This is not an official name, but will be used until an official name is released.
This article contains speculation. Please keep that in mind when reading what is here.
|“||Kids vanish at local pizzeria - bodies not found.||”|
— Headline of one of the newspaper clippings
In the first game, numerous newspaper clippings can occasionally be seen replacing the Rules for Safety sign, normally appearing in the East Hall Corner. These clippings explain that during late June of an unspecified year, a total of five children had gradually gone missing at the pizzeria.
Police suspect that a man had dressed up in a costume resembling one of the animatronics, possibly Golden Freddy's or Springtrap's, as implied on Night 6's phone call in the second game, and lured the children to a back room, where he murdered them.
Soon after the incident, the company's animatronics had begun to leak blood and mucus around the facial areas and had released a foul odor likened by a parent as "reanimated carcasses". This has led to the popular belief that the murdered children were stuffed into the animatronic suits. This incident, along with other incidents and health violations, ultimately led to the closing of the pizzeria, and it was set to shut down by year's end.
Scott Cawthon's hinting of paranormal activity within the pizzeria gave rise to speculation that the ghosts of the five children (and the other victims) might have possessed the animatronics, which caused their macabre and violent behavior. Some of the children's names are: Gabriel (Freddy), Jeremy (Bonnie), Susie (Chica), Fritz (Foxy), Charlotte (Marionette), Cassidy (Golden Freddy), and Elizabeth (Circus Baby). Names of other children have not been stated yet. These names can be found in FFPS, SL, and The Fourth Closet.
Another theory speculates that the missing children were stuffed into the four animatronics. This would explain the animatronics' foul odor, the leaking blood and mucus, and the parents' comparisons to reanimated corpses. No one knows what happened to the fifth child though it is believed that the fifth child may have been stuffed into Golden Freddy. This could explain why Golden Freddy has a little girl's laugh. However, it is possible that all of the children were killed and disposed of in a more traditional way.
In the Take Cake to the Children Death Minigame in Five Nights at Freddy's 2, the murder of a single child is witnessed. This would indicate that the murderer has struck multiple times and that there is a total of six known children killed. This is confirmed in the Happiest Day minigame in Five Nights at Freddy's 3, where the six masked children gather around the cake before disappearing.
The game doesn't confirm whether the person convicted for the incident was actually the murderer or if the children were stuffed into the animatronics.
Others believe that it was a homicidal employee (as they would have access to the costumes and the animatronics' AI controls), though the newspaper says nothing as to whether the killer was an employee.
It is confirmed, however that the killer was the Purple Guy from the Death Minigames. Upon the completion of the fifth night of Five Nights at Freddy's 3, the player plays as the soul of a dead child, confronting the killer in a room with the four other dead children watching. Purple Guy attempts to hide inside Springtrap, but once in the suit he misuses it. This causes the locks that held back the animatronic parts to break, causing the springs and other various parts inside the suit to pierce into Purple Guy's body and cause him to die. This also adds to the theory that the man who was supposedly convicted for the murders (as found in the newspaper clippings from the first game) was not actually the killer, as Purple Guy is supposedly free during the events of the minigame.
A variation of two certain theories speculates that the murderer may have been a previous night guard, which would explain why the animatronics are so determined to reach Mike Schmidt (and supposedly Phone Guy before him, as heard during Night 4's phone call). Since the killings may have occurred after-hours, this theory raises the possibility that the victims haunting the animatronics want revenge but can only remember for certain that they think the killer might have been the night guard.
Five Nights at Freddy's 2 hints that the previous day shift guard is the one who murdered the children. Phone Guy mentions on Night 5 of the second game that "no one is allowed in or out...especially concerning any...previous employees." This is also possible because Mike worked after both this incident and The Bite of '87 took place, and due to the fact that Jeremy Fitzgerald is the only protagonist to not be fired from his job as a night guard.
Another candidate could be Fritz Smith, the security guard on the Custom Night that is fired the following day after he tampers with the animatronics (just as Mike was). However, "tampering with the animatronics" could simply allude to the Custom Night gameplay where the player adjusts the A.I. levels of the animatronics. Furthermore, the fact that Fritz worked after Jeremy possibly disproves this accusation.
