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In the first episode of Netflix's rebooted Unsolved Mysteries, we learn that the puzzle of what happened to Rey Rivera (opens in new tab) has mystified friends, family, and law enforcement. Now, thanks to the episode, online sleuths are reexamining Rey's case and coming up with possible theories about what happened—particularly in regard to the strange and unsettling note (opens in new tab) that Rey left taped behind the computer the day he died, found by his wife Allison after his death. We know the letter was not a suicide note (per the FBI, who reviewed it), but beside that, there's no information about why Rey would have written a cryptic letter that referenced Freemasonry, then hidden it away. Online sleuths are now trying to decipher the note—and co-creator Terry Dunn Meurer addressed on popular Reddit theory in an interview he gave to Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab).
A popular Reddit theory theorizes that Rey's death was connected to 1997's The Game.
Rey's long, rambling note references movie stars and directors like Stanley Kubrick and M. Night Shyamalan. It also references a "well-played" game that he doesn't elaborate on. One of the movies alluded to is the 1997 movie The Game, which, if you're unfamiliar, involves a man (Michael Douglas) who is tricked into believing his life is falling apart. At the climactic scene, he jumps and falls through a glass roof to what he believes is his death, although it turns out that it's all a scheme to get him to look at his life in a different way and appreciate things more (unrelated: it's a weird movie).
The sleuth, Reddit user /zumalightblue, thinks that Rey might have been acting out events in the movie: "The whole movie is about this crazy game...that makes you think you lose everything in order to let you appreciate life again. Rey was an unsuccessful movie script writer and maybe he got involved in [something] that tried to imitate The Game in some way."
You have the chance to solve a mystery. How did Rey Rivera end up dead at the Belvedere Hotel? Watch "Mystery on the Rooftop" on Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries. #unsolvedmysteries #mysterious pic.twitter.com/4LnxO1dKv4July 3, 2020
But Allison, Rey's wife, doesn't buy it, according to Meurer.
Meurer says she talked to Allison about the theory already:
"She's spent a lot of time with that note, as did the FBI, just going through the note trying to figure out if there were any clues or anything else in there. She doesn't place any significance on the movie The Game. Rey liked a lot of different types of movies. He was just a guy who was interested in everything. If he had only ever left just that writing or if it was the only thing he had ever written randomly, then people would be a little bit more suspect. But this is what he did all the time. He kept so many journals full of random writing. Allison feels that she's been through all the journals just trying to find any clue that could help her figure out what happened to him, and she couldn't find any real or strong connections in The Game."
The episode's only been out for a week as of this writing—so more theories may come out the more people watch it. We'll update if we learn more.
If you have information about Rey Rivera's death, visit unsolved.com.
Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.
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