Who killed EastEnders' Lucy Beale? Britain's top soap detective thinks she's worked it out
Thirteen suspects, nine months of guessing, countless theories but only one killer. Who is responsible for the death of EastEnders‘ Lucy Beale?
We’ve heard all the conspiracy theories – from Ian Beale‘s crossword framing Lee Carter as the killer, to Peter Beale‘s noisy body-warmer zip giving him away.
But now, we’ve taken the guessing one step further…
We’ve only gone and got a criminal expert on the case!
Kate White – who worked at Inside Soap magazine before moving to her current job at the Crime Writers’ Association – has given Now her experienced perspective on who the culprit really is, based on everything she has learned about soap and criminal plotlines.
‘I have been watching EastEnders since 1992 and this storyline has me hooked,’ Kate told us. ‘For a long time, I thought the killer was Ian Beale, Lucy‘s dad – just because that would be the most shocking outcome. If it was him, I think Adam Woodyatt [who plays Ian and is the only original EastEnders cast member to have remained faithfully in the Square] will be leaving and this will be his final, massive storyline.’
Despite this inkling, Kate explained that when she analysed the programme in terms of traditional soap and criminal storyline outcomes, her suspicions changed:
‘Now, I think it’s Jane Beale. When you look back at old soap murder mysteries – such as who killed Archie Mitchell, which turned out to be Stacey Branning – women are always at the front and centre of classic whodunits, as strong female characters work best in revelations where there’s a big emotional explosion like this. And if Ian didn’t kill Lucy for this reason, it has to be the worst possible person for Ian – which would be either Jane or Peter Beale.’
Kate says that, looking at the pattern that soaps usually take, it is unlikely that Peter could be the killer. Despite clues, Kate reckons that the producers have pushed Peter so hard as a suspect that ‘there’s absolutely no way it could be him’. It would be too obvious.
‘Equally, it wouldn’t be Abi Branning because she has too much motivation, so it would be obvious and boring,’ continued Kate. ‘I would also rule out Pam and Les Coker as we know so little about them. Viewers need to understand the killer’s motivations.
‘It would shock people if Jane was the killer. We would have to re-evaluate her character completely. One of the things Laurie Brett, who plays Jane, always said to me in interviews is that she’s portrayed as the everywoman. She’s the viewer, reacting on screen in this crazy soap world as the viewer would at home. If it turns out to be the most ordinary one among them, it will be fascinating to see how they develop her character.’
And her motivation?
‘I think Lucy will have threatened Bobby Beale [Jane‘s surrogate son] in some way and Jane‘s protective instincts kicked in.’
Kate also cites the fact that Jane and Bobby ran away immediately after Lucy‘s death, Jane did not attend Lucy‘s funeral and she jumped quickly to act as Lauren Branning‘s alibi during the video evidence scene. Plus, the killer will be revealed on the day of Jane and Ian‘s wedding – and what’s better than a tragic EastEnders marriage ceremony?!
So, could Kate be right? Will EastEnders producers frame the strong female character that we least expect, with the biggest potential to hurt the victim’s dad and longest serving cast member, Ian Beale?
We can’t wait any longer to find out. Roll on tomorrow!
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