Gemma McCluskie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gemma McCluskie
Born(1983-02-05)5 February 1983
Died1 March 2012(2012-03-01) (aged 29)[1]
Cause of deathBeating[2]
Body discovered6 March 2012
Regent's Canal, Hackney, London
Years active1997–2001
Notable workEastEnders
Height4 ft 11 in (150 cm)[3]
RelativesTony McCluskie
Anthony McCluskie
Danny McCluskie

Gemma Rose Veronica McCluskie (5 February 1983 – 1 March 2012) was a British television actress. Her most notable role was in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, in which she played Kerry Skinner.

In March 2012, McCluskie disappeared from her home in East London; a few days later, her dismembered body was discovered in the Regent's Canal. In January 2013, her brother, Tony McCluskie, was found guilty of her murder.[4]


McCluskie's best-known role was Kerry Skinner in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, her character appeared between October 2000 and February 2001. In the show, McCluskie's character was a close friend of Zoe Slater (Michelle Ryan) and the great-niece of the recently killed off Ethel Skinner (Gretchen Franklin), and also the girlfriend of long-serving character Robbie Jackson (Dean Gaffney).[5] She also appeared in the TV series No Sweat.[6]

Disappearance and discovery of body[edit]

McCluskie went missing from her East London flat, where she lived with her brother Tony, on 1 March 2012.[7] She was seen at home with her brother that afternoon, and a subsequent investigation found that she had entered a kebab shop around 8 pm.[8]

A search party of 100 people was organised by McCluskie's cousins on 5 March, which spread out from the east and south of London, attempting to discover information related to McCluskie's disappearance.[8]

A headless torso was found in the Regents Canal on 6 March.[5] The police announced that the torso had been formally identified as McCluskie.[9] On 10 March, a 35-year-old male (later identified as her brother, Tony McCluskie) was charged with her murder.[10] He appeared at Thames Magistrates' Court on 12 March[11][12] and a preliminary hearing was set for 26 March at the Old Bailey.[13]

On 10 September, police found a severed head in the same stretch of canal.[14] The Metropolitan Police confirmed the head was McCluskie's two days later.[15]

McCluskie's funeral was held on 30 November at St Monica's Roman Catholic Church, Hoxton Square, East London.[16]

Trial and sentence of brother[edit]

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 the 1st of March 2012, he allegedly argued with his sister about an overflowing bath. She told him to leave, and 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 several blows to the head with a blunt instrument. He spent several hours dismembering her body. CCTV footage showed him carrying a suitcase the next day; the suitcase contained her remains, which he disposed of in the Regents Park Canal. McCluskie initially admitted manslaughter, but denied murder, citing a "loss of control". He was found guilty of her murder on 30 January 2013 and jailed for life with a minimum sentence of 20 years.[2]

A 2017 episode of Crimes That Shook Britain covered McCluskie's murder.[17]


Year Title Role Notes
1997 No Sweat Janis 18 episodes
2000–01 EastEnders Kerry Skinner 41 episodes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gemma McCluskie: Friend of EastEnders actress says she wanted brother Tony to move out". East London Advertiser. UK. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b "EastEnders' Gemma McCluskie death: Brother faces murder trial". BBC News. BBC. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  3. ^ Rickman, Dina (8 March 2012). "Gemma McCluskie Missing: Police Divers Search Canal For Body Parts". The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  4. ^ Jones, Cass (10 March 2012). "Gemma McCluskie's brother charged with her murder". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Arrest after torso feared to be EastEnders actress found". BBC News. BBC. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.[dead link]
  6. ^ "I killed her, says brother of Eastenders actress found dead in canal". The Scotsman. 8 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Gemma McCluskie 'killed after sink row'". BBC News. 14 January 2013. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  8. ^ a b Nelson, Sara C (7 March 2012). "Gemma McCluskie Missing: Body Pulled From Regents Canal In Hunt For Former EastEnders Star". The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Canal body is ex-Eastenders actress MuCluskie". BBC News. BBC. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2012.[dead link]
  10. ^ "EastEnders Actress Murder: Brother Charged". Sky News. British Sky Broadcasting. 11 March 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.[dead link]
  11. ^ Brother of Gemma McCluskie Appears in Court Charged With Her Murder Metro, 12 March 2012[dead link]
  12. ^ Brother of Ex-EastEnders McCluskie charged with her murder Archived 26 October 2018 at the Wayback Machine BBC News, 10 March 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  13. ^ Hall, John (12 March 2012). "Brother appears in court over Gemma McCluskie murder". The Independent. Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  14. ^ Hall, John (10 September 2012). "Severed head recovered from Regent's Canal where decapitated remains of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie were found". The Independent. Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  15. ^ Davis, Margaret (12 September 2012). "Police confirm severed head found in Hackney canal belongs to ex-Eastenders actress Gemma McCluskie". The Independent. Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  16. ^ "Gemma McCluskie death: Mourners gather for actress's funeral". East London Advertiser. 30 November 2012.[dead link]
  17. ^ "Crimes That Shook Britain 2017". Retrieved 27 October 2022.

External links[edit]