What Happened to the School Bus?

Status: Unsolved

What we know

A school bus carrying one teacher, six students, and a dead rat taped under one of the seats, careened off a cliff and into the ocean after what sounded like a small explosion, recorded in the background of a voicemail from one of the victims. The bus was on the return journey of a school trip to Shark Field, the journalism class having been invited by owner Woody Goodman as a way of helping his daughter, Gia, make new friends at the school. Dick Casablancas announced that the unpleasant smell on the bus on the outward journey was so bad that he had made alternative arrangements for the journey home. He invited some of the students to travel back with him, and they were spared the fate of the others. Forensic scientists have determined that there were fragments of a baseball and cell phone embedded in the driver's body.

The victims

The driver, Ed Doyle, was an unhappily married man with two children, a history of depression, and a past incident of drunk driving that was not prosecuted. He was having an affair with his neighbor, Carla Cotter, unbeknownst to her husband, Jeff, and was planning on leaving his wife for her. The journalism teacher, Leslie Dumass, was a Fatal Attraction-style stalker. She followed baseball star Terrence Cook to Neptune, caused the termination of his engagement to another woman, and, using her knowledge that he had thrown an important game to pay off gambling debts, blackmailed him into continuing their relationship. Cervando Perez was a PCH biker and an honor roll student. He may also have been the last person to see Felix Toombs alive on the Coronado Bridge. was another student, last name unknown, situation unknown. She called her friend from the bus and may have called her from the grave through the psychic, . Marcos Oliveres was a seemingly quiet student with a secret. He was, until his sojourn at an anti-gay camp at the behest of his homophobic parents, the school's premier pirate radio shock-jock, vituperating everyone and everything at Neptune High. Then there was Peter Ferrer, a student who frequented the Pirate's S.H.I.P. (Students Homosexual Internet Posting) and who prior to the crash went off to his fellow posters about the "outing of all outings in Neptune." Would a gay high school student have information that could ruin any of the worthies of Neptune? Another student also died, but nothing is known of him or her. And which was Big Al, and who was the friend of a particularly vindictive jock with a weak curve ball?

The (temporary) survivor

The pregnant Meg Manning survived but was left in a months-long coma. Before the crash, Meg made oblique reports to Child Protection Services about the mental abuse of a child. As a babysitter, Meg had first-hand experience of the lives of Edwin Fuller, a Stepford-perfect robot, and Albert Hauser and Rodney Goodman, sons of controlling mothers. Yet it is her sister, Grace, who is forced to write admonishments over and over and is locked in a cupboard when her parents are out of the house. Meg eventually awoke. What evidence she had on the bus crash is unknown as she succumbed to a blood clot shortly thereafter. The child she carried was saved and kidnapped by Duncan Kane in an attempt to protect her from the Mannings' cruel plans for her.

The ones who got away

Veronica Mars rejected Dick's offer of a more comfortable ride home from Shark Field and boarded the bus, only to be left behind, distracted by the ghost/memory of Lilly Kane, and by Weevil, at a gas station. Veronica is one of the principal witnesses in upcoming trial of Aaron Echolls for Lilly's murder and for the attempted murder of Veronica and her father, Keith. Taking up Dick's offer were Duncan Kane, the son of billionaire parents awaiting charges for obstruction of justice, Gia Goodman, whose father told her not to board the bus even before Dick announced his plans, and Dick's brother, Cassidy. The Casablancas brothers have substantial trust funds, which would have come into effect on their reaching the age of twenty-one, but for the subsequent collapse of their father's property empire allowing them immediate access to the funds. There were also two girls about whom we know nothing.

The target

If the motive was personal, any of the victims may have been the target(s) of the saboteur of the bus. If the presence of the rat was unconnected with the sabotage, any of the ones who got away may also have been the target(s). If the motive was not personal but staged for other reasons, such as intimidation or political or economic gain, the identity of those on the bus may be scarcely relevant.

The suspects

Boatloads of Fun Corporation - This is an organization of some of Neptune's most privileged families. Its exact composition is unknown although the names of its partners are a matter of public record. The group ostensibly vacations together, sharing properties. The partners of BoFC, through bribery and corruption, sought to advance the sporting standing of their children at the expense of non-09ers and Meg Manning, showing scant regard for the lives of those outside their own group. What other agendas do they have? As part of the rich population, they stand to benefit from Woody Goodman's plans to incorporate Neptune. Is the group composed only of the partners or are other families also members — families like the Fullers who seem to have discovered some magic formula for turning a normal child into a perfect robot, or the Casablancases who are, or were, one of Neptune's privileged families. Incorporation would have likely been lucrative for Big Dick's property empire. If the motive behind the bus crash was economic gain, BoFC have already proved themselves to be ruthless in protecting and enhancing their own interests.

Logan Echolls - Logan is the son of a killer. Is he a psycho killer? Logan was hanging around the school bus before it set off on the trip to Shark Field. He was angry with both Veronica and Duncan, whom he perceived had both dumped him. Logan is also at the center of a war with the non-09ers after walking free from charges that he murdered Felix Toombs. At least one PCH biker — one who may have witnessed Felix's murder — Cervando Perez, was eliminated from the fight in the crash. In this war, Logan's most constant ally is Dick Casablancas. He told Veronica that he was going to miss her. Did Logan have foreknowledge? Logan claims to have never heard of Curly Moran, yet his father knew him, as did many of the 09ers for whom he worked as a garage mechanic. An anonymous call to Weevil on the night of Logan's "Life's Short" party came from Logan's house, from a number that Veronica did not recognize from her time with him, suggesting that it was not from a readily accessible location within the house.

Dick Casablancas - Dick made loud complaints about a smell on the bus. He used the stench as the reason to make alternative travel arrangements for the journey home. If the presence of the rat was connected to the bus crash, it provided a perfect excuse for Dick to avoid the bus for the return trip without raising suspicion of foreknowledge. Whilst the amoral Dick appears not to have the necessary Machiavellian intellect that such a plan would require, he may have been used as a tool by one he trusts, such as his best friend, Logan, his brother, Cassidy, or his father.

