I have a confession to make: I could not have cared less about who killed Jason Blossom in the first season of Riverdale. I had no theory because, honestly, I just wanted to enjoy Cheryl’s ridiculous dialogue (which would never come out of any teenager’s mouth, regardless of the show’s ambiguous setting).

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But that is not the case for season two’s killer, the Black Hood. This time around, I literally have all the theories. I’ve got facial-recognition software and criss-crossing yarn on my wall like it’s a goddamn episode of CSI.


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So listen, y’all. I know who the Black Hood is, and you’re not ready for it. To help you come to the same conclusion, here are five possible culprits—and also five people you think are the killer, but definitely aren’t.

The Suspect List

Dilton Doiley

I’m telling you right now that I am 98 percent sure this creepy boy scout is the Black Hood. Before you jump down my throat with complaints that he doesn’t have green eyes or the right physical build, do you really think the unsub (I watch a lot of Criminal Minds) is doing their own dirty work? No! They’re way too smart for that. I don’t think they’re physically carrying out the shootings or even writing their own ominous letters. Sheriff Keller himself has said that the handwriting on the original killer’s letter and the one to Betty are not the same.

In season one, Doiley (Major Curda) is revealed to be a hardcore, paranoid “stand your ground” survivalist: Remember when he told his Adventure Scouts, “if we don’t protect ourselves, no one will”? Since then, he has only upped the ante, providing Archie with a gun, which led to violence and the beginning of the Red Circle. A familiarity with weapons and a strict moral code could definitely point to a killer intent on ridding Riverdale of people who don’t share his principles.

Looks like a little serial killer to me.

The CW/Riverdale

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The only puzzle pieces that are missing are the killer’s obsession with Betty Cooper and exactly who might be actually carrying out the killings if Doiley’s the mastermind. But as far as we know, he grew up with Betty Cooper, so it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to know about her childhood Nancy Drew obsession—especially if he’s been harboring a crush that whole time. As for the shooter(s), I have no doubt Doiley has it in him to blackmail Hal Cooper, Sheriff Keller, Tall Boy—or all three—with their “sins.” What if Hal Cooper delivered the letter to Alice, Tall Boy shot Fred Andrews, and Sheriff Keller took out the Sugar Man behind bars? Just keep that in mind for the rest of the season.

Penelope Blossom

Let’s start with Cheryl Blossom. A fellow Riverdale junkie pointed out to me that Cheryl speaks with the same Victorian cadence as the Black Hood and is personally connected to every victim so far: Before Archie Andrews, it was Jason Blossom taking lessons from repeated predator Ms. Grundy; the Sugar Man was her father’s drug-runner as well as the reason Jason fought so hard to escape the family business; Fred Andrews had a dispute with Clifford Blossom over a construction deal; and Moose and Midge were rampant Jingle Jangle users. Plus, she worked suspiciously hard to uncover the Sugar Man’s identity for Betty.

But Cheryl was unconscious during Betty and the Black Hood’s mysterious meetup in Fox Forest, and partook in some Jingle Jangle herself. It’s also difficult to believe she’d have had Fred Andrews targeted on behalf of her father.

Penelope, though, is another story, and all the connections Cheryl has with the Black Hood’s victims hold for her, too. Considering her tumultuous, abusive relationship with Cheryl, and the Cooper family’s surprise Blossom roots, I would not be surprised if Penelope is twistedly considering Betty Cooper her true heir. Could that be what the Black Hood meant when they told Betty “we are the same”?

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The CW/Riverdale

Alice Cooper (with a little help from Hal Cooper)

Though Hal Cooper seems to be a favorite suspect amongst Riverdale fans, I’ve found Alice’s behavior much more suspicious this season. (Although, since last year’s killer was Clifford Blossom, I doubt this year’s perpetrator will be another parent.) She stirred up trouble between the South Side and the North Side, suspiciously mishandled evidence from the Black Hood, and lied to the mortician about knowing Ms. Grundy. She’s vicious in her takedowns, and is the most likely person to see Betty’s dark tendencies as a reflection of herself.

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Why, you ask, would all the victims be North Siders when Alice has so vigorously gone after the South Side? And why would she force Betty to reveal her own sordid Serpent past to the public? Sounds like the perfect red herring to me.

I see you, Mrs. Coop.

The CW/Riverdale

Polly Cooper

We’ve seen the dark side of every Cooper besides Polly, so what if she’s the most ruthless of them all? Broken by the death of Jason Blossom and the realization that she was related to her deceased lover, it’s possible she’s lashing out at the town that had a hand in his murder. From the Sugar Man to Mrs. Grundy, it does seem like those involved with Jason are getting the axe. Conveniently, we haven’t seen much of Polly since she’s been hiding away on a farm outside of town…or is she?

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One additional IRL consideration: Given that actress Tiera Skovbye has picked up a new role on Once Upon a Time, a reveal that Polly is the shadowy villl would be a convenient way to wrap up her story for good.

The CW/Riverdale

Jughead Jones

This town has not been kind to Jughead Jones or his father. Would it be totally implausible for our serial killer–obsessed narrator to expose the sins of the townspeople who look down their noses at him? Probably. But hey, he wasn’t at the Jingle Jangle party or in Veronica’s bedroom after Cheryl’s run in with Nick St. Clair—so he could easily have been on the phone with Betty as the BH both times. I also still can’t get over how jovial he was at Pop’s diner surrounded by Fred Andrews’ blood in the season premiere. I’m 99.9 percent sure it’s not him, but he’s on this list for that tiny possibility.

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But You’re Definitely Wrong About These People

Hal Cooper: Too obvious. And he’s not smart enough. Come on—this is Riverdale.

Chic Cooper: The Black Hood told Betty she’d recognize them. How would she recognize a brother she’s never met?

Sheriff Keller: Also too obvious, and he has no known reason to be obsessed with Betty. Plus, he seems like way too good a father to put Kevin through this.

Hiram Lodge: Doesn’t even know Betty, and the BH business has been disrupting his latest Sodale venture. He’s up to something for sure—just not this.

Clifford Blossom: Some people think Clifford Blossom isn’t really dead and that he’s the Black Hood, but no. I refuse.

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