Inside Man: Why did Grieff kill his wife?

The hit BBC One series Inside Man is now available on Netflix as one question reigns supreme: why did Jefferson Grieff kill his wife?

Jefferson Grieff (STANLEY TUCCI)
(Image credit: BBC/Hartswood/Kevin Baker)

Originally broadcast on BBC One at the end of September, Inside Man is an addicting drama-thriller series that's now caught everyone's attention on Netflix for a variety of reasons.

Inside Man consists of four episodes and it tells the story of a prisoner on death row in the United States seeking atonement before he faces execution. 

But the Inside Man plot becomes more intense as audiences are introduced to two more characters whose storylines become intertwined with each other: a journalist looking for a story while on a train in England and a vicar picking up his sons tutor from the station.

Who is part of the cast of Inside Man?

The always wonderful Stanley Tucci takes on the role of Jefferson Grieff, the American prisoner on death row for murdering his wife.

David Tennant stars as vicar Harry Watling, who leads his quiet life in a quaint English town, while the go-getter journalist Beth Davenport is portrayed by Lydia West. Dolly Wells is Janice fife, the math tutor connected to David's son.

Supporting Artists, Harry Watling (DAVID TENNANT)

(Image credit: BBC/Hartswood/Kevin Baker)

The cast is rounded out by Dylan Baker, who plays prison warden Casey, Atkins Estimond as Dillon Kempton, a serial killer on death row with Jefferson, Lyndsey Marshal as Harry's wife Mary and Louis Oliver as his teenage son Ben.

Why did Grieff kill his wife?

Fair warning: spoilers ahead. If you do not wish to know what happens on the four episodes of Inside Man, stop reading right now. 

Inside Man, the TV series direct by Paul McGuigan, kicks off with audience members already aware that Jefferson, an ex-professor of criminology, is awaiting his death sentence for having killed his wife, who was found strangulated and decapitated. However, as the story progresses, the identity of the murderer and David's motive for allegedly committing the killing become less clear.

Specifically, Jefferson is able to solve three major cases while still in prison - a fact that gives audience members a glimpse into how his mind works and the not-so-clear moral standards he claims as his own.

By the end of the fourth and final episode of the mini-series, it is hard to dispute the fact that Jefferson actually did kill and decapitate his wife, but one question remains unanswered: why did he do it?

There are a few plausible theories floating around, but it seems like the reason why Jefferson murdered his wife has a lot to do with her own father, Jefferson’s father-in-law Gordon.

Inside Man

(Image credit: BBC)

In fact, all signs point to Gordon being a criminal and Jefferson finding out about a specific crime he committed that he was going to expose. 

Aware that his own son-in-law might soon reveal his criminality to the world, Gordon then went to his own daughter to paint Jefferson in a bad light. The couple eventually confronts each other and Jefferson ends up strangulating her. 

The reason behind the decapitation is also related to Gordon: Jefferson hid his wife's head so that Gordon wouldn't have a chance to ever bury his daughter whole. Talk about vengeance.

How to watch Inside Man

All four episodes of Inside Man are now available for streaming on Netflix.

Anna Rahmanan

Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers culture, entertainment, food, fashion and travel news. Anna’s words have appeared on Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Us Weekly, Bon Appetit and Brooklyn Magazine, among other outlets.