Case Closed! — Conspiracies and Mysteries Solved

"Inspired" by Patricia Cornhole's immodest claim that all those Ripperologists may as well give up their theorizing and debating Jack the Ripper's identity because she's written the final word, "Case Closed!" seeks to solve completely and forevermore the mysteries of the world. Case closed!

27 July 2006

AND NOW... a Case Closed™ Little Known Fact!

Did you know that, despite protestations from experts and numerous first-hand eyewitness accounts, there is no proof that Buddy Holly's band, 'The Crickets' are actually crickets. Case Closed™ "Experts" agree they are most likely dung beetles!


(This has been a CCLKF)

Sesame Street Assassins and the Letter 'Kill'

a Case Closed™ Exclusive
by Manny Fatback

While travelling through Nevada with Mr. Beam and Mr. Daniels, I found my mind turning toward the fantastical. Yours truly, Manny Fatback, had been driving almost non-stop through the desert scrub of Nevada in search of The Truth™, be it about aliens, bigfeet, or the proliferation of plastic flowers. With so many possible avenues of the amazing to explore, where would I turn? Down an alley leading to serial murder? Through a tunnel taking me to the Cult of Cruise? Or perhaps onto a ferry channelling me toward the whimsical Truth™ about Hitler?

As it turned out, the road took me to a run-down motel-cum-sideshow made of slapped-together tin and wood. 'Lefty’s Sleep-a-rama and Mystery Emporium' had been spray-pained across a slat of plywood and hung above the front windows like one sagging eyelid. Beneath it the words 'Cigarettes, Liquor and Pastries Made Daily' caught my eye and convinced me. I pulled in, eager to see what I might discover in this out-of-the-way place tucked into the corner of the desert.

I was checked into room 3 by a tall man with a needle-sharp head who might disappear if he turned sideways. After throwing my things onto the bed and currying favour with a wide-hipped señorita who was either cleaning rooms or collecting cockroaches, I considered moseying over to the Mystery Emporium. After realizing that I couldn’t mosey, saunter or toddle, I reconsidered and simply walked to the front door. Once inside, surrounded by the dust-laden warmth of the cooped up building, I was vastly disappointed.

The Mystery Emporium was filled with the usual glut of roadside junk. Aliens under glass, Elvis in a casket and a genuine piece of the cross (which felt like it had been fashioned from Styrofoam) are all the rag-tag cornucopia of flea-bitten, second-rate novelty shows. Just as I was about to return to my room, upset that there was no Story® to be found, a small voice behind me said, “Five bucks for the real show.”

The speaker was a kid, perhaps five years old, but he had the eyes and the nose of a heavyweight fighter. He smiled at me from behind a pound of dirt and mucus before saying, “Five bucks for the real show,” again.

I’d heard that pitch before, from New Orleans to Vegas. First it’s a small stage and ‘exotic dancers’ who are about as exotic as Russian flu, with varicose veins and saggy… but still, I had to take the chance. Besides, the kid had charm. I slipped him a five and followed him into a small, cramped back room filled with boxes and cabinets. Not certain what to expect, I opened the closest box and looked inside. There was a folder marked Assassination (brought to you by the letter ‘a’). I opened it up and looked inside.


I was stupefied. Stunned. Liquefied. And a true-grit reporter like Manny Fatback doesn’t often end up that way.

I carried the folder back to my room, the kid trailing me like the aroma of old baked beans. I had been reading the folder for almost a half-hour, aware of the kid’s smile the whole time. There was something almost predatory about that grin. He wanted another five bucks to let me take the folder, and I agreed.

“Is this all on the money?” I asked him, standing inside the door to room 3. A quick glance showed me that the señorita had been diligently checking my bags for cockroaches.

The kid nodded. “It’s true, mister,” he said. “Honest.”

Honest. I’d heard that word before. It was a lot like truth. Almost seven letters long and easy to read.

But if it was true… whatta scoop!

Grabbing a bottle of Dr. Beam’s old-fashioned thinkin’ juice, I locked myself up in room 3 for the rest of the night.


If the kid—and his file—were right, then everything I knew about presidential assassinations had been knocked on its head. And I know a lot.

Everyone remembers where he was on the day Kennedy was popped. We can all recall with faint nostalgia what we were doing on the day Reagan forgot to duck. But how much of what we remember is the Truth™? And how much is just the truth that ‘they’ want us to believe?

An assassin has to have certain skills in order to succeed. Perhaps it’s stealth. Cunning. Veracity. Verbosity. Marksmanship. Shipsmanship. Sportsmanship. But above all, a true and honest assassin longs to be like the mythical Ninja (akin to elves, sprites and goblins): invisible, and often hard to see.

