Richard "Charles" Hillman
POWERS AND SKILLS
Spending time with the Platt family: particularly with his wife Gail
Save Kellett Holdings from financial bankruptcy and prevent Gail from discovering his homicidal nature
TYPE OF CHARACTER
Symbolic Homicidal Businessman
|“||"Am I not the luckiest man in the world to have a family like you lot!!"||„|
|~ Richard Hillman's most famous quote as he celebrates his new life with his wife Gail Platt and her stepfamily; it the midst of covering up his homicidal activities.|
Richard Hillman is a fictional character and recurring antagonist of the ITV British soap opera drama: Coronation Street.
He first appeared as a central character from June 2001 and went on to become the show's main antagonist throughout 2002 and in the first quarter of 2003.
Richard was a financial adviser and had two previous marriages before arriving in Weatherfield. His first wife was Marion, who wanted to have children, but Richard had to attend to his sick mother. Marion divorced him, as she didn't want to take care of an old pensioner. Following his mother's death, he married Patricia. Like Marion, she too wanted children - but Richard later discovered he couldn't have any children. Believing he made up the story, Patricia also divorced him. In 2001, he turned up at Alma Halliwell's funeral, claiming to be her cousin. He befriended Gail Platt and they eventually began dating. Before long, he'd moved in with Gail and started winning over her children with expensive presents. Hillman's dealings were questioned by Norris Cole when he learned that elderly people had lost their life savings to Richard.
Richard went into business with Duggie Ferguson - converting The Ridings, an old house in Crimea Street, into luxury flats. However, the partnership soon ran into trouble as Duggie happily cut corners. One night in February 2002, Richard confronted Duggie in one of the flats - angered by the poor workmanship that his partner had overseen. When Duggie leaned on one of the bannisters it gave way and he fell through several floors. Duggie was badly injured, and although Richard initially intended to help him, he realized that this was an ideal opportunity to rid himself of his unwanted business partner. Leaving Duggie for dead, Richard took the keys from Duggie's pocket, visited his house and emptied his safe, including the money that Duggie had made from the sale of the Rovers. To cover himself, Richard went to meet Gail at the pub and left a message on Duggie's phone arranging to meet him the next day. The following morning Richard visited the conversion site with Gail, and he was shocked to see Duggie was missing, though he had only crawled into the next room before succumbing to his injuries.
Richard was due to marry Gail in the summer of 2002, but his ex-wife Patricia turned up, demanding £25,000 for her share of their business, Kellett Holdings. When she threatened to tell the police and Gail about Richard's past crimes, Richard grabbed a shovel and smashed Patricia over the head, killing her instantly. She fell into a ditch at The Ridings where new flats were to be built, and her body was buried in the cement by Richard. With the issue of Patricia seemingly out of the way, he married Gail and the whole family went on their honeymoon to Florida. A few months later, the police visited Richard to inform him that a body matching Patricia's description had been found. Richard identified it as Patricia, even though it wasn't her, and was convinced that he was now in the clear - as nobody would be looking for the real body. However, Patrica's best friend Charlotte Morris turns up at Weatherfield to observe Patricia's body; Richard attempts to cover-up the truth behind her demise, but merely succeeds in arousing Charlotte's suspicions - prompting him to coerce her into leaving Weatherfield. Charlotte later leaves Weatherfield and Richard is relieved to have once again eluded himself from Patrica's fate.
As he resumed playing happy families with Gail and her children, Richard soon discovers that Gail's mother Audrey Roberts was wealthy; once she died, Gail would end up receiving her £250,000 inheritance. In the autumn, he hatched a plot of convincing Audrey - and everyone else - that she was going insane by stealing her keys and leaving them in the door of the salon, altering the salon's appointments book, and leaving the radio on in her house. His plan appeared to be working and Audrey began questioning her sanity, but she discovered that one of her "mistakes" was not one when paperwork from the dry cleaners on Moxton Street proved she was right about an incident there. One night, Richard set her house on fire when Audrey was asleep. She was saved with the help of Steve McDonald and Archie Shuttleworth. She worked out that it must have been Richard behind the incident and tried to convince Gail of this. However, her frantic attempts to prove this to Gail only resulted in her becoming convinced Audrey was having mental problems and soon refused to speak to her. With the police also dismissive of Audrey's claims, she soon found her only allies against Richard were Norris and Archie.
