Wrinkles the Clown (2019) - full transcript

In Florida, parents can hire Wrinkles the Clown to scare their misbehaving children.

You've got people
who see something.

It can create
instantaneous ramping

of fear, frenzy, concern,
in a community.

You typically would see
that kind of situation

around serial rape,
serial murders.

I can tell you that it creates
grave concerns on our part

because what we don't want
is people to be

subsequently injured
in an assault, or murdered.

Where somebody claims
that they felt threatened,

or this frenzy just kinda
takes over

and people start
behaving in ways

that they would
not otherwise behave.

Oh, my God.

I didn't know
this was really real.

Then why did you hide
under that girl's bed

that one time?

I know you really don't kill,

you just show up
at people's houses.

Hi, Wrinkles.
This is NBC 2 in Fort Myers.

We're just seeing your story
really blow up online.

Meet Southwest Florida's
Wrinkles the Clown.

A creepy clown named Wrinkles

offered to terrorize
naughty children for cash.

Hi, I have a child
that's misbehaving pretty bad.

If you give me a call back at...

You can't miss his red
and white polka dot suit.

Hi, Wrinkles, I'm a reporter

at the Washington Post.

I was hoping to interview you

for a story about your, uh...
your amazingness.

I found this guy named
Wrinkles the Clown.

And he's a guy on Craigslist
who you can call,

and apparently, he'll come
to your address

and scare children.

He makes me think
I'm going to die.

Hello, you've reached
Wrinkles the Clown.

No, I'm not here
to take your call.

Leave me a message
and I'll call you back.

Wrinkles, I'm a reporter

at the Naples Daily News.

You're scaring little people

that can't defend themselves.

Could have been
a child molester.

I've never seen you
in real life,

but I love your YouTube videos.

I'm so excited to leave
this message for you.

Please call me back.

Wrinkles is easily
and often spotted around town.

Here he is
in Downtown Fort Myers

and it's the Collier
County fair.

Hey, Wrinkles.

Was writing a story about you
and I was interested in that

thing you had with
that little girl

that was on YouTube.

If you haven't seen this video,

good luck going
to sleep tonight.

I mean, seriously.

He was lurking under the bed
of a sleeping little girl.

He goes by Wrinkles,
but you may know him

by his other name,
Person of Interest.


I'm calling from CAA
which is a talent agency

- in Los Angeles.
- Oh, my God. Oh, my God!

Hey Wrinkles,
are you hiding in my friend's backyard,

because we saw a clown
that looks exactly like you.

This is the County Sheriff's

I just wanted to call you
to verify

that you're not allowed
out on Halloween night.

If you are found or seen
by any kids,

you'll be arrested on site.-

Is that Wrinkles the Clown?


Let me take a picture with him.

Come on, man.

Dude, he's a legend.

What the fuck?

Wrinkles walks by
and the whole thing.

What I saw was like a little
flyer or pamphlet on a post

and I was walking home
from work one day,

and it had him, and his name,
and his number, and I was like,

"Dude, I'm gonna try
to call this, you know,

phone number, get a hold of him,"
it goes right to his voicemail.

I'm like... so I call him over
and over again,

he finally picked up.
It was the coolest thing

'cause it was, you know,
actually him saying,

- "Hey, what's going on?"
- I love what he's doing.

It brings a spark, an energy,
to the neighborhood.

And... how many times

do we bring it up
to people alone, you know?

Just be afraid of this.
You can't be afraid of Jason.

It's fiction.

You can't be afraid of,
you know, that Carrie,

but you better be afraid
of Wrinkles.

- He's real.
- Wrinkles, it's like...

That's been awesome. He's real.

Hi, you've reached
Wrinkles the Clown.

I'm not here to take your call.
Leave me a message

and I'll call ya back.

Wrinkles, this is Jack's father.

You got to see me.

He's been acting up.

- Daddy.
- If they don't stop

acting up, I'm gonna give you my address

to come and get these little


Do you wanna see
what he looks like?


Look, this is what he look like.

- No!
- Sorry. I'm sorry.

My kids' names
are Angelina and Mia.

Please just calm down, Mia.

He says he needs the TV.

He thinks he'll come out
this motherfuckin' TV.

Hey, um, Wrinkle,
I need you to come get these badass kids

- like I'm...
- No!

Oh, it's fine.

He's been like a madman.

Personal vengeance and shame
they are.

However, uh, did you have
much trouble getting here?

Just hold your breath.
If it is right...

You know, uh,
I'll probably never

unmask myself.
I don't wanna be hassled.

I get hassled enough
with the phone calls,

things like that.

I don't need kids recognizing me
on the street, you know.

I'm not going to talk you
in my real voice either.

You want Wrinkles, you're gonna
get Wrinkles,

you know, including the voice.

But we'll not attack again,

unless there's...

- You're not.
- I get...

I get hundreds and hundreds
of voicemails a day.

The whole viral thing
for me is, uh...

It's kind of a pain in the ass.

Everybody and their
fucking grandmother

has my phone number.
Jesus Christ.

Uh, I get moms and dads that
call and ask whose number

this is 'cause they see the
number in the kids' phone,

and they wanna know who it is,
you know.

Uh, you get kids that call
and are like,

"Hey, we love you, Wrinkles"
and all that good stuff.

Then you got your legit parents
out there that really are

looking for some, uh,
behavioral services.

My favorite kind
of scares are the ones

that pay the most.

You know, I'll show up outside
in the backyard, you know,

maybe give a knock on the window
and, you know, make sure

they see me and give them
a wave, but, you know,

I'm not wielding, uh,
knives and machetes,

and things like that.
I give the parents my sticker,

I say, "Oh, you put the
sticker up here in the fridge."

Maybe tell them, "Hey",

you misbehave again,
Wrinkles is gonna come back.

There's his phone number
right now,

"I'll call him right now."

Hi, you've reached
Wrinkles the Clown.

Leave me a message
and I'll call ya back.

No, Daddy.

- Hello, Wrinkles?
- No. No!

I'm... Let me call you back.

