Mrs. DiLaurentis was having an affair with Bethany’s father at the time she was in Radley.
Mrs. D too Bethany riding and gave her a horse that she named “Custard.”
Mrs. D asked Bethany to call her “Aunt Jessie,” which threw Bethany into an angry fit.
She was 17 years old when she disappeared from Radley that night.
She escaped from Radley on 09/01/2009
She has blonde hair and is originally from the town of Bryn Mawr.
The remains of her body have been confirmed and thoroughly tested. That means that it is, in fact, Bethany Young that is dead.
Melissa Hastings believes that she is the one who buried Bethany alive. She saw Spencer dragging the shovel away from that area and saw a blonde in a yellow top lying unconscious and pushed her into an already dug grave and buried her.
We know that her remains were originally made to seem like Alison’s due to the dental records being switched. “A” is believed to have been the one who made this change.
Bethany learned about the affair between her father and Jessica on or around August 8, 2009.
Alison may have known Bethany and actually lured her to Rosewood the night that both girls went missing. Hanna found a letter in Alison’s attic that is written from Bethany to Alison confirming that the two had plans to meet up in Rosewood Labor Day weekend, where Alison would introduce Bethany to her friends and thanking Alison for the yellow top that she had sent her.
Bethany was a patient at Radley Sanitarium that was prone to fits of violent rage.
While at Radley, she roomed with Big Rhonda, whom she entrusted her sketchbook with prior to her escape from Radley.
Eddie Lamb knew Bethany during her time there.
Bethany likely knew and physically witnessed the scene between Marion and her killer at Radley. She sketched the scene out in her sketchbook.
Shout out to Rosewood for not arresting Alison despite founding trace amounts of Mona’s DNA in her car. Was I the only person who was blown away by this revelation? They found the DNA of someone who was just murdered in their enemy’s trunk and don’t think they should, ya know, look into that? This town, people, this town.
Also, on the topic of shady things in Rosewood…the Toby being a cop thing is really not meshing in my mind. I love Toby, I do. I especially love his sleuthing skills with Spencer. I would have actually really loved them being on the A team together for a lot longer than a few episodes. But I digress. #1, Toby went through the police academy at a record pace. With those skills, I wish he would talk Caleb into graduating. But furthermore, why would these detectives from the SBI or FBI or wherever they’re from allow the boyfriend of their number 1 suspect/person of interest to be involved in the investigation. There is, in fact, a very deep history in Rosewood of cops being shady as hell and burying evidence. Wilden/Radley. Wilden/Hanna’s shoplifting charges. Reynolds/Melissa’s miscarriage. The list literally goes on and on and on. Which is why everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief when Wilden was actually gone. So why allow someone who very obviously came on board with the force, in record time, to help with his girlfriend’s case? A case that he could very well be close to himself considering his jacket being involved that night and thus him being in that backyard at some point and living so close to the house himself.
Call her the Lady in Black, Black Veil, Black Widow, or whatever you wish, but there is definitely something up with this shady Rosewood resident and funeral attendee. First spotted at Detective Wilden’s funeral (EDIT: It is possible that Black Widow made a brief appearance at Alison’s funeral in the pilot, but this has not been confirmed by I. Marlene King.) Each time we’ve caught a glimpse of this mysterious figure, she’s been dressed in black from head to toe, with an Alison mask and a black lace veil covering her face. She appears to either have blonde hair or disguise herself in a blonde wig. Her figure is very, very thin and extremely agile (she was like a phantom when passing by Spencer and Toby as they were sorting through the remains of the Thornhill Lodge). Although it appears that Black Widow has blue eyes, that could easily be part of her disguise.
Black Widow seems to show up in the strangest of places. It is believed that Black Widow is the same person who pulled the girls out of the fire as one side of her mask is severely burned/melted. We know that at one point in time, if not still, Black Widow came into possession of Mona’s RV/mobile A lair when she struck a deal with Toby, exchanging information about the death of his mother for the RV. We also know that Black Widow is the one in possession of Tippi, the bird that Mrs. DiLaurentis gave (pushed off on?) Hanna after Alison’s grandmother passed away. It is believed that the bird recites incriminating information about Alison and her summer in Georgia, the months leading up to her disappearance. We also know that Black Widow, at some point in time, acquired one of the masks of Alison’s face that she had made for her “friends” before she disappeared. It’s possible that Alison actually gave one of those masks to this veiled villain, but more likely that it was taken from the mask makers shop (the girls showed us how easy it is to sneak in and out of there) or taken via the five finger discount somewhere along the way. We saw early this season that Black Widow has found a more permanent lair space—what appears to be an apartment or hotel room. A black hoodie was receiving help moving in a brief scene where we catch a glimpse of the notorious black veil before the hooded figures reaches into a bin of dolls and grabs what appears to be an Ali doll.
