Hunt a Killer Episode 2 Review – July 2017
Hunt a Killer is a monthly mystery box that allows you to enter the mind of a serial killer while he taunts you from afar. Through a series of boxes, you’ll receive clues that you will carefully interpret and analyze, embarking on a journey of deceit, betrayal, and rampage while putting your crime-solving skills to the test.
This review is for the Episode 2 box ($30 a month). Though I’ll try to avoid them, note that there may be some spoilers here!
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription Box: Hunt a Killer
The Cost: $30.00 a month
The Products: The products you receive are a complete mystery month to month. Use each box’s clues to solve a series of crimes.
Ships to: Worldwide from the U.S.
Check out our Subscription Box Directory for more mystery and crime-themed boxes!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Upon briefly inspecting the items in this box, they are seemingly pretty random. It’s up to you to decipher their meaning by interpreting each clue and how it is related to the ongoing story.
The breakdown was explained in the first box, Episode 1. With each additional box in the subscription series, you are encouraged to pay special attention to particularly revealing pieces of evidence and character context clues to uncover the large mystery at the end of each “season.” There may be smaller mysteries within the larger one as well.
A bookmark-sized card details the number of items you are to expect in each box. Keep a list to sort through each piece of evidence. We’re expecting 7 items this time around.
Hunt a Killer also invites you to share your experience and tag them on Facebook and Instagram for a chance to win your next month free. They also offer a private Facebook group for subscribers to work together to ask questions and solve the clues.
The first item is what appeared to be a light of some sort. After inserting the necessary battery, I came to find that it’s actually an LED flashlight. I assumed that this black light should be used to pick up on hidden clues within the rest of the box, and that proved to be true.
Like Episode 1’s box, this one also comes with a large envelope from Listening Friends of America. It has also been inspected for hazardous material (by JN… or JV… the handwriting is unclear). By now, I was definitely sensing that this will be an ongoing trend from one box to another, and that Listening Friends of America will remain a constant. But who are they?
The envelope contains a series of clues: a case file or folder of some sort, another letter from our “friend”, a very cryptic translucent print, and a bizarrely reassuring letter from Listening Friends of America.
Picking up where they left off in box #1, Listening Friends of America specify that they’re pleased with our involvement and that our “friend” believes in us (presumably referencing our ability to help solve this thing).
Ah, another letter from John William James. We’re getting pretty tight, it seems! First thing worth noting: this letter, like the last in box #1, has already been opened. I figured that it was inspected for hazardous materials and checked to ensure its appropriateness since it seems that it was sent from jail. John ends the letter with, “Here I am, Dearest Friend, a piece of me for you.” Interesting. Hint: use your blacklight here.
I came to find that the envelope was hiding a small but alarming detail: a tooth. Is this the “piece of” him?! It’s hard to tell if it’s meant to be from a human or an animal. It’s sort of small and sharp, so baby tooth perhaps? (Note: of course, the tooth isn’t real since we’re playing a game here.)
And could this clue be related to our print? The image is printed on translucent paper, and there are holes in the picture overall. However, we CAN make out that this is a variation of an old painting depicting two men fighting a dragon. Or maybe it’s one man with his body already ripped in half—gruesome.
There are some words printed underneath: “Dirus Agenoridae Laniat Socia Agmina Serpens; Ultor adest Cadmus Poenas Q. Reposcit ab hoste.” Of course, I Googled it and immediately found the original artwork. The blurred out spots in our print hide grisly details from the original piece. Among them, the large monster bears its teeth and sinks them into the face of its human victim. In English, the inscription under the print reads, “The dreaded serpent tears into pieces the allied force of the son of Agenor; Cadmus the avenger is present and he demands retribution from the enemy.” The original painting is ‘The Dragon Devouring the Fellows of Cadmus’ by Hendrick Goltzius, 1588. Prediction: this finding couldn’t be more symbolic.
Last in this box’s clues is a case file that includes some dense paperwork. Enclosed is a copy of an autopsy report for a Lilian Grayson dated September 27, 1967. Its notes include heartbreaking details around her cause of death. We also see hospital records indicating injuries suffered by a Lloyd McGowan in July of 1967 via a confrontation he had with a custodian, Robert Zykewski, and harm he inflicted on himself in his hospital room.
On the right side, there are a number of psychiatric evaluations and other psychiatric ward incident reports. It appears that Lloyd McGowan was deemed to be a danger to himself. He was eventually transferred to a facility in Darlington, MD in 1997. Could McGowan be our “friend”? Perhaps he was wrongfully accused of a crime and needs our help to bring forth the truth. Or maybe it’s more sinister. Regardless, reading through these incident and autopsy reports is really interesting, and there are many details to uncover that I will not spoil. With that, we have some new players in the game!
More clear what we are meant to be searching for though the clues are still quite vague.
Verdict: The sleuth in me is really enjoying Hunt a Killer so far. This box’s clues built on box #1 nicely, and I felt like I was able to put some pieces together via my own investigation and the private Facebook group. And, again, there are tons of spoilers out there if you seek them out. By now, I can tell that this Hunt a Killer experience is going to be a wild ride, and I’m expecting big things for box #3. At $30 a box, however, this gets pricey. You have to be really invested in the storyline to justify that kind of cost. And, since there’s no guidance to confirm that you’re on the right track, it’s easy to get frustrated. Can’t wait to see where things go!
What did you think of Hunt a Killer Episode 2? What clues do you find to be most interesting?