For an ABC Family show about four teenagers in small town Pennsylvania, Pretty Little Liars sure does have a high body count. What started with one murder (Alison’s) has grown into many, many more — so many, in fact, it can be hard to keep track. But we’re here to help you out! Here’s a handy little murder guide to who has been whacked so far in Rosewood.
Who: The Liars’ emotionally manipulative BFF, Alison was murdered prior to the show’s start, forcing a year-long estrangement between Spencer, Emily, Hanna, and Aria. We were hesitant to put Ali on here because, according to Mrs. Grunwald, Ali isn’t really dead. But, until we see Ali alive and kicking, we’re still counting her amongst the deceased. After all, the police have now found and identified her body not once, but twice.
How: Ali was found with a blow to the head (allegedly a shovel), but died from suffocation as evidenced by the dirt in her lungs.
Why: Motive unknown.
When: Ali disappeared one year before the events of the pilot, but her body was discovered (the first time) in the pilot episode, buried behind the DiLaurentis house.
Who: Melissa Hastings’ fiance, Ali’s ex-affair, and N.A.T. member, Ian was a total creeper who seemed to regularly prey on underage girls.
How: While trying to kill Spencer off of the church’s bell tower, Ian is pushed off of the landing by a hooded figure. His neck becomes caught in the ropes, and he is strangled to death.
Why: Unknown, possibly because he was trying to kill Spencer.
When: Season 1, Episode 22: “For Whom the Bell Tolls”
Maya St. Germain
Who: Maya was a free spirit who moved into the DiLaurentis house and won Emily’s heart.
How: She was killed by her stalker-boyfriend from rehab, Lyndon James.
Why: For choosing Emily over Lyndon.
When: Season 2, Episode 25: “UnmAsked”
Lyndon James/Nate St. Germain
Who: Aforementioned stalker-boyfriend of Maya, Lyndon moved to town shortly after Maya’s death posing as her cousin, Nate St. Germain. Emily grows closer to him because of what she sees as shared misery over Maya’s death.
How: In the Season 3 finale, Lyndon kidnaps Paige and plans to kill her in front of Emily. Emily manages to escape and lead Lyndon up a nearby lighthouse where she stabs him.
When: Season 3, Episode 12: “The Lady Killer”
Who: Local policeman, Emily’s neighbor, and member of the N.A.T. Club, Garrett initially seems to be the Liars’ ally only to eventually reveal that his allegiance lies with Jenna and Melissa.
How: Garrett was killed on the Halloween train, and stuffed into a box with Aria
Why: For knowing too much, and possibly for talking to Spencer about it.
When: Season 3, Episode 13: “This is a Dark Ride”
Who: Detective Wilden was the douchebag detective who had been investigating Ali’s murder since the PLL pilot. He also regularly harassed the Liars (once as The Queen of Hearts), and was somehow allied with Melissa, Jenna, and Shana. Melissa claims the girls were afraid of him.
How: Wilden was shot by the Rosewood lake and later found in or near his police cruiser
Why: Unknown (possibly for being a jerk).
Honorable mention goes to… basically the rest of the cast, most of whom have only narrowly escaped death. Here is a quick list of almost-victims, and the manner of murder attempted against them.
Jenna Marshall: attempted murder by drowning
Aria Montgomery: attempted murder on Halloween train
Jason DiLaurentis: attempted murder by elevator “accident”
Hanna Marin: attempted murder by car
Emily Fields: attempted murder by car, elevator “accident”
Mona Vanderwaal: attempted murder by choking
Ella Montgomery: attempted murder by bee (okay, she probably wouldn’t have died from this, but we’ve seen My Girl - we’re not taking anything for granted!)
Pam Fields: attempted murder by car (into house)
Did we miss anyone? Who might be next? Sound off in the comments below!