5 Times Iowans Were Featured on ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ [WATCH]
One of the most popular shows on Netflix right now is the reboot of the series Unsolved Mysteries. There are only three seasons of the new edition, but the show dates all the way back to 1987! Using the Unsolved Mysteries Wiki site, I went back through the show's history to take a look at some of the Iowa mysteries that have been featured on episodes. Here are five of the big ones:
- Episode aired May 2, 1990
- LaVona and LaVelda Rowe-Richmond were identical twins from Iowa City that were born in 1933. They were so in sync with each other that they believed they had some type of "twin ESP." Back in 1952, LaVelda was in a car accident and LaVona was able to sense what was happening to her twin. Their father did not believe LaVona at the time. According to the Unsolved Mysteries Wiki page, "When LaVelda returned safely, their father, still skeptical, asked LaVona to drive to the place where the accident occurred, and within a few minutes she was able to locate the crash site, even though she had never been there." The twins also had an identical medical history, gave identical answers on tests, and even married a set of identical twins.
- LaVona and LaVelda's incredibly strong "twin ESP" has never been explained. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, they were named the "most identical set of twins" by the International Twins Association in 1958. LaVelda died in 2009 and LaVona died in 2019.
- Episode aired April 29, 1992
- Back in 1941, siblings Dolores, Donald, Walter, and Richard Stradt of Ottumwa, Iowa were put under the care of their aunt because their parents couldn't take care of them. The Child Welfare Department then took the kids away, and Donald and Dolores were taken in by a nurse at a Lutheran children's home. Dolores was eventually adopted and Donald helped her get adjusted to her new life. He was then taken back to the children's home and never saw his sister again. Later in life he was able to locate the rest of his family, but not Dolores. He was hoping to reunite with her.
- When this episode of Unsolved Mysteries aired, Dolores happened to be watching it. Her new name was Penelope Sue Lewis and she reached out to the show. Just three days later, the family was able to reunite.
- Episode aired May 6, 1988
- Steven Hadley was husband, father, and manager & head teller at John Deere Community Credit Union in Waterloo. On July 21, 1983, he stole 1.14 million dollars from the credit union and left the state. He left his wife a note that read: "This is a very difficult letter to write, but I couldn't let you find out from someone else. If I call you to read this letter it means that I had successfully left the state with around $1 million from the credit union. I started to fantasize about how easy it would be to get so much money, it has become a game to come up with ideas about how to do it and cover my trail. I don't expect you to understand what is compelling me to do something this drastic." His family had not seen him since.
- Unfortunately for Steve, a police officer in Friendswood, Texas, recognized Steve from an FBI wanted poster that was sent out prior the broadcast. He was arrested using the name Richard Glenn Finley just a few days before the episode of Unsolved Mysteries aired. He stood trial in Iowa and was sentenced to thirteen years in prison, but he was moved to a prison in Texas to be closer to his new wife (who soon divorced him). He was released in 1992.
- Episode aired November 8, 1996
- 21-year-old Kirkwood Community College student Jarod Adam Allgood was killed February 9, 1993 after running into a semi-tractor trailer on Highway 30. According to the Unsolved Mysteries Wiki page, "on the day of his death, he got out of his bed and ran out of his apartment; his eyes were open, but he was not awake, and he began to run a mile." He was barefoot and wearing only his boxer shorts. At first, authorities thought he had committed suicide, but Jarod's family believed it was because of sleepwalking, which he had struggled with since he was young. He apparently had a recurring dream where he was racing someone who was driving a car.
- The mystery of Jarod's death has been solved - it was eventually determined by experts that he was, in fact, sleepwalking at the time of his death.
- Episode aired February 18, 1996
- One of the most well-known unsolved mysteries here in Iowa is the disappearance of news anchor Jodi Huisentruit. Back on June 27th of 1995, 27-year-old Jodi was leaving her apartment to go to work at KIMT in Mason City, Iowa, but she never made it there. At around 7 a.m., her coworkers called the police to investigate. When authorities arrived at her apartment, they discovered Jodi's car in the parking lot, along with personal items and signs of a struggle. Jodi is believed to have been abducted, but since she has never been found, despite exhaustive search efforts.
- Jodi's case is still unsolved, and she was legally declared dead in 2001. Back in January, 20/20 aired an episode about Jodi's case with some new suspects and information, but there has yet to be any update.
You can check out the rest of the episodes that involve Iowa HERE.