Who killed Tara Collins? Chris Lang’s ITV drama Innocent is keeping viewers guessing with a dramatic penultimate episode.
Did David Collins murder his wife? Or was the killer David’s brother? Tara’s sister? His ex-best friend and her ex-lover? Perhaps the brother-in-law?
Here’s the evidence against each character:
Is Lee Ingleby’s character David Collins guilty?
Despite the title of the TV show, from the beginning it was by no means guaranteed that David Collins was innocent. Seven years after the murder and his conviction, he was only out of prison on a technicality and still living under a cloud of suspicion.
So what was the evidence against him? Why did the court convict him of murder? Here’s the case that DI William Beech (Nigel Lindsay) originally built:
- Spatters of Tara’s blood were found on David’s Parka
- He had no alibi for the night of Tara’s murder, as Tom changed his story and said he left David’s house earlier than originally claimed
- David and Tara had an increasingly troubled relationship, and she was planning to leave him
- A witness testified that she heard a woman screaming
But good news for David: as she re-investigated the case, DI Cathy Hudson (Angel Coulby) uncovered new evidence that “conclusively exonerates” him.
- The “woman’s scream” heard coming from his house may actually have been a fox, the witness says
- While Alice had alleged that David beat his wife, the incident where she ended up in hospital with cuts to her cheek after a “mugging” was not domestic violence at all. Instead, it now emerges that the injuries were inflicted during a fight with her ex-lover Tom
- Tara was wearing David’s warm Parka during that fight, as it was a cold winter evening. The incriminating blood spatters date from three months before her death
- Tom Wilson now admits that he lied about when he left the Collins house, so David has an alibi after all. A witness has confirmed that Tom left the house much later than he said
But is that the end of the road for David as a suspect? We’ll find out in episode four…
Is Hermione Norris’s character Alice Moffatt guilty?
Aunt Alice has not been telling the whole truth, to put it mildly. The evidence against her:
- Alice Moffatt repeatedly lied to the police about her relationship with Tara. Instead of parting on friendly terms, she actually had a horrible row with her sister on the night of the murder and was seen pushing her up against a wall
- Alice was desperate for children and wanted thousands of pounds of Tara’s money for IVF, but her sister called her a “parasite” and denied her request – giving Alice a motive for murder
- Once David was convicted she got custody of Tara’s children who now call her “mum”. Could she have framed him so she could “steal” his children?
- As the children’s guardian she has enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle on the proceeds of David and Tara’s estate, whereas previously she struggled financially
- The Moffats’ car was caught by a speeding camera that night – but Alice insisted that both she and Rob were home in bed
Is Adrian Rawlins’s character Rob Moffatt guilty?
Rob Moffatt is your typical “quiet man”. But could he be our murderer? Or perhaps his wife’s accomplice?
- Tara’s body was tied with a butterfly knot and wrapped in tarpaulin. Rob works at a boatyard and at the end of episode two we saw him tie a rope into that particular knot
- Rob may have shared his wife’s desperate desire for children, and he has benefited financially from Tara’s murder and David’s conviction
- He admits to having hated Tara – and the pain she inflicted on his wife
- The Moffatts’ car was caught doing 57 in a 30 mph zone, on a route that would have passed by the train station at around the time Tara got off that evening.
- Rob says he was driving to a late-night pharmacist to pick up his wife’s anti-depressants without her knowledge – but why has he never mentioned this before?
Is Daniel Ryan’s character Phil Collins guilty?
David’s seemingly-lovely brother Phil hasn’t really fallen under suspicion yet, which makes him the perfect surprise killer. Especially as…
- Phil believed very strongly that David was innocent, but now his brother is out of prison he is desperate for him to stop “chasing shadows” and to put the past behind him. Could he have his own motives for wanting to move on?
- Phil is also convinced that Alice, Rob and Tom are all innocent. Does he know something we don’t? There are good reasons to suspect their guilt, so why is he so sure?
Is Elliot Cowan’s character Tom Wilson guilty?
David’s ex-best friend has come under suspicion – for good reason. Here’s what we know about Tom:
- He lied to the police (and to both his first and second wife) about having an affair with Tara, until the point where the police had financial and phone records and the truth was indisputable
- After their secret affair had apparently ended, Tom was bothered by Tara’s efforts to win him back by calling him and turning up at work and at home – did he want her out of the way?
- Tom and Tara got in an altercation so violent that Tara ended up in hospital, saying she had been mugged. Tom insists it was an accident that he lashed out and hit her in the face
- Tom was convinced that David knew he’d been sleeping with Tara and was going to tell his then-wife Louise Wilson (Christina Cole), and so he deliberately changed his story about when he’d left the Collins house – invalidating David’s alibi and keeping him behind bars. It’s clear he would stop at nothing to keep his wife from finding about his affair. Perhaps even murder?
So what’s the truth? We’ll find out when the final episode airs on Thursday 17th May at 9pm on ITV…