From 1987-2002, Robert Stack was America’s trench-wearing, crime-solving savior on a little show called Unsolved Mysteries. Every week, he would step out from the darkness to expose the seedy underbelly of small-town America. Unsolved Mysteries was like Are You Afraid of the Dark? for grownups. Most of the cases involved either grisly murders or disappearances, but there were also a few segments dedicated to things like UFO encounters and a mysterious goo that coated a small town in Washington. Decades after the initial run of the series, many of the cases remain unsolved, and the ones that have finally been tied up don’t necessarily have happy endings.
Even though we’re at the apex of crime-solving technology, there are still thousands, if not millions, of cold cases lying dormant throughout police stations in America. The reasons that a case can go unsolved are almost endless. Be it police ineptitude, insufficient evidence, or something more mysterious, you’ll see that even seemingly cut-and-dry cases took decades to explain.
One of the greatest things Unsolved Mysteries did was shine a light on cases that wouldn't normally receive national attention. And rather than offer a sanitized, publicist-approved version of a story, they weren't afraid to let victims and their families give their opinions on the case, no matter how strange or negative the comments may have been.
So grab your tan trench coat and put the Unsolved Mysteries theme song on loop, because we’re taking a look at what happened to some of the show's most well-known cases.