The joy of murder podcasts is the whodunit of it all. It’s a puzzle for the listener to solve, a gripping story of a life cut short and the drama of figuring out why. For bored New Yorkers trapped inside their apartments, tales like the one told on the fictional podcast All Is Not Okay In Oklahoma offer the exotic escape of the faraway lands of Middle America while letting them feel clever by figuring out the killer before the reveal. But when an actual murder goes down inside their own complex, every neighbor starts looking like a suspect on Only Murders In The Building. So, who killed Tim Kono? Let’s talk theories.
Warning: Spoilers for Only Murders In The Building Episodes 1 through 3 follow. Our intrepid podcaster sleuths are Charles (14th floor), Mabel (12th floor), and Oliver (10th floor). The deceased, Tim Kono, lived on the 8th floor and was killed either just before or during the fire alarm going off across the complex. As Charles, Oliver, and Mabel put together their podcast deep-diving into Kono’s history and the suspects involved, nearly everyone they think of comes from inside the building. They’re either a neighbor seen at the memorial service in the lobby or someone floating around in the building who was spotted the night of Kono’s death.
The question is, how do you narrow down such a list? Do you carve it down like a marble elephant or cast it like A Chorus Line? And how likely are these suspects to have committed the crime? Let’s run down the possibilities after the first three episodes, from least to most likely.
12. Dr. Grover Stanley
The needy therapist might have bumped off Tim to get a few new clients, preferably ones who use Venmo and not Zelle. But this isn’t a very sustainable business model, so it doesn’t seem likely.
Sting hasn’t killed anything since the 1984 version of Dune. On the other hand, with a 2021 version coming out, he might be feeling feisty. Either way, I’m worried about Winnie.
She wouldn’t be the first New Yorker to kill for a good apartment, but Oliver is correct. No one wants a murder podcast about real estate!
Tim Kono’s asthma was keeping her from using her fireplace and ruined Christmas as a result. He also once yelled at her for smoking. Plus, she flicks off everyone she meets — totally sus.
The mailroom lady clearly despised Tim Kono, perhaps because he told her just how disgusting Gut Milk sounds.
She’s already looking to kick out Oliver for non-payment because she wants his unit. Moreover, Tim Kono was having financial trouble, possibly fencing jewelry in some fashion using the old Hardy Boys library he got from Mabel when they were kids. With his parents in Japan, the best way to get that apartment back might have been death.
The death of Howard’s cat, Evelyn, hurt the whole building and deprived at least a few of his neighbors of adorable Instagram photos — and some are blaming known cat-hater Tim Kono for her loss. Howard may not be good with blood, but revenge can change a man, and could anyone blame him?
5. Mr. Torres
Oscar’s father, the building superintendent, had the means (a key to every unit) and the motive: No one but Tim knew there was another suspect besides Oscar who could have murdered Zoe, but Tim refused to speak up about it. That decision led to his son going away for 10 years for a crime he might not have committed. Did Mr. Torres try to even the score?
The actor hasn’t had a hit since his turn in the 1990s police procedural, Brazzos. His character was known for solving murders; as the years have gone on, there’s an evident blurring of the lines where Charles ends and his character begins. So why not stage a comeback by solving a crime in his own building? It could even lead to a Brazzos revival series in which he returns to the force 25 years later.
The ex-Broadway producer has needed a hit since Splash: The Musical flopped. He’s desperate for money, even begging his adult son for funds. Moreover, he’s hitting up his old patron Teddy for sponsorship of the podcast, clearly banking on a new media hit. Considering that popular murder podcasts go on to be HBO limited series and Netflix specials, which then turn into I.D. 12-part TV shows and Lifetime movies, there’s real money to be made in murdering a neighbor.
Unlike everyone else on this list, Mabel knew Tim really well, and she actually liked him as a human being — or at least she did once upon a time. But their falling out and his refusal to do anything for Oscar after Tim was responsible for him going to jail for allegedly killing Zoe might have changed those feelings from love to hate.
But then again, Mabel also believes she may be the next one to die, so maybe it’s not her after all.
Could you fault Oscar for wanting revenge against the guy who didn’t stop him from going to jail? As things stand right now, Oscar is the main suspect in the death of Tim Kono. No further questions at this time.
Only Murders In The Building streams new episodes every Tuesday on Hulu.