|Born||5 February 1983|
|Died||1 March 2012(aged 29)|
Cause of death
|6 March 2012
Regent's Canal, Hackney, London
|Relatives||Tony McCluskie, Anthony McCluskie, Danny McCluskie|
Gemma Rose Veronica McCluskie (5 February 1983 – 1 March 2012) was a British television actress. She was a regular cast member in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, in which she played Kerry Skinner. In March 2012, McCluskie disappeared from her home in East London and a few days later her body was discovered in the Regent's Canal. Her brother, Tony McCluskie, was subsequently found guilty of her murder.
McCluskie's best-known role was as Kerry Skinner in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, which she played for a year (2000–2001). In the soap, McCluskie's character was a close friend of Zoe Slater (Michelle Ryan) and the great-niece of Ethel Skinner (Gretchen Franklin). She also had a part in the series No Sweat playing a bully named Janis.
Disappearance and death
McCluskie went missing from her East London flat, where she lived with her brother Tony, on 1 March 2012. It had been thought that she had last been seen at home with her brother during the afternoon, but an investigation uncovered a sighting of her going into a kebab shop around 8 pm.
Former EastEnders actresses Martine McCutcheon, Brooke Kinsella and Natalie Cassidy tweeted about her disappearance in hope of getting information about her whereabouts. The Twitter hashtag "#FindGemma" was used. A search party of 100 people was organised by McCluskie's cousins on 5 March, which was spread out from the east and south of London attempting to discover information related to McCluskie's disappearance.
The headless torso of a woman was recovered from Regent's Canal in Hackney on 6 March. On 9 March the police announced that the body had been formally identified as McCluskie. On 10 March, a 35-year-old male was formally charged with her murder. He appeared at Thames Magistrates' Court on Monday 12 March. A preliminary hearing date was set for 26 March at the Old Bailey. He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody.
On 10 September, police found a head in the same stretch of canal. The Metropolitan Police confirmed the head was McCluskie's two days later. On 28 September, Tony McCluskie, Gemma's brother, accepted responsibility for the death of the actress. McCluskie's funeral was held on 30 November at St. Monica's Church, Hoxton Square, East London.
Trial and sentence of brother
The trial began on 14 January 2013 at the Old Bailey. During the trial it was reported that Tony McCluskie was a heavy cannabis user and that the siblings frequently argued. On 1 March 2012 Tony was alleged to have argued with Gemma about an overflowing bath and that she had told him to leave; he then grabbed her by the wrists and punched her to the floor but claimed he had no further recollection of his actions. Her death was caused by being struck several times over the head with a blunt instrument. He then spent several hours dismembering her body and the next day CCTV footage showed him taking a suitcase containing her remains to dispose of in Regent's Canal. McCluskie initially admitted manslaughter but denied murder, citing a 'loss of control'. However, he was found guilty of her murder on 30 January 2013 and jailed for life with a minimum sentence of 20 years.
|1997||No Sweat||Janis||18 episodes|
|2000–01||EastEnders||Kerry Skinner||34 episodes|
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