Coronation Street's most ruthless serial killers

AS Fiz Stape's past resurfaces, it's important to note the cobbles have welcomed many killers throughout the decades.

Although many Coronation Street residents have at least once resorted to murder, only a few have reached serial killer status.

Richard Hillman (Brian Capron)

Jez Quigley and Roy Johnson, among others, may have terrorised Weatherfield during their time but neither quite matched Richard's blood-thirsty nature.

A successful financial advisor portrayed by Brian Capron, Richard became the first known serial killer in Coronation Street.

He was introduced to viewers as an apparent cousin of Alma Baldwin upon attending her funeral in June, 2001.

Richard then moved to Weatherfield and began a relationship with Gail Platt before becoming her third husband.

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But cracks quickly appeared in his "family man" persona as he experienced money woes and had a penchant for homicide.

Growing increasingly desperate for cash, he took the lives of three innocent residents, including his ex-wife, before drowning to his death in March, 2003.

He had then tried to escape, holding his stepfamily hostage, when Audrey and Martin were on the verge of exposing him.

Richard's plan turned sour when he drove their Ford Galaxy into a canal.

His victims include:

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Duggie Ferguson (February, 2002)

Played by John Bowe from 1999 until his on-screen death, Duggie was Richard's business partner.

However, their partnership came to a tragic halt following a heated discussion over finances and Duggie's workmanship.

The argument, which took place at a block of flats under construction, led to Duggie falling several floors down a stairwell shaft.

The fall was, ironically, caused by a banister giving way, as a result of his shoddy workmanship.

Duggie was badly injured by the fall and, while Richard didn't directly push him, he did leave him to die.

He had initially intended to call emergency services but after dialling the number, decided it was the perfect opportunity for him to get rid of his pesky business partner.

Richard went a step further by stealing cash from Duggie's flat.

Duggie's body was eventually found in a room, hinting that he had crawled there before his last breath.

Patricia Hillman (May, 2002)

A minor character in Coronation Street, Patricia Hillman was Richard's ex-wife and first intentional victim.

Patricia arrived in Weatherfield three months after Duggie's death with the intention of getting Richard to buy out her 20% share of their business, Kellett Hodgins.

But with his financial troubles weighing heavily on his mind, Richard shunned her and ignored her multiple calls.

Not one to give up without a fight, Patricia showed up at No.8, where Richard lived with Gail and her family.

Determined to keep his issues under wraps, he ushered Patricia away.

Later on, he took her to a building site where he was developing flats and another rocky exchange ensued.

Patricia threatened to expose Richard before falling into a trench.

Once again, Patricia didn't stop there and insulted Richard copiously – resulting in him losing his patience and hitting over the head with a nearby shovel.

Her body was covered with cement the following day and Steve McDonald even found her bracelet – which Richard ended up giving to Gail.

Patricia remained there until February, 2003, after Richard confessed to all of his crimes to Gail.

Maxine Peacock (January, 2003)

27-year-old Maxine (portrayed by Tracy Shaw) was beaten to death by Richard.

However, the murderer had actually planned to kill Emily Bishop and broke into Maxine and her husband Ashley's flat while the latter was babysitting Joshua.

Richard first hit the elderly woman over the head with a crowbar – but was stopped by Maxine who had just returned home from a party and caught him (literally) red-handed.

Joshua began to cry as Maxine attempted to run up the stairs to escape but Richard managed to beat her to death with his crowbar, leaving Ashley to find her body later on.

A bench was erected outside Audrey's Salon in her honour, with a plate in her name.

Other victims include:

  • Audrey Roberts: Richard targeted Audrey to cash in on her life insurance money, sneaking into her home before setting it on fire. The hairdresser was rescued and soon became suspicious of him.
  • Emily Bishop: much like Audrey, Richard set his sights on Emily as he wanted her to pay off his debts. He first drugged her drink and planned to smother her with a pillow while she was unconscious but was stopped by Rita Tanner. As mentioned above, she was then hit over the head with a crowbar but made a full recovery while in hospital.
  • Gail, Sarah, David and Bethany Platt: with the truth catching up to him, Richard hatched a murder-suicide plan which consisted of tying his wife Gail and his step-family up before driving into the canal. While all survived, with Richard only perishing, the incident considerably traumatised David who began to act out as a result.

Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford)

While some may be surprised to find outspoken florist Tracy (Corrie legend Kate Ford) made the list, the acid-tongued and spiteful superbitch has made quite a few victims over the years.

Known to make even her grandmother Blanche Hunt look polite, Tracy has had a habit of taking what's not hers, including other women's men.

Her personality may have mellowed following her release from prisonin 2010 but Tracy has gone as far as to murder one of her former boyfriends – before unintentionally causing the death of two other residents.

Charlie Stubbs (January, 2007)

There were two sides to the builder portrayed by Bill Ward and Tracy got on his bad one.

A real ladies-man, Charlie was reputed for his sometimes violent and bullying tendencies (just ask Shelley Unwin) but also showed empathy to Roy Cropper after seeing him being tormented by labourer Vince.

But when he was romantically involved with Tracy, Charlie showed no remorse as he embarked on an affair with Maria Connor.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, especially if her name is Tracy Barlow.

In one of the most graphic murder scenes in Coronation Street, Tracy got her revenge by enticing Charlie to receive a lapdance… before brutally hitting him over the head with a large ornament.

Charlie later died in hospital, making him a murder victim although Tracy first denied having planned his death and insisted she had hit him in self-defence.

Three months later, when the truth was finally exposed, Tracy was sentenced to fifteen years in prison but managed to get released in late 2010 after serving three years behind bars.

Kal Nazir and Maddie Heath (June, 2015)

Eight years after Charlie's death… Tracy has slowly but surely began to shed her bad reputation.

But history repeated itself when she planned to take out Carla Connor by beating her to death after breaking into her Victoria Court flat while she was asleep.

Tracy fled the scene after hearing a toilet flush (not knowing it was her daughter Amy), leaving a candle burning.

The flat went up in flames but Carla and Amy were saved from the blaze.

Sadly, both Kal Nazir and and Maddie Heath perished.

While Kal died in the fire, Maddie was running by the Builder's Yard to find her girlfriend Sophie (ready to warn her about Jenny Bradley's plan to kidnap Jack Webster), when it exploded and knocked her to the ground.

Maddie was left in a coma but later died in hospital.

Both deaths caused a lot of psychological turmoil for Carla as she believed she was the one to have left the candle burning.

When she planned to commit suicide, Tracy finally came clean but Carla could never prove she was the one to blame.

Tony Gordon (Gray O'Brien)

Scottish actor Gray O'Brien first appeared in the cobbles in September, 2007, taking on the role of villainous factory boss Tony Gordon.

Aside from cheating on his wife Carla with Maria, Tony resorted to murder and wreaked havoc in Weatherfield for both women as well as Liam Connor.

He met his demise in June, 2010, after breaking out of prison and holding Carla hostage alongside Hayley Cropper at the Underworld factory during "Siege Week."

Carla shot him while the factory was on fire and managed to escape – while Tony welcomed death with open arms and walked into the flames.

The factory then exploded, announcing the end of Tony's reign of terror.

But who did he kill?

Mr Gordon (year unknown)

Tony may not have been directly responsible for his own father's death but he did play a part in it.

Mr Gordon suffered from a heart attack years before his son made his arrival in Coronation Street.

The incident was witnessed by Tony but he chose to stand back and watch it all happen as he believed his mother would be better off without him.

The death was only mentioned in the online web series called Tony's Mind.

Liam Connor (October, 2008)

The husband of Maria Connor, Liam (played by Rob-James Collier) was Tony's first official victim.

Liam was having an affair with his later brother's wife Carla when she became interested in Tony.

Jealous, he proposed to Maria who accepted but still embarked on an affair with Tony.

On the night of his death, Maria revealed she was pregnant but later found out Liam was dead.

