A macabre series of murders committed by morbid mortician Teddy (John Glover) 40 years before the zombie apocalypse is uncovered when June Dorie (Jenna Elfman) digs into the underground cult behind "the end is the beginning." Spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 13, "J.D." In Season 6 Episode 4, "The Key," John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) revealed the chilling case investigated by his policeman father decades earlier: the "two-bit mortician" preaching about "death and new beginnings" to his brainwashed followers from a compound in Texas. The embalmed corpses of missing women were turning up in the Houston area — until John's father framed the suspected serial killer with enough planted evidence to put him away for life.
It's the modus operandi of Theodore Maddox — a.k.a. Teddy (John Glover) — who is revealed as the leader of the underground group that has been spray-painting "the end is the beginning" in Season 6 Episode 11, "The Holding." When June's investigation into the tagging turns up John's estranged father, John Dorie Sr. (Keith Carradine), it's inside an RV covered in evidence and newspaper clippings documenting Teddy's crime spree.
A newspaper story titled "Mortician Gets Life," which we've transcribed in part below, reveals the twisted history of the "psycho-killing, two-bit, preaching mortician" John Sr. put behind bars in the 1970s:
Theodore Maddox has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in a Galveston courtroom Thursday. He had previously been found guilty in the deaths of twenty-two women and for trespassing on a local military base. This caps the end of a killing spree that terrorized much of southeast Texas and embarrassed authorities, led by detective John Dorie, up and down the Gulf. ... Despite the sheer number of victims, authorities had difficulty producing the evidence required to convict Maddox. His methods of embalming his victims left little in the way of DNA with which to convict ... the damning piece of evidence was a purse belonging to Cindy Hawkins, a waitress at Delphi's Country Cookin', which was found in Maddox's home by Dorie. Miss Hawkins is still considered missing, but presumed dead.
The report goes on to reveal Teddy's only comment after being sentenced to life in prison without parole: "The end is the beginning."
Teddy's victims are easily identified by the embalming fluid he uses to "keep out the unworthy," John Sr. tells June. "Preservation prevents folks from 'moving on' to the next world." Teddy wants "what he's always wanted: destruction."
John Sr. warns June that an investigation risks Teddy's cult moving up whatever they're planning, which Ranger Hill (Craig Nigh) reveals is "big." As he puts it, "They wanna kill everybody." That big plan is already in motion — and it might be too late to stop.
In Season 6 Episode 12, "In Dreams," Teddy sends Riley (Nick Stahl) to steal the key that Morgan Jones (Lennie James) took off the body of a bounty hunter in the Season 6 premiere, "The End Is the Beginning," which ended with the reveal of a beached submarine in Galveston, Texas.
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. New episodes of Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.