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David T. Cole

Unsolved Mysteries

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Thank you so much for the thread! I loved this show as a kid, even though it scared the daylights out of me. I never cared much for the aliens and ghost stories, it was the crimes that creeped me out the most, especially since so many of the victims were just minding their own business when they became victims.

 

One of the scariest was definitely the Blind River rest stop murders. A man pretended to be a cop to gain access to an elderly couple's RV in the middle of the night, when he did, he killed the wife and would have killed the husband but he was able to escape and hide when the killer was distracted by another driver pulling into the rest stop, he killed that person before driving off into the night, he was never found.  

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Oh, I remember watching reruns of this show as a kid and being scared to death with some of the ghost stories.  Two images stand out in my mind all these years later:

 

1 - An older couple living in a house, I want to say in GA?  And there's a clip of the woman looking in the bathroom mirror and a shadow passes by the door.

2 - A family living in a house in WI, I think.  There was some deal with bunk beds, and at one time the dad was in the basement painting something.  He put the paintbrush down and later when he went back down to the basement, the paintbrush was standing, handle-side down, in the can of paint.  Scared the daylights out of me.

 

I think both of those were in the same "special edition" as the one featuring the Queen Mary.  Which means there may have been a fourth story in the mix, but I'm not recalling it right now.

Edited by ElleryAnne
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The one that stands out for me is the episode in which every member of a small church choir(I want to say in Oklahoma)is late for practice, and when they beginning arriving, the church explodes due to a gas leak.

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I was a big fan of Robert Stack as host of Unsolved Mysteries! It was must see tv as I was growing up. Just found out a bit ago that Raymond Burr did a promo for it originally. Never knew that. 

 

Which host did you like better? Robert Stack or Dennis Farina?

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Robert Stack, without question. Nothing against Dennis, but Robert was perfect. I have no clue why they replaced him, or why the revamped the show the way they did, it lost all its spookiness that made it great, including the theme song, which I still can't listen to.

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Robert Stack, without question. Nothing against Dennis, but Robert was perfect. I have no clue why they replaced him, or why the revamped the show the way they did, it lost all its spookiness that made it great, including the theme song, which I still can't listen to.

I think it was due to the fact that Robert passed away by then. I'll double check on that one though. 

 

Just double checked, Robert passed in 2003. Unsolved didn't come back on until 2008. 

 

Agreed about the way they revamped the show, wasn't a huge fan of it.

 

It was must see tv with Robert Stack. Didn't mind it with Dennis Farina though. he did the best he could with it.

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Robert Stack, definitely.  Nothing against Dennis Farina, but he didn't really have much more to do than re-introduce the stories.  Stack brought the gravitas and occasionally sentiment. 

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The haunted bunk bed thing was the best so I had to look it up. It's the Tallman House case. It starts when they buy a second hand bunk bed and move it upstairs (the house shown in the segment is only a single story but whatever). 

 

  • Their son Danny wakes up and sees a radio alarm clock changing stations by itself.
  • The paint brush was found handle down in the paint can (I didn't find this scary).
  • The youngest daughter claimed to have seen a witch and "fire".
  • The owner comes home late at night and hears someone calling him from the side of the house. He investigates but finds no one. When he returns to the front of the house, it appears that the garage is on fire. When he returns with a fire extinguisher, the fire is gone.
  • After this when he gets through the front door, his lunch box which he sat down is thrown across the living room.
  • When sleeping on the floor in his frightened daughters' room he sees a strange fog forming around him. He hears a voice: "You're dead." 

 

Then a skeptical relative stayed with the kids while the father was at work. He sees a figure so frightening that he screams. The mother decides they need to get out of the house so they flee, Amityville Horror style. They destroyed the cursed bunk bed and had no further experiences.

 

Great story! Too bad the show began to rely on bullshit cases like Tina Resch's poltergeist case which had been proved a hoax years before.

 

 

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Many bad shows are good shows compared to what's on the air now. They were still bad shows. Too often Unsolved Mysteries ignored information that would have solved the mystery. At least they weren't as blatant as shows like Ancient Aliens and Finding Bigfoot. Those shows drive me nuts.

