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Archieverse Wiki

Some people say a lynch mob got him. Hung him from a tree near Pickens Park. Others think he hopped a train, went out to California, started praying to the Devil. Others say he never left Riverdale.
— McGinty to Jughead Jones

The "Riverdale Reaper" was a previously anonymous character responsible for a mass murder in Riverdale forty years ago, committing the Conway family murders in their house near the edge of Fox Forest.

The Reaper was first mentioned by Farmer McGinty during a conversation with Jughead Jones, talking of how a "sicko" broke into a house by Fox Forest late at night, going room-to-room and shooting a family of four all dead for reasons unknown. He suggested that the Riverdale Reaper could quite possibly be the current Riverdale madman, the Black Hood. However, this was proven wrong when Joseph Svenson revealed that the Reaper was taken away by a group of men and killed in an act of "justice", as the town "wanted blood for blood".

In "Chapter Twenty-Two: Silent Night, Deadly Night", it was revealed that Joseph had pointed the wrong man out, and that a group of men alongside Louis Cooper (Betty Cooper's grandfather) had buried the innocent man alive, leaving the Riverdale Reaper's true identity and status unknown.

In "Chapter Thirty-Four: Judgment Night", it was revealed that the identity of the Riverdale Reaper was Hal Cooper's father, Louis Cooper.

Throughout Riverdale

Jughead did research on the Riverdale Reaper, revealing to Betty Cooper that the victims were Mary Ellen Conway and her husband Jim, as well as their kids Tommy and Sue. It was said that the Reaper was never caught or identified, so Jughead theorized the Black Hood could very well be the lost Reaper. It was thought that the killer chose them at random, or because their house was isolated, whichever reason indicating that the murderer was a psychopath of some sort.

Betty and Jughead later tasked Archie Andrews and Veronica Lodge to do further research on the Riverdale Reaper. They asked Sheriff Keller whether the files were stolen as part of a cover-up as the receptionist at the Sheriff Station stated they don't have any of the files on it, Keller explaining that the Sheriff at the time, Sheriff Howard, most likely took the files home to work on them. As he died recently, Sheriff Keller told them they could contact his daughter Margaret that still lives in town.

Margaret explained via telephone that her father was obsessed with the case, often going to the now-vacant house, nicknamed "The Devil's House", day and night to try and solve the crime. Veronica and Archie decide to go to the house. Reading a newspaper from back in the day, it states that the Riverdale Reaper broke in while the rest of the town was asleep, finding Mary Ellen Conway in the living room. He shot her, moving on to find her husband Jim Conway in the kitchen, rushing to save his wife. The Reaper shot him point-blank in the chest. Their two children were hiding under the bed in their bedroom, only for the Reaper to walk in and shoot them both. The pair finds Sheriff Howard's files in the house, possibly leaving them there so he can go back every day to try and solve the massacre. However, Archie and Veronica discovered that there was a third child — Joseph Conway.

They hid Joseph's identity and changed his name so he could live a normal life, later being adopted by another family in Riverdale. After extensive research, they found a picture in Riverdale High's files that match a picture of the third child that they found in "The Devil's House". Shockingly, the picture labeled his name as "Joseph Svenson", exposing him as the school's own janitor. They confronted him, and Joseph told the story of how he heard gunshots and fled out of the bedroom window. He watched the Riverdale Reaper leave, able to see his identity. A group of men came and whisked him away to the motel the Reaper was presumably staying at as he was "a con man, preacher passing through town". A young Joseph pointed him out and the group of men took him away, murdering him as notable "justice".[1]

Years after the murders, Hal Cooper reveals that his father Louis Cooper, was the real Riverdale Reaper. Hal’s grandfather had murdered his brother and changed his last name from Blossom to Cooper in order to protect his family from disgrace. Jim Conway had discovered the truth and was blackmailing Louis Cooper with the threat of revealing his families' misdeeds. Louis, believing the whole Conway family to be "Sinners", killed almost all of them to keep the secret. Joseph had managed to escape.

Louis’s wife, who knew what her husband had done, convinced their young son Hal to get close to Joseph Conway, who knew Louis was the killer and manipulate him into blaming someone else. Louis took part in the lynching of the accused man despite knowing he was innocent. [2]

Physical Appearance

The Riverdale Reaper in the flashback is shown to be a middle age man wearing a suit.


  • Mary Ellen Conway - Shot in the chest. (deceased)
  • Jim Conway - Shot in the chest. (deceased)
  • Tommy Conway - Shot. (deceased)
  • Sue Conway - Shot. (deceased)


Season 2


See also: Category:Images of Riverdale Reaper


  1. Lawrence, Yolanda (writer) & Sullivan, Kevin (director) (December 6, 2017). "Chapter Twenty-One: House of the Devil". Riverdale. Season 2. Episode 8. The CW.
  2. Boucher, Shepard (writer) & Nowlan, Cherie (director) (May 9, 2018). "Chapter Thirty-Four: Judgment Night". Riverdale. Season 2. Episode 21. The CW.