No offence to The Undoing's finale — actually, full offence to The Undoing's finale — but Taylor Swift and Haim just dropped the best murder mystery of 2020.
"no body no crime," which appears on Swift's ninth album, evermore, is a country-pop rock track about the disappearance of a woman named Este, and her friends' efforts to avenge her death. There's a cheating husband who clearly has blood on his hands, a running Olive Garden date, and a rock-solid alibi for Este's friend to get revenge in their late friend's honour. (It's a very The Chicks plotline; they approve.) I think he did it, but I just can’t prove it, Swift sings at the beginning of the song about Este's mysterious disappearance, but by the end, it's Swift who is singing about another woman (the husband's mistress) trying to prove what happened to her husband: No, no body, no crime/ I wasn't lettin' up until the day he died.
West went missing more than 80 years ago in the woods of western Pennsylvania. (Swift is from the nearby town of West Redding). The red-headed four-year-old was never found, and The Guardian calls her disappearance one of the greatest mysteries, and one of the oldest missing children's cases recorded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. West, who would have turned 87 this year, was with her older sister Dorothea at the time of her disappearance; the two were picking wildflowers in the woods (extremely folklore) before Marjorie suddenly vanished. More than 500 people gathered to canvas the area to look for her, but she was never found.
Although this missing person's case does not describe the adulterous relationship in "no body, no crime," it could have been used as loose inspiration for the album as a whole considering the names of the West sisters appear elsewhere on evermore in the tracks "dorothea" and "marjorie." (Neither of those songs have to do with murder or missing children.)
But back to no body, no crime: Este happens to be the name of the eldest sister in the Haim trio, followed by Danielle and then Alana. All three sisters (well, four if you ask Swift: "I’m the fourth Haim sister now, confirmed," Swift told EW.com) collaborated on evermore to bring to life the slick three-minute mystery.
Swift doesn't confirm that Marjorie West is connected to the true crime track in her interview with EW.com about the track, but she did reveal the meaning the song's other mystery: the Olive Garden shout-out.
"Working with the Haim sisters on 'no body, no crime' was pretty hilarious because it came about after I wrote a pretty dark murder mystery song and had named the character Este, because she’s the friend I have who would be stoked to be in a song like that," Swift told the site. "I had finished the song and was nailing down some lyric details and texted her, 'You’re not going to understand this text for a few days but... which chain restaurant do you like best?' and I named a few. She chose Olive Garden and a few days later I sent her the song and asked if they would sing on it. It was an immediate 'YES.'"
At least that's one mystery solved.