Things in the small town of Riverdale are complicated enough with one serial killer on the loose, but now we know there was once another ruthless murderer who may have been motivated by the same supposed morals that the Black Hood seems to be driven by. And even though his crimes were committed years ago, it's understandable to wonder: who is the Riverdale Reaper? He could have a connection to the Black Hood, if only as a copycat. But since this is Riverdale, nothing should ever be considered a coincidence.
During the episode "Tales from the Dark Side," Jughead accepted a ride from the creepiest cameo Riverdale has had yet in the form of Tony Todd, who you might remember as the Candyman in the movie of the same name. While at a diner/gas station for a snack break and gas fill-up, the man, Farmer McGinty, told Jughead about the Riverdale Reaper and how he’d murdered an entire family at their home near Fox Forest, but his whereabouts these days are unclear. Was he lynched? Did he simply skip town? Thanks to the deserted stretch of country highway and ensuing fog, the episode was creepy enough without the added bonus of the story of the Riverdale Reaper, but you better believe it was told to us for a reason.
Also, hold up — Fox Forest rings a bell, doesn’t it? If I recall correctly, that’s where the Black Hood had instructed Betty to meet him when he told her that she’d get an answer about who he was. It was there that she went into the creepy abandoned house and donned the hood herself, before running out when things got a little too real. But since the story of the Riverdale Reaper has another mention of this very specific area — which is also the wooded fog land where Kevin was habitually cruising for guys — it certainly feels like this place will become very important.
While we don’t know much about the Riverdale Reaper yet, except for his alleged crimes from years ago, it’s hard to deny that there is some kind of connection to the Black Hood there. Since the identity of the Black Hood still hasn’t even been revealed, that leaves plenty of room for the two killers to have a solid connection moving forward.
As Harley4L said on Reddit, the Black Hood might actually be a survivor from the Riverdale Reaper massacre. McGinty told Jughead that the family of four was murdered, but as the Redditor pointed out, the IMDB cast list for the next episode, "House of the Devil," lists three of the four members of the family, so could that mean that one of the children got away and became the Black Hood as a result of witnessing his family’s deaths.
It would mean, of course, that the link to Betty could get a little shaky, but depending on how long ago these murders took place, Betty could still have a connection to the family in some way. And since Jughead and Betty don’t seem to relay their information to each other nearly enough, there’s been no way for either of them to put this together just yet. Then again, the Riverdale Reaper could, in fact, be the Black Hood, especially since the guy was never caught. He might have been lying dormant all of these years, possibly in plain sight as one of the core residents of Riverdale, and has decided that now is the time to begin striking again.
Either way, the story of the Riverdale Reaper wasn’t just a device to bring the creep factor up a couple more notches in "Tales from the Dark Side," although it certainly helped. But with just one episode until the Riverdale fall finale, whatever connection the Riverdale Reaper might have to the Black Hood will likely be revealed.
Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.