‘The Office’ Fan Proves That the Scranton Strangler Worked in the Scranton Business Park

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‘The Office’ Fan Proves That the Scranton Strangler Worked in the Scranton Business Park

In the later seasons of The Office, Toby Flenderson has a crisis of conscience over the conviction of George Howard Skub for the murders committed by the so-called “Scranton Strangler,” which makes sense — it’s kind of HR’s job to be understanding toward coworkers.

While the show was still on the air, many Office fans believed that the secret identity of the best unseen character on the show, a mysterious murderer who haunted Lackawanna County starting in Season Six, was actually Toby himself, and the plot line in which the piled-on human resources representative served on the jury for the murder case was a red herring designed to throw us off the scent. Paul Lieberstein, the actor who played Toby and head writer for much of the series, has since claimed that the connection many Office fans have drawn between Toby and the Scranton Strangler was not planted intentionally, but that he enjoys the theory nonetheless. “There’s a world where he was the Strangler,” Lieberstein once teased during an interview.

Over in the Office subreddit, many fans believe that, even if Toby isn’t a serial killer, he’s certainly close to one. In a post simply titled “Oh Shi-!,” user InspiraSean86 pointed out that the dark green Mercury Cougar that the Scranton Strangler drove during the car chase that led to his arrest in the Season Seven episode “Viewing Party” has been seen in the parking lot of the Scranton Business Park multiple times throughout the series. Remind me, Paul, what kind of car do you drive?

As many Office fans pointed out in the thread, this revelation is, sadly, not quite the smoking gun that the “Toby is the Scranton Strangler” crowd hoped it would be. In the Season Two episode “Take Your Daughter to Work Day,” Toby is seen to drive a silver Saab 9-2x, which he eventually traded in for a Subaru Impreza prior to the events of Season Eights “The Garden Party.” In fact, none of the Dunder Mifflin staff are ever seen driving the Mercury Cougar at the center of the Strangler case.

However, as Kevin and Andy lamented in “The Chair Model,” Dunder Mifflin isnt the only office that uses those spaces. Many fans believe that the Strangler could have worked at Vance Refrigeration under Bob Vance (Vance Refrigeration), which would certainly fit the criminal profile of the companys employees. After all, as Michael Scott knows all-too-well, those Vance Refrigeration guys “dealt” — one $500 bag of salad at a time.

In all likelihood, the appearance of the car in multiple episodes has a practical explanation. TV shows like The Office dont tend to devote too much of their production budget to their fleet of prop vehicles, so the producers picked one of the cars they had on hand that hadnt already been in any important scenes for the “Viewing Party” car chase. Still, its more fun to live in a world where this car is an Easter egg, and fans are only a few dozen more re-watches of The Office away from finding the still frame that will crack the case. 

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