Unsolved Mysteries: Public Involvement in Crime Solving

All facets of crime have captured the fascination of the public throughout history. As a result, law enforcement has made various attempts to implore the public to get involved with crime fighting or solving initiatives. One such attempt may include wanted postings, many of which offered a reward for those who were able to provide helpful information. Additionally, many communities have initiatives to get members involved in protecting their neighborhoods through something such as a neighborhood watch. As the internet has become increasingly prominent, there has been a rise in fascination with true crime in the media, and Netflix has come up with a way to take advantage of this and continue to get viewers involved.

Unsolved Mysteries is a three-season series with each episode focusing on the details of a specific true crime case. These cases range from missing persons, murders, and various other crimes that law enforcement agencies have been unable to solve. Each episode features a dramatization of the known facts of the case along with interviews of people involved such as family members, friends, officers who worked on the case, etc. At the end of each episode there are resources provided where users can get in contact with the show if they have any information about the specific case.

True crime shows such as this have become so popular due to the fact that the victims featured are not some fictitious character, but real people, just like those listening. Additionally, the common person often aims to understand how someone else, who may appear just like them, could do such horrific things. The sheer popularity of the show proves that the public enjoys being involved in the crime fighting process and, if clued into enough details, they will be inclined to fill in the blanks for themselves and possibly even the authorities. They may not have the same training as law enforcement officials, but sometimes an interested public servant with some time on their hands can make the biggest difference in getting a case solved.

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Jordan Leavitt-McGee

6 thoughts on “Unsolved Mysteries: Public Involvement in Crime Solving

  1. I think shows like Unsolved Mysteries can be extremely important to a case. From simply providing means to exposure to leading to breaking evidence, these shows can mean all of the difference in a case. However, there are some malicious people in the world that speak ill of victims or families of victims once these cases begin to surface. There are other instances, like in the University of Idaho case, where an innocent bystander is accused of committing the crime and are harassed to no end. By the time Bryan Kohberger was arrested in this case, it was too late for a man at a food truck and his life was essentially ruined. So this begs the question, when are the ethics of shows like this brought up? And when should we stop relying on normal people to do the jobs of those getting paid to solve these crimes?

  2. I have actually really enjoyed the series as well because it does in fact truly employ help from the public to see if additional information can be given to law enforcement to potentially solve these cases. The public can be very useful to law enforcement at the right time in the investigation. Docuseries like Unsolved mysteries can shed light on cases that may have been forgotten or simply too difficult to gather more evidence for the case because of time.

  3. True crime shows have gained such immense popularity in recent years. That being said these shows can sometimes be dangerous. Because they feature real live people, the creators must be careful that they are not further causing harm to the families. Sometimes when these shows are created, families come out and explain that they did want their story to be featured at all or they refuse to comment all together. These show often provide new theories as to what may have happened in these situations and pointing a finger at a new suspect can also be dangerous for someone who has been affected by the issue.

  4. Crime shows and podcasts have gained popularity among the public for the true horrors that people are capable of doing, yet also provides a learning experience as to some ways that one can reduce their chances of becoming a victim and receive justice if attacked (ie. aim to scratch the attacker to get DNA under nails and being wary of surroundings at any point of time). I believe true crime shows not only provide solidarity but are also beneficial in gaining the public’s help to achieve a sense of safety in the community. In fact, I recently came across on TikTok posts about Chicago’s serial killer incidents and the collaboration of the public to find the criminal and prevent people from becoming additional victims by educating them of patterns that the serial killer is taking to target victims.

  5. I find it very interesting that after all these years, people are still putting in the effort to find answers for these families and loved ones, there should be hope for one day receiving those answers. Giving these families their peace of mind and closure.

  6. I think it’s amazing how the interact can be used for good when we want justice. It does sadden me that a lot of cases do not get the recognition and attention they’re supposed to receive, it is still amazing to think about the amount of cases that have been solved due to the fact the internet investigates every little detail. The context from series is truly fascinating and interesting it teaches us how to be more alert and cautious in any situation.

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