Netflix, in their infinite wisdom, is resurrecting Unsolved Mysteries with the producers of Stranger Things at the helm. The original ran for 23 years and over 500 episodes, ending in 2010. Each episode used re-enactments and first-person interviews to tell stories of unsolved crimes, paranormal events, and UFO sightings and encounters. The host, Robert Stack, started a few urban legends in his time. In honor of Unsolved Mysteries coming to Netflix next month, let’s look back at the original, and five of the strangest stories they aired.
Season 5, Episode 21
This episode takes us back to 1983, where 20-year-old Don Decker is on furlough from jail to attend his grandfather’s funeral. Disturbed by the outpouring of grief for his abusive grandfather, Decker entered a trance, floating and causing an indoor rain to fall. Later, back at the jail, the mysterious rain returned, soaking both Decker and another prisoner in the cell.
Season 8, Episode 25
You have to love a show that takes the Chupacabra as seriously as the Unabomber. The segment focuses on strange animal deaths in Puerto Rico. There’s an eyewitness account from David Negron, who saw the monster after it killed his goat. He describes it as black and hairy, with a crest atop its head. The goat was dead, drained of blood with two small puncture wounds on its neck. Chupacabra means goat-sucker in Spanish. A rash of bizarre animal killings plagued Puerto Rico through the rest of the year.
Season 9, Episode 15
In a bizarre special Valentine’s Day episode, Unsolved Mysteries tackled the validity of aphrodisiacs. They interview “Charlie,” who claims to have unknowingly eaten chocolates dosed with South American libido-lifting herbs in his doctor’s waiting room. The receptionist catches him and tells him it’s a special “Love Potion” made by the doctor. It all seems weird for a medical office. First, that a doctor moonlights as a love-potion chocolatier. Also, that a doctor would leave them unlabelled in the waiting room. Charlie goes on to have a “steamy night” with his girlfriend, proving aphrodisiacs are real, I guess. Moreover, the episode’s real worth is Robert Stack’s dulcet voice suggesting that the ultimate aphrodisiac is, “The heartfelt phrase, I love you.”
Season 7, Episode 20
The story centers on Bobbi Parker, the wife of the deputy warden of a prison. She worked with inmates in the prison’s art program, namely the convicted-murderer Randolph Dial, who also worked on the Parker family home. One day Randy Parker returned home to find Dial and Bobbi missing. Soon the trail went cold after Bobbi made a series of bizarre phone calls to her mother and friends. In the following years, authorities found Dial living in a trailer in Texas, with Bobbi. Both of them claim the relationship wasn’t consensual, and Dial kidnapped Bobbi threatening to kill her and her family if she’s escaped. However, the evidence in the trailer told a different story, and Bobbie served six months for helping Dial escaped. Following her release, she reunited with her husband, Randy.
Season 9, Episode 24
Residents of Oakville, Washington, reported a weird jelly-like substance falling from the sky six times in three weeks. Anyone who came into contact with it developed severe flu-like symptoms lasting for up to three months. Later, studied samples were said to contain human white blood cells, bacteria from the digestive tract, and Eukaryotic cells present in living creatures. Some theories about the source of the substance include waste from airplanes passing overhead, jellyfish remains from test bombs dropped in the ocean 50 miles away, or a biological weapon tested by the US government.