This is a comprehensive timeline of events for the CBS miniseries Harper's Island. It should be noted that spoilers from the show will go unmarked.
Before the Wakefield Massacre Edit
1949: Sparky Mackle is born.
1953: Thomas Wellington is born.
1956: Approximate birth year of Maggie Krell.
1958: Approximate birth year of Marty Dunn.
1970: Approximate birth year of Richard Allen.
February 11, 1974: Katherine Wellington is born.
August 21, 1980: Beth Barrington is born.
- Henry Dunn is born out of wedlock to John Wakefield and Sarah Mills. Not wanting to raise the child of her abusive boyfriend, Sarah allows him to be raised by family friends Frank and Karen Dunn, who pass him off as their biological child.
- Shortly after sealing the adoption, Sarah moves to Harper's Island where she meets and eventually marries Charlie Mills.
- Approximate birth year of Christopher Sullivan, Malcolm Ross, Danny Brooks, and Joel Booth.
July 19, 1982: Lucy Daramour is born.
February 1, 1983: Jimmy Mance is born.
September 17, 1983: Chloe Carter is born
- John Wakefield comes to Harper's Island to press Sarah Mills for information about their son, whom she had given up for adoption. Sarah's husband, Charlie Mills, has two of his deputies rough Wakefield up to teach him a lesson, and Wakefield severely injures Deputy Cole Harkin in the process. Charlie charges Wakefield with Attempted Murder of a Police Officer, causing him to be sentenced to 17 years in a maximum security prison.
- July 9: Robin Matthews is born.
- Approximate birth year of Brent Cyr.
- October 26: J.D. Dunn is born to Frank and Karen Dunn.
- Approximate birth year of Kelly Seaver to Kate Seaver and an unknown father.
- Henry Dunn competes in the Harper's Island fishing competition, winning for his age range and also catching one of the biggest fish of the day.
- Abby Mills promises her best friend Henry Dunn that they will one day be able to stay together on Harper's Island forever. This promise, though eventually forgotten by Abby, is retained by Henry for almost twenty years, eventually becoming his motivation for the 2008 killing spree.
1983-2001: Span of time in which the Wellington and Daramour families summered on Harper's Island. In this time frame, Lucy Daramour and Trish Wellington became friends, and Trish met Henry Dunn, the deckhand she would eventually fall in love with.
- John Wakefield is released from prison for good behavior.
- A security guard, Officer Samuels, at the maximum security prison holding Wakefield allegedly petitions to keep Wakefield locked up, despite his good behavior discharge, citing that Wakefield is insane and dangerous, and has left disturbing markings and graffiti in his cell. When Samuels comes out about this story shortly after the Wakefield murders, the Warden at the prison dismisses it as Samuels trying to make himself feel better.
The Wakefield Massacre Edit
October 5, 2001:
- John Wakefield returns to Harper's Island to exact revenge on Charlie and Sarah Mills, the former for sending him to prison on trumped up charges, and the latter for keeping their lovechild a secret from him. While rigging several boats in the marina with explosives, Wakefield struggles with and kills fishing boat captain, Harris Antonini. Harbormaster Christopher Cullen witnessed the struggle and ran off, attempting to warn the others as the marina burst into flames.
- Deputy Cole Harkin is horrifically burned in the explosion, and is tended to by Henry Dunn, who was working the docks that day. Abby Mills and Jimmy Mance, who witnessed the explosion from afar, arrive briefly, before Sheriff Mills tells them to return home.
- At some point during the chaos of the marina explosion, Wakefield kills Deputy Joshua Aiken before escaping into the woods, where he comes face to face with his biological son, Henry, for the first time. Though Henry doesn't yet know about his relation to Wakefield, he feels "a connection" to him.
- Wakefield drags fisherman Randall Martin down a forest road before killing him with a head spade. The murder is witnessed by Abby, who is almost killed as well, before Jimmy intervenes with his truck, distracting Wakefield long enough for her to get away. Abby doesn't tell Jimmy she was there until years later, though he already knew.
- Searching for her mother, Abby comes across the willow tree that would later be dubbed the Tree of Woe, and discovers the bodies of Christopher Cullen, Kate Seaver, and Sarah Mills hanging from the branches.
