For almost 36-years, Unsolved Mysteries has made armchair detectives out of their viewers, in an effort solve some of the world’s most perplexing mysteries. The original series profiled more than 1300 cases over 16 seasons and, thanks to some eagle-eyed viewers, aided in solving 260 of those cases. From unsolved murders, missing persons, paranormal activity, and even the occasional conspiracy, Unsolved Mysteries has kept its dedicated following on the edge of their seats since 1987.
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The hit show was able to reach a younger demographic in October of 2020 when Netflix released its reboot of the series. But despite that, as well as an official podcast, there are some mysteries from the series’ original run that remain unsolved. Here are just five of those intriguing and tragic stories.
Who Witnessed the Murder of Rebecca Young? (Originally Aired: November 11th, 1992)
On May 1st, 1991, an unknown caller contacted Miami police to report that he had just witnessed a terrifying crime in the in town of Belle Glade, 80 miles to the North. In a nervous and rushed voice, the caller–a Spanish speaker–described witnessing a blue Ford Bronco pull into a sugar cane field he was illegally hunting in. The witness hid to avoid getting in trouble but couldn’t help watching as a Mexican man and a Black woman stepped out of the vehicle. They were arguing. The man, who the woman referred to as Ricardito, was demanding money he was apparently owed. The woman said she could not give him the money and was pledging “Ricardito! Don’t kill me Ricardito!” A second man, possibly of Cuban descent, stepped out of the Bronco. The woman continued to plead for her life as ‘Ricardo’ struck her with a machete several times until she was dead.
The eyewitness watched the killers drag the woman’s body further into the field and drive away, noting that the car’s license plate contained the numbers 7 and 2. He reported that he waited over a week to call police. He did not want to reveal his identity but gave law enforcement some clues to begin their investigation. This included the location of the murdered woman’s body; which would later be recovered by Detective Duane Mayo behind an ice cream shop called the Twisty Treat.
Per Unsolved, ‘Crime scene investigator Sergeant Detective Mark Lewis was called to the scene: “It was a very heinous crime, very violent. I believed that the killer had a lot of disregard for human life. She had been lying there for approximately a week, maybe a few days longer. She had passed the decomposition stage and had started to enter mummification. Her right thumbprint was the only print left. The majority of her fingers had already turned to skeleton. But with that right thumbprint, we were able to make an identification and prove that she was, in fact, Rebecca Young.”
Rebecca Young was a 21-year-old resident of Belle Glade and was living with her aunt Lucille Williams at the time of her death. Rebecca was described as very quiet, shy and would do just about anything if it meant helping someone out. A look into Rebecca’s background revealed that, sometime after high school, she had began dating a petty criminal who would later get her involved with sex work and drugs. This man reportedly beat Rebecca on more than one occasion. He was ultimately ruled out as a suspect although investigators believe his criminal activities may have led to Rebecca’s death.
On May 14th, 1991, three weeks after Rebecca’s murder, the sheriff’s department arrested a possible suspect. He was a local man that has never been named. This man allegedly told a sex worker that he had recently killed a Black woman. When police tracked the man down and pulled him over, they arrested him under suspicion of DUI. Detective Mayo didn’t get a chance to interview the man before he asked for an attorney. With that, and a lack of any other evidence linking him to Rebecca, the police had no choice but to release him.
This year marks 32-years since Rebecca’s death. Little is known about the man that called Miami Police, except that he gave the first name Antonio. He said he called from a pay phone because he did not have a phone at home. Judging from his accent, police believe he was born in Cuba. Police and Rebecca’s family want to urge him to come forward. It should be emphasized that he is not wanted for any crime.
Sharon Kinne: Wanted for Murder (Originally Aired: May 29th, 1998)
Convicted murder Sharon Kinne has been on the run since December of 1969. Authorities became aware of her on March 19th, 1960 when deputies in Independence, Missouri, were responding to a call placed by then 20-year-old Sharon. Officers later reported that Sharon was utterly distraught as she pointed out the unmoving body of her husband, 25-year-old James Kinne. He was face down in the couple’s living room with a gunshot wound to the back of his head. Life-saving measures were performed on James Kinne, but he would later succumb to his injuries on the way to the hospital.