Imagine an assassin who could come and go as he pleased. Who could slip in and out of crowds undetected. An assassin who was, for almost all intents and purposes, invisible. Imagine that, and what do you have?

The world’s greatest assassin.



The facts, held in that dusty old folder, were clear.

Beginning in the late forties, a covert branch of the US government known as the CTW, began training assassins. It was while on a deep-jungle mining and research development gig that they found Snuffleupagus, the hairy pachyderm who messes up every corner of Sesame Street with his droppings. They brought him back to America and trained him as a spy. Why not? He was invisible to the naked eye—for the most part—and had few scruples. It was a short step from espionage to murder.

Because Snuffy (a derivative of the word ‘snuff’, and a precursor to snuff movies, perhaps?) only appears to children—and one large, demented yellow bird—he could move about political circles with ease. The CTW, in conjunction with the number 12 and the letter D, began eliminating potential enemies. John F. Kennedy. Robert Kennedy. Reagan. The list seemed endless and the gig seemed perfect.

Until one small boy pointed out the obvious. He pointed out something that had been overlooked by experts the world over. There was a big, hairy elephant present at every assassination.

Was this possible? I dug deeper, finding transcripts of police interrogations with a man known as B. Byrd. Apparently they tried their best to grill him for information after Reagan was shot, but to no avail—he wouldn’t sing. He was whisked away by ‘men in suits’, men tied to a lone figure known as Hooper. Even long-time friends of Byrd (David, Oscar and a manic-depressive man with ADD named Grover) didn’t crack. But why had police been asking questions about an assassination that the government had carried out? Why would they create a false investigation pointing in the right direction? It was a muddled mess of a ham sandwich wrapped loosely in foil and left behind a radiator. And it stank.

I sent a few of the photographs (see below) off to Case Closed™ headquarters for investigation. Kipling Glenavon and Lance Trout claimed to see nothing amiss. Even our resident Forensic Assassinationologist Dr. Fantastic could pinpoint nothing suspect in the photos. His three-year-old live-in shoeshine boy, however, pointed at one photograph and said, “Upulgus.”

Upulgus indeed.

(Look closely at the above photos... can YOU see the elephant?)

Is it so crazy to believe that a hairy, two tonne creature with a trunk could have been on the grassy knoll that day in Dallas? Why not? Only kids can see him, and kids make terrible witnesses. It seems perfectly clear to me what really went on that fateful November day—and on many other occasions—when the bullets flew.

Snuffleupagus… or Coverupagus?

Just remember… the next time you are watching the evening news and your child starts pointing out ‘imaginary’ characters on the TV screen, look a little closer.

You might see the Truth™.

Case Closed™

(The preceding was brought to you by the letter ‘g’)

13 July 2006

Uncle Ned: Case Re-Opener!

The knock at the door woke me from a deep sleep. “Great Caesar’s Salad,” I thought, “who comes around during nap time?!” I stood up, a bag of pretzels and four remote controls tumbling from my lap to the floor. “Dammit,” I muttered, “if it’s anyone but Uncle Ned himself, I’m going to be using my brass knuckles.” I reached into my pocket and slipped my punchin’ aid onto my right hand and thumped to the door. The knocking continued with greater urgency. I clenched and unclenched my fist several times in preparation. I looked out the eye hole to get an unblemished glimpse of this future ER visitor.

“Well stroke my beard and comb my rooster,” I gasped. “Uncle Ned.”

Yes, Uncle Ned was at my door, using his own knuckles to announce his presence. I quickly removed the brass knuckles and opened the door. “Ned!” I grinned, spreading my arms wide.

“Are you Cletus Hookworm?” he said. No nonsense, direct and to the point. I liked that.

“You got ‘im, Ned,” I replied.

“My name isn’t Ned. I’m Tom Hanks.”

“Ah, you’re preparing for a role. Good name, Tom Hanks. Sounds like an everyman kind of guy.”

“No, no, you don’t understand …”

“Listen, I don’t run a celebrity rag, I’m not interested in whatever movie you’re promoting.”

“I know, but …”

“I just want to know, how come you aren’t close to your sister anymore?”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Look, she helped you beat your alcoholism and guide you to make the right choice about that hostile takeover, but since then you haven’t even stopped in to say hi.”

