After graduating with the rest of his classmates in 1989, Ray Soames spent time in Oregon Memorial Psychiatric Hospital and, for slightly longer than a year, he was treated under the supervision of Doctor Glass for post-adolescent schizophrenia. According to the doctor, Ray was unable to grasp reality and seemed to suffer from a form of post-traumatic stress.
After two of his male classmates were found murdered, Ray Soames learned of this and confessed to the murders. He pleaded to be locked up but was unable to produce any evidence that he had committed the crimes. On a warm night in July, he escaped from the hospital and, after being missing for seven hours, he mysteriously died of exposure at the age of twenty in a wooded area of a state park. At the time of his death, his mother, father and sister were all still alive and he also had a girlfriend.
Investigations of Death
An autopsy was conducted on Ray Soames' body and an autopsy report that detailed the findings was signed by Doctor Jay Nemman, who had also signed the autopsy reports for the first two victims. However, on each of the autopsy reports, Doctor Nemman intentionally missed out the fact that the victims each had two small marks on their lower backs. He also did not note unidentified tissue samples surrounding the marks.
Local authorities, including Detective Miles, attempted to learn if anyone had any information about Ray Soames and the other two victims. They set up a hotline for people to call anonymously if they knew anything about the murders.
It was rumored that the deaths were due to "unexplained phenomenon."
A newspaper article was written regarding Soames' death and was printed before 6 March, 1992, with the headline, "Former Honor Student's Body Found in State Park." The article suggested that the murders could be coincidental or might have been committed by a serial killer. According to a quote by Detective Miles published in the article, the sheriff's office was looking into all possibilities and were seeking the advice of the state law enforcement agencies. Although no leads or suspects had been found at the time the article was printed, it was rumored that a Canadian film technician named Terry Weaver had been taken in for questioning but had denied everything he had been asked, replying to one question by stating his opinion that the local authorities should all "go screw themselves with a fork."
The investigation continued, but local authorities failed to turn up any evidence and the FBI then got involved. They spent a week investigating the three deaths in Bellefleur, Oregon but were ordered to return to FBI Headquarters without explanation. The case was subsequently reclassified as an X-file, where it was discovered by Special Agent Fox Mulder in early 1992.
- On March 7, 1992, Mulder claims that he found the case "a week ago".
Around this time, a fourth victim, Karen Swenson, was found dead in Collum National Forest. A different medical examiner signed the latest victim's autopsy report and noted the strange marks on her back. Mulder noticed the differences between Karen Swenson's autopsy report compared to the autopsy reports of Ray Soames and the first two victims. He arranged for Ray Soames' body to be exhumed to see if his tissue was identical to Karen Swenson's. If the tissue matched, it would be clear that Doctor Nemman had excluded information in Ray Soames' autopsy report and he would therefore be classed as a suspect.
On March 7, 1992, Mulder traveled to Bellefleur, Oregon, with his newly assigned partner, Dana Scully. On the airplane there, Scully read the newspaper article about Ray Soames' death. After the agents arrived in Bellefleur, they immediately traveled to the grave site where Ray Soames had been buried. As a crane lifted his coffin out of the ground, a harness strapped to the casket suddenly broke and the coffin tumbled down a hill. Mulder ran toward the casket, to see it had been broken open by the fall. Lying inside was a mammalian corpse. Mulder joked it was probably safe to assume that Ray Soames had never "made the varsity basketball team" and the coffin was resealed at Mulder's insistence.
The FBI agents later visited the state psychiatric hospital where Ray Soames had been a patient and met with Doctor Glass. The doctor told Mulder that he had not treated Ray Soames with hypnosis and introduced the agents to Billy Miles, who was experiencing the same symptoms as Ray Soames had.
Much of the evidence that the agents had gathered, regarding Ray Soames' death, was later destroyed and, on the same night, Mulder came to the unlikely conclusion that Billy Miles was somehow responsible for the deaths of Ray Soames and the other three victims. Agent Mulder also theorized that Ray Soames and the other victims had been summoned by the forest and that the two marks on each victim's back were from some kind of tests being performed on the victims that caused a form of genetic mutation which Mulder believed explained the strange corpse in Ray Soames' coffin. The agents practically concluded their investigation of the deaths of Ray Soames and his classmates on March 22, 1992. (TXF: "Pilot")
- According to Billy Miles while hypnotized, he and his friends had been having a party in a forest to celebrate their graduation when a bright light came and took him away. An unidentified group had then told him to gather his friends so they could be tested. Ray Soames may have been among his friends at the party, having definitely graduated in the same year.
In an early script of The X-Files' pilot episode, a character named Danny Doty confessed to murdering the first three victims, rather than Ray Soames' claim that he murdered the first two victims, as in the televised version of the episode. Danny Doty was convicted of murdering only one victim, as there was virtually no evidence linking him to the deaths. Mulder and Scully visit him in prison to learn if he knows anything about the murder of Karen Swenson. It is inferred that Doty confessed not because he committed the crime but because he wanted protection that he would receive by going to prison, a motive that Ray Soames possibly shared in the televised version of the episode. After Mulder and Scully learn that Billy Miles is the killer, it is revealed that Doty felt the same murderous impulses as Billy Miles, and Mulder surmises that Doty confessed because he was scared by what he was capable of. The character's ultimate fate is unclear after Billy Miles confesses to the murders. Ray Soames still exists in the script. His family is said to have disappeared but Danny Doty tells Mulder and Scully that the Soames family were all killed. However, neither explanation nor an alternative one is proven to be accurate.
The final revision of the script includes a section of text that implies that the deaths which included Ray Soames started in 1989. Furthermore, the name "Raymond Soames" can be seen on a tombstone near the start of the Season 2 episode of The X-Files, "Irresistible", and a date of death is given as 1989. However, although the reference is a deliberate "inside joke" to the Ray Soames seen and referenced in the pilot episode, it is unclear whether the two characters are one and the same or completely different. If the two are meant to be the same character, Soames' body would presumably have to have been found between the time of the pilot episode, which is set in March 1991, and "Irresistible", taking place in November 1994. It is possible that the strange corpse in Ray Soames' grave is indeed Soames, as Mulder suspects in the pilot episode, but it seems unlikely that the corpse would be reburied or that a tombstone would be constructed bearing Soames' name, if not to mark where his body lay.
|Students in the Class of '89|
|Ray Soames •||Karen Swenson •||Peggy O'Dell •||Theresa Nemman •||Billy Miles|