- That evening, Charlie Mills corners Wakefield on the Eastern Bluff and shoots him. Wakefield plummets off the bluff and into the sea, presumed dead.
- Unable to find Wakefield's body, Charlie and Dr. Ike Campbell conspire to pass the body of a local vagrant off as Wakefield's corpse, in an attempt to keep the public from panicking and to provide some measure of closure to the people of Harper's Island. The body is put under 24 hour surveillance at the clinic, due to threats made against the corpse.
- The 24 hour travel ban on and off the island is lifted by local law enforcement.
- The Harper's Globe newspaper publishes an initial account of the murders, citing Wakefield's unknown motive and highlighting the heroics of Sheriff Mills in cornering and killing Wakefield. Local business owner, Maggie Krell, gives a quote to the article, praising the Sheriff's heroics and saying that, with Wakefield confirmed dead, the people of the island can begin to heal and move on.
October 8, 2001:
- Seattle police release the names of Wakefield's victims.
- An obituary of local hero, Christopher Cullen, is published in Harper's Globe. It is written by P.J. Tancinco.
- The First Church of Harper's Island refuses to bury "Wakefield" on consecrated land, so the grave is placed in a wooded area just off the cemetery.
- A memorial service for the victims is held on the lawn of the Candlewick Inn.
- Embittered and driven to drink, Charlie Mills sends his daughter Abby to live with her grandmother in Los Angeles, not believing himself to be in a fit state to raise her. Abby never forgives him for sending her away, and loses contact with the island for seven years.
- Jimmy tries to meet Abby's boat as she leaves, but she "doesn't even give him a kiss goodbye in the rearview mirror". Despite protestations, Jimmy pines for Abby continually until her return to the island.
- Fearing Wakefield is indeed still on the loose, Charlie Mills begins obsessively cataloging murders matching Wakefield's M.O, assembling a shrine-like archive in his attic.
Before the Wakefield-Dunn Massacre Edit
January 14, 2002: Officer Samuels is interviewed by Harper's Globe, saying that he had petitioned for Wakefield to be kept in prison. The Warden of the prison refutes that statement, saying Samuels was merely trying to make himself feel better.
March 3, 2002: A weekly support group for friends and family of Wakefield's victims begins at the First Church of Harper's Island. Reverend Fain gives a quote to Harper's Globe, saying that he hopes people will be able to bond in their grief and begin to heal.
- Approximate date Henry Dunn and Christopher Sullivan began attending Harvard Business School. They are in the same fraternity, where they meet and befriend Malcolm Ross, Danny Brooks, and Joel Booth.
- Approximate date Trish Wellington and Lucy Daramour went to college, where they met and befriended Beth Barrington (Trish's roommate) and Chloe Carter.
Spring, 2003: Approximate date of the deaths of Frank and Karen Dunn, in an 'accident' orchestrated by John Wakefield, as revenge for raising his son and hiding his paternity from him. J.D. Dunn sinks into a deep depression following their deaths and enters into a suicide pact with his girlfriend. He is saved at the last minute, however, and is remitted to the care of a mental institution and put on a sizable list of medication. After being released, he is put into the guardianship of his uncle, Marty Dunn.
Autumn, 2003: While working a night shift at a Tacoma restaurant, Henry Dunn encounters John Wakefield for the second time. Wakefield reveals himself as his biological father, and begins teaching him how to kill. Under Wakefield's tutelage, Henry goes on to commit several murders in the Pacific Northwest, starting rumors of a Wakefield copycat killer.
January 17, 2004:
- Two bodies are found in a ferry terminal in Seattle. Jimmy Mance, who was working at Seattle Harbor at the time, is held on suspicion of involvement in the killings, but is released due to lack of evidence. This is one of several murder cases Charlie Mills classifies as a possible Wakefield copycat crime, making a note of it in his attic, also keeping a copy of Jimmy's arrest report.
- It is suggested this is around the same time Charlie and Jimmy began their weekly breakfasts at Pepper's Diner, initially because Charlie wanted to keep an eye on Jimmy, though they eventually became friends.
- Trish Wellington breaks up with Henry Dunn and begins dating Hunter Jennings. However, things didn't work out and Trish and Henry eventually made their way back to each other. It is also implied that, during this period, Christopher Sullivan attempted to become involved with Trish, but she refused him.
- Lucy Daramour befriends an Italian exchange student whom she later learns is married. The story becomes so notorious, however, that she and her friends reminisce on it three years later.
September 23, 2006: Harper's Globe publishes an article on a city hall debate over whether or not the Tree of Woe should be cut down.
- Charlie Mills makes note of 14 unsolved missing person cases across Washington and Oregon. He believes these to be victims of either John Wakefield or a copycat killer.
- Using $2,000 loaned to him by his fraternity brothers, Malcolm Ross starts the Sacred Turtle microbrewery. He quickly sinks into financial debt trying to get it off the ground.
- Lucy Daramour begins attending Harvard Law School in an attempt to broaden her horizons. While studying at Harvard, she meets Ryan, who becomes her boyfriend for over a year.
- Kelly Seaver dates Shane Pierce, whom she convinces to give her Wakefield-related tattoos. Shane begins abusing Kelly, who ignores Nikki Bolton's urgings to get a restraining order filed. Kelly and Shane break up after a few months. It is suggested that, during this time, Kelly attempts suicide.
- Chloe Carter meets Cal Vandeusen while vacationing in the United Kingdom. They begin dating and eventually grow very close.
- Henry Dunn proposes to Trish Wellington. They arrange to be married in the place they met as children, Harper's Island. Little does Trish know, but the wedding is merely a ruse by Henry to bring Abby Mills back to the island and, by murdering all third parties, fulfilling the promise she made to him 17 years earlier.
- Wanting to stick it to his father-in-law, Richard Allen begins an affair with Katherine Wellington, engaging in BDSM and sub/dom rituals behind the backs of their respective spouses. Though Katherine's motivation is never explicitly stated, it is implied she engaged in the affair due to being bored with married life, despite whatever affection she may have had for her husband and his family.
- Charlie Mills discovers a photo of what might be John Wakefield in Seattle. He stores it in his attic.
September 17, 2008: Not wanting his daughter to marry Henry Dunn, Thomas Wellington flies Trish's ex-boyfriend Hunter Jennings in from Berlin, hoping Hunter might be able to convince her to move on with him.
The Wakefield-Dunn MassacreEdit
September 22, 2008: Edit
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: The wedding party boards the Tarapunga.
- The Wellington family, Henry, Sully, Danny, Booth, Lucy, Beth, Cal, and Chloe are on board early.
- Malcolm Ross arrives, with a cooler of Sacred Turtle beer.
- Marty Dunn arrives, along with a hired Mariachi Band. Exuberant, Marty declares that, for the entire week, everyone must call him "Uncle Marty". Unbeknownst to most of the party, Marty is carrying a bag containing $250,000 in cash to help Malcolm fund Sacred Turtle. He is also carrying a sidearm revolver, presumably for protection.
- Abby Mills arrives by taxi cab and is warmly greeted by Henry and Trish.
- Despite Cousin Ben's continued absence, Trish decides they might as well set out for the island. Thomas Wellington tells the captain to start the boat up.
- Ben Wellington is decapitated by the revolving blades of the rudder as the Tarapunga sets off for Harper's Island.
- Trish receives a phone call from Hunter Jennings. When her father asks who was calling her, Trish lies and says it was nothing.
- Chloe tells Lucy and Beth about the Wakefield murders, a subject which fascinates her. While discussing Abby's connection to the case, a seagull disrupts their discussion.
- At around 3:00, the Tarapunga reaches Harper's Island.
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM: The wedding party reaches the Candlewick Inn and begins settling in.
- As she disembarks from the Tarapunga, Abby runs into Jimmy Mance for the first time in seven years. They exchange a playful banter, and Abby seems unwilling to stop to reminiscence.
- Abby elects not to ride one of the trolleys to the Candlewick, instead walking to the Tree of Woe, wanting to get the experience over with. Henry approaches her while she's at the tree. Cole Harkin watches their discussion from afar, holding a dog leash.
- At the Candlewick, Maggie Krell briefs Henry, Trish, and Thomas on the itinerary for the week, mentioning that, since it's the end of the tourist season, the wedding party will have the whole island to themselves.
- At precisely 4:00, the curator at the Maritime Museum leaves for the day. He relays this information to Sheriff Mills the following day, after reporting a break in.
- Jimmy Mance and Shane Pierce almost discover Ben Wellington's head tied up under the Tarapunga.
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
- While preparing for dinner, Thomas Wellington receives an email from Hunter, letting him know he plans to meet Trish at dinner.
- While dressing for dinner, Abby Mills receives a phone call playing a recording of Ave Maria. Confused, she hangs up.
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
- The welcome dinner is held in the lounge and dining room of the Candlewick Inn.
- While chatting with her friends, Trish receives a text message from Hunter, telling her to meet him in the south lobby. She goes to investigate, and Hunter asks her if she's sure about marrying Henry. Trish tells him to leave and returns to dinner.
- Marty slow dances with Chloe, while Cal waits in attendance, looking somewhat apprehensive.
- Lucy asks Abby if she and Henry ever "hooked up". Before Abby can answer, Henry arrives, looking for his brother. Eager for a chance to escape the conversation, Abby goes off to the Cannery to find J.D.
- Trish confides to Shea about Hunter's presence on the island. Shea suggests Trish tell Thomas, but Trish refuses, not wanting to embarrass Henry.
- While walking through the Cannery parking lot, Abby hears an inexplicable noise. The origins of the sound are never determined.
- At the Cannery, Abby has a giddy reunion with childhood friend Nikki Bolton.
- While drinking at the Cannery, J.D. Dunn meets Kelly Seaver and proceeds to get into a bar fight with Shane Pierce, who antagonizes them both. Abby breaks up the fight with a pool cue and, in doing so, encounters her father for the first time in seven years.
- While walking in the Candlewick grounds, Marty overhears a conversation between Thomas and Hunter, discovering Thomas's plans to break up the wedding. He later implicitly threatens Thomas, saying he would do anything to make sure Henry finds love.
10:00 PM - 12:00 AM
- John Wakefield breaks into the Maritime Museum and steals a head spade, which will later be used in several of the early murders committed on the island.
- Madison Allen meets John Wakefield, who tells her that people have been killed on the island in the past. Madison will later wake her mother and inform her of the same thing, saying that her "new friend" told her.
- After a prank gone sour, Chloe Carter tosses Cal Vandeusen's trousers into the ocean, causing Cal's engagement ring to be lost.
- Henry notices that Hunter Jennings has been calling Trish, leading him to suspect she might be having an affair.
- While crossing a footbridge on the Candlewick grounds, Marty Dunn falls through the boards and is stuck halfway. Hearing movement below him, he attempts to call for help and is subsequently bifurcated by John Wakefield, presumably using the recently stolen head spade. In a desperate attempt to defend himself, Marty fires four shots from his sidearm into the bridge, to no avail. The two halves of his body are later strung up in a tree not far from where he died.
- Abby returns to her room at the Candlewick and discovers somebody (possibly Wakefield) has taped a clipping from a Harper's Globe article on her mother's death to her bathroom mirror.
September 23, 2008: Edit
6:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- While jogging in the woods, Abby runs into Shane and Jimmy hunting. Jimmy attempts to quiet her before she scares the doe they're stalking away, but Abby retaliates sharply, leaving them in a huff.
- Wanting to get back at Shane Pierce for their fight at the Cannery, J.D. Dunn kills a doe and writes "PSYCHO" in its blood on the windshield of Shane's truck while Shane and Jimmy Mance are on a hunting trip. This doe may or may not be the same one Abby kept Shane from shooting.
- Shane and Jimmy return to the truck to find the deer. J.D. watches from afar.
- As planned, Trish Wellington meets with Hunter Jennings near an abandoned shack not far from the Candlewick Inn. Trish tells Hunter he blew his chance with her three years ago and should just leave. Hunter claims he isn't afraid of Henry.
- Henry Dunn goes to see J.D in his hotel room, looking for Uncle Marty. J.D. is in the bathroom, washing the doe's blood from his hands. He claims he hasn't left his room yet. Henry tries to tell him not to cause any trouble with the locals this week, but J.D doesn't want to hear it.
- Charlie Mills investigates a break-in at the Maritime Museum. The curator tells him he closed at 4:00 PM, and the only thing missing in the head spade.
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
- Trish arrives late to the scavenger hunt 'debriefing' on the patio of the Candlewick Inn, claiming that she had 'bridal duties' to attend to, though Henry is clearly suspicious.
- Teams for the scavenger hunt are formed, with Malcolm Ross, Beth Barrington and Shea and Madison Allen on the red team, Chloe Carter, Cal Vandeusen, Danny Brooks and Joel Booth on the yellow team, and Christopher Sullivan, Lucy Daramour, Richard Allen and Abby Mills on the blue team. Though she is not participating in the hunt, Katherine Wellington is also in attendance.
- Wanting to get closer to Chloe, Sully cons Cal into switching scavenger hunt teams with him, claiming he was supposed to be on the yellow team the entire time. Cal switches teams, to Chloe's mild disappointment, saying she expected them to be on the same team. Their quarrel from last night seems to have been forgotten.
- While setting out from the Candlewick, Abby encounters Kelly Seaver but does not recognize her. Kelly attempts to initiate conversation, but is unable.
- Wanting to make up for her lateness, Trish takes Henry to the kitchen for 'cake testing', though it quickly becomes sexual.
- Maggie Krell delivers some props for the scavenger hunt to Reverend Fain at the First Church of Harper's Island, along with a selection of complimentary scones. She reminds him that the scavenger hunt is on Friday, to which Fain quips he's "lost his hearing not his mind".
- While taking a walk in the woods near the church, Reverend Fain is caught in a snare likely set up by Cole Harkin. He attempts to call for help, and is decapitated by Henry Dunn. At some point later, his body is divided into smaller pieces and hidden in an estuary deep in the woods, either by Henry or by John Wakefield.
- While the blue team is at the Cannery, engaging in a Q&A session directing by Nikki Bolton, Abby encounters Kelly again. They sit together, and Kelly tells her about her desire to move to Los Angeles. Later, Kelly follows Abby into the bathroom and tells her that she sees John Wakefield and believes he is still alive and stalking her. Abby tries to placate her, but Shane enters the room and taunts them.
- After visiting the maritime museum for the scavenger hunt, Chloe convinces the rest of the yellow team to go to Wakefield's grave. At the gravesite, Sully attempts to get close to Chloe, but she brushes him off. Interestingly, it seems to be raining in this scene.
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
- Outside the Cannery, Kelly apologizes to Abby for Shane, saying they used to date. Abby assures her everything is fine and she has no reason to worry, and Kelly departs. Cal emerges from the Cannery, having won the game, and expresses his desire to rejoin Chloe. His teammates encourage him to go after Chloe, so Cal sets off. Abby departs soon after, dissolving the blue team.
- Abby runs into Jimmy and Shane, the former of which apologizes for startling her in the woods earlier, and the latter presses her about the dead deer. Abby isn't sure what they're talking about and continues on.
- Henry returns to his bungalow and discovers a severed elk head in the bathtub. It is suggested J.D is also responsible for this, so as to implicate Shane and set him and Henry against each other.
- While moving through the woods, Cal gets caught in a snare trap, likely set by Cole Harkin. He is discovered by Sully, who claims he will get help, but leaves him there for most of the day.
- Trish tells Lucy that Hunter is pursuing her. Lucy tells her that if Trish is happy with Henry, then she should stay with Henry.
- J.D. and Kelly have a fling, making J.D. the last person to see Kelly alive. Abby arrives during their tryst to tell Kelly she can live with her in L.A, making Kelly the happiest she's been in a long time.
- Kelly Seaver is hanged in her living room by John Wakefield, who injects her eyes with red ink and leaves behind a taunting message to be discovered by Sheriff Mills. It is initially assumed that Kelly killed herself.
- Sully, Chloe, Abby and Malcolm go into the woods to release Cal from the snare trap.
- Lucy Daramour falls into a pit trap, likely made by Cole Harkin, and is set on fire by John Wakefield.