Unsolved Mysteries creator ranks show's 10 most disturbing cases – and reveals why they still haunt her today

Unsolved Mysteries creator ranks show's 10 most disturbing cases – and reveals why they still haunt her today


UNSOLVED Mysteries' creator has ranked the show's 10 most disturbing cases – and revealed why they still haunt her today.

The series first aired in 1987 and ran across different networks until 2010, before Netflix picked up the reboot last year.

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Since it began, Unsolved Mysteries has looked at hundreds of cases, but creator Terry Dunn Meurer has 10 in particular that have stuck in her mind over the years.

Speaking to Vulture about the series she said: "We always look for a variety of categories.

“[This season] we have a murder, two unexplained deaths, a missing case, a wanted case, and a paranormal case — everything we can do to create a good mix so that one story doesn’t feel like the next.

"We’re a little heavier weighted toward crime just because those are the solvable cases.”

Here are the 10 cases that still keep Terry awake at night.

Friends to the End (season one, episode 5)

Teenagers Kevin Ives and Don Henry from Bryant, Arkansas went out hunting one night in 1987, only to be run over by a cargo train. 

Police said it was suicide but the case was reopened and it was discovered one of the boys had died of stab wounds before the train hit, while the other had taken a blow to the head.

The case was then ruled as murder but was closed in 1995 with no arrests ever made. Terry said: "This one’s really, really tragic.

“There was a lot going on in this town, and I think the kids were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The fact that it was ruled an accident, and then finally they determined that the kids had been murdered, that’s heartbreaking. I wish we could have solved this case.”

Halloween Party Death (season one, episode 9)

In 1981, 17-year-old Kurt Sover attended a Halloween party before going missing.

His body was found five days later barefoot in a nearby ravine, a place where his dad had previously looked as his parents desperately searched for him.

Strangely, the coroner ruled that he had died just 24 to 36 hours prior to being found.

Terry said: "On a case like this one, somebody knows. If you saw volume one of Unsolved [on Netflix], this story reminds me of the Alonzo Brooks case, where a young man goes to a party, suddenly he disappears, and then his body is found in an area where they’d already searched.

"You hope somebody will come forward, somebody who was at the party, who saw something, maybe somebody who’s more mature now and just has to get this off their chest."

Voice from the Grave (season two, episode 19)

Teresita Basa was found stabbed to death underneath a burnt mattress in her Chicago apartment in 1977.

Five months later, her colleague Remibias Chua, started having dreams about the murder and speaking in Teresita’s voice to her husband while she slept.

She said the killer was a man named Allan Showery and that he took Teresita's jewelry to give to his girlfriend. When they told the police, they investigated and found the information to be true, and Allan was charged with her murder.

The way the case was solved is what still plays on Terry's mind, with her saying: "You can decide: Was Teresita’s friend possessed by her spirit?”

“But the fact that she had the very, very specific information about Allan Showery, the jewelry, and how Teresita was murdered, I have to believe that she got that information somewhere.

"She was a co-worker, they didn’t even know each other that well, but it’s interesting that Teresita chose her to channel this information through. I love that Showery was so freaked out that he was like, ‘Yeah, I did it, I did it!’”

Dreamy Disappearance (season two, episode 13)

Cindy Anderson, 20, had vivid nightmares of being abducted and murdered for around a year before she went missing.

Cindy worked at a legal office and a colleague recalled her receiving a phone call which left her upset the day before she disappeared.

A month later police received a call from a mystery woman saying Cindy was being held in the basement of a nearby home but wouldn't give any further details.

Terry said: "Just the fact that she predicted her disappearance, and we still don’t know where she is is, frightening.

"We were always questioning what the motive would be. Why Cindy? I have a feeling that Cindy is not with us any longer.

"I think that if she had just run off, she would eventually either come home or been identified.”

Unknown Arsonist (season three, episode 1)

A father and son found a video by the side of the road in California in 1989, and when they watched it at home, it showed a house on fire with the arsonist narrating his actions.

Two troubled teens were arrested for the crime after it aired on Unsolved Mysteries, but Terry said: "You hear the very creepy video.

"It was odd that it was discovered on the side of the highway. That’s what caught our attention."

Scared to Death (season three, episode 18)

Cindy James was found dead near an abandoned house with her arms and legs bound behind her back and a nylon stocking around her neck two weeks after she went missing in 1989.

An autopsy revealed her actual cause of death was a morphine overdose and the episode revealed Cindy had reported being harassed and attacked by an unknown assailant for the last seven years.

However the police didn't investigate her claims and said she was making it up, while one doctor shared the theory that she could have had multiple personalities, with one Cindy killing the other.

Terry said: "It’s really hard to believe that she could have taken the drugs, then also hogtied herself. I think we can rule out ‘accident.’"

As for the multiple-personality claim, she added: “It’s a theory. I know Ozzie Kaban, the private investigator who worked with her for years, still believed she was being stalked and that she was murdered. I don’t think we’re ever going to solve that one.”

 Dial A For Abduction (season four, episode 16)

Angela Hammon, 20, went missing on the night of April 4 1991 while talking to her boyfriend on a pay phone.

He raced to the pay phone in his car when he realised she was in trouble but was unable to pursue her abductor's truck after blowing his transmission.

Terry said: "It was so so tragic. He rushes off to try and save her when it sounds like she’s in trouble, his car breaks down, and he basically sees her going off down the road with her abductor.

"She’s never seen again. My heart just goes out to him for the loss that he experienced."

Rest Stop Killer (season five, episode 21)

Married couple Gordon and Jackie McAllister were on holiday in their RV in 1991 when they made an overnight stop in Ontario.

Jackie was shot by a man claiming to be a policeman after he knocked on the door and demanded their money and valuable possessions.

Gordon managed to escape but the assailant went on to kill 29-year-old Brian Majors after he pulled into the same lot and then drove off in a blue van.

A local cop named Ronald West was convicted on separate murder charges after it was discovered he owned a blue van and the same type of guns used in the killings, although he never admitted to this crime.

Terry said: "Anyone is kind of programmed that when a police officer shows up, you answer the door and interact with them.

"Unfortunately, these people did that and two of them were murdered. It’s scary that this guy is still out there. I don’t think they had any DNA in this case, so maybe he’s behind bars for some other crime and we don’t know it.

"This is another example of a random murder. That’s so scary.”

Up in Smoke (season nine, episode 14)

This infamous episode examines the theory of spontaneous human combustion and looks at three cases.

One of which was Kay Fletcher, who said her back started emitting smoke and smelt of burning flesh, although she was unharmed.

Terry recently rewatched the episode and said: "The interviewees are so credible, I found.

"And in fact, one of our researchers just came across another spontaneous combustion in the last couple months, which we’re looking into. I don’t know — you have to decide if you believe that that’s possible or not. It’s an interesting one.”

Cheerleader Murder (season 10, episode 9)

Fifteen-year-old cheerleader Jessica Keen went missing in 1991 before her body was found in a cemetery two days later.

Police discovered she had been held hostage and raped before managing to escape and hide in the cemetery, before her captor found her again, assaulted her once more and then beat her to death with a headstone.

In 2008, a man named Marvin Lee Smith was arrested for assaulting two women and his DNA matched that of Jessica's killer.

Terry said: "“That one is chilling because she’s so young and, the last minutes of her life, she lived in such terror and such fear.

“It breaks your heart for this young girl, so I think that one is absolutely frightening. I’m very glad that we got him behind bars.”

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