Netflix's New True Crime Series Actually Tricked People Into Trying To Solve It

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Listen, I know that American Vandal is a mockumentary. I know it's not true, and I know the point was to prove that true crime documentaries can make us care about anything — but myself, along with many other viewers, are still falling into the trap. Case in point: this Reddit thread. As is customary for most true crime documentaries, fans have taken the show and run with it, finding clues and theories to draw their own conclusions. The only difference is that American Vandal is about fictional penis graffiti — but that hasn't stopped avid viewers of the show from doing their own investigative reporting, especially since the first season didn't end with a clear answer.
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However, the straightforward guess, and the one that was heavily implied, is Christa Carlyle, which was a good jumping off point for the Redditors.
"Yeah it seems to make the most sense," wrote Ronocm13. "Especially her waiting till after graduation to talk to Peter so that nothing she said might incriminate her and lead to expulsion."
There were sneakier clues, as well, like the fact that she was in "Strategy Club" or, as tophusurvivor pointed out, that her crush's name was Van Delor.
"Vandalar," they wrote. "Get it?"
However, glowstricken made things a little more complicated:
"My theory: Christa drew the first dick on Coach Rafferty's car, but then Rafferty drew the other 26 dicks to draw attention away from himself and prevent an investigation from exposing his misconduct case."
But DuckMeister1623 doesn't think it's that obvious. In fact, they think the culprit might just be behind the camera, not in front of it.
"Has anyone else stopped to question whether or not we have a reliable narrator in Peter?" they asked. "At the moment he is suspect number one to me."
His alibi, a movie ticket, hasn't actually be proven, and we know that before American Vandal came out, he was pretty much a nobody.
"But what better way to boost your reputation than by making a viral documentary about a corrupt justice system?" the continued. "We know Peter is trying to emulate Serial, and Dylan's reputation is well known. It would have been easy to assume that the faculty would expel Dylan, making for the perfect setup for a documentary. If it succeeded, he's exonerated an innocent victim. If it fails, he's still gotten his revenge. Either way, if Peter wanted fame and respect, he certainly got it."
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But, what if the person behind the graffiti wasn't a student at all? For instance, ouionme blames Mr. Kraz.
"I think Mr. Kaz could have done it," they wrote. "Or that they were planning on exploring that theory at least, but cut it. The way he walks off stage when the gym teacher received that award was strange for them not to mention at all. He also seemed to have a kind of vendetta against the gym teacher and the rest of the faculty, from his accusations. But then again he had no access to the spraypaint can..."
Essentially, there's so much to think about between now and (fingers crossed) season 2. Check out the full page of theories over here!
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