What Happened to the School Bus?
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 classes 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 his father had arranged a limo for the journey home. He invited some of the students to travel back with him, and they were spared the fate of the others. All in the limo but Gia were spared being mooned by one of the occupants of a passing green Barracuda, moments before the crash. Forensic scientists have determined that there were fragments of a baseball and cell phone embedded in the driver's body and that the bomb was made of C4 and activated by phone.
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 Luna/Perez/Esparza was a PCH biker and an honor roll student who hustled Liam Fitzpatrick out of $3,000 in a pool game at the River Stix. It was something he was dumb enough to brag about. He was very pissed when Dick sprayed bleach on the $200 jeans he purchased with his winnings and took his ire out on Beaver. He may also have been the last person to see Felix Toombs alive on the Coronado Bridge. Rhonda Landers was "hell on wheels," "poor white trash," who with her sister, Natalie, was constantly in trouble at school for huffing paint, stealing, and fighting. She called her friend Michelle Thompson from the bus and may have called her from the grave through the psychic, . She probably wanted to know why Woody Goodman waited until after she died to give her family two million in cash. Marcos Oliveres was a seemingly quiet student with a secret. Until his sojourn at an anti-gay camp at the behest of his homophobic parents, he was the school's premier pirate radio shock-jock, vituperating everyone and everything at Neptune High. He was also one of the Sharks Little Leaguers and was recorded complaining about Woody Goodman being a pervert, as was Peter Ferrer, another victim. He was a student who frequented the Pirate's S.H.I.P. (Students Homosexual Internet Posting), had a crush on Mr. Wu, and, prior to the crash, went off to his fellow posters about the "outing of all outings in Neptune." Certainly, dirt on Woody might well qualify. The last student was Dick's secret shame, the deluded Betina Marone, who hoped the unsuspecting 09er just in it for sex would impregnate her. Sadly for her, but thankfully for the rest of creation, Dick was shooting blanks.
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 with 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 closet 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 the babe.
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 was to be one of the principal witnesses in the upcoming trial of Aaron Echolls for Lilly's murder and 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 were heavily insured by their father after his marriage to Kendall, an insurance that would have given their stepmother Kendall an eight-figure payout had they died simultaneously. They 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. And there is one other to be considered. Logan Echolls should have been on the bus, and had he made the trip to Shark Field, he would probably have travelled back in the limo. Already the center of a storm and the reputed murderer of Felix Toombs, Logan was a likely candidate for drawing fire.
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, or if the bomb was meant for the limo, 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 identities of those on the bus may be scarcely relevant.
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 stood 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 Dahls whose daughter Angie was able to buy a medical diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder to ease her way to credits towards the Kane scholarship that Veronica had to earn, 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. They have been shown to purchase false drug test results. Other parents have purchased false medical diagnoses. A newspaper reports that SAT scores are riddled with errors. Veronica is surprisingly diagnosed with Chlamydia. Coincidence? Or are the tricks of BoFC endemic to all of Nepute?
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. He told Veronica that he was going to miss her. Did Logan have foreknowledge? Or was Logan simply there to make his excuses for skipping the trip, his comment to Veronica simply a sarcastic reference to not spending the afternoon with her after all? Logan claims to have never heard of Curly Moran, yet his father knew him, as did many of the 09ers for whom Curly 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. Logan is also at the center of a war with the non-09ers after walking free from charges that he killed Felix Toombs, a position that he is encouraged to act upon by others like Dick and Tommy "Lucky" Dohanic. Perhaps Veronica could have countered their influence, but she gave up and let him go.
