Over 14 seasons and 580 episodes, the documentary style Unsolved Mysteries had millions of viewers trying to solve crimes across the United States. The show first aired January 20, 1987 on network television, and over the years moved from networks NBC and then CBS to cable’s Lifetime network before ending on the SPIKE network. Unsolved Mysteries is still available to stream online. Typically, an episode of the series would include four segments and four mysteries; it was created like this purposefully so that the most interesting and final segment could be teased through the other three segments. Robert Stack, best known for his role in the series The Untouchables, hosted the show from 1987 through 1999. Most of the episodes revolved around unsolved crimes – arson, mysterious disappearances, and even murders – but there was also a spiritual element to some segments, many of which posed questions such as “Do Angels Exist” or “Is Heaven Real”. There is still talk that the original producers of the series, John Cosgrove and Terry Don Muerer, may begin filming new episodes of the series either for network television or through a streaming service. In the meantime, this is how you can watch Unsolved Mysteries streaming online:
How to Watch Unsolved Mysteries Online & Stream the Complete Series
In the United States, Amazon Prime is the only streaming service with every episode of Unsolved Mysteries in its library. Here’s how to watch:
If you have Amazon Prime, you can watch the original seasons with Robert Stack as the host on your computer right here, or you can watch the later seasons with Dennis Farina as the host right here. You can also watch on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app.
If you don’t have Prime, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial here. Once signed up, you can watch the original seasons with Robert Stack as the host on your computer right here, or you can watch the later seasons with Dennis Farina as the host right here. You can also watch on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app.
How Many Unsolved Mysteries Seasons Are There?
Spanning more than two decades, Unsolved Mysteries aired 14 seasons and 580 episodes; there were also 7 specials aired for the series. Unsolved Mysteries was nominated for six Emmy awards, from 1989 through 1995, for “Outstanding Informational Series”.
Unsolved Mysteries Specials
7 episodes |January 20, 1987 – May 18, 1988
The hour long specials were first hosted by Raymond Burr and Karl Malden before Robert Stack was hired. He would remain with the series through 1999. The specials included features on The Unabomber, the Lost Heirs of George Marsh, Undelivered World War II letters, and the Beale Treasure.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 1
28 episodes | October 5, 1988 – September 3, 1989
With Robert Stack hosting, there were 28 episodes during this season. Some of the featured cases included the murders of Julie Cross, Barbara Jean Horn, and Todd McAfee, lost treasures including the Victoria Peak Treasure, and the Gulf Breeze UFO incident.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 2
31 episodes | September 20, 1989 – September 12, 1990
Some of the more memorable episodes in this season included an investigation into the Roswell Crash, the Blinking Crucifix mystery, Jackie Cooper’s missing nanny, and the Robert F. Kennedy assassination.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 3
30 episodes | September 19, 1990 – September 11, 1991
Some of the more memorable segments in this season included the Kecksburg UFO incident, the Amelia Earhart disappearance, the lost sons of Jim Fontes, and the Pizza Parlor Killer.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 4
37 episodes | September 18, 1991 – September 9, 1992
The mystery of John Wilkes Booth and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, ghosts in the St. James Hotel and Harden House, the Roger Dean murder, and the search for a church arsonist.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 5
35 episodes | September 16, 1992 – September 15, 1993
The series looked into the Joseph Krantz/Martha Doe Roberts kidnapping, the Ed Baker murder, a series killer in New Orleans, the Falcon Lake UFO, and an updated on the Martha Doe Roberts kidnapping.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 6
33 episodes | September 22, 1993 – September 18, 1994
During this season, the producers looked into the Fatima Miracle, the search for Joseph Prushinowski and also Wade Mitchel Parker, the murders of Julie and Jill Hansen, and the Dutch Schultz treasure.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 7
30 episodes | September 25, 1994 – August 30, 1995
Interesting segments in the seventh season include the Mexico City UFO, the legend of the La Posada Hotel, the search for Neil Gott, a postal crimes investigation, and the E.L.F. mystery.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 8
30 episodes | October 20, 1995 – September 13, 1996
In season eight, the murders of Joseph Cole, the Curse of King Tut, an update on the disappearance of Rodger Lindsley, and the legend of the Nazca Lines.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 9
27 episodes | September 20, 1996 – August 8, 1997
In this season, the series looked into the Zodiak Killer case, the murder of Michelle Cartenaga, the legends surrounding fertility statues, and the legend of life on Mars.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 10
6 episodes | November 13, 1997 – May 20, 1988
The series moved to the CBS network for season ten and producers looked into the death of Elvis Presley, the legend of the Chair of Death, and the lost children of Doreen Espinoza.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 11
6 episodes | April 2, 1999 – June 11, 1999
Over the course of six episodes, the series looked into the Ghosts of the Delta Queen, the murder of Bugsy Siegel, the HOPE mystery, and the murder of Ted Binion.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 12
55 episodes | July 2, 2001 – April 29, 2002
In season 12, the series moved to the Lifetime TV network, and began focusing on only one or two mysteries or events in each episode. Some of the more interesting episodes included the search for Logan and Landon Walker, the mystery of the Eagle, the Ghosts of the Lizzie Borden House, and the mystery of the remains at Harper’s Ferry..
