On 7th July, one week after Netflix dropped the newest season of Unsolved Mysteries, the streaming platform gave Reddit’s true crime enthusiasts and armchair investigators a major lead in the hopes that they could work their magic and help solve any of the six cases covered in 2020’s season. “Hey guys, Netflix here! We’ve created a public drive with all the assembled evidence, case files, interviews, and video clips for each story that didn’t make it into the final episodes,” reads the post on the Unsolved Mysteries subreddit.
Since its release, more than 2,000 tips and leads have been submitted and turned over to law enforcement. To replace the original 1-800 tip line at the end of every episode, Netflix created an Unsolved website to submit tips. Since the season dropped, investigators have received 20 credible tips, reports the Chicago Sun Times.
In an interview with Variety, series co-creator and executive producer Terry Dunn Meurer admitted that the production team “would be happier” if they could have solved more of the mysteries. To date, Unsolved Mysteries has helped solve over 260 cold cases, but the Netflix revival gives the series something it didn’t have when it first aired 33 years ago — the support of millions of people online.
Since the dawn of crime, people have been looking to solve them. Now, they have a community online that they can access from anywhere in the world who are as focused on getting answers as they are. “We know they’re working on the leads we’re giving them,” Meurer told Variety. “And I’m sure they’re getting leads of their own, but we just don’t know. There’s no way to quantify how many credible leads there are. But a lot has come in. It’s been very active.”
Mystery on the Rooftop
Based on Meurer’s Variety interview, we know that Rey Rivera’s case is one of the cases that has received leads that have been passed on to law enforcement. As far as Redditors are concerned, the camps are split. Some are exploring a theory that Rivera was actually a spy, be it for the CIA or in a less official capacity. Another prevailing theory on the social news aggregator is that Rivera might have had a diagnosable explanation for his increased paranoia that posters believe is made more evident by the note Rivera left taped to the back of his computer monitor. Some believe that the note contains hidden clues that lead to Rivera’s boss and longtime friend, Porter Stansberry, but what his alleged involvement could have been has not been teased out on popular subreddits yet.
Among fans of the show, Patrice Endres’ case feels like the least unsolved of the mysteries from this season. A brief search of Reddit will turn up a number of posts theorising that Endres’ husband, Rob Endres, that she was allegedly in the process of leaving, had something to do with her death. Some believe directly, others indirectly. According to Meurer, a lead obtained through the tip line went directly to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
As far as whether Rob was involved, Meurer specifically addressed that, at least for now, the case remains an unsolved mystery. “Jeremy Jones has not been ruled out as a suspect in this case, and neither has Gary Hilton. We really try and present balanced cases,” Meurer said. “As far as I’m concerned Rob is innocent until proven guilty.”
House of Terror
In the case of the seemingly perfect, affluent family that disappeared from Nantes, France in 2011, their disappearance was very quickly solved. What remains a mystery is where husband, father, and suspected killer Count Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès ended up after he hiked into the mountains never to be seen again. At the end of the episode, interviewees like his childhood friend speculated that Dupont de Ligonnès may have fled the country and started a new life. The series made specific mention of the fact that Dupont de Ligonnès has few if any defining features that would make him stick out in a crowd, potentially allowing him to blend in unnoticed.
On Reddit, amateur sleuths believe the same thing. They think that not only did Dupont de Ligonnès not die by suicide in the mountains of southern France, but that he is alive and well, possibly in the United States. “Somebody was actually in Chicago, I think they were on Lake Shore Drive, and they heard this guy talking French and they looked at him and they had just seen the episode,” Meurer told Variety. “They sent us a photo, and it really did look like Xavier. It was striking. So we sent that tip on to the police.”
No Ride Home
Meurer also listed Alonzo Brooks’ case among those that have had leads passed along to investigators. In fact, according to Meurer, Brooks’ case has received the most tips of any of the six new episodes. In the last month, the FBI announced that not only has the case been reopened, but they are offering a $100,000 (£85,000) reward in the hopes that someone will come forward who may have witnessed something at the party. Meurer says the show is one of the reasons the case was reopened.
Some of the most active subreddits are highly suspicious of the town where Brooks was last seen, La Cygne, Kansas. Others question the alibi of Brooks’ friend Justin Sprague. They don’t suspect he was involved in Brooks’ disappearance, but many question the claim that he went to buy cigarettes, got lost, and couldn’t make it back to the house where the party was held.
So far there have been no official updates on the UFO sightings in Berkshire around Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1969, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t sizeable Reddit threads devoted to it. Viewers commenting on Reddit seem to enjoy what they feel is a classic Unsolved Mysteries case. While none of them have come forward with answers, most are not there to disprove it. Instead, they use these spaces to share other UFO sightings they would love to see covered on the series.
As far as Meurer knows, unless someone comes forward with information about where Lena Chapin is buried, the case is at a bit of a standstill. Fans of the show are diving into the extra evidence Netflix provided in a Google Drive on the subreddit to search for answers. Looking through previously unreleased clips, Redditors were even more suspicious of her disappearance.
One Redditor PapaEchoNovIndiSiera, who claims McCullough was their uncle and Chapin was their cousin, shared more supposed information about Chapin’s disappearance that didn’t make the episode. They wrote:
“the apartment where lena lived when she disappeared. Sandy randomly showed up there the day lena disappeared. Sandy told lena's boyfriend that she had ran off with another man and left her kid behind. Soon after she ‘ran off to Florida’, the landlord did complete renovations due to blood stains on the carpet. The landlord was quoted saying 'it looked like a dog had been chopped up' because when the carpet was pulled up, a giant blood stain was found on the wood below the carpet, as well as in the carpet itself. The landlord disposed of the old carpet and didn't notify police, because he was unaware of the circumstances behind lena's disappearance, all he knew is that lena 'moved away'. To make things even more interesting, soon thereafter, the entire apartment building burnt to the ground..”
And while updates and theories such as this are certainly intriguing — especially with the promise that fans' tips might actually help solve these seemingly unsolvable mysteries — determining their credibility is best left to the professionals.