Only Murders In The Building: 10 True Crime Easter Eggs You May … – Screen Rant

Only Murders in the Building hilariously sends up our obsession with true crime. If viewers look closely, they’ll notice many true crime Easter eggs.
With only a handful of episodes left in season 2 of Only Murders in the Building, fans are combing through the series for clues to uncover the identity of Bunny Folger's murderer.
In addition to helpful hints to the central mystery, the show's two seasons are full of Easter eggs that reference the cultural obsession with true crime. From satire of real true crime podcasts to similarities with notorious serial killers, there are many hidden messages to discover in Only Murders in the Building.
The podcast that brings Charles, Oliver and Mabel together is Cinda Canning's Peabody-winning All Is Not OK in Oklahoma. Structured around a missing girl and an eccentric Oklahoma resident, the podcast's music, host and subject matter intentionally resembles Serial.
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As Cinda becomes a larger player in the show, however, it's made clear that her interest in the Oklahoma case was rather exploitative. In this way, All Is Not OK satirizes the controversy around Serial spinoff S-Town. Also a Peabody winner, S-Town was lauded for its portrait of subject John B. McLemore, but it was also criticized for its voyeuristic exploitation of working class Alabamians, even being slapped with a lawsuit by McLemore's estate.
Tina Fey is a delight as the duplicitous "queen of murder podcasts" Cinda Canning, who's quickly becoming one of the most suspicious Only Murders characters. Her performance takes numerous cues from Sarah Koenig, the host and executive producer of Serial, and Only Murders showrunner John Hoffman has confirmed that she was the inspiration (per Rolling Stone).
The character's name may also point to Dateline NBC correspondent Andrea Canning. The long-running news magazine show has leaned into telling true crime stories in recent years, becoming a huge touchstone in the cultural obsession; in the Only Murders pilot, Mabel reflects that New York "makes you binge Dateline to find out how not to end up on Dateline."
In the season 2 episode "Framed," audiences learn the history of the Arconia and its unsavory architect, Archibald Carter. In designing the early 20th century landmark, Carter built secret passageways into the building, which he used to spy on unsuspecting women and which are now in use by Bunny's killer.
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Viewers may notice a similarity between the Arconia's passageways and the architectural proclivities of a notorious late 19th century serial killer. H.H. Holmes, who was active during Chicago's 1893 World's Fair, is well known for building a "Murder Castle," rigged with secret passages and booby traps to carry out his crimes. Erik Larson's 2003 bestseller The Devil in the White City explores the relationship between crime and contemporary American architecture, stirring true crime fascinations long before Serial.
As Charles, Oliver, and Mabel's podcast takes off, it generates a small, devoted fan base that builds a thriving online community by season 2. These Only Murders super fans are affectionately nicknamed "Arconiacs."
This is a clever play on the rabid fan communities of real true crime podcasts who adopt cute, if morbid, nicknames. Fans of the mega-successful true crime comedy podcast My Favorite Murder, for example, are dubbed "Murderinos."
One of the best new characters on Only Murders in the Building, Nina Lin is briefly a chief suspect in season 2's murder of Bunny Folger, as the appointed successor to the Arconia's board presidency. The very pregnant Nina expresses her desire to modernize the Arconia, leading others to be suspicious of her motives.
In a conversation with Charles, the locked-up season 1 killer, Jan, refers to Nina as the "Lululemon Gremlin." The popular athleisure brand may be a household name when it comes to affluent women, but Jan's comment also recalls the 2011 "Lululemon murder." In this case, Bethesda, MD Lululemon employee Brittany Norwood killed fellow employee Jayne Troxel Murray at a Lululemon store.
If viewers take a close look at Charles's podcast library or scan the posters in Cinda's studio, they'll notice many of the other true crime shows in the host's repertoire. Among them is a podcast hilariously titled Don't Ever Go to Clown Camp.
This is the kind of title that makes the imagination run wild – especially given Cinda's penchant for going undercover. Specifically, though, it calls to mind serial killer John Wayne Gacy, also known as the Killer Clown. Gacy performed at parties and events as Pogo (or Patches) the Clown, and he killed at least 33 boys in the 1970s.
Another in Cinda Canning's slate of true crime podcasts is Abraca-Doomsday, alongside Knife Girl: The Story of a Child Martyr, Operation Dead Stallion, and more.
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The title, a play on "abracadabra," may refer to Russian serial killer Georgy Martirosyan, also known as Gosha the Magician. Working as a magician and spiritual healer, Martirosyan lured young women to his home under the guise of including them in magical rituals. He killed at least three women in the 2010s.
The season 2 episode "The Tell" revels in Oliver's ability to read people through a macabre party game. The "Son of Sam" party game appears in a 1970s flashback, then returns in the present day as Oliver attempts to uncover Alice's many secrets and lies.
One of the most notorious serial killers in American history, David Berkowitz (popularly known as the Son of Sam Killer) was responsible for at least six murders and numerous other attacks in 1970s New York. While Oliver's card game features exclusively blonde victims, Berkowitz primarily targeted brunettes, with the exception of Stacy Moskowitz.
Fans of true crime podcasts – or any podcast for that matter – will know that a perfectly placed promo code will guarantee a discount on Casper mattresses, HelloFresh, or Squarespace websites. An early episode of Only Murders even lampshades the ubiquitous Squarespace ads.
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In season 2, Cinda Canning signs off a podcast episode by offering her listeners the promo code "Butchered Bunny." While this may sound exaggerated and morbid, it's not far from reality; fans of My Favorite Murder can score all kinds of discounts by using the promo code "MURDER."
Early in season 2's murder investigation, the main trio discover that the late Bunny Folger was the owner of a yellow-headed amazon parrot inexplicably named Mrs. Gambolini. Viewers might have made a connection with the talking myna bird Waldo, who witnessed Laura Palmer's murder in Twin Peaks, or with the surprising history of parrots being used as witnesses in court case. Talking birds may soon be among the most common murder mystery show tropes.
In the episode "Performance Review," Detective Kreps decries the number of crackpot theories about Bunny's murder, including the ludicrous "Parrot Theory." Anyone who's watched The Staircase will remember one of the more out-there theories about Kathleen Peterson's death. The "Owl Theory" suggests that she was killed in an owl attack, and not by her husband, Michael. Could Mrs. Gambolini really be Bunny's killer?
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Laurel Hostak is a writer and media producer based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the co-host of The Midnight Myth Podcast, which examines popular culture from the lens of history, mythology, and philosophy. Laurel independently writes, produces, and hosts Sleep & Sorcery, a podcast featuring fantasy and folklore-inspired bedtime stories. She graduated from Drexel University with a degree in Screenwriting & Playwriting, and spent several years developing site-specific and interactive theatre experiences before moving into communications and audio production. Laurel is an alum of the Prague Summer Theatre School, where she studied puppetry and physical theatre. A lifelong fantasy nerd obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, and Star Wars, Laurel is also a devoted student of medieval literature. Not a regular mom, but a cool mom.


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