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Many bad shows are good shows compared to what's on the air now. They were still bad shows. Too often Unsolved Mysteries ignored information that would have solved the mystery. At least they weren't as blatant as shows like Ancient Aliens and Finding Bigfoot. Those shows drive me nuts.

Yea and add in a lot of those finding ghost shows too. They never end up finding anything. /facepalm

 

I rather watch ghost shows where it doesn't involve the kind of ridiculous kind of "ghost hunting" that a lot of the ones out there now have as a part of their shows.

 

Wish that Unsolved was on via reruns, I'd take watching them almost any day. 

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This is one of my favorite television shows of all time. It still comes on Lifetime every morning.

I realized a few months ago that I knew someone who was depicted on the show. I've always wanted to solve a mystery, or know someone on the show.

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The one that stands out for me is the episode in which every member of a small church choir(I want to say in Oklahoma)is late for practice, and when they beginning arriving, the church explodes due to a gas leak.

 

They redid that one on Beyond Belief. It's nice that everyone survived it.

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I think Lifetime stills carries the reruns, don't they?

 

Yes they do! I have rediscovered this show thanks to the reruns, although so far they have only shown the ones with Dennis Farina, not the original Stack eps. It's nice to see some other people like the show. :)

 

I don't know why this is so scary to me, but the episode that took place in a suburb of Houston where a couple dug their backyard to put in a pool and uncovered human graves? YIKES. I wasn't bothered by all the junk about them being haunted by the spirits of the people they dug up, but it still freaks me out to think there could be an unmarked cemetery under the lawn and I just don't know about it...

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Yes they do! I have rediscovered this show thanks to the reruns, although so far they have only shown the ones with Dennis Farina, not the original Stack eps. It's nice to see some other people like the show. :)

 

I don't know why this is so scary to me, but the episode that took place in a suburb of Houston where a couple dug their backyard to put in a pool and uncovered human graves? YIKES. I wasn't bothered by all the junk about them being haunted by the spirits of the people they dug up, but it still freaks me out to think there could be an unmarked cemetery under the lawn and I just don't know about it...

I think they reshot the Stack episodes with Farina as the narrator. I've been scared that they will remove it once again now that Farina has passed. I don't know who could take his place. The again, I couldn't imagine anyone taking Stack's place. 

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I wish they would just show us the original Stack episodes with Stack and then have a faceless narrator give any updates. His unique delivery really made the show, imo.

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Hey UM fans, thought I'd start a thread where we can share the UM mysteries we can't forget, drive us crazy, or would love to see solved.

 

One of mine is Crystal Spencer. Muffled screams, a mystery illness, wild rumors, mishandled evidence, and a questionable autopsy report:

 

http://unsolvedmysteries.wikia.com/wiki/Crystal_Spencer

http://articles.latimes.com/1992-02-24/news/mn-2042_1_spencer-case

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Unsolved Mysteries started freaking me out when it took an interest in my home town of Medford, Oregon. They covered the strangely connected (or were they?) cases of Dennis Walker who had a sports memorabilia museum and Steven Cox who ran a standard Ponzi scheme which he used to steal three million dollars. Cox was sentenced to twenty years, but since this is Oregon and he's white they let him go after three years. Naturally he went straight back into his profession and was arrested again a couple of years later in Idaho.

 

Then a month after these stories I was shocked to see the girl who sat behind me in Algebra on my TV. This was Teresa Dahl and the story was about Matt Chase.

 

http://unsolvedmysteries.wikia.com/wiki/Matthew_Chase

 

These three roommates (Matt, Teresa and her brother) were also from Medford. Matt was a shocking character to a conservative 1980's small town. His craziest stunt was taking a mannequin to the prom. Rumor was that he wasn't allowed to take his boyfriend so this was his protest. He and Teresa wanted to get out of our dismal lumber town and move somewhere where talent was appreciated (they were in thespian and music clubs at school and were called "New Wave" by our primarily Christian or head-banging youth). Like thousands of other people, they figured that L.A. was the place to go.

 

This story was bizarre even by L.A. crime standards. Matt was kidnapped and apparently threatened to withdraw a few hundred bucks from several ATMs. Since his paycheck hadn't cleared, they held him for days until he could withdraw it. The segment showed Teresa fully convinced that Matt was still alive and people had even said they had seen him. But it was clear that the kidnappers weren't going to let him go after they robbed him. His body was found months later in a ravine.