The next day, Sharon sat down with detectives. She explained that while she was putting on makeup in the bathroom, James was laying on the bed napping when their two-year-old daughter wandered into the room, picked up the gun and fired the fatal shot. Apparently, James had a habit of letting the toddler play with the weapon when it was unloaded. Miraculously, investigators bought it. With Sharon being the only witness and a lack of physical evidence, police dubbed the story credible and did not charge Sharon or her toddler with a crime; which meant Sharon was able to cash in her husband’s $230,000 life insurance policy.
Unbeknownst to investigators the Kinnes marriage was an unhappy one. In the book The Sharon Kinne Story by James Hays, Sharon was described as a bored housewife who occupied her free time with shopping and extramarital affairs. By 1960 both Sharon and James were looking for a way out of the marriage, but his devout Mormon family urged James to try giving Sharon another chance.
Sharon used some of the insurance money to purchase a new a Ford Thunderbird from married car salesman, Walter Jones. The two began an affair almost right away but Walter had no intention of leaving his family. Jones ultimately ended things when Sharon told him she was pregnant. In response to their relationship ending, Sharon called Walter’s wife, Patricia, on May 26th, 1960. Over the phone, Sharon pretended to be the sister of someone Walter was having an affair with and asked if they could meet. After some coaxing Patricia agreed to meet the unknown woman. Patricia Jones never returned home. After filing a missing persons report, Walter Jones heard about this mysterious phone call and he wasted no time confronting Sharon Kinne. Sharon admitted to calling then meeting with Patricia. In a strange twist, Sharon recruited a former lover named John Boldiz to help her search for Patricia Jones’ body. And they found her. Just off the path of Kinne and Boldiz’s usual lover’s lane, about a mile outside of Independence, Missouri. Patricia had been killed by four shots to her head, stomach, and shoulders by a .22 caliber pistol.
Police eventually arrested Sharon Kinne for murdering Patricia and James Kinne on May 31st, 1960. After giving birth in April of 1961, Sharon went on to participate in three separate trials for the murder of Patricia Jones. An all male jury would acquit her for Patricia but her fourth trial for the death of her husband would result in a life sentence. But in March of 1963, the Supreme Court decided to reverse Kinne’s conviction and ordered a new trial, which ended in a mistrial, and her third trial resulted in a hung jury. Out on $25,000 bond, Kinne hightailed it to Mexico City in September of 1964, entering using the alias, Jeanette Pugliese.
While Kinne technically could travel, she never obtained written permission from the bail bond company to leave the U.S., officially making her a wanted felon.
After a series of strange misadventures, Sharon would find herself in the cramped motel room of Fransisco Parades Ordoñez on September 18th, 1964. Sharon and her latest lover, Francis Samuel Pugliese, were short on cash. So, after scoping out the bar of the Del Prado Hotel, Sharon allegedly offered to take some nude photos in exchange for money and Fransisco eagerly took her up on the offer. Once in the motel room, according to Sharon, Fransisco began to get aggressive with her and in an act of self-defense Sharon shot him twice in the chest. The Mexican police didn’t buy it and chalked the whole thing up to a tragic case of robbery gone wrong.
Sharon Kinne was convicted of Ordoñez’s murder on October 18th, 1965. She was dubbed “La Pistolera,” the gunfighter, by the Mexican press and was sentenced to 13-years in Iztapalapa women’s prison. Then on December 7th of 1969–less than five years into her sentence–Sharon Kinne allegedly took advantage of an unusual blackout that had occurred at the prison by squeezing through an unguarded window. She hasn’t been seen since.
