Who Killed Lilly Kane?

Status: Ongoing

A true free spirit, Lilly Kane was the daughter of software billionaire, Jake Kane. She was a bright, sexy, fun-loving girl. She had a strained relationship with her mother Celeste, a woman for whom social standing and decorum was all. Lilly's circle of friends included her brother Duncan, her boyfriend Logan Echolls and her best friend, Veronica Mars. On the day she died, Lilly was high on life and had a secret.

The town of Neptune, much in debt to the Kane family for the success of many of its inhabitants, was shocked when, on October 3rd, 2003, Lilly was murdered. Someone had dealt her a deadly blow and her body was discovered that night by the Kane family pool. The public story of the death of Lilly Kane ended with the conviction of Abel Koontz, a disgruntled former employee of Kane Software, when items belonging to Lilly were found in his possession and he confessed the crime.

The public story tells nothing of the truth.
The truth was that the effect Lilly's death had on those who knew her was devastating. It ruined the Mars family, split asunder by Sheriff Keith Mars' conviction that Jake Kane was involved in the murder. Keith lost his job, his good name, his wife, and made an outcast of his supportive daughter. It ruined Duncan who took refuge in a colorless life of drug-induced suppression of emotion. It ruined Logan who turned to malevolence and hate to ease his pain. It touched many of the citizens of Neptune.

Is the public story is a lie?
Keith Mars thinks so and Veronica Mars has faith in her father, a faith confirmed when she finds that Lilly's time of death is off by at least two hours, nullifying the collected alibis. The real killer is still at large.

Lilly Kane's death defines Veronica's life; a life turned as sour as her relations with her former friends, as spiky as her shorn locks, and as empty as her mother's place at the family table. It is a life that pretty much sucks. Only the truth will allow Veronica to find new meaning so she searches for the truth, whatever the cost.

Mystery Summary as of 1.04 "The Wrath of Con"

All summaries: 1.22 1.21 1.20 1.17 1.16 1.15 1.14 1.12 1.11 1.06 1.04 1.03 1.02 1.01

Clues for Who Killed Lilly Kane?

