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Comic-Con 2016: American Gothic panel ponders the killer

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Ben Mark Holzberg/CBS

As CBS’ summer murder mystery thriller American Gothic heats up, the cast was on hand at Comic-Con on Thursday to tease the identity of the killer.

On the series, the wealthy Hawthorne family discovers that not only was their now-deceased patriarch (Jamey Sheridan) possibly a serial killer, but he could’ve been aided by one of their own. Was it the steely matriarch (Virginia Madsen), the black sheep prodigal son Garrett (Antony Starr), the ambitious eldest daughter Alison (Juliet Rylance), the innocent younger school teacher Tessa (Megan Ketch), or the former junkie cartoonist Cam (Justin Chatwin)?

During Wednesday’s episode, Cam was seemingly cleared since his DNA didn’t match the blood found on the Silver Bells Killer belt, but there was a familial match, which means one of the Hawthornes was definitely the killer. So who is it? Chatwin, Starr, and Ketch stayed mum during the panel, though they have finally discovered the answer since American Gothic is currently shooting the finale in which fans will discover the truth.

Executive producer Corinne Brinkerhoff has known the identity of the killer all along. “I did know the broad strokes of it even when I pitched the show,” she said. “We spent the first month crafting the ending. We knew before we shot a single frame what the answer was.” She also promised Easter eggs were placed in the early episodes that will only make sense once people see the finale.

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The only person who’s mathematically impossible to be the killer is Cam’s son Jack Hawthorne (Gabriel Bateman), who wasn’t yet alive when this happened, but is the perfect example of a child who may have the psychopath gene — should it exist.

Tessa may also fall into this category — or maybe that’s what the show wants fans to think. “Since she was a child when the killings happened, there’s a lot of repressed memory,” Ketch said cryptically. “Who it ended up being, I did suspect by episode 11. It’s super satisfying.”

American Gothic airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.

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