Broadchurch finale: who is the town’s serial rapist?

It’s that time again: we all go on the Broadchurch bus tonight to find out who raped not only Trish Winterman, but also others before her. It has been a good, intense series with some outstanding performances, so I hope that the ending stacks up and is satisfying. A show like Broadchurch deserves to end well. But we’re faced with the question: whodunit? Chris Chibnall has presented a quintet of main suspects that he has kept in the spotlight throughout. We’ve seen some subterfuge, some red herrings and some genuine reasons for suspicion. But now? Let’s review the suspects and then you can have your say…

Ed Burnett (Lenny Henry)
Having just been released from custody, it’s unlikely that Burnett had anything to do with the sexual assaults. But his time in custody uncovered a broken man thanks to a failed marriage, obsessed with Trish Winterman to the point where he stalked her and took photographs of her on the quiet. A whole camera full of photographs. Prone to outbursts of violence, grass stains were found on his clothes that matched those at Axehampton House. Blue twine was also found at his shop. So there has been lots of evidence and personality matches, but something tells me that Ed Burnett isn’t our man.
Likelihood: **

Ian Winterman (Charlie Higson)
Trish’s ex, he’s a shifty, feckless coward of a man, twitching whenever Hardy and Miller ask him a question. With good reason: the laptop he broke into his ex-wife’s house to retrieve contained some damning information. Not quite the porn we were expecting, but perhaps something worse: spywear that was able to give him access to Trish’s own webcam, allowing him to literally spy on her. He has some motivation, too – a spurned, jealous husband – so the question is: if Ian Winterman has it in him to spy on his estranged partner, could he have it in him to rape her and two others? I say no, as dodgy as he is.
Likelihood: ***

Clive Lucas (Sebastian Armesto)
Perhaps the nastiest suspect of the lot. Throughout his marriage to timid Lindsay, the taxi driver has been dishing out shameful, pernicious psychological abuse while using his job as a front to leer at women. It’s not just his horrid personality that marks him out as a suspect – some evidence stacks up, too. His car radio was miraculously down when the attack on Trish took place, and he was in the area, his movements unaccounted for. Not only that, but at the end of episode seven, Lindsay – having had enough of his bullshit – discovered a drawer in the garage containing what looked like momentos, or trophies, from some of the women who had been raped. As likely as there is at this moment.
Likelihood: ****1/2

Leo Humphries (Chris Mason)
Cocky and with connections to Ian Winterman’s laptop, young company boss Leo has always flitted in and out of the series, providing decent red herring value. He asked his girlfriend to lie about his whereabouts on the night Trish was raped, and blue twine was found in his company warehouse. But last week’s revelations – that he helped Ian install the spyware on his laptop because the teacher helped through some tough times – seemed to exonerate him. Always cocky, this reveal saw him open up to Hardy and Miller in a way that suggests he probably didn’t do it. Although, there was the football sock found in the grounds of Axehampton House that matched those of the team Leo plays for. I still say no, but you never know…
Likelihood: **

Jim Atwood (Mark Bazeley)
A serial philanderer who sneers and leers and takes pretty much what he wants when he wants it, he’s a man who thought he had everything and could get away with everything. That is until his wife Cath snapped and reported all she knew to Hardy and Miller. I’m not sure Jim did it, despite his aggressive levels of testosterone, mainly because he had sex with Trish, consensually, on the morning of the attack (which happened that evening at the party). Why would anyone assault the same person they had consensual sex with earlier in the day? Yes, condoms were found in his car that matched the brand used during the rape, but I don’t think Jim did it.
Likelihood: ***

A Nother
I still can’t get out of my head something that hasn’t been explained – Trish remembered a light being shined in her face during the attack, suggesting that someone filmed the whole thing with a mobile phone. Both Tom Miller and Michael Lucas (Clive’s son, no less) have recently been caught at school with homemade porn on their phones, and there seems to be a culture among the teens of this kind of behaviour (just ask Daisy Hardy). Could there be a link here? For one horrid moment I thought these teens might have done the deed themselves, but because two other women have come forward with other admissions of assault, this seems to count them out. Is there anyone else? What about convicted sex criminal Aaron Mayford? Too obvious. How about the man who owns Axehampton House? The posh dude who seems a bit funny whenever Hardy and Miller interview him… you never, never know. I doubt it because he hasn’t been properly introduced or processed.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Sara Latham says:

    I’m putting my money on Ian, mostly because it seems quite unlikely. I’m notoriously bad at guessing so it’s probably someone else. Maybe the vicar??


  2. Vicar! Called it every episode this series.


    1. Paul Hirons says:

      We’ll soon find out! ;)


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