Veronica Mars/The School Bus Disaster

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Following a field trip to a local baseball field, a school bus carrying six students, a teacher, and a busdriver crashes off the side of a cliff. Could foul play be involved?

Suspects

Logan Echolls

Logan Echolls is a much different person this year, after the events of last season. His father was having an affair with his girlfriend, Lilly Kane, and killed her. He gets into a fight with Weevil's biker gang and gets accused of the murder of Felix, who was stabbed. Someone, who Logan thinks is Weevil or one of his friends, put a shotgun blast through the window of his car. His new girlfriend, Veronica, recently dumped him because of his obsession with getting Weevil back.

Motive

Logan could be angry at Veronica, Duncan, or possibly others he thought would be on the bus.

Evidence For

  • Logan and Dick are closer friends this season than last. Dick is helping Logan try and get back at Weevil and his gang. Logan is noticeably more jaded and less cautious than last year. (2x01)
  • While they were leaving to go on the trip, Logan stops Veronica and Duncan and sarcastically congratulates them on their relationship. He tells them that he'd rather not go on the trip, and as they are walking off Logan whispers to Veronica, "I'm going to miss you," presumably referring to their recently ended relationship. Could this have implications as to something he knew was going to happen on the trip? (2x01)

Dick Casablancas

Dick Casablancas is a popular 09er and close friend of Logan. Dick could be motivated to try and kill Veronica and/or Duncan because of this friendship with Logan or possibly because Logan came up with the idea himself.

Evidence For

  • Dick invites several people, including Duncan and Veronica, to take his limo back from the field trip. Knowing that Veronica would likely turn down the invitation, due to his friendship with Logan, this would give Dick a perfect cover after the accident. (2x01)
  • On the trip out to the stadium, Dick complains to the teacher of a bad smell on the bus. Nobody else mentions — or even seems to notice — the smell. Could it have been an excuse to get off the bus for the trip home? (2x01)

Evidence Against

  • Duncan is able to convince Veronica to go home in the limo; she only turns down the invitation so she can have an opportunity to speak with Meg, who blames Veronica for her breakup with Duncan. If Dick wanted to kill Veronica, this seems like too risky of a plan. (2x01)

Ed Doyle

Ed Doyle was the bus driver at the time of the accident. He lived in the less wealthy section of Neptune and had a wife, son and daughter. Not much is known about Doyle aside from his apparent emotional problems. It is revealed later in the episode that he was having an affair with Carla Cotter, a woman who lived in the same apartment complex as his family.

Evidence For

  • The lack of skidmarks imply that this was no accident. Had there been skidmarks, it would have indicated possibly another vehicle in the oncoming lane and that this may have been him swerving out of the way. As there were none, this implies that he had either full intent on going straight through the barrier (or may not have been conscious, or the brakes may have been disabled). (2x02)
  • Ed has a history of "mental illness" (the sheriff's words) and marital problems, and attempted suicide on one occasion. (2x02)
  • Doyle had previously been diagnosed with depression and was prescribed antidepressants. His prescription was never filled. (2x02)
  • An apparent suicide note was found saved on Doyle's computer. (2x02)

Evidence Against

  • Doyle had called Carla Cotter from the convenience store and told her that he was going to see her that night. Unless the decision to kill himself was made at the spur of the moment, he had no intention of doing such a thing. (2x02)
  • The suicide note found could easily be applied to his desire to leave his wife so that he could start a new life with Carla. Carla explains that he wanted to, and she wanted him to, but he couldn't leave his children with his wife. (2x02)
  • Michelle, a girl at Neptune High, had received a call from crash victim Rhonda, at the time of the crash. She let it go to voicemail, and Rhonda left a message in which an explosion is audible right before the bus crashed over the cliff. This appears to suggest sabotage - Veronica concludes that it is. (2x05)

Curly Moran

Curly Moran is a former stunt coordinator who most recently worked at an auto body shop. He was seen at the memorial for the bus crash lighting a candle. Later, he was found dead, washed up on the beach.