Woody Goodman - Woody was the one who invited the journalism class to tour Shark Field, preparing a buffet for his visitors. He had control and knowledge of the times of travel and location of the bus while it was parked at Shark Field, during which time the bus could have been sabotaged. Woody's daughter, Gia, knew Curly Moran and in all likelihood, Woody did too. Woody told his daughter not to board the bus for the return journey before Dick announced that he had arranged a limousine and invited Gia to travel back with him in it. Woody engaged in a heated argument with Terrence Cook before the students left Shark Field to return to Neptune High School, the subject of which is unknown. Woody, as Neptune's County Supervisor or Mayor, a position he achieved without opposition, plans to incorporate the rich parts of Neptune. This will benefit and enrich those living in that part of Neptune, leaving those who don't with fewer resources and fewer advocates of power. It is difficult to see exactly how the bus crash, disproportionately affecting the poor of Neptune in its choice of victims, could assist in this plan, unless Woody is indulging in a slow process of eliminating the poor one by one. Perhaps the crash wasn't meant to be fatal and was just supposed to draw attention to Neptune's limited resources under the current structure. This is speculation as Woody's true motives, and the reason there is explosive and detonators in his hanger where he stores his helicopter and lets Terrence Cook store his cars, have yet to be fully revealed.

Terrence Cook - Publicly, Terrence is a baseball legend and hero. Privately, he has feet of clay, throwing a game to wipe out gambling debts. Nevertheless, he still owes millions to bad men, who are not averse to visiting him at home to remind him of his obligations. On one such visit, Leslie Dumass overheard the details of his shame and used her knowledge to blackmail him into maintaining a relationship with her. On the day the bus was at Shark Field, Cook signed baseballs. Fragments of a baseball were found embedded in Ed Doyle's body. Sheriff Lamb's current theory is that Terrence planted a bomb in a bag on the bus and detonated it by ringing a cell phone, fragments of which were also found in the bus driver. Lamb ignores evidence collected by Keith that Terrence was in the Seven Rivers Casino at the time and couldn't have made the call. All Lamb sees is that Terrence had the opportunity to sabotage the bus and at least one personal motive for wishing one of its passengers dead. Terrence is also malleable, as Lamb happily discovered in coercing a substantial contribution to his election fund and Terrence's services as an MC. Terrence is in debt to the Leonard Lobo, owner of the Seven Rivers and other casinos, a man who can call on the Fitzpatricks to lean on his debtors. The Fitzpatricks themselves, who may have their own reasons for causing the crash could have insisted on his cooperation. Terrence is actively supporting Woody's plans for incorporation, and his argument with Woody on the day of the crash may have been over a favor for Woody that he was not happy to perform. Could it have anything to do with the explosive and detonators Veronica finds in the cupboard of a hangar where Terrence stores his cars? Cars that may well have required the services of Curly Moran?
Eli "Weevil" Navarro - Whilst it is extremely unlikely from what we know of his character and most of his actions that Weevil was the culprit, there are a couple of troubling questions about him. Firstly, why was he at the gas station where the bus stopped before its fatal plunge into the ocean? Secondly, why did he kick Curly Moran's head in rather than turn him over to the sheriff? Weevil's actions in this respect seem to have at least initiated events that led to Curly's being silenced forever.

Ed Doyle - The hasty conclusion of Sheriff Don Lamb immediately after the crash was that the bus driver committed murder-suicide, deliberately driving off the cliff. The basis of his conclusion was that Doyle had a history of mental illness and marital problems. An unfilled prescription for antidepressants was found. He had attempted suicide before and a note to his wife left on his computer was telling — "I'm sorry to leave you this way, but I truly believe in my heart that it's for the best. I can't go on like this. I can't stay just for the kids, even though they mean more to me than anything. This isn't good for them." He obtained the job of school bus driver despite an incident of drunk driving in his past, one that was not processed by the sympathetic Keith Mars. Lamb's theory was somewhat discredited, although not to Lamb's satisfaction, by Veronica's investigations which led to an alternative reasonable theory that Doyle was far from depressed, but happy in his relationship with Carla Cotter, and that the letter was in preparation for leaving his wife. Lamb did not pursue other possibilities until the discovery of the sound of an explosion immediately prior to the crash and the fragments of a baseball and cell phone in his body.

Randi Doyle - Ed's wife, Randi, is malevolent and vindictive, as evidenced by the things she says to her children about their father. If the motive for the bus crash was purely personal, Randi must be a suspect. If she had seen Ed's note to her, easily found on his computer, and understood its intent as his plan to leave her, she may have decided on vengeance.

Jeff Cotter - The cuckolded husband of Ed Doyle's lover, Carla Cotter, had he known of the affair, may not have only had a motive to kill Doyle but may also have wanted to do so in such a way that it destroyed his rival's name. He states that he was in New York on the day of the crash. This would not be an obstacle to paying someone to sabotage the bus.

Curly Moran - David "Curly" Moran is at the very center of the mystery of the bus crash, at least for the moment. The writing of Veronica's name in indelible ink on his body, washed up on a beach, may have been a deliberate measure to divert those investigating the crash from the true intended victim and perpetrator of the crime. However, for now, he is the most obvious candidate for saboteur, at the behest of a person or persons unknown. Curly had the credentials. Before his life fell apart through drugs, violent crime, and prison, he was a stuntman and stunt coordinator, staging a cinematic version of a scarily similar crash on one of Aaron Echolls's movies. Putting his life back together, he was a car mechanic, working on the vehicles of Neptune's richest residents, including the Casablancases and the Goodmans, and perhaps even going out to Woody's hangar to service Terrence Cook's cars. He had an interest in baseball, as proven by his meager possessions, and he was a biker, last seen at the Road Hog — a biker bar on the PCH. Curly's life, interests, and experiences connected him to virtually everyone in Neptune. Would Curly sabotage a school bus for love, money, or other inducement? Would he refuse such a request and then struggle with his knowledge when the crash happened? Was something less tragic planned and something went horribly wrong? Curly appeared genuinely shocked at the site of the crash, and if he had staged the crash, he may have regretted his part, considering confession — a dangerous betrayal that could explain his death. Of course, his death could also be explained by the beating he received from Weevil. According to an anonymous call to Weevil, Curly did the deed at the behest of the Fitzpatricks to kill Cevando Perez. Weevil lied when he said he ignored the call. His assault on Curly is on video on Thumper's cell phone.

