TV & Movies

13 Shows Like Unsolved Mysteries That Will Keep You Up All Night

From cold cases to tangled mysteries.

Atlanta mothers Evelyn Miller, Willie Mae Mathis, Sheila Baltazar and Annie Hill protest in 1984
Courtesy of Georgia State University/AP/HBO

Since its premiere in 1987, there have been a number of shows like Unsolved Mysteries. This is, after all, a series credited with helping to shape true crime as we know it, turning a generation of fans into armchair detectives. "For viewers, the thought that a murderer or missing person might be someone they knew gave the show an energy that presaged the kind of true crime obsessiveness found today," Brian Tallerico recently wrote for the New York Times, citing podcasts like Serial and My Favorite Murder.

After Unsolved Mysteries' success, news programs like 48 Hours and Dateline NBC began to focus on more criminal cases. That trickled down to more recent hits, like Netflix's Making a Murderer and The Innocence Files. In 2017, Oxygen even rebranded as a crime-focused network.

It's no surprise, then, that Netflix's Unsolved Mysteries reboot has similarly inflamed the internet; since its debut only a few short weeks ago, the show's subreddit has ballooned to over 1 million members. Unsolved Mysteries is set to return with another volume of cases later this year, but an official premiere date has not yet been announced. Until then, here are 13 other shows to keep any internet sleuth occupied.


Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children

In the late '70s and early '80s, roughly 29 Black children, teens, and adults were kidnapped and killed in what's become known as the Atlanta child murders. Wayne Williams was a prime suspect, but he was only convicted for two killings in February 1982 and has maintained that he never murdered any children. The rest of the cases have remained unsolved for decades, but they were reopened in 2019. HBO's five-episode docuseries follows the reopened investigation and features interviews with many of the victims' family members.

Where to stream: HBO Now or HBO Max


The Innocent Man

2018's The Innocent Man is equal parts fascinating and infuriating. Based on a 2006 nonfiction book by John Grisham, it follows the separate 1980s murders of two women in Ada, Oklahoma and the men who were eventually convicted. Two of them were wrongfully convicted, and the other two have maintained they're innocent.

Where to stream: Netflix


The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

HBO's masterful docuseries features interviews with Robert Durst, who has been a murder suspect three times. He was accused of killing his first wife, Kathleen A. Durst, who went missing in 1982; his friend Susan Berman, who died of a gunshot wound in December 2000; and his neighbor Morris Black, who was murdered in September 2001. Durst confessed to killing Black, citing self-defense, and was eventually acquitted in 2003, but has denied killing Berman and Kathleen, who was declared dead in 2017. He's currently awaiting trial for Berman's murder.

Come for the gripping storytelling, stay for the hot mic that infamously caught Durst saying, "What the hell did I do? I killed them all."

Where to stream: HBO Now or HBO Max


The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

This Netflix docuseries details the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann, a three-year-old British girl who went missing while her parents were on vacation in Portugal. Her cold case was recently reopened due to a new suspect the German authorities have named Christian B., according to the BBC. However, that might not be enough without other new information. "One has to be honest and remain open to the possibility that our investigation could end without a charge, that it ends like the others have," a prosecutor named Hans Christian Wolters told the BBC. "We are optimistic it will be different for us, but for that we need more information."

Where to stream: Netflix


Who Killed Malcolm X?

Though three men were convicted for assassinating Malcolm X on February 21, 1965, two of the men — Muhammad Abdul Aziz (also known as Norman 3X Butler) and the late Khalil Islam (or Thomas 15X Johnson) — maintained their innocence. This Netflix series revisits all of the evidence, weaving a case so compelling, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office decided to reinvestigate the convictions days after the show premiered.

Where to stream: Netflix


The Most Dangerous Animal of All

FX's 2020 docuseries follows Gary Stewart, who believes his biological father was the Zodiac Killer and spent a decade trying to prove it.

Where to stream: Hulu


Dateline NBC

With a premium Peacock account, you can watch the 11 most recent seasons of NBC's classic true crime series Dateline, which focuses on a new case each episode.

Where to stream: Peacock


The Case Against Adnan Syed

Sure, you've listened to Serial, but have you watched HBO's docuseries on Adnan Syed's case?

Where to stream: HBO Now or HBO Max


The Innocence Files

This poignant docuseries follows several cases from The Innocence Project, an organization that seeks to free people who've been wrongfully imprisoned.

Where to stream: Netflix


Ancient Aliens

If you're partial to Episode 5 of Unsolved Mysteries, History Channel's long-running series about aliens will be right up your alley.

Where to stream: Hulu


I'll Be Gone in the Dark

Author Michelle McNamara spent years searching for California's infamous Golden State Killer, who raped and killed dozens of women between 1974 and 1986. But while in the middle of working on a book about her hunt for the criminal, she died unexpectedly due to a combination of drugs in her system and an undiagnosed heart condition. Afterward, McNamara's husband, the actor and comedian Patton Oswalt, recruited journalist Billy Jensen and Paul Haynes to finish the book, which HBO's six-part docuseries is based on. It also includes one final twist: the Golden State Killer was caught in 2018.

Where to stream: HBO Now or HBO Max


Cold Case Files

Much like Unsolved Mysteries, this long-running A&E docuseries explores cold cases (hence the name). It originally aired from 1999 to 2006, and Netflix revived the show for one season in 2017.

Where to stream: Hulu and Netflix


The Original Unsolved Mysteries

If you can't get enough of the Netflix revival but never watched the original Unsolved Mysteries, there are 14 seasons and nearly 600 episodes to stream on various platforms.

Where to stream: Peacock, Hulu, or Amazon Prime