We’ve covered what we “know” about Black Widow, but the arguably most important part, is who is under that veil and mask and what do they want with the liars? I have a few ideas that I’ve narrowed down to CeCe Drake, Melissa Hastings, Sydney Driscoll, and Ashley Marin. Some are obviously more likely choices than others so I want to first focus on Melissa Hastings, who is my top candidate. Melissa seems to be out of town an awful lot and have lots of residences all over. This would give her ample time to be stalking, plotting, and messing with the girls all while still encompassed in any number of excuses about her being out of the country, or in Philly, or whatever. Secondly, Melissa is the only person on this show that is actually a widow (that we know of). She was married to Ian Thomas when he was murdered, presumably by A, after hiding out after being pushed off the bell tower by Alison in “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” When Marlene said that she liked the term “Black Widow,” that made Melissa the obvious choice. Furthermore, we already know that Melissa is no stranger to disguises. We learned that she was the one dressed as the Black Swan at the masquerade ball and that she attended the Halloween Train party as one of the Queen of Hearts. It’s quite possible that she uses one for her own games. On a less evidence-based note, Melissa seems to be tied to nearly every mystery that the girls unwind about Alison, Rosewood, and the day Ali disappeared. Ian, Mona, Lucas, Wilden, CeCe, Wren, Mrs. DiLaurentis, and Garrett Reynolds for starters. This girl seems to be connected to every bad apple in Rosewood. It can’t be a coincidence that even when she can’t be found, she is brought up nearly every episode. Though she claims to have been trying to protect Spencer “since before it started,” she never seems like compassion is the driving factor in her relationship with her sister. Melissa looked incredibly guilty the night the girls met up with Alison in New York too. When he father admits to her that he believed that Spencer was the one who killed the girl that was found in Alison’s backyard, her face turns grave and she whispers what appears to be a very juicy secret into her father’s ear. If that’s not a guilty conscience, I don’t know what is.
As for motive, it seems to me like Black Widow is in for her own protection, possibly to stay ahead of A. This would make perfect sense if it were Melissa, as she has also been blackmailed by A. It’s unclear to me whether Black Widow is actually connected to A (she’s been seen signing A on her notes, in plain, masculine looking handwriting) or if Black Widow is simply piggybacking off what A has built up. Either way, Melissa could be a great candidate.
Up next, we have CeCe Drake, who we last saw conveniently boarding a plane to Paris posing as Alison’s alter ego, Vivian Darkbloom. The Widow portion could possibly work almost as perfectly for CeCe as it does for Melissa. While it’s never been confirmed by Wilden or CeCe on the show that they were involved, they were definitely connected. CeCe was seen on a boat in Cape May with Alison and Wilden. It’s been speculated by the girls that there was something going on between not only Alison and Wilden, but also CeCe and Wilden. It’s revealed in the first episode of season 5 that CeCe is the one who killed Wilden. Had they been dating, this would strengthen the Black Widow analogy as Black Widow spiders lure in their mates and then eat them. Though Black Widow could be wearing a wig when she’s in disguise, CeCe’s notorious blonde hair would fit the bill. CeCe is also fairly slender, as is BW. CeCe, for obvious reasons (what with her being wanted by the police and all) would benefit greatly from an alternate persona to assume. We can also see CeCe being blackmailed by A and wanting a means to get closer so she can find out the truth. Of course, a lot of this is conditional, but I’m not ruling CeCe out.
