How did Rey Rivera die? All the theories about Netflix's Unsolved Mysteries true story

6 July 2020, 15:32

By Sophie Thompson

Netflix's Unsolved Mysteries is the true-crime docuseries everyone is obsessed with - and conspiracy theorists are trying to work out what happened to Rey Rivera, who was found fallen through a hotel roof.

True-crime fans are going wild for Netflix's latest docuseries, Unsolved Mysteries. As the title suggests, it follows six mysterious real-life stories of murders, abductions, and UFO sightings that had their cases closed and were never solved.

Step aside, Tiger King.

Each episode sees victims, detectives and families sit down to look at the evidence and explain why their particular case is suspicious, and it's got conspiracy theorists everywhere digging for the truth.

Episode One in particular, has struck a cord with viewers, as it looked into the mysterious death of Rey Rivera, who seemingly plunged to his death from the top of the Belvedere Hotel in Maryland, USA.

Police originally ruled it as suicide, when he was found six days after going missing, but as the investigation takes a closer look at what really happened, there's a lot of theories that suggest Rey taking his own life simply don't add up.

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Conspiracy theorists have been hard at work trying to find answers on Rey Rivera's mysterious suicide.
Conspiracy theorists have been hard at work trying to find answers on Rey Rivera's mysterious suicide. Picture: Netflix

Firstly, the 32-year-old's body was discovered when a hole in the roof of a conference room was found, from an upper level of the hotel. It was a clean, small hole, and was too far away from the top of the building for him to have actually fallen through it (almost 40ft) even at a running jump.

There was also no way to access any ledge or roof terrace to jump without going through one of the building's condos, or a number of sealed-off locked doors that staff barely even had access to - a lot of work for someone who is noted to have been terrified of heights.

His phone and glasses were found next to the hole, with no damage to either of them, despite the fact that he had apparently just jumped from the top of a building. His wife, Allison, also suggested that he'd no previous mental health struggles and was looking forward to them starting a family together.

When Rey's body was found, it was beaten and battered in a way that even medical examiners deemed almost impossible to have been caused by someone falling through a roof.

So, was it a set up?

Some fans seem to think so - and they've got their eye on a very significant person in the story - Porter Stansberry.

Did Porter Stansberry murder Rey Rivera?

Rey and Porter were long-time childhood friends before Rey moved to Maryland to work for Porter at his financial publishing company, Stansberry and Associates.

Despite never having any issues within the company itself, phone records found that the final call that led Rey to rush out of his house on the night of his death, was from an anonymous caller at Stansberry and Associates.

While that may not seem suspicious in itself, what is particularly damning about this theory, is that within hours of the body being found six days later, the entire company had placed a gagging order on its employees, and hired a team of lawyers to defend them.

Although Porter and Rey were best friends, he refused to speak to police about any aspect of the ongoing investigations, and 14 years on, still has never spoken out, even in support of his lost friend.

In the documentary, wife Allison suggested that perhaps Rey had found out some information that he wasn't supposed to, and was held accountable before anyone else found out. After all, she admitted during the show that Rey's role within Stansberry and Associates was to almost rebuild their reputation, after things had gone sour for them previously.

Police closed the investigation and ruled it suicide, despite suggestions from medical examiners that the cause of death was inconclusive, and with Baltimore Police Departments previous allegations of corruptions being held against them, fans are even questioning if multi-millionaire Porter had paid them to shut the whole thing down.

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Was Rey Rivera murdered by the Freemasons?

Viewers will remember the mysterious, coded note taped to the back of Rey's computer, discovered by Allison. Despite the note not making too much sense, it did contain the quote "Whom virtue unites, death will not separate" - a saying coined by the Freemasons, a group that his wife said he had taken interest in before his death.

He also had purchased a book on the Freemasons and visited the local Freemason temple to inquire about joining them on the same day he disappeared.

Some conspiracy theorists suggest that the Freemasons could've killed Rey Rivera.
Some conspiracy theorists suggest that the Freemasons could've killed Rey Rivera. Picture: Netflix

There's no evidence to suggest that the secret organisation would have any reason to kill him, but there's definitely thoughts that the message was coded to call out the people Rey feared were after him, or planted by his murderers to give off the impression that he was mentally unstable.

Allison also mentions in the episode that the two weeks before Rey went missing, the security alarm on their house tripped twice in the middle of the night, to which her "brave" husband was terrified at, as though someone was coming into the house to get him specifically.

Also in the note were a list of movies, including The Matrix and Wide Awake, which feature scenes where characters jump off a building, as he apparently did. Many of the movies on the list also involve secret societies, such as National Treasure and The DaVinci Code, indicating that whether or not this case was a suicide or a murder, freemasonry could've played a part, or someone knew of his new-found interest.

Did Rey Rivera commit suicide?

We'll never really know. While things don't seem to stack up in this very fishy case, it's definitely plausible that this could be a suicide after all.

As we see in the episode, his wife Allison, is still very hurt by what happened 14 years ago, and the lack of closure that she received from the incident.

Police have consistently told her that despite her looking for further answers to why Rey died, that she was simply refusing to let go. She also noted that her husband didn't have any enemies or never gave anyone a reason for wanting to kill him.

The note behind the computer, would also have been very difficult to plant, raising the argument that he could have well put it there himself. It contained personal information, including a list of every person he knows - something that a stranger or even a close friend may not have the knowledge to piece together.

As the case is currently closed, there are no firm answers on what really happened to Rey Rivera that night - but viewers are definitely keen to bring justice to the writer.

Unsolved Mysteries is streaming now on Netflix.

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