Unsolved Mysteries Season 13
48 episodes | June 10, 2002 – September 20, 2002
In this season, producers looing into the Albert Wong/Jessica Constant mystery, the search for Robert Fisher and the search for the Anthrax Killer, the muder of Damien Corrente, and the Fallon Cancer mystery.
Unsolved Mysteries Season 14
175 episodes | October 13, 2008 – April 27, 2010
In season 14, the series moved to cable network SPIKE TV, and much of the season was a re-hash of former episodes, with the only change that of the narrator. The series looked into the deaths of musicians Kurt Cobain and Elvis Presley, the Ray Hickingbotham disappearance, the legend of the Yeti, and the Ten Binion murder mystery.
What Are the Best Unsolved Mysteries Episodes?
Over the course of 508 episodes, several Unsolved Mysteries stand out. Here are some memorable episodes:
Season 2, Episode 14 “Mystery: West End Baptist Church”
The series producers blew up a real live church, which was scheduled to be demolished, in their efforts to recreate an explosion at an actual church. The resulting explosion sent a huge fireball into the air and was much bigger than the producers expected.
Season 6, Episode 33 “Mystery: The Allagash Abductions”
In one of the more surreal episodes, the show tried to answer the question “Are There Aliens”. In the segment, producers used special effects from a company called Area 51, all based on drawings from people who said they were abducted by aliens at some point in their life.
Unsolved Mysteries: Special, Episode 4 “Wanted: David Davis/Murder: Shannon Davis”
The Lifetime TV network made a movie based on this episode. Shannon Mohr had a whirlwind romance and then married Dave Davis, who was married before. She is later killed in a horseback riding incident, and her parents are left to seek justice for her death.
Season 4, Episode 5 “Wanted: Paul Stamper”
Another made-for-TV movie was made after this segment aired. Teresa Stamper was an abused woman, whose husband violated restraining orders and nearly killed her. The movie, Escape from Terror: The Teresa Stamper Story aired on Lifetime.
Season 1, Episode 3 “Halloween Special”
Veering away from the typical “four segments, four topics”, this episode was all about ghosts, and had people telling ghost stories, as well as trying to find out if ghosts were real. The Halloween Special was aired in this way to try to pull in more viewers and get a ratings spike, and featured ghostly mysteries include the legends of The Queen Mary, Tallman House, Tatue House, and The General Wayne Inn. It worked, and periodically, the series producers would air additional specials with a single topic.
Who Are the Actors in the Unsolved Mysteries Cast?
There have been several hosts over the course of Unsolved Mysteries, hundreds of interviews with real people affected by the crimes featured in the series, and even actors used to recreate some of the crimes. Here is a list of the main hosts for Unsolved Mysteries:
Raymond Burr as Himself
Raymond Burr is best known as the television lawer/detective Perry Mason, not only a series, but a string of hit made-for-TV movies. He was the original narrator for Unsolved Mysteries specials. He was an Emmy winning actor, and was nominated for 10 awards over his career.