 

As you would expect, the crime was never solved.

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Then a month after these stories I was shocked to see the girl who sat behind me in Algebra on my TV. This was Teresa Dahl and the story was about Matt Chase.

 

WOW. :(

 

I wonder if anyone compared the sketch of the man seen with Matt at the ATM with the man seen with Sean Patrick Kelly under almost identical circumstances, although years apart?

 

This is so sad. (And what a shock it must have been to see someone you know.)

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One that I always feel compelled to watch when it's on is the Patty Stallings case, in which she was wrongly convicted of murdering her infant son. It happened in my hometown, and her younger, surviving son (who also died a couple years ago, unfortunately) was briefly in my brother's class. Such a sad case all around.

 

Oh! And the one where a couple took an elementary school hostage with a homemade bomb, but everyone in the school survived when it exploded. I wasn't a fan of the religious spin they put on it, but I remember seeing it for the first time as a small kid and it really stuck with me.

 

Another case that I remember seeing, I don't remember many details, but it involved a high school/college-ish age girl being assaulted (certainly physically, not sure about sexually). She was knocked out at some point, and upon waking, said she called for help by pushing the redial button on the phone. She suffered serious brain damage--possibly amnesia, but also having to learn to read and write again. But as a kid watching it, I remember thinking "If she had to learn to read again, how did she read/know to press "redial?""

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Just picked up a 2 dvd set about different ghosts stories from the series (it's the older one with Robert Stack in it). Looking forward to watching them! It'll be nice to hear his voice again.

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My DVR recorded the Amy Lynn Bradley episode last week. On the surface it seems like a simple "man overboard" situation since she was partying that night and was last seen by her family resting alone on the balcony, but there is so much weirdness with the band member and people who have come forward to say they spotted her years later. Are those witnesses reliable? UM also recently ran the Lisa Bishop ep and the Colleen (last name???) ep too - all disappeared from boats/ships. It's like aversion therapy for anyone wanting to go on a pleasure cruise. :(

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On 4/26/2015 at 8:19 PM, ceg045 said:

Another case that I remember seeing, I don't remember many details, but it involved a high school/college-ish age girl being assaulted (certainly physically, not sure about sexually). She was knocked out at some point, and upon waking, said she called for help by pushing the redial button on the phone. She suffered serious brain damage--possibly amnesia, but also having to learn to read and write again. But as a kid watching it, I remember thinking "If she had to learn to read again, how did she read/know to press "redial?""

That was the story of Sarah Powell, a 14 year old girl from Texas who claimed her house was broken into by three mask-wearing men. Then and now people continue to be skeptical of her story and I, quite frankly, have always thought she was lying about what actually went on there, if anything actually did. She claims she saw the men breaking into her bedroom window, which would have been quite impossible for all three of them to have been up there at once since there was nothing to stand on, it was raining and there were no footprints in the house, nothing was stolen, no fingerprints were found and there were no signs of forced entry and no one in the neighborhood saw anything, and you would think someone would notice three men wearing masks (one being a Freddie Kreuger mask) scaling the side of a two story house. Even more bizarre was her claiming that she couldn't open the front door because it was dead bolted and "she didn't have the key" which, unless the deadbolt had been installed backwards, she wouldn't need a key to open it from the inside. It was bizarre all around and like I said, I think she was pretty much making the whole thing up.

 

One mystery that has stayed with me is the Blind River rest stop murders. A man claiming to be a cop knocked on the door of an RV where an elderly couple was sleeping, when the wife opened the door, a man barged in and said "I'm going to rob you, then I'm going to kill you" and he did just that, he killed the wife and tried to kill the husband but he escaped and hid under the RV, then another person pulled into the rest stop and was killed while trying to leave. They've never found the killer, but I remember that his composite sketch was one the scariest damn things I've ever seen on television.

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The actor playing him wasn't exactly a comforting image, either...

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Edited by WhitneyWhit
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On 6/19/2016 at 0:26 PM, WhitneyWhit said:

 Even more bizarre was her claiming that she couldn't open the front door because it was dead bolted and "she didn't have the key" which, unless the deadbolt had been installed backwards, she wouldn't need a key to open it from the inside. It was bizarre all around and like I said, I think she was pretty much making the whole thing up.

