Classic Whodunits


BBCEastEnders is about to offer us up the latest Whodunit as someone in Albert Square is about to go to extreme lengths in the BBC soap. To celebrate this latest dramatic event we look to previous Whodunits in the world of soap and drama. So let’s cast our eye back on some classic plots.



Hollyoaks [2007] – Who Pushed Claire


Lime PicturesThe most recent example of a Whodunits was in Hollyoaks last year when someone tried to push nasty Clare Devine off the balcony of her nightclub. The devious minx had plotted and schemed her way around the village, upsetting many and making a fair few enemies. Her plots were dam right nasty but her attempted murder of Max Cunningham was low even for her. Claire thought she was untouchable but someone proved her wrong when they shoved her off the balcony of The Loft.

No one really cared and no one felt sympathy for the woman who had pushed everyone too far. After weeks of trying to figure out who had pushed her, the culprit confessed – Justin Burton. Justin confessed as Claire was leaving the village thinking it was safe to do so without Claire out of the way but oh was he wrong. Claire returned for revenge and kidnapped Justin’s girlfriend Katy, who was also the daughter of her arch enemy Warren. Clare and Katy’s car plunged into a lake and Claire was assumed to have drowned.

But you can’t keep a bad girl down and Clare was very much alive after the accident and looking for her next victim.


The Bill [2002] – Serial Killer

In 2002 a serial killer was stalking the streets of Sun Hill claiming the lives of several women. The Police desperately looked for clues and links between the murderers but they knew the killer would strike again. At first they had no leads but then the Police began to suspect journalist Simon Kitson, the boyfriend of PC Cass Rickman.

But there were many suspects the Police considered during the course of their investigation. When PC Cass Rickman fell victim to the serial killer the Police were convinced that Simon was the murderer but then he committed suicide and another woman was killed – meaning the killer was still at large. It was revealed that Simon’s sister, Pat, was in fact the deranged serial killer.


Crossroads [2001] – Who Killed Jill?

WCentral / ITVhen Jill Chance returned to Crossroads in 2001 little did she realise what was in store for her. Reunited with her estranged daughter, Sarah-Jane, and finding love again in the arms of Adam Chance, her ex husband, things didn’t look too bad for Jill.

When she first returned Jill was sad and lonely, having just buried another husband, and soon turned to alcohol. But soon enough she picked herself up and tried to make amends with Sarah-Jane, the daughter who grew up in Germany. And Jill also began to trust Adam Chance again and the pair got engaged. Tragedy struck though when Jill disappeared on her wedding night and was later identified as a body found in the lake by the Hotel.

Sarah-Jane and Adam Chance were both suspects in the case, killing Jill for her money, and Phil Berry, a worker at the Hotel, was also suspected. Phil Berry was even arrested for the crime but then the culprit confessed all to Sarah-Jane – and then tried to kill her. Adam Chance had killed his wife when Jill realised he’d only married her for money.

Several months later it was revealed that Sarah-Jane was in fact an imposter, leaving a question mark over whether the body in the lake really was Jill after all. Had the imposter Sarah-Jane identified it as such to get her hands on Jill’s money?


Bad Girls [2005] – Who Killed Fenner?

Many prisoners of G-Wing, Larkhall, would have loved to killed Fenner. Shell Dockley and Yvonne Atkins both attempted too and even Julie Saunders tried to do away with the corrupt Officer.

It wasn’t just the ‘cons’ who hated Fenner either, the ‘screws’ weren’t always keen on him. Wing Governors Karen Betts, Helen Stewart and Neil Grayling weren’t fans of Fenner either and by the time of Season Seven Di Fenner, his own wife hated him. Many of those who went up against Fenner lost out, Yvonne died in the process, Betts was framed for a crime Fenner committed and Shell Dockley was sectioned thanks to Fenner.

But the murder of Yvonne Atkins was a step too far for Jim Fenner and it was downhill from there as the women of G-Wing plotted their revenge. A year after Jim’s horrific murder of Yvonne, the women plotted their revenge. Julie Johnson and Julie Saunders tried to poison him with candles, Darlene Cake and Janine Nebeski tried a poison dart and Pat Kerrigan was going to stab him with a sharpened stick. But then someone stabbed him in the throat and Fenner bled to death in the very spot Yvonne Atkins had died. But who was it? Who had finished Fenner off?

The whole wing and its Prisoner Officers were under suspicion and every single ‘con’ tried to claim responsibility for it. But the Police homed in on Di Fenner, Jim’s estranged wife. They arrested and charged her with his murder but it wasn’t Di who had finally got rid of Fenner it was Julie Johnson. She had stabbed him with a sharp piece of ice.


EastEnders [2001] – Who Shot Phil

Probably the best remembered of the recent Whodunits and very much in the vain off the all-time claBBCssic, Who Shot JR? Phil Mitchell was never a popular resident of Albert Square with his bullying ways and throwing his considerable weight around. Phil wasn’t afraid to use intimidation to get what he wanted and blackmail was another weapon he’d readily use.

It was therefore hardly surprising that someone would try and kill him. In 2001 Phil Mitchell had a lot of enemies, the whole Square seemed to have turned against him. Mark Fowler disliked him over his treatment of Lisa, who wasn’t keen on him herself, Ian Beale still hadn’t forgiven Phil for his treatment of Kathy and Steve also had a long standing feud with Phil. The nation wondered which one of Phil’s enemies tried to do away with him and for once the ending wasn’t ruined by the press – who were desperate to have the scoop.

Phil Mitchell returned to the Square to confront his would be killer – Lisa. His estranged girlfriend had shot Phil and she seems to have taken a liking to taking shot pots at Phil because several years later Lisa was poised to shoot him again.


Emmerdale [2006] – Who Pushed Tom King

Isn’t your wedding day meant to be the happiest day of your life? Well Tom King of Emmerdale and Jill Chance off Crossroads both found out that isn’t always the case.

Sometimes it can be the last day of your life. Sometimes it can be the day you are murdered. Tom King’s days were numbered following the explosion at his show-house which claimed the life of three people. The village of Emmerdale turned against the Kings and Tom didn’t make himself any the more popular. He even isolated himself from his sons by marrying Rosemary Sinclair, who they felt was after his money. So on his wedding day someone pushed Tom through a window and to his death, but who?

Tom’s sons believed Rosemary or her son, Grayson, had pushed their father to his death and were determined to get the Police to believe so too. Terry Woods was also a suspect because his wife, Dawn, was killed in the show-house explosion. Dawn’s father, Bob Hope, was also a suspect. For several months the Police investigated every single suspect and then the killer confessed, Carl King killed his father.

Some claimed it was an anti-climax as the sons were the obvious suspects and others claimed the storyline was dragged on for far too long.



Dallas [1980] – Who Shot JR?

The all-time classITV / London Weekend Televisionic plot that sets the standard for all those style of storylines that have followed. EastEnders, Emmerdale, Crossroads they’ve all tried to capture the huge success and public response this storyline created in 1980. The world seemed to go Dallas mad in 1980 as everyone asked the same question, Who Shot JR.

A huge publicity drive by CBS, the show’s broadcaster, created the public interest in the show. At the end of the 1979/1980 season of Dallas JR Ewing was shot by someone and everyone was a suspect because this ruthless businessman had enemies by the bucket load. Audiences had to wait all summer until the series returned to find out if JR would survive and who had tried to do away with him. In the end the culprit was revealed to be JR’s mistress, Kristin, who shot JR in anger.

But JR had annoyed so many people that everyone had reason to want him dead. It’s estimated that a stunning 83 million people in America watched the big reveal!




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