Are we getting closer to solving the Lucy Beale murder mystery? It certainly seems that way thanks to a text message sent by Emma Summerhayes that was received by one of 14 people.
Tonight’s EastEnders saw the suddenly switched-on Summerhayes meet up with Lucy’s killer before deciding to go to the police to tell them what she knew. But just as she was about to send the murderer a text reading “I can’t keep the secret”, Emma was hit by a car driven by Roxy Mitchell that was careering out of control.
In the aftermath of the crash, a disorientated Emma realised that the text had failed to send and tried again, just as various Walford residents gathered around her. Among those milling about were boyfriend Max, Ian Beale, his fiancée Jane and Lee. And as Emma’s text finally went through, an alert chime from a nearby mobile told viewers that a supposedly concerned neighbour was really the guilty party. But who?
Of course, it could just be a massive coincidence that someone received an entirely different text just at the moment that Emma sent hers, but that really wouldn’t be playing fair, would it EastEnders? But with Emma now being rushed to hospital after her condition took a turn for the worse, we’re hoping that she’ll still get to tell her tale.
For us, a question mark remains over whether we should be counting Max Branning. After all, he was right by her side as she scrambled for her mobile. So would she really have needed to message him? But, for now, we’re not ruling him out. So let’s take a look at the motives and alibis of all those who could potentially be guilty of the crime…
Had become concerned about Lucy’s behaviour (cocaine use et cetera) and had rowed with her. Did he flip and do away with her? He was with prostitute Rainie Cross on Good Friday, but did Lucy maybe catch him with her? And the prospect of exposing Ian as a killer on the day he marries Jane (which handily coincides with the show’s 30th anniversary) would make for a delicious cliffhanger.
Has no motive yet that’s been disclosed, but was very nervous about attending the funeral in the wake of Lucy’s death. Jane also recently warned off Emma Summerhayes during a confrontation at the Queen Vic. She has no alibi for Good Friday, but was very quick to say that the witnessed Lauren walking past the Beale house. Hmmm, suspicious!
Did Peter fly into a rage after learning that Lucy was Ian’s favoured child? Could Lucy have been about to reveal that her brother was also her drug dealer? At the time of the murder, he was out, claiming he needed to spend some time alone.
She knew that her dad was having an affair with Lucy – was that the last straw for her? Since the murder, she’s also been behaving in an increasingly erratic fashion: getting rid of incriminating evidence at the car lot, stalking Lauren while dressed as a weeping angel and then trying to drown her. And she was very desperate to leave for Bolton during the shock moment when she ran over her own dog Tramp…Says she was at home with Max on Good Friday – but was left alone temporarily while he walked Tramp. But was that long enough for her to kill Lucy?
LAUREN BRANNING Supposed best friend of Lucy Beale. But who’s to say that she hadn’t found out about the affair with Max? And what was she really doing loitering outside the Beales’ house after leaving Roxy’s party?
MAX BRANNING Did he take revenge after being spurned by Lucy? Did he fear that their affair could have been made public? Was Max up to no good while supposedly out walking Tramp the dog? And he did say to daughter Abi, “Look Abs, what happened on Good Friday stays between us, only us. We’ll just have to be careful, won’t we?”
First became a suspect when he was seen on CCTV footage as a passenger wearing a beanie hat on a bus that Lucy was also on just before her death. It turned out that he and Ben Mitchell later robbed an off-licence near Walford Common and also came into possession of Lucy’s mobile phone and purse, which they later buried.
Had a fling with Lucy before she died and upset Whitney in the process. Said he was at Roxy’s party, but later admitted to having seen Lucy arguing with Billy. Recently, he delivered the memory stick of video footage that contradicted Lauren’s statement as to her whereabouts to Emma Summerhayes. He also has known anger issues.
Was he drumming up business for the funeral parlour by providing it with an extra corpse? Did Lucy somehow know about Pam and Les’s mercy killing of their son? Unlikely, it has to be said…
A similarly outside bet, although maybe there are further nefarious dealings goings on at that funeral parlour that we don’t yet know about. Both she and Les say they were at home together watching a movie on the night in question.
After Lucy had died, it came to light that Whitney had actually been bullied by her. And then there’s all that suspicious wiping of the information on Lucy’s social networks. And that ‘Rot in Hell’ card found by Tamwar on the day of Lucy’s funeral…As for an alibi, Whitney did not go to Roxy’s party and went out for a walk but nowhere near – so she claims – Walford Common.
Perhaps Lucy found out that she was planning to leave Ian and the pair of them rowed? Or did Lucy know that Denise had had a kiss with Fatboy in the toilets of the Queen Vic? OK, so Denise had only just arrived back from her visit to Oxford to see Libby, but the timeframe does allow for a quick bit of homicide…
We know he was out of prison at the time of Lucy’s murder. And that he also found Lucy’s purse and phone on the fatal night after robbing an off licence with Jay near Walford Common. Does his story about leaving Lucy’s bag stack up? And, of course, he does have quite the history when it comes to homicide, having previously done away with Heather Trott.
Like Peter, she was jealous of the way Ian favoured Lucy. She is also known for conniving behaviour having dropped Lucy right in it as far as her drug habit was concerned. After the murder, she questioned Ian’s alibi, saying that he wasn’t at the Beale house on the night of Lucy’s death. At Christmas, it was Cindy who found Lucy’s music box under the tree, but who put it there in the first place?
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news