‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Episode 8 Review: What Happened to the Body of Marliz Spannhake?

This is it! The second-to-last episode of Unsolved Mysteries, Volume 3. The popular series has come back on Netflix with a batch of new episodes, going deep into some of the most strange unsolved cases in the United States of America. This season brought some good variety. While most of the episodes seem to hint at foul play, and many just involve people disappearing from their homes to never be seen again, there are also a couple of ones dealing with the supernatural and even aliens.

Episode 8 is without a doubt one of the most interesting cases in this third volume of the series. It is also the longest episode in Volume 3 so far, so you can already expect a lot of information going into the creation of this episode. The case in question revolves around the disappearance of Marliz Spannhake, a young woman who moved to California, especially the town of Chico, to start a new life. However, destiny had different ideas in mind, and the clues hint at some terrible ending for the young woman.

This episode, unlike others in this season, feels quite substantial because it basically involves three separate stories that end up joining into one truly terrifying experience. What begins as just another case of a young woman disappearing in 1976 has ripples that will touch the lives of a single mother and her young daughter in 2000. And then it will take us back one more time to the past to explore the terrible crimes of Cameron Hooker, one of the most devious criminals of the 20th century.

The episode does a good job of summarizing these three stories and presenting them in the most accessible way possible. This episode and the case of Marliz feel like something truly worth checking out. There is a lot of evidence that points to what might have occurred to the young woman, but there is also a supernatural element that really makes you wonder if ghosts are real. This supernatural element doesn’t clash with the physical evidence but instead enhances it. This is the type of case that the series should be all about.

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The series follows its format to the teeth, with enough interviews with people involved in the case that it really matters what they say. There are also amazing visual graphics that help with understanding what happened in the case, and even some truly creepy recreations of events. Sometimes the recreations are very vague, but in this opportunity, the director, and the team put extra effort into shooting them. The case is so strong when it comes to story and characters, that it so far feels like the only other case that might be substantial enough to get a proper fictional adaptation.

The supernatural element enhances the case in ways that feel a bit corny at first. However, when there are other people confirming certain casualties, it really comes off as if there might have been something there in the first place, something that not everyone can see. Lamenting ghosts are truly a narrative trope at this point, but it really feels like dying in such terrible circumstances must have had consequences. This is truly a sad story that will make you mad at seeing just how evil some people can be.

In the end, episode 8 is truly one of the best episodes in this third volume of Unsolved Mysteries. The case is quite strong and involves many people, and you can actually get emotional for a bit as the episode details everything that has happened to the people involved. This episode could have been the season finale, and it would have been more than solid. Let’s hope that the series is saving the first for last as we jump into the last episode of the season and of the series, at least for now.

SCORE: 8/10

  • Nelson loves all things related to storytelling. He has spent most of his life studying narrative, applied across all mediums; film, TV, books, and video games. Mulholland Drive is his favorite film.