  • 1.01 "Pilot"
  • Jake Kane is a local billionaire.
  • Jake's son Duncan was Veronica's boyfriend.
  • Jake's daughter Lilly was Veronica's best friend.
  • The last thing Lilly told Veronica was that she had a secret.
  • At the time of the murder, Keith Mars was sheriff.
  • Lilly's body was found lying by the family pool. She had a severe head wound.
  • Lilly was still wearing the pep squad uniform that she had been wearing earlier in the day, the same uniform as Veronica was wearing.
  • Duncan was nearly catatonic at the scene.
  • Lilly's murder was a cause célèbres, making the cover of People magazine.
  • Keith was perceived as having bungled the investigation by going after the wrong man - Jake.
  • Six weeks after Lilly's murder, the crime scene video was leaked and turned up on the Internet, for which Keith took the blame.
  • Keith was forcibly removed from office.
  • Abel Koontz, a former employee described by the press as disgruntled, was arrested for the murder after shoes and a backpack belonging to Lilly were found on his houseboat by Keith's successor, Sheriff Sheriff Don Lamb.
  • Keith's belief that Jake is a liar is not newly acquired ("The man is a liar, nothing changes").
  • Half the people in town owe their fortunes to Jake.
  • Keith is still investigating the murder of Lilly Kane.
  • Koontz confessed to the murder and is on death row.
  • Veronica learns that there is a connection between Jake and her missing mother, when she identifies Lianne Mars as the mystery woman Jake visits at one in the morning at the Camelot Motel.
  • 1.02 "Credit Where Credit's Due"
  • Lilly was murdered on October 3, 2003.
  • An anonymous tip led Sheriff Lamb to Koontz's houseboat.
  • There was a $100,000 award for information regarding Lilly's killer. It was never collected.
  • Eyewitnesses and phone records place Jake nowhere near the house at the supposed time of the murder.
  • The whereabouts of Duncan and Celeste Kane, Lilly's mother, are also accounted for at the supposed time of the murder.
  • According to Lilly, Celeste would hate anyone who Duncan might love as much as he loves his mother.
  • Lilly had incurred a number of parking tickets and a moving violation prior to her death.
  • Keith told Jake in the interrogation room that he was sure that Jake was somehow involved in his daughter's death.
  • Jake went to the media to protest his innocence and it was after this that Keith lost his job.
  • An automated intersection camera caught Lilly running a red light at 6:02 PM on the day of her murder, almost two hours after the supposed time of death.
  • Lilly was singing and smiling on the final day of her life.
  • Suddenly none of the Kanes have alibis that hold up — Jake, Celeste, Duncan.
  • Keith was right. The case doesn't add up.
  • 1.03 "Meet John Smith"
  • Duncan Kane has been on antidepressants for the last six months. He decides to come off them cold turkey.
  • Six years ago, Duncan was forced to give up his dog because its natural functions inconvenienced the senior Kanes.
  • Duncan has a withdrawal-induced dream/hallucination of Lilly who tells him that the story about her death doesn't add up and that the truth will come out. As a result, Duncan goes back on the anti-depressants.
  • 1.04 "The Wrath of Con"
  • Duncan and Jake are both deeply affected by Logan's tribute video for Lilly's memorial service.
  • Celeste is less affected and her only response appears to be irritation as to the images shown of her daughter, particularly the very lively images of the free-spirited Lilly shortly before her death.
  • Weevil is also very affected and sheds tears suggesting that he had his own connection with Lilly.
  • 1.05 "You Think You Know Somebody"
  • Veronica discovers candid photographs of herself in her mother's safety deposit box. The pictures have a bull's-eye target drawn on them.
  • Veronica considers whether her mother left, not because of Keith's disgrace, but because of the threat to her daughter, and that someone was responsible for that action.
  • 1.06 "Return of the Kane"
  • Koontz does not want to appeal his conviction and has fired his court-appointed lawyer, Cliff McCormack.
  • The crime scene photographs of Lilly's bedroom include a photograph of a post-it note upon which was written: Meet Veronica. Call about Pilates session. Meet Duncan for coffee.
  • Comparing video of Koontz's arrest with the crime scene photographs, Veronica discovers that the shoes found on Koontz's houseboat that were used as evidence against him were still in Lilly's room the night of her murder.
  • 1.07 "The Girl Next Door"
  • In 1979, Jake and Lianne were high school sweethearts, king and queen of the prom, and the popular expectation was that they would marry.
  • When Veronica asks Duncan if he knew Jake and Lianne were "king and queen of the prom", she believed his response was evasive.
  • 1.08 "Like a Virgin"
  • Veronica tells Koontz she knows he is innocent.
  • Koontz is not interested in being cleared.
  • Koontz alleges that Lianne used to visit Jake during lunch hours. This would indicate the connection between them lasted long after high school.
  • Koontz alleges that Veronica is Jake's daughter.
  • Koontz uses exactly the same phrase to describe Veronica's heritage as she herself used when she asked Duncan if he knew: the product of "the king and queen of the prom."
  • 1.09 "Drinking the Kool-Aid"
  • Clarence Wiedman, head of security at Kane Software, was responsible for the photographs in Lianne's safety deposit box.
  • 1.10 "An Echolls Family Christmas"
