Emmerdale: who killed Emma Barton? Meet the 7 top suspects

Lots of people had an axe to grind with the nutty nurse...


Emmerdale have confirmed Emma Barton was murdered, despite her death initially being regarded as suicide after her dramatic demise last week.


The unstable nurse’s days were numbered once she confessed to killing husband James Barton by pushing him off a bridge last year, and she was wracked with guilt after accidentally ending her son Finn’s life by shooting him while on the run after her murder confession.

The soap’s producer Iain MacLeod confirmed this was now a whodunit after DS Benton revealed to Barton brothers Ross and Pete at Finn’s funeral the pathology report suggested their mother was not alone on the viaduct, and that physical evidence pointed to there being a struggle shortly before her death.

“Now this has become a murder investigation there’s lots of characters to point the finger at, because Emma’s trodden on so many peoples’ toes in the village that there’s no shortage of potential suspects.”

He’s not wrong – we’ve got seven names officially in the frame and they’ve all got motive…

Is that Emma's bag Ross is burning?

Ross Barton

Emma’s sly son was spotted at the scene of her death and discovered her corpse – but no one knows exactly what he saw. After being told police were on a murder hunt, he retrieved some items locked away in the garage later revealed as a handbag, purse and phone which he threw into a fire – were they the same accessories belonging to Emma that have strangely gone missing? Was the suicide note in the bag? Did Ross kill his mum as revenge for his dad, or is he covering for someone?


Cain Dingle

Few crimes occur in the village without Cain being linked somehow, and he’s got genuine motive after Emma nabbed his and Moira’s kiddy from the hospital. Did we believe his alibi story he gave to mum Faith?


Pete Barton

A charged showdown with Ross saw him being accused of having something to hide and acting very cagily since the police made their little announcement. Pete would equally have cause to take vengeance for his dad’s death, just like Ross. Or James’s other son…


Adam Barton

James and Moira’s love child knows he looks guilty, seeing as he chased after Emma with a gun after he thought she’d put his mum’s life in danger when he found her covered in blood and cradling a newborn baby at the barn blaze. Plus he’s got form for attempted murder. Emma almost kill one parent, and definitely killed the other – do we have a double motive?


Moira Dingle

Emma contemplated leaving her in a burning building then stole her son from an incubator and went on the run – although she left him safely in the church and he didn’t come to any actual harm. Does she have as strong a motive as our other suspects?


Gabby Thomas

Ashley’s daughter exposed Emma’s killer secret about James, and was threatened by the bonkers Mrs Barton days before she was found dead. Knowing how she manipulated her ailing father in his final days and the hell she put her stepmum Laurel through, did the Thomas teen flip? She looked worried when the police descended on the village tonight…


Laurel Thomas

Initially discounted as a suspect, despite loudly accusing Emma of murdering James months ago, new information reveals the grieving widow wasn’t out of town at the time of the murder as was first thought… so where was she? Secretly taking revenge on Mrs Barton for her cruel manipulation of dead husband Ashley and intimidation of her kids?     

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.


And visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.