“Unsolved Mysteries” co-creator Terry Meurer has spent decades devoted to shining the spotlight on cold cases that have left the families of victims without answers for so long. Now that the classic docuseries has returned to television via Netflix’s new reboot, Meurer is more hopeful than ever that new witnesses will come forward with information that may solve some of these baffling crimes.
The first of six subjects in Netflix’s six-episode introductory volume is Rey Rivera, a beloved husband who received a mysterious phone call in 2006 that made him run out of his house in flip flops without a word, never to be seen alive again. Meurer told TheWrap what she thinks is the one “key” to solving his case that has yet to be discovered.
“We’ve produced over 1300 stories in our lives, and I think Rey Rivera is one of the most intriguing and baffling mysteries that we have done,” she said. “The key to that is, who made that phone call to Rey that caused him to run out the door like he was late for something? That person has never come forward. We would love to hear from that person.”
The Alonzo Brooks case — which saw a then-23-year-old Black man disappear from a house party in a majority-white Kansas town and later turn up dead — is another case that relies on witnesses coming forward that have previously remained silent about what may have happened that night. Brooks’ family has speculated that his death may have been the result of a hate crime.
“In the Alonzo Brooks case, there were a lot of kids that were at the party that night,” Meurer said. “They were all 16, some of them were underage-drinking, 16, 17, 18 years old. And those kids are now in their early 30s. There’s some in that crowd who know what happened to Alonzo.”
“Now that the FBI just recently in the last 2 week [has offered] a $100,000 reward for information… we’re really hoping that that will inspire someone to come forward and tell what they know,” she continued.
Meurer has been an executive producer on “Unsolved Mysteries” since its inception in 1987 and all throughout its original 23 years on the air on NBC, CBS and later Lifetime, until it stopped airing in 2010. Now, the Netflix reboot has been given a 12 episode order, with the first six streaming Wednesday and the second six scheduled to come later this year.
“Ever since we went off the air back in the day, we’ve always wanted to reboot ‘Unsolved,” Meurer said. “A lot of these cases go back a long way and they need some fresh eyes and attention. Honestly, we would like to keep the show on forever and keep solving mysteries. We’ve solved over 260 and counting. Every week we get new information about a case that’s about to be solved.”
Meurer is “very hopeful” that Netflix’s high viewership and global reach will bring witnesses forward who have previously stayed silent.
As it says at the end of each episode, if you or someone you know has information about any of the cases featured on “Unsolved Mysteries,” go to unsolved.com.
The first six episodes of the “Unsolved Mysteries” reboot are now streaming on Netflix.