EUGENE, OR–Mounting evidence in the murder case of Roy Bannister, the 27-year-old X-Files fan whose body was found beaten beyond recognition in his home Sunday, strongly suggests that he was killed for "knowing too much" about the long-running Fox series, investigators said Tuesday.
"He knew everything about that show–who was conspiring with whom, where the bodies were buried, the latest top-secret plot developments–everything," said detective Nathan Tillinghast of the Eugene police department. "And he was willing to spill his guts to the first sucker who asked him. It was practically all he ever talked about. All the evidence we've collected points to someone wanting to shut him up."
The victim's friends agreed.
"Roy would get started on Scully's alien implant, or the Cancer Man's paternal fascination with Mulder, and he'd just talk about it for hours," said Albert Hashimoto, the night manager of the 7-11 convenience store where Bannister was last seen alive. "Finally, I had to tell him, 'Look, Roy, I'm your friend, but if you keep talking about this show constantly, somebody's gonna want to kill you."
Roy's sister, Julia Bannister, said she pleaded with him repeatedly to give up his dangerous obsession before it was too late.
"If I told him once, I told him a million times: 'Roy, shut the hell up about the goddamn stupid X-Files. It's just not cool. And it's not even all that popular anymore," Julia told police. "But he wouldn't keep quiet, and now somebody's silenced him for good."
"Roy would corner people at parties and just totally go off on all this sci-fi stuff," said close friend Rob Settles, who was "deeply disturbed" by Bannister's insistence that aliens, working closely with secret factions deep within the U.S. government, were the most important thing on television. "We were always afraid that one day he'd talk to the wrong person. And he did."
"There's no doubt that Roy knew a lot more about The X-Files than was healthy for a person," said Tillinghast, who now faces the grim task of sifting through more than 150 separate pieces of X-Files-related evidence from Bannister's efficiency apartment, including videotaped episodes, fanzines, magazine articles, and nitpicker's guides to all eight seasons. "Believe me when I say there's information in that apartment that no man should know."
Police are still without a prime suspect, estimating that it will take months to go through the long list of people who may have had an interest in keeping Bannister quiet.
"At this point, we've narrowed it down to everyone who'd ever talked to him for more than five minutes," Tillinghast said. "But since there have been no follow-up crimes, I guess we can at least breathe a little easier and assume that whatever Bannister knew died with him. Thank God."