Presumed Innocent Midseason Poll: Who Do YOU Think Is the Killer on the TV Series? Vote!

We just checked, and Presumed Innocent‘s Rusty Sabich (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) is still beating Brian Ratzer to a pulp, all as wife Barbara and the kids look on….

So, with Rusty’s trial about to get underway — and as we enter the back half of the Apple TV+ drama’s eight-episode season — we thought it’d be a good time to take stock of the suspects in the murder of Carolyn “Never Call Me Just Carolyn” Polhemus.

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As you review this list of likely, possible and long-shot suspects, remember that showrunner David E. Kelley told TVLine that the killer in the TV series might not necessarily be the same character as in the 1987 Scott Turow novel or the 1990 Harrison Ford movie.

Given how Kelley quickly deviated from both the novel and movie in early episodes — the evidence against Rusty is quite different, and ousted DA Raymond Horgan, not Sandy Stern, is defending him at trial (to name just two of the change-ups) — “the audience should feel that the show is going to be different,” Kelley told TVLine. “There may be some twists and turns, and there may be some twists you expect that don’t happen.”

All told, “There are a lot of jolts in the evolution of the series, episode by episode,” he said, “and I think the ending will be satisfying on that front as well.”

Review this list of suspects, then vote below. (Comments are shut off for now, lest anyone blurt out the book or movie killer.)


The Case Against Him: Had an affair/was obsessed with colleague Carolyn; concealed said affair when he was first put in charge of her murder case; was seen at Carolyn’s home the night she was killed; his skin cells were found under her fingernails; he’s prone to rage.

BARBARA, Rusty’s Wife

The Case Against Her: Knew of Rusty’s affair with Carolyn, though she thought it had ended a year ago.

KYLE, Rusty and Barbara’s Son

The Case Against Him: Had gotten wind of his father’s affair, and was caught on film riding his bike past Carolyn’s home, to see what/who would make Dad step out on Mom.

MICHAEL, Carolyn Polhemus’ Son

The Case Against Him: Was estranged from his mom; was hiding outside her home the night she was killed. (But… why would he bait Rusty into a rendezvous to accuse him of murder, if he’d done it himself?)

DALTON, Carolyn Polhemus’ Ex-Husband

The Case Against Him: Well… he’s the ex-husband and all.

TOMMY, Chief Prosecutor

The Case Against Him: He’s really gunning to put away Rusty, as prosecutor at the murder trial; seems to have a backchannel with Kumagai the medical examiner who just coughed up the “DNA under fingernails” evidence; Michael said that his mom told him she felt threatened by “a man at work” whom she “had cases with.”

NICO, Newly Installed D.A.

The Case Against Him: Has been riding Tommy hard to make sure he puts together an airtight murder case; Michael said that his mom told him she felt threatened by “a man at work” whom she “had cases with.”

RAYMOND, Former D.A. and Rusty’s Defense Attorney

The Case Against Him: Nothing yet, though in the book and movie he had motive, as another of Carolyn’s illicit paramours. Might the TV series eventually reveal same…?

LORRAINE, Raymond’s Wife

The Case Against Her: She seems very protective of her good friend Barbara; wasn’t happy about her husband deciding to defend Rusty.

RATZER, Liam Reynolds’ Seeming Accomplice

The Case Against Him: Reynolds himself may currently be locked up for Bunny Davis’ years-ago murder (in a fashion similar-ish to Carolyn’s), but Rusty just learned that Ratzer was a possible accomplice that night.

Vote for YOUR current No. 1 suspect below. And if you want scoop/have questions about TV’s Presumed Innocent, email!

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