Dick Casablancas - Dick made loud complaints about a smell on the bus. He used the stench as the reason for 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, Beaver, or his father. In the class war that percolates in Neptune at which Logan is the center, Dick is Logan's most constant ally. But has Dick really forgiven Logan for humiliating him at Aaron's not-birthday birthday party for his son, and does Dick really have Logan's back? If Felix's murder is unconnected to subsequent actions to ensure Logan is convicted of the crime, who better than Dick to lead Logan into more trouble, securing his place as the town's bad boy and prime suspect for that crime...and any others? Forcing Logan to sit through the televised trashing of himself and his family and loving every minute of it are not the actions of a friend. Standing proud in his "Screw-with-my-head" t-shirt, he tells Logan, "We are lone wolves, dude. High-plains drifters, life-takers, and heartbreakers." We know Logan is a heartbreaker. We know Logan is a life-taker, albeit unknowingly, for when he pressed the plunger to demolish Shark Field, he didn't know Thumper was in the building. But what about Dick? He's broken hearts, sort of. Betina certainly had a heart before she plunged off the cliff. She was trying to get pregnant with his baby so that the time would come when she could shout it from the rooftops that she was Dick's mate. Has Dick taken lives as well? A motive seems hard to find. Dick has no regard for the non-09ers, wondering if it is a crime to kill a Mexican. But did Dick ever play Little League? Dick loves riding bareback and spreading his seedless seed, but are these the actions of a horny teenager or desperate attempts to prove a questionable manhood — one shaken by being close to Woody, who seems to like boys? Or by encounters with guys called Milf? An anonymous email sent to Woody included as an attachment a recording of three boys talking about Woody's perversions. One of those three boys was edited out, the other two, both on Woody's Sharks Little League team, died in the crash. The boys who died wanted to expose Woody. Who was the third boy, the one who perhaps did not want it exposed, or at least not then? Dick? His picture is not on Woody's wall, but then at least one player is missing from that photo, if the one next to it is anything to go by. Dick was friendly enough with Lucky, a man who hated Woody, that he was able to fill his water pistol with bleach. Did they have more in common that simply hell-raising?
Cassidy "Beaver" Casablancas - The rat was the reason Beaver didn't die in the crash, so it could have been there for his benefit. Beaver knew Curly, having met him on a rare trip out with his father. Beaver knew about Cervando hustling Liam Fitzpatrick in a pool game. That story was used to put the bikers on the trail of Curly Moran. Beaver seems under Dick's thumb and gets crap for his brother's actions, but then again, he can intimidate Dick with the mention of a name. Beaver couldn't be more different from Dick. Where Dick is dumb, Beaver's smart. Summer school for him is more likely to be about taking advance classes than making up failed ones, unlike his sibling. Where Dick is immoral and would rape an unconscious Veronica, Beaver is principled and runs away to throw up. Where Dick is a loyal jerk and keeps Logan's false alibi, Beaver is a disloyal good citizen and busts him. So, could Beaver be a mass murderer? Well, let's see — he sets Veronica on the trail of his father and brings down the Casablancas property empire, he uses his trust fund to finance a new property company, the Phoenix Land Trust, and he starts dating the hottest computer nerd in school. Phoenix Land Trust's portfolio just made a killing buying up properties in South Neptune at distress values as people off-loaded it in the face of the incorporation that never came. Despite his youth, we know he drives, so he could have been at the wheel of a car at the Road Hog the night Curly was eliminated. So, why is this young captain of industry a suspect? Well, there's Sally. The mere mention of her name is enough to turn Dick into jelly. Then there's the question of whether or not he knew what he was doing when he sicced Veronica on his dad, who neglects him shamefully. There's his reluctance to make his way under Mac's bra. Is he using her for some nefarious purpose? Or is it something else that makes him shy? And why was he so anxious to avoid taking her home and upset to learn that she'd talked to Veronica about him? Finally, an anonymous email to Woody telling him to kill incorporation or else would have benefited the Phoenix Land Trust had Woody acted on it. And perhaps Woody did act on it, by setting up himself to be photographed with an unconscious girl, not his wife, coming out of the Camelot. The audio attached to the email indicated three boys talking about Woody's perversions, and they don't appear to include females. One of those three boys was edited out, the other two, both on Woody's Sharks Little League team, died in the crash. The boys who died wanted to expose Woody. Who was the third boy, the one who perhaps did not want it exposed, or at least not then? Beaver? His picture is not on Woody's wall, but then at least one player is missing from that photo, if the one next to it is anything to go by. The one thing we can say with certainty about Beaver is that there is more to this sixteen-year-old than meets the eye.