 

I think she was lying, but I have had deadbolts that require keys from both sides. I don't think they are legal anymore, because they are a fire hazard, but they used to be fairly common. Of course, I have lived in houses so old that they required skeleton keys from both sides of the door. 

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They actually made a few new stories with Farina before he died. They would intersperse them with old stories with new narration. I would rather see the Stack episodes as they were, and just show the newer Farina ones with Dennis. He's nowhere near as good as Stack. But I still watch. It reminds me of my late teens and early 20s. 

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I wasn't planning on getting Prime either, because I didn't have $100 just sitting around and they would accept bank account or debit card payments, I don't have credit cards. Paying the $100 is cheaper, but they are now allowing a month to month plan for $10.99. I want to send books to a niece in prison and this way I can send her a couple at a time instead of $50 to get free shipping. Also, I've purchased a couple of other things since I got the membership, and free shipping on those. They have movies I'd like to see, but still don't want to pay $15 for, but may watch Pride and Prejudice on Prime. Haven't gone through the tv shows enough yet to see what I might want to see.

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Well it's still not worth it in the long run in my opinion. I thought $79.99 was too much. Since I already pay over $100 a month for cable. Along with other bills. It adds up. That's nice. But not everyone can go with it option wise. So I'll wait until they bring it out someday.

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A few weeks ago I noticed that Unsolved Mysterious was available on Amazon Prime. Today I decided to watch a few episodes because I usually don't have anything to watch on Monday nights. Holy shit!! This show still gives me the creeps!! I used to watch it religiously as a kid in the 80s/early-90s and I assumed I'd get a laugh at the cheesy re-enactments and dated technology. Boy was I wrong!! I watched the first 4 episodes of S1 and had to stop because it's getting late and I strongly suspect I'm going to have nightmares tonight. The theme song still weirds me out (why does it sound like the Halloween theme?) and Robert Stack's narration is both soothing and unsettling.

The ghost stories always scared me as kid but this time around the Queen Anne story that featured in one of the early episodes didn't really pack much of a punch. Though the one woman who said she had a ghostly man stand right behind her on the escalator sent a shiver down my spine. I remember the show featured a story about a ghostly woman wandering some country road at night that scared the crap out of me, so I'm hoping when I eventually get to that one I'll get a good scare.

The D.B. Cooper incident still unnerves me; it's probably that alien-looking police sketch. 

The stories that I find unsettling this time around (that I didn't find unsettling as a kid) are the missing person cases. The agoraphobic housewife that vanished (though I suspect her husband killed her), the 1920s couple that went rafting through the Grand Canyon never to be heard from again (except for some creepy woman at a campfire 50 years later who claimed to be the wife), and the single mother who disappeared outside a Howard Johnson (only to have staged her disappearance in order to commit suicide) all unnerved me more than any ghost story.  

All-in-all I think this will be a pleasant trip down memory lane. At least for the first few seasons; I seem to remember that the later seasons were pretty bad and the alien stories were laughable.

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Robert Stack WAS Unsolved Mysteries for me. My grandmother watched religiously and my sister and I did right along with her, and his narration and the theme music scared the bejesus out of us. It is so ingrained that when I started rewatching Season 1 through Amazon Prime last week on my commute, my stomach immediately clenched up, despite the fact that the show is dated as heck graphics/film wise and it was broad daylight. Dennis Farina did the best he could, but there's just no comparison.  

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Dennis Farina was also hampered by the war room/call center set, reminiscent of America's Most Wanted.  I haven't seen the Robert Stack episodes in years but if I recall correctly he was usually featured alone, in a shadowy setting.

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My favorite mystery was the Hudson Valley UFO Sightings, which to this day have never been properly explained.

Over a span of several months, hundreds of witnesses reported seeing a large, wedge-shaped UFO flying above their towns.   One man saw it hovering over his house, meanwhile hundreds stopped on and got out of their cars on an interstate highway to watch it hovering above the road.   Doctors, teachers, people from all walks of life saw it.   Police not only saw it flying above the trees but chased it through back country roads.

