It happened a year ago — May 16, 2006. A Masonic murder mystery. Or maybe it was a suicide. Police haven't figured it out yet.
Rey Rivera, age 32. Married (but the last person to see him alive was a female houseguest on May 16). Former editor of a financial newsletter. Aspiring filmmaker. Masonic wannabe?
His decomposing body was found a week later in a locked conference room on the lower floors of the Belvedere hotel. Next to him were his sandals and his still-working cell phone. Experts don't believe the phone would have survived the impact intact.
He apparently crashed through the roof of the lower level of the hotel, and it's assumed he killed himself by jumping from 14 stories up. Or maybe he was pushed.
Though the hotel has an extensive security camera network, videos of the day in question were not available.
[Cue spooky music.]
At his home, family members found a cryptic note, typed in miniscule print, folded up in a plastic bag, taped to Rivera's computer screen along with a blank check.
Police called it "bizarre, really bizarre."
It wasn't a suicide note, the FBI concluded.
"What it does appear to be is a weird stream of conscious writing," Baltimore Police Department Cmdr. Fred Bealefeld said. "The other thing I thought of... is if he's writing some type of code to someone about something. That's possible."
The note was addressed to brothers and sisters and referred to a well-played game. It named people who had died, including actor Christopher Reeve and filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. It also contained a long list of people Rivera knew and was related to, with a request to make them and himself five years younger, WBAL-TV reported.
The note began and ended with unnamed phrases used in Freemasonry.
Rivera's family and friends said he was fascinated with Masonic "secrets."
On the weekend before his disappearance, he spent time reading the book The Builders. On the day he disappeared, Rivera talked with a member of a lodge in Maryland about joining.
On the day he disappeared, he went to a bookstore and bought Bro. Hodapp's book Freemasons for Dummies.
"Based on what we've seen, his interest in the Masonic order was not to do charitable work," Bealefeld said. "Somehow it was linked to his interest in the movie industry and this theory that somehow there was control being exerted by the Masonic order."
Rivera had worked for Agora Publishing, editing a financial newsletter called Rebound Report. His family said he'd been unhappy that many of the stocks he had recommended were not performing as he had predicted.
Six months before his death, he'd stopped working as a writer/editor, and had become a contract worker for the same company, producing videos for them.
What do you think was going on? The police don't have a clue.
I think he felt guilty that people, perhaps his brothers and sister to whom the bizarre note was addressed, had invested in stocks based on his recommendations, and then lost money. The blank check was his way of paying them back, and wishing them five years younger a way of going back before the stock purchase.
Perhaps his interest in Freemasonry came from a belief that we do, as the conspiracy theorists proclaim, indeed rule the world, and our secret power at controlling world financial markets had caused the stocks he'd recommended not to rebound as he believed they should. We're so sinister that way.
If he believed that, he certainly was a Dummy.
Masons | Masonic World Domination | Suicide | Freemasonry | Baltimore | Burning Taper | BurningTaper.com