Richard had previously persuaded Emily Bishop to sign a contract in which he would give her a sum of money for her house, and she would be allowed to live there until her death, upon which the deed to the house would revert to him. Richard started to have serious money problems when his bank manager, Keith Greenacre, informed him that the flats he owned weren't selling due to the planned construction of a bail hostel nearby, and he knew he had to earn some money fast. When he heard that Emily would be babysitting for the Peacocks as there was a party at the Rovers, he decided to murder Emily. He also decided to kill two birds with one stone, and stage it as a robbery in order to take revenge on his stepdaughter Sarah's troublesome boyfriend Aidan Critchley for abandoning her after a car accident. First, Richard drugged Aidan with some tranquillizers that had been prescribed for Audrey and after he had passed out, Richard stole his jacket and - after making sure he was seen wearing it from the back - broke into the Peacocks' house and hit Emily hard over the head with a crowbar while she was watching TV. Unfortunately, Maxine Peacock showed up, wanting to check on her son Joshua. After remarking "You should have stayed at the party Maxine", Richard beat her to death with the crowbar. Emily miraculously survived the attack, but had no recollection of it. The other aspect of Richard's plan worked; no-one suspected him of having any involvement and Aidan was quickly arrested with almost everyone, believing he was behind Maxine's murder during a bungled robbery.
Richard soon learned that Ann Lawson, one of his elderly clients, had died a week earlier, and therefore he already owned a house that he could sell; her son Tony had previously visited Richard to try and reclaim the house from his company to no avail. Furthermore, the plans for the bail hostel had also fallen through and - as a result - the flat he owned began to sell. Richard was now guilt-ridden, as he realized that there had been no need for him to harm Emily or Maxine.
Richard was desperate to avoid Maxine's funeral, but could not get out of it. He almost cracked up during the service, and when Maxine's father broke down while reading a bible passage, Gail insisted that Richard took over the reading. Whilst doing so, Richard stuns the congregation by making a heartfelt speech about Maxine - stating how her demise made him think the worst possibility in regards to his "family" - and assuring her husband Ashley that both he and Joshua will get all the support to help "get through this terrible time". Although Richard had managed to regain his self-control, Audrey noticed his behavior and deduced his involvement in Maxine's death; she publicly accused him of murdering her, but was dismissed - which resulted in Gail severing all ties with her mother. Following Maxine's funeral, Richard cemented his respect around Weatherfield whilst Audrey was shunned for her attitude against him; the street also turned on Audrey's old friend and Aidan's ex-school headmaster: Ken Barlow, who believed that Aidan was innocent upon seeing him under the effects of the tranquillizers on the night of Maxine's death.
Richard soon made plans with Gail to leave Weatherfield. On the night before they left, though, Gail grew increasingly suspicious over a number of previous claims that Richard told her about. It first transpired that the bracelet that Richard gave Gail as a present turned out to be the one his former partner Steve McDonald had retrieved from it's last owner: Richard's ex-wife Patricia, which slipped of her wrist amid arguing with Richard before her murder. Because of this as well as overhearing Steve telling his love interest that he - not Richard - had found the bracelet, Gail realized that Richard had lied about several matters connected to Patricia's "disappearance". Her suspicions were further aroused when police tests confirm that Aidan had been drugged on the night of the murder with the same tranquillisers that Audrey had been prescribed, and therefore he could not have killed Maxine. Gail recalled seeing Richard at the medicine cabinet containing the tablets, and that he had disappeared from the party for a while before acting rather tensed whenever being in the same room as Ashley.