As of 2022, Kinne was crowned the record holder for the longest currently outstanding arrest warrant for murder in the history of Kansas City, Missouri, as well as one of the longest outstanding felony warrants in U.S. history. Sharon Kinne was 30-years-old when she escaped her cell in Iztapalapa, Mexico City. It is possible she may have stayed in Mexico or traveled to Alaska, where she has relatives. At the time of her disappearance, Sharon was described as 5″7′, approximately 125-pounds with blond hair and grey eyes. Sharon has a skin pigmentation disease resulting in a red port wine scar on the left side of her face. If Sharon Kinne is still alive, she would be 83-years-old.
The Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit (Originally Aired: February 18th, 1996)
After moving to Mason City, Iowa, in late 1993, Jodi Huisentruit quickly became an active and adored member of her new community. By June of 1995 Jodi, now 27-years-old, was a popular news anchor and producer for KIMT-TV with seemingly everything going for her. In the very early morning of June 27th, a coworker from the station called Jodi at her home in the Keys Apartment Complex in Mason City. Normally, Jodi arrived at the station by 3AM to prepare to anchor for the 6AM broadcast. When Jodi’s coworker, producer Amy Kuns, finally got Jodi to pick up the phone, it was obvious Jodi had slept in. Amy Kuns would later report that everything sounded okay on Jodi’s end, the only unusual thing was her sleeping in. Per Unsolved.com, “Everything sounded normal, like I had just woken her up. What time is it? She asked the question, so I told her Jodi, it’s about ten to four, you need to come in to work. How much time is left to produce on the show? I mean, she was obviously thinking, she was aware, she just knew she had overslept and she had to get in to work. I didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary. Nothing.”
Jodi told Amy she would be into work shortly. The drive from her apartment to the station was about 5-minutes. But when another hour passed, Amy made the executive decision to write up the script and anchor the show herself. And when Jodi still didn’t show up by airtime, Amy sent the first available person to check on Jodi and told them to call the police. Shortly after 7AM, the first of several officers arrived on the scene and immediately could tell something was wrong. In the parking lot of the apartment complex were signs of a struggle; including drag marks and Jodi’s belongings scattered all over the place. Beside her brand-new red Mazda Miata, located just a few feet from Jodi’s building, was a bent car key, her red high heels, blow dryer, and earrings. A partial palm print was found on the vehicle. Nothing looked out of the ordinary or out of place in Jodi’s second floor apartment. Later, a few neighbors would come forward to report that at around 4:30 that morning, they heard a scream, but no one called the police.
Authorities determined early on, and still believe, that Jodi was kidnapped in the parking lot that morning. Jodi has no been seen since. There have been few leads in the case and fewer clues made publicly known. At the time Jodi disappeared, she was hoping to leave Mason City and get a job at a Twin Cities television station. The Twin Cities was a much bigger news market and much closer to her Long Prairie hometown.
Jodi Sue Huisentruit (produced “HOO-sen-troot”) was last seen on June 27th, 1995. She is described as a white female standing at 5″3′ to 5″4′ tall, approx. 110 to 120-pounds. She has blonde hair and brown eyes. Her ears are pierced. Jodi was declared legally dead in 2001 but, if she were alive today, she would be 55-years-old.
Who Killed O’Neal Moore? (Originally Aired: November 14th, 1990)
During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, just as segregation was on the verge of being dismantled, the Black community of Washington Parish, Louisiana, began to push for integration of their sheriff’s department. So, in response, two Black officers were appointed as deputy sheriffs in June of 1964; 41-year-old David “Creed” Rogers and 34-year-old O’Neal Moore. O’Neal was an Army veteran, a husband, and father to four daughters.
After a year on duty, Creed and O’Neal were used to various forms of harassment, so they were not overly concerned when they noticed a truck following and starting to tailgate them. Creed Rogers would later describe the truck as a dark, almost black color with a white grill and a confederate flag decal on its front bumper. Creed later recalled that after a short time, the truck eventually pulled up beside the vehicle he and O’Neal were in and began to open fire. Both men were shot. They lost control of the car and crashed into a tree. O’Neal Moore was killed instantly, and Creed Rogers was injured badly but would survive, eventually losing an eye as a result of the attack.
