I’m not big on conspiracy theories.  They sound interesting but the moment you start digging for actual facts you are almost certainly going to be disappointed.  There is one so-called conspiracy theory that has been digging at me for a long time, something I’ve been following on a surface level at least for many years.  It is commonly referred to as the Smiley Face killers theory.

Retired NYPD detectives Anthony Duarte and Kevin Gannon held a press conference in 2008 to make the public aware of a dozens of deaths that are officially listed as accidental drownings, deaths that the two former cops allege are actually murders linked to one another.  “I believe we’re looking at an organized group that has a hierarchy and is involved in murder and other criminal activity,” Gannon said.  Such a revelation would, if true, re-write a large portion of what we think we know about criminology.  Experts would tell us that serial killers don’t work together in teams, in fact in extremely rare instances we have only seen them work in pairs.

Unless of course these are not serial killers per se but rather something else entirely.

Starting around 1997, a statistically odd number of educated white males have died in and around the water mostly focused around the Great Lakes region of North America (to include Canada) and Eastern Coastal cities like New York and Boston.  Other similar deaths pop up in Arizona and the pacific northwest.  Taken together, our sample size encompasses over a hundred individuals meeting the criteria listed above.  According to law enforcement agencies, these are not murders but accidental drownings that involve inebriated young men falling into the water and drowning.

There is a multitude of reasons why this explanation makes absolutely no sense and to understand one really has to begin digging into the case studies.  The main resource for this is “Missing 411: A sobering coincidence” by David Paulides whose fact-based research sets a standard for this investigation, one that eschews speculation and conspiracy theory.  Now fair warning, Paulides is a retired police officer who became a Sasquatch researcher prior to getting interested in missing persons cases, but his research sticks to the facts and is helpful for investigating this subject.

Here is a quick rundown of some very odd reasons why the accident or suicide theory does not add up, aside from the obvious demographic pattern represented by the victims.  Many of the men did not die in the water as coroner’s reports reveal.  In some cases they were missing for a week, but were only actually in the water for 48-hours prior to their remains being discovered.  In other words, they were being held captive before being drowned.  Some of the victims appear to have been drugged prior to their disappearance and have tested positive for the “date-rape” drug post-mortem.

Coinciding with the fact that many did not actually die in the water, nearly twenty victims were found by police or search parties in areas which had been previously searched, indicating that the victim did not die in that location.

The Smiley Faced killers theory gets its name because smiley face graffiti sometimes appears at the scene of where the remains are found.  What this actually means is inconclusive, as graffiti frequently appears in cities, under overpasses, and so on.  While this piece of evidence may or may not link the victims with a perpetrator, the other pieces of evidence are far more compelling.  It appears that the police have been strongly denying any insinuation that there is a serial killer on the loose, even though some of the drownings have now been re-classified as homicides.