Who Killed Jason Blossom? The 13 Most Compelling Suspects on Riverdale

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Photo: Dean Buscher/Dean Buscher/The CW

With all the delicious teen drama and Archie’s frequently glistening abs, it can be easy to forget that Riverdale is, at its heart, a murder mystery.

Here are the basic facts, as best we know them: Jason Blossom was last seen by his twin sister Cheryl on July 4, when she helped him stage his death by “drowning” in the Sweetwater River — where Archie Andrews was sharing a romantic picnic with music teacher Miss Grundy. But Jason actually died a week later. His wrists had been bound, and he’d been tortured, frozen, and ultimately killed with a bullet to the head. His corpse washed ashore months later, to be discovered by Kevin Kelly and Moose Mason, who’d come to the river to hook up. We’ve also learned that Jason had been secretly engaged to Betty Cooper’s sister, Polly, who was carrying his child. Jason and Polly planned to flee Riverdale together and had even stashed a car for their grand escape.

So, whodunnit? There’s no telling how many twists and turns the show still has in store for its first season, but here are 13 highly suspicious Riverdale residents you’d be well advised to keep an eye on. (If you want to go further down this rabbit hole, we expect you’ll enjoy the many theories that have been presented on the Riverdale subreddit.)

One note before we dig into the investigation: This list excludes the five main characters — Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, and Kevin Keller — because it’s very unlikely that Riverdale would implicate any member of its Sad Breakfast Club in such a heinous crime. Then again, who knows? Betty has intermittently behaved like she’s teetering on the edge of a fugue state, and as for Kevin, any true-crime nerd can tell you that murderers love to “discover” the bodies of their victims with a witness present. Let’s get to it.

Penelope and Clifford Blossom
The Hatfields to the Coopers’ McCoys, the Blossoms might rather see their family name end than have it polluted with the blood of one of their mortal enemies. But that Jason should meet his end at his own parents’ hands would be dark — really dark, especially considering that he was tortured — and also just plain implausible, considering how openly Penelope blames Cheryl for her twin’s death. But you never know. What kind of secrets is Clifford Blossom hiding under that unspeakably odd hair?

Likelihood: 1/5 Jason Blossom heads

Fred Andrews
Archie’s dad attracts suspicion simply by being the only unobjectionable father in the sea of extremely bad parents on this show. It’s hard to imagine what kind of elaborate motive they would have to concoct to connect Fred to Jason’s murder, but just in case, look out for Fred. He could be Riverdale’s Keyser Söze.

Likelihood: 1/5 Jason Blossom heads

Hermione Lodge
Hermione is, quietly, the darkest character on Riverdale. She forges her daughter’s signature without hesitation and seems surprisingly comfortable living a double life. She not only cheats on her husband with Fred Andrews, but conceals from her new boy toy that it’s she who secretly bought the drive-in property that his company won the contract to rebuild. There’s also some kind of beef between the Lodge and the Blossom families. When Hermione arrives at Jason’s memorial, Penelope furiously whispers in her ear: “You think you’re so clever, coming here to offer your pity. […] So you’ve come to gloat? With warmest regards from your husband, I’m sure.” Yikes. Given that Veronica and Hermione didn’t move to Riverdale until the fall, her actual involvement in Jason’s killing would present some logistical difficulties, but there’s no denying that she still has strong ties to her hometown.

Likelihood: 1.5/5 Jason Blossom heads

Ethel Muggs
This gal — whom you’ll recognize as Barb (R.I.P.) from Stranger Things — went on the record to describe how she was slut-shamed in the football team’s notorious “playbook.” Between that potential motive and the look of unadulterated glee on her face when she watched Betty torture Chuck Clayton in a hot tub, could she have been the one to off Riverdale High School’s most popular jock?

Likelihood: 2/5 Jason Blossom heads

Hiram Lodge
Facing charges of fraud and embezzlement, the Lodge family patriarch was locked up well before the events of Riverdale began. But being behind bars hasn’t stopped him from pulling strings in the outside world — as evidenced by the bag full of cash that shows up in his wife and daughter’s apartment shortly after they arrive in town. Hermione, dispatched to bribe the Southside Serpents gang and complete some “unfinished business” on her husband’s behalf, tells Veronica that Hiram still enjoys “an extremely long reach.” There’s clearly a lot of high-level corruption in Riverdale — a town that Jughead’s narration repeatedly reminds us is haunted by more than its fair share of shadows — so we’ve only scratched the surface of it. Who knows how Jason’s murder might fit into a Rube Goldberg–machine–level conspiracy, and just how high up it goes? Looking at you, Mayor McCoy.

Likelihood: 2/5 Jason Blossom heads

Alice and Hal Cooper
In many ways, Alice and Hal are the most obvious suspects. Betty’s charmingly deranged mother has repeatedly elaborated on her hatred for Jason Blossom — perhaps the very last person in the world she would have wanted Polly to date, let alone marry and raise a child with. Meanwhile, Betty’s father is still steaming over his family’s generations-long, maple-syrup-based feud with the Blossoms, and he’s hardly thrilled that a descendant of the man who killed his grandfather should have impregnated his daughter. Plus, Hal has Sheriff Keller’s stolen case files in his possession, which is not a great look, even if he was just trying to protect his wife, whose photo appears among the evidence.

But the Coopers are almost too obvious: They are more like a mid-season distraction than the genuine murderous article. Besides, Betty has already confronted her dad directly with her suspicions about him, which Alice found to be literally laughable: “You think that he killed Jason? Your father? You think that he has the stomach for that? I wish he killed Jason. I wish I had.” Just saying, though: Does Hal ever deny it?

Likelihood: 2.5/5 Jason Blossom heads

F.P. Jones
Hoo-boy. Jughead’s dad is a troubled guy: an alcoholic with a temper, not to mention the leader of the Southside Serpents. But those aren’t the biggest strikes against him. The final shot of the seventh episode revealed that Jason’s varsity jacket — last spotted in Jason and Polly’s would-be getaway car — is now hanging in a closet in FP’s trailer. That said, it’s less likely that F.P. had a direct hand in Jason’s death. Perhaps he was hired to help with some aspect of the coverup? Odds are that FP knows who torched that car, if he didn’t do it himself.

Likelihood: 2.5/5 Jason Blossom heads

Miss Grundy
This child predator with a penchant for her red-haired male students once seemed like the prime suspect, particularly after Betty and Veronica discovered a pistol and an ID under a different name in her car. Archie’s music-teacher-slash-statutory-rapist — with whom he was canoodling on the banks of the Sweetwater River on July 4 — had also worked with Jason Blossom in an, ahem, independent study during the previous year. But since Mrs. Cooper learned the truth about Grundy’s affair with Archie and confronted her, she’s left Riverdale, seemingly for good.

Likelihood: 3/5 Jason Blossom heads

Miss Grundy’s Ex-Husband
The only character on this list who we haven’t actually met, but his presence has already been felt on the show. Miss Grundy bought that gun and assumed her fake name in order to escape him. What if he went looking for Archie, Grundy’s current ginger teenage victim, but came upon on Jason instead that fateful morning? The resemblance between Archie and Jason — which even Mrs. Blossom mentioned — has come up enough that there’s a good chance it will figure into the murder in some way.

Likelihood: 3.5/5 Jason Blossom heads

Polly Cooper
I hate to say it, but what if Betty’s parents have been right this whole time? Maybe Polly is delusional. It would be a truly impressive misdirect on Riverdale’s part if Jason’s pregnant fiancée did him in. Perhaps she spotted Archie and Miss Grundy together by the river, mistaking him for Jason, then killed her baby daddy in a jealous rage. It’s certainly possible that Hal and Polly Cooper know that their elder daughter is a murderer, too. Did they sequester her in the Sisters of Quiet Mercy home for her own protection?

Likelihood: 4/5 Jason Blossom heads

Joaquin
He’s only made a single appearance on Riverdale so far, but according to the Scooby Doo Model of Villain Identification, that makes him about as strong a suspect as he could be without shouting, “I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!” The cutie-pie Southside Serpent who engaged Kevin in a hardcore make-out session at the drive-in was well-aware that his dad is Sheriff Keller. Are these two Riverdale’s answer to Romeo and Juliet, or was Joaquin actively pursuing Kevin just to get closer to the investigation? Betty and Jughead discovered drugs in the trunk of Jason’s stashed car, and Trev told her that he’d heard Jason had been dealing in the weeks before his death. It seems pretty clear that the Southside Serpents are the best (and probably the only) suppliers in Riverdale. Perhaps Jason’s business dealings with them took a lethal turn.

Likelihood: 4/5 Jason Blossom heads

Who Killed Jason? The 13 Biggest Suspects on Riverdale