Granted, not much is known about newbie, Sydney Driscoll, but from her first day in the halls of Rosewood, it was obvious that this girl had sleuthing on the brain. Marlene King has confirmed that they’ve been waiting for Chloe Bridges to become available for a while because they’ve had this role in mind for her. That could mean she has a very significant role in the storyline! She’s very slender, and when she has her hand on her hip, she reminds me of BW at Wilden’s funeral. Also, not to be dismissed, is that within a matter of a few days, Sydney had formed an alliance with Mona, Jenna, and another mystery guest in the park. Definitely not the work of a nice girl. There’s not enough firm proof yet, but we’re keeping our eyes on this girl.
Not to be forgotten is Mama Marin! If the Black Widow title is really as fitting as we think, this connection could work quite well. Ashley Marin actually hooked up and had a brief (kind of sort of, but not really) relationship with Wilden before he became a detective in an effort to get shoplifting charges against Hanna dropped. Though we don’t think Ashley would actually want to attend his funeral, she could have been there as the BW, making sure things didn’t get pinned on her. We don’t believe Mama Marin killed Wilden, but we know that was almost charged with his murder. This disguise could have been formed as a way for her to sleuth and protect herself and her daughter! Ashley’s figure also fits the BW profile perfectly, and how awesome would it be for a parent to want to get involved in this capacity to help save her girl? Sadly, I don’t genuinely think it could be Ms. Marin, but we’re not counting her out just yet!
Who do you think the Black Widow is? Do you think we’re on the right track or way off? Let me know! And, as always, if you have a theory you want me to explore, just let me know!
It’s easy to watch Pretty Little Liars and decide that Spencer has perhaps gone through more than any of the liars on the show. From discovering Jason is her half-brother to surviving her sister marrying and conceiving a child (maybe…) with Alison’s alleged killer to discovering what she believed to be the dead body of her boyfriend in the woods, it’s apparent that Spencer Hastings has been put through the wringer since A has been calling the shots in the girls’ lives. After all, Spencer was the one who snapped and landed herself a short stay in Radley Sanitarium. But behind that concerned friend, doting girlfriend, and damaged victim, could there lay the personality that is actually behind it all? Let’s delve into why the know-it-all perfectionist may in fact be A.
That picture perfect résumé could prove handy for more than just college applications. We all know that well-rounded Spencer keeps up a handful of afterschool activities at any given time. Not only do these activities give her opportunities and networking to access the school whenever she might need to, they also give her an access to appear busy when she would really need to ditch the girls for A team activity. The girls, and her family for that matter, would never be the wiser to her scheming.
She has a bad-Ass boyfriend. Not only does Toby have a rockin’ body that could no doubt protect Spencer in any number of scenarios, but he has also spent some time in the black hoodie. Spencer and Toby could have easily decided to work together to take down Alison, whom they both had reasons to drag off her high horse. With Toby’s mother’s murder/accident/suicide situation pointing more and more towards Alison intervention by the episode, this could very well be the reason Toby could be after Alison and willing to help Spence in her pursuit of Ali.
She’s got the book smarts for it. Spencer has proven time and time again just how clever and mentally superior she is to the other liars and most of the students in their school. She is right up there with Mona is terms of brainpower and it wouldn’t be surprising if she had either helped Alison plan her disappearance or decided to make Alison skip town in her own covert way. We know that Spencer and Alison had many a power struggle and Spence had become extremely fed up with Alison’s manipulation and games. In addition to Spencer’s shrewdness, she is also uber-observant. Spencer seems to always be at least one step ahead of the other girls when it comes to decoding A’s cryptic hints and puzzles. This could be because of her intelligence, but it could also be because she’s the one calling the shots.
OCD seems to be Spencer’s blood type. She is extremely detail-oriented and tightly wound, leaving herself no room at all for error. The scenes that we have seen at the end of each episode that give us insight to A’s goings-on seem to portray a very thorough, organized person. In fact, it would be extremely difficult for someone who wasn’t compulsive to pay enough attention to details to cover their trail. Spence definitely has what it takes to fulfill the sleuthing that is required to work on the A team.
Driven is her middle name. As Spencer explains to Wren early on in the series, the Hastings girls are expected to be as close to perfect as they can. They are extremely tense and hard on themselves because this is the way that they are raised. It is apparent throughout the series that Spencer gives 100% to everything that she does. This kind of personality is both the kind that would allow their resentment for someone to manifest itself in an elaborate revenge plot and the brand that would not only think of all the little details needed to pull a scheme off without a hitch but also to have the enthusiasm to carry it out completely and flawlessly.
