*WARNING: Contains spoilers for Karen Pirie episode 1*


Well, that was a gripping start to ITV's latest crime drama, Karen Pirie. The first episode introduced us to DS Karen Pirie (Lauren Lyle) and the rest of the cast while also setting up an intriguing mystery, which is playing out across two timelines.

The end of the episode saw the prime suspect being hit by a car and killed, leaving Karen and her partner DC Jason Murray (Chris Jenks) with few leads and more questions than they started with.

It's a knotty web which we're sure will be untangled across the next two episodes, but for now we're diving in with some potential theories of who could be behind it all.

Don't worry, there will be no book spoilers here or details from episodes 2 or 3. So read on for a rundown of what's happened so far in Karen Pirie - and some of our guesses as to who could have killed Rosie.

What do we know so far?

The boys and the police in Karen Pirie.
The boys and the police in Karen Pirie. ITV

At the start of Karen Pirie episode 1 we are introduced to barmaid Rosie Duff and three friends who frequent her pub - Ziggy, Alex and Weird. Weird tries to ask Rosie out but Alex warns that her protective brothers, Colin and Brian, will crush him. The three head off to a party and Ziggy leaves Rosie a note telling her to come along.

After a night of partying, we discover that Rosie is bleeding out, having been stabbed. Ziggy, Alex and Weird are with her, claiming to have found her like that, and Ziggy flags down a police officer, Janice.

Rosie dies in the graveyard and the boys are taken in for questioning, later being released as there is insufficient evidence of their involvement, even though their story doesn't quite add up.

After a podcast brings the case back into the light in 2022, DS Karen Pirie is assigned to a taskforce to try and finally uncover the truth. Through their investigation, Karen and her partner DC Jason Murray discover that Rosie had had a baby, which we are at first told had died but later find out may still be alive, having been adopted.

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We're also told that the father was a local boy, John Stowby, but he claims the baby was definitively not his. Something's up...

In the present day Ziggy appears racked with guilt, but Alex and Weird tell him to keep it together – we know they're hiding something from that night and their story is a lie. They previously claimed Rosie never came to the party but we know she did and she had a confrontation with Ziggy.

Then, while out on a run, Ziggy is hit and killed by an oncoming car, which veers away with the driver currently unknown.

Who could be behind Rosie's murder?

Michael Schaeffer as Weird Senior, Ariyon Bakare as Alex and Alec Newman as Ziggy in Karen Pirie.
Michael Schaeffer as Weird, Ariyon Bakare as Alex and Alec Newman as Ziggy in Karen Pirie. ITV

The prime suspects ever since the police found Rosie's body have of course been Ziggy, Alex and Weird. They invited her to the party and we now know Ziggy met her there, where he confronted her, telling her: "You need to stop messing around. You're either in it, or you're not. And if you're not, then go and do one, Rosie." The next thing we know, they were all found with her body.

Naturally Karen has set her sights on the boys as the main contenders to have committed the murder - and she's not wrong to question their stories. We already know they know more than they're letting on and when they met up they agreed to continue the lie they've told. We know, for instance, that following their arrest Ziggy went out to move a car, although just what its relevance is remains to be unveiled.

Ziggy is now dead, having been run down by a car. Could it have been driven by one of the others, afraid that his conscience would get to him and he would reveal the truth?

It all just feels like it could be a little too obvious. So who else is in the frame for Rosie's murder?

Who else could be involved?

Kevin Mains as DS Jimmy Lawson (centre).
Kevin Mains as DS Jimmy Lawson (centre). ITV

When it comes to other candidates, there aren't a whole lot of characters that we know were around at the time of the murder.

There are of course Rosie's brothers Colin and Brian. They seemed to be legitimately shaken by the news of her death, particularly Colin. However, Brian was out all night, claiming to have "fell asleep in this girl's bed". Is he telling the truth, or could he have been somehow involved?

We've been told how protective the brothers were of their sister, but could he have snapped when he found out whatever was going on between Rosie and Ziggy?

Then, there's the biggest potential curveball - Chief Superintendent Lawson. He was on the case back in 1996, and we know the reports were sloppily put together, missing key information out so as not to cause further distress to the family.

Could this just be a front? Could Lawson have somehow been involved and needed to cover his own tracks? He's been very clear at setting the limitations for Karen's investigation - maybe for his own ends.

With Lawson, the why is more murky. Could he perhaps be the mystery father of Rosie's baby?

Only time will tell if any of these theories are correct or if we're way off. Episode 2 airs next week, or if you're desperate to know the answers you can skip ahead and watch the full series on the ITV Hub now.

Karen Pirie continues on Sunday 2nd October at 8pm on ITV, while all episodes are available now on ITV Hub. You can also get a 30-day free trial of ITV Hub+ on Amazon Prime Video here.

Check out our Drama hub for more news, interviews and features or find something to watch with our TV guide.


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