Who do you feel is responsible for rash of unexplained deaths and mysterious disappearances in Riverdale throughout the mid 1980’s. My personal investigation has raised many troubling questions but I was never able to fully zero in on a suspect.
Muffled in Midvale
I was not going to answer this question initially. A website of our notoriety gets dozens of crank letters on a weekly basis and they rarely warrant reply. On a whim, though, I began an email correspondence with Muffled, and what began as a pleasant nostalgic lark soon soured into a grim examination of a heartland community torn apart by violence, mayhem, and a string of unclaimed bodies that could tie a yellow ribbon around a forest of oak trees. Consider the following actuarial table I was able to procure via a freedom of information request:
Actuarial table of leading causes of death in Riverdale from 1983-87
|Total Fatalities||Cause of Death|
|187||Lethal trauma from chemistry class accidents, including but not limited to: corrosive smoke inhalation, burn damage, getting exploded, and fatal transmogrification|
|112||Crushed beneath wheels of negligently maintained Jalopy|
|88||Talking to Midge|
|85||Missing: Assumed Dead|
|83||Drowning while distracted lifeguard ogles swimsuit clad women|
|78||Incidental mayhem during background sight gag|
|71||Malted Milk borne Ecoil outbreak|
|68||Ruptured stomach during Annual Burger/Pie eating contest|
|44||Slipping into coma after elaborate dream sequence|
|32||Victim of witchcraft|
|20||Severe blood loss incurred while cutting out paper outfits|
|18||Tramped during over-matched football game against Central High|
|16||Interfering with culinary duties of classically trained French Chef|
|4||Face saving attempt to complete implausible boast.|
|2||Poorly worded wishing|
While the shocking lack of exact population data in the census makes a full analysis difficult, as does the Riverdale chamber of commerce’s baffling refusal to provide precise geographic information, the bones of a conspiracy are clear to see. After a careful review of archival news footage, police records, and an exhaustive series of phone and email interviews, I have been able to narrow the suspects down to the six most likely candidates.
Who did it?
I included Chuck on this list not out of personal suspicion, but at the direct behest of the Riverdale police. Chuck is currently the lead suspect in 27 open cases, two of which were assaults committed against him, another three of which are closed cases that the chief read about in other towns newspapers.
Mr. Clayton has taken to publishing his itinerary and travel route in the Riverdale Gazette on a daily basis, just to avoid misunderstandings. When contacted for comment Mr. Clayton replied “It might be the Dawn of a new millennium somewhere but it’s still 1950 in Riverdale once the sun goes down. I just want to finish high school and leave this place behind. Why the fuck can’t I finish high school?”
Suspect score: 0/10 and I have a spare room in my basement if you need it, Chuck.
It is necessary, upfront, to specify that the inquiry is about “mysterious” deaths and disappearances. Moose Mason kills often and ugly and in full public view. The early morning wail of his victim De jour functions as a sort of back up rooster to the towns inhabitants, which is fortunate, as Moose beat the previous rooster to death for strutting a little too proud.
While his jealous rages are common knowledge his police chief father uses his connections to insure his developmentally challenged son is free to continue his reign of terror. A rough handed Lenny with an unlimited supply of rabbits to pet. No one interviewed was willing speak on record, and the few that spoke off record asked that I not mention even that much. Sorry guys.
Suspect score: 2/10 : You figure just by glut of numbers a couple of his more secluded murders slipped beneath the radar. Still, the signs of repetitive blunt trauma, torsion fractures, and tear stained copies of “Clifford the big red dog” left at the scene mark these crimes out from our specific line of inquiry.
Next up: Betty Cooper and Archie Andrews