I'mma call you back
because I think she's trying

to act right now.

But if she doesn't act
right, I'll give you...

Hey, Wrinkles,
just calling to let you know.

Kaila being bad in the store.

She's running around
and everything. Yeah.

Okay. I want you
to come get her for a minute

or do something
'cause she's being bad.

There you go. Hang on.
You got it?

And I want you to eat her.

- Kaila?
- Hmm?

Can you tell me, um,
tell me what Wrinkle...

how Wrinkle the Clown
sound to you?

He was like, "Oh, Kaila",

I'm gonna eat you
if you'll be bad."

Oh, I bring...
you want me to bring you

to her when I see you?

All right.

Yeah. 'Cause she's
being bad, Wrinkles.


There you go. Good job.

I'm scared of Wrinkles
the Clown. He come to my house

and scare me at night
if I be asleep.

Oh, yeah?
But what if you're good?

- What happens?
- He don't come and visit me

if I be bad... if I be good.

If you're good,
he doesn't come to visit?

Oh, okay.

I don't see that
that's child abuse.

They're gonna try
and push the limit

the older that they get
and so that's basically

just a boundary saying, um,
you can go this far,

just don't cross that line.

They said they're gonna eat me
and they said, "no."

Oh, okay.

I think he did it to
actually become some type

of contributor to society,
giving parents another way

to discipline the kid and
bring them in line early.

"Skype can't connect
to your webcam."

I don't have a webcam.

Hey, Dad, I'm doing
the interview right now.

I'm doing the interview
right now.

Yeah, I could see where people
would hire Wrinkles,

especially if their children
are being naughty.

I'm not naughty,
you're scaring me.

I would definitely hire Wrinkles
to scare somebody

because I'm a terrible person,

I know where the gun is, okay?
And I will...

If he shows up to my room
at 3:00 a.m...

Eadie, you're gonna get me
arrested here.

He went in the bathroom,
he got toilet paper.

He was just throwing it
all around the house

so I called the number.

And Wrink... The voicemail
picked up again,

and when we heard the laugh,
he lost his mind.

I promise, he lost his mind.

He just started crying and he...
I promise he didn't move

for about, I think,
like, two hours.

He didn't move for,
like, two hours.


Hey, Wrinkles the Clown.


Kaila's being bad.

I need you to come get her
'cause she's being bad.

- Stop calling him.
- Don't be bad then.

Hi, Wrinkles, there's
this very bad child...


and I was just wondering
if you could give me

a call back.

You hear this? This is Wrinkles.

So misguided.

My name is George Holden.
I'm a professor

and Chair of Psychology
at Southern Methodist University

and I'm a developmental

I study parent-child
relationships, family violence,

parents' use of discipline.

This idea of calling Wrinkles
the Clown is really misguided.

If it's done frequently enough,

If it's a pattern of behavior,
in this case,

we're talking
about terrorizing a child,

that is...

currently accepted
as one manifestation

of psychological maltreatment,
which is a form of child abuse.

I found out about Wrinkles the
Clown through a news story.

To me, it's sad that he
couldn't come up with

a more positive approach.

He doesn't actually have
to travel into a home

but that threat can still be,
at least for kids,

as powerful as the real thing.

Oh, so you're
hyper now, Mrs. Want to, um...

play with the ducks.

Oh, they running over here.

- Here I come with some food!
- Throw it in there.

I definitely would use Wrinkles

one hundred percent of the time
over spankings.

Spankings, uh...
That kind of leaves a mark...

you know,
and so the phone, um,

it's a voice. And it kinda
leaves the, um,

scary option of, "if I'm bad,
then I got to hear this voice,"

and she doesn't wanna hear
the voice.

When I was a kid,
you got the fucking belt.

You know, my dad was old school.

He would go hard on you,
you know?

He cared about us
and he didn't want us

to get in trouble, so...

Now, it's like, you know,
you can't hit your kids,

you can't do this,
you'll go to jail.

So, you know, they're using
psychological warfare,

things like that, you know?
They're using what's available.

And is that as harmful
as spanking your kid

with a belt, you know?
I don't know.

It's up to you,
you're the parent.

I've been asked before

if I feel guilty
about the parents

that wanna use me
for behavioral services.

You know, that's a contract
between me and mom and dad.

That's nobody else's business,
so you got a problem with it,

you can take it up
with mom and dad,

'cause I'm just doing my job.

Why are you stalking
little kids?

Oh, here. I have an idea.

Is this good?

Um, what I wanna do
when I'm older is

I wanna be a professional
animal trainer.

So, this is my dog Schnitzel.
He is a schnauzer mix.

And then this is
my mom's dog, Gracey.

Her owners died and no one
really knows how,

not even, like, police
or anything.

Okay. So, I just wanted
to try to call clowns

just to see, like,
what would happen

and I didn't get in trouble
for it

but my parents were like,

"Why are you calling a
clown?" and I was, like,

"Well, Wrinkles sounds more real

than what I've seen on YouTube."

I was like, "Don't be looking up
numbers online",

don't be calling random people.

Don't... You don't even know
if this is...

Access to this stuff is scary

'cause you don't know
what they're getting into.

You try to keep an eye on it
and try to...

But you can't govern all of it

and so you just kinda
have to hope that you've...

you know, that they have
a good sense

of what's good and not.

And yet you got children
who otherwise wouldn't even care

about clowns except
now scary clowns are cool

and so he goes clown crazy

Hey, Wrinkles,

I love clowns,
I love everything.

Clowns inspire me.
Um, call me back,

leave me a message,
text me, anything.

I'm making a YouTube video.


If I hired Wrinkles,
once my kid fell asleep,

I would make him
hide under here,

and I would like
make him bang stuff,

like under here, and, like,
make him, like,

get fr...
like, freaked out a little bit.

And then.. And then
once they fall asleep again,

like, I would have him,
like, come out like this,

and I'd have him go...

Like that maybe.

And, like... Just, like,
try to mess with him even more.

And... And then once
they fell asleep again,

I would have him go like this.

I think some people
sometimes need to be scared,

every once in a while.

