I just read The Long Halloween, and I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to piece together who the killer(s) was/were. So, I wanted to put my thoughts down in writing, and see what others think. So, if you have any pet theories, feel free to post them here. In particular, I feel like my thought process is missing something, but I can’t put my finger on what, so if you can poke holes in it, be my guest.
So, we have three accounts:
Alberto Falcone: Claims to have committed all the murders. Definitely responsible for the second Halloween, but since Batman stopped him, may not have killed anyone.
Two-Face: Says there were two Holiday Killers. Could refer to his own killing of Carmine Falcone, two people committing the ten successful Holiday killings, or two people committing all thirteen incidents.
Gilda Dent: Is not talking to anyone and thus has no reason to lie, but may be delusional or mistaken. Claims she committed the first murders and then Harvey took over. Also claims that she was inspired by Harvey’s files. Thus, by her own account, she cannot have been the first killer, because those files were in reference to something.
A few other tidbits:
In general: The Dents have some equipment in their house suggesting that at least one of them was making the kind of guns used in the killings.
Thanksgiving: The people who blew up the Dents’ house were the next to die immediately afterwards.
New Year’s Eve: Alberto could have faked his death or simply survived. However…
Independence Day: No one but Alberto has a motive for killing the coroner. I think it’s extremely likely that Alberto was responsible for at least the Independence Day killilng.
Now, the question is, of our three sets of testimony, who can we believe? The answer is obvious. It’s all over the book.
I believe in Harvey Dent.
That line is harped on too much to just be a Godfather reference. The “I believe in Gotham City” bit at the beginning, sure. But not the references to specific people.
So, I propose that Loeb is telling us that Two-Face is right: there were two Holiday Killers. So, I’m going to rule out that he was just referring to his own murder of the Roman.
Now, theoretically, this would support Gilda’s version of events, right? Not quite. I still am fairly confident that Alberto committed the Independence Day killing. Assuming Gilda’s not completely delusional, that means that she committed the killings she thought she did, but Alberto committed the killings she thought Harvey was responsible for. Here’s my breakdown:
Halloween: Alberto Falcone kills Johnny Viti.
Thanksgiving-Christmas: Gilda Dent kills the bombers.
New Year’s Eve: Gilda either makes an unsuccessful attempt on Alberto’s life, or Alberto fakes his own death and Gilda doesn’t kill on New Year’s Day because that would give away that there’s more than one killer.
Valentine’s Day-Mother’s Day: Gilda continues the killing (except for April Fool’s Day, of course), and, being desperate for a child as is pointed out several times, chooses to wrap up her spree on Mother’s Day with the murder of the guy who sold her the guns she used.
Father’s Day: Alberto, acting out of bitterness towards his father, begins his actual string of killings here with Luigi Maroni.
Independence Day: Alberto covers his tracks by executing the coroner.
The Roman’s Birthday-Labor Day: Alberto continues with two more killings.
Halloween II: Alberto makes his final, unsuccessful attempted killing.
Essentially, Viti was meant to be a one-off killing. Gilda used that as the basis for her spree, and an increasingly deranged Alberto picked up where she’d intended to leave off. Gilda believed it was Harvey who’d taken over for her, but it was actually Alberto.
I’d also considered that perhaps Alberto and Gilda were somehow collaborating, or that Alberto had planned some of the murders but not actually carried any of them out personally until Halloween II, hence justifying his claim of responsibility for them while preserving both Harvey and Gilda’s versions of events, but then why switch trigger (wo)man mid-spree? And why wouldn’t Gilda acknowledge that fact in her own private monologue? Does she lie in her thought bubbles like Max Lord? So, I’m going with the interpretation I discussed above as the simplest explanation for all of the information we’ve been given.