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Characters from The Dresden Files, the Chicago Mafia.

WARNING! Due to the books relying heavily on mystery and surprise, the pages would be virtually unreadable with excessive spoiler tags. Therefore, all spoilers except for the most recent novel (Battle Ground) are UNMARKED. Tread carefully.



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Leadership

     Baron John "Gentleman Johnny" Marcone 

Baron John "Gentleman Johnny" Marcone

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marconepeace_downtown.png
Marcone, dressed for business . . .

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marconewar_downtown_1.png
. . . and for war

"One day, probably soon, you'll get yourself killed thanks to that irrational set of compulsions you call a conscience, long before my name tops your list. I needn't lift a finger. Giving you information seems an excellent way to accelerate that process. It will also tax the resources of my enemies. And . . . I believe I have no objection to contributing against any organization that would victimize children so."

The boss of the Chicago criminal underground, he's not quite as unpopular with the cops as one might expect since he runs his operation with the minimum of bloodshed and the maximum of profit. He's smart enough that he generally tries to keep Harry on his side, but isn't averse to working against him when necessary. Harry hates his guts, but he has still probably done him more good than harm overall, even as the two men recognize that they will eventually come into a situation where only one will be left standing.

Recently became the first mortal signatory to the Accords, and in doing so became the Baron of Chicago. And even more recently, he's taken up the Denarius of the Fallen Angel Thorned Namshiel, and is now a rogue Denarian.

Narrated the short story "Even Hand".


  • Abnormal Ammo: Uses an anti-ward musket ball in "Even Hand". According to Gard, who made it, a bullet of that power takes a ridiculous amount of power to enchant, and it'll only work if the original bullet has killed a great man.
    Gard: I was unconscious for three weeks after scribing the rune for that one. To say nothing of the fact that the bullets themselves are rare. That one killed a man named Nelson at Trafalgar.
    Marcone: How do you know?
    Gard: I took it out of him. Men of his caliber are few and far between.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: He almost cracks a smile at Harry's snark below in Dead Beat during a discussion about You Can't Fight Fate:
    Gard: (scoffs) Hubris. Mortals never understand.
    Harry: Tell me about it. Everybody makes that mistake but me.
  • Affably Evil: Can be very charming when he wants to be, is almost uniformly polite in the face of Harry's deliberate provocation, and has assisted the heroes even in situations where it doesn't materially benefit himself. Harry continuously reminds himself that, no matter how often Marcone assists him or even saves his life, he is still a bad person.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's never made clear when exactly he took up Thorned Namshiel's coin. Yes, he physically took it for himself in Small Favor, but it's completely unknown when he exactly became a rogue Denarian, especially since "Even Hand" gives absolutely no indication that he had any magic at all at the time. Either it's a case of Unreliable Narrator, or he just waited to pick up the coin until after the events of the short story.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Sometimes it's hard to tell if he's a Type I Anti-Villain or a particularly Sociopathic Anti-Hero. Amazingly, this even continues after he takes up Thorned Namshiel's coin, although he obviously now has a significantly more difficult time not being evil.
  • Anti-Villain: He's more often help than hindrance to Harry; while his empire of crime is vast and increasing, he maintains order and reduces violence. We ultimately learn from his Start of Darkness in White Night that the motivation that drives him is to prevent Innocent Bystanders from harm, and he is desperate to heal a young girl in a coma from a bullet meant for him. In Small Favor, he refuses to be freed first until the Archive is rescued, and during the subsequent escape, shelters her and makes sure she is the first person on the rescue helicopter.
  • Arch-Enemy: He believes himself to be this for Harry Dresden. He had stated in his monologue in "Even Hand" that someday he and Harry will face each other for one final time and has been preparing armament to ensure his victory. It's difficult to decide which is more impressive: that Harry can kill one of the strongest mob bosses in both the supernatural and mortal world (and who is also now the host to an incredibly powerful Fallen Angel), or that Marcone can kill one of the deadliest and most feared wizards on the planet.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Even when he's not surrounded by God-knows-how-many bodyguards, this is seriously one guy you do not want to mess with. He has led an army of mercenaries into battle. He is an expert marksman, able to hit Nicodemus while not striking the Shroud of Turin Nicodemus wore as they were atop a high speed train.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's not a genius or anything, but Marcone has frequently shown an incredibly shrewd, perceptive, and brilliant mind that is practically made for the Realpolitik practiced in the supernatural world.
  • Badass in Distress: Harry has to save his life after he's kidnapped in both Fool Moon and Small Favor.
  • Badass Normal: One time, he ripped Nicodemus into shreds with a machine gun. It slowed him down for, like, two seconds, but it's the thought that counts.
    Harry: Marcone was criminal scum, but I’ll give the rat his due -— he’s got balls that drag the ground when he walks.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Always dressed impeccably.
  • Berserk Button: It's hard to find something that will set Marcone off, but if he even thinks you're threatening children, and especially Amanda Beckit, a.k.a. "Persephone", he will murder you until you die. He outright says in Changes that part of the reason why he is helping Harry against the Red Court is because they are hurting children. And killing his agents is also a good way to piss him off, as seen by him going out for blood (albeit through proxies like Dresden) concerning the necromancer Grevane in Dead Beat.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • In Dead Beat he helps provide some leads about the Word of Kemmler to Dresden after saving his life from the Corpsetaker and Li Xian since he knows that Harry will inevitably kill Grevane (who he wants dead after he killed one of his own people).
    • In Skin Game he, Mab and Hades execute one jointly, years in the making, to get revenge on Nicodemus for his plot in Small Favor. It works to a breathtaking degree.
    • In "Jury Duty", one his men is accused of murdering someone (secretly a White Court vampire), and knows that his man did so to save a child. Since Lara Raith has more control over the court system than him, he instead opts to manipulate things so Harry is selected on the jury (Harry suspects Mab took care of that part), knowing that Harry will recognize the man's innocence and pursue matters. He does so without telling Harry of course because he knows if he had asked, Harry would've refused to take the case or he might owe Harry a favor if Harry agreed to take the case.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He's needed to be rescued a couple of times now. On the flip side, he's also been one to show up at the last second with a rescue squad (usually Hendricks and Gard) a couple of times as well.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Nicodemus has commented on the irony. A few centuries ago, a man like John Marcone could carve out a kingdom and rule it with the kind of stable, effective-if-ruthless government that people really would appreciate. But it's been a long time since that age of warrior kings. He seems to be aware of it himself, if his choice of magical employees are any indication.