Just, like, some people,
if they're, like,

really sad or something,
you can just try to scare 'em,

and it'll just make 'em like,
I guess, a little happier.

Like, if I'm home alone
watching creepy videos

and I get scared,
I kinda like it.

Like, it'll start feeling
real to me

like there's something else
creepy happening, like,

- in the room with me.
- And Slenderman!

What are you doing?


- Okay. Stop.
- Slenderman! Slenderman!

I just felt something behind me.

Okay. Okay.

I know that Slenderman
is real. I know that he is.

Folklore is an outlet

for connecting
with other people.

The superstitions they believe,
the legends that they tell.

and myself included,

find this to be richly evocative
of what culture is.


We have to just put rice in it.

We have to cut it
and then put rice.

And put it with the knife.

Shit. Okay. Tag you're it,
tag you're it, tag you're it.

Diablo, you're it.
Diablo, you're it.

Go! Go, go, go, go!

One of the things
that happens with legends

is we try to verify
that they're real or not.

Charlie, Charlie, can we play?
Charlie, Charlie can we...

Online, we see that kids
are propelling the transmission

of folklore in a very,
very rapid succession,

in ways that were
not previously done before.

Devil. Devil.



- Devil.
- Play it again.

Folklore provides
an opportunity for us

to perform and test out ideas
to experiment with something

- that is scary...
- I'm so scared.

What if we go missing
and they play this on the news

- the next day?
- And play with that

to test the boundaries
of safety.

Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary.

- Bloody Mary.
- Bloody Mary.

- Bloody Mary.
- Bloody Mary.

Hi, you've reached
Wrinkles the Clown,

but I'm not here
to take your call.

Leave me a message
and I'll call ya back.

I'm getting the fuck
out of here.

- Um...
- No!

Ooh, try it again, try it again.

Hi, you've reached
Wrinkles the Clown,

but I'm not here
to take your call.

Did you hear that?

That was creepy.

Now that's Wrinkles the Clown.

Should we show them
the phone number?

Wait. Everyone, be quiet.

- 4-0-7...
- 7-3-4...

0-2-5-4. Call that number.


I'm going to call Wrinkles.

He's gonna eat us.

What makes Wrinkles
the Clown significant

as an example
of digital folklore

is how people have responded
to his phone number,

uh, and have made kind
of a ritual out of calling him.

And videos documenting
the proof of actually

contacting Wrinkles
is part of the performance.

It's a part of the ritual.

Hi, you've reached
Wrinkles the Clown,

but I'm not here
to take your call.

Leave me a message
and I'll call ya back.

- What the heck?
- Dude, that's scary.

Yeah. I told you. I told you.

- Bye, Mr. Wrinkle.
- It went straight to voicemail.

- Oh. Well, he's there at least.
- Wait. Wait, wait.

Hi, you've reached
Wrinkles the Clown,

but I'm not...

He... He put it to voice...

He just turned off
the phone completely.

Oh, yeah. Let me go in here
and turn off the TV.

This is where I do
all my videos.

I should have just gone in here.

For fun, I like to watch videos
and make videos

on my YouTube channel.

What I like about YouTube
is you can be creative

and you can do what you want
and not have to

do what anybody else wants.

Me and my sister were
watching YouTube videos,

and we came across
Wrinkles the Clown.

And so we started
doing research on him

and then we just
called him for a video.

We're like, "What if he answers?"

And what if he's gonna be
real creepy?

What if he's gonna
start threatening us?

"What if he just can't take
getting called like that?"

And we're sitting there, like,
"We shouldn't have done this."

It feels like a horror movie
when you see someone...

something's about to happen.

After I saw the video,
I felt paranoid.

And I had a nightmare, and like,
there was clowns in my house,

and, like, you couldn't see
them, but you could see

a shadow of them walk by
and it was, like, very creepy.

And it made me, like,
very scared.

I took out my box spring.

I slept just on the floor
on my mattress and everything.

I didn't want anything
underneath my bed

because I just don't wanna
wake up in the middle

of the night and there be
a clown sitting there,

and I don't wanna...
start screaming.

We ordered boxes
and I put it in my closet

just so nothing could get
in my closet,

nothing could be under my bed.
I just felt more safe.

And locked my windows.

It kinda sucks to not be able
to feel safe at your own house.

Hello, Wrinkles.

I need you to come to my house
and kidnap a little girl.

What did we do to deserve this?

Scaring kids, scaring people...

I don't know what kind
of parents would do that.

No parent I know.

Talcum powder,
put it in a sock to set...

'cause you wanna be matte,
you don't wanna be shiny.

Real clowning is putting on
greasepaint makeup...

putting the money
into the costumes,

into your craft,
having the right kind of heart,

and your goal is
to make people smile.

Make people laugh.

That's a lot harder
than scaring people.

Now, a circus clown
likes to have a full half hour

for putting it on his face.

The sort of default clown

that most Americans
are familiar with

is the happy clown.

And this is because of,
like, Bozo the Clown.

The Happy Birthday Clown.

We love the trickster figure.
We love the figure

that makes us think
and makes us laugh

and maybe embarrasses us.

These clowns
are trying out a new act.

clowns operated in silence.

And part of that goes back
to their nature

and their role in the circus.

They're exaggerated.
They're over the top.

They're hyper human.

They can do these weird, bizarre

seemingly supernatural things.

We know that there's
a human underneath

the greasepaint and the wig
and whatever else,

and yet, there's something
unnatural about them,

something inhuman.

On one hand, they're
presenting themselves

to the public as happy
and goofy.

On the other hand, of course,
we know that that's an act.

You don't know their identity,

you don't know what
their intentions are,

you don't know what
they're gonna do

and that creeps people out.

When you add in the access
to children,

that just amps it up.

Did you like that?
Oh, heart is just going wild.

I do have a fear of clowns.

I do have coulrophobia
which is the fear of clowns.

Their face is painted
and it's scary, like,

what are you gonna do?

You remember when I dressed up
as a clown to scare you?

- No.
- Well, I do. And you screamed

and fell backwards,
and laid there.

