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Is Hal Cooper Black Hood? 'Riverdale' Theory Suspects Betty's Dad

The identity of Riverdale's infamous serial killer, commonly referred to as the Black Hood, may have been pinpointed in Wednesday's episode, titled "Prisoners." The popular CW drama appears to have placed Hal Cooper at the top of the list of prime suspects.

Early fan theories suspected Cooper, played by Lochlyn Munro, to be the killer. In "Prisoners," star K.J. Apa's Archie joins Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) at Pop's Shoppe after attending a funeral for Midge, who was killed by the Black Hood in the April 18 episode. Like diehard fans, Archie questioned Mr.Svenson as the town's killer. 

"What if Mr.Svenson wasn't the Black Hood? Just because he was wearing a hood that night, it doesn't mean he's the same guy who shot my dad and who killed Midge," Archie says. "The real black hood could still be alive." This drove the episode to its dark conclusion: Hal might be Black Hood.

Betty, her mother, Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick), and Jughead find themselves in a heated exchange with Chic (Hart Denton), who viewers learn is not related to the Coopers. Chic lived with and killed Betty's actual brother. After, the Black Hood calls upon Betty to deliver Chic to him as a way to "let justice be done." Betty obliges, taking Chic into the woods at gunpoint to meet his death by the Black Hood.

Upon returning home, Betty shared with her mother that Chic would no longer bother them after she took him to the bus station, concealing the truth of his ultimate fate. Something isn't right, however, as Betty soon questions the whereabouts of her father. "He went looking for you. Why do you ask?" says Alice. With this, Betty's face grows worrisome as she is likely contemplating what audiences alike suspected: Is Hal the killer? Naturally, this ending led fans to take to social media to label Hal as the Black Hood.

On episode 9 of Season 2, the Black Hood supposedly died after Sheriff Tom Keller (Martin Cummins) shot him and unmasked him. He discovered it was school custodian Mr. Svenson, who was first introduced in episode 7. Viewers weren't satisfied because it didn't make sense and were plenty of loose ends.

Prior to this reveal, Hal was presumed to be the most likely suspect, because of Betty's involvement and the killer's knowledge of personal things related to the  teen. Hal's physical appearance, eye color, and build, seemingly match with Black Hood. 

The true identity of the Black Hood remains a mystery at this time, but executive producer Roberto Aguirre Sacasa confirmed fans were correct to question Mr. Svenson being pegged as the murderous villain. While there are only three episodes remaining in Season 2, viewers will soon see how Mr. Sevenson ties into the Black Hood as the mystery continues to unravel.

"With the Black Hood's return, fans can definitely expect more death, more drama, more suspense," Sacasa told Newsweek. "Fans were right about Mr. Svenson, and they'll soon see how our ill-fated janitor plays into the larger Black Hood story that's been brewing all season. From here on out, it's a white-knuckle ride and there's going to be a lot more mystery, suspense, and relationship drama to propel us into next season."

Riverdale airs Wednesday's at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. 

Riverdale cast (L, R) Betty (Lili Reinhart), Jughead (Cole Sprouse), Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Archie (K.J. Apa) are pictured in a still for an episode of "Riverdale" that aired April 25, 2018. The CW

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