While the U.S. government figures itself out, justice prevails on the other side of the pond. The identity of the Northampton clown, who terrorized a city for an entire month, was finally revealed.
The Northampton clown's identity was Europe's greatest mystery ever since the creepy costumed comedian began terrorizing the small British town from which he takes his name last month. Residents started tracking his whereabouts with a hashtag and a Facebook group as he continued popping up around town, scaring kids and avoiding vigilantes dedicated to catching and unmasking the clown's dastardly plot.
"Most people enjoy being a bit freaked out and then they can laugh about it afterwards," the clown told the Northampton Chronicle & Echo before being unmasked. "It’s like watching a horror movie, when people get scared they usually start laughing."
His identity remained a mystery until last weekend, when the Daily Mirror confirmed Alex Powell, a 22-year-old local filmmaker, and his two accomplices, Elliot Simpson, a fellow local filmmaker, and Luke Ubanski, who ran the clown's Facebook page.
"OK, I am the clown but I’ve been trying to keep it as mysterious as possible. To be discreet so people didn’t find out," Powell told the Mirror. It's been a long, hard month, Powell said, filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows. "Your pictures are from the day I went to meet a little girl who only has six months to live," Powell said. "Her mum messaged me saying she really wants to meet you before she dies. I took a picture with her and gave her a clown teddy and stuff." On the other hand, Powell's struggled with the death threats:
“On Facebook I’ve had over a thousand death threats. It was just a bit of fun at first and a lot of people seem to enjoy it but it gets a bit hard sometimes with the death threats.”
Powell, who grew up in Paignton, Torbay, claimed a man threatened to knife him at Sixfields, Northampton Town FC’s ground.
He said: “I swear he had a knife and told me he would stab me if there were not so many people around.”
So that's all well and good. A fun joke is over because the Internet ruined another mystery. (Thanks again, Internet.) The Mirror can trump their exclusive, but the reality is they weren't the first to finger Powell as the Northampton clown. Not by a long shot.
The Northampton Herald & Post's Steve Coles
was the first person to identify Powell as the man behind the face paint. He sleuthed around the Internet when the clown first arrived and discovered "The Local Clown," a documentary made by Powell posted four months before the sightings began. "At one point in the film the character runs past a blue garage door - perhaps the same garage door that featured in the first Northampton clown photograph posted on Facebook," Coles wrote at the time. Powell went on to deny the charges, but it's impossible to deny Coles his due credit.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.