Motive

Appears to be friendly with Aaron Echolls, and it's possible he was trying to kill Veronica at Aaron Echolls' behest.

Evidence For

  • Was found beaten to death with the words "Veronica Mars" written on his hand when he washed up on shore. (2x02)
    • We have previously seen that Aaron Echolls is not afraid of viciously beating those who cross him or his family, although it has been stated that he is behind bars (2x01).
  • Seen at the bus crash memorial, lighting a candle for the victims. (2x02)
  • Has an autographed picture of Aaron Echolls in his work area at Symbolic Motor Car Company. (2x03)
  • Worked as a stunt coordinator on an Aaron Echolls movie in which a semi truck careens off of a cliff. (2x03)
  • He was last seen at a biker bar where Weevil's earring was later found. (2x03)
  • Weevil received a tip from an anonymous phone call that Curly Moran was behind the bus crash. (2x04)

Terrence Cook

Terrence Cook is Jackie Cook's father and is a popular baseball player for Woody Goodman's team. He was first seen arguing with Woody while the journalism class was at the stadium.

Motive

Terrance was dating the journalism teacher, who was attempting to get him to leave his fiancée. If he had the bus blown up, it was to silence her before she could ruin his career and marriage by outing his gambling problems.

Evidence For

  • Terrance was involved with the journalism teacher and was seen with her before the bus was destroyed. Lamb claims that he put the bomb in a bag of autographs and collectables and detonated it remotely. (2x13)
  • Blasting caps for explosives were found in the hanger that he uses to store his cars. (2x14)
  • Terrance was found breaking into the home of the journalism teacher in San Francisco. (2x15)

Evidence Against

  • At the time that the bomb went off on the bus, Terrence was in a casino where cell phone coverage is blocked. It's possible that he detonated the bomb using a pay phone, but that seems unlikely. (2x14)
  • Why would Terrance keep the evidence from the explosives in the same locker that he keeps the cloth that he has his car detailer use? For that matter, why would he keep them at all? (2x15)

Woody Goodman

Woody Goodman is the man was elected as the equivalent of Mayor in Neptune. He plans to attempt to transform Neptune into a full-fledged city, but his plans would cut out the less affluent part of town and essentially create an 09er city.

Motive

Unclear.

Evidence For

  • Woody told Gia not to take the bus home. (2x12)
  • The explosives found in the hanger that Terrance Cook keeps his cars is actually owned by Woody Goodman. It's presumed that he would have access to it. (2x14)
  • Woody called his daughter Gia moments before the bus crash to find out where she was. (2x19)

Evidence Against

  • He asks Keith to clear Terrance's name. (2x17)

Other Involvement

  • The school bus left from a trip at Shark Field with Woody.
  • Woody sends Keith on a wild goose chase to figure out who sent him a threatening video. (2x17)
  • Woody had a multi-million dollar settlement with Rhonda's parents after allegedly finding a finger in a Ribwich. (Rhonda died in the crash.) (2x18)

Eli "Weevil" Navarro

Motive

Killing Logan, who he thought killed Felix.

Evidence For

  • Weevil was caught on tape beating up Curly. (2x12)
  • We know Weevil did try to kill Felix's killer. (2x17)
  • Weevil was following the bus. (2x18)
  • Weevil had The Anarchist Cookbook confiscated from his locker around then. (2x19)

Evidence Against

  • Weevil was scared off by the man who was trying to kill Curly.
  • Weevil swears he was just trying to protect Cervando. (2x19)

Kendall Casablancas

Motive

Needs money.

Evidence For

  • Huge life insurance policy. (2x19)
  • Life of crime. (2x19)
  • Working with the Fitzpatricks. (2x19)

Evidence Against

  • Her kids weren't on the bus.

Liam Fitzpatrick

Motive

Cervando owed him money.

Evidence For

  • His car was seen moments before the bus crash. (2x19)

Lucky

Motive

Crazy. Wanted to kill Gia?

Evidence For

  • Supposedly placed a similar bomb under Woody's car. (2x21)

Evidence Against

  • Was in a padded cell at the time. (2x21)