I cover a lot of mysteries on my blog. Missing people, unsolved murders, some more missing people... Some have been solved, but many more never will be.
The older a case is, the less likely it is to be solved. This is especially true if you didn't grab the world's attention like Madeleine McCann:
Or captivate the nation like Natalee Holloway
Over time, a missing persons case drops out of the news, sadly. New cases come along, grabbing media attention, and eventually people forget. Additionally, today's cases can't possibly get enough attention due to something called narrowcasting. Narrowcasting basically means this:
It was something we studied in broadcasting in 1990. Instead of three channels, like people had in the "old days," we'd already gone to more than 100. We knew even then that the future would bring even more channels. We discussed the possibility that someday people could just watch whatever they wanted, whenever we wanted. And no, we had NO idea something called the internet would bring that!
Today if someone disappears, the message can be distributed through a variety of sources. TV news, radio, newspapers, online publications, personal Facebook feeds, Facebook groups, online forums, podcasts, YouTube videos... The list goes on. Unfortunately, each of those methods only reaches a small segment of the market.
Nothing makes that clearer than watching old episodes of Unsolved Mysteries on Amazon Prime. Other than the bad 80s/90s hairstyles, the one thing that is most glaringly obvious is that when cases showed up on Unsolved Mysteries, chances were they were going to be solved.
If a missing person or criminal on the run was still alive, someone, somewhere was going to call that hotline and report the person. Why? Although Unsolved Mysteries was not the top-rated show of its time, it still had more viewers than today's number one shows. More people were watching...mostly because we didn't have that much else to do if we were home.
Today we have Amber Alerts, which let us know when a child is in immediate danger. But what about cold cases? Who's getting the word out about Bryce Laspisa, who disappeared from his overturned truck in 2013?
Or Leah Roberts, who disappeared while traveling in 2000?
There are so many cases like these. Too many to count. Thousands upon thousands of faces, leaving behind grieving family members. If we had a show with the reach Unsolved Mysteries or America's Most Wanted had back in the 80s, would we see more of this?
What cold case would you like to see solved?