Aaron Echolls - Veronica, at least, seems convinced that she was the target of the bus crash, staged by Curly Moran at the behest of the star of the film in which Curly was the stunt coordinator. Aaron and Curly knew each other and either never lost touch, or re-established their camaraderie when Curly became a car mechanic in Neptune. Aaron's legal troubles may be alleviated somewhat if Veronica was not able to testify as to the night she discovered the tapes of him and Lilly in flagrante. Aaron denies that he had any part in the bus crash (but then he would, wouldn't he). He now has an active reason to pray that nothing happens to Veronica Mars, as Keith has warned him as to the consequences.

Big Dick Casablancas and more to come soon.

Mystery Summary as of 2.14 "Versatile Toppings"

All summaries: 2.22 2.21 2.20 2.19 2.18 2.17 2.16 2.15 2.14 2.13 2.06 2.05 2.04 2.03 2.02 2.01

Clues for What Happened to the School Bus?

  • 2.01 "Normal Is the Watchword"
  • There is an ongoing war of attrition between the 09ers and the non-09ers. In one incident, the public swimming pool used by the non-09ers was destroyed. Logan Echolls, Dick and Cassidy Casablancas, John Enbom and somebody named Rams are implicated in that incident.
  • Before it began its journey, Logan Echolls was hanging around the bus. Was he planning another incident?
  • As Veronica boarded the bus, Logan told her that he would miss her. What did he mean?
  • The students on the field trip were 09ers and non-09ers. All were on the bus on the outward journey.
  • Dick complained that there was a bad smell on the bus. Was there? Had someone put something on the bus to make the journey uncomfortable? Or did Dick need an excuse to avoid the journey back?
  • Dick organized a limo to journey back to Neptune. Was this because of the smell or was it part of some other plan?
  • Dick invited the 09ers and Veronica to travel back with him in the limo. All accepted except Meg. Veronica changed her mind and declined in order to talk to Meg on the bus on the return journey. If Meg had agreed to travel in the limo, there would have been no 09ers on the bus.
  • Veronica's encounter with Weevil at a gas station forestalled her rejoining the doomed bus. Why was Weevil there?
  • On the curve in the road, signs asked drivers to slow for road works. According to one witness, the bus ignored the signs.
  • In order for the witness to be able to say that the bus didn't slow down, the limo had to have been right behind the bus when it went over the cliff. There is no obvious sign of damage to the front of the limo.
  • 2.02 "Driver Ed"
  • The bus's maintenance records are allegedly part of the investigation, but they are never disclosed. Many in Neptune question the district's commitment to providing new, well-maintained buses when only the kids from the poor side of town use them.
  • The bus driver, Ed Doyle, was the focus of the sheriff's department's investigation. He had a history of mental illness and marital problems. He had an unfilled prescription for anti-depressants. He attempted suicide once.
  • On finding a note, the authorities have declared him responsible for the bus crash and closed the case. Why has Lamb rushed so quickly to judgment?
  • The note has another explanation. With a history of marital problems, Doyle was engaged in an affair and, though finding it difficult to leave his two children, was intending to leave his wife. Lamb will not consider this alternative, and more likely, interpretation.
  • If the bus crash was murder, one of those who were on the bus, or who should have been on the bus, may have been the target. Cervando Perez, a PCH biker, was on the bus. After Felix, he is the second biker to die over the course of a few months. Is there a connection?
  • Who is Big Al? Was he another biker? Was he on the bus? At the scene of the accident, where a man in a Hawaiian shirt lights a candle, someone's written "Goodbye Big Al." It isn't clear who the man is mourning.
  • Veronica comes across the man and helps him light the candle by shielding the wick. He expresses gratitude.
  • The man is still at the scene when Veronica comforts and leaves with Jessie Doyle, the bus driver's daughter. Jessie's outburst at the scene over the lack of tribute to her father is heard by others and would have been heard by the man.
  • From Veronica and Jessie's exchange at the scene, it may have been inferred by a bystander that Veronica was investigating the accident.
  • If the man did not know who Veronica was, there were many other people at the scene, some of whom may have known her name.
  • The man's body is discovered washed up on the beach with Veronica's name written on his hand. The ink is unsmudged.
  • Veronica's name was not on his hand when he lit the votive candle.
  • The discovery puts Veronica front and center of the investigation into the man's death. Was that the reason her name was there?
  • With Keith opposing Lamb for the office of sheriff, will this influence Lamb's approach to an investigation involving Keith's daughter?
  • 2.03 "Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang"
  • The dead man is David "Curly" Moran, car mechanic, motorcycle rider, former convict, and the stunt coordinator on Aaron Echolls's first film where he was responsible for sending a truck off a bridge.
  • Moran was beaten to death.
  • Moran was last seen alive at the Road Hog, a biker bar up the Pacific Coast Highway.
  • A square diamond earring was found outside the Road Hog by the sheriff's department investigation Moran's death. Is there a connection?
  • Weevil was wearing a square diamond earring in 2.01 "Normal Is the Watchword."
  • Moran lived at the Casabian Apartments. Are they connected to the Casablancas property empire?
  • Moran's belongings include a baseball bat.
  • Moran's record included convictions for drug offenses.
  • Veronica is likely to be the primary witness against Aaron Echolls. If she were dead, Aaron's chances of avoiding conviction are considerably higher in the light of the paucity of hard evidence against him.
  • 2.04 "Green-Eyed Monster"
  • Meg is the only survivor of the crash. Like everyone who was on or should have been on the bus, she is a candidate for being the target of the saboteur.
  • Meg is still unconscious. Duncan visits Meg at the hospital every day. When Veronica asks him why, he closes down. What is Duncan hiding? What does Meg know?
  • Meg's parents are very angry and appear to blame Duncan and Veronica for Meg's parlous state. Mr. Manning goes so far as to say that if it wasn't for Duncan, Meg wouldn't have been on the bus. It is unclear what they know of the events at Shark Field just before the crash, and if it is this to which they refer, or something else.
