Over the course of 23 years, Unsolved Mysteries served up missing persons, fugitives, paranormal stories, and even miracles to an audience full of people hoping they held a clue that would help solve one of the mysteries. It was inevitable that some of the cases featured over that time span would involve celebrities in the capacity of victims or mourning friends/family members.
Still, it is surprising to see famous names turn up in the initial episodes or when digging further into the cases on the internet. Here are some of the most interesting unsolved mysteries —and solved— involving celebrities.
In December 1991, Rollins was living with Joe Cole, son of soap opera star Dennis Cole. The pair lived in Venice, California, where Cole spoke with the homeless for a documentary he was making while Rollins performed with his Rollins Band. On December 19, Rollins and Cole left their home to walk to a 24-hour market for some groceries, as they did quite often.
On the way back home, a pair of men with guns snuck up on them and forced them to their knees on the sidewalk and took the $50 Rollins and Cole had on them. Dissatisfied with the insignificant take, the robbers forced the roommates to take them into their nearby house. Once inside, the robbers began shooting and Rollins bolted through the house, out a back door, and called police. When police arrived, Cole was dead inside the home and the robbers were gone. They are still at large.
On June 17, 1995, Stephanie Booker, Kim Colvin, and Sabra Scott had finished a day of boating on Lewisville Lake in Texas and were slowly making their way to Pier 121 Marina in a no-wake zone when tragedy struck. A man driving a cigarette-style boat sped toward them, hitting the back of the women’s boat and jumping over it. The propellers of the negligent boater’s craft sliced Booker’s face so grotesquely that it was resting off of her skull and in her hands.
The cigarette boat’s driver, a stocky white male with clean-shaven hair, stopped several feet away from the three women and ignored their pleas for assistance before speeding off again with his passenger, an athletic woman with long, dark hair. Brooks required a multitude of surgeries to repair the damage to her face and police began looking for the owner of the boat.
In their search, a witness claimed they saw the man and woman hitching the boat to a white 4x4 pickup truck before speeding from the scene. In a strange turn, former NBA player Dennis Rodman owned a boat at the time that fit the description of the hit-and-run craft: a25 to 30 foot-long Miami Vice style speedboat painted white with teal green markings.
While Booker and her companions sued Pier 121 Marina for the poor lighting, lax management, and non-existent enforcement of low speeds in their no wake area that helped contribute to the accident, Rodman was deposed concerning the boat. The case, however, remains unsolved.
In one of the paranormal segments of the show, comedian and actor Blake Clarke (lots of Adam Sandler movies) re-enacted his own experiences in the supposedly haunted The Comedy Store in LA. Among other supposed events, Clarke claimed he witnessed an ashtray thrown at fellow comedian Joey Gaynor after the latter attempted to get the ghosts to prove they were present. On other occasions, Clarke claimed to see a barstool move on its own, a metal grate covering a fire extinguisher opening and closing unassisted, and a grey mist in the basement.
Ron Bushy of Iron Butterfly
Bushy was the drummer for Iron Butterfly and became involved in the show when his former bandmate, bassist Philip Taylor Kramer, disappeared. Amid increasingly strange behaviors from Kramer, everything culminated on February 12, 1995, when he called 9-1-1 to report he wanted to kill himself. Kramer was never heard from again, so his wife and Bushy used Unsolved Mysteries as a platform to reach out to Kramer on the chance he was still alive and watching.
Unfortunately, Kramer’s body was found inside his van in May 1999. Hikers uncovered the rusted vehicle in Decker Canyon.
Jon Bon Jovi
Katherine Erin Korzilius was the young daughter of Bon Jovi’s personal manager, Paul Korzilius. She went missing on August 7, 1996, at the age of six. Her mother allowed her to get the mail from their neighborhood mailbox a short distance from their home. Nancy Korzilius and her son, Chris, continued home and waited for Katherine to return, but she never did.
Driving to the community mailboxes, Nancy found Katherine unconscious, and hospital staff determined her skull was fractured. Katherine passed away from her injuries and a medical examiner determined she likely sustained the fatal blow to the head and some abrasions found on her body by falling or jumping from a moving car. While her family believes she was abducted and leaped from her captor’s vehicle, another theory is that the girl grabbed the back of Nancy’s car and fell off.
Bon Jovi wrote a song called “August 7, 4:15” about the incident. It remains unsolved.
The late Reggie White, former Green Bay Packer, was a pastor at Inner City Church in Knoxville, Tennessee when it was targeted by arson on January 8, 1996. Multiple fuels and tactics were used in the fire, including Molotov cocktails, gun powder, and kerosene, which damaged the church above what its fire policy covered.
Investigators found racial slurs on the walls of the Inner City Church from the arsonist, linking it to over twenty other cases of predominantly Black churches burned down across multiple Southern states. White appeared on the show to ask for assistance in finding the perpetrator or perpetrators involved in the arson. The case is still open.
New Kids on the Block
On June 22, 1987, Kari Lynn Nixon was 16-years-old when she failed to return from a late-night market run for her father. After arriving at the corner store and purchasing her items, Nixon was never seen again. While Nixon and her family lived in New York, multiple witnesses in Eutawville, South Carolina claimed they saw her in November of that year. Investigators were unable to verify her whereabouts and the case went cold until June 5, 1989.
New Kids on the Block filmed their “Hanging Tough” music video during a Los Angeles concert. One of the girls in the audience of the concert bore a resemblance to Nixon, prompting Jordan and Jonathan Knight to appear on Unsolved Mysteries to ask for anyone with information about the girl to call in.
On January 28, 1994, Robert Anthony Jones admitted to abducting, raping, and murdering Nixon the night of her disappearance.