She is the most committed to finding Alison, questions be damned. While most of the girls have been left in a tailspin by A many times over, Spencer has always continued to press forward for answers and put the pieces back together to solve the puzzle at all costs. Once the girls found out that Alison was alive, Spence didn’t need any recovery time at all to jump back into action seeking out where her former BFF was hiding. She inspired the girls to sit their feelings and questions aside and focus on finding Alison so that they could sit down and ask her themselves what went on and why. (Come to think of it, Spencer was the one who decided to pilfer in the closet around the time A broke in to snatch the journal…). She could easily be trying to push this hunt forward so that she can uncover Ali’s hiding place for herself.
She has already rocked the black hoodie once. We can’t forget that Spencer was actually recruited to work with Mona for a brief spell after she had her unforgettable meltdown in the woods that lead to her stay in Radley. That meltdown, by the way, seemed very rehearsed once in Radley and when picked up in the woods and ultimately seemed to be a scheme planned by Spencer to get into Radley to dig up some dirt. If Mona saw the potential and Spencer was able to execute her assigned tasks with no hesitance, I’m sure she is capable of more destruction.
She has a network of protectors. Has anyone else noticed that everyone always claims that they’ve been involved with A/NAT Club in order to protect Spencer? Garrett, Melissa, and Toby have all claimed that protecting Spencer was their motive. Jason and Spencer’s parents also seem to have done a good deal of sticking their necks out for Spence. Could it be that people were looking to help her succeed in her goal?
That’s all that I have for now. I will continue to update this theory as new evidence comes to light, so be sure to check back occasionally. Send me any interesting theories you want me to write about or questions you may have regarding Spencer being A and tune in for my next post!
When it comes to being a suspicious character in Rosewood, Melissa Hastings is one of the best. She’s always in the center of many of mysteries in Rosewood, whether it be the night of Alison’s disappearance or Halloween train goings-on. Let’s dive into Spencer’s elder sister and why she could very well be the woman behind it all.
· She has some mighty suspicious love connections. Melissa has been linked romantically to Ian, Garrett, Wren, and possibly even Wilden. It can’t be a coincidence that she has control over so many people in so many different occupations all over Rosewood. Furthermore, Melissa never really seems to completely cut ties with anyone that she has broken up with, always leaving that door open, just in case.
· She’s a proven damn good liar. Let’s not forget that Melissa actually went as far as to fake her own pregnancy for several months. She claims that she was being blackmailed by A but that could have easily been an act to throw the liars and others that were suspecting her off her trail.
· She has too many secrets to count. From the worried, hushed secret whispered in her father’s ear about the girl that was found in Alison’s grave to the claimed protection of Spencer that she used to excuse her suspicious behavior at the mask maker’s shop, it is obvious that Melissa keeps a lot of secrets. Anyone with that many secrets is obviously unable to let go of something in the past.
· It is likely that Melissa took on the persona of A due to her deep-rooted hatred for Alison. The two were always competing over the attention of guys all over town. The two have very similar personalities that no doubt often times clashed. The family ties that exist between the girls due to Mrs. DiLaurentis and Mr. Hastings’ affair no doubt made things even tenser between the girls.
· There seems to be a clear connection between Hilton Head and Alison’s disappearance. From what we know so far, Alison and Ian went off to Hilton Head in an effort to get away. This caused Melissa to be extremely angry, coming down to the room they were sharing and demanding to see Alison. From the looks of the video that was taken that night in Alison’s room, it looked like she hadn’t taken much time to cool off. Perhaps her knowledge of the videos being stolen pushed her over the edge.
· She’s also been known to be working with Wilden. They were both on the boat in Cape May with CeCe and Alison and they were both working together on the Halloween train, supposedly due to A’s blackmail. It’s unclear if they actually dated but they were definitely connected and A seemed to think that Wilden needed to be taken care of. Perhaps he learned too much about Melissa from working with her and she realized she needed to take care of that?
