EastEnders Christmas murder victim UNMASKED after character return?

 The Albert Square sign on the set of EastEnders.
The Albert Square sign on the set of EastEnders.

EastEnders sent shockwaves throughout the country when it was revealed an unknown male will be killed this Christmas in a special flashforward episode.

The crime involves six Walford women — Stacey Slater, Suki Panesar, Linda Carter, Sharon Watts, Denise Fox and Kathy Beale, who were all standing over an unknown corpse at the Vic.

In a surprise twist that EastEnders has never done before, the episode flashed forward to Christmas 2023 where a wedding was taking place at the Vic. It was soon revealed that Sharon was the bride as she was wearing a blood-splattered wedding dress.

Stacey could be seen with blood on her hands, Denise was holding a broken bottle of champagne, Linda had a split lip, Kathy had a ripped dress sleeve and a mystery male was seen lying dead on the floor of the pub.

Since then, fans have been busy trying to uncover the identity of the mystery body, but could the Christmas murder victim's identity finally be exposed after a former character returned earlier this year?

Neil McDermott as Ryan Malloy
Neil McDermott as Ryan Malloy

Whitney Dean's (Shona McGarty) half-brother and Stacey Slater's (Lacey Turner) former lover Ryan Malloy (Neil McDermott) returned to Walford after seven years following the discovery that his 12-year-old daughter Lily Slater (Lillia Turner) was pregnant.

Stacey was far from happy to see her ex back in town and it wasn't long before the pair were at each other's throats, especially after it was revealed that Ryan wanted to take Lily away to live with him and his wife Helen in Wakefield, who couldn't have children of her own.

Lily initially took him up on his offer but she soon sent him packing after he showed his true colours when he viciously insulted her mum's parenting skills.

Stacey Slater is frustrated with Ryan Malloy
Stacey Slater is frustrated with Ryan Malloy

Ryan left Walford, before telling Stacey that he would be cutting down his child support payments.

Given that Ryan's wife Helen was unable to have children, is it possible that he could make another unwelcome return to the Square at Christmas with a sinister ulterior motive to try and snatch Lily's baby?

With Stacey being the fierce matriarch she is, could she have attacked Ryan at the Vic in a bid to protect her family and stop him kidnapping her granddaughter? This would certainly explain the blood on her hands in the flashforward.

EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm on BBC One — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on BBC iPlayer now.