Antagonists who debuted in the first 8 volumes of Cause of Death. See this page for characters who debuted in the last 8 volumes. Note that these pages refer to characters actions' across the series (for instance, The Connosieur's folder will contain information for her activities throughout the series, not just the first 8).
Major Criminals refer to characters who are the main antagonist of a volume. Minor Criminals refer to characters who are minor or recurring antagonists.
All or most of these people fall under the following tropes (they won't be listed in their entry unless they are accentuated, downplayed, uniquely averted or otherwise Played With):
- Arc Villain / Big Bad: To save time:
- Maskmaker for V1.
- Connoisseur for V2.
- Hunters for V3.
- Zero for V4.
- Hand of Justice for V5.
- Mad Stranger for V6.
- Ladykiller for V7.
- Kraken for V8.
- Dark and Troubled Past
- Serial Killer: Predictably.
Real name: Brian Resler. When growing up, he was the constant subject of abuse from his elder sister Rebecca, who thought he was nothing but an unsightly stain. When he was 12, he finally snapped during an excursion to Álcatraz and drowned her, in the process masking her face with sand. Although he was never connected with Rebecca's death (then), he'd already been assigned to the Millbrook Mental Institute on account of his obviously disturbed psyche.
The bad news: He caught Genevieve's eye. Under her tutelage, he gulled the Institute into thinking his psychosis and sociopathy had been quelled, and exited into San Francisco as Eric Mills. With Genevieve's connections, he circumvented the SFPD's background checks and became a forensic scientist—allowing him to auto-preclude himself from DNA checks on murders. With a secure screen in place, he began trying to recreate the glory of killing Rebecca and "purifying" her from her viciousness with other redheads. After Mal and Natara discovered his past, he took Amy hostage to Alcatraz but was killed by Natara with a flare gun to the face that sent him falling into the bay.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Even if he was intentionally quiet to avoid drawing extra attention.
- Black Cloak: Even when he's taking care of Rose, he likes to dawn a black robe and a white plaster mask when he's out on his kills.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He kills his victims by asphyxiation. And then he was killed with a flare gun.
- Death by Irony: Natara's flare fuses his mask to his face, and his actual death comes from drowning in the waters around Álcatraz.
- Flare Gun: Natara shoots him with a flare gun, fusing his plaster mask to his face and knocking him back into the water.
- Frameup: He, and it temporarily worked, framed Christian Rose for his crime.
- He Knows Too Much / Flatline: Although (almost certainly) unintended, Eric failed to kill Christian Rose when he tried to frame him by making him commit suicide while he was dressed with Eric's outfit. So, he infiltrated the hospital and flatlined him.
- Killer Cop / Cop Killer: He's a forensic scientist who is also the serial killer. When he escaped the SFPD, he killed an officer.
- Never Found the Body: As Mal reaffirms in V 8 C 1 (when Eric is the subject of a copycat killing), Eric's body was never found. It's actually quite likely that the writers wanted to bring him back sometime, but if they did then the game ended beforehand.
- Parental Neglect: It's hard to gauge how responsible his parents are for his sister's bullying (since how oblivious they are to it isn't quite shown), but it's pretty messed up that they couldn't save him from her.
- Starter Villain
Real name...Well, we don't have it yet. She currently goes by the name Genevieve Marsden Collins, but the only part that can be said to be genuine is the "Collins", on account of it being the name of her late husband. Even from her teens, she was hungry for death, allying herself with Zero as his adoptive daughter, and constantly on the lookout for instinctive killers to groom, succor, and unleash upon the public. All she asks (usually) is that they bring a few trophies back for her collection. Ironically, despite her bloodlust, Genevieve can't actually kill someone with her own hands. No matter how much she'd like to, something within holds her back, and she is deeply unhappy about it. That leaves her the next option: kill vicariously through her agents.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: She considers helping psychopaths escape their dark inner pulses to be monstrous; right and wrong are not mapped to happiness and misery, but to accepting one's true nature (no matter how dark) and hypocrisy. Keeping an incipient killer from killing makes no more sense than condemning ospreys for killing fish.
