-old committed suicide by jumping from the hotel’s roof, the medical examiner declared Rey’s death “unexplained.” Many, including his devastated wife, Allison, suspect foul play.
Patrice Endres, 38, mysteriously vanished from her Cumming, Georgia, hair salon in broad daylight, during a 13-minute timeframe, leaving behind her teenage son, Pistol. Patrice’s disappearance intensified the existing tensions between Pistol and his stepfather as they dealt with the loss and searched for answers.
‘House of Terror’
In April 2011, French police discovered the wife and four children of Count Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès buried under the back porch of their home in Nantes. Xavier, the family patriarch, was not among the dead and nowhere to be found. Investigators gradually pieced together clues and a timeline that pointed to Xavier as a devious, pre-meditate killer. For instance, they now know that shortly before the crimes occurred, Xavier inherited a gun that was the same model as the murder weapon.
‘No Ride Home’
Alonzo Brooks, 23, never returned home from a party he attended with friends in the predominantly white town of La Cygne, Kansas. A month later, a search party led by his family locates Alonzo’s body — in an area that law enforcement had already canvassed multiple times. The FBI recently reopened the case and on June 11, announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any responsible parties in Alonzo’s death.
On September 1, 1969, many residents in Berkshire County, Massachusetts were traumatized by a sighting of a UFO. Eyewitnesses — many just children at the time — have spent their lives trying to convince the world that what they saw was real.
At age 17, a guilt-ridden Lena Chapin confessed to helping her mother dispose of her murdered stepfather’s body four years prior. In 2012, Lena was issued a subpoena to testify against her mother in court, but the authorities were never able to deliver the summons — because Lena had disappeared, leaving behind a young son.
Unsolved Mysteries will debut on Netflix on July 1, 2020.