By Michael Ausiello
Updated October 17, 2008 at 08:53 PM EDT

Spotted: A body bag on the Upper East Side.

You may have heard — a pivotal Gossip Girl character will soon be laid to rest, setting off a series of aftershocks that will reverberate well into next year. By using both Met-step chatter and common sense, I narrowed the field of candidates to the following five characters — one of whom, a source confirms — is the victim.

Vanessa (Jessica Szohr)
Why She’ll Die: As much as I adore Szohr, let’s face it, her alter ego is easily the most expendable of Girl‘s core clique.As a bonus, eliminating Vanessa would get Gossip Girl author Cecily von Ziegesar off producers’ backs.
Why She Won’t: Who’d steam everyone’s lattes?

Bart (Robert John Burke)
Why He’ll Die: His death would be a massive story generator: Not only would it pit Lily and Chuck against each other in a battle over the millionaire’s estate, but it would add a new layer of angst to Ed Westwick’s brooding scion.
Why He Won’t: Come on — killing the old guy? Way too obvious.

Nate (Chace Crawford)
Why He’ll Die: Rumor has it that Crawford recently made some noise about wanting a fatter paycheck. Killing off his character would nip a potential salary dispute in the bud.
Why He Won’t: He’s the prettiest one on the show, for chrissakes!

Rufus (Matthew Settle)
Why He’ll Die: It would rid the world of Lincoln Hawk and Dan would be forced to grow a pair.
Why He Won’t: His unrequited romance with Lily is where Gossip‘s true heart lies.

Georgina (Michelle Trachtenberg)
Why She’ll Die: Everyone loves a good, old-fashioned murder mystery.
Why She Won’t: For starters, she’s not currently on the show. Plus, producers would be foolish to permanently wipe out the Alexis to Serena’s Krystle.

Think you’ve got a handle on which one of the above five finalists is about to make a date with the Grim Reaper? Cast your vote in the comments section below!