The Yellow King Unveiled! Five Theories, in the Style of True Detective Magazine.

Slate's Culture Blog
March 7 2014 3:42 PM

The Yellow King Unveiled! Five Theories, in the Style of True Detective Magazine.

True Detective is not just the title of a TV series. From 1924 to 1995, it was the name of a pulpy “true crime” magazine that, especially in its early days, had terrifically lurid covers advertising the shocking stories within.

We decided to pay tribute to those wonderful covers and guess at the revelations in this weekend’s finale at the same time. Below, you’ll find five magazine covers, each one fingering a single suspect as the Yellow King. Who do you think it is? Pick your favorite cover and share it with the world by clicking on one of the buttons below.

Advertisement

Errol Childress
This giant of a man—first glimpsed on his lawnmower in Episode 3, then given a brief, haunting soliloquy in Episode 7—is the likeliest killer of Dora Lange. Could he also be the Yellow King? If the show ends up circling around a single big bad, he’s probably your man.

Pulpit rock

Reverend Billy Lee Tuttle
After Errol, Reverend Tuttle may be the likeliest Yellow King—perhaps he’s even more likely, given where that hideous videotape was found. And then there are the subtler clues: the apparent Wellspring cover-up, his eagerness for the task force to take over the investigation, the yellow tie. If Tuttle’s the Yellow King, we won’t be surprised.

Pulpit rock

Jake Herbert
Maggie’s dad, who’s listed as Jake Herbert on IMDb, has appeared in only one episode so far—but it was a memorable cameo. “Everything’s sex,” he groused, complaining to his son-in-law Marty about kids these days. His large house suggested the wealth one might expect from the leader of this apparent conspiracy. And Michelle Monaghan, who plays Maggie, told the Daily Beast, “Our family—everybody—is still going to be part of the plot going forward.”

Pulpit rock

Marty Hart
HBO gave us our first clue as to the identity of the Yellow King in the show’s promo poster, released long before Episode 1, with Marty Hart’s yellow hair cut off right at the crown. Each episode since has made it more clear that Marty’s spending every waking second pushing his demons down—his hatred of women, his violent streak, his fascination with the darkness. Where do you think those demons escape to when Marty Hart finally relaxes his iron jaw and lets them out?

Pulpit rock

Rustin Cohle
Is Rust the Yellow King? Papania and Gilbough sure think so. He’s obsessed with the lost women of Southern Louisiana; he’s unsettled and unbalanced; he’s capable of great violence and greater baloney philosophizing. There’s a shadow on Rust, and even if he didn’t kill Dora Lange, perhaps his demons overtook him in the years that followed.

Pulpit rock

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

Dan Kois is Slate's culture editor and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.

Lisa Larson-Walker is a Slate photo editor.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Photos of the Crowds That Took Over NYC for the People’s Climate March

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 22 2014 9:39 AM Adrian Peterson Has a Terrible Contract, and Cutting Him Would Save the Vikings a Lot of Money
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 22 2014 9:12 AM What Is This Singaporean Road Sign Trying to Tell Us?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Science
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 7:47 AM Predicting the Future for the U.S. Government The strange but satisfying work of creating the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.