Cold Case Wiki
Roy Anthony 1977
Roy in 1977
Roy Anthony 2005
Roy in 2005
Roy Brigham Anthony
Portrayed by Alex Ball (1977)
Barry Bostwick (2005)
Episode Creatures of the Night
Status Arrested

Roy Brigham Anthony was a "visionary" serial killer, responsible for at least eight deaths in New Jersey, and one in Philadelphia, during the 1970s.


Roy was born in 1956, in Provo, Utah, and named after Brigham Young, a pioneer of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, which Roy's father, Edward Anthony, was a devout follower of. Edward was a Marine, and extremely strict, possibly even abusive, towards Roy, who he constantly drilled a love of God into, ordering him to never disrespect the Lord under any circumstances.

In 1977, there was an "incident" involving Roy and a local girl, who he had a crush on. Due to this event, Edward moved Roy to East Falls, Philadelphia, to live with his aunt, Louise, who got Roy a job as a busboy at the Franklin Grill, a nearby restaurant. On his first night at his new home, Roy was instructed by Edward to turn over all his wages to Louise, to always respect his uniform, was reminded to never disrespect the Lord, and was told that whether he could return home or not all depended on how closely he obeyed the rules.

Roy found adjusting to his new surroundings difficult, and thus never developed any close relationships, the only people he interacted with on a regular basis being his aunt and co-workers, who found his distracted and rigid demeanor vaguely disturbing. Over time, Roy began to show mild signs of schizophrenia, hearing voices urging him to commit violent acts, and experiencing minor hallucinations, often involving lights. Whenever he heard someone utter sacrilege, Roy felt himself being overcome with rage, which he stymied by committing acts of self mutilation, claiming it was the only way he could stop himself from lashing out at the blasphemer.

Roy soon began developing feelings for a waitress named Kelly Witkowski, and while working on August 2, overheard the cook, Larry Papas, mention most of the Sunday school students always skipped church, and spent the money their parents gave them for the collection plate on food from the restaurant. When Larry called God a rube, Roy had a fit, and placed his hands on the hot grill, but had them pulled off by Kelly, who he told about his compulsion to hurt himself. Thinking a night out would be good for him, Kelly invited Roy to a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Avenue Theater.

Excited, Roy called Louise, and asked permission to see the film, but was told not to go, and to come home. Roy decided to ignore his aunt's orders, and instead went, meeting up with Kelly, and her friend Mike Cahill, a hotel doorman who had not bothered to change out of his uniform for the evening. While watching the film, Roy was obviously disturbed by it, and the audience members, and constantly bombarded Kelly and Mike with questions about what was going on, eventually mentioning his religious leanings to Mike. When Kelly's part in the stage performance accompanying the show came up, she, playing Janet, herded Roy ("her Rocky") in front of the crowd, and began stripping him, and herself, down to their undergarments. As Kelly tried to sing and dance with him, Roy was discovered by Louise, who had tracked him down, and dragged him into the lobby.

Louise scolded Roy, telling him he had given into sin, and that Kelly was a harlot, whose actions should only be performed in bed, after marriage. Roy responded by saying that Kelly was good, and that he wanted to marry her, as he felt so alone. Trying to steer him away from these thoughts, Louise, who Roy had earlier told about the voices he was hearing, explained to him that the voices must belong to God and the angels, and that he, like Joseph Smith and his namesake, could be a prophet, and must listen to them. With his newfound "permission" to listen to his auditory hallucinations, Roy raced off to find Kelly, still convinced he could marry her.

Roy followed Kelly to the subway station she had planned on using to go to New York, but was too late in reaching her. As the train left, Roy met up with Mike, who he told about his intention to make Kelly his wife. Mike responded by saying he was going to ask Kelly to marry him, and when Roy compared Kelly to Mary Magdalene, quizzically asked who that was. Astonished at Mike's ignorance, Roy asked him if read the bible, and when Mike said no, and called him "a Jesus freak" and said he "didn't give a rat's ass about God", while Roy saw light, caused by an oncoming train. Roy, finally giving in to his violent impulses, snapped and strangled him. After killing Mike, Roy took a gold charm, which was shaped like a goat, off him, and returned home.

At the tail end of summer, Roy ran away from his aunt's house. Roy proceeded to make his way to New Jersey, where he killed eight people in Trenton and Atlantic City, his attacks always being committed at night against uniformed people, who he strangled after seeing "God's light" being cast by their faces, and after hearing "His voice". Roy took a single "trophy" from all his victims, and stored them in a trunk in his basement.

On December 6, 1979, Roy was finally caught by the authorities, and in 1980, made a controversial plea bargain. Roy confessed to several murders he was suspected of, but never conclusively linked to, in exchange for being sentenced to twenty-five to life, with mandatory time off for good behavior. In prison, Roy was a model inmate, but still claimed to see the light and hear God's voice, and made it clear that if he was ever let out, he would pick up where he left off, and kill again.

2005 eventually came, and so did Roy's release date. Realizing what would happen if Roy was let out, the Trenton District Attorney called the Philadelphia Homicide, asking them to look into any unsolved homicides with Roy's MO that occurred during his time there. The team eventually found Mike's case, and Detectives Lilly Rush and Scotty Valens visited Roy in prison. Acting amiable towards them, Roy, when confronted with Mike's picture, and a picture of the unclaimed goat charm they presumed belonged to him, stated he had no idea what they were talking about, and told them about his first night in the big city. After finishing, Roy told the detectives that the voices and lights never went away, and that he was glad he was getting out soon, since he had to get back to work.

After investigating Mike's death, and learning about his relationship with him and Kelly, Lilly and Scotty visited Roy again, confronted him with the circumstantial evidence they had gathered, and began insulting his beliefs, which caused him to scream "God's light is real!" before blurting out that he was the one who killed Mike. Due to his unintentional confession, Roy was extradited to Philadelphia, presumably tried and found guilty of Mike's murder, and incarcerated, this time permanently.

Known Victims[]

  • Mike Cahill (strangled; took his charm as a trophy)
  • Eight unidentified victims (all strangled; items on their persons taken as trophies)