American Crime – Who Killed Matt Skokie? [SPOILER ALERT]

BINGE WATCHING

It’s a work night about two months ago. I’m just about ready to hit the hay, when I decide to cap off my night by catching a new show I’d been hearing about on ABC called, “American Crime.” I was interested in the show for these reasons:

  1. The billboard on the show over there where Olympic/Fairfax and San Vicente meet looked gritty and seedy, just like real American crime.
  2. The billboard had a bi-racial couple on it.
  3. The show is written by John Ridley, who wrote “Undercover Brother,” starring Dave Chapelle – one of the funniest damn people on the planet. Here’s a scene from that movie, which is one of my faves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubV3t9_CwDc
  4. I think Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton are dang good actors.

WOW!

I was pretty tired. When I started, I thought I might even just catch part of the pilot, but DAMN! – this story woke me right up! Here is a network television show, hitting it hard with issues of race, gender and class, right here in the doggone US of A. So, of course, there was nothing to do but BINGE…

… which I did with great fervor.

Still, a working girl’s gotta get some kip. Fast forward to…

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Turns out, I’ve got a four-day weekend on hand here; so, on Thursday night, I got all caught up with the show and witnessed the shocking finale. Here’s my run down on the whole thing:

  1. Who killed Matt Skokie? Could have been just about anybody. His family didn’t want to admit it, but Matt Skokie was a sadistic, bigoted, violent criminal. He had many enemies. I’m pretty sure Rick and his gang on “The Walking Dead” would have had to kill him.
  2. The most likely killer that we actually met during the show: Aubrey. The most shocking thing to me is how Matt’s family was so certain it could not have been that poor messed up junkie.who did it. Her story stood up.
  3. Hooray for Hector. He got a lucky break in Mexico. He got back together with his girlfriend/wife and kid. He got the job that depended on his bi-lingual skills. He is ready for a new start
  4. Mr. Gutierrez also appeared to manage to get off his old school funk long enough to really meet minds with his troubled son Tony – and good ole Jenny will probably do fine with Aunt Commie and Uncle Socialist.
  5. Definitive question of the series (maybe) raised by Mark Skokie’s Asian fiancee, Richelle: “You’ve got to decide what you want from this life. Do you want hate?” Even though it isn’t her biological family, Richelle is obviously super dedicated to relations with the in-laws – perhaps another cultural comment in and of itself.

The big lose is Carter and Aubrey. Although innocent of killing Matt Skokie (I believe), Carter’s short life was marked with turmoil. It’s worth noting that the sole reason Carter is released is the political pressure brought to bear by Carter’s sister Aliyah and the Black community.

WITHOUT A POLITICAL MOVEMENT, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN JUST ANOTHER BLACK MAN IN JAIL – OR DEAD.

Carter had just begun go clean and to re-assess his options when he is cut down by a white man who could not believe, in spite of all the evidence, that it wasn’t Carter that killed his son.

Aubrey: quite the complex character. Everyone knows drug addicts lie, right? Still, no one ever believed Aubrey – or at least no one wanted to. After her stint in the foster care system, she was probably disturbed before she ever came into the Taylor home.

In real life, The U.S. Foster Care system is messed up.

Last year, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors declared the system a “State of Emergency.” According to an LA Times article on April 10, 2014, some 40 infants per day are reported as possible victims of abuse and neglect.

This after a blue ribbon commission was appointed in 2013 to bring reform to the system after the death of an 8-year-old who was found “with his skull cracked, three ribs broken, bruised and burned skin, and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin.” Apparently, as of this writing, the changes recommended by the commission have yet to be implemented. A cursory look at the internet reveals this to be epidemic all over the United States.

Now, do you believe Aubrey?

John Ridley’s American Crime isn’t your usual crime story. It explores the root of crime. What precedes crime? Where are no easy answers.

Broken GlassWho do you think killed Matt Skokie?