  • The Mannings have sent their daughter Lizzie to a new school, one strict at enforcing conformity to a dour image. They did not react so when Lizzie woke up in the swim coach's cabin at summer camp more than a year before. What has happened in the Manning family to merit such a radical response? Has it something to do with Meg? Is or was Meg pregnant? Is that the reason she was so bitter towards Veronica?
  • The Mannings appear to have care of a younger child, probably another daughter. Her eyes are either exceedingly tear-stained or she has two black eyes. Has the child been beaten?
  • Lizzie is concerned that information on Meg's laptop, the possession of which she kept a secret, will, if known to her parents, cause Meg harm and asks Duncan's help in removing it. He readily agrees. Is Lizzie exaggerating? What is in Meg's emails that is so damning? Why does Duncan seem to know?
  • On September 24th, an anonymous caller told Weevil that Moran was hired by the Fighting Fitzpatricks to crash the bus to kill Cervando over a few thousand dollars. Weevil says he doesn't believe it. The Fitzpatricks' M.O. would be to attack Cervando with a baseball bat. Does the Fitzpatrick brothers' fondness for baseball bats give them a connection to any other baseball lovers? Why would someone tell Weevil this? Is it a diversion and if so, a diversion from what?
  • When Veronica asks Weevil if the earring held by Lamb is his, and if he was at the Road Hog, the last place Moran was seen alive, Weevil avoids answering directly, telling Veronica instead about the phone call. The implication is that Weevil dismissed the allegation. But would Weevil really fail to follow up or at least talk to Moran about the death of one of his gang?
  • Veronica traces the anonymous call to one of the numbers in use at the Echolls's residence, a number with which she is not familiar. Where is the phone with this number located? Would a visitor to the house have access?
  • Logan claims that September 24th was the night of his Life's Short party. Many people were present at the Life's Short party including 09ers, the bikers, and the sheriff and his deputies.
  • Logan claims not to know Moran.
  • 2.05 "Blast from the Past"
  • Lamb states, in the course of electioneering, that he has the paperwork to prove that Keith Mars, as a deputy, let Doyle off a DUI, opting instead to follow him home. Had Keith followed procedure and charged him, Doyle's record would have precluded his employment as a school bus driver.
  • Terrence Cook was present at Shark Field, the bus's last lengthy stop before the crash. He was agitated and then calmed by Woody Goodman. Lamb has now uncovered allegations that Cook has a gambling debt of three million dollars and is involved with those with an interest in baseball. Are the allegations true? With Lamb using the knowledge to exhort contributions from Cook, does he have any incentive to connect Cook's proximity to the doomed bus with the allegations? Who are the people behind those pressuring Cook? Are they people like the Fighting Fitzpatricks?
  • Rhonda, one of the students who died on the bus, called her friend Michelle just before the crash. Michelle didn't pick up and thus has preserved in a message the last seconds of her friend's life.
  • Just before the crash, there was the sound of a blast. It is unclear as to exactly what the sound was. There then appears to be the sound of the bus hitting the barrier and then the water.
  • Keith takes the recording to Lamb and asks that he send it to an acoustics lab for analysis. Lamb is reluctant, claiming Keith is seeking to avoid his part in the tragedy to secure the election.
  • 2.06 "Rat Saw God"
  • Don Lamb is re-elected Balboa County sheriff and continues to be in charge of the investigation of the bus crash.
  • The bus has been recovered from the water and is in the possession of the Balboa County Sheriff's Department.
  • According to Deputy Jerry Sacks, they are checking out the front end, the brakes, everything.
  • Keith is now aware of Curly Moran and his connection with Aaron Echolls. He is also aware that Veronica's name was written on the hand of Moran's body, and that Veronica believes she may have been the target of a staged crash.
  • Keith visits Aaron. He threatens him. Keith states that, whether or not he was involved with the crash, if anything happens to Veronica, Aaron will pay.
  • Keith breaks into the site of the recovered bus. He finds a dead rat duct-taped underneath one of the seats. The implication is that it must have been there before the bus crashed.
  • The dead rat could have been the cause of the smell Dick Casablancas complained of in 2.01 "Normal Is the Watchword." The smell was the reason given by Dick for arranging the limo that got most of the 09ers off the bus before the accident.
  • How committed is Lamb to the investigation? Keith's discovery of the rat after the bus had supposedly been checked out may suggest the answer to that is "not very."
  • 2.07 "Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner"
  • Woody assures Keith that Lamb is pursuing the investigation into the bus crash.
  • Meg was indeed hiding something on her laptop. Duncan shows Veronica some emails he downloaded. What made Duncan look at Meg's files? Did he show Veronica everything he found?
  • Meg was engaged in correspondence with Child Protection Services regarding a boy she babysat. Was this correspondence the reason for Meg's anger? Or for the bus crash?
  • After investigating, Veronica and Duncan conclude that Meg was disguising the subject of her correspondence, and that it was not a boy who was at risk. It was her own sister, Grace. This conclusion is substantiated when they find tomes of Grace's writing "The path to God is paved with righteousness" over and over, and by their finding Grace locked in a small space behind the closet in her bedroom. The implication is that the Mannings are, or have become, religious zealots. However, neither sweet, balanced Meg nor fun-loving, swim-coach-hugging Lizzie seem to have be subjected to the same treatment. Are we being misled?
  • Grace is reluctant to leave the closet at the behest of Veronica and Duncan because she is not ready to be "tested."
  • In the course of the investigation, Duncan takes an envelope from Meg's hiding place. He ensures that Veronica does not see him. What is in the envelope? Is this what Duncan was looking for when he looked at Meg's files? Is this why he visits Meg at the hospital every day? Is this why the bus was sabotaged?
  • Grace may not have been Meg's only secret. Meg was a regular babysitter for a number of 09er families, including the Fullers. Stuart Fuller tells Veronica about the fun he has on his boat. Are the Fullers part of the Boatloads of Fun Corp? Might Meg have overheard information about them that would motivate them to silence her?
  • 2.08 "Ahoy, Mateys!"
  • Marcos Oliveres was one of the students who died on the bus. His alter-ego, Cap'n Krunk, was a shock radio DJ who habitually railed on the students and teachers at Neptune High.
