Adelaide’s Killer is Finally Revealed in the 'Criminal Record' Finale, "Carla"

Joana Borja as Carla and Cush Jumbo as DS June Lenker in 'Criminal Record'

Joana Borja as Carla and Cush Jumbo as DS June Lenker in 'Criminal Record'

Apple TV+

For seven episodes, we’ve been wondering who killed Adelaide Burrows. Was it Errol Mathis, who has been convicted of the crime? Were Hegarty, Kim, and Tony knowingly protecting the real perpetrator of the crime? Is Hegarty an evil mastermind or just a detective who had a bad day? Most but not all answers were revealed in “Carla,” the eighth and final episode of the season. And I have to admit it was a bit of a letdown. With a show like this, you want the real murderer to be someone we’ve seen the whole season but didn’t necessarily suspect. Alas, the killer turned out to be Stefan Ash, someone we saw briefly when he helped Hegarty find a new apartment for Patrick. There was no shock and awe with this reveal; it was more of a shrug. 

The episode kicks off with Hegarty and June in a panic because the audio of Carla’s emergency phone call is going viral, and they know Carla is in immediate danger. Hegarty wants to shut it down. “That’s really not how Twitter works, actually,” June tells him. (Side note: I wonder if X will ever be referred to by name the way Twitter was. My guess going forward is that line would have changed to “That’s really not how social media works, actually.”)

June encourages Hegarty to think to himself, “What if I was wrong? What if it wasn’t Errol, and if not him, then who?” They go through Hegarty’s files on the case, specifically looking at all the DNA that was found in Adelaide and Errol’s flat. Errol cut hair in the kitchen, so there was lots of DNA. Did they clear everyone? Hegarty assures her that they did. But then he realizes that Stefan was not someone they had totally cleared. His alibi was shoddy. Now Stefan is an informant for Hegarty, but back then, he was an informant for Tony. 

Peter Capaldi as DCI Daniel Hegarty prevents Cush Jumbo as DS June Lenker from stabbing someone in Criminal Record

Peter Capaldi as DCI Daniel Hegarty and Cush Jumbo as DS June Lenker in Criminal Record

Apple TV+

Hegarty, Kim, and June go to see Stefan. His wife tells them to wait in the backyard. She will bring them tea. (Like Hegarty, I agree that it doesn’t seem like the time for tea.) But Hegarty sees a broken window and rushes into the house and finds Stefan’s wife injured, bleeding, and on the floor. Now, the hunt for Stefan and Carla begins. Stefan owns a lot of properties. They start searching all the buildings and find nothing. Until Chloe remembers that there are units on the top floor that have been abandoned due to an asbestos issue. It is there that Stefan confronts June. “You stupid fucking bitch,” he says before attacking her. June defends herself, and Hegarty arrives just in time to stop her from stabbing Stefan.

June finds Carla and her baby (!!) in a closet. They are safe. On the way to the police station, Stefan tells Hegarty that Carla is in the country illegally and that he has other information to trade. “You get me for this, I’ll get you for that,” he tells Hegarty. But before Stefan can say anything more, a motorcycle pulls up beside them and shoots Stefan in the head. He dies instantly, and Hegarty also gets shot in the stomach. 

The police search Stefan’s home and find all the evidence tying Stefan to the crime. He’s kept the murder weapon, the key to Adelaide’s flat, and the toy engagement ring Adelaide was wearing. Sonya and June go to tell Errol. “He is, in fact, the one who murdered Adelaide,” June tells him. Errol can hardly believe he is going to be free and that he didn’t kill Adelaide. “Your mum. She was right. It was this man. It wasn’t you,” Sonya says. 

Peter Capaldi as DCI Daniel Hegarty in Criminal Record

Peter Capaldi as DCI Daniel Hegarty in Criminal Record

Apple TV+

Later, Hegarty goes to see Tony. Tony is sticking to his story that Errol committed the murder. “He got away with it. The sick bastard,” he tells Hegarty. Hegarty has gotten the charges against Tony for killing Doris reduced to reckless driving. There will be no murder charge. But Tony isn’t exactly grateful. He’s done all the dirty work for Hegarty over the years. He even accuses Hegarty of putting the hit out on Stefan so Stefan would never be able to say how many times the police looked the other way because he was a protected informant. 

“The evil that man got up to under your watch,” Tony says. Hegarty denies this, but Tony says it was Kim. “We’ve done all your fucking dirty work,” Tony says. “We were the ‘62s, weren’t we?” In his final zinger to Tony, Hegarty tells him that although they call themselves the “‘62s” after the 62nd airborne Hegarty’s uncle served in, Hegarty made the whole thing up. “It’s a fiction. I’ve got one uncle. Charle. He’s scared of heights.”

Still, something is bothering June. Why didn’t Errol tell them what happened when Hegarty took him to the apartment? Errol says it’s because he believed Patrick, who heard Errol say, “I’ll knock you flat.” “He heard what he heard,” Errol tells June. June returns to the interview tape from the hospital and realizes the “I’ll knock you flat” is from a cartoon Patrick was watching. “He wasn’t talking about Errol. He was just talking about some cartoon off the telly. You knew that, and you poisoned him. You poisoned his whole life,” June tells Hegarty.

Maisie Ayres as Lisa and Rasaq Kukoyi as Patrick stand together on the rooftop in Criminal Record

Maisie Ayres as Lisa and Rasaq Kukoyi as Patrick in Criminal Record

Apple TV+

We learn that Lisa has moved out and will try to live independently (like Hegarty, I’m worried about this plan). An independent investigation says there is inconclusive evidence that Hegarty led the witness during his interrogation of Errol. So he won’t lose his job. “Nine days out of 10, you’d have been all over every lab report, alibi, and comma,” June tells him. “So why not that time? Why not for him?” Hegarty may still have a job, but he has to live with the fact that an innocent man has sat in jail for over a decade because of his actions.

A mural with Adelaide and Doris’s faces has been constructed outside the apartment building. In an emotional scene, Patrick talks about two Errols - the one who took care of him and the one he thought killed his mother. He realizes he picked the wrong Errol, believing the man he loved was a murderer. Patrick apologizes, and the two men embrace. Alas, there’s no closure on the state of June’s marriage. Her husband doesn’t even appear in the finale.  

Although Criminal Record has yet to be picked up for a second season, it’s easy to see another season where June and Hegarty and their shaky alliance take on another case. I, for one, at least want to find out if June’s husband has learned to say better stuff.

Amy Amatangelo headshot

When Amy Amatangelo was little, her parents limited the amount of TV she could watch. You can see how well that worked out. 

In addition to Telly Visions, her work can currently be found in Paste Magazine, Emmy Magazine, and the LA Times. She also is the Treasurer of the Television Critics Association. Amy liked the ending of Lost and credits the original 90210 for her life-long devotion to teen dramas. She stays up at night wondering what happened between Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi and really thinks Carrie Bradshaw needs to join so she can meet a new guy. Follow her at @AmyTVGal.

More to Love from Telly Visions