  • Byronic Hero: He can be viewed in this light. He bases his style of "doing business," which involves keeping collateral damage to an absolute minimum and punishing harshly any criminals who try to operate in Chicago without his go-ahead, on guilt over a young girl taking a bullet that was meant for him in his younger days, leaving her in a coma. He provides for her medical care, reads to her and even arranges to have the Shroud of Turin stolen in an attempt to heal her, all while running what is implied to be the largest criminal empire in America.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Literally refers to himself as a "known criminal" at one point in Dead Beat, and as evidenced by his narration in "Even Hand," he seems to view his Pragmatic Villainy only as a simple means to an end. Granted, there's also an obvious Unreliable Narrator factor at play here.
  • Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: He does the finger-steepling thing quite a bit, as his character design is based on David Xanatos.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: He has green eyes, "the color of worn dollar bills," by Harry's usual description. Murphy compares them to "dead grass". In a flashback, his eyes are a more healthy-looking "bright, grass-green".
  • Crazy-Prepared: This is a man who puts extra light and thin doors at dramatic entry points to reduce shrapnel. Not to mention having both technological and magical defenses installed in multiple safe houses, though they do sometimes interfere with one another.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Very much so. One does not become boss of Chicago's underworld by collecting bottle caps, after all.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of his dialogue is practically dripping with sarcasm. However, it's best showcased with his narration in "Even Hand":
    Mag entered in the manner so many of these self-absorbed supernatural cretins seem to adore. He blasted the door into a cloud of flying splinters with what I presumed was magic.
    For God's sake.
    At least the vampires would call for an appointment.
  • Demonic Possession: Battle Ground reveals that he's become a Denarian, and is now the host of Thorned Namshiel. This being Marcone, he uses his new demonic powers to save the day from something even worse.
  • Did Not See That Coming: Seen in Death Masks; After Harry makes him promise to give the Shroud of Turin back after three days, Marcone bitterly replies that if he doesn't, Harry will probably reveal the existence of his Morality Pet Persephone to the world. Harry instead says "No. I won't do that. I'll take it up with you." After hearing this, Marcone is visibly taken aback and quietly grateful.
  • The Don: Runs basically all organized crime in Chicago. The cops are actually fairly willing to put up with this, as organized crime's gotten a lot less violent since he took over, and his control of things prevents turf wars.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: He's perhaps the premier Badass Normal of the series, an ordinary mortal who became the head of a city-state in the supernatural world and has personally acquitted himself well against a host of bizarre and terrifying monsters, but eventually, he decides he needs to be something more, and becomes a Knight of the Blackened Denarius with the coin of Thorned Namshiel.
  • Enemy Mine: Has teamed up with Harry more times than he's been an antagonist.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Marcone is willing to take a profit from any single vice you can name... except those which involve the exploitation of children. The defining moment of this trope may have been the opening scene of "Even Hand", where he personally sees to the execution of a pimp who sold children and a drug dealer who sold to minors.
  • Evil Gloating: Marcone actually does this, but only in a non-violent situation and when he is fully protected from Harry's response. This happens when Harry sees Helen Beckitt come in to the main office at Marcone's "health club" and reveal herself to be Marcone's lover. While Harry's jaw hits the floor, Marcone smugly grins.
  • Evil Is Petty: He's good at hiding it, but he can be just as childish and sarcastic as Dresden is. Most notably, after Dresden took his castle from him in Battle Ground, he removed literally everything he possibly could from the place before he handed it over out of sheer spite.
  • Evil Virtues: Dillegence, intelligence, loyalty, protector of children, and honoring his word are all traits that can be said of the man who runs nearly all criminal activities in the city of Chicago. Even when he is badly hurt from being tortured by the Denarians, his first words after greeting Harry is to ask Harry to save Ivy, who is still trapped in her circle and being tortured still.
  • The Fettered: Marcone is a pure pragmatist, capable of making ruthless and utterly cold-hearted decisions if it means good business. Unless children are concerned. On at least one occasion, Marcone has knowingly made a bad decision because a child's safety was on the line.
