Early within the movie, we see a jogger adopted down a dimly lit avenue by a automobile that appears just like the killer’s. She wears a pink barrette. Later, Detective Baxter meets with the dad and mom of Rhonda Rathbun, a younger girl who’s gone lacking. They inform Baxter, “When she ran, she always used a red barrette to hold her hair back.” Even later, after Deacon breaks into Sparma’s condominium and finds his field of newspaper clippings in regards to the murders, Baxter asks him if he additionally noticed a pink barrette. Clearly, the detective has come to view this pink barrette as a totem, a significant object that can definitively tie Sparma to the lacking jogger (and subsequently, probably the remainder of the killings).
At the tip, when Deacon sends Baxter a pink barrette, we expect at first that he will need to have discovered it when he was bagging up Sparma’s condominium. If so, that may imply Baxter’s killing of Sparma was … not justified, precisely, as a result of cops shouldn’t be extra-judicially killing suspects. Still, it might no less than counsel that the murders will cease.
Instead, moments later, we see Deacon additionally burning a packet of barrettes with the “Candy Apple” one lacking. We can subsequently conclude that Deacon purchased a pink barrette to launch Baxter from his guilt, not wanting him to undergo for years in the identical method Deacon has. “The Little Things” ends on this ambiguous notice, denying us a decision.