It's a mistake to ask
"When did clowns go bad?"

because the evil side
has always been there.

One of the most famous
evil clowns historically

is Mr. Punch, the star
of The Punch and Judy shows,

which have been popular
in England for centuries.

These two puppets are just
nasty, and abusive,

and vile, and homicidal.

And it's a kid show.
And kids love it!

So when you see
these evil clowns

come out in culture,
in pop culture, in movies,

and films, and things like that,
it's really hearkening back

to a more genuine part
of the clown.

You can call me...



Man down!

And when you're down here

with me, you'll float too.

You'll float, too!

Today, I just came
from face painting at a party,

and like six of the boys
wanted to be Pennywise.

There's a whole generation
growing up

with no positive image
of a clown whatsoever.

I go to a party,
I make people laugh

and I make cool stuff like this.

And get bunch of kids
walking around with these.



Slap on a mask, you have
this empowerment to make people

react to you, you know?
And that's a powerful thing.

You know. But that's
what terrorism is.

Real clowns are not scary.

John Gacy,

a man who liked to put on
a clown suit

and entertain children.

Now, he is charged
with one murder...

and the police have found,
at last count,

27 bodies buried
under his house and garage

and two more in a nearby river.

In the 1980s,
soon after John Wayne Gacy,

rumors and stories circulated
that there were clowns,

often groups of them
in white vans,

that were circling around
trying to abduct kids.

And it spread.

In each case you had
these rumors

in the school districts,
in the communities

often shared in the news media

and by parents who would
call, panicked.

A van of clowns trying
to abduct kids?

Of course you're gonna
freak out.

Who wouldn't freak out?

I started off Wrinkles The Clown

just as, you know, something
to keep me occupied

as, you know, retired
and whatnot.

You know, I did the face
makeup and everything,

but after a while,
especially living down here,

the face makeup,
it just melts off.

You know, no one was hiring me
when I was just a regular clown.

I just thought, yeah, you know,

maybe I'll give it
a little edge.

Something different.
All these clowns are the same,

it's kind of boring.

Saw this one mask on eBay and...

I don't know, I just liked
the way it looked.

Looked, uh...
It was somewhere between, like,

Michael Myers
and my grandfather.

And I was like, "Hey,
that's pretty funny."

It's kind of creepy, it's kinda
got everything I need."

So I gave it a try.

I'm outside. I had
to come tell my mama

that it powered off.

I'm a comedian

and I can make people laugh
very easily.

I can do a funny face.

When I was eight years old,

I first heard about Wrinkles

and I was, like,
very freaked out.

I was kind of scared

that he would come
to my house or something.


What you want, bruh?

Do you wanna fight?

Come over to Georgia, okay?

- Mom?
- Yeah?

And I'm
not telling you my address

so you might as well
find my address.

I have a mama...

that's crippled...

but I can still fight back.

I have a dog that's named Halo.
Where is she?

Rena, hang the phone up.

Don't you make me drop you.

Fiona, can I borrow some
of your cat food? Okay.

Good girl.

What you gonna do?

'Cause who cares about you?

You need to be in jail
right now.

Say something.

Quit messing
with these children.

Stop. I'm about to come up there

and whoop your ass right now.

I'm sorry.

Because who cares about you?

I care about God and you care
about the devil or something?

Yes, he does.

- I said the "A" word.
- You can say I am,

- but I'm not...
- Well, I had no idea

that she was talking
to actual Wrinkles, you know.

I wasn't talking to him.
I left a voicemail.


I'm scared about another
cuss word or something.

Well, they've already heard it.

That's just crazy. It's funny.

But, uh...

Yeah, at that time,
I remember last year.

Clowns are meant to be,
you know, funny,

uh, running around the rodeos,
and acting a fool,

and at birthday parties.
Honk, honk, honk, honk.

- Honk.
- Not out trying to hurt people.

Scaring children.
They could grow up...

being traumatized
by something like that.

Not only liking clowns, but just

- not trusting people and stuff.
- I need to grab me something.

I just had a nightmare
last night.


My dad got...

killed by Wrinkles and he, like,
locked him up

in a basement or something.

If I would have found him,
I'm for real...

I'll see how he likes it
in the basement.

Hi, baby.

I've been trying to get her
to lay on her back.

There she goes.

She was laying on her back.

I also think Wrinkles wants
to have fun...

but it's not working...

because he's killing kids.

He took a little kid home
and killed him...

and probably made artwork
with blood all over the wall.


I'm here.

Well, Florida's just
basically a fucking giant swamp

with houses, you know,
like, just strung about,

a lot of shopping,
a lot of, uh...

a lot of stores
that nobody needs.

Yeah, it's beautiful,
don't get me wrong,

but it's just, you know,
I'm not doing the golf

and, you know, going
to the country club

and things like that, you know.
I just... that's just...

I never really fit into
that kind of lifestyle.

Yeah. I don't really
do the strip club

as much as I'd like to.
Costs a lot of money, you know.

It gets harder and harder
as you get older.

Then you start getting lonely,
you know, sometimes I dream

about maybe having a girl to
settle down with, you know?

What am I gonna do?
Have them come back to the van?

I just wanna go out there
and have some fun,

and, you know,
I'll do something different.

Sometimes I go home
and I feel good about it.

It's kind of rewarding
in a way, you know,

and it kinda makes it worth
all the bullshit.

But sometimes I can just
close my eyes in the mask

and just get in my own head.

She's got her excited
'cause she doesn't know.

- Yeah.
- You won. That's good.

- I know.
- That's...

- Guys?
- No. You won

- the money.
- What's outside?

- What?
- Huh?

There's something outside.


I swear there's
something outside.

- What the fuck?
- What?

Oh, my God. Oh, God, God.

- Stop! Do something.
- Oh, my God!

Stop, stop, stop!


I'd probably have
a heart attack over that.

Yeah. That would scare me
to death.

He was sitting on the table,
one evening, right after supper,

and started calling him.
You know, I was afraid

he was gonna
give him information

and him come here, and,
you know,

you hear all those bad stories
and... It was scary at first.

