This discussion may contain spoilers!
The stolen photo. Nobody; Faith (aided by Vivian).
I apologize for the length, but please read this first post for a preface on the theory. See bold paragraph below on why I think Faith is alive. To help navigate this theory, you can search (control-f on PC), the following: Search (WITHOUT QUOTES for all these): "Comment1" on the importance of, "Stupid girls and their preposterous schemes." See "Comment2" on why Faith isn't so innocent. See "Comment3" for why I think the cigarette in 207 may have been Faith's, not Vivian's. See "Comment4" for when this all happened and whose corpse is used in place of Faith's. See "Comment5" about why Woody and Gren know about what happened to Lily, and for why Crane was there the day/night of Lily's murder, and for why Holly may not be telling everything she knows.
What was Faith looking for?
What was Faith looking for at Woody's? We all thought it was money for services. But it doesn't appear that any such transaction had occurred. Moreover, when asked by Bigby what happened, she never mentions work. She claims it was a "little misunderstanding". So, people have begun to think she wasn't after cash. Lately, many people have picked the Woodsman’s axe as what faith was “looking for”…however this cannot be true for three big reasons:
- She could have made off with the axe already a couple times: She could have taken it in Bigby and Woody’s fight before Woody uses it as a weapon. She also could have taken it after Bigby throws it on the sidewalk and Woody is still down.
- Too heavy. Look how hard it is for her to lift it. She hits Woody like a princess, which I suppose is appropriate.
- The main reason: She isn’t completely satisfied looking until she checks his pockets. An axe cannot fit in a pocket, but an incriminating photograph could! That is what Faith was looking for.
See 15:15 – 16:17 for the scene I talk about below.
- Faith stole an incriminating photo of Crane.
- Crane hires “Dee & Dum to steal it. Crane was already in massive debt to the CM, so whatever the photo in question, it must be worth more than $500 (the amount he is charged)
- We then see that Faith loses possession of the photo. She asks the twins to find the same picture. Both Faith and Crane are looking for the same photo, but although charging $500 for the search, the twins are not helping Crane; they are helping Faith. Another thing, there is a conspicuous lack of a charge on Faith's request to find the photograph. There are dollar figures everywhere else on anyone's file who requests something to be done by the twins, but not Faiths. It is almost as if she has special privileges.
Why Faith is alive
Toad (in Ep. 2) claims Dee trashed his house while looking for something he thought the Woodsman had (the photo). If Faith was, in fact, dead, then Dee would not come to Toad’s to look for the photo! If the client is deceased, Dee would get no money! If he isn't charging her at all, that brings up more questions! It's doubtful Dee would do a favor for a dead friend for no money. Moreover, when Toad offers Dee her coat, Dee refuses it. This means that Dee knows Faith is alive and that she doesn't want the coat (see one of the comments below) If she were missing or dead, he would have used it as evidence. If she were alive but not communicating, he'd take it. Only if she was alive and made it known to Dee that she doesn't want it, would he have just left it with toad.
Crane, Snow, Lily, and Faith:
"Use this" were the words written on Lily's Snow Glamour: We can infer, because there are instructions on it, that it must have been Lily's first time glamouring as Snow for Crane. But Crane says his proclivities (his Snow fetish/"massages") have been going for “too long” according to Crane himself at the end of episode three.
Well then, who was Crane's regular Snow-girl before the Lily's last night? I think it was Faith. Remember Faith said she stole a photograph from Crane. Crane lives on a high floor, in the nicest suite in the woodlands. Faith is tough, but not a ninja. She would have needed to be in his apartment (he would have had to let her in), or she would have needed to be close to him to steal it. That is why I think he is so distraught at the end of episode 3. When it comes to his culpability, he casually says to Snow and Bigby, “I didn’t kill those women.” When it comes to their actual deaths, But he desperately cries, “Tell me who killed her!” In this case, “Her” is not Lily . "Her" is Faith. He isn’t looking to be absolved of guilt. He is looking for murderer of the closest person with whom he has had a relationship. Snow intimidates him, but a woman who looks exactly like Snow and is free because he is paying out of embezzled funds – that’s the next best thing. Also, Crane bring wine to his "massages" with prostitutes. WHY BRING GIFTS TO A HOOKER? SEX IS A GIVEN. UNLESS, THE WINE WAS MEANT AS A ROMANTIC GESTURE.
