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Who killed Amy Barnes? All the shock theories on the tragic Hollyoaks murder that will keep us guessing for months

HOLLYOAKS favourite Amy Barnes is set to depart the soap next week after twelve years in a dramatic whodunnit that will rock the village to its core.

In what looks to be the biggest storyline of the year, grisly scenes airing next week will see Ryan Knight come home to a nasty surprise as he finds Amy’s lifeless body at home.

Ryan and Amy’s bright future together is about to take a tragic turn
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That means Hollyoaks policeman Ryan, played by Duncan James, will be left investigating his girlfriend's death as part of a whodunnit storyline.

Hollyoaks bosses claim there will only ever be one suspect in the brutal murder when the story hits our screens next week. But that doesn't rule out the possibility of some wild twists and turns - and the main suspect won't necessarily be Amy's killer.

We've collected some of the best and craziest fan theories about who could have killed the soap favourite.

Ste Hay

Amy and Ste's difficult relationship could cause him to see red
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AMY and Ste have a complicated friendship and he'd certainly have the biggest motive to kill her.

Earlier this year, Ste told Amy, played by Ashley Slanina-Davies, he wished she was dead when she restricted access to their kids in response to his erratic and violent behaviour.

Now she's set to marry Ryan, Ste will hate the idea of a stepdad getting more time with his children - especially now Amy is considering moving to America.

Could he be planning to bump Amy off to protect his relationship with them?

After their domestic violence storyline when they first moved in together, hitting Amy and cutting off her ponytail, we know Ste is capable of bad things.

But given the strength of his motive, it could be too obvious to cast him as Amy's killer.

Ryan Knight

Ryan could be involved in the murder if his wedding plans don't go off

AS the person who finds Amy's body, Ryan could be an unlikely suspect in her murder.

But soap bosses love to throw in a red herring, and if his grand wedding plans don't work out, Ryan could end up with blood on his hands.

Fans suspected he might have a mean and manipulative streak during Ste and Amy's custody battle, when he kept persuading Amy to fight on while she was considering giving in and letting Ste see the kids.

And as a policeman, he'll know how to hide evidence and make sure suspicion never comes his way.

Harry Thompson

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Harry could frame Ste for the murder if he finds out about his cheating[/caption]

AFTER Ste spent the night with ex-husband John Paul McQueen, there's a long queue of Hollyoaks residents wanting their revenge.

Ste and Harry finally got engaged recently after Ste rejected two proposals, before eventually getting down on one knee himself in the centre of the village.

But Ste had already cheated with John Paul on the night of their divorce party. And while Ste told John Paul he was happy with Harry and the night had been a mistake, their feelings for each other were undeniable.

Harry is bound to be gutted if he finds out about the affair - could he kill Amy out of spite, knowing the finger of blame will point to Ste?

James Nightingale

Sinister lawyer James has already had revenge on JP - is it Ste's turn?
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LIKE Harry, lawyer James could be looking for revenge against Ste over his cheating with JP.

He pretended to push Ste off a cliff in the boot of his car a few weeks ago - but might he have thought of a better way to get his revenge?

Killing Amy and letting the blame fall on Ste, whose history of violence and anger over their drawn-out custody battle is well-documented, could be the perfect way to make his romantic adversary miserable.

And given his sinister streak, a murder wouldn't be out of character for James.

Mercedes McQueen

A confrontation between Amy and Mercedes might not end well
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MERCEDES and Amy don't often share screen time, but their storylines came together when she had a tawdry one night stand with Ryan Knight.

Amy sent Ryan packing after footage of the pair snogging was projected on to a screen at his birthday bash - but even if she has forgiven Ryan, the same can't be said for Mercy.

If Amy initiates a confrontation, she might not be a match for tough girl Mercedes - remember when she killed her own husband with a shovel?

Leah Barnes

Could little Leah be Hollyoaks' answer to Bobby Beale?

COULD Hollyoaks be about to get its own Bobby Beale?

It'd be a massive curve ball, but Amy and Ste's custody battle will have taken its toll on the kids. And Leah might not be so keen on getting a new stepdad in Ryan Knight, or on moving abroad.

Stranger things have happened in the soap world!

Cameron Campbell

Serial killer Cameron Campbell could be set to return to Chester...

HE'S already killed Celine McQueen, Joe Roscoe, Nico Blake, Ziggy Roscoe, his brother Lockie Campbell and his wife Leela’s parents Danny and Sam Lomax.

So it wouldn't be all that surprising if serial killer Cameron Campbell struck again.

Leela Lomax's stalker saga has been the biggest hint yet that Cameron could return to Chester and kill again. In scenes set to air later this week, she will be terrified to learn he has escaped from prison.

Could his first act as he returns to Chester be Amy's murder?

Actor Cameron Moore has previously hinted that prison might not spell the end for the character, telling the Mirror Online: "I always think it’s best to have killers alive in prison rather than dead, because then, terror always looms over the village.

"If they want me back, then yeah I’d love to come back. Never say never, if it’s good enough for Silas..."

Speaking of which...

Silas Blissett

Silas Blissett could make an even more dramatic return to the soap

WHAT could be more dramatic than bringing back a legendary soap serial killer in the biggest plotline of the year?

Strangely affable serial killer Silas murdered five women in three separate stints on the show, and targeted even more.

We don't yet know how Amy dies, but as Silas infamously strangled all his victims, if she was strangled it could point to another dramatic return to the soap for actor Jeff Rawle.

  • Hollyoaks airs weeknights on Channel 4 at 6.30pm with a first look episode following at 7pm on E4

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