7 TV Shows That Have Cracked Real Mysteries, From ‘The Jinx’ to ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ (Photos)
These shows have lead to both arrests and exonerations
Margeaux Sippell | July 10, 2020 @ 12:31 PM
Last Updated: July 22, 2020 @ 8:00 AM
Robert Durst in HBO's "The Jinx"
The debut of Netflix's "Unsolved Mysteries" reboot earlier this month has set off a clamoring for cold cases to be reopened and brought to justice. In that spirit, we've compiled a list of TV shows that have actually solved crimes, exonerated people, and found answers to the unknown, from "The Jinx" miniseries that lead to the arrest of Robert Durst, to "Extinct or Alive," which found a living animal thought to have died out over 100 years ago.
Back before the Netflix reboot, this classic series was on network television. Creator Terry Meurer told TheWrap that during its original 23-year run, the series helped to solve over 260 cold cases. She has high hopes that this new incarnation of the series will have the same luck.
This crime series from Dick Wolf and Magical Elves works with local law enforcement to solve cold cases. The resulted thus far: 45 arrests and 18 convictions, according to Oxygen.
This miniseries written by "All Good Things" director Andrew Jarecki led to Robert Durst's long-awaited arrest for the murder of Susan Berman just one day before the finale of "The Jinx" aired on TV. Durst had admired Jarecki's work on "All Good Things" and had offered to be interviewed for the miniseries.
Photo credit Mark Romanov and John Harrington
"Extinct or Alive"
This one has more to do with animals than humans, but we have to give Animal Planet credit for discovering live members of a species that was believed to have been extinct. Last year, series host and biologist Forrest Galante found a female Fernandina Tortoise -- presumed extinct since 1906 -- on a remote volcanic island in the Galapagos.
Host Josh Gates took part in finding one of 12 treasure boxes that were buried in different American cities nearly 40 years ago by Bryon Preiss, whose 1982 book "The Secret" gave elaborate clues to the boxes whereabouts. In one episode, Gates meets a family who located the Boston box.
"America's Most Wanted"
This long-running Fox series was successful in finding many fugitives wanted by the FBI, including Ricky Allen Bright, Steven Ray Stout, Robert Lee Jones and more, according to CBS News.
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
This Larry David HBO series unknowingly captured the key to freeing Juan Catalan, a man who was on death row for a murder he did not commit. "Curb" had been filming at Dodger Stadium on the day of the murder, providing evidence that Catalan was watching the game with his 6-year-old daughter and could not have been at the crime scene. Catalan and David both later appeared in the 2017 Netflix documentary "Long Shot."