Remember when I had to take out
my box spring...

- Mm-hmm.
- Because I got

real creeped out when I saw
the video of him coming out.

- Mm-hmm.
- So we put it under your bed.

If he's under your bed,
you can protect yourself.


The reason I'm not scared
of Wrinkles anymore

is just I learned how to, like,
be okay with it.

It's like I basically
got scared so much,

I'm not scared anymore.

So basically today I'm gonna
be showing you the clown mask

and the little knife
that I bought with it.

This is the mask. It's gonna be

my Halloween costume
for next year.

Daddy, how do you do this?

- Oh, I know how to do it.
- Oh, yeah?

I wanna do it.

- It's so tight.
- Well... yeah, it is.

I see your eyes bulging
through the holes.

Oh, yeah. Beautiful.

Before he got this mask...

It's like he turns
into somebody else

- when this thing's on.
- I know.

I think that
when someone puts on a mask

or a costume, they feel like
they can kind of

just be a different person.
If there's something you wanna

change about yourself,
you kinda can.

Like if there's someone, like,
in my school walking around,

they wouldn't know me.
I could just act like

a completely different person
and they wouldn't know at all.

It's hot in there.

I drank a lot of it that night.

The viral video
shows Robby Stratton

running through
a convenience store

with an alligator in his hands.

He takes the animal
in the beer fridge as well.

I don't even remember
coming up here.

We asked Stratton
where the alligator came from.

No clue. No clue.
I literally came...

This Florida man
is accused of having sex

with a miniature horse
on multiple occasions.

He's now being held
in the Marion County Jail.

I don't know what's next for me.

I live day by day.
This is kind of where I'm at,

this is what I got,
this what I'm working with.

Um... I don't know.
I'm just kind of, uh...

I'm just kind of living out
my last years.

I don't know if there'll be a
Wrinkles legacy, so to speak.

I think it'll just be like,
"Hey, remember that one time

we called that clown?
That was scary."

Yeah, Wrinkles the Clown.

Sup yo, watcha you doin?

Who's this?

Who this? It's your mom.

Oh, that's good one.

I haven't heard that one
yet today.

Hey, Wrinkles the Clown.


You have to scare somebody?

Yeah. That's what I do.

It never ends. You got
the pranks, you know,

but mostly it's just
real violent stuff.

Hey I'll come down
to fucking Florida

and beat your old wrinkly ass.

We live in a big pasture,
and my dad has guns

to shoot the coyotes
but he'll shoot you instead.

I will piss on you right now.

I'll fucking rip your dick off

and fucking make you eat it.

I'll slap you
with a fucking jackhammer.

Fucking Mexican Mafia
coming for your ass.

We'll cut out
your tongue, bitch.

And I'll stick needles
in your eyeballs

and tie you to a fucking tree.

And fucking chop off
your fingers and fucking...

just fucking torture you,
you fucking sick bastard.

I'mma fucking hang you u
like fucking Vladimir Putin.

I'll take this fucking
baseball bat

and beat your fucking brains in.

I'mma burn your clown ass.

Kill yourself,
Wrinkles the fucking clown.

If Wrinkles came
to my house, I'll tell him,

"I have a game for you.
We'll just stay shoulder

"to shoulder," and then push you
in the water

with the alligators.

It's kinda disheartening to hear

and it's...
But at the same time, I just...

You know, it doesn't really
have an effect on me anymore.

It's like you know,
I'm still kicking.

No one's come to try
to kill me yet.

You know, sometimes these
kids text me and like...

the more I text back,
the more they're trying to call

and find out more information
or... they wanna prove

to their friends I'm real.
They're always asking me,

"Send me a picture of yourself.
Send me a video. You're fake.

You're not real. Send me a..."
You know?

It doesn't really matter
who's behind the mask, you know?

Like, it doesn't matter
who Wrinkles is.

Wrinkles is Wrinkles.

Who are you?
Where did you come from?

- How is your life?
- I wanna know who you are.

Who are you,
and why are you doing this?

- Who are you?
- Who are you?

Who are you,
and can you tell me your real name please?

You're just this weird
old man probably.

Why do you have to wear a mask?

You don't know
if he's a good person

or if he has bad intentions.

You don't know if he's
trying to do this for fun

or trying kill you.

Who are you under that mask?

Who are you under that mask?

Can you let me see
under that mask?

Can I get who... who are you?

When he's a clown, he could live

in the middle of a shack.
Whenever he's a regular person,

he could be living
in a big, old house

in the middle of town
in Florida.

My friends have said
that he's been working like this

- for over, like, 65 years.
- It's also funny to imagine

that he refuses to drive
or take cars.

He just walks around everywhere.

You can call him.
He will scare people for you,

and he's pretty scary himself.

And it's sort of like
a Bogeyman-man type, uh,

type situation,
except actually existent.

He probably, on Halloween,
he's like very scary,

but on New Year's,
he's, like, very happy

because it's a new year
to scare kids.

There's two people in his body.
Multiple personality.

It's like bipolar disorder
or something.

You could be sitting
beside a murderer

and not even knowing it.

- Jamie!
- Jamie!

- Jamie!
- Jamie!

- Jamie!
- Jamie!

- Jamie!
- Jamie!


- Yeah?
- All right.

How am I gonna know
when I'm not in frame,

or are you guys gonna be able
to cut that or if you...

That's all... yeah,
it's all mic check...

- Don't worry about it all.
- Okay. All right.

- Mic will move around it.
- Roger.

- We good?
- Yes. Action.

I'm Wrinkles the Clown.

I'm not a 65 year old man.

- Ready.
- Action.

You know,
the actor that was chosen

to represent the myth
of Wrinkles under the mask,

I think he was a perfect match.

I think he embodies what
Wrinkles would look like.

He has wrinkles
on all the right spots.

He has the gray hair.
You know, is this guy nice?

Is this guy gonna murder me?

And that's kind of
how Wrinkles is,

you don't know.

There's a number of reasons
why I think it's a good idea

for me to keep
my identity hidden.

