‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Showrunner Reveals Why Porter Stansberry Refused to Appear on Rey Rivera Episode

Fans of Unsolved Mysteries know that there are still a lot of unknowns in Rey Rivera’s case. The testimony of his best friend and boss, Frank Porter Stansberry, would have been a valuable piece of the puzzle, but it was never featured on the Netflix series. As it turns out, the series showrunner spoke to Stansberry about appearing on the episode, but he refused for a very specific reason. 

'Unsolved Mysteries' on Netflix
‘Unsolved Mysteries’ | Netflix

An ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ episode renews interest in Rey Rivera’s case

The first episode of Netflix’s true crime docuseries, “Mystery on the Rooftop,” examines the circumstances around Rivera’s death. Told through the testimony of his wife Alison, as well as his brother and other media and law enforcement officials involved in the case, the episode details the events leading up to Rivera’s disappearance and the investigation following the discovery of his body.

In 2006, Rivera received a phone call and rushed out of his home. Over a week later, his body was found in the conference hall of the Belvedere Hotel. After finding a hole in the ceiling, investigators concluded that Rivera jumped from the top of the hotel and crashed through the roof of the lower structure. While authorities ruled his case a suicide, his wife and brother insist that he was murdered. 

There are a few facts that make Rivera’s case so mysterious. The hole through which he supposedly fell was not very large, and his cell phone and glasses were found above it unscathed. His flip flops were ripped and broken, and he suffered multiple physical injuries all over his body. Rivera also left an unusual, and seemingly incoherent letter taped behind his computer. 

The biggest mystery is his friend, Frank Porter Stansberry

But after seeing all the evidence and testimony on Unsolved Mysteries, viewers were still left wondering why Rivera’s friend and boss, Frank Porter Stansberry, wasn’t on the show. The Belvedere Hotel where Rivera’s body was found is right next to the Stansberry Research building. And the phone call Rivera received when he rushed out of the house came from the same office. 

The only thing that the show revealed was that Stansberry offered a $1,000 reward after Rivera initially went missing. A law enforcement official who was involved in the case also claims that Stansberry’s company instituted a gag order after Rivera’s body was found. And he also says that Stansberry “lawyered up” and did not offer up much information during the investigation.

The ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ showrunner reveals why Frank Porter Stansberry refused to appear on the episode

In a recent interview with the You Can’t Make This Up podcast, Unsolved Mysteries showrunner Terry Dunn Meurer revealed that she did speak to Stansberry about appearing on the episode. She says that he refused and told her he didn’t want the media attention. 

“I actually personally spoke to Porter Stansberry and asked him to interview for the episode,” Meurer said. “We had a long conversation and he declined to be interviewed ultimately. He said they recommended to their employees to not speak to the media because they wanted the entire situation to just die down and not make it a big media event.”


‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Rey Rivera Case: Company Denies Gag Order Was Ever in Place

She said that Stansberry also told her that he never issued a gag order on his employees. However, she noted that, as seen on the show, the detective investigating the case did not get much cooperation from the company after Rivera’s body was found. 

Stansberry hasn’t made any public statements since the Unsolved Mysteries episode premiered on Netflix. It’s clear that he doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. But until the case is solved, people will continue to wonder what relevant information he might have.