Amongst the running gags of The Office, few continue dominating the talk of fan circles than the conspiracy of the Scranton Strangler, a fictional serial killer that stalks the streets of Scranton. In-universe, the character's real name — a character we don't actually physically see, mind you — is George Howard Skub. He's eventually caught and found guilty by a jury that includes Dunder-Mifflin HR representative Toby Flenderson. Since the show has started streaming on Netflix, the real identity of the Strangler is something continually brought into question, with some fans of the show thinking it could be Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein) or Creed Bratton, a fictional portrayal of the actor bearing the same likeness.
We recently spoke with Bratton, who was admittedly afraid to incriminate the character in hopes of keeping some of the mystery surrounding the character alive. "You know, man, when people ask me that question, I think, is there a statute of limitations on murder?" Bratton tells us. "No. There is not. So how do I answer that? I feel I really, really shouldn't let much of that go, because I feel like could incriminating myself. Even though I'm not that character, he's very personal and if I give away that, then I lose a little of my mystique."
He adds, "I mean for God's sakes, he did come in with blood all over him. He obviously had bodies in his fridge. I'm not saying that he was the Scranton Strangler, but he certainly killed people, we know that."
The actor is referring to an episode in Season Nine — "Here Comes Treble," if you're looking to binge it — where Bratton shows up to work at Dunder-Mifflin with a blood-stained shirt and face. Unbeknown to the character, it's Halloween and his colleagues are already in costume, meaning few questions about his appearance are raised throughout the day.
Bratton says the character he plays might be "a strangler," but not the Strangler. "Well, I don't know about a strangler so much as maybe a slasher, because a strangling is pretty clean. Because he had blood all over him, so he might've been more of a slasher. The Scranton Slasher," he says.
So if not Creed Bratton, could Toby Flenderson — the hated Dunder-Mifflin human resources representative — be the one that strangled all those unsuspecting Scrantonites? After all, Flenderson eventually admits he believes Skub was innocent. Bratton thinks there's no chance in Hell.
"I don't think that the Toby character had the huevos to pull that off," Bratton concludes. "I just don't see that, him having the cojones."
The entire The Office catalog is now streaming on Netflix.