"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Unsolved cases are a common theme in books, movies, and television. We crave puzzles, and our curiosity drives us to resolve a mystery.

Bestselling fiction author DiAnn Mills is just one example of a writer using real-life cold cases in her writing. Her newest series is based on Houston FBI cold cases. Many authors have used unsolved murders, and unexplained phenomenon to create their own tales. Our obsession with the Titanic, the disappearance of Amelia Earheart, UFO's, and the Bermuda Triangle are just a few other examples.

I challenge you to a writing exercise. Take all of the available research on an unsolved case, and condense it into a feature-length story. If you choose a homicide case that has been under investigation for years, especially if there was a trial, you will have to condense hundreds of pages of material into one compelling story. Once you have mastered all the facts, see if you can figure out exactly what happened and why the killer has been able to elude the police.

What are some of your favorite unsolved cases?


P Lusamba said...

Great post!
-I do love watching documentaries on unsolved mysteries from time to time. I think it's one way to learn about the environment we live in.

Rita A. said...

I love this idea. History is so full of mysteries. I already have ideas.

CA Heaven said...

My favorite unsolved mysteries are all the science problems we can work on in the future. Fortunately, there are still plenty >:)

BTW, there are some interesting scientific hypotheses for the Bermuda Triangle.

Cold As Heaven

A.M. Guynes/Annikka Woods said...

I don't have tv any more but when I did, I'd watch all of the forensic shows, unsolved mysteries, cold cases, things like that. I loved them, and often found myself wondering what exactly happened to the people.

Susan Kane said...

The unsolved mystery now is of the missing English girl, Madeline, who was kidnapped from her bed in Portugal. That was years ago, but every now and then a clue pops up.

Reshma said...

World has a lot of mysteries but in case of an unfortunate event like a crash or accident, I prefer closure for the sake of the families of the victims.
-fellow A-Zer

F Kay said...

In the mid-90s I was obsessed with Lois Duncan, a YA mystery author, who's daughter was killed in Albuquerque at a stoplight. I don't think the murder has ever been solved.

kathrynoh said...

When I was young, a girl was abducted a few towns over from where I lived and whenever we went there, I'd ask where she walked and stuff like that. I think because I was the same age, it really stuck with me.

cifar shayar said...

Recent mystery about Mlaysian plane MH370 is also very interesting.

Viscous Solution

Crystal Collier said...

My goodness, I have enough unsolved mysteries just in my own house in any given 24 hours... (Though I think most of them can be solved by tracking down my youngest.) I imagine my curiosity about the rest of the world will return when I don't have to hunt for an hour to find a pair of scissors. ;)

True Heroes from A to Z

Lucy Sparks said...

I worked as a 911 dispatcher for many years and have countless unsolved stories beside actual cases. I wonder about the mysteries of crime itself.

Sylvia - thanks for stopping by my blog today. I am a budding author and fell in love with your blog. I will constantly be visiting as I progress along my writing journey!

Birgit said...

One of my favourite shows was Unsolved Mysteries. 2 unsolved mysteries come to mind and they deal with the silent cinema-actually 3-1st was a famous director-William Desmond Taylor who was found shot to death in his home. Hurt the career of Mabel Normand-Big comedy star and Mary Miles Minter-who was having an affair with the much older man and she was a Mary Pickford wanna be. Found that he had a previous life back in New York with a wife a child and one day he left to get eggs and never came back. the 2nd-Thomas Ince-famous director who died on board William Randolph heart's yacht. It involved Heart, his mistress, Marion Davies and Charlie Chaplin. The last is an actress named Florence la Badie who died in 1917 mysteriously. I have an intriguing book about her which involves the then president of the United States, possible rape, a child and a car crash. Ms Labadie died 6 mths later from the effects of the crash although she was recovering well. The car disappeared, her home was levelled and her mom disappeared and no one knows what happened to the child

Jacquie said...

I lvoe mysteries! I don't know that I have a favorite "unsolved" one but I do love a good mystery.

Returning the visit from A-Z challenge.

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