“What the f …”

“No no no, you wait. You need to hear this. You might not know it, but she had a baby, but you never showed up to welcome the little bastard into the family. Alex has developed Parker Stevenson’s disease, bobbing and weaving like a breakdancer all the time, Jennifer’s in a really awful rock n roll combo, and Mallory, god, who knows where she is. With Skippy? I hope not. And I have no idea where Steven and Elise are these days. It’s all so sad. There are rumours that a rabid dog named Ubu killed them. Did you know that?!”

“Listen, you’re confused …”

“Damn right I am! You used to be an up front kind of guy. When Alex’s friend Gregor died—his best friend! (sure, we’d never seen him before, but I’m sure there’s a good reason for that)—you didn’t even show up to comfort him. Your own nephew! Wait a minute—you didn’t have a mustache in those days, did you?”

“That’s what I’m here to talk about.”

“That you killed Gregor?”

“No. Look, Uncle Ned was just a character I played.”

“Damn right. You’re a helluva character! That’s why I think you hold the key to so many of life’s mysteries, and we here at Case Closed™ solve mysteries. For example, did you know that John Ritter killed prostitutes?”

Uncle Ned’s mouth was hanging slack at this point. Was this a revelation or was he surprised that the secret was out? Good lord, was Uncle Ned connected to the Whitechapel killings?!?!

He began to back off, his hands held up defensively. “Look, guy,” Ned said, “I think we got off on the wrong foot here.”

“Yeah, I think so, ‘Ned,’” I sneered, “if that’s your real name.”

“That’s what I’ve been trying to say!”

“Christ, it’s true then!” I ran to the kitchen to fetch a weapon. All I had was a medieval mace, so that would have to do. I ran back to the front of the house, screaming and swinging the mace over my head. Ned, however, had fled into the afternoon. Where he is now is a mystery for another day.

However, the John Ritter-Uncle Ned connection must be explored if we are to understand the nature of evil. And mustaches.

Case Closed™ Re-Opened!

07 July 2006

Jack T. Ripper: Time Travel, John Ritter and the Three’s Company Connection to The Whitechapel Murders

A Case Closed™ Exclusive
by Manny Fatback

Anyone who’s ever wasted time in front of the boob box has to be familiar with the bumbling antics of everyone’s favourite straight-homosexual-chef from ‘Three’s Company’. Who can forget the time Jack Tripper (played by everyone’s favourite nobody, John Ritter) accidentally mistook something for something else and havoc ensued? Yours truly certainly can, and remembering it makes the seventies even more painful. Not only did ‘Three’s Company’ herald the arrival of three marginally talented actors, but it was also the world’s only honestly boring threesome.

Or was it so boring after all?

After receiving season two of ‘Three’s Company’ for a belated first-year AA birthday, I found myself parked on my sofa, a bag of pretzels next to me and a fine bottle of Wild Turkey nestled in the fork of my crotch. After watching back-to-back-to-front episodes of this torturous sitcom, I began to realize just how drunk I was. But as is often the case with gifted and troubled artistes like myself, alcohol began to loosen the constraints of my razor-sharp mind. Questions began to rise faster than the temperature in a fat man’s Speedo.

Questions such as:
1. Why had ‘Three’s Company’ gone off the air when it was still successful?
2. What was important about the lead character’s curious moniker?
3. Were John Ritter’s off-camera antics really caused by drugs and alcohol?
4. Why couldn’t I access the ‘Special Features’ on this DVD?

Sitting bolt upright on my couch, I realized that I was on to something bigger than Kirstie Alley’s diaphragm.

Certainly everyone remembers the running gag in ‘Three’s Company’. Throughout the seasons, Jack Tripper’s dense landlord would confront Jack about the women he lived with and Jack would throw up the shield of homosexuality (a shield used by many men during desperate situations—especially when paternity suits are involved!) Of course, viewers at home knew very well that Jack Tripper wasn’t gay.

So why did he go to such Byzantine lengths to convince people that he was? What was he hiding? Was it his own latent homosexuality? Or was he truly a ‘ladies man’ who wanted to keep his identity secret?

As someone in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ might have said… curioser and curioser.

This was certainly suspicious behaviour, even for a sitcom character. Thanks to my Wild Turkey, I realized that if Jack Tripper had something to hide, might not the same be said for John Ritter? Might that ‘something to hide’ be one of the deepest, darkest secrets that crime has ever known?

As our own panel of Case Closed™ experts might have said… suuuuure, okay.

Setting aside my fine bourbon, I put pen to paper and figured out what I had. I knew that Jack Tripper was a ‘ladies man’ with a penchant for pulling the wool over the eyes of authority. He had latent homosexual tendencies and seemed to want to mask his identity. And most startling of all, the name ‘Jack Tripper’ is very close in both spelling and pronunciation as ‘John Ritter’.

