Psychological thriller Liar has had plenty of twists and turns – and the ITV drama has delivered one final surprise. [MAJOR SPOILER ALERT]
Lying in the beautiful marshes of Tollesbury in Essex is the body of Andrew Earlham (Ioan Gruffudd), the serial rapist and manipulator who believed himself to be untouchable. His skin is blue and his throat is cut.
Andrew has been missing for weeks, having disappeared from his house on the night Laura Nielson (Joanne Froggatt) finally discovered the evidence that would put him behind bars: sick video footage of him raping 17 women. But when the police came to arrest him he was already gone.
The dramatic conclusion leaves things open for a confirmed second series which will look at who murdered the serial rapist.
Andrew Earlham is certainly not short of enemies. Here are six main suspects – and the reasons why each of them could have done it.
Laura Nielson (Joanne Froggatt)
Laura Nielson certainly has the motive for murdering Andrew Earlham. After he raped her at the start of the series, she pursued him with such tenacity and dogged determination thanks to the failures of the criminal justice system. We know she has the capacity to take the law into her own hands: after all, that’s what she’s been doing ever since that horrific evening. In the penultimate episode she gave Andrew a taste of his own medicine by drugging him and dragging him off to the boathouse in an attempt to frame him for a second rape.
If Laura DID kill Andrew, her movements are pretty well accounted for – so she’d probably have to have done it after he went on the run. Perhaps she didn’t trust the police assurances that he’d definitely go to prison? Or perhaps she thought he deserved worse after what she found on those memory cards in the shed?
Andrew’s son Luke Earlham (Jamie Flatters)
Towards the end of the series, it became clear that Luke didn’t 100% believe his father was innocent. He was pretty distressed when Andrew asked him to provide him with a fake alibi, even though he finally cracked and said he’d do it. He also lashed out when Andrew he tried to provide him with some fatherly advice, snapping: “Spare me the advice, dad, like you’re in any position!” Andrew took offence: “What does that mean, Luke? I was cleared. Those charges, not one of them stuck.” But Luke did NOT look convinced.
This is a boy who has so far been loyal to his father – but let’s not forget, he may have seen some of the emotional abuse that caused his mother to kill herself. And he’s now faced with a pile of video evidence proving Andrew’s guilt once and for all.
Could he have realised the truth and killed his own dad? Or did he track him down after the proof of those rapes was leaked to the press?
DI Harmon’s wife Jennifer (Jill Halfpenny)
Until the final episode we only saw DI Vanessa Harmon’s wife Jennifer on a laptop screen as she was on military deployment. But then she came back on leave – and finally found out about the rape.
When we last saw her, Jen was absolutely furious to find out that the police investigation had failed yet again and there wasn’t enough evidence to press charges. “I feel like it’s my job to protect you and I wasn’t there,” she said. With her background, she surely has the skills to kill Andrew – so could she have taken matters into her own hands to protect her wife and unborn child?
It’s also possible that Vanessa and Jennifer teamed up for the murder. After all, Rory and Laura had difficulty getting hold of Vanessa on the phone when they had all the evidence at the police station… could they have been dumping the body?
Laura’s ex Tom Bailey (Warren Brown)
Having lost his job and screwed up his relationships with both Laura and Katy, Tom has nothing to lose. He’s already in deep. He’s bought a date rape drug to plant on Andrew (unsuccessfully) and hacked his phone. He also has a motive: it was Andrew who got him fired for sending round the drug squad.
It’s not much of a stretch to think he could murder Andrew himself.
Laura’s new man Ian (Kieran Bew)
Having met Ian when she was struggling to cope and in no mood for romance, Laura later decided to go on an actual date with him – and it went really well. But while they were in the pub she spotted her rapist on a date with another woman (Charlotte). Ian was shocked to see he was still on the loose and free to strike again. And there may be a reason the TV show contains a scene where Ian gets a good look at Andrew…
Could Ian have killed Andrew? Perhaps he wants to get him out of the way – partly as punishment for what he did to Laura, and perhaps partly so she doesn’t have to look over her shoulder all the time.
Laura’s sister Katy Sutcliffe (Zoe Tapper)
“I’d do anything for you, you know that. Even when you’re angry at me.” That’s what Katy told Laura as she handed her the phone she’d stolen from Andrew’s locker at work. By having a secret affair with Tom, Katy’s messed up her relationship with her sister and her husband – perhaps irreparably.
Could she have murdered Andrew as a way to help her sibling?