Towards the end of No Country for Old Men, Anton Chigurh tracks down Carla Jean Moss. They are sitting in a room together and he gives her the option of heads or tails to decide her fate. Is there any definitive evidence that he killed/didn't kill her?

  • what chapter does it happen where Carla jean dies? the book doesn't put the chapters . it is very confusing for me.
    – user4876
    May 15, 2013 at 23:42
  • He didn't have the gun when he left the house or the accident
    – user42001
    Oct 10, 2016 at 5:28
  • The part of the scene that we do see plays out differently than the book -- for example, in the book, Carla Jean does not refuse the coin toss -- so it might not be safe to assume Carla Jean's fate in the movie is the same as the book.
    – Shiz Z.
    Mar 21, 2017 at 0:58

11 Answers 11


Not 100% definitive, but I always thought that he did. Evidence that he kills her:

  1. Its explicitly stated that he does in the book
  2. The shot of him inspecting his boots on the way out implies that he is checking for blood

The cattle gun Chigurh used was with him while he sat frozen like a statue. Carla wouldn't call the coin toss so he got up slowly and pointed it at her forehead. Her last words were "now I know why the sheriff told me about this." He took her car keys, left the cattle gun behind and was on his way to retirement...sort of...Chigurh was in a vehicle accident shortly after.

  • inre: Chigurh headed towards retirement... I swear when I saw this in the theatre there was a scene where Llewellyn crawled in the riverbank (after he came back into the US). I rewatched recently and did not see that scene. So I thought he didn't have the cash. When I saw this post about Chigurh having the money and went through each scene I missed a very short scene of Lew walking out of the brush with the case. So I wonder if they made a post theatrical release edit. Either way, you can clearly see Lew has the case when he calls Carla Jean, you also see the opened air vent in the 2nd hotel
    – viggity
    Jun 13, 2017 at 15:43

I googled the question and came upon this discussion and if it's up to speculation then I agree with him checking the boots.That implies looking for blood and in addition no mentions the car wreck shorty after leaving her house.

If he killed her, he wouldn't want anyone to connect the dots of her murder and the car accident as they were only a few feet apart. Him walking away versus waiting for medical attention. Also adds to the fact that he did not want to be caught or connected to that location.


The point of that scene is he has no conscience and no qualms killing her. The coin flip in a way shows he had a hint of remorse about killing her. He definitely killed her.


His coin toss offer was a genuine offer to let her off the hook, just like the guy at the gas station. The movie has left the outcome to the viewer's imagination so fill in the blank anyway you like. I prefer not to have to fill in blanks and am going with what's in the book.


The "issues" pointing to him killing Carla Jean Moss seem to be:

  • He's a psychopath/sociopath (sociopaths have a total lack of empathy)
  • He checks both of his boots when he's "leaving" the house and the that we see inside the house has no blood up to that point.
  • His urgency to "leave the scene" points to that.
  • It's "what he does" o She refuses to engage in his coin toss and instead "leaves it up to him" (which, being who he is, was a bad choice) and her intransigence denied her of a 50/50 chance of living, so perhaps the director wanted the double emphasis of her stubbornness and his evil nature to more than suggest that he did kill her.
  • And, as someone else pointed out, apparently the book makes it clear that...

Chigurh did break into the house and is wanted by the sheriff. He might want to get away even if he didn't kill her.

The movie is intentionally ambiguous. Maybe she convinced Chigurh not to kill her. Maybe he's a changed man.

Odd that he would check for blood on his shoes (that's why he puts his feet up) if he didn't kill her.

  • 1
    I assume you mean ambiguous. I would disagree here. While it doesn't show her being killed, pretty much everything leans in that direction. What I think we see is the Coens' pulling back from showing her being killed, as it would be sort of heartless. We know how psychopathic and/or sociopathic Chigurh is at this point. We don't need it proved any more. It would be overkill to show it graphically. [CONT]
    – user27684
    Nov 19, 2015 at 5:01
  • [CONT] They already cop enough flak for letting the film end where it does, and a graphic death scene for the girl would only alienate audiences more, causing them to expect and then be react negatively to being denied a righteous conclusion.
    – user27684
    Nov 19, 2015 at 5:01

I wonder if he did kill her, he didn't kill the two boys who could identify him just down the street from where a body is soon to be discovered? I think he left her alive and that's why he didn't need to harm the boys either. The boots being checked on the way out is just a smokescreen.


There is no doubt that Chigurh kills Carla Jean. That's why he checks the soles of his boots (for blood) as he leaves her house. In any case, it would go completely against his character for him to have mercy on her and allow her to live.

  • 4
    Not really seeing how this adds anything new that the currently accepted answer doesn't already provide.
    – MattD
    Jun 9, 2015 at 15:28

He checked for blood spots. Apart from this, he told those 2 children at accident place to keep quiet even after the accident took place was not due to his mistake (if you watch carefully, the signal is green). These 2 scenes are self explanatory that he killed carla jean.

  • 1
    what is the connection between the kids and the killing?
    – Luciano
    Nov 3, 2016 at 13:32

On one hand the ambiguity of it may beg the audience to ponder the possibility that he might have let her live, as she refused to "call it." On the other hand, he was so refractorily intransigent (tautology for emphasis) that it may equally lead one to believe he "had to do it." Just maybe the Coen brothers wanted people to make their own choice so they wouldn't fret about it forever. :) Just saying....

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .