Seven Clues As to Why Mysteries Remain Unsolved

From an educational documentary television interview with Dr. Bursztajn on 3-1-99*

  1. Misleading first impressions: once people make their minds up, they do not change their minds or they have a hard time doing so.
  2. Triage driven investigators who are too busy.
  3. Detectives are a special select group of people; it is hard to put themselves in shoes of people very different than themselves or too similar to theirselves!
  4. Premature attribution or exclusion of motive, (eg. overlooking robbery or greed).
  5. Distraction by media (losing the forest for the trees).
  6. Crucial missing or overlooked pieces of data (eg. O.J. Simpson and alleged steroid abuse).
  7. Multiple perpetrators: copy cats and conspirators or the perpetrator's communications are intentionally deceptive.

* For clues as to why "medical mysteries" remain unsolved see also Medical Choices, Medical Chances: How Patients, Families, and Physicians Can Cope with Uncertainty

Written by Dr. Harold Bursztajn et al, published by Routledge: 1990