Ferndale strangler turns out to be - shhhhhh

By Joanna Hunkin

After months of speculation, the Shortland Street serial killer was unmasked last night in the final episode of the year.

Joey Henderson (Johnny Barker) was revealed to be the Ferndale Strangler, ending weeks of curiosity and conspiracy.

The plot line, introduced in August, has revived the soap's ratings, drawing viewers away from Close Up and Campbell Live.

Receptionist Claire Solomon, played by Emily Robins, became the first victim when she was found dead in a skip.

The serial killer has stalked the street ever since, killing five residents.

Last week, three endings, featuring three different murderers, were leaked to YouTube but South Pacific Pictures ordered their removal.

However, last night's final scene, with Joey about to attack nurse Tania Jefferies (Faye Smyth), proved to be the real ending.

Shortland Street takes a break for the holidays and will return to TV2 on Monday, January 14, at 7pm.

THE NUMBERS

(National viewers aged 5+)

* Mon, August 13 499,000

* Mon, September 17 539,700

* Mon, October 15 527,900

* Mon, November 12 517,900

* Mon, December 10 587,000

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