Liar series 2: Who killed Andrew Earlham? All the fan theories ahead of the Liar 2 finale

The ITV drama series, starring Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd, will finally reveal the killer next week. But who are the suspects? And what are the wildest fan theories?

By Alex Fletcher Published: 6 April 2020 - 1.24pm
ITV

Keeping focused on what’s been going on in Liar series 2 has been hard work for viewers as the series jumped around between timelines and dropped in plot twists at will.

At the end of series one, the body of Andrew Earlham (Ioan Gruffudd) was found in the marshes with a seemingly never-ending line of possible suspects.

The number of possible assailants for the dastardly serial rapist has only increased across the second series as new characters have joined the fray and old ones have been given fresh motives for the attack.

The details of Earlham’s final day will finally be revealed in Monday (April 6) night’s episode, so you’ve still got time to catch up with everything you’ve missed so far on the ITV Hub.

There has been plenty of wild speculation from the show’s millions of fans about who the killer or killers may be. Here is our whistle-stop guide to the most likely (and some rather unlikely) suspects.

Laura Nielson did it

Joanne Froggatt in Liar ITV

The case for...

Joanna Froggatt’s character has been dragged through plenty over two series of Liar, and being haunted and stalked by her rapist Andrew would be more than enough of a motive. The police have her down as the number-one suspect because they’ve found evidence in her flat and at the crime scene, which suggests that someone is either framing her or she’s an incompetent killer.

The case against…

It would end the series on a strange tone if the original victim Laura ended up as the killer. Regardless of whether the police caught her, it would make for a peculiar and unsatisfying finale.

Her actions throughout series 2 would also suggest she isn't the murderer: she’s repeatedly gone out of her way to hunt down the real killer and has even helped rule out other possible suspects.

Andrew Earlham killed himself

Ioan Gruffudd in Liar ITV

The case for…

Earlham has repeatedly banged on about ‘winning’ his battle against Laura and in his own twisted brain believes that he needs to bring her down to get justice for the hurt he has caused his son.

The theory goes that Earlham would have been willing to end his own life to see a framed Laura sent to jail for his murder.

The case against…

It would be an underwhelming, frustrating and somewhat unlikely ending. However, if Earlham killed himself and Laura were to face trial, it would certainly set up a third series.

DI Karen Renton did it

Katherine Kelly in Liar ITV

The case for…

It would certainly explain the attitude Katherine Kelly’s detective has been sporting throughout the series and her determination to pin the murder on Laura.

We know she’s previously been involved in an abusive relationship, perhaps she saw the Earlham case and wanted to get revenge on the serial rapist? It’s an extremely long shot but can't be ruled out.

The case against…

Everything her character has said and done so far in the series. It also feels like Renton’s storyline is the most likely to be left open for a third series.

Anthony, DI Karen Renton’s ex did it

Liar series 2 cast ITV

The case for…

We discovered in episode 5 that Anthony, DI Renton's previously unmentioned ex, has been out of prison for a couple of weeks. However after beating up his latest girlfriend so badly that she died in hospital, he has gone on the run. It looks like he could turn up to play a role in the finale.

The case against…

What would his connection be to Earlham, and his motives for killing him? It would also break the golden rule of the murder mystery by letting the viewer meet all the suspects during the course of the story and never introducing the killer for the final episode.

Oliver Graham did it

ITV

The case for…

Creepy Oliver, who introduced a depressed Andrew to the world of date rape, has become a prime suspect over the course of the second series. Blackmailed into helping a desperate Andrew pin evidence on Laura, it would come as no surprise if he ended up snapping with his friend and killing him off. All the work he did to help frame Laura would then be a happy convenience.

The case against…

Why would he suddenly snap after putting himself in such great danger for Andrew? And would a killer not have worn a better disguise than that blue baseball cap?

The Face/Off plastic surgeon twist

Ioan Gruffudd in Liar ITV

The case for…

It’s the theory that has been doing the rounds on a number on forums and Twitter. One mention of  a plastic surgeon by Earlham in the early episodes has triggered the most elaborate theory of how Earlham isn’t dead at all.

Instead, it's Oliver who was found murdered on the marshes: Earlham murdered him, leaving evidence behind to frame Laura, and using plastic surgery wizardry to give the corpse his own face. In essence, it’s only one step away from him having a twin brother.

The case against…

It would be the worst TV ending ever.

Luke, Earlham’s son, did it

Andrew Earlham's son Luke in Liar ITV

The case for…

It would be a dreadfully sad end to the series, but it would probably be the right one. Luke is the only person Earlham has any real love for in the world, so it would feel dramatically appropriate if, after discovering the truth about his father, he turned on him and killed him.

After failing in his suicide attempt, perhaps he turned his pain and frustration on his father and foiled his dad’s attempts to fake his own death.

The case against…

We’re not sure on the timelines, but isn't he still stuck in hospital in intensive care?

DS Rory Maxwell did it

DS Rory Maxwell in the Liar finale ITV

The case for…

He’s determined to do anything to protect his son and somebody was bribing him to frame Laura. Could that person have been Earlham? Perhaps he came face-to-face with Earlham and decided to kill him rather than help him.

The case against…

The twist that Rory has been doing the dodgy was disappointing because he’d always felt like someone we should be rooting for. Hopefully he’ll come good in the final episode, let his terrible son take the blame for his crimes and help crack the case.

Katy Sutcliffe did it

Laura's sister Katy in Liar ITV

The case for…

She’s featured heavily in the second series with her focus on her battle with alcoholism and dealing with the regrets of series one. Could she have attacked Andrew during a night of heavy drinking? Could she have been inspired to attack Andrew to lessen her guilt about her affair?

The case against…

If she did it to help Laura, wouldn’t she have done more to help clear Laura’s name than that lousy alibi she made up on the spot?

Liam Sutcliffe did it

Liam Sutcliffe in Liar ITV

The case for…

It’s just a hunch that a lot of viewers seem to agree on. He’s shown an unusual amount of interest in Laura in series two and has been handily around to help at various points. He’s been a calming influence across the two series, but it would be a classic final twist if he had snapped at Andrew.

The case against…

He just doesn’t look like he has it in him.

Jennifer Robertson did it

Jill Halfpenny plays Jennifer Robertson ITV

The case for…

Jill Halfpenny’s character has felt underused in both series, but perhaps there is a reason for that. Could DI Vanessa Harmon’s wife have hunted down Andrew and taken revenge? She has the motive and army training to pull off the attack, and she’s done lots of sneaking around in the early hours.

The case against…

She’s disappeared in the second half of the series and the theory that she could have done it with the help of DI Vanessa Harmon appeared to fall apart when Shelley Conn’s character sneaked into the police offices to help get evidence for Laura.

The lawyer did it

The case for…

Seeing Fleabag star Sian Clifford pop up as Laura’s lawyer came as a surprise to many viewers. She’s only had a very minor role so far, which doesn’t match with the significance of the casting.

There could be plans for a third series, or she could be involved somehow in the murder.

The case against…

Apart from her professional involvement in the case, there is absolutely nothing to link her to Laura or Andrew so far.

Laura’s boyfriend Ian did it

Laura's boyfriend Ian in Liar ITV

The case for…

Ian has a history of violent outbursts and his passionate romance with Laura could have sparked him into action if he found a way to track to down Earlham.

It might also explain how Laura was being framed and linked to the crime scene.

The case against…

He’s disappeared in the second half of the series and, to be honest, we’d ruled him out of the running until ITV included him in pictures of the final episode.

Catch up on Liar on BT TV via the ITV Hub

Watch the final episode on Monday, April 6 at 9pm on ITV.

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