EastEnders murder: Gemma McCluskie murdered and mutilated by own ‘monster’ brother

EastEnders extra Gemma McCluskie's other sibling has spoken out for the first time since discovering his 'monster' brother was Gemma's murderer

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by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

CCTV footage proved beyond doubt that Tony McCluskie had killed his sister Gemma, the former EastEnders actress, before chopping her body into pieces, placing them in a suitcase and disposing of them.

"He’s a monster for what he done to my little sister"

Now Gemma's other brother, Danny, has spoken out in depth for the first time since the 2012 murder, admitting that the worst part was the fact that Tony had put his arms around him when Gemma disappeared and assured him they would keep searching for her.

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He said emotionally: “When I look back at it now I just think, you absolute scumbag, you doing that, you had us on the runabout, looking for our sister, you knew full well what you’d done to her.

“They showed me that bit of evidence. That just persuaded it for me and I went mad. He’s a monster for what he done to my little sister.”

Via Crimewatch

Channel 5 crime documentary Countdown to Murder looks at what happened to the young actress, who struck fame as Kerry in EastEnders.

Brother Tony, high on drugs, hit her over the head and fractured her skull n three places. She died from a bleed to the brain.

Then, clinically and coldly, he tried to chop up his sister’s body with a knife. When that failed went out for a meat cleaver, rolls of bin liners and cleaning chemicals.

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The next morning, with the body still in the house, he began a cover up, texting his girlfriend: “Morning, sorry crashed out last night. Woke up too late to get back to you. Feeling a bit better today.”

He even sent a text to his dead sister saying he had been to visit their mum.

Gemma as Kerry, with Dean Gaffney's Robbie, in EastEnders

He wrote: “Hi Gem, letting you know I’m at the hospital. Mum is doing really good and the doctors are pleased with her. Going to look at the throat and swallowing today. Love ya xx.”

When Tony then told the family Gemma hadn’t come home they assumed she was staying with a friend.

Danny explained: “But on the Sunday morning me and a friend met up with Tony and got some pictures developed of Gemma. We took them down to Bethnal Green Police Station.”

Speaking on tonight’s Channel 5 crime documentary Countdown to Murder, he remembers that it was difficult to get sense out of Tony.

“But I just thought it was just him just stoned out of his nut again."

Tony McCluskie (MET Police)

Increasingly worried, the family stepped distributed photos and posters and Tony joined in. But two days later police found the first body part in the canal.

Danny recalls Tony’s reaction. “Out of nowhere he walks in and puts his arms round us and he starts saying, please don’t let it be Gemma. I’ll never forget it.”

But their sister was immediately identifiable because of her tattoo.

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“That broke me,” says Danny. “I turned round and went to the police officer, I said, ‘You’d better catch whoever did this’. And he kept saying to me, ‘I promise, we’ll catch him, we’ll catch him’.”

Danny refused to believe Tony had anything to do with his sister's murder, even when police questioned him for a second time.

“I said to him, you look me in the eye and you put your hand on your heart you ain’t done this to my sister?

“And he just said to me, ‘The police are fitting me up’."

But then came the damning CCTV evidence, which showed Tony putting the heavy suitcase in the back of a minicab.

On January 30, 2013 Tony was found guilty of the murder and jailed for a minimum of 20 years.

Danny said: “I just thought, I wanna smash his face in. Because he was guilty."

Countdown to Murder: The Soap Star Killer is on Channel 5 on Thursday at 8pm.

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