  • When Veronica confronts Jake about the photographs from Lianne's safety deposit box taken by Wiedman, he denies any knowledge of the matter.
  • Jake is sufficiently shaken by his encounter with Veronica to confront his wife, Celeste, in public, asking urgently and repeatedly, "What did you do?"
  • 1.11 "Silence of the Lamb"
  • Wiedman was responsible for the anonymous tip that alerted the Sheriff's Department to Koontz.
  • 1.12 "Clash of the Tritons"
  • Weevil and Lilly were involved during one of Lilly's breakups with Logan. She promised she would not go back to Logan, but in fact did so.
  • After she went back to Logan, Lilly complained to the school about emails Weevil sent her to ensure that they did not share the same classes.
  • Logan blames Veronica for Lilly's death because it was Veronica who told Lilly that he kissed another girl at a party. As a result, they were not together the night of the murder and had he been there, Lilly would not have died.
  • Duncan has no memory of events between the morning of the day of Lilly's murder and three days later in the limo (presumably en route to or from the funeral).
  • Logan also blames himself for being stupid at the party and Lilly for being a bitch and leaving him to go to the party alone.
  • Duncan discloses to the school counselor, Rebecca James, that he has stopped taking anti-depressants but confirms that he still takes his "old" medication to control his episodes.
  • 1.13 "Lord of the Bling"
  • Yolanda Hamilton was the person Logan kissed at a party, which led to his and Lilly's last breakup just prior to her death.
  • 1.14 "Mars vs. Mars"
  • Some time between her breakup from Duncan and Lilly's murder, Duncan was brought to a hospital, kicking and screaming, foaming at the mouth and calling out Veronica's name.
  • Duncan's medical records show that he is taking oxcarbazepine, a drug used to treat type IV epilepsy. Symptoms include hysterical violent emotional fits that can't be controlled and are often accompanied by complete blackouts and loss of memory.
  • Duncan and Koontz have the same doctor.
  • Koontz's medical records show that he is dying, a matter of which he has been aware since before his confession.
  • When Veronica accuses Koontz of being a patsy, he is at a loss for words.
  • 1.15 "Ruskie Business"
  • Someone has been calling Veronica's cell phone for a week and hanging up without speaking.
  • By dialing the code for 'last number' after another hang up call, Veronica is informed that it was a blonde woman at the Sagebrush Cantina in Barstow who last used the phone.
  • Veronica finds Lianne there. She is drunk and shabby-looking.
  • Lianne's response to her discovery is fear. "Veronica. Oh my god no. No. Please. No. No. I can't be seen with you. They are going to hurt you."
  • Wiedman watches them.
  • 1.16 "Betty and Veronica"
  • Clarence Wiedman followed Veronica to Barstow, alerted by means of a bug in her bedroom.
  • Lianne was with Jake at the supposed time of Lilly's murder at the Neptune Grand hotel.
  • Lianne forced the meeting with Jake after she intercepted Celeste's attempt to contact Veronica to give her information about Lianne and Jake.
  • Lianne denies that on the date of Lilly's murder, she was having an affair with Jake.
  • Celeste confronted Jake and Lianne at the Neptune Grand hotel and was there for about 20 minutes.
  • Jake and Celeste provided each other with alibis on the day of Lilly's death by claiming that they had spent two to two and a half hours together at the Neptune Grand, although when questioned, they gave inconsistent accounts.
  • Veronica now has reason to believe that her mother was chased from Neptune, in part or wholly, to protect the Kanes' false alibis.
  • Abel Koontz has a daughter, Amelia DeLongpre.
  • Clarence Wiedman seeks to contact Amelia DeLongpre.
  • 1.17 "Kanes and Abel's"
  • Amelia DeLongpre is expecting to receive a $3,000,000 settlement from Kane Software.
  • Logan Echolls has an alibi for Lilly's murder for which there are two witnesses; he was out of the country.
  • Koontz alleged to his family that Kane Software cheated him out of the patent for streaming video and he became obsessed with developing a program that would put Kane out of business.
  • Koontz's wife took their daughter and divorced him after he struck her for spilling coffee on his work.
  • Duncan had begged his parents to sell the house to avoid the spot where Lilly died but now finds it a place of peace and feels that when there, Lilly is with him.
  • Koontz has stomach cancer and only three months to live.
  • Cell phone records showed Jake Kane called Clarence Wiedman five minutes before the time Jake said he arrived home on the night of the murder.
  • Keith was not confident of the coroner's finding as regards time of death.
  • Logan states that in the week when Duncan dumped Veronica, he witnessed a violent scene where Duncan was choking Jake which Duncan did not remember afterwards.
  • Clarence Wiedman has taken possession of the Kane settlement documents that were in the possession of Amelia's mother.
  • On the night of the murder, Jake alleged that he and Celeste came home five to ten minutes before finding Lilly's body.
  • On the night of the murder, Celeste alleged that Duncan was home before them but had not gone out to the pool and was in the shower when they arrived home.
  • Keith discovered that Duncan's soccer uniform was being freshly laundered by the Kanes.
  • 1.18 "Weapons of Class Destruction"
  • Duncan learns that Veronica believes Koontz was paid to confess to the murder of Lilly.
