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Heartwarming / Unsolved Mysteries

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  • While the show did deal primarily with crimes, unexplained phenomenon and various other spooky things, it did on occasion deal with people looking for long-lost relatives. Many times in later broadcasts, these long-lost relatives and loved ones got to meet again after decades of being separated, sometimes having not seen each other since they were children.
  • "Ghost Writer," where an elderly widow claims to have received a letter from her departed husband, who visited her oldest daughter one night. Even though it's almost beyond doubt —even to the credulous viewer— that the daughter actually wrote the letter and not her late husband (the old woman treats the letter's use of her pet names as Something Only They Would Say, even though her kids would have had to hear their father call their mother "Tress" at some point, and even a stranger could have guessed something as generic as "Sweetheart"), it's still an undeniably warm and fuzzy supernatural moment nestled between all the more frightening ghost tales on the show.
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  • While many of the Amnesia stories did not end on a happy note, at least one did: the story of a French-Canadian man who in 1992 found himself in southern California suffering from total amnesia. Due to a viewer tip, he was identified as Pierre April of Lachine, Québec (now part of Montréal). The post-story update as revealed on YouTube mentioned that April eventually did recover all of his lost memories, although the cause of his amnesia remains a mystery.
  • Several of the Lost Loves segments, especially once they were resolved, including, to name a few:
    • Two little girls both in the cancer ward (one had benign tumors in her throat while the other had ovarian cancer) and the former offering to share a baby with her friend who is unable to have children when they grow up. (Nikki Wade-Crowder and Charita Harding-Buckner; Solved)
    • A young transfer student named Judi, on crutches due to polio, was befriended on her first day of junior high by Becky, the most popular girl in school. Despite Judi's disability, Becky treated her as though they were no different, and the two girls were inseparable until Becky's dad was transferred and her family had to move. (Judi Davis Dymond and Becky Terry; Solved. Their reunion also reunited them with David Majors, a classmate who had dated both girls (not at the same time) in seventh grade.)
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    • A young man who, before being seriously injured while surfing, was a basketball star on a scholarship in college and was looking for the woman who pulled him out of the water and saved his life. (Philip Macri and Linda Potts; Solved)
    • A woman whose neck was broken in a car accident, but whose life was saved by a passing truck driver. (Wilma Drew and unnamed trucker; Solved. He was overjoyed to learn that she had lived.)
    • A woman who lost her mother, twin sister and little sister in a car accident as a little girl and was looking for the rest of her mother's side of the family. (Solved, but this is also a Tear Jerker as well since the woman's grandfather passed away just two days after being reunited.)
    • Fritz and the Soldiers featured the often-told story about a young boy whose mother sheltered a few German and American soldiers under her roof, convincing them to leave their weapons aside and have the potatoes and meat she was cooking. Neither the mother nor son could speak English, but fortunately the mother was fluent in French, as was one of the Americans. They entertained her son and one of the Germans even looked at a wound on a American's soldier and offered his recommendations and later all looked up at the stars before retiring to bed. It's a famous story, but the Unsolved Mysteries broadcast led to an extra touch of heartwarming: 50 some years later, Fritz, now an American citizen, reunited with one of them on the Golden Anniversary of that Christmas dinner.
      • It's all the more heartwarming considering Fritz's mother knowingly risked her life by inviting the American soldiers in, as harboring the enemy carried a death sentence.
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    • A Japanese-American soldier named Mitchell Shigemoto faced prejudice from members of his own unit during The Vietnam War, then found friendship with the black troops. When he was wounded in combat, his closest ally, James "Jim" Pearson, broke ranks and defied orders to get him away from the front line. The two comrades never saw each other again until their story aired on Unsolved Mysteries and a viewer who was also a military veteran took it upon himself to reunite them. Aside from reuniting in paradise (Mitchell lives in Hawaii with his family), they were both so happy to find each other again and remain close to this day. Furthermore, not only was their story the 200th solved case, the image of them embracing even made it into the series' 1995-1998 intro.
    • A hearing-impaired woman named Patti English was looking for her long-lost father. To wit, he was a loving man and great father to her, but unfortunately his time with her was limited as he was divorced from her mother, who had sole custody and she had remarried another man and both of whom were rather cold to the girl growing up, not even allowing the man to have visits with her at home or school. Fortunately, life eventually became happy for the woman, as she married a fellow hearing-impaired man, had two hearing children with him and the night of the broadcast, her father Robert Wilson-Miller was watching and they reunited soon after.
  • The story of Wendy Radcliffe, whose grandmother was struck by a car right before Wendy's eyes and later died from her injuries. When Wendy was shoved away from the accident scene by EMS workers who didn't know she was the victim's granddaughter, and later in the hospital when Wendy was told her grandmother was dead, a mysterious stranger from a nearby restaurant was there to comfort and console her, and Wendy firmly believed that if this Good Samaritan had not been there, she would have fallen apart completely. The stranger, Karen Barnes, called the show herself on the night of the broadcast, and Wendy, who was reunited with Karen a week later, finally got the chance to thank her.