It has long been claimed that the UFO was faked by a team of ultralight or single-engine airplane pilots flying in formation, supposedly taking off and landing at a remote airfield in Stormville, New York.   But that explanation doesn't mesh with the eyewitness descriptions.   For example, the man who saw it hovering above his house watched it for 20 minutes.  He said it was low enough that he could have hit it with a baseball (probably some exaggeration there) and low enough that he could see the gray understructure of the thing.   He swore that it made no sound -- hardly what you would expect if it were a squadron of small airplanes.

That was almost 35 years ago.   Today, opinion seems to break along the lines of genuine UFO or hoax.   But in all this time, no one has ever come forward to admit being one of the alleged hoaxsters or to explain how it was done.

In 2011, another unfortunate element of fraud was introduced into the case.   Philip Imbrogno, author of Night Siege: The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings was exposed as having lied about his credentials.   He had long claimed to have degrees from prestigious educational institutions (I think MIT was one of them) which gave him a lot of credibility in both the public eye and UFO circles.  The thinking was, "if he's this educated, then he must be on the level."   His book was co-written with Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who had been a famous name in the UFO field since the 70's.

Then somebody decided to verify Imbrogno's vaunted credentials and discovered that none of them held water.  He was immediately discredited among his peers and also earned quite a bit of resentment because of the damage done to the field of study (most of the public already thinks it's populated by wackadoodles).   Now his whole body of work, including the book about the Hudson Valley Sightings, is suspect. 

Edited by millennium

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I think the Hudson Valley UFO flap was much like Ed Walter's Gulf Breeze hoax. Even though we know for certain that Walters hoaxed the whole thing, at least two dozen people in the area reported seeing UFOs that looked exactly like the paper model he was taking double exposures of. 

There were probably pilots flying in formation at first, and then the more elaborate reports began some time after people began to notice them. It was the standard pattern of UFO flaps. They usually begin with a simple and explainable report followed by increasingly detailed and incredible reports as new reports build on previous reports. Then they end as people find other things to do.

Don't expect anyone to take credit for hoaxes. Someone worked very hard to create the California Drone hoax of 2007 but we still don't know who did it. 

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On ‎12‎/‎30‎/‎2014 at 1:40 PM, scowl said:

Unsolved Mysteries started freaking me out when it took an interest in my home town of Medford, Oregon. They covered the strangely connected (or were they?) cases of Dennis Walker who had a sports memorabilia museum and Steven Cox who ran a standard Ponzi scheme which he used to steal three million dollars. Cox was sentenced to twenty years, but since this is Oregon and he's white they let him go after three years. Naturally he went straight back into his profession and was arrested again a couple of years later in Idaho.

 

Then a month after these stories I was shocked to see the girl who sat behind me in Algebra on my TV. This was Teresa Dahl and the story was about Matt Chase.

 

http://unsolvedmysteries.wikia.com/wiki/Matthew_Chase

 

These three roommates (Matt, Teresa and her brother) were also from Medford. Matt was a shocking character to a conservative 1980's small town. His craziest stunt was taking a mannequin to the prom. Rumor was that he wasn't allowed to take his boyfriend so this was his protest. He and Teresa wanted to get out of our dismal lumber town and move somewhere where talent was appreciated (they were in thespian and music clubs at school and were called "New Wave" by our primarily Christian or head-banging youth). Like thousands of other people, they figured that L.A. was the place to go.

 

This story was bizarre even by L.A. crime standards. Matt was kidnapped and apparently threatened to withdraw a few hundred bucks from several ATMs. Since his paycheck hadn't cleared, they held him for days until he could withdraw it. The segment showed Teresa fully convinced that Matt was still alive and people had even said they had seen him. But it was clear that the kidnappers weren't going to let him go after they robbed him. His body was found months later in a ravine.

 

As you would expect, the crime was never solved.

Which school in Medford did you go to scowl?

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Ha, North Medford, nevermind.

Anyways, exciting news: I've talked with Sgt. Gomez of the Pasadena Police Department, and per my request, they're taking another look at this case. I've also started a facebook group entitled "justice for Matthew Marshall Chase", everyone is free to join. I've been posting rare info and pics and we've been having discussion. I'm also about to reveal something huge. Hope to see you all there.

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On 5/17/2017 at 10:11 AM, wiseguy182 said:

Ha, North Medford, nevermind.

