AMC’s ‘The Killing’: Episodes 1 to 5 – Suspect List

Through 4 weeks and 5 episodes The Killing has given us a murder mystery full of political intrigue and family drama. That, and a wide array of suspects. A classic ‘who done it’ type that has the patience to build the story up for long enough, so that a one point or another, we’ll have to look at everyone.

The show started off with a missing girl and a police investigation. What was initially thought to be a prostitution exchange gone wrong lead Seattle police Detective Sarah Linden to a Mr. Stan Larsen. The man she assumed was in the fields with a young lady the evening prior. They turn out to be very wrong as the reason they were led to him in the first place, the credit card, was in the possession of his daughter – Rosie, who no one has seen for a few days. As Stan frantically searches the city for his daughter, Detective Linden, and her soon to be replacement – Det. Stephen Holder – find a car in the lake. In the trunk, they find Rosie.

The murder of Rosie Larsen is really no closer to being solved than in was at the end of the pilot, but Detective Sarah Linden’s suspect pool is growing…

Since the discovery of the body, and through 5 episodes, we have seen several suspects introduced. People ranging from fellow students and school faculty, all the way up to city officials. So, let’s start at the top.

Rosie’s body was found in the trunk of a campaign car for City Councilman Darren Richmond who is running for Mayor. The car was reported stolen a few days prior, but that doesn’t clear anyone. Here are the most likely suspects…

Darren Richmond – The almost perfect politician. A widower whose intentions are true and who is refusing to exploit the Larsen family even if it means he’ll lose the election. That’s not very believable. It’s easy to point a cynical finger at him as the viewer because he seems so squeaky clean. Aside from his secret relationship with Gwen, he appears to be the most morally grounded character on the list.

Gwen Eaton – Darren’s right-hand man – err- woman. Aside from their torrid love life, she is only ever shown working towards getting Richmond elected. And while Jamie is sure she is the leak in the campaign, Darren seems to sharp for that. There is something suspicious about her though, and I’m sure she’ll have some secrets pouring out any episode now…

Jamie Wright – The easy pick from this bunch. From episode one he saw Rosie’s death as nothing more than an opportunity to cement the campaign and advance his own career. He seems pretty morally ambiguous. The motive though seems absent as far as connections to Rosie.

Also within the political spectrum, Richmond’s enemies, people who benefit from seeing Richmond’s name tarnished.

Mayor Lesley Adams – The dirty Mayor, easy on crime – easier on big business. It’s clear that the only thing he cares more about than money is his legacy. And losing the election to a Do-Gooder like Richmond would not be good for said legacy. It’s not beyond the realm of believability to see him hiring someone to connect a murder to the Richmond name.

Councilwoman Ruth Yitanes – Now here is a real politician. She’s a long shot to be out killer, but she’s too involved with both Richmond and Adams to be ignored. She is greedy and conniving, and her husband employees a lot of people…

So it was Richmond’s campaign where the cops looked first, but they quickly changed focus to Rosie’s school…

Sterling Fitch – The best friend. The stupid best friend any how. Here she is, lying to the cops about where Rosie is, and every confrontation with anyone ends with her in tears. She was obviously jealous of Rosie, that why she wore Rosie’s wig when Kris and Jasper ran a train on her in the basement. But this crime seems a little brutal for her to have done…alone anyhow.

Jasper Ames – Here is the kid EVERYONE wants to be guilty. He is a spoiled rich, pompous little ass. He treats other people like toys for him to play with and discard. He has no respect for women of any kind, but seems deathly afraid of men that his daddy’s lawyer can’t control…including his father. This may well be our killer even though the evidence has pushed him from view for the moment.

Kris Echols – Jasper’s best friend. I guess. I don’t think Jasper has real friends, but this scumbag is pretty close. He seems to have run his course, but if things come back around with Jasper, he could be involved as well.

Schools aren’t just full of kids though, there are Custodians and Teachers there as well…

Lyndon Johnson Rosales – The pervey janitor. He liked to watch the kids having sex in the school basement. Yes he’s a perv, but I doubt he’s our killer.

Bennet Ahmed – That brings us to Rosie’s English teacher – Bennet. Over the last 60 or so minutes of showtime everything has pointed to this beacon of education. We find out he married the youngest daughter from Growing Pains one of his old students, and he wrote notes back and forth with more than one of his other female students. There were also allegations of misconduct from his old school where no charges were drawn as the girl in question was mentally handicapped. He is who the show wants you to think is guilty, but it’s just too early to tell…

And then there are the Wild Card picks. A few characters that seem to have no motive at all, but with 8 episodes left, who knows what’ll be uncovered.

Belko Royce – Stan Larsen’s right hand man at the moving company. Plenty of talk about ‘the old days’ which, while it hasn’t been explained yet, sounds ominous. He and Stan were obviously into something illegal. And while I don’t see Stan as a viable contender, Belko seems pretty gung-ho about collecting info on the case – perhaps to deflect suspicion from himself.

Michael Ames – Jasper’s dad. Said to have enough money to buy whatever he wants, perhaps he had Rosie killed. Maybe she overheard something she wasn’t supposed to. Anyhow, any one who could raise a kid like Jasper can’t be all good.

Det. Stephen Holder – Ok, not officially on the suspect list, but Linden doesn’t trust him, and neither do most of the audience to this point. He may or may not have both drug and gambling problems. Or maybe he’s on the take? The Lt doesn’t seem to have any faith in him either. Kris calling him out for his drug habit and the envelope of cash from the last episode makes you think there may be something there…

Mitch Larsen – So long as we’re drawing comparisons to Twin Peaks, how crazy would it be if the reason her mother is taking this so hard is because she is responsible? Unlikely, but not impossible.

So the question remains – Who killed Rosie Larsen? for a more In-Depth list, check out AMC’s Suspect Tracker. BUT FIRST, take a second to vote on out poll. Thanks.

6 thoughts on “AMC’s ‘The Killing’: Episodes 1 to 5 – Suspect List”

  1. Dude! What’s with all the suspicion about Holder? I just don’t think he did it. I’m suspicious of Rick, Larsen’s fiance, but I have nothing to back it up.


    1. I can see Rick too now. Hadn’t really thought of him, but it just goes to show how many directions this show is pulling in. And Holder is a long shot, I don’t think he did it, but they want you to suspect him of something…

      Anyhow, thanks for commenting!


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