Woody Goodman - Woody was the one who invited the journalism class to tour Shark Field, with a buffet prepared 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 invited her to ride back in the limousine. With Peter and Marcos on the bus, two of his former Little League Sharks who thought he was a pervert, that's not necessarily a surprise. 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. He knew where the limo was moments before the bus just in front of them went off the cliff, having called Gia to find out exactly where she was. Woody, as Neptune's County Supervisor or Mayor — a position he achieved without opposition — planned to incorporate the rich parts of Neptune, a plan which was derailed when he was photographed leaving the Camelot motel in the company of Keith and an unconscious staffer. Or possibly hooker. The plan would have benefited and enriched 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 was 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. Alternatively, the motive may have been personal, planned to hide one death among many. Exactly why did Peter and Marcos go on that trip anyway? There's audio evidence to say that they wanted to expose him for what he had done to them and a third unidentified boy, who might also have been on that trip. Such a crime would be the work of a particularly ruthless individual. Is Woody such a man? He's a man who has devoted himself to the boys of the Little League, a seemingly altruistic pursuit, although altruism seemed far from his mind when he started kneading Logan's biceps. From what is implied by the recording, which Woody received in an email with the voice of the third boy edited out, Woody's interests in his Little League team was not about baseball. But Woody is also the figurehead of the incorporation campaign. If his position were threatened by his extracurricular interests, would he, or those he would enrich, take drastic steps to remove that threat? What sort of man is he really? One person who seemed to know a lot about the unseen face of Woody Goodman was Lucky, who took at least one intrusive video of the Goodman children. Keith too learns that Woody has two faces, pleading for Keith's help and then sacrificing his savior to the hungry press with lies to protect himself. Woody freaked out when Keith identified a video taken from inside his home as being recorded in November or December, around the same time as Veronica was investigating child abuse. His burger business paid $2,000,000 to the family of one of the bus crash victims, supposed compensation for a finger in a Ribwich? There was C4 and detonators in Woody's hangar where he stores his helicopter and lets Terrence Cook store his cars and another stash of C4 at the site of Shark Field, ready for the demolition of the stadium to make way for a new one. Lucky hated Woody and knew what sort of man he was from his days as a bat boy for the Sharks. With Lucky dead and the recording of the boys found and turned over to the sheriff, Woody is on the run. But if Woody's the culprit, who put the bomb under his car?
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 theory that Terrence planted a bomb, using explosives he kept in a hangar where he stored his cars, in a bag on the bus and detonated it by ringing a cell phone, fragments of which were also found in the bus driver has fallen apart in the light of the testimony of Leonard Lobo, owner of the Seven Rivers Casino who said Terrence was with him at the time and couldn't have made the call. However, Lobo lied. Nonetheless, the C4 was almost certainly planted. Terrence was expecting his regular detailer who couldn't have avoided seeing the C4. Terrence did have a 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 Lobo, 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 was 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. Terrence may also have a connection to Curly Moran, for who else would be servicing all those cars? Terrence has consistently failed to come completely clean with Keith Mars, to whom he turned for help. Keith had to tease information out of him, based on what he already knew, so it's really no surprise that Keith had no idea as to why Terrence should break into the Dumass family home. It was a dumb move, done to find the tell-all book that Leslie had told him she had written about him before her parents found it. It was also futile. It got him shot and brought into custody on eights counts of murder, and the story of his shame made the news anyway. Terrence is free now, but he will spend the next decade dancing on a string for Lobo. Maybe now someone will ask him what he knows about Lucky's days as a bat boy for the Sharks.
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? He admits that he was following the bus. He tells Veronica that he was there to cover Cervando's back. Cervando's boasting had gotten back to Liam Fitzpatrick, who was rumored to be out looking for him. Batting his Maybelline lashes at Veronica may have satisfied her, but it is the truth? 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 being silenced forever. Lastly, what was he doing with a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook in his locker the first week of school?