Thanks to Creed’s detailed description, an APB was released and less than an hour later, a truck matching the details was recovered in Tollertown, Mississippi. Per Unsolved.com, “The truck was stopped just twenty miles from the scene of the shooting. The driver was arrested but was soon released on a $25,000 bond. The charges were later dismissed due to lack of evidence. Suspicion soon focused on the Ku Klux Klan, but the local chapter immediately denied any involvement. Racial tensions increased, but the sheriff refused to give in to the pressure. O’Neal was replaced by another black deputy.”
One suspect was later arrested, a known white supremist named Ernest Ray McElveen, but police couldn’t file charges due to a lack of evidence and no eyewitnesses. McElveen remains the only person who has been publicly named a prime suspect. He died in 2003. Despite O’Neal’s case being reopened by the FBI several times over the years, no one has served a day in prison for the attack on O’Neal and Creed.
The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of O’Neal Moore’s killers.
What Really Happened to Leroy Drieth? (Originally Aired: January 12th, 1996)
Leroy Drieth was only 18-years-old when he died on Memorial Day, 1968. Leroy was leaving his girlfriend Patty’s house in the town of Mead, Colorado, when his car slammed headfirst into a tree. Leroy died instantly due to massive hemorrhage.
When medics and police arrived on the scene, a bystander made the comment that they knew exactly what happened to the young man; they said that Leroy had fought with his girlfriend, 17-year-old Patty, at her family home during a Memorial Day party and got so upset that Leroy threatened to kill himself. It appears based solely on this statement, the local corner decided not to perform an autopsy on Leroy and ruled his death caused by ‘auto suicide’. On Leroy’s Unsolved entry, his mother, Freda, described how she was treated by the D.A. handling her son’s case:
“I went to the district attorney in Greeley and I said, “I don’t believe this was a suicide, I believe it was a murder and I need for you to investigate it.’ And he was very rude. He said, ‘You’re just a distraught parent. There’s no reason for us to investigate this. You just go on home and get over it.’ I just cried. I never got over it.”
Leroy’s sister Vickie, who was only 11-years-old at the time, also never got over the death of her big brother and in June of 1988 she set off on her own investigation. Vickie–now in her thirties–made it her mission to spearhead Leroy’s cold case. She knocked on doors, tracked down potential witnesses, attempted to contact Leroy’s girlfriend, and hired a private investigator. A questioning of neighbors revealed that a fight between Leroy and Patty’s family members had been observed that night during the party. Apparently, a lot of alcohol had been consumed throughout the evening and certain members of Patty’s family made it clear they didn’t like that Leroy and Patty dating because Leroy was white and Patty was Latina.
Eventually Vickie made contact with Patty, and she admitted that Leroy did not threaten suicide that night. But she seemed reluctant to say more.
25-years after his death, Leroy Drieth was exhumed in 1993 at his family’s request. The autopsy was performed by Dr. Patrick Allen who made a shocking discovery–stab wounds on Leroy’s neck. The injuries were described as potentially blade wounds, approximately a 2-inch puncture and a separate 4-inch slash that would have severed Leroy’s windpipe. Dr. Allen changed the cause of death from “auto suicide” to “undetermined.” Based on the new evidence, Dr. Allen thinks Leroy was fleeing for his life when he crashed his car:
“I feel that Leroy lost consciousness or lost control of the vehicle because of the injuries. He would have been in pain and would have been extremely afraid, but the actual cause of death was injuries sustained from the automobile crash.”
Vickie claims that shortly after this discovery was made Patty contacted her again and offered to provide an account of the party. But when Vickie called to set up a meeting, she found that Patty’s phone had been disconnected. Vickie is still hoping that Patty will come forward with the truth. Leroy’s father died in 2003 and his mother died in 2019 without ever knowing the truth of what happened to their son.