7. The PI did it
The PI didn’t do it. Not in real life, and not on the show. It’s a nice twist towards the end when Theodora (Noma Dumezweni) confesses to Dean, but it’s made very clear just after that this confession was only to try and give Dean and Nora some peace of mind, so not knowing doesn’t eat them up away. In real life, the Broaddus hired experts, including a PI and a few former FBI agents, but it was never suggested they had anything to do with it.
6. The house did it
Carry with us. The show definitely gives the idea that the house is somehow haunted. On the show, a man living in the house had a massive breakdown after his child reported seeing a baby slaughtered in the tunnels under the house and his wife committing suicide. This resident was also plagued by letters from The Watcher. Then there was John Graff who (on the show) lived in the house in the early ’90s, lost his job, was harassed by The Watcher and killed his family (more on him later). Decades later, 16-year-old Ellie Brannock (Isabel Gravitt) finds and wears a random lipstick, in a way related to murdered 17-year-old Pat Graff. Obviously the house hasn’t developed literacy and opposable thumbs, but there are definite Overlook Hotel vibes. Could it be that the house is driving its residents crazy? That Dean is destined to become The Watcher if he stays too long? Is it the former resident, driven mad, who sends the letters until it’s time for Dean to take over? We like this theory. Though of course it’s nonsense.
5. Mitch and Mo did it
Did the tracksuit of madmen from across the street send the letters to the Brannocks? Possibly, although we learn that they didn’t move to the neighborhood until 1996 (which makes all the talk of the 60s a bit preposterous). Former resident Andrew Pierce says his son told him he saw Mo and a bunch of other old folks kill a baby and drink his blood. He also says he ran into Mo in the tunnels under the house. But Pierce is not a very credible witness. Mitch and Mo don’t really have a motive for being The Watcher. And Mo has cancer, which Theodora certainly thinks would make her less likely to waste her energy evicting the family. Mitch and Mo are stand-ins for several Westfield neighbors who were acting strangely around the time of The Watcher. So in terms of how plausible this theory is, it’s 50-50. Do we think it was always about a blood pact? No. Could it be one of the Westfield crazies? Very much yes.
4. The broker did it
Within the confines of the show, this makes some sense. Real estate agent Karen (Jennifer Coolidge) is jealous of the wealthier Brannock family, has a motive to buy the house back quickly and cheaply through an LLC and turn it over for a huge profit, and has enough access to the family to be able to. include details in the letter. By the end it’s clear it’s not Karen, in fact she’s just taking advantage of an already difficult situation. In reality, it’s not super likely either. Although the Broaddus’ used the same real estate agent when they finally sold the house (not to an LLC, to a young family) five years later.
3. The teacher did it
This is a strange twist in the story. Could former teacher Roger Kaplan (Michael Nouri), who wrote love letters to a house in Westfield, be responsible? In the show, Kaplan admired a particular house from childhood, but was unable to buy it due to a higher bid when it became available. After many years of writing “Ode to a Home” poems, Kaplan suddenly becomes mean when the homeowner gets a divorce, hoping to chase her out. Kaplan’s ex-wife definitely thinks he’s responsible. In real life, there was a teacher Robert Kaplow who taught his students “Ode to a House” as one of his lessons, encouraging them to write poems focused on property. So letters are definitely his MO, and an obsession with architecture also fits. But the Ode to a House letters were all positive, and Kaplow was simply a much-loved teacher in every way.
2. John Graff did it
John Graff has definitely done both and certainly hasn’t. In the show, Graff is a man who killed his family, a religious obsessive who hates change. And we see him escape the tunnels under 657 Boulevard, only to show up at Pearl and Jasper’s house and say the phrase “they’re coming for us.” So while the show’s ending reiterates that the case was never resolved, the story clearly points to Graff. Which isn’t really helpful for viewers interested in the real thing, as Graff is based on a real-life family destroyer, John List, and John List died in 2008 and had nothing to do with The Watcher