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 investigation. This led to an alternative reasonable theory that Doyle was far from depressed but was actually 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.
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 was at the very center of the mystery of the bus crash. 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. He was 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 in 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. Dick described Curly as a trip. Curly was reticent with his fellow mechanics but maybe he liked to regale his customers with tales of his life, and his achievements, in Hollywood? Did he tell somebody how he staged the stunt in The Long Haul? 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 it went horribly wrong? Or would he recognize how it had been done and remember who he told? 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 Cervando Perez. Weevil lied when he said he ignored the call. His assault on Curly is on video on Thumper's cell phone. But as he took his beating, Curly told Weevil that he was innocent. He added that he knew who did it. How unlucky that it was just at the moment that Weevil ran off, startled by the presence of a dark car. What was Curly going to say?
Aaron Echolls - Veronica was 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 might have been 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. He found other ways to successfully neutralize Veronica's testimony. And Veronica needs to reconsider, now that she's heard Weevil's story of Curly's protest of innocence.
Big Dick Casablancas - Veronica's investigation on Beaver's behalf into Logan's and Kendall's affair marked a significant change in Big Dick's life for it triggered his relocation. Before that event, Big Dick was indeed a big dick in Neptune, heading a property empire. Incorporation would have a significant effect on property prices, on both sides of the line. A canny property dealer is likely to have been one to take advantage. Veronica was alerted to the fragility of Big Dick's pre-incorporation empire by the disparity between the Sandpiper Hotel in the Casablancas REIT Enterprises glossy brochure and the real Sandpiper Hotel. But what if the brochure showed a vision of an incorporated future Sandpiper, one on the right side of the line, ready for development? Was Big Dick's fortune dependent on incorporation happening? Or on it nearly happening, but then failing? If so, would he have done anything to make sure it happened, like setting up Woody Goodman with an unconscious girl in the Camelot motel days before the vote and making sure the cameras had film? Or perhaps he knew about Woody's preferences. If one of the Sharks Little Leaguers was Dick or Beaver, what would Big Dick do with information about Woody's tendency to feel the muscles of his boys? He could have asked his son to get evidence to use later, when it best suited him. He tells Logan, "You need focus, precision, the ability to only think about the task at hand. When I'm working, my family doesn't exist...when I'm with my family, work doesn't exist." His philosophy reminds Logan of his father, a killer. If there was someone on the bus who could threaten the incorporation plan, or threaten the man who would see it through, Woody Goodman, would Big Dick have the ruthlessness to do what had to be done in such a way as to obscure the true motive? Would he have the talent to set up a fall guy in advance, a person who was already in the public eye as the son of a murderer who got away with one of his own? Would he adapt as and when he needed to when other suspects rose to the top? In terms of character, he could be just such a man, orchestrating events both before and after his personal fall from grace. Using men like Tom Griffith, a man whose money troubles may be about something other than drugs and who is handy to know when plastic surgery may be the only way to come home, men like Liam Fitzpatrick who will play the heavy at the behest of others, Big Dick could still be orchestrating events. He's certainly plans ahead. How much did he know about his new wife? She was a grifter, a mistress of the long con with an assumed name. Was he the mark, or was he running a long con of his own? He insured Dick and Beaver three days after he married Kendall, making the boys worth more dead than alive, at least to Kendall, whom he made beneficiary if they should perish together, giving his bride a clear motive. He also sent the limo to ensure they weren't on the bus. Exoneration or something even more sinister?