  • It was not widely known that Marcos was Cap'n Krunk. However, it took only a cursory investigation for Veronica to discover that fact and others may have been able to do so.
  • The Oliveres family were the only ones not to settle with the school board over the crash, until the events in 2.08 "Ahoy, Mateys!".
  • The school is being represented by a big firm of lawyers, Simon & Stern.
  • 2.09 "My Mother, the Fiend"
  • Keith took the rat from the bus. It now resides in the freezer at Mars Investigations. Such an action may seriously compromise any investigation and/or attempt to prosecute the guilty party. As a former sheriff, Keith would know this, so what was his motivation? Was it solely his conviction that the bus crash is not being investigated as it should be?
  • Veronica believes the rat was a message for her. Keith is open to the possibility that it may have been meant for someone else. Veronica has apparently not recalled nor informed Keith of the smell on the bus that led to the 09ers travelling back independently.
  • Keith is persuaded and admits that the investigation into the bus crash is not in safe hands. Is Keith conducting his own investigation?
  • Meg is awake. Can she shed any light on the events on the bus?
  • 2.10 "One Angry Veronica"
  • Meg is dead. Veronica learned nothing from her about the bus crash. Did anyone else? Both the sheriff's department and Keith would have been interested to interview Meg. Somebody called Keith to inform him of her passing, so his interest was known. Did either or both have that opportunity?
  • 2.12 "Rashard & Wallace Go To White Castle"
  • Keith has obtained tapes of interviews made as part of the investigation into the bus crash. It is unclear when the interviews were made, although the references to Curly Moran are strong indicators that the interviews were after the discovery of Curly's body. It is unclear if these were the only interviews done with these witnesses.
  • Dick Casablancas told Lamb that he arranged the limo because of the bad smell on the bus. His statement is supported by his brother, Cassidy.
  • Dick Casablancas told Lamb that he knew Curly Moran as the mechanic who worked on his father's Aston Martin.
  • Cassidy Casablancas told Lamb that he knew Curly Moran as the mechanic who worked on his father's Aston Martin, although he infrequently accompanied his father to the garage where Moran worked, his father more usually being accompanied by his brother.
  • Gia Goodman told Lamb that the reason she did not go on the bus for the return journey was because her father, Woody Goodman, told her not to do so. She ascribes it to his having a psychic moment.
  • Gia Goodman told Lamb that she knew Curly Moran as the mechanic who worked on her Fiat.
  • Terrence Cook knew Ms. Dumass, who died on the bus. They were photographed together in the background of a restaurant by Mars Investigations.
  • There is video that shows Weevil beating up Curly Moran. It is not known why, when, or the circumstances in which the video was shot. Weevil told Veronica that he received an anonymous phone call from someone saying that Curly had been hired by the Fitzpatricks to cause the bus crash and that Cervando Perez was the target. Weevil told Veronica he dismissed the call.
  • Lamb has brought Terrence Cook in for questioning about the bus crash. It is unknown if this is as a result of the photograph discovered by Mars Investigations, but the timing of Lamb's actions supports that view.
  • 2.13 "Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough"
  • Lamb did not pull Terrence Cook in for questioning as a result of the photograph in the possession of Mars Investigations.
  • Lamb's forensics experts have found cell phone and baseball fragments embedded in the bus driver's body.
  • Lamb's current theory is that Terrence planted a bomb and cell phone in a bag bound for the bus and detonated the bomb by calling the cell.
  • Terrence had the opportunity to sabotage the bus when it was at Shark Field.
  • Terrence is an active supporter of Woody's plans for incorporation.
  • Terrence was involved, reluctantly, with the journalism teacher, Leslie Dumass. She stalked him, moving to Neptune to follow him, told his fiancĂ©e that they were lovers, forcing the end of the engagement, and blackmailed him into continuing her relationship with him.
  • Terrence has a long-standing and serious gambling addiction. As a player, he threw an important game to wipe out his debts at the time. This is the knowledge that Leslie Dumass used to blackmail him.
  • Leslie Dumass's death benefits Terrence, for it removes her and the risk of her revealing his secrets.
  • Terrence is in debt to the Fitzpatricks. Terrence has already been shown to be easily coerced into acts he would otherwise not do, such as throw a game, make a significant campaign contribution to the fund to re-elect Sheriff Lamb, MC a bachelor auction, continue a relationship with a woman he does not love, and, perhaps, supporting a move to incorporate Neptune.
  • 2.14 "Versatile Toppings"
  • Terrence Cook's debts are not to the Fitzpatricks, who visited his home to collect. The Fitzpatricks were working for someone else, for Leonard Lobo, who owns the Seven Rivers Casino and several others.
  • The time of the bus crash has moved. It is now alleged to have occurred at 7:03 on Tuesday 13 September. (And not on a Wednesday at 4:20 as investigated by Veronica in 2.02 "Driver Ed."
  • Leonard Lobo has produced photographic evidence to show that Terrence Cook was in the casino at 7:01 and at 7:06.
  • Keith has been informed that the casino jams cell phone signals so that Terrence could not have used his cell while in the casino.
  • Veronica has found some sort of explosive and detonators in a metal cupboard in a hangar owed by Woody Goodman and used by Terrence Cook.
  • Peter Ferrer was the fourth student to be identified as having died on the bus. Peter told fellow posters on gay chat board that he had the "outing of all outings in Neptune" but died before he disclosed what he knew.
  • 2.15 "The Quick and the Wed"
  • The explosives found in the locker in the hangar that Terrence uses to store his car are the same type as were used in the device on the bus.
  • As a result, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Terrence Cook, charging him with eight counts of murder in the first degree.
  • The eight counts are most likely in respect of the seven victims who died on the day of the bus crash and Meg, who died several months later, although it is unclear when Meg's death was confirmed to be as a result of the crash.
  • Terrence was apprehended when he was shot in the course of breaking into the house of Leslie Dumass's family in San Francisco by her father.
  • Keith learns that Terrence had a regular car detailer who was due at the hangar on one of his monthly visits the day after Veronica found the explosives and that, but for Veronica's discovery, would have been the one to find the explosives in the same cabinet in which Terrence kept the special chamois he insisted were used on the cars.
