Ever since the rebooted version of Unsolved Mysteries aired on Netflix, fans have been obsessed with the strange death of Rey Rivera. As a result, numerous theories about what happened have been bouncing around the internet.
The new series premiered with Mystery on the Rooftop. This documentation of the bizarre circumstances surrounding the death of financial writer Rey Rivera took viewers to the historic Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.
Rivera had just recently relocated to the area from California. He did so to take a position as writer for a financial newsletter at the firm of his longtime friend, Porter Stansberry.
On May 16, 2006, Rivera left his home after receiving a telephone call from the Stansberry offices. That was the last time he was seen alive. His body was found six days later at the Belvedere Hotel.
A hole was spotted in the roof of the hotel. When investigated, the partially decomposed remains of Rivera were discovered in a roof underneath the hole. But how did he get there? Did he jump or was he pushed?
Did Rey Rivera commit suicide?
Officially, the journalist’s death was labeled as a probable suicide. Authorities decided Rivera must have jumped from a higher point, and landed in the empty room.
However, there are problems with this scenario. For starters, Rivera’s injuries weren’t consistent with a fall. Secondly, there were only three possible places he could have jumped from in order to land in that specific spot.
If he jumped from the parking lot or the hotel roof, he would have had to have done a running jump, which is highly unlikely.
The third spot was a ledge on the 11th floor, which meant he would have had to have passed through the entire hotel, including through a private space, to get there. Surely someone would have reported seeing him?
His wife, family, and friends have disputed that he had reason to kill himself. They argued that he was in good mental health.
Was Rey Rivera murdered?
The second theory is that Rivera was murdered. On the show, his brother speculated that his sibling may have given someone poor financial advice. Perhaps, that person took revenge on Rivera by killing him?
The more intriguing theory is that he was killed by his employer and friend, Porter Stansberry. Stansberry frustrated family and friends by refusing to cooperate with investigators. He also declined to be interviewed by Unsolved Mysteries.
What’s more, he hired himself a lawyer just hours after Rivera’s body was discovered.
Since Rivera trained as an investigative journalist, many wondered if he had dug up some dirt on his friend. About a year after the death, Stansberry was found guilty of fraud. He was fined a hefty $1.5 million, which added to the rumors.
The bizarre note theory
Then there is the note theory. One of the items left behind by Rivera was a note (no, not a suicide note), that listed the names of various family and friends and also referenced the Freemasons, filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, and a specific movie.
This list led to some of the more bizarre theories, such as speculations that the Freemasons murdered Rivera.
However, the theory that gained the most traction was that Rivera died while trying to reenact the plot of David Fincher’s 1997 movie The Game.
The Game, which was listed on Rivera’s note, follows a plot line in which a man is compelled to jump from the roof of a building and through a glass ceiling.
However, this theory has already been dismissed by the show’s creator, Terry Dunn Meurer, Rivera’s wife Allison, and the FBI. Rivera reportedly kept numerous journals with random writing of this nature, and the FBI found no connection between the note and his death.
The reboot of Unsolved Mysteries has proved hugely popular with fans. The case of Rey Rivera especially resonated with fans, as did the fifth episode, which involves UFO sightings and abductions in Massachusetts.
Unsolved Mysteries is currently available to stream on Netflix