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Characters / Gotham Serial Killers

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Serial Killers

    Lamond Davis/The Balloonman 

The Balloonman
Played By: Dan Bakkedahl

A masked killer vigilante who gains the sympathy of the Gotham public. Named after his method of cuffing his victims to weather balloons and letting them float up until it pops.

  • Anti-Villain: A murderer with noble intentions.
  • Asshole Victim: His prey are more or less notorious for their misdeeds: a Corrupt Corporate Executive, a Dirty Cop and a Pedophile Priest.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: His method of killing.
  • Didn't Think This Through: He tries to make a Dirty Cop his second victim, apparently not having considered that a trained law enforcement officer armed with a gun would be a harder target than a Corrupt Corporate Executive. If not for the cop getting distracted, the Balloonman probably would have gotten shot for his trouble.
  • Folk Hero: Very quickly becomes one to Gotham. After he's arrested, a reporter even says: "Now that the Balloonman is gone, who will defend the people of Gotham?" Bruce, who is watching the news, ponders...
  • He Who Fights Monsters: As Bruce notes, by murdering lawbreakers, the Balloonman himself became a criminal.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When Gordon and Bullock come to arrest him, Bullock cuffs him to his own balloon during a scuffle and he floats off. Bullock invokes the actual phrase. But Gordon grabs onto him, and Bullock is forced to shoot the balloon down before they get too far away. The Balloonman survives, however.
  • In Name Only: Has no relation to the comics character in the slightest, with his name being more of a Shout-Out if anything.
  • It Has Only Just Begun: As he's taken into custody, he says to Gordon that other vigilantes will follow his lead.
  • Mythology Gag: In his first appearance, he wears a toy pig mask, reminiscent of Batman villain Professor Pyg. But it's only part of his disguise as a vendor of party favors, complete with a toy balloon cart.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: This Balloon Man is a Badass Normal who uses balloons as his M.O. to kill, rather than a supervillain with balloon based powers.
  • Red Herring: Thought to be an employee of a weather balloon factory who stole some balloons (which are expensive), but it turns out that guy sold them on the black market and the real Balloonman acquired them.
  • Shout-Out: A reference to The Shadow, one of the inspirations for Batman. The Dirty Cop the Balloonman confronts is named Cranston, and his real name is Lamond. The Shadow's real name is Lamont Cranston. Plus, he also wears a similar getup to the Shadow in that scene: a fedora, a scarf to hide his face, and a long coat.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Just a Villain of the Week, but he was the one who inspired Bruce to become a vigilante himself.
  • Vigilante Man: Who in fact helps inspire Bruce to become you know who.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The Balloon Man in the comics is a pre-crisis enemy of the Metal Men with the abilities of flight, size-changing, and expelling clouds of smoke. He was also a literal living gasbag. This show's Balloonman is a mundane Vigilante Man who murders corrupt authority figures by strapping them to weather balloons.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Believes the cops are too corrupt to clean up Gotham, despite the rare honest one like Gordon, so he becomes a vigilante.

    Dr. Marks/The Goat 
Played By: Susan Misner
"Deep down, we all want to eat the rich."
A therapist for the wealthy elite of Gotham, she takes it upon herself to enforce extreme therapy on her clients to rid them of their apathy for the downtrodden by using hypnotism to compel victims to become the 'Spirit of the Goat', a masked menace who kills the firstborn children of the rich.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The two men who she hypnotized to actually carry out the murders.
  • Collective Identity: While she's the brains behind the Goat, she uses hypnotised proxies who take up the 'Spirit of the Goat' name to carry out her dirty work.
  • The Man Behind the Man: She was the one creating the killers who believed themselves possessed by the Spirit of the Goat.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name is obviously a reference to Karl Marx, which appropriate for a serial killer who targets the rich.
  • More Than Mind Control: Dr. Marks is quick to state that she couldn't have forced her pawns to gruesomely kill people if, on some level, they didn't already want to do it.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like the Balloonman and Potolsky, Marks wants to battle the corruption and decadence by murdering those who she feels are responsible for the current state of the city.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Uses her victims to murder children.

    Dr. Gerald Crane 
Played By: Julian Sands
A killer who terrifies his victims before killing them, he specifically targets those with phobias. He commits his crimes to harvest the adrenaline glands of his victims, trying to isolate the hormones they produce that cause fear. He works alongside his son, Jonathan.

