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Stephen Wentworth

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Stephen Wentworth was the main antagonist in the Midsomer Murders episode Death's Shadow. He was played by Richard Briers.


Origins

Stephen had a young son before he became the town vicar, and his son was often bullied at school. His son had five other friends, who were actually bullies, but his son thought they were friends. They often did pranks on each other. One such prank went too far - it was a simple prank to make Stephen's son look like he'd hanged himself - but actually the ropes were tied too tightly and the boy suffocated to death.

The boys lied to Stephen about his son's real death, and said it was an accidental death. However, Stephen got all embittered and angry and believed it was murder. Having tracked down the killers when they were now all adults, Stephen decided to give them revenge for what they'd done to his son.


Biography

Stephen committed his first murder by tracking down one of his son's murderers in his house and when the man welcomed him inside, he decapitated him. Ironically, Stephen presided over the funeral the next day because he was now vicar. This called the attention of Inspectors Barnaby and Troy, who knew it was murder.

They went round the village asking for witnesses or suspects, and talked to Stephen Wentworth, but found nothing. He seemed a charming man. Meanwhile, Stephen committed more murders, such as incinerating one of his son's killers in his trailer. Stephen finally killed off all his son's killers but one, who told Barnaby the truth that he and his friends killed Stephen's son. Finally realizing Stephen killed out of revenge, Barnaby turned up to the church asking Stephen for an explanation. Stephen coldly confessed to the murders, and said the men got what they deserved. He then waited patiently when the policemen made arrest warrants. However, in a twist, Stephen ran boldly up the church tower, and when Troy yelled at him not to commit suicide, Stephen Wentworth just said he ought to have done this years ago. He yelled for his wife who was visiting him, and she managed to see him leap from the church tower to his death.

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