  • The detailer confirmed that Terrence was always aware when the cars were due to be detailed and would complain about any lateness.
  • 2.16 "The Rapes of Graff"
  • The old stadium at Shark Field is due to be demolished shortly. Woody Goodman will push the plunger on live TV together with the student who wins his county-wide essay competition on the subject of freedom.
  • The case against Logan for Felix's murder has collapsed again. This is a matter of common knowledge around Neptune.
  • Cliff's briefcase is stolen for reasons unknown. The contents included the files on the case against Logan and a key to a storage locker that contained "everything else" that wasn't in the files. However it also included files on cases of a drunken assault, lewd conduct, a fraud, and a divorce, any one of which may have been of more interest to the instigator of the theft.
  • In relation to the Logan Echolls murder case files, Cliff describes one of the keys that was stolen as being the one to "their storage locker." Is the "they" the Echolls? What is in the storage locker and why would anyone want to access it?
  • Lamb is having a relationship with Madison Sinclair.
  • Dick Casablancas refers to himself and Logan as "High-plains drifters, life takers, and heart breakers" and encourages him to care about no one.
  • C4 is kept at Shark Field in preparation for the demolition of the stadium. Access to it appears easy.
  • Danny Boyd, one of the Fitzpatricks, works at the site.
  • 2.17 "Plan B"
  • Logan won the essay contest with an essay that was lifted from the film Easy Rider. Woody was surprised when he saw that Logan was his intern.
  • Curly Moran, while being beaten by Weevil, said that he was not responsible for the bus crash but that he knew who was.
  • Before Curly could tell Weevil anything more, Weevil ran off when warned of the presence of an occupied car.
  • Curly was alive when Weevil left him.
  • There is a cliff behind the Road Hog.
  • Woody's plan for incorporation has its opponents, including Father Patrick Fitzpatrick.
  • Woody asked Keith to use his best efforts to clear Terrence Cook.
  • Terrence Cook has been on suicide watch.
  • Logan showed Woody a DVD which he said arrived anonymously in the mail he was sorting into pro- and anti-incorporation. On the DVD was footage of Woody and his family inside their home. Woody asked Keith to investigate.
  • The DVD showed a clock, pictures on a wall of some Little League teams, and at least Woody and Gia at the family dining table having dinner.
  • From the time shown on the clock, Keith deduced that the intruder took the film in the previous November or December, long before his plans to incorporate Neptune were made public.
  • Woody was alarmed by this information and, having made up a story to explain it, insisted on the return of the DVD and for Keith to cease his investigation.
  • At the ceremony to detonate the explosives to bring down the Shark Field stadium, Woody welcomes unrecognizable worthies.
  • 2.18 "I Am God"
  • The identity of the final bus crash victim is Betina Marone.
  • Peter Ferrer posted the details of his unrequited love, or "yellow fever" as he described it, on the Pirate S.H.I.P.
  • From the files transferred from Meg's computer, Veronica has learned of Tommy "Lucky" Dohanic, a creepy friend of her parents from church. The Mannings approved of the Bible-quoting ex-soldier for their daughter. Lucky is a former soldier who spent four months in Iraq before suffering a minor injury and being sent home.
  • Meg was not complimentary about Lucky in her files, describing him as a janitor in the high school from which he graduated (Neptune High) who buys beer for guys like Logan to hang on to his glory days.
  • From Logan, Veronica is reminded of an incident in the summer when Lucky, a former Army Ranger, was inciting Logan to take action against others as payback.
  • Michelle Thompson's friend Rhonda Landers left Michelle a message at home before making her final call, the one that recorded the explosion. In this first message, the students on the bus were laughing at the sound of Dick Casablancas, who could not have been on the bus.
  • This leads Veronica to the bus where she finds a CD in the player. It contains copies of messages Dick left for Betina.
  • Whilst on the bus, Veronica finds graffiti on the back of one of the seats. The graffiti is of nine tombstones and the words "I Am God." Veronica concludes that as the bus was new and there was no other graffiti, that it was drawn by one the bus victims celebrating the power to put him or herself and his or her classmates in individual coffins. She subsequently abandons this conclusion when she realizes that "I Am God" is a song and the drawing is of the artwork from the cover of the disc.
  • Veronica interviews Dick about Betina. He admits that she was his booty buddy. He used her as a secret sleeping partner as her social status was such that he would not have it known. He believed he was safe because she was on the pill. However, when Veronica interviews Betina's friend Maureen, it transpires that this was not the case. Betina was actually trying to get pregnant with the intention of exposing their relationship.
  • On the day of the crash, Dick gave Betina "a Sharks premium ticket package, my Sharks memorabilia gift bag." Veronica points out that the tickets were a raffle prize that Dick didn't win. He explains that he saw the gay kid who did win throw the tickets in the rubbish and rescued them. Note that it is not entirely clear whether the tickets and a bag were the raffle prize or just the tickets.
  • Maureen describes Dick Casablancas is the bastard child of Satan.
  • From Wallace, Veronica learns that Rhonda Landers was hell on wheels. She and her sister Natalie were in Clemmons' office all the time, always in trouble for huffing paint, stealing, fighting, anything to reinforce the poor white trash stereotype.
  • Veronica attempts to interview Natalie, who blows her off. However, her sudden apparent wealth as indicated by her bling and her Corvette causes Veronica to ask Keith to pull the financial records of the families of the bus-crash victims. Keith ascertains that none of them benefited from the crash. However the Landers won a separate lawsuit with a two million dollar payout from Woody's Burgers, apparently in respect of a finger found in Mrs. Landers' ribwich.
  • Veronica breaks into the principal's office and takes the permanent files of the bus-crash victims. In Peter Ferrer's file she reads of an incident with Mr. Wu. Veronica interviews Mr. Wu, who confirms that Peter had feelings for him which he declared at Possibilities, a gay bar. Mr. Wu, who is not gay, let him down gently him and reported the incident to Clemmons.
