On July 1, 2020, Netflix thrilled mystery craving fans with a reboot of the classic true crime series, Unsolved Mysteries. So far, the streaming giant has six episodes waiting for fans to binge and help solve the cases.
The first episode of the series surrounds the mysterious death of Rey Rivera, a 32-year-old finance writer. However, fans are quick to point out that the 52-minute installment left out three important details found in the book, written by Mikita Brottman: An Unexplained Death: The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere.
‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Rey Rivera episode claimed no one heard a sound
The first significant discrepancy between the Unsolved Mysteries episode and the reports of a woman who lived in the Belvedere was the fact that someone did hear a sound.
In her true crime novel, Brottman writes that she heard a tremendous crashing sound the night of Rivera’s death. She chalked it up to random city noises; however, she notated it in her journal. The author lived on the 5th floor of the complex with an East facing window. Her condo overlooked the roof with the hole that Rivera was found under.
“Detectives did not ask Mikita if she had heard anything that night,” one Reddit fan wrote. “They, in fact, didn’t question her at all. If you reviewed the Netflix episode, the detective states he just entered the premises and asked anyone he saw if they heard or saw anything — not diligently knocking on doors. Very vague.”
Fans point out that the detective should have been more thorough interviewing those who lived in the condos overlooking the crime scene.
There was more to the story surrounding the hole Rey Rivera fell through
Brottman’s interest in Rivera’s death peaked because she overlooked the scene of the crime. She often watched from her window as the police officers attempted to recreate the fall. The location was not roped off or secured afterward, so she quickly gained access to peek around at the crime scene.
In her book, she notes that the hole looked “substantially” larger from inside the room than from outside. The author also added that half of the roof had collapsed with rafters and beams buckling.
At the time, several theories said that Rivera fell from a helicopter. However, the family looked into air traffic control and did not find anything.
“It’s worth noting that from living in Baltimore, personally, helicopter traffic is very common, and the noise or hovering wouldn’t be noteworthy to any resident,” wrote one Redditor. “There are many large hospitals, and high crime that cause many helicopters to fly above the city on a day to day basis.”
More details about Porter Stansbury are in the book about the ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ case
Rivera’s longtime friend, Porter Stansbury, was not part of the Netflix episode. He also did not attend either of his friend’s Santa Monica Memorial or Baltimore funeral. A crisis management firm hired by Stanbury’s office denied a “gag order” surrounding the case.
“There was no gag order or direction given to employees to not speak to the press, law enforcement, or any other party,” David Churbuck told The Baltimore Sun on July 2, 2020. “Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue.”
In the book, Brottman adds that Stansbury arrived at Rivera’s wedding in Puerto Rico by a private helicopter. Fans think that the fact is significant. Did Rivera’s close friend have something to do with his death? Hopefully, someone comes forward to Unsolved Mysteries soon to help solve the case.