Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix has certainly got people talking – and the case that really seemed to catch viewers’ attention is that of Alonzo Brooks.
The young man was last seen alive at a house party in Kansas and when he didn’t return home, his family became suspicious of foul-play.
Unfortunately, they were correct, and Brooks’ body was found a month later. But as Unsolved Mysteries suggests, there has to be someone who knows what happened that fateful night of the house party.
We could be getting a little closer to a definitive answer, as the police resume their investigations of the mysterious death.
What happened to Alonzo Brooks?
Investigators know Brooks was last seen at a local house party in rural Kansas, but it’s unclear what happened to him after he left the property when threatened with violence.
Two days later, Brooks’ family filed a missing persons report, with police searches finding his hat and boots near to the party house.
"No Ride Home" and completely alone, a young Black man goes missing in rural Kansas. What happened to Alonzo Brooks the night of April 3, 2004? The FBI recently announced a $100k reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of Alonzo's death. #unsolvedmysteries pic.twitter.com/FUMVn1Qt0Y
— Unsolved Mysteries (@Unsolved) July 1, 2020
Brooks’ family claim they were not allowed to join the police search for a month, the operation solely led by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. When finally permitted to join the search, within 30 minutes the family located Brooks’ body in a creek.
The autopsy proved inconclusive, internet detectives are more certain (see below).
What are the theories behind Alonzo’s death?
Since Unsolved Mysteries dropped on Netflix, there has been a lot of interest from fans with many coming up with their own theories and assessing the clues which are already out there.
To assist with the amateur investigating, the streaming site recently released a file containing unseen evidence on each case, which didn’t make the show.
In an exclusive clip shared to Netflix’s Reddit, Susan Schmidt, blogger at the Cold Case Kansas, reveals some new theories behind Alonzo’s death – one of those being that he might have been “kept alive for a while”.
Speaking about an article which was published on Alonzo’s case, she said in the exclusive clip: “The article went up about September 5th 2010, and then probably about a month or two later, I see anonymous comments start posting. They would give information – not detailed enough to really solve the case but just give a little bit of information as like they knew the information that they were holding back from law enforcement.”
She continued: “It seems like a lot of people didn’t want to talk to law enforcement. For some reason, they felt like the law enforcement around that town was holding back on the investigation so they wanted to go to someone else. Some of the rumours that stand out on the blog are that his body was put in a freezer, he was maybe kept alive for a while, and that later on, he was killed and his body was placed there a month later.”
She added: “Law enforcement had searched it six times around the house. In the creek, they never found his body. I have never seen where a body disappeared for a month and appeared again, so that was another rumour that is maybe something to look into it.”
Who killed Alonzo Brooks?
According to Alonzo’s mother Maria, whoever killed her son did so as a hate crime.
“I’m Mexican and his father is Black,” she told US news show Dateline. “So he’s mixed. They didn’t just target one race. Or kill one race. They killed two. He was targeted because of the colour of his skin.”
Attorney Stephen McAllister agrees: “It defies reason to believe that Alonzo’s death was a suicide or that he somehow accidentally tumbled into a relatively shallow creek, in Linn County, leaving behind his boots and hat, all with no witnesses whatsoever.”
Police are also investigating a potential racist motive, with Brooks being one of three black people at the 100-strong party, which took place in a predominantly white neighbourhood.
To add to this theory, Brooks’ friends claim he was the target of several racial slurs during the party. Plus, they also claim he was angrily approached by a white man, which they speculate could be down to Brooks flirting with a white woman. Several “brawls” broke out the night, but it is unclear if Brooks was involved in any of these, with no witnesses stepping forward during the initial investigation.
Have police re-opened the Alonzo Brooks case?
Yes, the FBI Department of Justice reopened it on 11th June 2020, citing potential new leads among renewed interested in the case due to the Netflix series.
They have also unveiled a cash reward of $100,000 for new information that will help solve the death.
“We are investigating whether Alonzo was murdered,” McAllister said at the announcement (via KSNT News). “His death certainly was suspicious, and someone, likely multiple people, know(s) what happened that night in April 2004. It is past time for the truth to come out.
“The code of silence must be broken. Alonzo’s family deserves to know the truth, and it is time for justice to be served.”
Since then, Brooks’ body has been exhumed by law enforcement agencies.
The Unsolved Twitter account shared: “Update: The body of Alonzo Brooks was exhumed this morning. His case was recently reopened by the @FBI who are offering a $100k reward for tips leading to an arrest. If you know something please come forward. #UnsolvedMysteries #JusticeForAlonzoBrooks.”
While we don’t know exactly what this means for the case just yet, it could point towards fresh evidence. At the time, Brooks’ autopsy was inconclusive.