  • It occurs to Veronica in a dream that maybe the question she should be asking about Peter, who threw away the raffle prize, was why he was even on the trip in the first place.
  • Veronica's perusal of the permanent files show Cervando's average weekly trips to the principal's office was nearly as high as his high G.P.A. One such incident occurred during summer school and involved Beaver.
  • Veronica interviews Beaver, who confirms Weevil's story that Cervando was boasting about hustling Liam Fitzpatrick out of $3,000, as Beaver heard him doing it. After Dick sprayed bleach on Cervando's new jeans, Cervando threatened Beaver, a circumstance Beaver describes as the story of his life.
  • Veronica considers the crash and how the detonation would have had to have been timed properly to send the bus over the cliff. This leads her to wonder about Weevil's presence.
  • Keith considers the kids on the limo who should have been on the bus and learns that three days after marrying Kendall, Big Dick insured Dick and Beaver for significant sums. Both were worth more dead than alive.
  • 2.19 "Nevermind the Buttocks"
  • Richard Casablancas was using the life insurance that he'd taken out for Dick and Cassidy as a tax shelter.
  • The payout on Dick's and Beaver's life insurance policies is over eight figures and the beneficiary of Dick's and Beaver's life insurance policies should both brothers die simultaneously is Kendall Casablancas.
  • Mac has a cell phone interceptor which she intends to use to eavesdrop on Beaver's calls. Veronica knows she has the interceptor.
  • Clemmons has changed the lock on his office door. Veronica can no longer enter at will.
  • Clemmons always has bus circle duty after the last bell of the day. Presumably, this would include on the day of the bus crash.
  • A copy of The Anarchist's Cookbook was confiscated from Weevil's locker, #333, the first week of school and kept in Clemmons' office. In it are instructions on how to make a basement bomb.
  • Logan was supposed to be on the bus the day of the crash. His comment then to Veronica, that he was going to miss her, may relate to his not going on the trip.
  • Veronica theorizes that Weevil and Cervando planned to blow up the 09ers, who were meant to include Logan. They planted the rat to drive the 09ers into the limo and a bomb in Dick's goodie bag. It was detonated by Weevil, who was following them and did not know that Dick gave his bag to Betina. Weevil denies this.
  • Logan got three calls from Kendall on the day of the crash.
  • On the day of the crash, Kendall had Logan leave before 7:03, the time of the crash.
  • There are no green Barricudas registered to owners in Neptune.
  • Gia saw a green Barracuda with a sticker in the side window on the Pacific Coast Highway moments before the bus crash. The car passed the limo. It is unclear whether the Barricuda was travelling in the same or the opposite direction as the limo.
  • One of the Barracuda's occupants mooned Gia, who was the only one to see it, as the others were facing away from the incident.
  • Gia was on the phone to Woody a few minutes before the bus crash. He wanted to know where she was to make sure she would be able to pick up her brother from his piano lesson.
  • The Fitzpatricks have used violence on the PCHers for failing to make sufficient payments to them for drugs they are selling. Arturo, a young PCH biker, got a cigarette lighter in the face.
  • Kendall's name is assumed. She was born Priscilla Banks and went to Handley High School in Shelby, Tennessee. She was a senior there when the real Kendall Shiflett was a freshman.
  • The real Kendall Shiflett was killed in a single-car accident when the driver, Priscilla Banks, lost control and drove into a ditch. Kendall, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the car. Priscilla suffered only minor injuries.
  • Prior to the accident that killed Kendall Shiflett, fourteen students from Handley died in a fire at an underage-club and wounds from that tragedy were still fresh at the time of the accident, according to the newspaper reporting Kendall's death.
  • Priscilla Banks spent six months in prison for wire fraud in what appears to be 1999.
  • Veronica finds a green Barracuda, which belongs to Liam Fitzpatrick's grandmother. He uses the car.
  • Weevil was following the school bus. He was covering Cervando's back because Cervando had been bragging about hustling Liam Fitzpatrick, who was looking for him.
  • Kendall Casablancas has a house on the northwest corner of Satsuma and Chandler. When she sees the flashlight of an intruder, she contacts Liam Fitzpatrick, who comes to her aid.
  • Liam Fitzpatrick finds Keith in Kendall's house. Liam is prepared to murder Keith and is only prevented from doing so by his gun being unexpectedly not loaded, Veronica having removed the bullets when she found the car.
  • Liam tells Keith that he has met Veronica and that he will keep an eye on her after he kills Keith.
  • Kendall thinks Keith being in her house is bad but that Liam going after Keith would be worse.
  • Kendall is the partner-in-fraud of Cormac Fitzpatrick, Liam's older brother who is in San Quentin. They were grifters working the long con with Kendall as the roper.
  • Keith believes that the Fitzpatricks owe Kendall for taking the rap for Cormac and saving him a third strike.
  • 2.20 "Look Who's Stalking"
  • Veronica has been informed that she is infected with the sexually transmitted disease, chlamydia. The only person with whom she has knowingly had sexual relations is Duncan. (She has no memory of events the night of Shelly Pomroy's party.)
  • Veronica described the visit to the doctor as one where Keith had his money's worth, inferring that the doctor was expensive and possibly not her usual doctor.
  • As far as Logan is aware, Duncan's only sexual partners were Veronica and Meg.
  • Woody Goodman called Keith to help him when a girl he took to the Camelot Motel passed out. Keith took the girl to hospital. He, Woody, and the girl were photographed exiting the Camelot, and the pictures appeared in the newspapers the day before the referendum on incorporation.
  • The incorporation vote is too close to call in the days before the referendum.
  • Woody attempted to deflect the negative publicity of the photos onto Keith, alleging that Keith had been engaged to discover the source of a leak in the incorporation campaign and had overstepped his authority by getting the girl, who Woody said was a campaign staffer, drunk.
  • The girl checked herself out of hospital and disappeared prior to receiving treatment.
  • On the day of the referendum, Keith's version of what happened was published together with the additional allegation that the girl was an escort paid out of campaign funds.
  • The plan to incorporate Neptune failed when the majority voted against it in the referendum. Commentators point to the incident at the Camelot motel as the deciding factor.
