Dipp
Is The Trash Bag Killer On 'Riverdale' Real? Here's How He Connects To The Highway Mystery

Premium
- Riverdale -
Is The Trash Bag Killer On 'Riverdale' Real? Here's How He Connects To The Highway Mystery

Betty Cooper cut her teeth solving murders as a teenager, and now as a bona fide FBI agent, she's helping to take down serial killers outside of her small town. (And family.) Unfortunately for Betty, her run-in with Riverdale's Trash Bag Killer didn't end in his capture. Instead, TBK kidnapped Betty, and while we haven't gotten all the details just yet, whatever happened to her was extremely traumatizing. Now, Betty is trying to put TBK out of her mind while investigating the latest Riverdale mystery: a person who is killing young women off the so-called "lonely highway." However, a clue from the real world may indicate that Riverdale's Trash Bag Killer and this highway murderer are one and the same.

As it turns out, there's a real murderer whose nickname is the Trash Bag Killer: Patrick Kearney, who was convicted of the murder of 21 people in 1978, and may have killed dozens more. While I'll spare too many brutal details, like the fictional serial killer on Riverdale, he, too, disposed of his victims' dismembered bodies in trash bags. Kearney's known victims were men living in the Southern California area, some of whom he picked up off the freeway — which is why he also has the nickname "the Freeway Killer."

Image: The CW

Could Riverdale be borrowing from the real Trash Bag Killer? And could that mean we should be considering a link between the Trash Bag Killer and the highway murderer, given its real-world parallels? It's certainly possible, given how, post time jump, Riverdale has leaned into borrowing from the true events.

Let's Talk Pop Culture
Sign up for a 14-day free trial of our new, female-founded site and get full access to our articles, community, and conversations.