Kendall Casablancas - Big Dick's third wife, everything about Kendall seems motivated by her desire for money, with perhaps one exception. She is Big Dick's accomplice in his property scam, knowingly or unknowingly. She has no fortune of her own, a fact that may give her a motive to wanting the Casablancas boys, Big Dick's heirs, dead, particularly as there were big, fat insurance policies on their lives. But for a rat, Dick and Beaver would have perished in the crash. She was the beneficiary if they died together. Did she know? The fact that no further attempts have been made on their lives may suggest not, particularly for someone who can call on her own pet killer when she needs to. Kendall has perfected the seduction of men to get what she wants, even if it doesn't always work. She has a snazzy sports car that may well have been serviced by Curly Moran. Before Big Dick's exposure as a fraud, Kendall did one thing that could have jeopardized her future as Mrs. Casablancas. She embarked on an affair with Logan Echolls. Was it stupidity or was it something else? As Big Dick's confidante, Kendall could have been acting out her part in a bigger plan. It would not be the first time, for "Kendall" is an old hand at long, fraudulent games. She was born Priscilla Banks and took the name of Kendall Shifflet, or Kendall Shiflett, from a dead girl from her old high school. The girl died in a car crash. Priscilla was at the wheel and escaped with minor injuries. This was from the same school which lost fourteen students in a fire. If Kendall needs credentials as a mass murderer of children, they may be found here. After high school, she hooked up with Cormac Fitzpatrick, older brother of Liam, currently serving time in San Quentin, and with whom she still corresponds. She was his roper as they conned their way through life. She may have taken the fall for him to save him from a third-strike sentence. This could be why Liam is at her beck and call. Was her marriage to Big Dick another long con?
The Fighting Fitzpatricks - In an anonymous call to Weevil, a voice claimed that Curly Moran had sabotaged the bus at the behest of the Fitzpatricks, a Neptune family notorious for its criminal activities. Cervando had hustled Liam Fitzpatrick out of three grand. Weevil told Veronica he dismissed the allegation because the Fitzpatricks wouldn't kill a busload of kids over three grand. They would have dealt with Cervando in an alley with a baseball bat. But Weevil lied when he told Veronica that he didn't respond to this allegation. So maybe he could imagine the Fitzpatricks killing a busload of kids after all. The presence of the Fitzpatricks looms over many of the events surrounding the bus crash, the death of Felix Toombs and the attempts to convict Logan for it. Tom Griffith, who gave false evidence against Logan, was a "family friend" and Logan certainly assumed that he was directed by the Fitzpatricks, something Griffith didn't deny. Danny Boyd, one of the Fitzpatrick clan, works at the demolition site of Shark Field where C4 of the type used on the bus, and found in Terrence Cook's locker, is easily available. The Fitzpatricks know of Terrence's gambling debts, having been sent as heavies to lean on him by Leonard Lobo, the local casino owner and one of the men who might "bet extensively on baseball." But other than Cervando, there was no obvious connection between the Fitzpatricks and anyone on the bus such that they would indulge in mass murder, at least until Veronica and Keith uncovered the link between Kendall and the family. Their dispatch of Thumper was cold, but it was at least limited to the one they thought wronged them. That Veronica and Logan are still walking around after their adventure at the River Styx, the Fitzpatricks' headquarters, is a testament to their not being quite as psycho as all that. If they are involved, perhaps it is as guns for hire.
Leonard Lobo - A shady figure in Neptune, Lobo runs casinos. Terrence Cook owes him a lot of money and Lobo can call on the Fitzpatricks to threaten to enforce the debt. He may be one of those gentlemen whom Lamb described betting extensively on baseball. There is no obvious connection between Lobo and any of the bus victims or lucky escapees, other than his link with the Fitzpatricks, but, as one who may well benefit from the incorporation of Neptune, he, like Big Dick Casablancas, may want to see it through. He seems ruthless enough.