But ‘Jack Tripper’ is also mind-numbingly close to the name of one of the worst serial murderers in British history… JACK THE RIPPER.

Jack Tripper = Jack T. Ripper!

The clues couldn’t have been more clear… or compelling.

Knowing that it would never do for someone as professional as I, Manny Fatback, to go off half-cocked, I began to dig a bit deeper. After flipping on my computer and scrolling through various unsolicited messages and images, I began to research this man who called him John Ritter… and Jack Tripper. A few keystrokes was all it took before the facts began piling up like a reef of dead otters.

Indisputable Fact Number One: Jack Tripper + John Ritter = Jack T. Ripper

Indisputable Fact Number Two: In 1973 John Ritter starred in a movie entitled ‘Stone Killer’ (note the curious use of ‘Killer’ in the title). In this unrememberable role he played the part of Officer Mort. Isn’t Mort awfully close to ‘la mort’, which means death in French? And believe it (*or don’t), John Ritter’s grandfather was French!

Indisputable Fact Number Three: Norman Fell co-starred in ‘Stone Killer’. He was also in ‘Three’s Company’. Doesn’t that tell you enough about the complexity of this conspiracy?

Indisputable Fact Number Four: In 1975 John Ritter had a role in an episode of ‘Barnaby Jones’ which was entitled ‘Prince of Terror’. Terror? And haven’t many Ripperologists claimed that Jack the Ripper was descended from royalty?

Indisputable Fact Number Five: Jack the Ripper was christened ‘Leather Apron’ by nineteenth century scribblers who tracked the killer’s grisly handiwork. Jack Tripper often wore an apron!

Indisputable Fact Number Six: a 1977 episode of ‘Three’s Company’ bore the name ‘Jack The Ripper’!

Putting all these facts together and coming up with a meaty yet suspicious stew, I went to see our resident Jackologist, Dr. Fantastic. As he looked over the mounting evidence, I painted a startling picture for him.

It seems clear to all of us at Case Closed™ that Jack Tripper was, indeed, Jack The Ripper. As horrifying as it seems, this also means that Jack the Ripper was John Ritter. It’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma tucked in a sock and stuffed in a closet. But an intrepid wordsmith like myself was able to break through the mystery and realize the real story.

Sometime in the seventies, John Ritter began travelling back in time to murder prostitutes in nineteenth century London. His latent homosexuality, womanizing and uncertainty about his own identity led him to commit these terrible crimes. Back and forth he went until sometime in 2003 when he made a tragic miscalculation. Something he did in 1888 created a terrible ripple effect in time. John Ritter (aka Jack Tripper, aka Jack The Ripper) disappeared from existence!

So… had my original questions been answered? I pondered them once again as I returned to my thinking juice and the next episode of ‘Three’s Company’.
1. ‘Three’s Company’ went off the air when it was still popular because producers began to suspect that their star was engaged in dangerous off-camera activities (time travel and whore murder among them). The risk outweighed any ratings.
2. Jack Tripper = Jack T. Ripper. How many times do I have to say it?
3. Ritter’s drug and alcohol abuse stemmed from his murderous activities. As his guilt ate him up be turned to substance abuse to help him cope with problems. His absenteeism and lateness could also be blamed on his time travelling!
4. I couldn't access the Special Features on the DVD because there were no Special Features!

Anyone with half a brain (and if readers have half a brain, we here at Case Closed™ are glad to have ‘em) can see the truth behind the charade. While America was laughing it up with the goofball antics of Jack Tripper, London prostitutes were being slaughtered. All in the name of entertainment.

Of course some might say there is one question remaining. How could John Ritter be Jack the Ripper when history books were well aware of Jack’s crimes before John Ritter was born?

The answer is as fine as paint… **retroactive time travel!

So remember… the next time you sit down to watch your favourite TV program, ask yourself this one important question…

Is my favourite actor a time-travelling serial killer?
The answer might surprise you.


*you probably shouldn't believe it
**this startling phenomenum will be examined in a future installment of Case Closed™

From the desk of Kipling Glenavon, Case Closed's™ new photos editor:

Resident forensic photographic comparologist, Dr. Fantastic, examined the pictures and inconclusively and undeniably concluded that the sketch may indeed be John Ritter, or someone who looks like him.

In the above two photos, one shows a promo shot from "Three's Company" and the other is of Jack the Ripper at a staff party. But which is which? Could the knife in the left photo hold the key? And, if so, is it for a deadbolt or just a bike lock?