Tony is said to have masterminded Liam's passing, thus paying Jimmy Dockerson to run over him and finally getting rid of his rival.

Liam's death hit both Carla and Maria hard with the former even postponing her wedding with Tony.

Robbie Sloane (June, 2010)

Tony shot his cellmate Robbie dead over a disagreement about his payment.

Robbie had helped him escape from prison and return to Weatherfield to get his revenge.

His charred remains, along with Tony's, were found following the factory siege and taken away in body bags.

Other victims include:

  • Jed Stone: after Liam's death, Maria soon caught up with Tony, believing him to be responsible for the accident. Jed was the only one to believe her and saw it as an opportunity to extort money from Tony in exchange for his silence. The latter strangled him in a moment of rage and, believing him to be dead, stuffed him into a hamper. He eventually realised Jed was very much alive and sent him away to live rent-free in a flat in Wigan with a few grand to set him up.
  • Roy Cropper: Tony tried to drown the owner Roy's Rolls in a canal before having a change of heart and saving him.
  • Carla Connor and Hayley Cropper: as mentioned above, Tony held both women hostage in the factory, planning to take them down in the fire but only he didn't make it.

John Stape (Graeme Hawley)

Ten years after his death, John Stape (portrayed by Graeme Hawley) is back to cause trouble for his widow Fiz Stape.

John was a teacher who dated Fiz for the first time in the 2000S before eventually settling down in Weatherfield.

However, he was soon fired from his teaching position due to an affair he embarked on with Rosie Webster – who he then kidnapped and held captive during several weeks, forcing her to send postcards to her relatives to make them believe she was travelling.

During his time in Coronation Street, John made several victims and welcomed a daughter called Hope with Fiz before going on the run, leaving his wife to take the fall for his crimes.

The serial killer came back in October, 2011, and had the intention of kidnapping Rosie again.

He was interrupted by her father Kevin and, after crashing his car into the back of a lorry, was taken to hospital.

John was in a critical condition when he confessed that Fiz was innocent.

With a clear conscience, John let go and died at the age of 33.

His victims include:

Charlotte Hoyle (December, 2010)

Played by Becky Hindley, Charlotte was John's unstable former teaching colleague.

In a bid to get into his good graces and start a relationship with him, she had helped him cover up Colin Fishwick's death.

John didn't kill Colin but allowed his body to be buried under the factory, before borrowing his identity in order to teach.

He eventually hit her over the head with a hammer when she began to blackmail him and threaten to tell Fiz everything.

Joy Fishwick (January, 2011)

The elderly woman played by Doreen Mantle was at the end of her life when John, awash with guilt over her son Colin's death, began to visit her and do work for her around the house.

But when his guilt became too much to handle, John came clean about burying Colin's corpse under the knicker factory.

Terrified by John's admission, which included mentions of his previous misdemeanours, Joy's angina was triggered but John refused to hand her her medicine unless she agreed not to go to the police.

When Joy's nosy neighbour Clifford called round to have a snoop, John covered Joy's mouth to stop her crying out for help.

But when Clifford eventually left, John removed his hand to discover Joy had died.

He left the body but then returned to clear any evidence of his presence, posing as a delivery driver when he bumped into Clifford.

The neighbour called an ambulance upon finding Joy's body and John managed to get away with the crime.

Other victims include:

  • Rosie Webster: as mentioned above, John kidnapped and held a young Rosie Webster captive for several weeks after embarking on an affair with her.
  • Colin Fishwick: while he isn't responsible for his death, John disposed of his colleague's body by burying it under the Underworld factory.

Pat Phelan (Connor McIntyre)

Portrayed by Connor McIntyre, Pat Phelan has competed and triumphed over all of his fellow serial killers in Coronation Street.

Pat made his first appearance in 2013 and was stabbed by his arch enemy Anna Windass in 2018.

But before getting his comeuppance, Pat was listed as the top serial killer in Weatherfield Guinness World Records, having committed four murders and being responsible for five deaths – thus beating Richard Hillman.

Here are his victims.