  • Abusive Parents: Forcing his visibly reluctant son to be complicit in his crimes and using him as a guinea pig for his unsafe science experiments—again, ignoring his visible reluctance and unease—definitely qualifies.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the New Earth comics continuity, he only left his girlfriend Karen Keeny and their unborn son (who is later named Jonathan). Here he scares his victims and kills them to harvest their adrenal gland. Averted Trope for his New 52 counterpart, who is if anything even worse, as he experimented on his son for no reason.
  • Badass Boast: "You think I'm afraid of you? Afraid of your guns? I have no fear!"
  • For Science!: He tells his son he was doing it for mankind.
  • Gone Horribly Right: His insane theory actually works, completely desensitizing his brain to the specific hormonal cocktail that correlates to "fear". The thing is, without fear, his ability to accurately gauge the danger of his surroundings or actions is hopelessly compromised, leading to a suicidal attack on Gordon and Bullock.
  • Morality Pet: He apparently genuinely loves his wife and son.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He's a doctor of biology and uses his knowledge to perform crimes.
  • My Greatest Failure: He failed to save his wife when their house burned down due to being terrified of the fire, setting him on his quest to destroy fear completely.
  • Nightmare Fuel: He actually creates a substance In-Universe that can be literally considered Nightmare Fuel. His modus operandi is specifically targeting his victims' fears, terrorizing them to the highest point possible so that he can harvest their adrenal gland when it's flooded with its most potent cocktail of hormones. He then distills this biochemical soup in order to create what can only be called "liquid fear", a mixture that induces intense terror in anyone exposed to it. Why? To create a cure for fear, under the thesis that by carefully inoculating himself with this liquid fear at regular intervals, his body will eventually adjust to the hormone spike, making it impossible for him to feel fear on his own again.
  • Predecessor Villain: To the Scarecrow. While he never uses the identity or costume, many of his methods and an aerosolized version of his fear serum will be used by his son Jonathan when he becomes a supervillain.
  • Reality Ensues: Utter fearlessness + armed cops demanding you drop your weapon = Suicide by Cop. Glad that anti-fear serum worked out so well for you, Gerald!
  • Too Dumb to Live: Transforms into this after losing his fear. Turns out Gordon was right. Fear does tell you where the edge is.
  • Tragic Villain: He became bad due to the guilt he felt over his wife's unfortunate death. The more so in that [all he really accomplishes is to leave his son deprived of either parent, fear-hounded, locked up and fated to become a creator of fear.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He murders and terrifies people in order to create a "cure" for fear, which he blames for causing a host of flaws in human nature.
  • You Don't Look Like You: His modus operandi is that of a Batman villain named Cornelius Stirk, though he lacks Stirk's Glamour power and propensity for cannibalism (and what's bizarre is that Stirk himself appeared in a season 2 episode, albeit as a mindless man-eater with no supernatural powers.)

     Jason Lennon/Jason Skolimski/The Ogre
Played By: Milo Ventimiglia

A young Serial Killer that seduces lone, pretty women, kidnaps them at his apartment and forces them to play the submissive housewife of The ’50s until he grows weary of them and kills them. He also kills the loved ones of cops that investigate his case.

    "Mother" and "Orphan" 

Mother and Orphan

Played by: Susannah Rogers and Benjamin Snyder

"Mother" is a serial killer hiding in an abandoned hotel in Gotham's No Man's Land in the Dark Zone. "Orphan" serves as her sidekick and bait for victims.

  • Brown Note: Uses flashing strobe lights to disorient their victims before killing them.
  • Dirty Coward: Mother flees as soon as her strobe light setup fails and Gordon and Bullock gain the upper hand.
  • Karma Houdini: Isn't seen again after fleeing down a secret passage. Justified, in that Gordon and Harvey had more pressing issues to deal with at the time.
  • Reality Ensues: Mother is apparently only able to kill her victims after having disoriented them or through ambushes. When she loses the element of surprise, she's subdued with a single punch.
  • Social Darwinist: Mother has shades of this, claiming that her murders were done to teach the boy how to survive.

    Jane Cartwright/Jane Doe 

Jane Cartwright/Jane Doe

Played by: Sarah Pidgeon

A mentally ill young woman and former test subject for Hugo Strange, who seeks revenge against the detectives who had her mother falsely imprisoned.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the comics, she's skinless and grotesque-looking. This version has all her skin intact, and thus looks perfectly normal (though she certainly thinks otherwise).
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: While Comic!Jane relied on masks and costumes to steal her victims' identities, Gotham!Jane has the ability to physically shapeshift.
  • Anti-Villain: Ultimately just a very frightened young woman who has been mistreated for years.
  • Composite Character: Her shapeshifting abilities is similar to Clayface, a character who actually appeared back in season 2 and 3. However unlike that version (who is Basil) Jane can actually shapeshift voluntarily, whereas Basil had to actually reconstruct his face manually. Gordon and Bullock do initially suspect that Jane is Basil due to him pulling a similar stunt back in the second season finale.
  • Death of Personality: Jane's original persona has all but disappeared and has been replaced by a bitter and depressed shadow of her former self who is driven purely by revenge. She even says that Jane Cartwright is dead and Jane Doe is all that remains.
  • Expy: Jane's backstory is similar to Karen Jennings from the season 2 episode "Pinewood". The pair of them were locked up for murdering an abusive family member in self defense, only to end up being experimented on by Hugo Strange (in Karen's case it was at Pinewood Farms instead of the then closed Arkham Asylum) and giving an abnormal ability which made them into a "freak". Whilst Karen never went onto try and kill anyone and only lived in hiding, she would eventually end up dead.
  • Facial Horror: Subverted. She believes she is the victim of this due to her psychosis and the experimentation by Hugo Strange, hence why she wears the mask. However, when she removes it to reveal her true face, she looks perfectly normal.
  • Named by the Adaptation: She's given the surname Cartwright here.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Seeks vengeance on the four detectives who rushed the investigation into her mother, after she killed her abusive husband in self-defense.
  • Suicide by Cop: Invokes this by forcing Harvey to shoot her, rather than live with her grief any longer.
  • Third-Person Person: Speaks in third person, due to considering Jane Cartwright to be a different person than who she is now.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The result of Hugo Strange's experiments on her.

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