One of Home and Away’s most formidable characters met their match in the show’s 2015 season finale, when they were shot dead. We recap the trail of events that led to Charlotte King‘s downfall, and take a look at the culprit, as well as all the suspects and their motives.
Charlotte King came to Summer Bay, looking for a fresh start with her son Hunter, with the ulterior motive to get her ex-boyfriend Zac MacGuire back from fellow Summer Bay High employee, Leah Patterson.
As she began her pursuit, after sleeping with Matt, ignorant to the fact he was her student, her son burned down Leah’s house and stole a safe from the Diner, resulting in Marilyn‘s electric shock. While trying to cover Hunter’s crimes, she accidentally killed Denny Miller, which set off a chain of events that led to Charlotte being blackmailed, murdering a man and turning almost everyone in Summer Bay against her by lying. Her reign of terror ended when she was murdered by a resident of the small coastal town, leaving a question on the tip of everyone’s tongue: who shot Charlotte?
We take a look over the ten main suspects, their reasons for wanting Charlotte dead, and their likelihood of having done it.
A timeline of events is below, detailing, by the day the episode aired in the UK, any significant events that altered the investigation, and ultimately, the lives of the residents of Summer Bay… Forever…
Week 1 (01/02/2016) – Charlotte’s body is found. Detective Dylan Carter arrives in town and tells Kat that they will find who the murderer is. Ash, Zac and Hunter are questioned over the shooting. Hunter mourns the loss of his mother.
Week 2 (08/02/2016) – DNA is found on a piece of clothing, surrounding the rock pool where Charlotte was shot. Dylan questions Hunter over whether he could kill his mother for revealing his secret about burning down Leah’s house. Irene is called into questioning.
Week 3 (15/02/2016) – Billie is asked a few questions by Dylan, but cleared. Phoebe is questioned about Ash’s whereabouts on the night of the murder, and afterwards Ash is violently arrested and hauled into the police station for questioning.
Week 4 (22/03/2016) – Ash is let off after he provides an alibi. Kat and Dylan discover that Charlotte had a second phone and learn that she had been making calls to Kyle on it. After they come to a dead end with Kyle, they discover footage from the Bait Shop that clearly shows Zac walking after Charlotte the night of her death.
Week 5 (29/02/2016) – Alf contacts Morag Bellingham after Zac is arrested for the murder. Once Dylan gets approval from Head Office, he charges Zac. During a court case the following day, Zac is denied bail and must remain in gaol until his trial.
Week 6 (07/03/2016) – Zac continues his stint in prison, while Morag works to get his name cleared, however Alf, Leah, Hunter and VJ are forced to deal with the harrowing abuse they are dealt when the truth about Zac’s imprisonment is revealed.
Week 7 (14/03/2016) – Morag’s hunt to track down evidence to clear Zac’s name is successful when her friend tracks his phone usage on the night of the murder. Dylan and Kat begin to blur the lines of their professionalism when they stray from work to reattach.
Week 8 (21/03/2016) – Matt is hauled in for questioning when a sex tape that Charlotte had filmed while they were together emerges. Dylan questions him, wondering whether he may have killed her to keep her quiet.
Week 9 (28/03/2016) – Matt is cleared when they believe there is insufficient evidence, however Kat and Dylan continue to blur the line, as they stray further from the case.
Week 10 (04/04/2016) – No progress with investigation.
Week 11 (11/04/2016) – No progress with investigation.
Week 12 (18/04/2016) – No progress with investigation.
Week 13 (25/04/2016) – No progress with investigation.
Week 14 (02/05/2016) – The murder case of Charlotte King is declared a cold case. Kat begins to observe the evidence as she packs it away, and realises who the killer is. She confronts them, and despite their initial denial, they confess to killing Charlotte.
After the conclusion of the season finale, Channel Seven launched an app for Australian viewers, titled “Home and Away: Investigation – Who Shot Charlotte?“. The app allows viewers to decrypt phone calls, crack into phones and retrieve files and interrogate the characters. 24 suspects were listed, and every week, viewers had to eliminate a character from the investigation.
as directly affected by Charlotte’s actions when she begin blackmailing Ash and Andy with the news that Brax is actually alive and threatened to reveal it. Although blind, is it possible that he began to get his sight back when Summer Bay needed his heroics most? ELIMINATED via Investigation App… Or was he?
often called Charlotte out and was distraught when he heard the news about her killing Denny. But she also covered for her son, who was the reason Marilyn couldn’t remember John. Would he kill Charlotte for revenge for the time and lives lost? ELIMINATED via insufficient motive, resulting in no questioning.