- Even Evil Has Standards: It's only instinctive, "artistic" killing that she approves of. Only killing for sport and excitement, like the Hunter in Season 3, is hopelessly vulgar. This may be because of how horrified she first was at Alex's inability and unwillingness to keep his bloodlust in check.
- Faux Affably Evil: She does a great job of keeping herself calm and collected, but after The Reveal in 2-8, her inner darkness is always seeping through.
- Gender Misdirection: Brilliantly reinforced with the SFPD characters referring to the Connoisseur unsub throughout vol. 2 as male, seeing how that's what the profiling suggests. Thus, up until the end of the volume, everyone was probably thinking either Senator Collins or Dr. Tanaka was the Connoisseur. Of course, if you look carefully, you'll notice that Volk never uses a gendered pronoun for the Connoisseur in that time...
- I Have Many Names: 4-7 reveals that she's gone through many names in her lifetime, although they all have the j and n sounds close together.
- Killed Off for Real: Alex kills her at the end of 14-7.
- Manipulative Bastard: If you pay serious attention to her wishes even a little, there's a near-certainty she'll have you wrapped around her finger in a very short span of time. It doesn't matter who you are, she'll quickly ferret out what you hold highest, and manipulate you into serving her wishes while (at least thinking you're) achieving your own objectives.
- Serial-Killer Killer: After Natara killed the Maskmaker, Genevieve became enthralled with the idea of creating one of these, as such a one would be the supreme predator, the perfect pinnacle of the food chain. She didn't succeed with Natara, but she did a lot better with turning Shawn into this.
- Woman of Wealth and Taste: Even before meeting Jake Collins, the house she held under the Marsden name is very high-status, and she never suffers herself to enjoy anything less. Although her trophy collection calls the "taste" part into question.
- You Can't Fight Fate: She doesn't believe in the existence of free will.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: He is based off of the real-life Zodiac Killer.
- Back for the Dead: He's resuscitated by someone in 12-8-P...only to get killed by them after he gives them information about a couple of people.
- Cult: He becomes the leader of one in Season 8.
- Disney Death / Back from the Dead: In 8-8, it's revealed that the survived the fall he took at the end of Season 5.
- FaceHeel Turn: At the conclusion of Volume 4, after getting a Mind Screw from Genevieve.
- Faking the Dead: Not at first. He really did die after falling from Alcatraz. But after he was resuscitated, he hid from the public eye, letting them think he was dead.
- Mind Screw: In 4-8, courtesy of Genevieve.
- Stalker with a Crush: Even before getting manipulated by Genevieve, his view towards Natara, already his lover, was getting worryingly obsessive.
- Unwitting Pawn: In Genevieve's plan.
- Vigilante Man: Throughout Season 5 as The Hand of Justice.
- Villainous Breakdown: :He's driven completely insane after being resuscitated by Genevieve and the Salazars after his death in Season 5. Where he was once a by the book law enforcer, he becomes not only a criminal, but also a criminal cult leader by Volume 8.
- The Dragon: To Genevieve.
Originally a highly proficient police officer, Jacob began despairing of ever utterly eradicating crime in San Francisco. So, he decided to set his sights on the best possible thing—personally get involved in crime in order to keep it under control, with the help of the Floreses. However, Yeong was not happy with her discovery of Jacob's hypocrisy, and so began a crusade to finally get him behind bars. In the end, though, between Yeong's constant harrying and the kinds of things his alliance with the Floreses required, he finally turned himself in after Mal was nearly killed in an attempt to extinguish an anti-Flores witness.
On the other hand, with the assistance of Anna Willis, he was able to personally keep a large chunk of his empire running properly anyway. For all this, his ultimate desire in everything was to keep his family safe. Alienation from his children was an acceptable price. In Volume 6, he actually escapes during a riot instigated by Mad Stranger, and joins forces with the Sálazars, only to double-cross them. That leads to the events of Volume 11, where Pablo Sálazar holds Mal hostage in order to draw Jacob to his execution. In the end, Jacob is mortally wounded in a helicopter crash, but still manages to kill Pablo before he expires.
- Affably Evil: Jacob may be a criminal, but he's a charismatic and friendly one.