I don't wanna make this project
about me.

If people knew who was
under the mask,

it would kind of
ruin the experience.

Besides the fact of just trying
to preserve the mystery

of the Wrinkles character.

Wrinkles gets multiple
death threats a day,

and that's fine for Wrinkles,
that's fine for the project.

But I just don't need that
in my personal life.

At the end of the day,
Wrinkles is just a guy in a mask

and a suit, and these kids
and these people have taken

the Wrinkles character
and molded it into

what they want it to be.
Some of them think he's funny.

Some of them think he's rude.
Some of them think he's scary.

Some of them think he's fake.

Some of them think he's a ghost
or some kind of paranormal,

like, apparition,
and really left it open

to let people decide
on their own

what they think about Wrinkles.

I, never in a million years,
thought that anybody

would think that Wrinkles
is a real person.

Let alone that he scares
children for money.

You know, I made it up.

But I think parents that use
the Wrinkles' voicemail

as an actual disciplinary tactic

to keep their children in line

is kind of messed up.
I mean, it's not something

that I would do as a parent.

Um, I think it's kind
of psychologically damaging.

Hey, I have
these two to three kids

- that don't know how to listen.
- No.

We'd give you the price
of 30 bucks to come scare them.


You know, it's not too far off

from what is kind of

already socially acceptable
with telling their kids

that if you're
not a good person,

or if you lie, if you cheat,
you steal, you know,

you're going to burn in hell
for eternity.

You know, I think
it's more cruel and unusual

than anything that Wrinkles
has ever done

or has ever claimed to do.

I was always just
very curious as a child,

and just very imaginative.

Okay. And you put this
Wrinkles mask on.

Not on me.

The clown under the bed

is just such a go-to

for anyone to think of
because of how iconic it is

going back to the Poltergeist
clown under the bed kinda thing.

I remember, as a kid,
getting a head start

and running into my bed
because I was afraid

something was gonna come out
from underneath

and grab my ankles
and pull me under,

and that will be the end of me.

It is a classic kind of fear.

I tried getting
in the trundle bed,

and I was... I was too big.
We couldn't close the drawer,

which we all kind of
got a chuckle out of, you know.

So a friend who's a little
slimmer than I am, said,

"Hey, you know what,
I could fit."

"Oh All right. Well, here.
Put the costume on.

And I'll get behind the camera
and let's make this video."

All right. Is everyone ready?

- Yup.
- All right.


Action 2.

This video has

a couple elements
to make it look

more like a security camera.

With these effects,
you can obscure things more.

And I felt like that really
helped make the video

more believable.

Stop for a second.

Okay. Doing good.

This time you're not gonna,
like, do...

Just gonna kinda look at her.

You're not gonna
do anything, though.

You don't wanna do anything
too creepy.

Maybe put a doll next to her
or something.

Mm-hmm. Get out.
Start looking around.

All right, stop.

What if we just had him
grab the camera, disable it,

and then you get to use
your imagination

of what happened after that.
It leaves it open.

And so it makes it
create a story.

A story that you're going
to continue.

We always make a lot of jokes

about living here
in Naples, Florida.

You know, people just come here to die,

and if you're 70 and up,

and you wanna play golf,

and you wanna be in competitions

with your neighbor
on whose house looks nicer

and who drives a better car,
then, yeah, Naples, Florida

is a great place to live.
So I kind of love

that Wrinkles...

looked older,

and he kind of looked
a little creepy.

And he kind of reminded me
of my grandfather

who was retired,
always grumpy, but hilarious

and always had the best jokes.

For the most part,
I've always been

kind of quiet and kind of shy.

And I've never been
in performing arts,

and to all of a sudden
turn on a switch

and just be a personality
that wasn't myself

that was kind of funny
but kind of rude

and just kind of annoyed
by children.

I felt like it was one of
the biggest rushes of my life.

Yeah. Wrinkles the Clown.


Yeah. What do you want?

We're gonna get a lot of that.

They can't believe
that someone answered

and just kinda hang up.

Yeah, Wrinkles the Clown.

Hi, Wrinkles.

Hey, how is it going, guys?

I love your voicemail.
It's so cool.

Oh, yeah. That's nice.
Thank you.

Dude, that voicemail
sounds just like that.

Well, that's my voice

so that would make sense, right?

- Wrinkles.
- Yeah.

Do you have a YouTube channel?

No. I don't use the internet.

- Why?
- I don't know.

'Cause I don't like
the internet. It's too hard.

Are you a killer clown?

No. I never killed nobody.

You're... Everybody confirmed

that you're bad
but I don't believe them.

No... yeah. You know,
a lot of people think

- a lot of different things.
- You're so nice.

You caught me on a good day.

- Okay, Wrinkles.
- All right.

- You kids be good.
- Bye.

- Bye.
- Nice to meet you.

Nice meeting you too.

I feel like five years ago,

I was so much more naive
than I am now

because I was actually
really able to prove

a lot of things to myself.

You know, I put a picture,
a name, and a phone number

on a sticker, and...

people just did whatever
they wanted with it.

People of course
are taking pictures of it,

putting it online.

After seeing that,

hey, you know what,
I'm gonna start bolstering

this online presence as well.

So I created the HvUseen
Wrinkles website

and YouTube channel.

And that's when I started, like,

putting a lot more pictures
and, you know,

quote, unquote
"Wrinkles sightings".

I'm trying to think if the video
or the sticker came first.

I think the video came first.

So after that, it became kind
of fun to make Wrinkles videos.

The second one was Wrinkles
walking through a parking lot

with a shopping cart full of
junk as if he was homeless.

And the next video is on US 41.
I think we actually

shot that video
on the same night.

Hey. Huh?

NBC2 local news

was really what kick-started

It is a thing of nightmares.
Have you seen this clown?

Meet Southwest Florida's
Wrinkles the Clown.

People pay me to go
scare their friends.

People pay me to go dance
at their parties.

You know, that kind of things.
Bar Mitzvahs and whatnots.

All that content
was already in place.