Another hypothesis proposed by fans is that Phone Guy is one of the likely candidates of the Missing Children Incident. Purple Guy appears to be wearing a security badge in the "SAVETHEM" death minigame, while Phone Guy was the night security guard before Mike Schmidt. Phone Guy also mentions that Foxy was his favorite, giving fans a reason to believe that he was responsible, as in the Foxy Death Minigame, the Purple Guy is seen outside Pirate Cove.
However, the third game's Night 5 minigame/cutscene indicates that this hypothesis is highly unlikely:
- Phone Guy knew that getting into Springtrap would likely result in serious injury or death, but Purple Guy clearly did not give thought to any potential dangers of getting into Springtrap, and put it on, thinking he would be safe. However, just like Phone Guy explained during Night 3's phone call, the spring locks holding the compressed animatronic parts came loose, and the mechanical parts crushed Purple Guy, killing him.
- Purple Guy also deliberately did what Phone Guy told employees not to do while in the suits: making sudden movements (suddenly standing up quickly) and breathing on the springs (laughing while inside the suit) providing further evidence that Phone Guy was not Purple Guy, as Phone Guy would have known not to perform these actions.
- Purple Guy dismantles all the animatronics before his death and is killed by being crushed inside Springtrap, while Phone Guy is implied to be killed by the animatronics themselves, before they were dismantled.
- By Golden Freddy's appearance in the second game (with wires popping out of the eyes and shoulders), it would surely be impossible to get in the suit, although, these wires could just be hanging out of the outside of the suit, being barely inside. This could, however, also mean that the wires and beams were removed and the ones seen are just leftovers.
- Springtrap, however, is another possible, and more likely, candidate, given that he is yellowish in color.
- Given that Golden Freddy has a similar appearance to Springtrap as well as appearing in the minigames alongside Springtrap while performing for children, many believe that Golden Freddy was a suit that could be worn like Springtrap's is. If this is the case, it is still very possible for Golden Freddy to be the suit used in the murders.
- Though it would be more likely that Springtrap was used because the phone call of the third game on night 5 states that the Spring Bonnie suit is missing which suggests Springtrap is the suit used.
- This is further supported by the fact that Phone Guy mentions that there were, in fact, two suits that could be worn, in which there were only two suits depicted as being the originals: Golden Freddy and Springtrap.
- There is another recently popular theory that suggests that The Puppet was responsible for the animatronics being possessed. The Death Minigames in the second game seem to back up the idea, as in the "Give Gifts, Give Life" minigame, that The Puppet is shown putting the heads of the original animatronics (Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie, Chica and Foxy) onto the corpses of children. A fifth child briefly appears before Golden Freddy pops out at the player. In the Happiest Day minigame in the third game, the five children appear wearing their character masks, and are joined by the player-controlled child, who is revealed to be wearing The Puppet's mask, indicating that The Puppet is another child's spirit.
- Although the police stated that the killer was most likely dressed in a mascot suit, Phone Guy states that the wires and beams within the suit would make it impossible for any human to stay alive while inside of it. In Five Nights at Freddy's 2, however, Phone Guy states that someone used a spare, yellow suit, thus implying that it was an empty costume.
- The bare endoskeleton may support the theory that the killer might have removed the wires and beams from his chosen costume before killing or kidnapping the children.
- Also, Golden Freddy in the second game has wires sticking out of it, suggesting that the killer may have removed the wires and beams to fit into the suit.
- Five Nights at Freddy's 2 features a new gameplay mechanic where the player wears an empty Freddy Fazbear Head as a means of defense, which implies that there may have been an empty costume available for the kidnapper to wear during the daytime, that is, if the mask was returned before the next night.
- However, it is revealed in Five Nights at Freddy's 3 that two of the suits (Springtrap and Golden Freddy) originally had a feature where the animatronic suit could be wound with a crank to allow a human to enter and maneuver in it "safely", but was apparently discontinued due to an "unfortunate incident". This may refer to an employee or a patron who was injured or killed by the spring locks, or, possibly, The Bite of '87.