Why Did Lianne Mars Leave Neptune?

Status: Ongoing

After Lilly's death and Keith's removal from the sheriff's office, Lianne Mars had difficulty adjusting. With the loss of status, she wanted to move out of Neptune entirely, but Keith wanted to stay. It was implied that she drank a lot. She brought Veronica to a psychiatrist.

Then, she pulled Veronica out of school one day for no reason. Three days later, she was gone, only a music box and a note left behind. For Veronica, friendless, loveless, and now motherless, the blow was shattering. In the days to come, Veronica would be left to deal with her rape alone. Keith, too, was left with his life turned inside-out. He can count on Veronica for support, but there is so much he cannot share with her, and without his wife, he too is alone.

Veronica tried repeatedly to find her mother, with little success. She did succeed in sending her mother a prepaid cellphone and her mother left her a message - she said "I miss you, so much, more than you can possibly imagine," but "I don't want you to try and find me."

Later, Veronica found a key belonging to Lianne that led to a safety deposit box. The box contained photographs sent to Lianne - photos of Veronica, with a gunsight over her face.

Tracing those photographs back to where they were shot, Veronica figured out who took them: Clarence Wiedman, head of security at Kane Software.

Months later, Veronica kept getting prank phone calls, with only heavy breathing on the other end. Finally, by hitting *69 on her phone she found out that the calls came from a payphone in a bar in Barstow - the bartender said a "blonde woman" did it. Rushing to Barstow, Veronica was finally able to find her mother, drunk.

She wasn't alone. Veronica saw Clarence Wiedman exit seconds after she entered.

Mystery Summary as of 1.15 "Ruskie Business"

All summaries: 1.22 1.21 1.16 1.15 1.09 1.05 1.01

Clues for Why Did Lianne Mars Leave Neptune?

  • 1.01 "Pilot"
  • Lianne Mars wanted to leave Neptune after her husband Keith lost his reputation and his job as sheriff as a result of investigating Lilly Kane's murder and forming the belief that Lilly's father, Jake, was guilty.
  • Keith believes Jake is a liar based on earlier experience with him. Lianne dismisses this.
  • Lianne left town, abandoning her husband and her daughter, Veronica, a month after Keith was voted out of office.
  • Lianne left a note - "Veronica, I have to leave for a while. I'll be back for you soon. Love always, Mom." — and a unicorn music box for her daughter.
  • According to Logan Echolls, Lianne was known to drink, by implication, excessively.
  • Veronica learns that there is a connection between Jake and her missing mother, when she identifies Lianne as the mystery woman Jake visits at one in the morning at the Camelot Motel.
  • 1.03 "Meet John Smith"
  • Keith will not discuss with Veronica the question of what Lianne was doing at the motel with Jake or why he won't go and get her even though she is only in Arizona.
  • Veronica ascertains her mother's address in Arizona.
  • Lianne stayed in Arizona with an old college friend, Adrianna, but left a few weeks before because she thought Keith would come looking for her.
  • Adrianna tells Veronica that Lianne cares about her. Veronica is skeptical.
  • 1.05 "You Think You Know Somebody"
  • Lianne was disturbed by the news that Veronica was dating Duncan Kane.
  • Lianne tried to take Veronica to Palm Springs three days before she disappeared. At the time, Veronica thought the incident was just one more on the growing list of odd things her mom was doing and chalked her nerves up to the vodka.
  • Veronica finds a safety deposit key amongst her mother's things. She retrieves the contents.
  • There are candid photographs of Veronica taken by a professional who knew Veronica's schedule the year before. On each a bull's-eye target is drawn on Veronica.
  • Veronica considers whether her mother left, not because of Keith's disgrace, but because of the threat to her daughter.
  • Veronica assumes that her father is unaware of the photographs.
  • Keith tells Veronica that the reason he hasn't tried to find Lianne is because he may not want to.
  • Lianne calls Veronica and tells her that she does not want Veronica to find her. She adds that everything will make sense when the time is right.
  • 1.07 "The Girl Next Door"
  • The connection between Jake and Lianne goes back a long way.
  • In 1979, Jake and Lianne were high school sweethearts, king and queen of the prom, and the popular expectation was that they would marry.
  • Keith says, "A man's gotta be pretty committed to a woman, who would agree to raise another man's child." Does he speak from experience?
  • 1.08 "Like a Virgin"
  • Koontz, a former employee at Kane Industries, 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.
  • 1.09 "Drinking the Kool-Aid"
  • Veronica is not certain of her paternity and Duncan may be her half-brother.
  • 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 claims he didn't want Lianne to leave town and he doesn't know why she hid the photos.
  • Jake is sufficiently shaken by his encounter with Veronica to confront his wife, Celeste, in public, asking urgently and repeatedly, "What did you do?"
  • 1.15 "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."
  • Clarence Wiedman watches them.
  • 1.16 "Betty and Veronica"
  • Clarence Wiedman followed Veronica to Barstow, alerted by means of a bug in her bedroom.
  • Lianne is convinced that if she re-establishes contact with her daughter, Veronica's life will be in danger.
  • Lianne believes that Jake could not have murdered Lilly as at the supposed time of Lilly's murder, Lianne was with Jake at the Neptune Grand hotel.
  • Celeste confronted Jake and Lianne at the Neptune Grand hotel and was there at the hotel 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, alibis that are not consistent with Lianne's account.
  • Veronica now has reason to believe that her mother was chased from Neptune, partly or wholly, to protect the Kanes' false alibis.
  • Lianne Mars is no longer physically lost to Veronica but is in a rehabilitation center, paid for with Veronica's college savings.
  • 1.21 "A Trip to the Dentist"
  • Whatever Lianne's reasons for staying away, or leaving rehab, she finally comes home.
  • 1.22 "Leave It to Beaver"
  • Lianne failed to complete her course of treatment at the rehabilitation center.
  • Lianne continues to drink by filling her water bottle with alcohol.
  • Veronica orders Lianne to leave.
  • Lianne leaves, taking the bounty secured from the Kane family for finding Duncan, earmarked for Veronica's college fund.