For two years, the Class of 2012 at Richland High School has wondered: Who is the Ding Dong Ditcher?
A few came close to discovering the identity of the prankster who left boxes of Hostess Ding Dongs on their doorsteps.
One student said she was tipped off by some handwriting on a box. Another student went through his entire list of friends and gradually eliminated possible suspects.
In all, about 100 students, along with some parentsand others, including Principal Tim Praino, received boxes of the cream-filled chocolate cakes.
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Thursday, though, all was revealed, when Praino handed boxes of Ding Dongs to seniors Jessica Danoff, Bridgette Nickeson and Heather Eadie, during graduation rehearsal at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
The three friends said they don't remember what initially got them started playing the joke on friends, but they worked long and hard to cover their tracks.
"We knew no one would suspect us," said Nickeson, 18. "We wanted it to be as perfect as possible."
The premise was simple -- put a box of Ding Dongs on someone's front step, ring the doorbell and run away before anyone sees you.
The Hostess website says the game goes by different names in various countries and has been played since the 19th century.
Danoff, 18, said the joke started with her and her mother, Shelley Damrell Horton, and was based on a similar prank that an aunt and uncle played on their friends.
Soon after, Nickeson got in on the game with Danoff and Eadie, 17, and joined them this year.
Planning for each delivery was extensive. Danoff said her mom would buy the treats early in the morning so no one would see her. The friends used Facebook and Benton County Assessor's Office records to verify addresses.
They double-checked escape routes and had disguises. They even made sure to use the Danoff family van as a get-away vehicle.
"It's easy to jump in and out of rather than my Nissan," Danoff said.
And they taunted their victims, leaving clues with the boxes and putting posters up at school.
About half of their targets were people they knew but they also picked people they didn't know. They said there was no specific reasoning for who they picked.
Jessica Bagley, 17, said Nickeson was with her when Danoff made a delivery. Nickeson was in charge of distracting her. She said the deliveries often were talked about in the hallways at school as people tried to figure out who was behind it all.
Only one friend and a few parents ever figured out or learned Danoff and the others were behind the special deliveries but no one else suspected them.
"It just bothered me that my mom knew who did, and I didn't," said McKay Mitchell, 18, who also received one of the boxes.
In the end, Danoff said the prank was worth it and wouldn't be surprised if an underclassmen continues with something similar next year. However, there was one drawback to buying so many snack cakes.
"Yeah, it was expensive," she said.
-- Ty Beaver: 582-1402; firstname.lastname@example.org