Sheriff Don Lamb - On the face of it, Lamb would have been hurt by incorporation, being turned into "the hayseed who hands out speeding tickets on the way into town." But if the bus crash is related to attempts to see incorporation through, Lamb's rush to judgment in blaming Ed Doyle for the bus crash was certainly convenient for those truly responsible. Every development in the case appears to have come from someone other than Neptune's sheriff. Keith forced him to raise the bus by handing over the recording of the explosion. He did a poor job of investigating it when he failed to find the rat or the CD. He did eventually arrest Terrence Cook, but the most damning evidence against Terrence was again provided by the Mars family. Having found another culprit, Lamb closed his mind to suggestions that Cook was being set up. Why? Is he just that dumb or does Lamb's petty self-interest belie a deeper evil? Does Lamb, disdainful of his public servant's salary, serve other masters on the promise of riches? Certainly, $50,000 a year salary isn't going to keep Madison Sinclair happy for long. Was Madison the only blonde high school girl to attract Neptune's sheriff? At least Madison is eighteen, it's legal. But in the months before the bus crash, facing his own election, Lamb would have been destroyed if, say, he'd impregnated a seventeen year old, passing on an STD on the way. Certainly, something is going on between him and the Mannings, for he appeared to do nothing after finding evidence that they locked their youngest daughter in a closet, except perhaps tell Aaron Echolls's lawyer about it. He was also reluctant to let Keith talk to Lucky, a man who has some dirt on Woody and who is now dead. For someone who has gone out of his way to treat Keith with disdain and contempt, he sure was in a hurry to separate them, to the extent of getting one of the deputies to stick his hand down a drain for a lost key for the handcuffs that bound Keith and Woody together. Did Lamb really care about Keith spending the night in jail? Finally, how did Stewart Manning come to know Lucky was in jail?
"Lucky" Dohanic - Meg's parents weren't outwardly setting Meg up with their friend from church. They just kept having him over for dinner so he could talk about his four months in Iraq and how he took shrapnel in the ass for America. He'd quote the Bible and they'd try and convince her how great he was. Fun, fun, fun. Meg thought he was creepy. Fact is, he was just plain crazy, the sort of crazy that led to his death by gunshot after terrorizing the students at Neptune High with a gun loaded with blanks. Her parents thought Lucky was a saint because he sang hymns with his eyes closed and helped Mr Manning move an air conditioner. But he was just a janitor at the high school he graduated from who bought beer for guys like Logan to hang on to his glory days. So why was this late late-comer added to the suspect list? Well, here's the thing. His real name was Tommy Dohanic. In a season that hasn't shied away from racist stereotypes, the fact that it sounds kind of Irish might be significant. More significant might be where he went to church, who bailed him out of jail, or exactly what training he had to prepare him for his time in the Gulf. Military types tend to know about explosives. Then there he was in the summer, egging Logan on for payback. If someone was trying to manipulate Logan into bad-boy behavior, Lucky might just have been the tool. Lucky certainly had an agenda. He hated Woody Goodman, who fired him from his job as a bat boy for the Sharks for "poor performance," to the extent of stalking his children and leaving videos for Woody to find. He may have left a bomb under Woody's car. What did he do, other than not detonate the bomb on the bus, as he was in a padded cell at the time, and what did he know?
Principal Clemmons - What? Well, yes, we know, but one important factor in the detection of crime is to work out both the means and the motive. Clemmons had the means. As school principal, he had access to the bus, anytime, anywhere. He was in possession of The Anarchist Cookbook from the first week of term. He always had bus circle duty immediately after the last bell of the day. Lucky worked for him. Gossipmonger Cap'N Krunk, real name Marcos Oliveres, was a regular visitor to his home because of his association with Clemmons' son, Butters, and he may have seen something he shouldn't. Clemmons has the Machiavellian smarts. So Clemmons is on the radar. However, there is a big hole where motive should be. Particularly, why would he go to the trouble of removing his predecessor if he was about to come into a fortune or receive some other benefit which was worth mass murder?
Kelly Kuzzio - The production of a recording of three boys talking about Woody, the pervert, but only two being heard, begs the question as to the identity of the third boy. Peter was gay, Marcos might have been. Were there any other baseball loving students who might have had questions about their sexuality? Stepping up to the plate is Kelly, a boy who hid his orientation and continued with his baseball. It's unlikely, for Kelly doesn't appear to have had the motive or the opportunity, but he may have been on that Sharks Little League team and may have been the third
Person or persons unknown - Yeah. Or them. Again.
Mystery Summary as of 2.21 "Happy Go Lucky"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.
- Also applies to: Who Killed Felix?
- 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 fiancée 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?
- Also applies to: Who Killed Felix?
- 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.