  • Woody hired a security firm to protect Gia without her knowledge. He told Gia that it was just normal election precautions but that he dismissed them when she told him that she was disturbed by it.
  • Another video, taken of Rodney and Gia at one of Rodney's soccer games, appears at the Goodman home. This video was taken by Lucky, who has an axe to grind with Woody.
  • Lucky has a large scar on his abdomen that he claims he received in Iraq as the result of a roadside bomb.
  • Lucky has a number of dangerous materials in his janitor's room at Neptune High. He also has a large serrated knife that he claims to have taken from a dead Iraqi.
  • Lamb is not happy or willing to let Keith talk to Lucky about Woody Goodman. Once Keith handcuffs himself to Lucky, Lamb makes continued efforts to separate them. Those efforts interrupt Keith's efforts to get information from Lucky.
  • Lucky is bailed out by Stewart Manning. Keith, who had been handcuffed to Lucky since his arrest, was unaware of this, indicating that it was not Lucky who informed Manning of his arrest.
  • Terrence Cook states that he broke into the Dumass family garage because Leslie had told him that she had written a tell-all about his gambling, payoffs, and throwing a game. He was concerned that her parents would find it and that he would be ruined if it was made public.
  • The press report that Terrence threw a game. Jackie does not inform him.
  • Kendall has not reported Keith's burglary to the police and will not do so if Keith returns her hard drive. She has ensured he can do so without leaving a paper trail.
  • Jackie claims to have learned about the birds and the bees the hard way.
  • No girl at Neptune wants to date Dick Casablancas.
  • 2.21 "Happy Go Lucky"
  • Lucky, having been fired from his job as janitor at Neptune High, threatens students with a gun loaded with blanks. He is shot and killed by an armed security guard.
  • Lucky was a bat boy for the Sharks in his teens.
  • Woody claims that Lucky was fired from his job as bat boy because some of the players complained about his job performance.
  • Lucky sent numerous emails with attachments to Woody, all from different email addresses.
  • Amongst the names that Lucky used to email Woody are "wrongvsright," "katchinup," and "misterclean221."
  • One of Lucky's emails to Woody reads: "Time is the timeliness of the present. You should respond. I've left you so many presents. If you don't find them, they'll find you." On Veronica's information that Lucky referred to a roadside bomb in Iraq as a present, Keith warns Woody that he believes Lucky planted bombs in his house.
  • Woody threatens to ruin Keith if he should make public the allegation that Woody molests boys.
  • Logan observed Lucky washing his feet in bleach, believing that he had contracted gangrene. Lucky was wearing only jeans and a catcher's mask.
  • Lucky wore the catcher's mask whenever they were going into battle in the summer.
  • A large painting behind the Woodman dining table features a stylized catcher's mask. Keith believes that it pinpoints the location of a bomb that Lucky left as a present for Woody. He reports this to Inga at the sheriff's department.
  • Lamb searches the Goodman home. He tells Woody that there was a bomb planted underneath his car and that his stalker meant business.
  • The same type of phone-activated bomb that was used on the bus was found under Woody's car.
  • Lamb tells Keith that Lucky blew off work the day of the bus crash. Keith ascertains that this was because he was in a padded cell at the V.A. hospital.
  • Amongst Woody's emails is one from Carlos Rodriguez, wanting to speak to him after practice.
  • An email sent to Woody by the name "22679088" has the subject line "Kill incorporation or else." That name was not on the list of the names that Lucky used.
  • The email sent to Woody under the subject line "Kill incorporation or else" included an audio attachment. In it, two boys are heard saying that they have to tell what Woody did to the three of them, that it has to come out some day. One says a couple of the Sharks had to know about it and will come forward because things like this don't stay secret. The other boy calls Woody a pervert and sick, saying that what he did to them was wrong because they were just kids. In the background, there appears to be a French lesson going on. Keith believes a third voice was edited out of the recording.
  • The email is dated 10 May, 2006. Based on the Alterna-prom being on 13 May, this dates it to just before the referendum on incorporation.
  • Veronica notes that in the video sent to Woody's office, pictures on the wall can be seen. Two of the pictures are of Little League teams and Veronica realises that the Little League teams are also called the Sharks.
  • The first picture shows eleven boys on the team. The second picture shows twelve boys on the team, suggesting that there is one boy not pictured in the first picture.
  • Veronica recognizes two of the boys in the ten-boy team as Marcos Oliveres and Peter Ferrer. She verifies that they are the two speakers on the audio file.
  • Lamb dismisses Keith's theory that Woody put the bomb on the bus to kill Marcos and Peter.
  • Lamb agrees to arrest Woody, but is too late. Woody has fled in his private plane.
  • Leonard Lobo comes forward to give Terrence Cook an alibi for the bus crash, telling Lamb and Judge Ferris that Terrence could not be responsible because he was with Terrence, along with Lobo's corporate attorney and Chief Financial Officer. His evidence is that Terrence did not use a cell phone at the time of the bus crash.
  • Lobo admits to Terrence that his evidence was false and that he does not know where Terrence was at the time of the call that caused the crash. However, his evidence was a form of investment to force Terrence to work at his casino until his debt is paid.
  • Terrence tells Jackie she should go to Paris. When Wallace arrives to see Jackie, Terrence tells him that she has gone and passes him a note.
  • Information of the incident when Veronica and Duncan broke into Meg's house and found Grace, and of Leo's disciplinary record — including his suspension for allowing Veronica to access the records room — has been passed to Aaron's lawyers.
  • Someone has scratched "Amber is a bitch" on Beaver's car.
  • 2.22 "Not Pictured"
  • Woody Goodman's medical records indicated that he had been treated for chlamydia.
  • Woody did molest little boys. He targeted the sons of abusive and neglectful fathers.
  • Beaver was on the same Little League team as Marcos and Peter. He was not present when the team photo was taken and thus not pictured.
  • Veronica links her chlamydia with Woody's via Beaver who she realizes did rape her at Shelly Pomroy's party.
  • Veronica speaks to Hart and learns that Beaver was in charge of the explosions he used in his war films.
  • Veronica concludes that Beaver was responsible for the crash, to keep secret that he had been molested by Woody.