Karl Malden as Himself
Karl Malden was the second narrator hired for the Unsolved Mysteries specials that began airing in 1987. He is best known for his roles in Patton, A Streetcar Named Desire, and On the Waterfront.
Robert Stack is synonymous with the Unsolved Mysteries franchise, he first gained stardom playing Eliot Ness in The Untouchables. He was diagnosed with cancer just after the series moved to Lifetime, airing reruns, in 2002. Stack would die, from an unrelated heart attack, before the show began producing new episodes in 2003. When people think of the series, they usually think of his cadenced delivery as the narrator of the series.
Virginia Madsen as Herself
Virginia Madsen was brought in as a co-host of the series in 1999, in the hopes of renewing interest and show ratings. She is an Oscar nominated actress, best known for her performance in the film Sideways. She played Kimble Hookstraten in the series Designated Survivor and Rebecca in American Dreams.
Dennis Farina as Himself
Dennis Farina is a well known character actor in Hollywood, best known for his roles in Get Shorty, Snatch, and Midnight Run. He began hosting Unsolved Mysteries when the series moved to SPIKE TV, and many of the episodes were a rehashing of previous episodes.
Who Are the Top Guest Stars on Unsolved Mysteries?
In the early days of Unsolved Mysteries, no actors were used during the recreations of crimes, disappearances, or other mysterious events. Instead, the series relied heavily on interviews with those somehow affected by the event. Later, actors were used to help with the recreations, and the narrator would voice over certain aspects of the crime or mystery. Brent Spiner, Keely Shaye Brosnan, and Cheryl Hines all had guest starring roles. Here are some of the other guest stars to appear on Unsolved Mysteries:
Matthew McConaughy as “murder victim”
In one of Matthew McConaughy’s first acting roles, he played the part of a murder victim for the series. The victim’s killer was later caught, many believe he was caught because of the segment. McConaughy would go on to star in films such as Dallas Buyers Club, A Time to Kill, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
James Ellroy as Himself
Jame Ellroy, an author, appeared on the series in an appeal to help find his mother, who had been murdered.
Reggie White as Himself
Football player Reggie White, appeared on the series in the hopes that he would find out who had set fire to his church.
Ron Bushy as Himself
Ron Bushy, of the band Iron Maiden, appeared on the series hoping to learn more about the disappearance of his band mate, Philip Taylor Kramer.
Who Are the Writers & Creators Behind Unsolved Mysteries?
The series producers and writers created a four segment episode are purposefully. First, so that the most interesting and final segment could be teased in earlier segments, but also so that there would be different subject matter in each segment. So, if the final segment was a murder, earlier segments might deal with amnesia, fraud, missing heirs, the existence of angels or aliens, and more. Here are the producers associated with Unsolved Mysteries:
John Cosgrove: Unsolved Mysteries Creator, Writer, and Producer
John Cosgrove is the co-creator and producer of Unsolved Mysteries. Throughout his career he has been nominated for seven Emmy awards. He is best known for his work on this series, and his company still owns and operates the series website.
Terry Dunn Muerer: Unsolved Mysteries Creator, Writer, and Producer
Terry Dunn Muerer is best known for producing this series. He is also the co-creator, along with John Cosgrove. Muerer has been nominated for seven Emmy awards, and his production company still runs the series website.
Raymond Bridgers: Unsolved Mysteries Producer
Raymond Bridgers has been nominated for five Emmy awards, and is a producer for Unsolved Mysteries. In addition, he has worked on crime documentary projects including Crimes of the Century and the How It Was series of documentaries about Kent State, the Mona Lisa, and Voices of 9/11.
Where Unsolved Mysteries Ranks in the Television Pantheon
In the 1980s, a variety of real life mystery series and ‘cop shows’ were on television, but most were geared toward catching known fugitives or following along with law enforcement officers on a typical work day. The mission of Unsolved Mysteries was to find new clues to solve cold cases and gather evidence that could be take to the authorities, and it relied heavily of interviews with those affected by the mystery. Unsolved Mysteries is primarily seen in reruns today, but the official website invites viewers to submit their stories for feature consideration; the production company for the series also hosts a dedicated YouTube page to air these features. The series production company, Cosgrove-Muerer Productions, has also talked about reviving the series with new episodes.