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35 thoughts on “American Crime – Who Killed Matt Skokie? [SPOILER ALERT]

  1. Wow! This review is enough for me to make me want to rent the whole series when it comes out on a boxed dvd. It really is my kind of show, then; I kinda thought it might be when I saw the billboards, but know I know. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer. Good writing.

  2. I believe Hector was introduced in the first episode in a store using Matts credit card. I think he might be the one that did it

      • Having the credit cards is certain it wasn’t him …he was too smart to use a dead mans cc. He would know they were stolen and he did it to get cash buy buying shit and selling that’s all. He did a murder in self defence in Mexico ..he did get lucky his witness died ..only because of all the time had passed.

    • Hector might not have pulled the trigger himself, instead maybe enlisted a couple of junkies(aubry/carter) to do the gang ordered hit in exchange for drugs.

  3. I believe it was Aubrey. We saw how violent she can be. Carter beat a man with his gun when he could have shot him dead. As messed up as Carter was he was not a killer.

  4. I just discovered this show! And I am so blown away, I had to watch the whole series all day. Well worth it.

    This is my theory on who killed Matt Skokie:
    I do think it was Audrey who shot both Matt and Gwen. I think it was a drug deal gone bad. Matt probably had some words exchanged with Carter with them being a biracial couple. When Audry slashed the throat of the man who began punching Carter in the later episodes; I believe this is something that she has done before (side note: wouldn’t it have been neat if there was a flashback of that scenario?) I think that Audrey may have also been doing sexual favors with Matt and Carter walked in on that and lost it. Audrey, being a self hating person and desperate to do anything to get her fix probably began something with Matt and Gwen while Carter was in another room or something. I think Carter paid Hector with the credit cards and money in exchange for him driving the couple to the house.

    I loved your post by the way and am happy I googled up some theories 🙂

  5. Matt’s brother Mark. Or Hector’s gang. All I have to say is Season 2 better not end without knowing who the rapist is or I’m done. I hate open ended shows. Just me.

    • Season two ends in an equally ambiguous way. Frustrating, I know… but the open endedness is actually a really great parallel to real life. I mean, people are convicted all the time based on evidence and witness testimony– and as imperfect as our legal system is, innocent people are convicted of crimes they never were fully a part of. And with a conviction like that, the truth gets lost. No one ever knows the truth of what happened. American Crime does a great job of bringing that idea home.

  6. I just binge watched season 1 and believe that hector was the killer. That would be the irony that he got off freely while three innocent people lost their lives because of his actions.

  7. Hector did it. Don’t you think it’s questionable that there were all these themes of “forgiveness” throughout the season. Then at the end when hector is awaiting his trial he doesn’t even want to have anyone come to his aid, he has given up and feels like he’s not worthy of being saved based on the things that he had done throughout his life. Then during the interview he basically tells the guy he’s changing his whole life around. Hector definitely seemed to be the most villainous character throughout the story and why did he give a testimony that greatly conflicted from aubreys confession why would he even insert himself into that picture at all?
    I don’t know for sure though because during one scene with Carter and his sister, Aaliyah Carter admitts to killing and raping both of them which was highly confusing to me.

    I wish at the end they would give a walk through flashback of what really occurred that night.

  8. I’m late but I think whoever u end up thinking it is reveals if there are any prejudices in us. I thought it was the Hispanic the whole time up until the last episode and that last scene with him had me shocked and made me think am I prejudice. I figured since he had the cards of the victim and the vehicle was seen there. That it was him but the writer obviously wants u to try to figure it out and possibly get u to think twice. Extraordinary show!

  9. I still don’t believe Aubrey, I think she bit the bullet or else carter would be dead. Hector was revealed as a liar by his baby mom which made me believe it was him even more. How did HE know it was carter who shot Matt? That’s the first thing I thought when beginning the season. Overall, it was a pretty good show. I just wish it wasn’t too drawn out.