Michael Rodwell (November, 2016)

Former ice cream man and businessman, Michael (Les Dennis) was Gail Platt's fifth husband.

After finding out the latter knew all about Andy Carver's plan to scam him, Michael left Gail and began a relationship with her rival, Eileen Grimshaw.

But his jealousy got the best of their romance and Eileen left Michael for Pat.

Both men developed a feud and when Michael was ready to expose Pat's Calcutta Street property scam, an argument escalated into him having a heart attack.

Ready to cover his tracks, Pat cold-heartedly left him to die.

Vinny Ashford (October, 2017)

Pat was not one to show any mercy, not even for his friend Vinny (Ian Kelsey).

As Corrie fans may remember, however, Vinny did have vengeance coming to him after betraying one of Weatherfield's most ruthless and dangerous criminals.

Vinny helped Pat scam people out of thousands of pounds in a property scam – only to run away with the cash.

Pat then tracked down his mother Florence and, in a shocking twist for Vinny, appeared at her side during a Facetime call, ordering him to get back to the UK within a week.

After taking him over the head and taking him to the cellar of an abandoned house, Pat convinced Andy Carver to shoot him dead in exchange for his own freedom.

Andy Carver (October, 2017)

But did Pat actually keep to his word? Absolutely not.

Oliver Farnworth's Andy had been held captive by Pat for months when he was pushed to do his dirty work after he had tried to prove the thug to be responsible for Michael's death – whom he considered a father figure after trying to scam him.

Once Andy shot Vinny, Pat double-crossed him and killed the former waiter.

Luke Briton (January, 2018)

Honest and amiable Luke (Dean Fagan) met a sad demise when he tried to track down his sister Steph's former boyfriend Andy Carver.

While everyone thought Andy skipped town and abandoned Steph, Luke came to the realisation he was actually missing and something had most likely happened to him.

However, his detective work led him to his death when Pat decided to silence him.

Luke was hit over the head with a rock but put up a fight and managed to escape in his car.

Following an intense car chase, Pat crashed Luke's car before shooting him and indirectly admitting to killing Andy.

Luke died at the age of 28 when Pat shot his car's petrol tank, causing the vehicle to explode.

Other victims include:

  • Gary Windass: Pat was ready to bludgeon him to death with a baseball bat after a brief fight in his caravan but was knocked out with a rock by Joe Haslam.
  • Michelle Connor: during his siege at the Bistro, Pat shot her in the stomach but was stabbed by Anna Windass.

Gary Windass (Mikey North)

Making his first appearance in Weatherfield in 2008, Gary Windass (Mikey North) has become a killer unbeknownst to other residents – with the exception of his wife Maria.

Earlier in 2022, he revealed he was responsible for Rick Neelan's death to his widow Laura Neelan before she took the blame for him and succumbed to cancer.

Since then, Gary has taken in wayward teen Kelly Neelan, feeling guilty over her father's death.

But the loan shark was only one of Gary's victims.

Rick Neelan (June, 2019)

The thug portrayed by Greg Wood instilled fear in many Corrie residents and Gary had had enough of his antics.

Rick first tried to get Gary to work for him to get him to pay off his debts.

When this failed and Gary received help from his former girlfriend Sarah Platt, Rick kidnapped him and tormented him.

The feud culminated into a final confrontation during which Gary struck a fatal blow and buried Rick's body in the woods.

He has since tried to move the body but was unsuccessful as Rick's remains were eventually found and buried.

Rana Nazir (March, 2019)

But as mentioned above, Rick isn't the only life Gary took.

Fan -favourite Rana died on her wedding day to fiancée Kate Connor after the Underworld factory roof collapsed.

It was then revealed that a mystery character had been responsible for the collapse after sabotaging the roof.

This character turned out to be Gary.

Desperate for money to pay off Rick, he had done so in a bid to gethired to fix it afterwards.

While Maria and Sarah both know Gary murdered Rick, Weatherfield locals still believe the loan shark to be responsible for the roof collapse.

Could this soon change?

Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV.

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