North Medford didn't exist at that time. It was Medford Senior High then. Our school system was designed to put all seniors in the area into a single school. Why? To make the best possible football team, of course! Eventually the school district realized they would get more federal funding with two high schools so they finally split them into North Medford and South Medford in 1986.

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I've been watching the episodes on Amazon, and I think one of the saddest and tragic I saw (and honestly, really bizarre) was the one for Kari Lynn Nixon.  She was the girl who left her house to pick up some groceries for her parents and vanished on her way back.  It was sad because there had been sightings of "Kari" that likely gave her parents false hope.  It was bizarre because one of the sightings was based on a lookalike girl who appeared in a crowd scene from a music video from New Kids on the Block (complete with members of the group urging Kari to come forward).  It was ultimately tragic because Kari's body was eventually found a few miles from her home, and it was revealed that she never left the area.  Rather, she went through a hellish experience of being kidnapped, raped, strangled and shot.  It's one of those nightmare situations for a parent.  You eventually do get closure after going through years of not knowing what happened, but what did happen is so horrific as to make not knowing seem like the better option.     

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On ‎8‎/‎31‎/‎2016 at 10:56 PM, azshadowwalker said:

I think she was lying, but I have had deadbolts that require keys from both sides. I don't think they are legal anymore, because they are a fire hazard, but they used to be fairly common. Of course, I have lived in houses so old that they required skeleton keys from both sides of the door. 

They are still legal because I have one also that only locks and unlocks with a key from the inside.  It was put in 5 or 6 years ago.

One of the weirdest, and unintentionally funny, episodes was the one with Alan Mann living with his parents in the 'haunted' house.  He claimed the 'ghost' somehow possessed his 16 year old wife (16!!! if you can believe it) and she became this sex-crazed maniac pinning him down to the bed, while his creepy parents listened in outside their bedroom door.  The wife was the only one who wasn't interviewed and I always thought it was because she is aware it's a hoax that the family is putting on and wants no part of it. 

Edited by Tenarife60 · Reason: added a paragraph
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The Tim Good episode that people often talk about, where he hired this deeply religious man to work on his farm and the man and his family ended up taking over, having Tim live down in the basement and eventually killing.  I'm not sure of the entire story but it was strange the man who killed him only got 10 years for manslaughter and the wife wasn't charged at all.  I thought manslaughter is like when you happen to kill someone but it was an accident.  Like hitting someone in your car because you ran a traffic light.  I could be wrong about that.  I'm not sure how going down to the basement and killing someone could be manslaughter.

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4 hours ago, Tenarife60 said:

The Tim Good episode that people often talk about, where he hired this deeply religious man to work on his farm and the man and his family ended up taking over, having Tim live down in the basement and eventually killing.  I'm not sure of the entire story but it was strange the man who killed him only got 10 years for manslaughter and the wife wasn't charged at all.  I thought manslaughter is like when you happen to kill someone but it was an accident.  Like hitting someone in your car because you ran a traffic light.  I could be wrong about that.  I'm not sure how going down to the basement and killing someone could be manslaughter.

It's been a while since I saw that episode, but it might be because the guy was prosecuted so long afterward, it would've been difficult to build a case for Murder 1 or 2. Manslaughter could've been the strongest charge the prosecution was confident they could get a conviction on. (This is all speculation, of course.)

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This wasn't an unsolved case but the one with Donna Moses Brown who broke her husband, Wayne Brown, out of jail.  Maybe I missed it but I wondered where her kids were when she was visiting her soon-to-be husband in prison and then ran off with him.  I assume they were staying with grandparents.  Then it was said she would sleep in her car sometimes outside in the parking lot of the prison.  Where was she getting her money with no job.? I know her husband didn't have any money so she must've been getting it from somewhere.  I don't remember them ever saying she had a job, but I assume she was getting some money off of one, or maybe both, of her late husbands who were murdered.

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On 7/25/2017 at 0:20 PM, JocelynCavanaugh said:

It's been a while since I saw that episode, but it might be because the guy was prosecuted so long afterward, it would've been difficult to build a case for Murder 1 or 2. Manslaughter could've been the strongest charge the prosecution was confident they could get a conviction on. (This is all speculation, of course.)

It could also be that the defense could argue that Tim chose to live that way, that it was an accident, that someone else came into the house and did it, etc. Getting the plea put it all to rest. 

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