I believe I know what happened to Ray Rivera. Suicide and murder didn’t make since to me, so what’s left? In my opinion, an accident — a dare gone wrong. Here’s how I got to this idea:
Suicide seems unlikely for several independent factors: (1) Assuming no information was left out on the show, there appears to be an absence of history of depression or suicidal thoughts. This would put the probability of this equal to the probability of any random person taking their own life. Very low. (2) Rushing to do it? The fact he first received a phone call, then ran out the house, and shortly thereafter died suggests there was very little “contemplative time” to make the decision to do it. Reducing the probability even further. (3). To land where he did and be alone he would likely have had to sprint (in flip flops) from one end of the roof to the other to reach that top speed to jump. But why? It seems much more likely he would stand at the edge, and wait until he convinces himself to take the leap over. Multiplying probabilities of these together imo makes this extremely unlikely.
Murder seems unlikely for the following independent factors: (1) Let’s assume there was motive. The manner of death doesn’t add up. They didn’t use a gun, knife, or some form of strangulation common to most murders. (2) You couldn’t throw him from the very top of the roof. It would take a catapult. Dragging someone to the other ledges closer to the hole seems unlikely — why risk your own life. (3) Killing him in another manner, and then staging the death by blowing a hole in the roof some way also seems extremely unlikely.
Key Factors we know:
Ray was from out of town and therefore likely did not know about or have access to the roof of the Belvedere without someone showing him. So I believe he went there before — likely several times, with someone or several people he was close with from Baltimore…
Ray had a close friend, Porter, who brought him out to Baltimore. For Porter to get him to leave everything he was doing in LA, and move here would suggest they had a strong bond. Also that Ray trusts Porter, likely with his life.
Ray and Porter were on the water polo team together. That’s where they first bonded. When I think of a water polo team I imagine: wealth, fraternity, brotherhood, legacy…
Ray writes a cryptic letter the day of his death – referring to a game, suggesting Porter may be playing, and with language linked to the Freemasons. What if you wanted to capture that feeling of fraternity, wealth, brotherhood, legacy in your adult life? It’s possible the Freemasons might be a good option.
Porter, a wealthy fellow with strong connections in Baltimore, likely has contacts within the Freemasons, maybe through another close friend of his that he works with.
When I think of many fraternities, especially those with a strong legacy, I think of hazing and “initiation”. Oftentimes initiation involves doing crazy acts / dares to earn your place within the group…
My opinion on the death:
Ray and Porter were likely both seeking to rekindle that fraternity, brotherhood feeling they had during their water polo years. Porter, being a wealthy, connected guy in Baltimore, probably had a close relationship with someone who was in the Freemasons. I imagine a younger guy probably closer to their age who might be juvenile enough to set up crazy challenges. They likely held meetings at the Belvedere – I assume in one of the apartments at the top floor. On the night of Ray’s death he was called to show up for an impromptu meeting (perhaps the first one?). Being an initiant he likely has to just drop everything and show up. I believe during this meeting a challenge was initiated to crawl out onto the roof and to the edge, maybe stand up, and crawl back. It’s possible when Ray’s turn came up he took off his glasses and put down his phone so he wouldn’t lose them. He may have reached the edge, slipped (maybe his flip flop broke from clenching his toes too hard out of fear) and fell. It’s possible Porter was there or that he wasn’t, but made the connection when the body was discovered. I believe at least one if not all three of the people who made the call for the hole in the roof were likely there that night. It’s possible that they don’t want to admit this is what happened — as it would have negative repercussions for the firm, the Freemasons, and ultimately anyone involved. What do you guys think of my line of reasoning?