Who Is The Preacher On ‘Riverdale’? The Black Hood Could Be Friendly With This Mysterious Figure

Katie Yu/The CW
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When the previously unseen custodian at Riverdale High suddenly turned up in the Dec. 6 episode of Riverdale, it was pretty clear that this mysterious man would have something to do with the Black Hood. As Archie and Veronica soon discover, the custodian known as Mr. Svenson is actually Joseph Conway, the only known survivor of a killer known as the Riverdale Reaper, who slaughtered a family decades prior. Conway says that the Riverdale Reaper was a con man pretending to be a preacher when he came through town. It's not yet clear what the connection between the preacher and the Black Hood is, but discovering how they are related could help lead to the identity of Riverdale's present-day killer.

While one could assume that the preacher and the Black Hood are one and the same, Mr. Svenson reveals to Archie and Betty that he has already "found justice" for the death of his family. He details how a group of men took him to the motel where this preacher was staying, and how they "took him away, and they killed him — I'm not sure how."  He explains that this preacher's death was "never investigated. Never reported. The town demanded blood for blood." It would almost seem like these are two unrelated murderers, except for the fact that the house in which the preacher committed those murders is the same house that the Black Hood has been sending Betty to.

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So the Black Hood is connected to a con man preacher that became known as the Riverdale Reaper, but how? Jughead, Archie, Betty, and Veronica have already tossed out the idea that they're the same person — as these crimes occurred several decades apart, and the Reaper would likely be too old now for that theory to make sense. The guess that these junior investigators are working with is that the Black Hood is obsessed with this preacher for some reason. Perhaps the Black Hood, with his "no sinners" attitude, liked the idea of a man of God who was willing to kill others.

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Or, as Jughead suggests, perhaps the Black Hood is seeking revenge for what was done to his family by the Riverdale Reaper. Jughead believes that Joseph Conway could be the Black Hood, a theory that Veronica follows through on when she starts grilling Mr. Svenson about his whereabouts on the morning that Archie's dad was shot. Despite Jughead's theory, Archie seems convinced that Mr. Svenson is innocent. Archie believes that Svenson's eyes aren't the same as the Black Hood's distinctive green eyes, thus clearing him of guilt. Of course, there's always the chance that Mr. Svenson invested in some colored contacts.

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While Archie and Betty seem to be satisfied with Mr. Svenson's story, it's clear that there is more he's not telling. At the end of the episode in which he tells his tale, he's staring at a photo of five young men, their arms around each other. Who could these men be? They could be the men that took the preacher away and killed him. What about those men has Mr. Svenson so concerned? Could one of those five men be the Black Hood?

Or, if you're willing to don your best tin foil hat, those five men could all be the Black Hood. Five similar-looking men, all connected by a need for justice and a willingness to kill wrongdoers. Archie suspects that the Black Hood has green eyes, but what if there is more than one man donning the mask? There's a chance that the Black Hood isn't a single man, but an organization, much like Archie's short-lived Red Circle.

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Whatever the truth is, it's obvious that Mr. Svenson and his history with the preacher will be crucial to the hunt for the person — or people — who are terrorizing Riverdale.