History Detectives Special Investigations

In each hour-long episode of History Detectives Special Investigations, Kaiama, Tukufu and Wes ask probing questions behind a single iconic mystery from America's past. What was behind the tragic sinking of the SS Sultana at the end of the American Civil War, one of the worst maritime disasters in U.S. history? Can they crack the case of one of the country's first recorded serial killings, the Texas Servant Girl Murders of the 1880s? Who really killed Jimmy Hoffa and why? And what led to the mysterious vanishing of big band leader Glenn Miller during World War II?

Season 11 of History Detectives Special Investigations has concluded production. Stay tuned for updates on future episodes!

History Detectives

For 10 seasons our viewers asked us to solve the puzzles behind their historic objects and artifacts. Did a silicon chip bring art to the moon? Do we have the guitar Bob Dylan used to start a rock and roll revolution? Can we return a Vietnam War diary to its author’s family? The investigations have taught us so many things about our nation and ourselves. 

Revisit these past investigations featuring detectives Elyse Luray, independent appraiser and art history expert; Gwendolyn Wright professor of architecture and history, Columbia University; Eduardo Pagán, the Bob Stump Endowed Professor of History at Arizona State University, Wes Cowan, independent appraiser and auctioneer, and Tukufu Zuberi, professor at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of the Center for Africana Studies.

Special Features

You'll find many special features on our website, from tips on conducting your own historical investigation to resources to use in the classroom.

Investigations - Access every single past investigation, browse by season, era, detective, or geographic location
- Watch full episodes and web exclusives, including interviews with the History Detectives, behind-the-scenes videos and tutorials on how to conduct your own investigations
Detective Techniques - Step-by-step guides to genealogy, researching buildings, evaluating documents and much more
Educators - Lesson plans and other tools to ignite student interest in history, science, and other core subjects
Facebook - Engage with our History Detectives team and fans

Contact Us

We love hearing from our viewers! Please contact us with your questions and comments, but keep in mind that with our new format we are no longer investigating personal histories or artifacts.

are co-produced for PBS by Oregon Public Broadcasting and Lion Television.