It’s been well over three months since viewers saw Lucy Beale lying dead in Walford Common, yet we are still no nearer to finding out who on the square is guilty. Lucy wasn’t shy in making enemies, so plenty of people have a motive, and while the detectives in Eastenders spend longer in bed with Max Branning than they do finding evidence, it looks like we’re in for the long-run.
To keep you up to speed here are some of the main contenders in this classic whodunnit plot. Nothing spices up a Monday night in watching the soaps than cheering on the suspect you’ve punted.
Ian Beale 18/1
Let’s start with Ian, Lucy’s dad. On the night Lucy died we know that Ian, found out about her cocaine use, caught her sleeping with Lee Carter on the restaurant floor, had a blazing row with her at the house, and then when she did a runner, he spent the night with Albert Square’s favourite hooker Rainie Cross. The good news for Ian is that, at least as far as we know, he has an alibi. The bad news is he doesn’t really want anyone to know that Rainie is his alibi, plus Rainie is blackmailing him for money to stay quiet. Classic.
Cindy Beale 16/1
One of the only people on the square to know about Ian’s little fling is Cindy Beale, a half-sister to Lucy. Since rocking up on the square in 2013 Cindy and Lucy haven’t seen eye-to-eye and it was Cindy who told Ian that Lucy had been shoplifting and doing cocaine. Cindy also wasn’t shy in letting DCI Irving know that Lucy was on cocaine which infuriated Ian. Since Lucy’s death, Cindy was forced to live in Devon however she is up the duff with TJ Spraggon so the path is set for a potentially explosive return.
Max Branning 18/1
The slimy so-and-so Max Branning was originally one of the key men in the frame, but his odds have drifted slightly. He was sleeping with Lucy (his daughter’s best mate) and had a hell of a row with her when she declined his advances the day she died. Max had previously had a scuffle with Lucy in his office after she tried to end the relationship. She got a healthy whack on the head that day, however Max has since destroyed all the evidence. Could he have murdered her out because she didn’t want to hop into bed with him? That’s unlikely, however he is now sleeping with one the police liaison officer which could be a way of hiding his tracks.
Max’s daughter Abi knew full-well about Max and Lucy’s little fling and had photographed them together in order to blackmail her dad. She obviously didn’t like seeing her sister Lauren’s best-friend copping off with her old man behind everyone’s back so there’s a big motive if she ever needed one. One of the favourites in the book, Abi was acting as an alibi for Max by saying they were together the night of Lucy’s death, however could it be that she is just getting her Dad on side as she was the one up to no good? meanwhile it appears Lauren didn’t know about her Dad’s affair with business partner and best-mate Lucy. If she did however that is a great reason to bunk someone off.
Twist! It turns out Nick Cotton – son of Dot – is alive and well. Everyone in the square thinks he kicked the bucket when Nick’s son Charlie rocked up earlier this year, however know we know the truth. Nick is alive, and Charlie is somehow in on it. Did he fake his own death to get out of trouble? He certainly had a healthy dash of cocaine in his cupboard so supplying Lucy wouldn’t have been an issue. Could there have been a fall-out over a drug debt? And what does Charlie really know?
Les Coker 5/1
Funeral director Les makes no secret about how much he enjoys death – after all it is good for business. He is fully aware that Charlie Cotton is up to something suspect as he knows that it definitely wasn’t Nick in that coffin, but is there more to it? The dodgy undertaker is definitely as shifty as a 10-speed-clutch and his sinister eyes and leather gloves make him an ideal soap murderer candidate.
We don’t know too much about Aleks but what we do know is that he has a tasty little violent streak, he had a little interest in Lucy while she was alive and she had been in his flat before doing work for Jake Stone. Jake was originally arrested for murder however later released as there was little evidence against him and his story that he was so trollied the night Lucy died he couldn’t have done it seems to stand up, even if he couldn’t. Aleks, on the other hand, is used to keeping things under wraps (like his secret wife) and knows how to throw his weight around on the square. Plus he’s Latvian so if the Eastenders writers fancied going a little UKIP, he’s their man.