and her family was under attack as Charlotte lied, deceived and conned her way through Kyle, Ash, Phoebe and Andy… and she knew the truth about Brax and blackmailed Ricky’s loved ones. Is this enough motivation for Ricky to deliver a deadly bullet? ELIMINATED via Investigation App.
didn’t have much to do with Charlotte (even so far as they never had a scene one-on-one), however could the killing of an innocent person and the taking advantage of a student be enough reason for Roo to commit murder? ELIMINATED via Investigation App.
treated Marilyn in hospital after her accident, tried to save Trystan after Charlotte ran him down and is Ricky’s fiance. Would Nate commit murder, and risk his life, just to save the woman he loves? ELIMINATED via Investigation App.
has been after Charlotte for months now. Having had a hit taken out on her and being drugged, both by Charlotte, Kat started to think she was onto something when Denny’s body was found in the bushes. Is she the culprit behind Charlotte’s execution? ELIMINATED via Investigation App.
almost had his family torn apart numerous times because of Charlotte’s antics. She tried to turn Hunter and VJ against each other and then ruined his mother’s wedding day. Would this be a good enough motive to kill her? ELIMINATED via Investigation App.
has lived through Saul Bennett, Angie Russell, Sarah Lewis, Zoe McCallister and Johnny Cooper, but is Charlotte King enough to push Alf over the edge and finally commit murder, just to keep his home of almost 70 years, sane? ELIMINATED via Investigation App.
was horrified to learn that Brax was alive, but even worse was that Charlotte had found out and was trying to blackmail Ash. Could Phoebe do the unthinkable to protect her boyfriend and the ones that she loves? ELIMINATED via Investigation App.
loved his mother when they arrived in Summer Bay, and continued to love her as she covered his crimes – burning down Leah’s house and almost killing Marilyn. But as her true colours were exposed, as well as her killing of Denny and her theft of Hunter’s trust fund, Hunter quickly turned against his mother and told her to leave town. After his mother’s murder, Hunter is seen fleeing Summer Bay, telling Olivia that he wouldn’t be forgiven after what he’s done. ELIMINATED via insufficient motive.
had a run-in with Charlotte after the truth about her sleeping with Matt came out. She was then forced to defend Olivia against her when she was accused of vandalism. After Charlotte gate-crashed her best friend’s wedding, Irene hit the bottle, and in a drunk stupor decided to leave the house. She was later seen, after the shooting, walking down the road with a rip in her jacket – the result of a torn button. ELIMINATED via her revelation that she got into a scuffle with Charlotte, but then left (insufficient evidence).
was threatened by Charlotte when she was going to reveal the truth to Ricky and Kyle about Brax being alive. She also dragged him into Gunno’s hunt to find him, and killed the lady that he was once in love with. She framed Billie, his sister, for drugging of Kat and the theft of her gun and handcuffs. He confronted her and tried to strangle her before being stopped. After Charlotte’s shooting, Ash returned home to Phoebe and told her that he couldn’t find her. ELIMINATED via ability to provide an alibi.
was seduced by Charlotte, in order to find out if Brax was still alive or not. He was then horrified to learn that she had murdered her blackmailer, Trystan. When he said he’d go to the police, she threatened to have him charged as an accomplice. He wasn’t seen before the murder as he failed to turn up the Zac and Leah’s wedding reception to perform with Phoebe, however he was seen sitting on the beach with a scratch on his face after the shooting. ELIMINATED via lack of motive.
has many reasons to want Charlotte permanently out of the picture. She killed his niece, she blackmailed him, she tried to sabotage his relationship with Leah, and she threatened the lives of his loved ones. Before Charlotte’s murder, Zac told Leah that he would’ve killed her if he knew what she had done, and then returned to tell his newlywed wife that Charlotte is out of their lives and it’s time for them to move on. ELIMINATED via phone usage (liked an Instagram photo at the time of Charlotte’s murder – location services show he was in the caravan park).
was a high school student, seduced by his biology teacher on more than one occasion, who was so drawn into her web of lies, he didn’t see what she was doing around him. Would her treatment of others cause Matt to commit a heinous crime? ELIMINATED via lack of evidence.
is one of Summer Bay’s most cherished and loved residents. Charlotte terrorised her family and her life. She made a shocking appearance at Leah and Zac’s wedding, and ruined their big day by threatening to spill some of the guests’ biggest secrets. She was seen, calm and collected, in her bedroom after Charlotte’s shooting, however she had changed from her wedding dress into more comfortable clothes. ELIMINATED via lack of evidence.
didn’t have much to do with Charlotte, however she did kill her sister and sleep with one of her best friends. She also harassed Evelyn and her family and threatened to tear apart the only stable family she has ever known. On the night of Charlotte’s murder, Evelyn was seen kissing Andy, and then running down the the beach, taking off her heels and frantically pacing up and down the shoreline. ELIMINATED via lack of evidence.
