Unsolved Mysteries season 2, episode 1 recap – “Washington Inside Murder”

By Daniel Hart
Published: October 19, 2020 (Last updated: February 10, 2024)
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Unsolved Mysteries season 2 recap


Episode 1 is a strong opener, dealing with a high profile case that links to the White House.

This recap of Netflix series Unsolved Mysteries season 2, episode 1, “Washington Inside Murder” contains information of the murder of former White House aide Jack Wheeler.

We recapped every episode — check out the archive. 

The opening

Detective Michael Lawson describes the day in December 2010 where he investigated the body found in the landfill — he knew straight away it was someone of importance: former White House aide Jack Wheeler. “Washington Inside Murder” demonstrates that it was a high profile case and became a nationwide shock. Former colleagues talk of how Jack thought out of the box for the White House.

Imagine if this happened today and how the news would cover it — this is an unprecedented case and an intriguing chapter to kick off the second season.

He was a great man

“Washington Inside Murder” explains how Jack Wheeler had bipolar disorder and there’s a suggestion that sometimes he did certain things with impulsion. His wife Katherine Klyce explains how Jack put the energy into everything. At this point of the episode, Jack is presented as a formidable man and there seems to be no indication why anyone would want to murder him.

Blind paths in the investigation

Jack was working as a consultant at a defence contracting firm at the time of his death — he was working on cybersecurity. However, nothing connected to his murder as Episode 1 demonstrates early on. There’s a lot of blind paths.

A few possible connected moments

Robert Dill, Jack’s neighbour states how he was “always doing something”. He said one time he saw a rear window was open in Jack’s house so he decided to close it. When he went inside, he saw turmoil in his house. It looked like burglary and Robert rang the police at the same time as the landfill discovery. A few days before Jack Wheeler’s body was found, smoke bombs went off at a construction site across his street; his phone was at the site. “Washington Inside Murder” tries to suggest that these are connected.

The footage

Jack reported a break-in at his home to the defence company; they had taken items of his that linked to his work including his badge and cellphone. The loss of the cellphone did not help the investigation. Video shows Jack was in a pharmacy on December 29th. He obtained a ride to Wilmington but he went to the wrong parking garage — his family explains how he was directionally challenged. He was famous for getting a cab home because he always forgot where he parked his car due to his busy schedule. On the CCTV he appears in distress and has one shoe off — he tells the people in the garage that his briefcase was stolen. It’s a mystery; how Jack went from the pharmacy looking calm to looking distressed at the parking garage.

Episode 1 suggests that he was either attacked or he was having a mental episode.

The last he was seen

Jack headed to the basement of the garage and he was acting like a man that was trying to stay safe. Eventually, Jack exited with a black hoodie on which was also unusual for him — he was last seen on camera at night walking past a hotel on December 30th, 2010.

Episode 1 shows that the forensic team managed to match Jack’s DNA in a dumpster — it’s a mystery how he ended up in a dumpster in Newark, Delaware.

The ending

“Washington Inside Murder” seems to suggest that the main problem with this mystery is that while Jack was acting erratic, he was clearly murdered. Also, the robbery doesn’t add-up as they didn’t take Jack’s cash or his very expensive ring. The mystery of the briefcase is also a head-scratcher.

Unsolved Mysteries season 2, episode 1 is a strong opener, dealing with a high profile case that links to the White House.

Netflix, TV Recaps
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