As you explore Red Dead Redemption 2's vast open world, you'll come across a lot of interesting (and slightly disturbing) things. Sometimes it's a wailing snake-bite victim in need of assistance; other times, it's a creepy abandoned building with a story to tell. But there's one set of chance encounters more gruesome than the rest, and once you find the first, you'll be on the lookout for a very messed-up serial killer.
You'll likely find the first murder scene early in the game. While the other two murder victims are a bit of a ride from the opening areas, you can find them at any time as long as you can freely roam the map. For this guide, we've kept location spoilers to a minimum, and all the screenshots are from an early save with little unlocked--so no worries if you want to play detective for a bit before you really dig into the rest of the game. Of course, this does contain spoilers for the American Dreams Stranger Mission.
For more guides, check out our features highlighting all the tips you should know before playing and things the game doesn't tell you. We also have specific guides on things like money making and gun customization to help you be the best outlaw out there. Be sure to read our Red Dead 2 review if you haven't already, and if you want to have some extra fun, be sure to read our feature detailing the game's cheat codes.
Step 1: Completing the Map
There are three murder scenes to be found, with a piece of a map hidden at each. In order to initiate the Stranger Mission itself, you first have to put the map back together. In general, you're looking for an area that sticks out in some way--maybe you see blood stains on the road or vultures in the distance. You can also zoom in on the map when you get close, since an X marking the corpse will appear and show you the way.
Murder 1: South of Valentine
The first murder scene is just outside of Valentine. Follow the railroad tracks going south out of town; you'll have to ride directly on the tracks at one point to get over a gap, and then you'll find the body under the next overpass. The "front" of the scene faces west. You'll find creepy words written in paint on the right, and to the left, the victim's severed head is stuck to a support beam. In its mouth is the first of three map pieces.
Murder 2: West of Shady Belle
The second crime scene can be found in the Scarlett Meadows region, which is a decent ride southeast of Valentine. It's just west of Shady Belle or a bit south of Rhodes, depending on your angle of approach. It's easiest to spot coming from Shady Belle; take the road west, go straight at the first fork, and keep going straight for a bit until you reach a second major fork. Turn right here, then go straight until you reach another fork in the road. The corpse will be strung up in a large tree to your left; on your map, it will be right around where the "S" in "meadows" is. Go around the back of the tree to find the severed head and map piece.
Murder 3: Southwest of Wallace Station
The final murder victim can be found strapped to a large rock just southwest of Wallace Station in the West Elizabeth region (it's west and a bit south of Valentine, across the river). Cross the stream and you'll see the rock up the hill, likely with vultures perched on top of it. The head and final map piece are on a smaller rock to the left.
Step 2: Locating the Killer
Once complete, the map will give you vague instructions on where to go and what to do when you get there. It shows a bridge with arrows leading into a forest, a dilapidated log cabin, and a code for a combination lock: 6-34-32. As any true crime fan knows, murderers usually kill in areas they know and perhaps live in, which is as good a place to start as any. (If you'd rather solve the mystery yourself from here on out, don't keep reading!)
As it turns out, it ends where it all began: Valentine, or technically southwest of Valentine at a place called Lucky's Cabin. If you're coming straight from the Wallace Station murder scene, cross the river and follow the main road northeast--this is the direction shown on the map, and you'll turn left just after you cross the bridge to reach the cabin. If you're instead coming from Valentine, just follow the road out of town to the west.
With the pieced-together map, you'll be able to open the basement doors and see the horrors within. A white ? icon indicating a Stranger Mission should appear on the map around the cabin--if not, you might have an active mission you need to complete first. After taking a good look around the killer's hideout (use your lantern if you really want to see every grisly detail), head to the back and inspect the knife. This will trigger a cutscene, so all you need to do is follow the prompts.
Once you've hogtied and delivered the killer to the Sheriff's office in Valentine, he'll attack the Sheriff. Use Dead Eye to kill him and save the Sheriff for a reward, which will complete the American Dreams Stranger Mission. Hopefully Arthur isn't too creeped out.