  10. Aubry did as carter had no clue how it went down. Hector identified the wrong gun. She finally stepped up and had details that factually placed her there. Her evil killed the love of her life. She was vicious also and tred to kill the dealer brutally. Lesson do bad it comes back to you and sometimes it’s the cute white girl.

  11. Wow! I’m a few years late to this show, but I just finished Season 1 on Netflix.

    So who killed Matt Skokie? My answer is below…

    Before I tell you, I have to say that as one who works in the legal system, I think that part of the brilliance of the show (and the finale in particular) is that in the real world, we don’t get flashbacks or some other reveal to show us what really happened, so in many cases, we can never really know with absolute certainty what happened in this type of a crime.

    That being said, here are my conclusions:

    Carter killed Matt, and Aubry was there when it happened, which is how she knew some of the details that she was able to incorporate into her bogus confession…

    Why I say that Carter did it: In the real world, murder investigations and/or prosecutions sometimes fall apart because of a lack of physical evidence connecting the killer to the crime and/or because a witness who placed the murderer at the scene gets confused about, exaggerates, or otherwise misrepresents what he saw. In the show, there was no physical evidence connecting Carter to the crime, Hector’s statement identifying the gun turned out to be wrong, and someone else confessed… but does any of that mean that Carter didn’t do it?

    For me, the best evidence that Carter did it is Aliyah’s reaction after Carter whispered into her ear. I believe that he whispered his confession to having committed the murder. Her smile turns to a look of shock, and she releases her embrace of him. Furthermore, if Carter had not confessed to Aliyah, is there any chance that Aliyah would have embraced and comforted Aubry’s mother after Carter was killed and then Aubry took her own life? Aliyah had seen Aubry as a major destructive force in Carter’s life, but by then, she knew that they were both dead because of their shared involvement. Also note that Carter, after being released, was completely unable to enjoy his freedom or proclaim his vindication. Guilty conscience?

    Why I don’t think Aubry did it: Aubry is a complete sociopath and a known liar, and she demonstrated over and over again that she would do anything to protect Carter. Because she has no concern for the consequences of her conduct, she believed in her mind that she could once again save Carter’s life and that she would either be found not guilty by reason of insanity or, at worst, be incarcerated in a mental institution, during which time she would still be able to continue her relationship with Carter.

    Why I don’t think Hector did it: Another thing that’s brilliant about this show is that it shows how our initial conclusions are sometimes based on incomplete information and/or stereotypes. White veteran killed in heinous murder? There’s more to the story. The tatoo-covered illegal on the run from a murder charge in Mexico and in possession of the victim’s credit cards must have done it, right? There’s more to the story…

    My theory: Aubry was a hopeless drug addict who was willing to trade sexual favors for drugs. (We know that from the scene in the bar in which she was going to perform oral sex on a random guy in exchange for drugs until Carter intervened.) Aubry went to Matt, not a war hero but actually an adulterous drug dealer, and was engaged in sexual conduct in exchange for drugs with him until Carter intervened. Things escalated, and Carter shot Matt. Gwen came in, and she too was shot, perhaps by Carter or perhaps by Aubry in an attempt to protect Carter.

    My theory is supported by the twice repeated line from the finale: “Lies will come back on the liars, deceptions will come back on the deceivers, but good will come to the righteous.”  Carter and Aubry ultimately got their just due while Hector got a fresh start to make something of his life.

    Thoughts?

  12. I believed Aubry’s confession but some of the theories here are also persuasive. Whatever happened with Matt, I thought Aubry & Carter had a vow of silence which was violated when Carter was persuaded by Aliyah & Aubry’s mother to break off the relationship (the torn picture). This is why Aubry more or less says to her mother “Look what happens when you meddle.” Aubry’s confession seemed like an act of revenge on her foster family as well as an act of despair. But then this theme was sort of dropped, which I attribute to sloppy writing.

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