The Rainey Street cereal killer conspiracy theory

@ken/TikTok (Licensed)

‘People need to abstain from going to that area until this is solved’: Is there a serial killer stalking victims on Rainey Street?

'Do not take drinks from strangers and do not go walking around by yourself.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Apr 24, 2023

In less than a year, 8 dead people have been pulled from Lady Bird Lake. It’s led many to believe that there is a serial killer on the loose in Austin, Texas terrorizing the popular nightlife venues on Rainey Street.

The city’s police chief, Joseph Chacon, went on record stating that there’s no evidence to suggest the deaths are connected to a single killer, nor is there of any foul play.

TikToker Ken Waks (@ken) thinks otherwise, but that the deaths aren’t tied to a single person… but a group of criminals murdering folks on Rainey Street and then dumping their bodies in Lady Bird.

It’s just the sort of conspiracy theory well-engineered to go viral on social media. Especially, as the Daily Mail noted, there’s a private Facebook group that boasts 50,000 followers dedicated to the “Lady Bird Lake Serial Killer.”

Yet Waks, a business entrepreneur who leads private investigations into U.S. disappearances, makes some head-turning observations in a TikTok that’s received 1.5 million views as of Sunday.

@ken Here’s what’s actually happening in Austin. I’m in touch with multiple PIs and investigators for Austin & Chicago, & here’s my plan for how we’re going to put an end to what’s happening not just there but across the country. We’re on the right path, we just have to stay the course and stay safe. #austin #missingperson #ladybirdlake #chicago #serialkiller #investigation #ringleader #update #catchingapredator #staysafe #privateinvestigator #drowning #justice ♬ Ambient-style emotional piano – MoppySound

Ken says in his video, “There’s obviously something happening in Austin, Texas and I’m pretty sure I got it… There is so much going on here and the worst part is it is accelerating. So, the issue is that a lot of people use the SK (serial killer) and it sensationalizes the thing; it discredits what’s actually going on. This isn’t one person, this is a team and it’s obvious where they’re using their point of origin. It’s on Rainey Street.”

The clip then transitions to a map showing the locations of where all the bodies that are believed to be associated as part of the recent string of alleged Austin, Texas murders were found. “You just cannot look at this map and tell me that this is not where it happens. Everyone goes missing from here and then this is just the way that the water runs.”

Ken adds that he’s been collaborating with a local private investigator in the Austin area in order to look into the case and he believes that he’s found a potential prime suspect in the case he’s compiled: “So thank you to everyone who has given me tips and given me information because I have been in touch with a private investigator in Texas. I gave her that information that I had I gave her the potential ringleader and it hit.”

The TikToker says that he is intentionally not divulging all of the information he’s gathered so as to not compromise the investigation, but urges folks in the Austin area to keep their wits about them and exercise caution: “For the sake of the investigation wow, I honestly never thought I’d be saying that, I can’t tell you everything that I know, but I will tell you that if you go out on Rainey Street, please be careful. Please stay in groups, please make sure that you are buying your own drinks or having those things with you the entire time. Get test strips in case someone puts something in it. Do not take drinks from strangers and do not go walking around by yourself.”

Ken that adds that police have attributed the murders to a combination of “easy access” to alcohol and Lady Bird Lake, however, he says that the “problem” with law enforcement’s approach to finding these bodies is that “if they find someone in the river, unless there is like significant, like blunt force trauma, like actual like, dude got hit with a baseball bat, they’re not really like, they’re not ruling it a homicide. They’re gonna say, cause of death: drowning. Manner of death: undetermined. But what’s fucked up with Texas and fucked up with Austin, is there are multiple of those cases where they had that. They had some form of blunt force trauma and yet they’re still ruled accidental.”

He speculates that the cases haven’t been handled with as much care as they should: “It smells. It smells really badly. I’m going to meet with a different person for Chicago tomorrow. I’m gonna connect them to…one of my primary sources and we might be able to blow that up too. So I think we figured out how we’re gonna do this. And I think we got Austin. Austin’s on the right path, Chicago’s next. And then as we roll out these maps we’re gonna get the information, we’re gonna get, we’re gonna find these people, and we’re gonna get them, and we’re gonna get these families answers, so let’s go.”

Ken’s mentions of Chicago is a reference to “drownings” found in the city, and that he intends to apply his same research to the cases there.

After seeing his video, one commenter wrote: “Can someone with The FBI please hire this guy?!?!” while another penned, “I’ll see you on Netflix 3 years later”

Someone else who said that their job is located on Rainey Street wrote: “I work on Rainey and wr have been trying to bring this to light for MONTHS” while another cautioned against going to the area entirely, “People need to abstain from going to that area until this is solved. Seriously just don’t go there.”

One person hoped that a full-blown surveillance mission is conducted on Rainey: “A sting operation with bait needs to be set, lots of cameras lots of people then expose them.. plans need to stay on dl stay safe

The Daily Dot has reached out to Austin PD and Ken via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Apr 24, 2023, 12:03 am CDT