So it was just so easy
for them to put 'em together

and make this, like,
fantastic story.

An internet hit.
A Google Plus account

is dedicated to his sightings.

That created
an opportunity for people

to say, "Why is this man
dressing up as a clown?"

What is he doing?
Why does he keep doing it?"

Oh, my God.

Once it hit The Washington Post,

then it just kind of
snowballed after that.

It's actually
the first clown ever

that can't get other clowns
to squeeze into a car with him.

They're like, "No. You know,
you're a little bit too creepy."

We're gonna walk."

The man inside the mask
is a 65-year-old

Rhode Island transplant who got
sick of making balloon animals

and has moved more towards a
menacing "See this balloon",

kid? It's your head"

before popping it
kind of a clown.

Like happy birthday, Suzie.

Well, we got you a gift
that will haunt you forever.

Watching Jimmy Fallon
make fun of Wrinkles,

I'm like, "Oh, my God.
I can't believe that this"

actually went as far as it did.

I think a lot of people
started recognizing

that whoever this
Wrinkles the Clown is,

he's getting a lot of attention,
and I'd like to get

some of that attention too

and I'm gonna dress up
like a clown

and go in the woods
and scare my friends.

Disturbing report out
of Greenville, South Carolina

in a neighborhood there.
People living there say

a clown is trying to lure
children into the woods.

Right there at that tree
back there.

They say he uses money and candy

to get children's attention.

I thought my child was,
you know, seeing things.

The next day I had
about 30 kids come up to me

and say, "Did you see the clowns
in the woods?"

I'm over here to make sure
we get a full understanding

of what is law enforcement doing
because we have around

two to three hundred children
out here.

We were working some overtime
squads to patrol in areas

where we thought
that we would see

a potential clown sighting.

What was different
about this situation

was the viral nature
of the social media.

- Clowns in the...
- Clown sightings...

Clowns terrorizing
a town in South Carolina.

Greenville County 911.

What is the location
of your emergency?

I am reporting the,
um... the silver clown.

You're reporting what?

The news about
the clown that's, like,

reportedly going around
our neighborhood

and kidnapping children,
raping 'em, and killing 'em.

Are you just calling
to tell me this is in the news

or do you see him out there?

I've seen him out here.

I felt the fear
would overtake us.

I'm begging you.

Whoever you are, clowns,
get away.

The latest clown sighting

happened Tuesday night at.

Shemwood Crossing Apartments.

All we see is these men
jumping over the fence,

you know, looking at the kids,
and then they take off running

so we all run back here
and chasing them and stuff.

We've seen 'em busting
through a wood right here,

pulling the wood,
and then they ran through.

I could see if my kid get
snatched up by one of them.

You know what I mean,
but he's just...

It's crazy, all right.
It's real.

It was kind of scary
to see where it was going

because I didn't know
if like, "Oh, shit."

Did we have anything to do
with this?"

Before you know it, you have
this creepy clown phenomenon.

Since then,
sightings keep increasing.

Those creepy clowns
are making headlines

from coast to coast.

Flomaton, Montgomery,
Moundville, Brighton, Irondale,

Rainbow City, Anniston.
It's happening everywhere.

It started in South Carolina.

- Now it's up here.
- I'm just freaking out

'cause I'm going
all over Instagram

and all I see is, "Oh, clowns,
clowns, clowns," you know?

Nobody knows how
to defend against it

because we don't know
if it's a prank

or if they're really trying
to harm people.

Now, kids
are carrying around machetes

with clown masks on
and things like that.

Police Chief Kenny Hampton said

he saw a clown
carrying a machete.

He's subject to get shot.

A clown attacked you
here tonight

and cut you with a knife?

- Yeah.
- How scared were you?

I was, like, a lot scared.

He used his selfie stick

to hit the clown who then
disappeared into the woods.

Sir, I was not scaring.
I promise you.

I was not scaring nobody.

I'm a kid, and I'm afraid
that... that the clowns

are gonna kidnap me.

You can't be too cautious
when it comes to kids.

You can definitely...
Especially with shootings,

you know, and this weird
clown thing.

God forbid a kid ever
shows up with a bomb

or with a machete
in a clown suit

and starts hacking people up
at a school

or anything like that.
And, especially, if they ever

blamed it on Wrinkles,

that would make me
feel terrible.

- I am a nervous wreck.
- The fact that

there was a threat
of a shooting at the school,

and not just one of the schools,
it was all three of them.

The most serious
incident so far though,

has been the death
of a 16-year-old

in Reading, Pennsylvania.

It's extremely alarming
about what's going on

right now in the United States.

What the fuck is happening?

- I don't know.
- After rumors spread

on the Penn State Campus,
Tuesday morning,

that clowns were spotted nearby,

over 500 students

took to the streets
to find them.

Fuck that clown!
Fuck that clown!

Fuck that clown!
Fuck that clown!

Fuck that clown!

I definitely took a step back,

but once I saw the power
of throwing an idea out

and having people
grab onto that idea

and react to it, I figured,
"Here's an opportunity"

"to really learn some things."

You know, I would
put my phone down

and walk away for an hour
and come back,

and there would be, like,
thousands of notifications,

and my phone was dying
'cause it just couldn't keep up

with all of the text messages
and voicemails.

They were calling
with their concerns.

They were calling
with their hatred.

They were calling
with their absolute acceptance.

What does this tell us
about different people

and how they
process information,

how they view it on the media,

how they view it
on social media,

or just the ideas that
they made up in their head

just seeing a sticker
in a light pole, you know.

What did their imagination
dream up?

This one is one
of my top favorites.

It says "Would you rather
die or die."

And I thought that would just be

kind of funny and creepy
at the same time.

So the top of his head.

Just... Kinda like this.

You're trying to make it
not look perfect.

The end goal is to make yourself
look like a clown.

I put on clown makeup
to scare people.

Then you're just gonna
put in on your nose.

I need red lipstick.
I'll be right back.

Once I found out
about Wrinkles, you know,

I started having other ideas
for clown videos.

