Gemma McCluskie’s death is a tabloid soap opera
GEMMA McCluskie appeared in 34 episodes os EastEnders between 2000 and 2001. She’s dead. Well, so police believe. A body has been dragged form the Regent’s Canal in Hackney, London. It has no head. It has no limbs.
Miss McCluskie’s brother Tony has been arrested. He had been living in Bethnal Green, east London, with his sister.
That’s all we know. Police have released no more facts.
It’s a grim tale. A woman appears to have been murdered and dismembered. We know what the order of her ordeal. But the media see a dead star.
Daily Star (front page): “EastEnders murder girl in noisy row”
EastEnders… Noisy row… The Star seems to be blurring fact with fiction. What is EastEnders but a series of noisy rows?
Channel 5 Celebrity Big Brother star Natalie [Cassidy] said: “She’s a lovely girl.”
The Daily Star is owned by Richard Desmond, who also owns Big Brother on Channel 5. Best not to let the BBC and EastEnders get all the free plugs, eh?
The Sun: “Murdered Gemma McCluskie was ‘in fear of a man’ – EastEnders girl told pals of terror”
Another life-long friend said Gemma, 29, would have “fought for her life” against an attacker. The woman pal said: “She was feisty and bubbly, like her character on EastEnders. Gemma is not the sort of girl who would have wandered off.”
Was she sort of girl to be murdered and dismembered? Not the character she played, but Gemma, the actual real human being?
For those of you wondering who Gemma McCluskie played on the telly over a decade ago, Sky News is informative:
Miss McCluskie starred in the soap as Kerry Skinner on more than 30 occasions in 2001. Her character arrived in Walford as a friend of Zoe Slater and the great niece of the late Ethel Skinner. She briefly dated Robbie Jackson and got him to propose to her.
Dean Gaffney, who like the aforesaid Natalie Cassidy is no longer on the soap, speaks to the Daily Mirror:
“She’s part of a legacy of great EastEnders’ characters. When Wendy Richard (Pauline Fowler) passed away it was devastating. But when you hear of someone passing in this brutal way it is just sickening. There are no words to describe how sad this is. It’s just beyond sad.”
“It’s something you see in a movie and there are no words to describe the situation. This was a lovely girl with a heart of gold. I’m speechless and it doesn’t make any sense. Not knowing is the hardest thing – it’s tear-jerking and totally heart-wrenching.”
While Gaffney speaks about being speechless, and being “devastated” about the apparent death of woman he once worked with 11 years ago, the Daily Mail finds more evidence on the cime:
Sources said the body was naked and the arms, legs and head had been cut off with a sharp tool.
Not a blunt tool. A sharp tool. What other facts:
Their £280,000 maisonette in Bethnal Green…
While the Mail builds a case, the police tell us:
“A body was found in Regents Canal near Broadway Market in East London at 2.40pm. Enquiries are underway to establish the identity of the deceased. A post-mortem will be scheduled to ascertain the cause of death. Pending that post-mortem we will be treating the death as unexplained.”
No drum roll. Despite tabloid appearances to the contrary, Gemma McCluskie was not a work of fiction…