After making a speech about the good times he had in Weatherfield, Richard rushed back home after seeing Gail leave the party. When they were alone back at the house, she confronted him over Maxine and he confessed to killing her and then framing Aidan for her murder. Gail was shocked and instantly questioned her husband about his ex-wife's fate, prompting Richard to confess to Patricia's murder and subsequent cover-up of the crime. Whilst emulating his murders, Richard also reveals his involvement in Duggie's death before going on to confirm that Audrey was telling the truth about him trying to kill her and Emily. Horrified, Gail rebuffs Richard's strive to justify his actions and she realizes that his plan to raise a family of his own because he could produce any children from neither Miriam or Patricia. This causes Richard to lash out at Gail, albeit not physically, and she responds by addressing her husband as "Norman Bates with a Briefcase". Unable to persuade her in forgiving him as well as knowing the game is up, Richard leaves in disappointment and he quickly becomes the most wanted man in the UK by the time his murders have been exposed; Patricia's body is uncovered the following morning, during which the locals learn about the rest of Richard's crimes - particularly in Maxine's murder.
Just twoo weeks later, Richard returned to the Street with a suicidal impact on himself and his "family". After kidnapping Gail's children and Sarah's infant daughter Bethany at home, Richard reacquainted himself with Gail when she arrived and stops her from escaping when she attempts to reveal his presence. Recalling the events following his confession, Richard explained how he managed to vindicate Gail from her suspect involvement in his crimes by telling the police himself and goes on to reveal his newest intention of being "by her side for the rest of her life". He takes her to the family car, where David and Sarah have been gagged and tied up whereas Bethany has been drugged. Claiming that Audrey and the Weatherfield residents are to blame for the events that led to this moment, Richard persuades Gail to get in the vehicle after rejecting her appeals for just the pair leaving secretly nor turning himself into the authorities. As he started the car, Gail's ex-husband Martin and Audrey came round to help with the tea - but couldn't get inside, as Richard had bolted the door earlier on during the struggle with Gail. When they heard music coming from the garage, Audrey deduced that Richard was back and Martin - along with his two friends, Kevin Webster and Tommy Harris - opened the garage door. In response, Richard drove away with his stepfamily and was quickly perused by Martin and his friends in another car. In the ensuing chase, Gail and her children managed to free themselves from their captivity and tried unsuccessfully to stop Richard before he took a risky move and turned the car towards a canal. Richard, after telling his stepfamily that he loved them, drives straight into the canal, whereupon the car sank just as Martin and his friends arrived.
As the car was sinking, Gail fought to escape Richard while her children and Bethany were rescued by Tommy. Gail finally managed to escape from her killer husband and was pulled up to safety by Martin and David just as the authorities were arriving. Tommy quickly went in to save Richard, but found out that he escaped from the car and was forced to exit the canal. Gail and her family returned home where they reunited with Audrey, whereas Norris and Archie along with the other locals began speculating over whether Richard survived or not. Not long afterwards, the police turned out at the house and confirmed that a body is found at the canal. Gail and Audrey returned to the canal, where the body is revealed to be Richard - who had drowned after failing to kill his stepfamily. Confirming his identity to the police, Gail chucked the rings Richard gave her back into the canal before leaving with Audrey. A few weeks later, Gail personally attended to Richard's funeral to ensure that he was laid to rest for good - thus signaling the end of his nefarious reign for good, This also helped Gail recoup her respect around the Weatherfield community, including with Vera after she ended up harassing Gail under the pretense that she conspired with Richard to defraud her and Jack from their financial securities.
Despite this, Richard's crimes continued to haunt Gail and her family for years - up to the point where David ended up developing some mischievous antics as a result of the impact that Richard had inflicted upon him. At one point, David tormented his mother by posing as Richard and sending her multiple cards.
List of Victims
A list of people whom Richard Hillman has victimized throughout the course of his homicidal story arc.
- Ann Lawson — Richard conned Ann into his non-existent business company, Kellett Holdings, to uphold his financial scheme; as a result, Anna became the first victim who Richard had conned into his business dealings.
