The Killing Season 3: Will the Real Pied Piper Please Stand Up?

The Killing season three has been a masterful piece of suspense storytelling. The sheer number of heart-pounding scenes from the last two episodes alone is almost ridiculous, but as intense and emotional as the season has been so far, we can’t lose sight of the fact that we are watching a mystery series.

As the clock clicks down on the final episodes, I knew now was the time to delve deep into the remaining suspects for the so-called “Pied Piper” killer (Bullet, you have no idea how much you’ll be missed) and see if we can help Holder and Linden suss out which one of them is luring all of these young girls to their deaths.


The Killing Season 3 Episode 8 Try (7)

Likelihood of being the killer: 1%

My inclusion of Seward is cursory on the off chance that he did kill his wife Trisha all of those years ago and has instigated a copycat killer on the outside as a way of forestalling his execution. Do I think this is true? Not even a little bit. Seward has been the season’s most fascinating character, and even with a history of criminal behavior, I can’t believe a man who loves his son so fiercely that he put stars on the ceiling of the closet for him would commit such a heinous act against his son’s mother. I also think it’s entirely unlikely that he’s engaging in some sort of Machiavellian long con.

However, given the amount of self-loathing we saw in Seward early on, I feel like he either knows who committed the original murder or at least he has a theory. I’m also wary of discounting him completely after season two’s Aunt Terry shocker.


Likelihood of being the killer: 5%

Mills took the fall in last week’s episode when the rings were found in his storage facility and Bullet was found in the trunk of his taxi, but the whole scenario smacked of a frame job. Mills has a twisted Psycho-esque relationship with his mother and he is an awful human being, but he’s definitely being used as a patsy for the real killer, whom I’m convinced is actually within the police department.


Likelihood of being the killer: 25%

For a long time, Becker was my top choice. The enmity between Becker and Seward seems to run deep, and while that could just be because Seward attacked Becker’s cousin at his previous prison, it feels like they’re connected somehow. First, there was the whispering in Seward’s ear the first day, the fact that Becker’s wife is a serial cheater, his long stints of missing time– add in the fact that Seward’s father is in the system too and we have the groundwork for a solid connection between these two men.

But then Becker’s son shot one of his mother’s lovers in the last episode and my theory fell apart the moment I saw the look on his face. Now I’m convinced that Becker and Seward’s connection is more on a personal level of mutual self-loathing, and that the series is hoping we’ll keep our eyes on the guard racking up all that lost time to distract us from figuring who the real murderer is.


The Killing Season 3 Episode 1 & 2 The Jungle;That You Fear the Most (23)

Likelihood of being the killer: 45%

Holder’s new partner got way too into discussing the particulars of the videos featuring the young girls during the interrogation scene early on in the season. He was also eager to throw the case off on someone else. Outside of crudeness, there’s also the little matter of that conspicuous bandage on his hand when Holder gave him a good beating after he found out Reddick didn’t tell him Bullet called the station (remember, the coroner said Bullet put up a fight).

The only thing stopping me from declaring Reddick the killer straight out is that he’s so lazy. Unless he’s secretly clever (and I have a hard time believing he is), Reddick just wants to climb the career ladder while doing as little work as possible, and having watched Dexter for the past seven seasons, I’ve learned one thing about serial killers: they tend to be pro-active individuals.


The Killing Season 3 Episode 6 Eminent Domain (8)

Likelihood of being the killer: 80%

The killer can’t be someone random. There’s no emotional impact in that, and The Killing always goes in for the…well, kill (sorry), emotionally speaking. Skinner worked on the original case, he’s head of the department and he’s been awfully eager to keep Linden from drawing a connection between the two murders. We Know Seward had been in the system before, and as one of my fellow The Killing addicts recently pointed out, that would make him an easy man to lay the blame on. Especially if this all goes back to something Adrian and Trisha saw at that dump site, rather than anything Seward actually did.

So, as of right now, my money’s on Skinner.


Those are my primary suspects. Did I leave anyone out? Who do you think the so-called “Pied Piper” killer is?

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