5 clues to the Happy Valley killer that you probably missed

Contains spoilers for tonight’s episode


Tonight’s Happy Valley ended in shocking fashion, with the serial killer who’d been killing prostitutes unmasked after weeks of suspicion. If you haven’t seen the episode, look away now…


Yes, that’s right – the murderer was non other than bullied farm boy Daryl (Robert Emms), who confessed all to his incredulous mother before she pulled the trigger on him herself. Who could have seen it coming?

Well, all of us probably – if we’d only noticed the clues scattered throughout the series so far.

1. The location of the body


The lockup where Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) found Lynn Dewhurst’s body was our first hint of Daryl’s involvement, with the corpse stashed close to where his bullies lived and had hidden his family’s sheep. Was it an attempt to pin it on them, or just a place where they often disturbed him? We’ll probably never know – but the anonymous tip that led Catherine to them could have come from him…

2. The violent attacks


Yes, Daryl was picked on – but his reaction seemed a little extreme, grabbing a ball hammer and laying into his attackers with a frenzy (and it’s worth noting the pathologist described the murders as “frenzied” as well).

His justification? “They shouldn’t be allowed to walk, they shouldn’t be allowed to exist, they shouldn’t be allowed to breathe!”

Yep, a totally normal thing non-murderers would say.

3. The rope in the car boot


This is probably the biggest clue that your eyes might have skated over. When arresting Daryl for his hammer attack last week, Ann (Charlie Murphy) popped the boot of his car, only to be quickly told by Daryl that the hammer was in the front.

Ann went to find it, but as the camera suspiciously lingered we got a good look at Daryl’s murder kit including nylon ropes (the same sort that cast suspicion over Matthew Lewis’ Sean) and camouflage gear.

4. The damage to the car


First spotted in last week’s episode, this nasty scrape on Daryl’s car should have alerted us that he knew something he wasn’t telling, with the full importance of the vehicle becoming clear in tonight’s episode (when the police found red paint scraped alongside another car near the scene of one of the murders).

5. “You will get caught you know, Daryl”


Of course, Daryl’s mother was referring to her suspicion that her son was drink driving when she made this comment last week– but she was closer to the truth than she ever knew.


Happy Valley concludes next Tuesday 15th March at 9.00pm on BBC1