- Duggie Ferguson — Richard left Duggie to die after witnessing the latter fall from a banister, mere seconds after the pair argued over their business venture when Richard had deduced Duggie's ulterior motives - resulting in him calling the deal off. Following Duggie's death, Richard extracted his fortune.
- Patricia Hillman — Richard killed Patricia by smacking her with a spade when she threatened to expose his financial scheme upon confronting him over his situation within their business project: Kellett Holdings. Subsequently, Richard buried Patricia underneath the flats — which wasn't discovered until just nine months later, towards the end of February 2003.
- Jack Duckworth — Richard conned Jack along with his wife Vera out of £20,000 in an attempt to prevent Kellett Holdings from going financially bankrupt.
- Vera Duckworth — Richard conned Vera along with her husband Jack out of £20,000 in an attempt to prevent Kellett Holdings from going financially bankrupt. The impact makes Richard responsible for Vera's subsequent feud with Gail over her husband's scam, which leads to Vera harassing Gail up until her son David eventually convinces her to move on from what Richard had done to them.
- Norris Cole — Richard abducted Norris to coerce him in staying out of his business upon growing annoyed with his constant interference.
- Audrey Roberts — Richard attempted to kill Audrey for her £250,000 inheritance by setting her house on fire; when that failed, he manipulated the situation that Audrey has Alzheimer's disease — thus discrediting her from both her family and Weatherfield in the process.
- Archie Shuttleworth — Richard incidentally discredited Archie from his fellow Weatherfield neighbors when he supported his friend Audrey Roberts over Richard's plot to manipulate the street into believing that she has Alzheimer's disease.
- Emily Bishop — Richard attempted to con Emily before later trying to kill her by staging a burglary in her home: he brutally knocked her unconscious with a crowbar, but failed to kill her.
- Maxine Peacock — Richard ended up killing Maxine by beating her to death with a crowbar after she incidentally walked in his attempt to kill Emily.
- Aidan Critchley — Richard framed Aidan for Emily's attack and Maxine's murder; this was mainly to cover up his involvement, though Richard also used this to exact revenge on Aidan for nearly causing the death of stepdaughter Sarah.
- Gail Platt — Richard attempted to kill Gail and her family in a suicide attempt by gassing them into unconsciousness before subsequently plunging their car into the canal. Prior to this, Gail was shunned in Weatherfield following her discovery of Richard's crimes and was on the verge of being financially bankrupted - due to her husband's fraudulent schemes - in the events after his death.
- David Platt — Richard tried to kill David along with his family in a suicide attempt by gassing them into unconsciousness before subsequently plunging their car into the canal. Since, David has gradually developed a phobia of water and at times has grown to display malicious tendencies; because of this, Richard is directly responsible for David's villainy over the years to come.
- Sarah Platt — Richard tried to kill Sarah along with her family in a suicide attempt by gassing them into unconsciousness before subsequently plunging their car into the canal.
- Bethany Platt — Richard tried to kill Bethany along with her family in a suicide attempt by gassing them into unconsciousness before subsequently plunging their car into the canal.
- Tony Lawson — Richard stalled Tony from reclaiming his house for his mother Ann, whom he subsequently alleged to have caused her death when she eventually passes away. Richard, having deduced that Tony partly caused his mother's death, chose not to grant him his home back - which presumably would have left Tony homeless as a result.
- Steve McDonald — Richard forged a partnership with Steve McDonald to help expand his fraudulent property company, Kellett Holdings, and cover-up the murder of his ex-wife Patricia. In the events before or after Richard's crimes were exposed, Steve had a number of financial problems due to his partnership with Richard himself.
- Rita Turner — Richard attempted to con Rita into his fraudulent property, but failed when her co-shopkeeper Norris Cole sabotaged his attempt. Richard later caused the pair to have a disagreement over his character, which also deteriorated Rita's friendships with Richard's mother-in-law Audrey Roberts and her close friend Archie Shuttleworth in the process.
