Five characters have died in total throughout 13 Reasons Why, and here’s every one of them. The series is known for its controversial contents and shocking depictions of triggering themes. When the 13 Reasons Why season 1 premiered, it focused on the suicide of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) and the cassette tapes she left behind to distribute among the individuals who impacted her decision to take her own life. 13 Reasons Why officially came to a close with season 4 and introduced its fifth and final death, which came as a shock to viewers.
As Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) struggles to cope with the loss of Hannah Baker, he uncovers the secrets that his classmates are keeping. One tape even includes the death of a close friend and peer. In 13 Reasons Why season 4, episode 10, “Graduation”, Clay delivers a speech to his graduating class and mentions that there are five people missing from the audience that should have graduated with them. The entirety of season 4 encompasses Clay’s inability to fully move on from the traumatic events of his high school experience. When he confronts the loss of their five classmates, he concludes their stories and eludes to his ability to now move on.
13 Reasons Why has depicted a plethora of jarring scenes in its four-season run, so much so that viewers may have forgotten all five deaths as well as how and why they happened. Starting with Hannah Baker, Jeff Atkins (Brandon Larracuente), Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice), Monty de la Cruz (Timothy Granaderos), and ending with Justin Foley (Brandon Flynn), here are all five characters who died and how it happened.
Hannah Baker’s suicide set the series in motion; without her tapes, 13 Reasons Why could not exist. Her death is the result of bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault, isolation, leaked photos, and stalking. If there was something that could negatively impact a person, Hannah definitely went through it. Her distress was first introduced when a picture Justin Foley took on their date was distributed around the school, which prompted the spread of harsh rumors. Next was a list made by Alex that stated Hannah had the “best ass” in the class, which resulted in a slew of sexual harassment from classmates.
As the tapes continue, Hannah is faced with Tyler Down (Devin Druid) stalking her, Courtney Crimson spreading rumors about her, witnessing the rape of Jessica by Bryce Walker, the death of Jeff Atkins, and ultimately her own rape. Hannah’s will to live slowly diminishes the more she experiences traumatic events and the less people express empathy towards her circumstances. In the end, Hannah takes her own life due to the immense amount of trauma she experiences. Furthermore, she did not believe to have the resources or support she desperately needed to continue living.
On Sheri Holland’s tape, Hannah reveals the true nature behind Jeff Atkins’ untimely death. It was already known that he died prior to the appearance of the tapes but the events leading up to it were questionable. After a night of drinking, Sheri offers Hannah a ride home, but she is so intoxicated that she crashes into a stop sign. Sheri doesn’t report it and, therefore, the sign remains missing. When Jeff was drove home and approached the same intersection, the stop sign was nowhere to be seen. He was involved in a vehicular collision that resulted in his immediate death.
His death especially impacted Clay. After hearing about what truly happened to Jeff, Clay visits the Atkins household to tell his parents that he was the first on the scene and assured them he did not die alone. Jeff meant a great deal to a lot of the characters in 13 Reasons Why, and his death was unexpected and painful for many.
In 13 Reasons Why season 3, Bryce Walker mysteriously died at the hands of an unknown assailant. He was one of the most hated individuals at Liberty High School and was known for sexual assaulting women. Despite season 3’s attempts at giving Bryce a redemption story arc, he continued to be one of the most despicable people to appear in the series. As tensions between him and Zach Dempsey rise due to his impact on Zach’s future in sports, he is beaten up by Zach and is left fairly immobile.
When Alex sees him on the pier, he pushes Bryce into the water and he drowns. Due to the trauma he inflicted on the lives of Alex and his friends, he was fueled by so much hatred for Bryce that he committed murder. The group decided to frame Monty de la Cruz for the crime, as he was already surviving jail time for assaulting Tyler. Regardless, Alex killed Bryce on that pier.
Monty De La Cruz
Monty de la Cruz died at the end of 13 Reasons Why season 3. While serving jail time for assaulting Tyler, he was labeled as a “child rapist” for the brutal attack on his classmate. Once word spread around the jail that Monty may be a child rapist, he became a target and was murdered by fellow inmates. It was an untimely and tragic death in the series that came to a shock to viewers everywhere. His name continues to get dragged through the mud even at the end of 13 Reasons Why season 4. He hasn’t been given justice and people still believe, by and large, that he killed Bryce Walker.
In season 4, episode 10, “Graduation,” 13 Reasons Why concluded the series and the life of the beloved character Justin Foley. After battling with drug addiction and doing work as a sex worker, Justin contracted HIV that swiftly progressed to AIDs. As the disease began to wreak havoc on his body, he developed terminal pneumonia and meningitis. This was the most shocking death throughout the entire series, as Justin had just started to get his life in order. He was accepted into college, he got sober, and became much more responsible.
13 Reasons Why started with the first traumatic event that happened to Hannah at Justin’s hands and it ended with his tragic death in an attempt to come full circle. Nothing could have prepared fans for Justin’s death and the reality that his closest friends had to confront about HIV and AIDs. Ultimately, Justin died due to the swift spread of the virus and not getting tested for it prior. Had he been tested, his life could have been prolonged in some way. Despite this fact, 13 Reasons Why season 4, episode 10 marks the beginning of the rest of his peers’ lives and the end for Justin.
Whether or not audiences will see 13 Reasons Why season 5 is uncertain at this point in time. For now, the series has come to a close with season 4, which gives them a total death count of five Liberty High Students who all fell victim to some form of unjust and undeserving circumstances. As Clay made his remarks in 13 Reasons Why season 4, episode 10, “Graduation,” he recognized the five people missing: Hannah Baker, Jeff Atkins, Bryce Walker, Monty de la Cruz, and Justin Foley. 13 Reasons Why leaves audiences and fans on a somber note that is also full of hope for the future and closure for its characters, despite the tragic events that transpire in the beginning.