In the 1980’s and early 90’s I tuned in every week to see new cases of murder, kidnapping, UFOs, ghost stories and every other type of story being told Unsolved Mysteries. As soon as I heard this theme music and Robert Stack‘s distinctive voice, I was ready to freak out through a new mysterious event that would leave me scratching my head trying to figure it out. As an adult and true crime addict, I was beyond thrilled when the series returned to Netflix in 2020. The third volume of Unsolved Mysteries starts streaming on October 18th, and this series of nine amazing stories feels the closest I can get to the series I grew up watching.
True, there’s no Robert Stack (other than a very cool, faint shot of his profile in the opening credits) or actually any host, but it doesn’t need one. The producers and directors of Unsolved Mysteries Let the people at the heart of the cases tell their stories and that makes it all the more effective.
This series is a must-read for any true crime addict, and the mysteries in this volume are some of the best and most memorable presented on the show to date. This volume covers cases of murder (or suicide?), dismemberment, UFOs, ghosts, Bigfoot, child abduction by a parent, and more. No matter what kind of mystery you prefer, you’ll find an episode this season to whet your appetite for true crime.
The very first episode of Unsolved Mysteries Volume 3 lets you know there won’t be any easy answers this season. “Mystery at Mile Marker 45” initially seems like an open case. Tiffany Valiante, a young athletic woman awaiting her freshman year of college, is hit by a train four miles from her home. As the New Jersey Transit Authority ruled, it was clearly a suicide, because why the hell would an 18-year-old be out on the tracks in the middle of nowhere after 11pm? The case is on Unsolved Mysteries, you think, because her family understandably doesn’t want to believe that she would take her own life. But wait, there’s more.
It turned out that she was not wearing shoes or shorts when she was hit by the train. Her mother (not an investigator) later found her shoes by the side of the road, miles from the train tracks and miles from her home. Her feet showed no sign of walking barefoot to the train tracks — not much mud or dirt, no splinters, no bruises — and her shoes looked like she’d just stepped out of them. Also, despite an intensive search in the area, the shorts were never found. One wonders, is there more to it than a nocturnal suicide? And that’s just for starters. The more you learn about this case, the more you wonder if her parents are right and if this is foul play.
Episode 7, “Body in the Bay,” is another death that was originally ruled a suicide. His circumstances are even more confusing. Patrick Mullins disappears one night after driving his boat on the river next to his house. His boat is found days later, unmanned and without fuel, in the Gulf of Mexico, many miles from its home dock. Adding to the mystery is that his body is later found in a completely different location, with a gunshot wound to the head and a rope wrapped around his body and attached to an anchor. What’s even more confusing is that the boat contained no blood at all, so how exactly did Patrick shoot himself in the head in his boat? Not to mention that no gun was ever found and it would have been incredibly awkward to shoot yourself with a shotgun at close range.
These are the types of cases Unsolved Mysteries can retell so well. You can’t help your mind to go in a million directions trying to figure it out and you’re desperate for answers. Unfortunately, these may never come.
One of the most important things that brings back memories of the original Unsolved Mysteries Volume 3 focuses on the paranormal and the inexplicable. Three episodes this season – “Something in the Sky”, “Paranormal Rangers” and “The Ghost in Apartment 14” – feature tales of the unexplainable, from UFOs to hauntings to Bigfoot and Navajo Skinwalkers.
Something in the Sky tells the story of a March 1993 UFO sighting in Michigan that was reported by more than 300 people. It’s easy to dismiss claims of having seen a UFO, but the sheer number of people who have seen this particular one is kind of amazing. If it wasn’t aliens, what they saw was definitely an unidentified flying object, which is the very definition of a UFO, after all.
“Paranormal Rangers” probably scared me the most out of all the episodes in Volume 3. Walking in, I wasn’t expecting to believe reports of a Bigfoot-like creature on the Navajo Reservation, but the evidence that was shown made me wonder if it really was a 9-foot, hairy creature could roam the deserts of the Navajo. There have been more than 30 sightings, which admittedly isn’t as many as the UFO in Michigan, but it’s also a sparsely populated area. If you think it sounds silly, I dare you to watch Paranormal Rangers and then tell me it’s silly. Plus, fans of X-Files will likely find the episode “Paranormal Rangers” particularly compelling, since these two Navajo rangers have been assigned to cover unexplained events on the reservation.
The Ghost in Apartment 14 starts out as a haunted story, but somewhere in the middle it also becomes an unsolved mystery. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, this story will draw you in—and, to be honest, probably make you squirm a little. Who knows? One day, the ghost might actually help solve the mystery.
Although it’s frustrating at times when you realize the show is calling Unsolved MysteriesAfter all, there are no answers in these cases, the way the cases are presented is unparalleled in the true crime genre. That’s the great thing about it Unsolved Mysteries — The first-hand accounts, photos, sometimes videos and audio recordings, combined with the interviews and recordings of the places mentioned, come together to create the perfect packaging for a mystery.
If I had one complaint, it would be old school sometimes Unsolved Mysteries, there would be updates at the end of the story telling you that this suspect has been arrested, or what was believed to be a UFO has been explained, or some sort of closure. Although the series has a website where you can submit tips or share your own unsolved mystery, there’s no indication of any updates on cases aired in previous seasons. There are instances from the previous two volumes that really stuck in my mind and it would be great to hear if there were any updates on either of them. However, perhaps these cases are all destined to remain unsolved.
Unsolved Mysteries Volume 3 launches on Netflix on October 18.
https://collider.com/unsolved-mysteries-season-3-review-netflix/ As Creepy and Perplexing As Ever