- Sally Webster — Richard convinced Sally to remortgage her house for his financial securities, an act which nearly bankrupted her in the process.
- Charlotte Morris — Richard coerced Charlotte to leave Weatherfield when she visited the street to investigate the circumstances behind the murder of her best-friend and Richard's ex-wife: Patricia.
- Ashley Peacock — Richard unintentionally caused Ashley to succumb to depression after murdering his wife Maxine. Shortly after her death, Ashley was formerly arrested when the police implicate him as the culprit of Maxine's murder.
- Ken Barlow — Richard is indirectly responsible for Ken being discredited in Weatherfield when the latter supported his student Aidan Crichley over the street's belief that he was the one who attacked Emily Bishop and murdered Maxine Peacock — not Richard.
- Martin Platt — Richard nearly ran Martin off the road when kidnapping Gail and their family in his familicide attempt. After Richard drove the family into the canal, Martin was forced to jump into the canal to rescue them.
- Tommy Harris — Richard nearly ran Tommy off the road when kidnapping Gail and her family in his familicide attempt. After Richard drove the family into the canal, Tommy was forced to jump into the canal to rescue them and was nearly murdered when attempting to save Richard to no avail.
- Kevin Webster — Richard nearly ran Kevin off the road when kidnapping Gail and her family in his familicide attempt.
|~ Richard Hillman's first quote on the show as he greets himself to Janice Battersby shortly before meeting Gail for the first time.|
|“||"Get lost Duggie. You had the chance, and you blew it!!||„|
|~ Richard telling his business partner Duggie Ferguson that their partnership is over, shortly before Richard ends up leaving Duggie to die upon witnessing the latter critically fall through the bannister on the house they're developing together.|
|“||"That wouldn't really be clever!!"||„|
|~ Richard attempting to stall his ex-wife Patricia, when she confronts him over his business dealings, to no avail; which ultimately leads Richard to murder Patricia by smacking her on the head with a spade.|
|“||"Take a life.... to save a life!"||„|
|~ Richard hinting his next murder plan during his killer commercial monologue.|
|“||You should have stayed at the party Maxine!!||„|
|~ One of Richard's most famous quotes as he ends up being forced to kill Duggie's pub landlady, Maxine Peacock, by beating her to death with a crowbar; after she unwittingly walked in on his attempt to murder her son's babysitter Emily Bishop.|
|“||"That's all I ever wanted to do - protect my family. To be everything my dad wasn't. Everything I've done is for you, Gail. I might be a killer, but I did it for you. I killed for you, Gail! Would any man you've ever known do that? Did Brian or Martin love you that much? They didn't even love you enough to stay with you. They betrayed you, like most men do, with their seedy little affairs. I would never do that to you, if you live for a thousand years, you'll never find anyone who loves you more than me."||„|
|~ Richard justifying his actions to Gail after confessing to the murders and other crimes he committed.|
|“||This Is It! I LOVE YOU!!||„|
|~ Richard's last words before he before he deliberately commits suicide in an unsuccessful attempt to kill his stepfamily; consisting of ex-wife Gail; her children David and Sarah; and granddaughter Bethany.|
- Prior to playing Richard Hillman, Brian Capron played a social worker called Don Worthington between 1981 to 1986.
- Originally it was intended for Richard Hillman to go to prison, but Brian Capron wasn't in favour for that option so it was decided to kill off the character instead.
- The newspapers published claims in 2005 that Richard Hillman would make a reappearance in 2006, and that the body Gail identified wasn't his. However this was false rumour, and although there was a storyline that involved the Platt family being harassed by cards signed from "Richard", this was her son David Platt.
- The popularity of the Richard Hillman storylines has led to similar plots involving local antagonists turning into killers, including Tony Gordon; John Stape; Karl Munro; and Pat Phelan.
- This also applies to Doctor Paul Browning from Hollyoaks.
- Brian Capron briefly reprised the character as part of a Halloween Tour at the Coronation Street set in October 2014.