  • On realizing Veronica's suspicion of him in the death of his sister, an angry Duncan shouts, "What, you think I'm going to have another episode and kill you too?"
  • Duncan appears horrified and panic-stricken at the thought that he may have killed Lilly.
  • After drawing a significant amount of cash from his bank account, Duncan disappears.
  • 1.19 "Hot Dogs"
  • Celeste cannot bear to look at Veronica because she represents Jake and Lianne's infidelity.
  • Weevil breaks into Lilly Kane's bedroom to retrieve a hollowed out pen that he and Lilly used to exchange messages. When Weevil gives the pen to Veronica, it is empty.
  • Keith did not consider Weevil a suspect in the original investigation because he had an alibi. He was on community service detail from 8 am to 2 pm, which ruled him out for the original (wrong) time of death estimate.
  • Lilly loved guys and did not love Logan as he loved her.
  • Because her parents worshipped Duncan and only tolerated her, Lilly loved to piss her parents off and a relationship with Weevil would have been perfect for that.
  • 1.20 "M.A.D."
  • The Kanes have offered a $50,000 finder's fee for the missing Duncan.
  • 1.21 "A Trip to the Dentist"
  • In the course of a confrontation, Weevil tells Logan not to "lay a hand" on Veronica like he did Lilly.
  • Keith finds Duncan in Cuba and delivers him back to Celeste Kane in Neptune.
  • Having previously stated that he remembered nothing of the time of Lilly's murder, Duncan now states that he knows he did not kill Lilly.
  • Veronica has a Cuba poster on her bedroom wall.
  • Keith has been searching for a prostitute named Cheyenne for over a year who, he believes, was with Abel Koontz at the time Lilly was murdered. This is based on phone records showing that Cheyenne and Koontz met at the same time every week.
  • Keith finds Cheyenne in Las Vegas.
  • Keith attempts to persuade Cheyenne to come forward to clear Koontz.
  • Before Lilly's murder, Celeste told Duncan that Veronica was his sister. It is not known if Celeste or Duncan told Lilly.
  • In a bedroom at the Echolls' home, there is secret videotaping equipment in one of the bedrooms, trained on the bed.
  • Logan claims to bring all his short (of stature) conquests to this bedroom. Lilly was 5'3".
  • The bedroom contains a locked liquor cabinet, to which Logan has access by means of a hidden key, and curtains imprinted with a photograph of Lynn, Aaron, Logan and Trina.
  • When Logan gets the key for the liquor cabinet from its hiding place behind a vent, Veronica recognizes Lilly in the action and says he learned the trick from her. Logan corrects her by saying Lilly learned it from him.
  • 1.22 "Leave It to Beaver"
  • Cheyenne aka Deborah Collins comes forward to confirm that Abel Koontz was with her at the time of the murder.
  • Duncan demands the truth about Lilly's death from Jake and Celeste.
  • Jake tells Duncan that he killed his sister accidentally in the course of a fit. Jake says that they have since sought to protect his future.
  • Jake and Celeste arrived home on the day of Lilly's murder and found Duncan covered in blood, cradling her body.
  • Logan's alibi, that he was in Mexico with Beaver and Dick on the day Lilly died, was false. Beaver reports that Logan was worked up in the knowledge that Lilly was seeing someone else and returned to Neptune that day to see her.
  • While on the same trip to Mexico, Logan bought Lilly a shot glass, to add to her collection. It said "I Got Baked in Ensenada" and was found amongst Lilly's possessions in her car.
  • Sheriff Lamb tells Aaron Echolls that he has a warrant to search Logan's room, including the air conditioning vents, such location being where the snitch says things may be hidden.
  • Logan is arrested but released due to lack of evidence.
  • Logan confirms that he returned to Neptune the day Lilly died. He knew she was seeing someone but did not know if he was going to scream at her for treating him like dirt or beg her to take him back. He observed her at the carwash from across the road and decided that things were over. He wrote a note to Lilly and left it in her car with the shot glass.
  • The break up note was never discovered.
  • Veronica recalls Lilly using the air conditioning vent in her room as a hiding place from Celeste.
  • Disguised at a waitress at a function at the Kane home, Veronica sneaks into Lilly's room to try and find the note but not before a tray she was carrying falls and makes a loud noise.
  • Unknown to Veronica and Duncan, who finds her in Lilly's room, they are being observed by someone hiding in the closet.
  • In Lilly's room, some of the screws to the air vents have already been loosened.
  • Veronica discovers tapes in the vents.
  • The tape dated 3 October 2003 shows Lilly in the bedroom at the Echolls home where the videotaping equipment was set up. Lilly discovers the cameras.
  • The tape dated 1 October 2003 shows Lilly having sex with Aaron Echolls.
  • Veronica surmises that Lilly took the tapes when she discovered them and took them home. Aaron followed and demanded the tapes back. Lilly refused and threatened to expose him. Aaron hit her and killed her with a large ashtray which he then threw into the pool.
  • Aaron tries to recover the tapes from Veronica by force but fails when Keith intervenes.
  • Aaron is arrested for the murder of Lilly.
  • Jake is arrested for obstruction of justice.
  • 2.06 "Rat Saw God"
  • Aaron prepares for his trial in Season Two. See "Psycho Murderer or Just Psycho?".