Alonzo Brooks’ murder was featured in Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries, and now after increased interest in his case the FBI is paying attention
After Florida police announced that they would reopen the case of Carole Baskin’s missing husband after his story was broadcast in the wild docuseries Tiger King, it’s clear that Netflix is playing a huge part when it comes to reopening cold cases. Netflix’s newest true-crime series Unsolved Mysteries, which is actually a remake of an older show, shared the tragic story of Alonzo Brooks’ 2004 murder and now after renewed interest in the case and some new tips to police, Kansas City FBI has exhumed Brooks’ body as his family suspects he was the victim of a hate crime.
Alonzo Brooks was murdered in 2004 after attending a party in La Cygne, Kansas. His friends reportedly left the party without him and Brooks never returned home. His family found his body a month later in a creek and after the official autopsy could not determine a cause of death, the case went cold. Then, the FBI announced in 2019 that it would reopen Brooks’ case and offered a $100,000 reward in June to anyone who has information about his death. After Netflix dropped the series in July, KSNT reports that a renewed interest in Brooks’ case led to new tips.
CNN reports that on July 21, 2020, Brooks’ body was exhumed from its grave “as part of the ongoing investigation. Brooks’ mother Maria Ramirez believes her son was killed because of the color of his skin as he was reportedly one of only three Black men at the party of nearly 100 people.
“I’m Mexican and his father is Black,” Ramirez told Dateline last month. “So he’s mixed. They didn’t just target one race. Or kill one race. They killed two. He was targeted because of the color of his skin.”
“Some said Brooks may have flirted with a girl, some said drunken white men wanted to fight an African-American male, and some said racist whites simply resented Brooks’ presence,” the FBI added in a statement (via CNN).
U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas Stephen McAllister said in a news release last month that “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, tips have been coming in and Inside Edition reports that three credible tips came in within 24 hours of the show’s Netflix premiere on July 1, 2020.
“It’s been 16 years, but we hope that with this passage of time, someone who has information will come forward,” FBI Agent Leena Ramana told NBC News. “Some of these kids, who are adults now, may have been scared to come forward before, or may not have known what they saw was important. But any piece of information is significant and could be the missing puzzle piece we need to solve this case.”
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