- Dirty Cop: And a Dirty Police Captain, no less!
- HeelFace Turn: Saving Mal from the corrupt dictator of San Trobida and then becoming The Cavalry to help in Mal's raid on the compound in Season 11.
- Death Equals Redemption
- Dying Moment of Awesome: He not only prepares to make a Last Stand as he's mortally injured after a helicopter crash, he makes it worth it by taking out General Sálazar by blowing himself, Sálazar, and many of Sálazar's henchmen up together.
- He Who Fights Monsters
- Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: He doesn't have a Luxury Prison Suite, but given that his priority is keeping the San Francisco area safe in general, especially for his children, he doesn't mind. Until he escapes in Season 6.
- Taking You with Me: To Salazar in his Dying Moment of Awesome in 11-8.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
- Destination Defenestration: How he kills Ken.
- The Dragon: To Shawn Mallory, The Kraken.
- Hero Killer: He killed Ken.
- Language Fluency Denial: Although his activities in other scenes show he is capable of understanding Shawn and Genevieve's words, he tries to state that he does not speak English when he is confronted by Blaise. That didn't stop her from killing him.
- Look Both Ways: Killed by 18-wheeler.
- Made of Iron / Major Injury Underreaction / Only a Flesh Wound: He's also super-resistant; being stabbed in the shoulder with a knife? Okay, kinda realistic that he was okay from a bandage. Being unaffected ("he doesn't even blink") by Amy's homemade taser? ...Suspension of disbelief stretched. Being able to immediately carjack and flee in a stolen taxi right after shoving Ken out of a 9th-story window (admittedly Ken was on the bottom when this happened)? Reminded that there's a reason this was a game. Only being knocked out for a moment and being able to get up and keep fighting unfazed after being shot in the head (admittedly by a glancing blow? ...Contrived Convenience. Not being incapacitated after having your arm cut off and then being able to get up right after being kicked off a roof (only to be killed by an 18-wheeler)? Probably one of the series' biggest realism deviations.
- Vigilante Execution: Although the writers tried to make it more sympathetic by having Blaise comment on her concern that he would be extradited to a foreign prison where he might be freed (something that had happened with The Ghost), the fact is Blaise still killed Kolo Zargoza when he was defenseless and after he had surrendered.
- Cutting Off the Branches: You, if you don't make the right choices, can make Natara be the one who kills him — but future episodes always treat Mal as the killer. (To be fair, if you shoot for 100/100 detective points and make all the "best" choices, then it is only possible that Mal is the killer.)
- Small Role, Big Impact: He appears in one episodes, and kicked off the eleven-volume Plot Arc that involved Mal's time with the cartel.
- The Cartel
- Honor Among Thieves: He, despite Jacob's imprisonment, was loyal to keeping his word on deals.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice / Improvised Weapon: Esme stabs and kills him with a fireplace poker in 4-3.
- In the Blood: He, obtaining a legal degree, tried to stay out of the drug cartel business, but he succumbed to it.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Although he can act aggressive, his contrast with Carlito paints him in this light quite a bit (how he did not handle the matter of revenge against Mal/Natara so brazenly).
- Better to Die than Be Killed / Driven to Suicide/ Properly Paranoid: He, not trusting that Mal and the SFPD could protect him, chose to commit suicide rather than come face-to-face with The Firstborn when The Firstborn approached him and Mal during 13-6. The rest of the series basically proved that The Ghost's fear was far from unjustified.
- Foreshadowing: After The Ghost is arrested in 2-3, Mal states "I'd feel better if we were trying him here"...
- Heal It with Fire: He cauterizes a gunshot wound to the neck in the bonus scene of 13-5.
- Honor Before Reason: The Ghost is quite loyal, he refuses Marquez's offer to pay more money than Genevieve in 13-5.
- Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: As we learn in his very opening scene, The Ghost's knife skills are no match for your typical armed guy.
- Off with His Head! / Made Of Plastcine: He decapitates his targets. It kinda stretches suspension of disbelief that he can off the head in one stroke (he's more efficient than guillotines!)
- Professional Killer