· Melissa was a major player in the Thornhill Lodge fire that was intended to trap Alison, Spencer, Aria, Hanna, Emily, Mona and Toby. She was working with Jenna and Shana (possibly Wilden too) and was seen by Emily saying, “those bitches will all be there” referring to the liars. That is definitely not someone who was just involved to protect her kid sister. Also, according to Mona and also apparent to the audience, Shana and Jenna seemed to be afraid of and submissive to Melissa. Maybe that is because she’s calling all the shots in the A game.
· She is working with Mona’s Army. In the first episode of season 5, Mona makes it clear to Alison that she no longer needs to hide behind the veil of A and will be forthcoming to her about how she feels about her. It’s possible that Mona had a change of heart, but it’s more likely that someone took the game over from her and Mona realized that she is now in charge of her.
· Melissa is basically the only person that is smarter than Spencer on the show. She definitely has the brains and know how to pull of the A game and not get caught, not to mention she is super resourceful. She has been linked to nearly every character on the show and is a genius at getting others to do her dirty work for her, which is very characteristic of A.
That’s all for now, but I could certainly go on all day. If I missed anything let me know. And share your thoughts!
I know something else: “A” didn’t just crawl out of the woodwork. A monster like that, you have to take care of it, nurture it. That’s what Ali did, she was feeding the beast with every dirty trick, every lie she got us to tell. It all made “A” stronger.
Alison arrives back in Rosewood from Hilton Head via plane with Duncan.
Alison visits Jenna at school and threatens her to never come back to Rosewood.
Alison rents the storage unit to keep the videos.
Alison meets the girls in the taxi and tells them to prepare for that night.
Alison changes into the yellow top.
Alison goes to give Emily the snow globe with the storage unit key hidden inside.
Alison arrives at the sleepover in Spencer’s barn.
The girls all pass out.
Spencer wakes up and realizes that Alison is gone.
Spencer and Alison get into a fight about Alison where Spencer tells Alison that she is dead to her already. She shoves Ali and Ali storms out.
The girls pass around a drink and all drink but Alison.
Garrett “hits” Alison with the hockey stick at Jenna’s request in the backyard. She asks him to pretend she’s dead.
Garrett oversees Alison talking to Byron and blackmailing him for money.
Alison meets Toby outside of Spencer’s barn. He gives her his jacket.
Alison meets Ian at the kissing rock and the home video of “you know you want to kiss me”/Alison falling is made. Ian was unsuccessful in persuading her to surrender the tapes.
The NAT club members meet in Alison’s room in search of the tapes that Alison took from Ian.
Jason drunkenly stumbles outside to see CeCe (whom he thought was Alison) talking to Melissa Hastings in the yard.
The Grunwald senses something is wrong with Alison and drives to Rosewood to find Ali’s hands sticking up from the dirt and pulls her out. She takes her to the hospital to get help. When she returns to the vehicle, Alison is gone.
The girls wake up as Spencer walks back into the barn saying that Alison is gone and she thinks that she heard her scream.
Maybe i’m crazy for a little too much theorizing but didn’t Shana’s last name used to be Cruz? It’s obviously possible that she lied about it but I could have sworn that she introduced herself to Noel as Shana Cruz. It’s also curious to me now that she would need to introduce herself to him at all. I’m definitely going to go back and rewatch the Pretty Little Secrets series now and see what I can get out of it. What do you guys think?
Now that we think that Shana is in fact in communication with Ali and in Rosewood as a plant to investigate Ali’s attempted murder, how does this change the game?
For starters, we know that Alison did not trust Jenna and/or reach out to her for help in her times of duress. It also makes us suspicious of Paige (as if we weren’t already, Pigskin) as Shana seems to have been keeping tabs on her as well.
As far as we know, Emily is the only one of the liars that Alison and Shana think they can trust. And rightfully so, the others have not been nearly as trustworthy and, frankly, we don’t know who is on the A team and who isn’t. Emily is the only one who genuinely seems to have Ali’s best interest at heart (which on this show means she’s probably the prime A candidate) and for now, she remains the only one that Ali seems to think she can reach out to.
We need to rethink that Halloween web series. In one of the short pre-Halloween web series episodes, we see Shana leaving the Halloween shop talking to someone saying “I know, she was my friend too.” It is now more intriguing than ever to speculate who it was that Shana was talking to. On that note, we also need to uncover who was listed as “Katie” in her phone.
Got any Shana thoughts or theories? Let me know! What are you guys thinking?