The Museum Beast Murders were the series of killings between the late 1980s and 1995 perpetrated by Mbwun, a monstrous humanoid creature that was formerly New York Museum of Natural History employee John Whittlesey.
While on an expedition in 1987, Whittlesey was captured by the Kothoga Tribe and forced to take an extract of the Mbwun Lily. The extract turned him into a monster and made him dependent on the hormones found in the lily. When the Brazilian government destroyed the lily's habitat, the Whittlesey/Mbwun beast maintained enough of his humanity to follow the crates containing his expedition's artifacts (packed in Mbwun Lily fibers) back to the museum, killing people along the way.
The Whittlesey/Mbwun lived in the museum sub-basement from the late 1980s until 1995, killing drifters and animals and feeding its addiction with the crate's packing fibers until the crates were moved into Secure Storage in preparation for the Superstition Exhibition. Enraged and no longer able to acquire the lily hormones, the beast began killing people who strayed into the museum basement and eating the hypothalamus of its victims to obtain minute quantities of the hormone.
The NYPD quickly became involved and despite the best efforts of Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta, the killings continued. The Mbwun beast became bolder, eventually attacking guests at the opening of the Superstition Exhibition, before being tracked down and killed by Special Agent Pendergast and Margo Green.
List of Victims
- Ven Stevens, stevedore at the Belém, Brazil docks. Whittlesey/Mbwun happened on Stevens as he was attempting to break into the expedition crates.
- Various crew members of the ship Strelha da Venezuela, which transported the crates between Brazil and the United States. Special Agent Pendergast, working out of the New Orleans FBI office, investigated this case years before the museum murders began.
- Montague, Julian Whittlesey's friend and colleague at the museum. Montague vanished about 1990. A guard discovered his mutilated body in the museum basement, but the incident was covered up by management. His disappearance and sightings by other museum employees led to the legend of the "Museum Beast".
- Various homeless people and others who wandered into the museum sub-basement and were not missed in the years leading up to 1995. Their bodies and bones were later found in Mbwun's Lair in the museum sub-basement.
- Billy Bridgeman (red-haired kid) and his younger brother, two boys who wandered away from their parents during a Sunday visit to the museum. Their bodies were found in the Old Building Basement by Charlie Prine, who called the police and caused the NYPD's first involvement in the case.
- Castor, a blue tick-hound and tracking dog belonging to Jonathan Hamm.
- Fred Jolley, a museum guard who snuck away from his rounds to smoke a marijuana joint. His murder caused the FBI, and Special Agent Pendergast to become involved in the case.
- George Moriarty, curator in charge of the Superstition Exhibition. His body was found in Mbwun's Lair.