This is a slight digression: Why did crane want all those random items (see again 15:15 - 16:17 above)? It's sounds sarcastic, but I think he was planning to try to summon an army of Golems or Space Aliens. Not kidding. The Williams Enigmalith, (one of the four items bought by Crane), was found in 1998, by the way – some 15 years after this game takes place. Its discoverer claims it may hold extra-terrestrial power. Crane also bought a “warlock ring”, and stone shoes, and a “book of stone”. Well, we know he was trying every magical item to get to the bottom of it, and was probbaly sold these bad goods (one of which doesn't exist for 15 years) by Dee.
Who killed the girls?
Lily wants to meet up with Faith before Faith goes to Woodman's apartment. I think Lily had probably stolen the incriminating photo of Crane from Faith, and had either kept it herself, or had given it to the Woodsman. Knowing the Woodsman was angry and broke, I think Lily lied and asked Faith to work for her, to send Faith to the Woodsman’s in hopes of her being killed. She may have even lied and said she heard a rumor Woody had it to provoke an altercation. Perhaps the photo was incriminating of her as well. Perhaps Lily didn't want Faith knowing about her and the Woodsman. Perhaps Lily could sense Faith maybe was up to something nefarious. In any case, I think Lily's plan backfired, to say the least.
We know that Faith made it back to the Puddin and Pie because Bigby's money comes back in the second episode. Even if you don't give her money, we know she made it back because her makeup made it back too! That same compact and lipstick that Faith had when Bigby and her first met are back at the cubbies. My guess is that, Faith had pieced together that Lily had at least lied, but possibly even set her up. Faith told Georgie and Vivian. It's possible, but less likely, that Lily just asked to switch shifts. However, I think she'd have heard about Faith's death, and then would have had no reason to follow through with Crane. I think that Faith, in an effort to regain the lost photo, may very well have faked her own death. What would this accomplish? After telling Georgie and Vivian, they would make sure that Crane has his massage, but by Lily this time -- letting Vivian (who makes the appointments) know exactly when and where Lily would be. As far as the mess goes, it could be after Lily returns to the Puddin and Pie, she discovered (because of Faith's items), that she had not been killed. She rifles through Faith's things to confirm and quickly gets out. Lily also could have broke them out of frustration right before she has to do Crane for her employers.
As far as the laughing goes, I wouldn’t doubt it if Faith herself was there for tossing her into the water. Either Faith was laughing at how badly Lily’s plan backfired and the professional killer, Vivian, told her to shut up. Or alternatively, Vivian was laughing sadistically and Faith told her to be quiet, because Lily was a friend of hers (at some point).
Remember also that Lily had an extra glamour tube. Maybe those are her normal glamours, and she planned on going back to the Woodsman later to ask if he get the job done?” It also could be an unrevealed glamour, perhaps stolen from Faith's jewelry box. We know that glamour tube is a White Dove, not a White Deer (Greenleaf). It could be used later on in the story to cement a story or support a new arc.
Either all this, or: actually it was Faith who wanted to kill Lily. She could have forged the note and made it appear as if there was some kind of struggle with the jewelry box and makeup box being broken. After seeing how chummy Faith was/is with the twins, I am actually starting to lean towards Faith setting Lily up. It really could go either way (a conniving plot or a defensive retaliation), but after revisiting just how willing the twins (who work for Bloody Mary, who in turn works for the Crooked Man) are to carry out a seemingly free job for Faith, I am starting to think Faith might actually be a bad guy here.
In any case, the fact that Dee is working what could be a pro bono case for a supposedly dead girl is reason to think she is still alive. Not only that, but the corpse being not Faith, would explain why Swineheart won’t let Bigby or Snow see Faith’s corpse. It is because the glamour has worn off and it isn’t her corpse or head. I had originally accused Swineheart of pretty much everything, but it is just as, if not more likely, that he is being forced by the Crooked man, and/or whoever is above him (the one casting the silence spell) to not release the body.