’s best mate, Matt was deceived by Charlotte, and then unbeknownst to him, she killed Denny during a tussle in her apartment. After burying the body in the woods, she proceeded into a downward spiral taking with her anyone that wanted to stand in her way. She blackmailed Matt, and threatened to destroy Leah and Zac’s union by turning up at their wedding ceremony. He was last seen before Charlotte’s shooting, near the beach, telling Kyle that he wants Charlotte dead for what she did to Denny. ELIMINATED via lack of evidence.
had a brief romance with Charlotte, but he began to discover her true colours when he learnt that she knew all of the Braxton/Barrett secrets – not only did she learn the truth about Brax, but she also knew that Andy was the one who turned off Jake Pirovic’s life support in October 2014. Before Charlotte’s murder, Andy was seen by Hannah, kissing Evelyn in Angelo’s. After the murder, he was seen rushing home, taking his jacket off and washing his face. ELIMINATED via lack of evidence.
Olivia Fraser Richards
has been dating Charlotte’s son for a while, and they did have a run-in in the Diner. Olivia was then accused of vandalising her apartment, causing a confrontation in which Charlotte threatened her life. On the night of the murder, Olivia was seen kissing Hunter and saying goodbye to him at Irene’s house, before being seen after the shooting, running towards him, frazzled, trying to stop him from leaving Summer Bay. ELIMINATED via lack of evidence.
is one of the nicest guys in Summer Bay, however after Charlotte and Irene went head-to-head, and the latter started hitting the bottle again, would Chris kill Charlotte to try and help Irene? ELIMINATED via lack of evidence.
is currently dating Matt, and was formerly dating Oscar. Would knowing that she seduced a student, and that she killed her ex-boyfriend’s sister be sufficient reason to warrant Maddy to kill Charlotte? ELIMINATED via lack of evidence.
has only just returned to Summer Bay after taking the fall for burning down Leah’s house. Charlotte then further framed her, when she planted Kat’s handcuffs in Billie’s handbag, making her look responsible for Kat’s drugging. Would Billie shoot Charlotte? ELIMINATED via lack of evidence.
was devastated when her niece was found murdered in the bushes, but further horrified to learn that Charlotte was behind it. Would this, coupled with the fact she saw the man she loved kissing her other niece, be enough for Hannah to pull the trigger? ELIMINATED via lack of evidence.
But… Hang on a minute. Everyone’s been cleared! No charges have been laid. Was it Marilyn, who was thought to be overseas, getting over her amnesia?! A brilliant alibi – but one of which we’re not sure Maz could concoct on her own. Was it Skye? The other missing regular character alongside Maz, who was thought to be at home with her psychologically abusive mother? Or did the Summer Bay police just miss one tiny piece of evidence that could solve the Bay’s biggest murder mystery since Josh West?
The latter was proven to be true when Kat Chapman, upon being ordered to pack up the evidence, discovered a broken watch clasp. This, along with all the other evidence including the torn material and the security footage, allowed Kat to play Detective and finally confront Charlotte’s killer!
And the culprit…
Sometimes apps can be deceiving! Josh Barrett, one of the first eliminated suspects on the app, admitted to killing Charlotte on the night of December 9th. Having heard she’d threatened to reveal Andy’s secret – turning off Jake Pirovic’s life support back in October 2014 – Josh’s eyesight returned and he went for a walk to try and clear his head.
Whilst out, he found Charlotte walking away from her flat, being closely followed by Zac, and he decided to pursue her as well. As he approached her, now alone, on the rock pool, a confrontation ensued in which she threatened to take both him and Andy down for Jake’s murder. She ordered him to leave before pulling a gun, he went to grab his phone, a tussle occurred and Charlotte was shot, by accident, as Josh tried to grab the gun.
He pretended he was blind for several more days to cover up the fact he has acidently killed Charlotte. Upon her discovery of this, Kat assured him he would have to be arrested, however he asked that, until Evelyn had recovered from the death of her brother and aunt, who were killed the day before in the Caravan Park Explosion, he would be able to stay a free man in order to help her through the tough time she’s going through.
Kat agreed to this, as she wasn’t officially in charge of the case, but his time was limited. Weeks later, he was arrested for her shooting death and was put before a judge and jury. On his way out of the courthouse however, he assaulted a police officer and fled town with Andy, who was running a chop-shop out of his and Ash’s garage to make money for his and Josh’s new life.
Their current whereabouts is unknown.
And thus concludes the ‘Who Shot Charlotte?’ saga. Did you enjoy it as much as we did? Stay tuned for more storyline features coming your way soon!