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The evil Claire Babcock

Claire Babcock (Rebecca Tilney) is the main villainess from "The Family in the Feud," the antepenultimate episode of Bones' seventh season (airdate April 30, 2012). She is the wife of Ephraim Babcock and the mother of their son, Junior Babcock.

The episode began with a body being found while a man was searching for truffles, with the deceased being revealed as Tug Babcock, the patriarch of the West Virginia-based Babcock family. Seeley Booth interviewed Ephraim (Tug's son), Claire, and Junior regarding Tug's murder, with all three claiming that he was killed by the Mobley family, who had been feuding with the Babcocks for over a century. It was stated that the feud began when a male member of the Mobleys was poisoned by a Babcock woman who was believed to be a witch; though, as Daisy Wick found out in the episode's final scenes, the pair who were believed to have started the feud were actually in love, and the toxicity of the copper on the land killed both of them.

As Claire stated, the families had been feuding over the ownership of the land, with Norbert Mobley confirming Claire's statement, which also uncovered that lawsuits had been made regarding the land. Not only was Norbert a suspect, his granddaughter, SueBob Mobley was one; however, she had a surprising alibi: she was sneaking around with Junior, as they were in love and were planning to get married. When Junior was interrogated (with Claire present), he not only confirmed SueBob's statement, he also revealed that Tug had approved and was paying for a ring, with Claire expressing shock over her son's relationship. In addition, Tug was dying from bone cancer at the time of his murder, and because of this, he wanted the long-standing feud to end before he succumbed to the disease.

The development made Claire a suspect, as she had the most to gain from the feud. Claire, a lawyer, had been receiving payments due to the lawsuits, though her father-in-law's plan to end the feud would also bring an end to the payments. Claire was confronted by Booth and Dr. Temperance Brennan, though she denied killing Tug, even after she was revealed to have pain in her shoulder, which would be caused from holding a rifle while firing. Claire's clothes were tested for truffle spores, and they were revealed to be covered in them, revealing that Claire shot Tug to death to prevent him from ending the feud. After she was outed as the killer, the evil Claire confessed, stating that Tug informed her that he wanted to end the feud, and that she and her family could leave their home with the money she made. The villainess was handcuffed and arrested during her confession.

Trivia

  • Rebecca Tilney also played villainess Crystal Shoemaker on Longmire, and later appeared as the evil Eleanor Dean in 2019's Killer Contractor.
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