While each season of True Detective focuses on the two main investigators, there are several other unforgettable characters, and the season 3 death of Amelia Reardon (Carmen Ejogo) is one of the most mysterious parts of the series. Season 3 of the HBO drama shares the riveting story of the disappearance of young Julie and Will Purcell (Lena McCarthy and Phoenix Elkin) from the Ozarks. Amelia is a writer and teacher who falls in love with Detective Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali), who has been assigned to the case with Roland West (Stephen Dorff). Amelia and Wayne’s love story is a bright spot in a tragic and heavy season.


Season 3 of True Detective has three timelines, and in episode 1, “The Great War and Modern Memory,” it’s revealed that, in 2015, Wayne is talking to Elisa Montgomery (Sarah Gadon) for True Criminal and Amelia has died. The reason for her death isn’t shared in these eight episodes, but showrunner Nic Pizzolatto explained what happened to this fan-favorite character.

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Amelia’s Death Was Sudden But Peaceful

Wayne and Amelia in her classroom on True Detective

Nic Pizzolatto answered a fan’s question on his Instagram account and said that the explanation for how Amelia died was cut because there wasn’t enough time to include it. He said, “Amelia and Wayne living their lives in 2013, planning an extended vacation around the world. It culminated in Amelia’s death (peaceful, but, sudden, in her sleep. Nothing nefarious, just sad” (via Esquire). This answer is satisfying since, given that Wayne has dementia in True Detective season 3’s perfect finale, it would be too somber for Amelia to suffer from an illness as well.

After getting married in 1990 and experiencing many ups and downs, including fighting over Amelia’s book commenting on the missing children, this bittersweet storyline feels like the right way to close out this love story. Their relationship is a flawless and realistic example of two people appreciating the time that they have together, despite the problems they experience.

Amelia’s Passing Didn’t Cause The Rift Between Wayne & Becca

Becca and Wayne smiling at each other in a car on True Detective

The True Detective season 3 finale also brought up whether Wayne and his daughter, Becca (Kennedi Lynn Butler and Deborah Ayorinde), no longer speak to one another because Amelia died. However, Nic Pizzolatto shared that they filmed a scene that explained what happened, but it was also cut: “She and Wayne don’t have any problem other than neither of them is good at reaching out.”

This moment would have been important to watch, as the season 3 True Detective characters miss each other now that it’s been a long time since they were in touch. The showrunner also explained that because Amelia made sure to call Becca weekly, Wayne and Becca were able to remain a bigger part of each other’s lives. Still, the answers to this True Detective mystery emphasize the show’s ability to tell a dramatic crime story that is filled with emotion.

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