Let's speculate!

By Sydney Bucksbaum
August 21, 2019 at 09:30 AM EDT

As a new season of 13 Reasons Why looms, there’s one question on every fan’s mind: Who killed Bryce Walker?

Eight months after the explosive events of the season 2 finale, Bryce (Justin Prentice) goes missing and turns up dead after the homecoming game, turning season 3 into a murder mystery. Arguably the biggest twist of the series yet was spoiled by Netflix in the trailers for the upcoming third season, and fans immediately rejoiced at the fact that the serial rapist and all-around toxically masculine bully is finally getting punished for his crimes. But instead of facing real jail time for his multiple sexual assaults, the villain of 13 Reasons Why is going to get killed in the new season, and everyone’s a suspect.

Credit: David Moir/Netflix (4)

With only days between now and when the full season 3 drops, let’s speculate on who the murderer is by rounding up all the likeliest suspects. Dig out your magnifying glass and get a ball of red yarn handy — it’s time to play amateur sleuth!

13 Reason Why Season 3
Credit: David Moir/Netflix

11. Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette)

It’s undeniable that Clay has motive to kill Bryce after he raped Clay’s BFF/crush Hannah (Katherine Langford) in the first season, which ultimately led to her decision to take her own life. And that discovery resulted in Clay being beaten within an inch of his life at Bryce’s own hands in his attempts to get Bryce’s confession. Watching Bryce escape justice in season 2, even after the tape of Bryce’s confession was leaked to the school, could be enough to push Clay over the edge. (Remember, he even contemplated killing Bryce during his breakdown last season.) But after two seasons of watching how good Clay is at heart, it’s tough to imagine he would actually take his vigilante justice as far as murder. And since the series is told through Clay’s eyes, it’s more likely that season 3 is going to focus on Clay trying to solve the murder and clear his own name by figuring out who the real killer is. This is one name we can definitely cross off the list.

13 Reason Why Season 3
Credit: David Moir/Netflix

10. Zach Dempsey (Ross Butler)

Another guy with an ax to grind with Bryce is his former friend Zach. Season 2 revealed that Zach and Hannah actually had a romantic relationship all summer long, meaning Bryce raping Hannah would also inspire some feelings of revenge in Zach. Plus, he finally started to rebel against Bryce last season by confronting him during a baseball game and leaking the polaroids of the Clubhouse to Clay. But even with his newfound confidence, Zach is too afraid to do anything that will disappoint his family, so it’s unlikely that he’s the killer.

13 Reason Why Season 3
Credit: David Moir/Netflix

9. Chlöe Rice (Anne Winters)

Bryce’s girlfriend (or ex-girlfriend?) ended season 2 with the revelation that she was pregnant. She also knows that Bryce raped her before they were in a relationship and didn’t respect her consent even when they were together. She still testified and lied for him on the stand, helping him clear his name, but will she be driven to murder to protect her unborn child from its father? Probably not, but she makes the list regardless. Like we said, everyone’s a suspect!

13 Reason Why Season 3
Credit: David Moir/Netflix

8. Tony Padilla (Christian Navarro)

We already know Tony isn’t averse to using violence to solve his problems: He ended up in anger management classes because of his past actions. But his violent tendencies only come out when he encounters homophobia. If Bryce riles up Tony in season 3, he could be driven to murder. But he has also come so far in his anger management and his personal relationships, helping overcome his trauma, that it would be a major step back for the character.

7. Ani Achola (Grace Saif)

We don’t know much about this new season 3 character, other than the fact she’s a new student at Liberty High who becomes close with Clay and Jessica (Alisha Boe). The mystery surrounding her past and how/why she becomes close to the main characters in the new season ranks her high on this list, because we just don’t know enough about her not to include her.

