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Mr. Vinnicombe is an unseen fictional character and posthumous antagonist of the BBC British soap opera EastEnders.
The unseen Mr. Vinnicombe was first mentioned around the fictionalized market town Albert Square in Walford, a fictional borough in East London, in 1985 when it turned out that he was the mysterious leader of the square's biggest criminal organization known as The Firm.
Prior to the mid 1980s, The Firm was co-founded by Mr. Vinnicombe and fellow infamous figure Jesper Scanlon. Over the next few years The Firm was established to be a fearsome and powerful gangland empire run by Mr. Vinnicombe - which could possibly mean that he was acting as the de-jure leader whereas Jesper may have been the de-facto ruler hiding behind the shadows. Regardless, Mr. Vinnicombe earned respect from most of the organization's highly-ranked members such as Gregory Mantel. So much so that Gregory would often report directly to Mr. Vinnicombe about all of The Firm's criminal operations in the square.
In 1985, Mr. Vinnicombe was mentioned by local publican Den Watts when he and his best-friend Pete Beale worked together to force their enemy Nick Cotton out of Walford for causing so much trouble among the community. This worked successfully when Den revealed his association with The Firm, and thereupon frightened Nick by explaining about how he helps out with The Firm's criminal activities; it is also disclosed during this confronation that Den knew Mr. Vinnicombe when they went to school together along with some of the Firm's other members.
As time went on, Mr. Vinnicombe became the Firm's undisputed ruler for several years. This soon changed in 1988 when he got involved in a power struggle with his competitor Jack Dalton that soon escalated when The Firm sought to hunt down Den over an incident in 1988 - Den had forced one of the Firm's employees, Brad Williams, to burn down The Strokes wine bar owned by Den's business rival James Willmott-Brown to get revenge on the latter for raping Pete's wife Kathy. While he was successful in getting revenge, however, Den landed himself in trouble with The Firm since the wine bar that Willmott-Brown had owned was used by The Firm as a front for the organization's illegal gambling activities.
For the next few months, Gregory authorized both Brad and their colleague Joanie Francis to prepare a citywide manhunt on Den when it became clear that The Firm wanted him dead for good. This was apparently successful in February 1989 when Den was confronted by a Firm member at a canal, where Den was shot and he seemingly died from the impact. However, it turned out that Den survived before he emigrated to Spain to prevent The Firm from tracking him down.
Soon afterwards, Dalton used the Firm's situation with Den to take advantage in his power struggle against Mr. Vinnicombe for total control of the organization. He managed to learn about Den's fate and used this opportunity to implicate Mr. Vinnicombe as a scapegoat for the Firm's failure to having Den killed. Consequently, Mr. Vinnicombe would later be killed by the same organization he led under Dalton's orders. It is later revealed that the way Mr. Vinnicombe died while off-screen, was implied to be quite brutal; his teeth were bricked out to avoid any dental identification before his corpse was subsequently dumped in the same canal where Den had been shot. Furthermore, it was Vinnicombe's body whom the police had found when assuming that it was Den who perished.
With Mr. Vinnicombe dead following Den's escape from the country, Dalton usurped control of The Firm and would become the square's most powerful gangland figure throughout the 1990s and in the early 2000s. This eventually ended in 2003 when Dalton was killed by his former protege Dennis Rickman, who was later revealed to be Den's illegitimate son after being taken under Dalton's wing just one year after Den seemingly died.
After narrowly escaping death when Dennis' love rival Phil Mitchell was ordered by Dalton to assassinate Dennis to prove his worth to The Firm, Dennis would ultimately avenge Mr. Vinnicombe's death by shooting Dalton dead himself; Dennis and Phil would later cover-up Dalton's murder when both his successor, Andy Hunter, and the police began investigating the circuimstances behind Dalton's death.
A few months later, Den returned to the square himself upon finding out that Dalton is dead. In 2005, Den would end up getting killed by his wife Chrissie Watts - who unknowingly finished what The Firm started back in the 1980s - and on the same night Andy gets murdered by his gangland rival Johnny Allen, who would later have Dennis killed by his henchman Danny Moon. Thereafter in 2006 Danny would later be killed by his brother Jake Moon whilst attempting to kill both Phil and his brother Grant Mitchell on Johnny's orders, whilst Johnny himself ends up dying of a heart attack in October that year.
Since then, The Firm has never been mentioned in the square again - though it is most likely that it has disbanded ever since most of the square's notorious gangland figures have died, henceforth leading to the collapse of the gangland empire that Mr. Vinnicombe had created.
- It is not yet confirmed if Mr. Vinnicombe is the actual founder of The Firm or when he offically created the organization.
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