As the investigation into Emma Barton's death hots up, which jittery villagers are in the frame for murder?
Oooh! The mystery of who killed Emma Barton is about to ramp up a gear as more suspects enter the frame. Did the nutty nurse just jump? Was it suicide? The police don't think so and nor do forensics!
The investigation is about to hit more twists and turns- and no doubt a few red-herrings will be tossed in for good measure- as stressed Emmerdale folk are put under the spot-light?
Why did Adam Barton have to change his tyres? Why did Gabby Thomas say she had to charge her phone but return with hands like blocks of ice?
What has made Laurel lie about her whereabouts? She said she was visiting her sister at the time of Emma's death but a train ticket tells a different story!
Could Ross, who is more than capable of murder and who was seen leaving the scene, have finished off the mum he'd come to loathe?
As the net closes in, who is lying, who is hiding incriminating evidence and who DID kill Emma?
Here, we go through the main seven suspects for the murder of Emma Barton...
ROSS BARTON : THE VENGEFUL SON!
Emma’s son Ross has certainly been looking rather suspicious recently. He burned his mum’s bag, which was surely crucial evidence and was also spotted scrambling down the hill near the viaduct in the opposite direction to his mum’s dead body!
Mike Parr who plays the ex-con says, “Ross is more than capable of murder. Not only because he had so much loathing for his mother but he has had a dodgy past.”
Yes, don't forget he once arranged a pact with Andy Sugden when they planned to swap roles and kill each other’s brothers!
Mike adds: “Ross clearly had his reasons for wanting Emma dead. He was furious when he discovered she had killed his dad and brother Finn. Plus he’s never forgiven her for walking out on them as young boys or for nearly killing him when he was a baby.”
Could he have bumped off his own mum?
PETE BARTON: THE GRIEVING SON
He might be grieving but there’s no escaping the fact Pete has been acting quite strangely recently. He was terrified when he thought Emma had taken his newborn son from the hospital, (that was BEFORE he discovered the tot was not his), and was worried she would harm him the little mite.
Anthony Quinlan who plays him says, “Pete is not himself at the moment. He and Ross have absolutely no trust between each other and are both suspicious of each other.”
He adds, “He also thought he had a new son with Moira and then immediately discovered Emma had taken him from the hospital.”
Don't think Pete's got it in him? Let's rewind and remember that the mild-mannered Barton once left Ross for dead. Could Pete have killed his mother if he feared she was about to harm his newborn son?
ADAM BARTON: THE HALF-BROTHER
Moira’s normally happy- go- lucky son certainly had a motive to attack Emma.
When he came across the unstable nurse covered in blood outside the burning barn he immediately assumed she’d seriously harmed Moira and chased Emma into the woods with a gun.
Plus there's a dark history there as Emma robbed him of James, his biological dad. Adam Thomas who plays him says, “ Adam is incredibly protective of his mum plus he feels aggrieved that because Emma killed his dad, he never got the time to get to know him.” Could this have been another factor that pushed him towards bumping off Emma in the heat of the moment?
Now even his wife Victoria is starting to think he might be mixed up in Emma’s death and this week we will learn that something else puts Adam slap bang in the middle of the investigations. He changed his tyres the day Emma was found dead. Why exactly? Was his vehicle at the viaduct?
MOIRA: EMMA’S NEMESIS
Moira and Emma have never seen eye to eye and their tortured relationship was fraught with issues due to Emma’s deep-rooted insecurity and bitterness thanks to Moira hopping into bed with her late hubby James.
Meanwhile Moira, was scared for her life when Emma left her in the burning barn.
Natalie J Robb who plays the feisty farmer says, “Moira definitely had a motive. She was put in extreme danger in the barn by Emma and then Emma took her baby. Moira would have seen red at this. We even saw her grab her gun.”
She adds, “Moira is very maternal but also as hard as nuts. It’s a year since she lost Holly and within minutes Emma posed a threat to her newborn baby. Moira will protect her kids at any cost."
Could Moira have killed Emma? She certainly had a strong motive
GABBY: EMMA’S TORMENTOR
Gabby loathed Emma and was furious when she discovered she had been causing serious upset to her littler brother Arthur, while also confusing and manipulating her late father, Ashley.
On the day Emma died, Gabby left the pub muttering she needed to charge her phone but returned much later with frozen cold hands. Where exactly had she been? Could Gabby have hunted Emma down to the viaduct and got her final revenge?
Rosie Bentham who plays her says, “Gabby knew things were getting out of control with Emma. Could Gabby have gone one step too far? She’s acting very guilty and perhaps has something to confess.”
This week the teen’s behaviour arouses more suspicion when it comes to light Gabby bought roses and has written a cryptic note which she leaves at the spot where Emma plunged to her death.
As the days pass, Emma’s son Pete is definitely starting to suspect Gabby but is he just pointing the finger of blame to detract from his own crimes?
CAIN: MOIRA’S PROTECTIVE EX
Cain may well be dating Harriet but he still has very strong feelings for his ex-wife Moira and will always watch out for her. He would have been fuming when he found out Emma had taken Moira’s baby and could well have gone after her and killed her.
Jeff Hordley, who plays him, explains: “Cain wants to protect Moira. Emma putting Moira in danger could probably be enough motive for Cain to finish her off. When Emma stole the baby, he would’ve seen red and thought; I need to go and sort this.”
Although the paternity of Moira’s baby was unknown at the time, Cain would have known there was a good chance he was the daddy.
He always found Emma to be strange and never tolerated her. If he had thought his child was at risk he’d have done anything to protect him; but would he have killed?
LAUREL: THE LIAR
Laurel is a late arrival to the suspect list. We had all assumed Ashley’s wife was away visiting her sister but this week we learn she has been lying and was not actually with her sister at all. Where was she at the time of Emma’s death?
This week, Gabby finds an incriminating train ticket and we see Laurel making furtive phone calls. What is she up to?
“Every fibre of Laurel hates what Emma did to Ashley,” says actress Charlotte Bellamy. “And then, of course, there’s what Emma did to Arthur. Finding out she mentally tortured a 10 year old boy who was totally vulnerable was Laurel’s worst nightmare.’
Would Laurel protect her family at any cost if pushed? We still don’t know how Emma fell but could it have been during a tussle with Laurel. Is that what Laurel is hiding and if she’s got a clear conscience, why all the lies?
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Tess is a senior writer for What’s On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite and WhattoWatch.com She's been writing about TV for over 25 years and worked on some of the UK’s biggest and best-selling publications including the Daily Mirror where she was assistant editor on the weekend TV magazine, The Look, and Closer magazine where she was TV editor. She has freelanced for a whole range of websites and publications including We Love TV, The Sun’s TV Mag, Woman, Woman’s Own, Fabulous, Good Living, Prima and Woman and Home.