Who Killed Sam Keating on 'How To Get Away With Murder'? Let's Rank the Most Likely Suspects

You know, for a show called How To Get Away With Murder , the characters don't seem very good at, well, getting away with murder. When Sam Keating turned up dead in the flash-forwards of ABC's new hit drama, reactions among the show's central crop of students ranged from minor meltdowns to full-on mental breakdowns. But while we wait to see exactly how they get away with it, another question still looms: who killed Sam Keating?

Seven episodes into the season, and we still don't know for sure who offed Professor Annalise Keating's philandering husband. Sure, we have suspicions and hints, but no official confirmation on the identity of the murderer. Since HTGAWM consists of a short-for-network 15 episodes per season (due to star Viola Davis' schedule), we're just about at the halfway point — which means it's time to start placing bets on whodunnit.

Considering the cast consists of a convenient 10 series regulars, I decided to rank the suspects on a 10-point scale, from least likely to most likely to have done the deed. So let's do our best Sarah Koenig and delve into the mystery of Who Killed Sam Keating?

Image: ABC

Rebecca Sutter

Murder Meter:

The Prosecution:

The girl confessed! What more do you need?

The Defense:

A lot more, actually. Sure, in the latest episode, Rebecca specifically stated, “He wanted to kill me, I had no other choice. I saw the trophy sitting there; I hit him in the head. He deserved to die, and I am glad he is dead.” But let’s be real — the season is barely half over; there’s no way we know the whole truth about this murder yet.

It may be true that Rebecca thinks she killed Sam. But what if she merely dazed him with the trophy, and he later recovered… only to have someone else come along and finish the job? The fact that Rebecca was “revealed” as the killer so soon all but rules her out as the actual murderer.

Image: ABC

Asher Millstone

Murder Meter:

☠☠

The Prosecution:

Eh, he’s kind of a douchebag, I guess.

The Defense:

Asher’s way too bumbling to have committed such a cold-blooded crime. Not to mention the fact that on the night of the bonfire, he was running around trying to score with someone (who we just learned was Bonnie). The only way Asher killed Sam is if he tripped and accidentally knocked the trophy onto the man’s head.

Image: ABC

Frank Delfino

Murder Meter:

☠☠☠

The Prosecution:

Have you seen that beard? Super shady.

The Defense:

So far, at least, Frank has been too peripherally involved in the case for it to be dramatically interesting for him to turn out to be the killer. There’s just no reason it would be him. Unless it turns out he was also sleeping with Lila (and he does have a proclivity for young students), then he doesn’t really seem to have a motive.

Image: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC

Laurel Castillo

Murder Meter:

☠☠☠☠

The Prosecution:

That chilly Jennifer Connelly-esque exterior must be hiding some secrets, right? Laurel can’t actually be that boring, right?? She must be hiding some deep dark secret, like that she’s a cold-blooded murderer.

The Defense:

Laurel’s been a little too preoccupied with Frank lately to be plotting the murder of her professor’s husband. Unless Sam were to start sexting her like he did Lila, I can’t see Laurel getting worked up enough about anything to kill.

Image: Nicole Wilder/ABC

Connor Walsh

Murder Meter:

☠☠☠☠☠

The Prosecution:

The cutthroat law student has proven himself willing to do whatever it takes to win a case.

The Defense:

So far, “whatever it takes” has mostly involved hot sex with office workers in copy rooms. Would Connor really go so far as to murder someone? Plus, he’s taken a pretty active role in covering up Sam’s murder, and I’m pretty sure that whoever actually did it wouldn’t be drawing so much attention to him/herself and would be letting other people do the dirty work for him/her.

Image: ABC

Nate Lahey

Murder Meter:

☠☠☠☠☠☠

The Prosecution:

So far, the man we saw pleasuring Annalise in the series premiere hasn’t done much beyond act suspicious of Sam and provide Annalise with false information about her husband’s whereabouts. The fact that Detective Lahey is a series regular and not just a recurring guest star must mean he has some significance to the plot, surely.

The Defense:

The jilted lover spurred to kill seems pretty cliché for the crazy world of HTGAWM, doesn’t it? If Nate does turn out to be the killer, hopefully the motive will be something more intriguing than jealousy.

Image: ABC

Michaela Pratt

Murder Meter:

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

The Prosecution:

I know that Michaela, who’s a nervous wreck in the flash-forwards, seems like the least likely of the students to have done it. But consider: she could be freaking out so much because she’s the one who actually killed a man; or she could be freaking out so much as a very calculated cover to hide the fact that she actually killed a man.

The Defense:

Orrrrr she’s just freaking out so much because someone is dead and she’s not used to burning bodies and disposing of evidence. That’s possible, too.

Image: ABC

Wes Gibbins

Murder Meter:

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

The Prosecution:

If Rebecca didn’t kill Sam, then doesn’t it stand to reason that the next best guess would be the law student with the huge crush on her? Rebecca said, “I hit him with the trophy,” but stops just short of actually saying she murdered Sam. Perhaps Wes walked in on their struggle and killed the professor to protect his girlfriend.

The Defense:

Wes is such a Gary Stu, it’s hard to imagine him murdering anybody, much less getting away with it. And turning the show’s everyman into a killer would be a risky move. There’s a fine line between surprising your viewers and alienating them by making the audience-surrogate character a murderer.

Image: Nicole Rivelli/ABC

Bonnie Winterbottom

Murder Meter:

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

The Prosecution:

She clearly has the hots for Sam. Would that be enough to drive her to kill? Perhaps, under the right circumstances. In the most recent episode, we learned that she was sleeping with Asher on the night of the murder. He doesn’t really seem like her type; was she just sleeping with him to gain an alibi for around the time of Sam’s death?

Bonnie is the character we know the least about on a personal level at this point in the show. Her icy demeanor could easily be masking a more unbalanced inner psychosis.

The Defense:

Just like Nate, “jilted lover” isn’t exactly the most compelling motive the show could come up with for murder.

But then again… What if the person she was really attracted to was Annalise? What if the looks Bonnie has been giving Sam haven’t been lust, but jealousy? We know Bonnie is beyond devoted to her boss… What if that devotion drove her to kill?

Image: Mitch Haaseth/ABC

Annalise Keating

Murder Meter:

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

The Prosecution:

A murder victim’s spouse is usually the first suspect examined during an investigation, and yet it seems that many viewers have automatically discounted Annalise as a possibility. But why? She has the motive: her husband was sleeping with Lila; she has the means: he was killed in their house; and she certainly has the smarts to pull it off.

Consider this my master theory of HTGAWM: Annalise was so enraged to find out that her husband was sleeping with yet another of his students that she killed Lila herself and has been framing her own husband for the crime. She enlisted Detective Lahey to investigate her husband not to assuage her own fears, but to make Sam the prime suspect in the eyes of the police. When Sam caught on to her plan, she was forced to kill him. Her students, so enraptured by and loyal to their mentor at this point, used all the skills she taught them in class to cover up the murder for her.

After all the show is called How To Get Away With Murder. Perhaps the whole season is showing us how Professor Annalise Keating does just that. Killing her husband’s mistress, framing her cheating spouse, and then manipulating her suggestible students into doing her dirty work for her? That’s pretty brilliant.

The Defense:

Nope. She definitely did it.

Image: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC