Boardwalk Empire has never failed to shock and devastate viewers by routinely killing off fan favourites while the evil and manipulative characters continue on living (see Gillian for further reference there). Thankfully, sometimes even the not-so-nice characters in Boardwalk Empire get their comeuppance in a surprising or grim way. Perhaps that is what makes this show such a thrilling, compelling and enthralling experience, nobody is safe in 1920s Atlantic City.

The show has stacked up quite a body count over the first three seasons with as many main characters biting the bullet as secondary ones. This list will focus on demises we did not see coming, characters that were really likeable and central to the show’s popularity and of course the plain contemptible villains who had it coming. Here are our 10 most shocking deaths that have come in the first three seasons of the acclaimed HBO crime drama.

Spoilers for all three seasons are contained within so you have been warned…


10. The D’Alessio Brothers

The fall of the D’Alessio brothers in the season one finale (two of the six brothers were killed in the preceding episodes) was one instance of portraying the cunning and calculating mind of Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) and the brutal and extreme violence that goes hand-in-hand in Boardwalk Empire. The deal to avoid war between Nucky and Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) seals the fate of the unlucky brothers.

The brutal way in which the brothers are dispatched is truly shocking. In a swift and effective montage scene, interwoven with Nucky giving a press conference that neatly wraps up all the main storylines of the first season, we witness Richard Harrow (Jack Huston) take out Ignacious (Edorado Ballerini) and Pius (Nicholas Martino) with a sawn-off shotgun and Sixtus (Eric Schneider) is shot at point blank range by Al Capone (Stephen Graham), who then takes an apple from Sixtus’ shopping bag for his troubles. Perhaps most shockingly of all, the final death of ringleader Leo (Max Casella), who has his throat graphically cut at the barbers by Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) is a grotesque farewell to the D’Alessio brothers.

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This article was first posted on December 11, 2012