“Perhaps You May Be Able To Help Solve A Mystery?”
Streaming giant Netflix rebooted the popular series Unsolved Mysteries and the internet has been on fire with theories and new leads since it’s July 1st release date. The demographic is split between those who remember the original series that first aired in 1987 (clearly still holding a special place for Robert Stack in their hearts) and a new era of true crime fans.
Now, according to reports online, there are many cases that were featured on the new series which are on their way to being solved thanks to the internet sleuths.
These ‘armchair detectives’ don’t just sit on the sofa, binge-watching Netflix whilst shouting at the TV that the jealous ex-husband who was still named on the life insurance policy did it… Okay, so that’s 90% of the time but for thousands of justice seekers operating online, they are actively assisting in solving cold cases.
To assist these sleuths in their sleuthing, when episodes end, the online investigation continues as Netflix has released extra unseen clips, further photographic evidence, interviews, and more for each case to Google Drive.
Internet sleuths can take a look at that bizarre note Rey Rivera left taped to his computer, or check out a closeup of Patrice Endres’ missing wedding ring who was featured in the episode “13 Minutes”.
Welcome to the new era of how we consume true crime as entertainment. We no longer have to wait till 11 pm to watch serial killer documentaries or hold out for a friend/relative/colleague to pass on a well-thumbed-through book featuring the life and crimes of Fred and Rose West. Long gone are the days when details of brutal crimes were left reserved for late-night news bulletins as now we can consume true crime podcasts alongside our morning cup of coffee.
Internet sleuths also have the upper hand over the more traditional detectives when it comes to cold cases as they do not have deadlines and they don’t have to juggle as many cases at one time. They can focus all their attention on the case that genuinely intrigues them and help authorities with flexibility as an advantage.
“Mystery on the Rooftop” was the first episode of the new six-part series. The body of 32-year-old Rey Rivera was found in an abandoned conference room at Baltimore’s historic Belvedere Hotel in May 2006.
The newlywed was only discovered eight days after he disappeared when tenants began to complain about the smell. His death was ruled by medical examiners as undetermined and investigators claimed he had jumped from the 13th floor of the building.
But his devastated wife, Allison, suspected foul play. Rey wrote financial newsletters about companies whose stocks he thought would rebound in price, and Allison believes he found out damaging information. On the last day he was seen alive, Allison says he received a phone call and then ran out of the house urgently.
“There’s probably around 2,000 tips and comments at this point. We pass the leads if there’s law enforcement involved. I’ve been working on the (Rey) Rivera case. And then the lead for Endres is going directly to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. We know they’re working the leads we’re giving them, and I’m sure they’re getting leads of their own, but we just don’t know. There’s just no way to quantify how many credible leads there are. But a lot has come in. It’s been very active.”
Unsolved Mysteries even has it’s own team working around the clock on these cases. Meurer added, “There’s a team of about five, six people on different shifts so that we have somebody on the website all the time, going through the tips. And we still have tips and leads in cases getting solved from the original shows.”
The case of Alonzo Brooks has also been reopened. On April 3rd, 2004, 23-year-old Alonzo attended a party with friends in a predominantly white neighborhood in La Cygne, Kansas, and never returned home. Linn County authorities searched for Alonzo for a month but did not recover the body.
A month after his disappearance, Alonzo’s family organized their own search party with 50 volunteers and in less than an hour they found his body lying in a creek. Authorities theorized rainfall may have caused the creek to rise and move the body to the location where it was recovered.
The autopsy was inconclusive and Alonzo’s death still remains a mystery. His family continues their search for answers yet they strongly believe he was murdered.
Since the show hit the streaming platform, there have been reports that three credible tips occurred within the first 24 hours. The FBI also offered a $100,000 reward.
“It’s been 16 years, but we hope that with this passage of time, someone who has information will come forward. Some of these kids, who are adults now, may have been scared to come forward before, or may not have known what they saw was important. But any piece of information is significant and could be the missing puzzle piece we need to solve this case.”
Redditors also came up with a variety of theories about the disappearance of Count Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès who is believed to have murdered his family in April 2011. French police discovered his wife, Agnes, and four children (Tomas, 21, Arthur, 18, Anne, 16, and Benoit, 13) buried under the back porch of their home in Nantes, western France, along with their two pet Labradors.
Xavier is an aristocrat who originally came from Versailles, home of the pre-Revolutionary kings and queens of France, and was technically a count who could trace his lineage back generations. He went on the run after the murders and investigators gradually pieced together clues and a timeline that pointed to the family patriarch as a devious, premeditated killer.
Redditors have produced a variety of credible theories on a thread concerning this case. One redditor ‘dnrexy’ believes that Xavier did not act alone. They explain:
“A man in his 50’s with supposedly a bad back moving 4 dead bodies worth of dead weight and two dogs outside. Placing them in trash bags and burying them the way he did is close to impossible to do alone. Not to mention the organizational aspect of the whole thing. You mean to tell me he found a long rifle when his dad passed away and all of a sudden he becomes a criminal mastermind? I believe he hired professional help from somebody. Someone helped him coordinate those murders and helped him get away.”
Thanks to the global range of Netflix and a team of internet sleuths hellbent on getting answers, there is new hope for thawing out some ancient cold cases. However, the reality in many of these cases means that a new lead doesn’t always mean an arrest.
There have been over 211,000 unsolved murders in America since 1980, according to the FBI. The clearance rate – where people are actually arrested and charged with the crime – is at an all-time low. The Washington Post reports that out of 54,868 homicides in 55 cities over the past decade, 50 percent did not result in an arrest. That is over 27,000 innocent lives lost with countless other family members never able to get closure from their grief.
But looking at this new peak of interest in true crime – there is a lot of hope for many more cold cases.
If you have any tips on any of the cases covered on Unsolved Mysteries, you can submit your tips on https://unsolved.com/