Jack Tripper: Klutz... Swingin' single... Staunch supporter of the Velour tracksuit... Up-and-coming chef....
And knife-wielding serial killer prowling for California's most beautiful blonds?
Yes, recent DNA evidence uncovered through a cold case investigation suggests that Jack "Come On Knock on My Door" Tripper-- successful owner of the regional Three's Company family restaurant franchise-- may have had a much darker side...
One which lured in attractive blond roomates, who he'd pal around with and gain their trust... before these women would mysteriously go missing.
DNA evidence uncovered inside the dumpster on the abandoned site of the former gourmet restaurant Angelino's indicates blood traces from one Christmas "Chrissy" Snow, former roommate to Jack Tripper and a Ms. Janet Wood.
In 1981, Ms. Snow left the two roommates unexpectedly, reportedly calling from her parents' home a few times, but then vanished completely, never to be heard from again.
Even her cousin, Cynthia "Cindy" Snow, said it was strange how Chrissy didn't make the annual family reunion that was scheduled to take place in the backyard of Chrissy's childhood home-- a modest domicile where Chrissy Snow had been visiting.
"It's possible she just lost the directions," Cindy suggested in an early 1982 police interview. "Biking the neighborhood... finding the backyard... If you turned Chrissy around, she was bound to get lost."
Interestingly, a year later, after having moved into the very apartment, the very bedroom and, you might say, the very "role" her cousin had played in the Tripper triumverate, Cindy Snow herself went missing.
Roommate Janet Wood states, "I know Cindy was headed off to college, but she never called or stopped by after that. In fact, I remember the night we found out she was missing. Jack had just come home from Angelino's. He was completely covered in blood from carving this side of beef Mr. Angelino had gotten in, you know? And he was headed off to take a shower and burn his apron, the way he always does. That's when Cindy's parents called asking if we'd heard from her."
University admissions indicate Cindy Snow had registered and paid the first semester's tuition, but never checked-in upon arrival to campus.
While Tripper was not a suspect at the time, dozens of other blond women-- all having briefly dated Tripper-- were also reported missing over the years. A connection to Tripper was finally made recently through a bartender at the popular local gin joint, The Regal Beagle, where many of the missing women reportedly went to meet men.
Police reports indicate there are no witnesses willing to testify to Tripper's presence at Angelino's the evening Cindy Snow went missing. Tripper has gone on record as stating his kitchen assistant Felipe was there at the time. But, when questioned, Mr. Gomez denied ever seeing Tripper.
The validity of this testimony, however, is in question, as it is reported by multiple sources that Gomez and Tripper have a long, complicated history of culinary rivalry.
"Filipe always hated Jack," explained Janet Wood. "He would have done anything to have Jack's job.... I don't think framing him for kidnapping and murder is entirely out of the realm of possibility."
Yet it was at the recent disappearance of fair-haired stewardess Stella Knight, that Jack Tripper has now vanished himself. Tripper, currently married to Vicky Bradford and in charge of his own business empire, was last seen leaving his old haunt, The Regal Beagle with Ms. Knight.
Criminal psychologist and profiler Siegmund Zagnut provides insight into the impulses that might be motivating Tripper:
"Zis man, he vanted to be seen as zis big ladies man. Yet here he was, pretendink to be gay to have zis apartment for cheap. It vas immasculating. Zen, he vould go out on ze dates vis vomen, and yet it rarely vorked out. He vould spill vine on zem. Or fall down ze stairs ont accident. He felt awkvard. He felt less of ze man. And zey would dump him and leave. And as ze ladies man he imagined himself, zat rejection vas somesink his ego simply could not stand...
"Zen his roommates, zeese blonds, zey would go off to pursue zeir dreams. I zink Tripper felt ze rejection again as Miss Snow unt Miss Snow both left him for zeir new lives."
When asked what Tripper might have done with the bodies, Zagnut stated, "Who knows?
-- based on ze evidence in ze dumpshter, eet eez veddy possibly zey ended zeir lives as high-priced entrees at the upscale restaurant in vich he vorked."
Mr. Angelino was unavailable for comment.
If you believe you have seen Jack Tripper, or know anything about Chrissy Snow, Cindy Snow or Stella Knight, please contact the FBI immediately.
(This post was inspired by the fact that, as a kid, I remember being confused between Jack Tripper and Jack the Ripper. I understand from friends that I was not the only one perplexed by this.)