Death Note Theory: Is L POSSIBLY Alive?

I hope to god my viewers are familiar with Death Note lore, because this post will be FULL of spoilers.

Heck, this title is a spoiler in itself.

Anyway- let’s dive in!


Meet Beyond Birthday: A Psychotic Doppleganger Of L Who’s The Lynch Pin To My Theory.

Beyond Birthday – Bloodangelhime from Glogster

For those of you who are scratching the back of their heads going, “Who the heck is Beyond Birthday and why does he have such a strange name?” He is the man behind the Los Angeles B.B. Murder Case that the manga and anime referred to when they introduced former F.B.I agent Naomi Misori. As for his name, I’m just as confused as you are.


And so to completely get my entire story, you’re going to have to sit through some annoying background stuff.


Into The Backflashes And Far, Far Away

During the time of the Kira case, L had 2 possible successors. Their names were Near and Mellow. But back even before then, there were two others who were seriously being considered as L’s new successors. The first one, A (that’s legit how they were called), committed suicide from the pressure from Whammy’s House. The second, BB (Beyond Birthday), said, “Bye, Felicia,” and disappeared to go have some fun as a homicidal maniac in L.A.

BB planned for his suicide to be the last murder in the case to make it too difficult for L to solve- becoming “The World’s Greatest Criminal” in the process.

It didn’t work, though.

Naomi figured it out and shut his show down, keeping BB from setting himself on fire and slapped him in cuffs.

…You could say that Naomi kept the party from getting lit. I regret nothing

I believe it’s also stated at the end of the novel that BB dies in his jail cell.

The Death Note fan wiki page never really made it clear if L made contact with Beyond Birthday after he was arrested or if his only contact with BB was before his crazy murder streak. The page also states that it is unknown if L and BB actually ever met in real life, though BB did his best to copy L.

So now that you know the brass facts, it’s time to get theorizing.


Was L During The Kira Case ACTUALLY Beyond Birthday?

My theory is based on L contacting Beyond Birthday after the murders.

L recognizes BB’s super intelligence, so he offers BB a deal: Help solve cases of L’s choosing with him under tight surveilence, or rot in jail and wait for a bitter prisoner or old age take him out first. Beyond chose working with L under the tight leash, does his best, and becomes a clone of L.

Then Kira happened.

Once both became aware of how the Death Note worked (needing a name and face to kill), L ordered (or BB himself) to change his name to L Lawliet. When they understood the Death Note, they realized it would be a suicide mission. So of the two, BB was the criminal who would act as the decoy.

BB became the “public” figure (term used loosely) for L like Lind L. Taylor was for BB.

When BB and Watari died, L disappeared for awhile to give the illusion that he was actually dead. Near thought that he was the only remnant of L left, and accepted the Kira case.

Whether that was out of the realization that Kira could take over the world or out of selfish intrest in the case, it didn’t really matter. Near finished and closed the Kira case.

It was also L’s test for Near.

So right afterwards when everything was said and done with, L contacted Near to see if he would be interested in working more closely together in the future.


-And that’s a wrap!


Woah, Wait- Do You Have Any Evidence For this Theory?

Actually, I kinda do.

  • “L,” or in my theory, Beyond Birthday asks the police officers when they first meet at a hotel to call him Ryuzaki for safety reasons. Rue Ryuzaki was the name of the alias that BB used when he was pretending to work as a Private Investigator alongside of Naomi Misori.
  • For my theory to work, it would make sense for Beyond Birthday to “officially” die before L did. My reasoning behind this is that L and Beyond would most likely decide to write BB off as dead so that no one would suspect him playing as L’s decoy… And he did. According to the Death Note wikipage, BB died in January of 2004 of a “mysterious heart attack” and L died in November of 2004. Even if my theory doesn’t pan out completely, I have no doubt in my mind that BB was a victim of Kira. (also, it’s an 11 month difference, but that’s definitely something)
  • L has one of the biggest fanbases there is, and fan dedication is the strongest plot armor I know of. L can’t be dead, dangit!

-also, this theory can be used as a scapegoat for anyone who was bothered by “L’s” relaxed morals and ruthless way of solving cases-


But Wait- There’s More!

Anyone who’s read the L.A. B.B. Murder Case story is probably hopping in their seat and screaming at their computer, “You’re forgeting something SUPER important that proabably could make or break this theory!”

Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten.


But once again, please don’t worry. I did some research on the shinigami eyes and found out that- surprisingly- it doesn’t throw an entire monkey wrench into my theory.

Questions I had:

  • Wouldn’t have Misa or Rem noticed and told Light that BB’s lifespan wasn’t showing?
  • Would BB really have freaked out that badly when he first heard of Shinigamis?


  • The wiki page only said that Death Note users with Shinigami eyes can see other Death Note users. Beyond Birthday was never a Death Note user, so he never would’ve known that Light or Misa had a Death Note and visa versa.
  • Shinigamis only cannot see each other’s lifespans. They can see every human’s lifespan and full name even if they own a Death Note. Therefore, Rem and Ryuk wouldn’t know by looking at BB that he had Shinigami eyes.
  • FUN FACT: It’s also stated in the wikipage that, in real life, there is no way for a human to tell a regular person VS a person with shinigami eyes apart- even scientifically. The yellow cat eyes in the manga and the red eyes in the anime were just for the viewer’s benefit to tell them apart.
  • Since BB was born with Shinigami eyes, he would be used to the eyes- he wouldn’t, however, be used to the actual shinigami.

Another little side bit that helps me accept my theory even more is that BB found out VERY QUICKLY how the Death Note worked…

Probably because he himself had Shinigami eyes?


Houston, We Still Have a Few Problems..

Even a seemingly flawless theory has at least a few issues that can’t be easily explained away. And I’m even nice enough to lay them all out in a list for you to see and nitpick for yourself.

  • Why on earth L would keep such an unstable serial killer by his side in the first place?
  • If it was truly Beyond Birthday during the Kira case, he seemed a lot more mentally stable and composed than BB probably should’ve been.
  • If it was also seriously BB during the case, Watari and him seemed to share a friendship and bond that only L and Watari probably would’ve had.
  • The writer and creator behind Death Note basically confirms that L died- and he even went into great detail on how “there’s only one life and there’s no coming back once you’re dead.”


It’s yours to choose if these problems are just too big in your mind for you to accept this theory fully. I, however, cling to this theory and hope that he’s eating strawberry cake and annoying a local justice department somewhere out there. ♥


So what do you think about this theory? Let me know what you think! And as always, thanks for reading to the end of my post!

~Felicity Annora




-Death Note: anime television adaption, 2006-2007.

-Death Note fan Wiki; “Shinigami eyes”, “Beyond Birthday” (and “L”):

-Death Note Wikipedia page:

-“Death Note Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases” by Nisio Isin, 2006- adapted to english by Viz (light novel)


6 thoughts on “Death Note Theory: Is L POSSIBLY Alive?

Add yours

    1. *begrudgingly shoves L away into a safe corner* I’m not giving up on L yet! xD

      Also, was it stated from official sources that he died from being burned? Because in stated in the official fan-wiki that the FBI agent found him before he could actually fufill the age old meme of “KILL IT WITH FIRE.” I don’t know because I haven’t finished the light novel myself.


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