DID RICKY KNOW..?
Many people believe that Ricky knew about Angela’s secret and that he helped her kill. This theory is completely ridiculous. If that was the case, it would negate the entire premise of Sleepaway Camp. Ricky, among many others, was a red herring – a mere diversion. However, I do realize there are many instances where Ricky is clearly implicated in the Camp Arawak killings.
I never once believed that Ricky knew about Peter being raised as Angela. First of all, in the original script, Angela and Peter are said to be four years old. This would put Ricky at four years old as well seeing that they are the same age when they go to Camp Arawak. If Martha was able to hide Angela’s true identity (and sex) from the world then she was able to hide it from four year old Ricky. There would never be a reason for Ricky and Angela to see each other naked. Martha most definitely raised Angela to hide her penis and Ricky to respect her privacy. After all, Angela was his female cousin and to invade her privacy would be rude.
As for Angela to reveal her own secret? Absolutely not. Peter suffered a head injury from the accident and he lost his father and sister. He was already traumatized by the time Martha got to him. She manipulated and brainwashed him. The only adult left in his life violated his trust and innocence. Abusers use intimidation and instill a great fear inside their victims. Victims rarely, if ever, talk about what is happening to them, least of all with a familial peer.
RICKY.. THE ULTIMATE RED HERRING..
What happened in the walk-in between Angela and Artie is supposed to implicate Ricky in the assault on Artie. Artie tried to sexually assault Angela. Why wouldn’t Ricky want to get revenge on Angela’s behalf? He would! We are SUPPOSED to believe that the killer is Ricky to take suspicion off of Angela. Artie also addresses his assailant the way one would address a small boy by using the word “Kid”. Who refers to a little girl as a “kid”?
The altercation between Kenny, Mike, and Ricky in the rec hall implicates Ricky in Kenny’s death. We know that Angela is afraid of water so how could Angela have killed Kenny? The fact of those matters is that Angela doesn’t like getting naked or wet in front of anyone because she is hiding a penis. Ricky was punished and sent back to his cabin as a result for fighting. He couldn’t possibly know where Kenny was at this point. Could Angela have told him? Sure, anything’s possible.
Before Billy is killed, he and the other boys throw water balloons at Angela. Ricky walks out of his cabin and sees it but he is too late to stop it. He becomes hysterical and threatens them using obscenities. Again, why wouldn’t he want to get revenge? He would. Paul is also there. It is implied that while Ricky is killing Billy, Paul is tending to Angela.
At this point, not only does the audience believe that Ricky is taking part in the killings, but so does Mel.
A crucial scene which supports the Ricky theory is when Angela is waiting in the dark for Paul and for a few seconds we are treated to some POV shots leading us to believe that perhaps Angela is the killers next victim. When Paul grabs Angela from behind she flips around with absolute fear in her eyes. Then she says, “I thought you were the killer!” Excellent strategic move. This removes all suspicion from Angela.
At this point how can we NOT think Ricky is the killer?
Angela had Judy and Meg all planned out from day one. First, Judy throws attitude at Ricky. Then she throws Attitude at Angela. Next, Judy and Meg throw attitude at Angela together as a team. Then Meg throws Angela in the water as Judy cheers her on. Finally, Judy tries to steal Paul from Angela. That was the last straw for Angela. Personally I think Angela held out on purpose. That’s what the stares were all about. Angela was thinking, “Have your fun now bitches because your days of reckoning are near.”
Let’s not forget the three small boy campers who threw sand on Angela after she was thrown into the water. Many people miss this and wonder why the boys are later killed. This just prooves that people need to pay more attention to Sleepaway Camp.
An important factor to note, which also supports the Ricky theory, is that it would have been impossible for Angela to have killed Judy, Meg, and the three boy campers in such a short amount of time being as they were so far apart distance wise. Some argue that Angela NEEDED Ricky to help her based solely on geography. I just always assumed that if Angela needed to kill different people in locations which are a great distance apart from each other that she would run.
Ricky’s lines implicate him every time. “We won’t let them get away with this, that’s for sure.” This could be the basis of the Ricky theory. “We”. Ricky HIMSELF implicates himself in the killings. At this point it just cannot be denied that Ricky helped Angela kill. Or can it?
Before Judy is killed she is approached by the killer and is allowed a glimpse of her attackers face. “Oh it’s you. What do you want? Well!?” This brings us back to the beginning of the story when Ricky explains to Angela that Judy and him were going steady last summer. When Ricky shouts a friendly hello to Judy, she nonchalantly says hello back. Later on when he pursues a romantic relationship with her, he is brutally rebuffed. Of course he wants to kill her. Hell hath no fury like a Ricky scorned. Judy has been annoyed with Angela from day one. So when Angela finally approaches her in the dark cabin, is it any wonder Judy questions her in such a fashion? No. However, Judy’s line implicates both Angela and Ricky. That’s why it’s so easy to think that he did it.
Mel finds himself in a grievous rage after discovering Meg’s dead body. He is so certain that Ricky is the killer that he tracks him down, beats him up, and then leaves him for dead. He then runs out into the archery range and finds himself in the path of the killer. “It can’t be you! It can’t be! It can’t be!!” This is the first time the audience realizes that Ricky is not the killer. How can he be if Mel is shocked at who is aiming the arrow at his neck?
Paul was probably the only person to see the real Angela. Paul betrayed Angela more than anyone else at camp ever did. He befriended her with the intent to use her. When he didn’t get what he wanted, he cheated on her with Judy. His apologies meant nothing. Angela knew it. That’s why she killed him. At this point, we are informed who the real killer is and why they killed in the overall scheme of things. This is when people are prooved wrong. Ricky was not the killer.
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER
Jonathan Tiersten was the POV killer in Sleepaway Camp. Those are his hands. That was him standing in the door frame to Judy’s cabin wearing a wig tucked into his shirt. A bold move if you ask me considering Angela has long hair and the audience is not supposed to know that Angela is in fact the killer. So for anyone believing that Ricky helped Angela kill, the fact that Jonathan Tiersten officially portrayed the killer actually works against you.
Boys are stronger by default, at any age. The audience is not supposed to know that Angela is really a boy so why would they suspect her being the killer? Noone would believe that waify Angela could push Artie’s fat ass into a vat of boiling water. Noone would believe that weakling Angela (who is afraid of water) has the strength to hold a boy twice her size under water. Noone would believe that frail Angela could hold a pillow over Judy’s face while simultaneously diddling her with a curling iron.