13 Reason Why Season 3
Credit: David Moir/Netflix

6. Alex Standall (Miles Heizer)

Alex’s suicide attempt at the end of season 1 left him with various physical and personality changes due to his brain injury. He’s more prone to violent outbursts when he gets frustrated over his memory issues, and now that he remembers the night Bryce raped Hannah, he feels more guilty than ever that he didn’t do anything to stop it, especially since Bryce then went on to rape Alex’s friend/girlfriend Jessica. He could be driven to kill Bryce if pushed far enough in the new season (and he clearly has access to guns), but there are more likely suspects than Alex.

13 Reason Why Season 3
Credit: David Moir/Netflix

5. Jessica Davis

Another one of Bryce’s rape victims, Jessica has a lot of valid anger towards him. She eventually ended up reporting her rape and testifying against Bryce in court at the end of season 2, but he only got three months’ probation as a result. That injustice could inspire Jessica to deliver her own kind of punishment on Bryce, but since testifying helped her feel stronger, she’s on a path toward recovery and is taking her power back. It’s hard to imagine her throwing her life away by killing Bryce, so she’s not the most obvious choice.

13 Reason Why Season 3
Credit: David Moir/Netflix

4. Montgomery de la Cruz (Timothy Granaderos)

Bryce’s “friend” (although “henchman” is perhaps more accurate) is incredibly violent and has shown no remorse for his actions. His brutal assault on Tyler (Devin Druid) at the end of season 2 shows how far he’s willing to go to make sure he gets what he wants (let alone all the other times he’s beaten up students like Clay). He continuously threatened and blackmailed other students to make sure they didn’t testify to serve his own purpose, i.e., keeping Bryce’s name cleared so he could continue keeping the jocks at the top of the high school hierarchy. He has no moral compass, as evidenced by the fact that he witnessed Bryce raping Hannah and did nothing to stop it. But it would take something major for Montgomery to turn on Bryce and kill him, since Montgomery is always riding Bryce’s coattails.

3. Olivia Baker (Kate Walsh)

Hannah’s mom, Olivia, harbors a lot of hatred for Bryce. She tried so hard to get justice for her daughter by dedicating her life to winning the trial against the school, but the jury found the school district not responsible for Hannah’s death. Olivia’s next hope was to see Bryce convicted, if not for Hannah’s rape, then for Jessica’s. But his probation was just another injustice in her eyes. She’s the most likely adult who would go after Bryce after he escaped all consequences for his actions. She even said last season, “I don’t want Bryce Walker’s money. I want him dead.”

13 Reason Why Season 3
Credit: David Moir/Netflix

2. Tyler Down

But it’s Tyler who not only has access to guns, but also the motivation to actually kill someone. He came entirely too close to carrying out a school shooting at the end of season 2, walking up to the Spring Fling with a full arsenal. Clay and the others stopped him, but by helping him escape the authorities, he might not get the rehab and help he needs to overcome his violent revenge fantasies. Will he set his sights on Bryce in season 3?

13 Reason Why Season 3
Credit: David Moir/Netflix

1. Justin Foley (Brandon Flynn)

Who killed Bryce Walker? The most likely suspect is Justin. He still hasn’t been able to fully get revenge on Bryce for raping Hannah and Jessica, and he’s also been dealing with his anger and guilt over being complicit in Jessica’s rape. He’s on his way to turning his life around by testifying against Bryce and being adopted by Clay’s family, but he hasn’t been able to resist his heroin addiction. His anger, guilt, and addiction could drive him to doing something he’ll regret. Who can forget his ominous warning to Bryce last season: “I will do whatever I have to, to make you f–ing pay.” All signs are pointing to Justin as Bryce’s killer.

We’ll find out either way who the real killer is when 13 Reasons Why season 3 drops Aug. 23 on Netflix.

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Episode Recaps

Katherine Langford as Hannah Baker

13 Reasons Why

Based on the 2007 novel written by Jay Asher, the Netflix drama follows a teen named Clay who attempts to figure out what led his classmate and crush, Hannah, to commit suicide.

  • TV Show
  • 2
  • 26
  • TV-14
  • Brian Yorkey
  • Netflix
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