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Characters / Cause Of Death Antagonists First Half

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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.

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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):

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Major Criminals

    The Maskmaker 

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

    The Connoisseur 

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.

    The Hunter 

    Zero 
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    Shawn Mallory 

    Mad Stranger 

    The Ladykiller 

Minor Criminals

    Mikhail Volk 
Genevieve's loyal lead bodyguard and assistant. Shot to death by Mal in 2-8.

    Jacob Fallon 

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.

    Jonah Graves/Ramsey Brand 

    Kara Yan 

    Kolo Zargoza 
An absolutely colossal cartel thug enlisted by Genevieve who later defected to Shawn Mallory's Kraken cult. He's notable for being the first baddie to kill a major protagonist — he killed Ken Greene.
  • 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.

Organized Crime

    Miguel Flores 
In 1-3, Mal and Natara, while investigating Christian Rose, came across this guy and Mal was forced to kill him in self-defense.
  • 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.

    Ésteban Flores 
Father of Carlito and Miguel. The head of the Flores Cartel until it's usurping/absorbing into Salazar's following his death in V4. In the past, he was allied with Jacob Fallon — with the biggest crime lord and the chief of police, the town was run by these two.
  • 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.
    • FrameUp: And then she, in what overloads rage onto him, framed Mal for the crime. It wasn't until 11-8 that Carlito learned the truth which led to...
    • ...You Killed My Father: In retaliation for his father's death, Carlito shot his own fiance.
  • 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).

    Carlito Flores 

    Esmeralda Sálazar 

    Alejandro Pérez/The Ghost 
A recurring antagonist who often causes problems, The Ghost is an extremely experienced Knife Nut / throwing knife expert who first appears as an assassin on Carlito's behalf in 2-3. He's arrested at the end. Then he, by 8-7, was removed from prison and began serving Genevieve Collins; in 8-7 he acted as her bodyguard, and in Volume 13 Genevieve used him to tie up loose ends. The Ghost is also deeply religious, believing he is serving God's will, but apparently glosses over the "Thou Shall Not Kill" part.
  • 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
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