Everyone Who's Died in 'Line of Duty' Series 6 so Far (and What It Means for Episode 7)

Michael Hogan
·6-min read
Photo credit: BBC/World Productions
Photo credit: BBC/World Productions

The bodies have been piling up during the blockbuster-rated sixth run of BBC police corruption thriller Line of Duty. By our count, 15 lives have been lost this series so far.

In tribute, we’ve rewound everyone who’s met their maker – from troublesome journalists to snitching rent boys, double-crossed criminals to bent coppers™.

Think of it as a moving “In Memoriam” montage, which also acts as a handy plot recap ahead of next weekend’s grand finale. Strike up the sad orchestral music.

Gail Vella (pre-episode 1)

The death that started it all. Dodgy DCI Jo Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) was leading Operation Lighthouse, investigating the unsolved murder of journalist Gail Vella (played by comedian Andi Osho). Vella was shot execution-style in the back of the head – using the “hard contact technique” to minimise noise and debris – outside her home a year previously. It’s widely thought to have been a contract killing because Vella was about to expose links between organised crime and corrupt police. But who gave the order? Any resemblance to the real-life deaths of Jill Dando, Daniel Morgan and Daphne Caruana Galizia are entirely non-coincidental.

Alastair Oldroyd (episode 1)

Writer Jed Mercurio adores a police acronym and “CHIS” (covert human intelligence source) was the one which dominated early episodes. Among them, sex worker Oldroyd, a police informant who provided a tip-off that a man using the alias “Ross Turner” had been boasting in a pub about killing Vella. However, Oldroyd promptly went to ground. When his body was found, he appeared to have committed suicide by jumping from a roof – but a scream was heard, suggesting he was probably pushed. Poor CHIS.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Dylan Ventridge (episode 1)

As armed police sped off to arrest “Ross Turner”, Davidson spotted a suspicious van down a side street and redirected the convoy. They interrupted the armed hold-up of betting shop Hickey's Bookmakers by balaclava-clad robbers. The gang turned out to be inexperienced youngsters and Ventridge was shot dead when he refused to drop his weapon. “Shit, shit, shit!” as Davidson memorably yelled. It was this crucial delay which first alerted AC-12 to her suspected misconduct.

Carl Banks (episode 2)

Diversions and delays in the arrest of “Ross Turner” – assumed to be an alias for Banks, a hardened criminal with a history of firearms offences – allowed enough time for him to be abducted. Terry Boyle (Tommy Jessop), a vague lookalike who has Down Syndrome, was installed in his place as a convenient stooge. When Banks’ dumped body was later discovered, he’d been beaten up and had his throat slit for his silence, with Oldroyd’s fingerprints on a knife found nearby. This was likely a set-up, since Oldroyd was smaller than Banks, had no history of violence, and would have struggled to beat and murder him. The plot thickened.

PC Lisa Patel (episode 3)

PC Patel (Tara Divina) was driving Terry back to his safe house after he came in for questioning, accompanied by dastardly PC Ryan Pilkington (Gregory Piper). After diverting them to a different route, Ryan attacked Lisa from the back seat, grabbed the wheel and steered into a reservoir. Miraculously, Patel managed to surface – at which point, Ryan held her head underwater and drowned her. He tried to do likewise to Terry but was thwarted when DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) arrived on the scene. She noticed Ryan had left his rear window open to aid his escape and began to suspect him of corruption. Too right.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Sgt Ruby Jones (episode 4)

Waistcoat-clad DI Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) realised that jailed lawyer Jimmy Lakewell (The Office’s Patrick Baladi) was the mystery voice on Gail Vella’s interview recordings. He visited him in prison but Lakewell was afraid to talk in front of corrupt guards, so AC-12 decided to move Lakewell into secure custody. However, organised crime had been tipped off and attempted an armed ambush of the transport convoy. In the ensuing shootout, firearms officer Jonesy (Sherise Blackman) was taken out by a sniper, whom Arnott promptly killed with his handgun. Shot, Steve.

Jimmy Lakewell (episode 4)

Lakewell first appeared in series four as suave solicitor for DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton). Exposed as being in league with organised crime, he was jailed for perverting the course of justice. Now he resurfaced and was persuaded to talk by Arnott until their armoured van was violently hijacked. Lakewell took this as a warning to stay silent but back in his prison cell, was strangled by gangster Lee Banks (Alastair Natkiel), then strung up to make it look like suicide. As DSU Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyle) watched in horror, Banks warned: “Watch what happens to a rat.” PC Pilkington coldly informed Davidson of Lakewell’s demise and when she asked about the cause of death, gave the sinister reply: “Being a rat, ma’am”. Eek.

Six assorted OCG members (episodes 4 & 5)

It wasn’t just Jonesy. At least four balaclava-clad gunmen from the organised crime group were also shot during the all-action convoy ambush. The following episode saw two more gangsters killed during a police raid on the OCG’s firearms workshop. We hope these henchmen get danger money.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

PC Ryan Pilkington (episode 6)

The least mourned death in Line of Duty history. Juvenile delinquent Ryan (Gregory Piper) was a gobby, BMX-riding errand boy for the OCG way back in series one. When we met him again in series five, he’d grown up into a proper wrong’un – and, in a neat twist, joined the police to become gangland’s inside man. A stone-cold killer with a psycho stare, Ryan’s luck ran out when he tried to assassinate DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) in a moonlit lorry park. Our firearms-trained heroine had a concealed pistol and shot him twice in the chest, deploying the classic “double tap” technique. RIP Ryan. Rest in Pilkington. Not peace, though. You were a right little git and we’re #sorrynotsorry to see you go.

Retired DCI Marcus Thurwell (episode 6)

A surprise cameo from James Nesbitt (in photographic form, sporting silver locks worthy of a Just for Men ad) saw him play this corrupt ex-cop who took early retirement and was last sighted in Spain. Was it coincidence that the anonymous online messages from a faceless mastermind were traced to a Spanish IP address? The Guardia Civil tracked Thurwell down to his villa but a gangland hit squad had got there first. Thurwell and his wife were already dead in their bed. Nesbitt's Line of Duty stint was over before it began.

? (episode 7)

Will anyone add to the death toll in Sunday’s must-see finale? Surely not one of our AC-12 dream team? Mother of God. See you on the sofa to find out.

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