  • Robert Stack kept in touch with several families that were highlighted on the show, for many years, such as Jennifer Pratt who was left with brain damage after a senseless attack.
  • 42 years after his first rape in the Sacramento area and 16 years after the original episode about his crimes aired on the show, the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker was identified and arrested as Joseph James Deangelo Jr, on April 25th 2018. Giving closure needed by victims and loved ones for 4 decades.
  • The story of Cathy Williams-Loving, who (after being repeatedly raped and abused by her police detective stepfather) was saved from being sent to a home for delinquents (under false charges) when a kind Deputy Sheriff listened to her and believed her story. The Deputy Sheriff helped her get in touch with a social worker; she was emancipated, and went on to start a church group that counsels abused children. The Deputy Sheriff (now retired) recognized himself from the show and called in; thirty years after they parted ways, Cathy was finally able to reunite with the man she calls her "savior".
  • A "Sci-Med"/"Miracles" episode featured a baby girl who had a stomach blockage that was going to kill her before her first birthday. While her parents hoped for a miracle to save her while also preparing for the worst, around Christmastime in the middle of the night, her Uncle came by, sort of unexpectedly, said he was compelled to come by and asked to pray with the little girl. Her parents complied and after praying for her for a long time, the girl ended up being cured completely. Also, as a happy post note to the story, the show had received two photos of the now-college-aged girl: one of her flashing a peace sign and the other one hugging her now-middle-aged mother who was featured in the segment.
    • Even more dramatic is the story of Logan Carroll, an infant who literally came back from the dead. His parents, Tami and Todd, had previously had a stillborn daughter, and at first it looked like Logan's life would end just as tragically: his heart stopped, no brain activity was detected, and he was pronounced dead at just 33 minutes old. 40 minutes later, Tami's stepmother was holding Logan when she noticed that he was getting warmer, and sure enough, doctors and nurses confirmed that he had somehow come back to life. His resurrection remains unexplained to this day, but the Unsolved Mysteries Wiki reports that Logan, although he suffered cerebral palsy due to brain damage from his brief death and was wheelchair-bound, lived to be 24 years old and was healthy and happy.
  • Speaking of miraculous and mysterious cures, one episode dealt with the small French town of Lourdes, where a teenaged girl named Bernadette Soubirous claimed to have seen the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858. The spring waters in the baths at Lourdes are believed by many to possess miraculous powers. Two women who believed they were cured from terminal illnesses due to their pilgrimages to Lourdes were interviewed for the episode. A French student nurse, Jeanne Fretel, suffered from tubercular peritonitis and was so ill that doctors believed she would not survive a trip to Lourdes and advised her friends to take along a coffin. After taking Holy Communionnote  and being moved to the grotto where Bernadette's vision occurred, Jeanne was cured, and the local Archdiocese declared her case a miracle. Some years later, an American teenager, Lorraine Echevarria, was stricken with an illness that made her so weak she couldn't lift her head and was causing her kidneys to shut down. At Lourdes, after having some of the water from the baths poured over her head, Lorraine awoke in the middle of the night and realized she felt hungry and was now able to walk. Lorraine also said she had a dream in which she was told she was being cured so she could tell others that "He [presumably Jesus] still exists."
  • While not crime-related or a tale of missing love, the story of Philip Pauli — an eight-year-old child prodigy — received a heartwarming update years later. At age 11, Pauli completed an internship (which he had just started at the time the episode aired) at the Denver Museum of Natural History; at the age of nineteen, he became the youngest person to ever attend the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy; the update ended by noting that he had begun studying theology and philosophy at Oxford University (especially touching given that as a boy, Philip was deeply concerned about the state of humanity).
    • After the show ended, he went on to become the director for a non-profit group fighting stigma and advancing job opportunities for disabled people.
  • The reunion between James P. "Jim" Meade Jr and Lt. Karen Stephens. Jim, an eighteen-year-old army helicopter pilot, was shot down and suffered severe injuries that left him with shattered legs, a fractured skull and an inability to walk or talk. Lt. Karen "Betty" Stephens was an army physical therapist and had to teach him how to eat, walk talk and do other physical tasks, starting with teaching Jim to crawl across mats. During one of these sessions some watching basic trainees laughed at Jim after he fell flat on his face several times. Lt. Stephens, infuriated, went right over to them, yelled at them and ordered them out of the room. One year after they met, Lt. Stephens left the army but her encouragement and dedication meant that Jim eventually regained all his motor skills and abilities. Lt. Stephens saw the broadcast, recognized Jim, found out that he was looking for her and they were reunited.
  • The 2020 Netflix revival of the series focused on the human emotions of the stories involved and the interviewees rather than the spookiness of the cases and the intro even ends with a slight illustration of Robert Stack, as a tribute.
    • "We have also opted for a hostless format, because the late, legendary Robert Stack was a singular and irreplaceable presence," Unsolved Mysteries producer Shawn Levy said in a press release. "In Robert's absence, we are letting the spirit and the strength of the stories carry the narrative. Above all, our aspiration was to make a new chapter worthy of his memory and of iconic contribution to this iconic series." Aww.