Margaret Carruthers In ‘Deadloch,’ Explained: Did She Kill William? Is Margaret Dead Too?

In the thrilling conclusion of the Australian murder mystery series Deadloch, the mysterious killer responsible for the string of murders plaguing the town is finally unmasked. Lead detective Dulcie Collins and her trusted investigative partner, Eddie Redcliffe, were determined to unravel the dark secrets surrounding the murders that had gripped their community. However, not only did the Deadloch Killer’s identity come to the surface, but another sinister presence emerged from the shadows. However, this nefarious figure was not a man but a woman—Margaret Carruthers. With her vile activities kept carefully concealed until the very end of the season, Margaret Carruthers proved to be a malevolent force hiding in plain sight, evading suspicion, and operating in the darkness.

Spoilers Ahead


Who Was Margatet Carruthers?

Throughout the initial episodes of Deadloch Season 1, Margaret Carruthers, the wife of former mayor Rod Dixon, appeared disinterested regarding the series of murders that unfolded in the town. Despite her husband being initially believed to be the first victim of the Deadloch Killer, Margaret seemed more focused on her own pursuits and her involvement with her business. An intriguing aspect of her character was her brother, William Carruthers, whose resemblance to Margaret was evident in their portrait hanging on her wall. However, William remained conspicuously absent throughout the narrative, only to be revealed as dead in the final episode.

Margaret portrayed the persona of an ice queen, displaying a callous disregard for others as she was primarily concerned with upholding her reputation and maintaining a sense of ownership. Her racist tendencies became evident as she discriminated against people based on the color of their skin and showed no regard for the land belonging to the Palawa community. While presenting herself as a champion for women’s entrepreneurship, supporting female-led businesses, and helping Aleyna in her mayoral campaign, Margaret’s true intentions were far from altruistic. She manipulated public perception only to get validation.

The dispute over land ownership between Margaret and her brother arose from their actions in seizing land from the Palawa community. Faye, a Palawa woman, attempted to convey their concerns, but Margaret callously dismissed them from the beginning. In an attempt to pacify the Palawa girls and prevent any further outcry over the land, Margaret offered Miranda, Faye’s niece, a scholarship opportunity. However, when Tammy also expressed interest in the scholarship, Margaret’s disdain for the underprivileged prevented her from accommodating both girls. In a cruel manner, she rejected Tammy’s application, claiming that she showed no talent. This rejection left both Tammy and Miranda disillusioned, leading Miranda to decline Margaret’s offer.

Nevertheless, the Palawa girls were two precocious teenagers who randomly ventured out on Carruthers Island, leading themselves to make a critical mistake. Miranda accidentally left her earring behind in the island’s graveyard, catching Margaret’s attention. Margaret instructed Abby to warn the girls against venturing into the graveyard. Although Margaret’s constant prohibition puzzled the viewers, all became clear in the final episode when the secrets of the graveyard were unveiled.


What Happened To William Carruthers?

Initially, viewers questioned the existence of William Carruthers during the early episodes, but as the narrative unfolded, it became evident why he had been concealed in mystery. In a shocking revelation, it was discovered that the truck found at the crime scene was registered under William’s name, causing Margaret to vehemently deny her brother’s involvement in the murders. She claimed he had been sent to Ubud years ago. However, when Abby investigated William’s whereabouts, he was nowhere to be found, neither in Deadloch nor in Ubud.

Abby sought answers from Faye, who had multiple meetings with the Carruthers regarding their land. Faye disclosed that William had no objections to returning the land to the Palawas, but it was Margaret who adamantly refused to give it back to its rightful owners. Based on this information, Abby deduced that William might not be the killer they were pursuing and subsequently eliminated him as a suspect from the list.

Driven by curiosity and a desire to uncover the truth, the brave Palawa girls, Miranda and Tammy, went on another adventure to uncover the connection between Carruthers Island and Margaret’s mysterious brother. Stealthily making their way to the island, they were met with a shocking sight—Margaret lying on the ground, bitten by a tiger snake. Despite their initial intention to offer help, their focus quickly shifted as they noticed Margaret sitting near a freshly dug grave with a skeleton exposed. To their astonishment, the skeleton was wearing the same shoes William wore in their portrait, implying that Margaret had murdered her own brother following their land dispute and buried him on the island.

The shocking discovery on Carruthers Island shed light on Margaret’s true motive for preventing access to the area. Initially, her warnings about the presence of tiger snakes seemed like a ruse, but iironically they turned out to be true. Margaret met her demise from the venom of one of these deadly snakes, highlighting the bite of Karma. Despite her strong convictions, her brother’s presence caused her great distress, leading her to commit the chilling act of murdering him and burying his body on the island. This added complexity to her role as a villain and solidified her status as one of the most significant antagonists in the series.

Even in her final moments, Margaret had evil intentions. She attempted to shoot the Palawa girls, desperate to eliminate any witnesses to her heinous act. However, her aim was off, and she ultimately succumbed to her injuries, taking her last breath.

Margaret’s sinister act of killing her brother and burying him on Carruthers Island is a perfect example of Chekhov’s gun in the story of Deadloch. The introduction of her brother’s portrait early on hinted at its importance, making us intrigued as we anticipated seeing him. We all knew that he was out of town and could come back soon to add a new layer to the story, but we missed some of the minute details previously revealed in the narrative. The shoes that were seen in the portrait set a perfect setup for the climax in the end, which further solidified Margaret as a truly memorable and powerful villain.


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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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