So we got makeup and then
we just basically

wanted close stuff
and, like, running

and, like, trying to scare.

I feel like my videos

are a reflection
of my personality.

Like, I don't try to act goofy.
I just like to make videos

that, like, make me happy,
make me laugh.

Found some.

- The crazy lady is back.
- The way it started out,

she would just try
to put on makeup

'cause everybody else
was putting on makeup.

But, uh...

she would make herself
look like a clown.

I'm like, "You are not going
to town with me"

"looking like a clown."

You're just gonna take it a lot.

When I upload all my new videos,

I'm excited. You know, I'm happy

that, like,
I've got a video done,

and that I've edited it.

I feel like somewhat like
I've accomplished something.

I do have a goal to become
a filmmaker one day.

What's your favorite food?

Uh, cats.

I always had the mind
of him playing football.

I had people coming up to me
all the time,

"He could play for the
Cowboys when he gets older."

"The doctor says he's gonna be
6'5" when he's older.


that's just not him.

This is him. This is what
he likes to do.

You need to make a big dot
on your face.

Now, I'm Wrinkles.

And now I'll do this too.

Have you talked
to this neighbor already

- or...
- No. They...

- I don't really know them.
- Okay.

Yeah. I mean, this kind of
is a perfect spot.

There's little bit of cover
and it gives a little, um...

you know, a little mystery.
And it might make them

- look a little bit harder.
- Sure. Sure.

So the family would be
playing cards here.

Sitting here, having one
or two kids just right there.

Maybe you're like...
you're filming

and you kind of zoom in,
you know.

You just zoom in a little bit,
and you're like, "Oh, my God."

What the fuck is that,"
you know? Like, "Holy shit."

The less you say, the better.
Let them be the ones

that react, but you'll
still be recording,

but you're gonna be
running as well.

They'll see floor, ceiling,
floor, ceiling, floor, ceiling.

- With the camera?
- With the camera.

And maybe you drop the phone
in the hallway,

and you, you know, you let...

Then we're gonna pick up
all the audio

- of the genuine reaction.
- Oh, how great would it be...

- Screaming.
- If she drops it.

Yeah. Then I could come in...

Wrinkles could come in,
see the phone,

bend down, pick it up,
end of video.

Do you wanna get some pizza
later on?

That's gonna be the code.

Do you guys wanna go get pizza?

- Yeah.
- You wanna get something?

That's when you know
that he's here.

He just texted here.

When my timer goes off
on my phone,

then I know I'm gonna start
doing the peek around.

The peek around.

Did anyone see that?
What's outside?

I swear there's
something outside.

What the fuck?

I'll come in.
I'll grab the phone.

I'll hit stop.

Jesus Christ.

And then after that happens,

- I'm booking it.
- Yeah.

I'm out of here.

You guys heard those screams,

- Yes.
- Holy fucking shit.

One girl came back
to see if, like...

Everyone else had ran.
I don't know who it was,

but the one that came back,

I think she saw me,
like, on the porch

and she fucking lost her mind.

Holy shit. There's fucking cops
all over this neighborhood.

I think on this one,
I'm gonna cut it off.

Let's see.

I kinda love
the abruptness of that.

You know, with that, it kind of

leaves more to the imagination.
Like, "What the hell?"

What happened after that?
What... You know,

did Wrinkles get 'em?
Did they get away?

"Did they call the cops?
Did they..." you know, whatever.

I don't think anything I do

after the Wrinkles project
is going to have

as big of an impact.

But sometimes
you surprise yourself.

Maybe this is just a gateway
into something bigger.

- Yeah.
- You wanna get something?

The fuck is that?

I think there is an element

of internet troll to Wrinkles.
He's provocative, right?

He's trying to get
a reaction out of you.

Maybe it's screaming
with laughter,

maybe it's terror,

maybe it's calling
his phone number. Who knows?

By calling him, you're
essentially inviting him in

into your life.

Testing those boundaries
is a part of growing up.

I'm gonna be calling
a killer clown.

Apparently, his name
is Wrinkles.

Uh, I got this number
a hundred percent real

off the Internet.

I think people just wanna see

what would happen
if they call the clown.


maybe he would come
to their house or something.

They just wanna see
what could happen.

Oh, dang.

I think the creepiest part
is when he grabs the camera

and, like, it just goes out.

I think if the girl woke up,
it would be complete madness

and, like, she would start
screaming bloody murder.

He don't have any eyeballs.

How does he see?

I do parties,
children behavioral services,

the whole shebang, you know,
give me a call.

Are you the real one
that gets hired

to scare the shit out of kids?

Yeah. Wrinkles the Clown.

- You heard of me?
- Yeah.

You know, maybe
the negative parts

of Wrinkles will die off
and maybe the fun parts

- of Wrinkles will live on.
- Oh, my God.

- His name is Wrinkles.
- Sweet dreams.

As many people
that hate Wrinkles

and hope he dies a slow,
horrible death,

there's a lot of people
out there that love Wrinkles

and they love the character

and they like the funny parts about him

and they like the cynical
parts that they can relate to.

I love you, Wrinkles, so much.

I think you're
the number one clown.

We love you. We love you.
We love you. We love you.

You're my role model.

I can laugh like you, listen.

- Wrinkles!
- What're you doing?

- What're you doing?
- High five, again.

- High five?
- High five again.

- Please.
- High five. Thank you.

Oh, my God. You're so cute.

Oh, God. I can't see.

There's too many high fives
going on here.

- One, two, three. Wrinkles.
- Wrinkles.

Our individual minds
are such humongous places.

And the places that you can go,
it can be some of the darkest,

deepest depths of just
awful terribleness

to some of the most enlightening

most beautiful places.

It's just interesting to see
where people decide to go

in their mind because,
at the end of the day,

they're the ones

that are taking
this very small information

they know about
Wrinkles The Clown,

and decided which way
to take it.

I saw your YouTube video.

I don't have a YouTube video.

- What are you talking about?
- Yeah, right.

- Come on.
- All right.

All right. Last picture
of the night.

Wrinkles got to go
to the bathroom.

Come on.