  • Foil: invoked He's a very effective one to Harry Dresden himself. Both are Crazy-Prepared Deadpan Snarkers and deceptively clever & perceptive people with their own rigid codes of honor that they stubbornly cling to, are remarkably manipulative (though Harry more frequently plays Xanatos Speed Chess in comparison to Marcone's Batman and Xanatos Gambits) with a clear lust for power, and also have a Hidden Heart of Gold through being a Friend to All Children in privatenote . However, they diverge pretty significantly from there; Harry is a Chaotic Good Pragmatic Anti Hero with a firm case of Chronic Hero Syndrome always pushing him to do the right thing due to a heaping Guilt Complex. Marcone is a Lawful Evil Anti-Villain that practices Pragmatic Villainy to the extent where it's not even funnynote . Harry suffers from Perpetual Poverty even after becoming the Winter Knight, while Marcone seems to be one of the Fiction 500. Additionally, Marcone is very Affably Evil and always is trying to be as charming as possible to whoever he meets (it's good business, after all), while Harry is The Snark Knight and views all authority figures with such contempt that there was literally one character he used an honorific for during all of the first six books (Ebenezar McCoy). Harry is also a Pop-Cultured Badass, while Marcone is shown in "Even Hand" to be more Wicked Cultured (his Co-Dragons Hendricks and Gard instead seem to pick up the slack there). Finally, Harry is one of the most powerful wizards of his entire generation, but who still finds himself often stumbling into situations way out of his depth in the supernatural world, while Marcone isn't a magical practitioner (at least before Battle Ground), but has adapted to the supernatural world immensely well after Tommy Tomm's heart exploded out of his chest in Storm Front.
  • Friendly Enemy: Generally courteous, and often helpful, towards Harry. Harry responds by being as rude as possible to drive home his view that Marcone's a villain, however friendly he acts. Both men respect one another, after a fashion, even as they realize that they will never be able to reconcile their fundamental differences.
  • Friend to All Children: His first rule. It's also to Harry's annoyance, since it means he can't just dismiss the guy as a mustache-twirling villain.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Once a Marine, now a Mafia don.
  • Hypocrite: A positive, light-hearted example. One of his recurring habits is reprimanding people for letting their irrational moral urges guide their actions... and then letting his own irrational moral urges guide his actions. See the quote at the top of his entry.
  • I Gave My Word: Johnny takes the obligations he assumes very seriously. If you buy protection from him, his people will protect you, not just from shakedowns, but from outside threats as well. If signing the Accords means that a supernatural problem occurring in his territory is his responsibility, then he will make certain that the problem is dealt with. And he is fully willing to put his own life on the line to ensure that his obligations are met.
  • I Know Your True Name: Surprisingly enough, we actually don't. In his narration of "Even Hand", he mentions the fact "John Marcone" is not his real name.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: With a throwing knife — namely, the incident in Fool Moon where, while suspended upside-down above a pit, he manages to throw a knife with enough accuracy to sever a rope at least ten metres away. Did we mention this was at night with a loup-garou attacking?
  • Knife Nut: He always seems to have several lying around.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: It's frequently pointed out that, yes, he's the leader of all organized crime in Chicago, but his standards and pragmatism keep the levels of collateral damage much lower than they would be without him, and his absolute control over the criminal underworld has stopped turf-wars. On a plot level, he's been a major figure in roughly half the books so far, and has been the actual villain in exactly zero of them. Even when he becomes a Denarian, it's to protect his city, and the big reveal happens when he's helping Dresden seal away an Ax-Crazy elder god.
  • The Mafia: Runs the Chicago branch, though with less wise-guy tradition and more ruthless pragmatism.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: "Even Hand" ended with his arm broken, several ribs bruised or cracked, and lacerations all over his body. He barely reacted, killed the dark wizard, and went out to a nice restaurant after a quick check-in with his private doctor.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: As a Sharp-Dressed Man who owns a whole fleet of expensive cars, and only buys the best of anything, this is a given.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • His moniker, "Lord of the Underworld" has several relations to the genuine Hades. Both are powerful, pragmatic men who don't take incursions onto their territories lightly. They both defend their troves of valued possessions. They also took from "Demeter" her precious daughter and are unable to return her, though in Hades' case it is by virtue of Persephone choosing not to return and Marcone's is presumed dead by her mother.
    • The fact that his fake first name is "John" is likely an allusion to "John Doe," the standardized name given to anonymous male corpses. Relatedly, "Marcone" is an originally Roman surname with links to both the word "gleam" (alluding to Marcone's vast wealth garnered from his life of crime) and Mars, the Roman god of war (alluding to both his badassery and his commanding, ruthlessly pragmatic standards directed at the criminal underworld as if he's a drill sergeant trying to whip a newbie into shape).
  • Morality Pet: "Persephone", the girl who was put into a coma by a drive-by hit on Marcone when he was younger. Harry outright says that this is the entire reason why Marcone tightly controls the streets and doesn't hesitate to kill criminals who hurt innocents. To a certain extent this applies to all children (for instance, his protectiveness towards the Archive), as does his Berserk Button.
  • My Greatest Failure: He will do anything to try to make up for the fact that a little girl took a bullet meant for him and has been in a coma ever since. When Harry soulgazed him in Storm Front, even before he discovered what had happened, Harry could tell how much that single event had changed him.
    It was a dry and cool place, inside Gentleman Johnny Marcone. Except for one dim corner. There, hidden away from his everyday thoughts, there lurked a secret shame. I couldn't quite see what it was. But I knew that, somewhere in the past there was something that he would give anything to undo, would spill blood to erase. It was from that dark place that he drew his resolve, his strength.
  • Mysterious Backer: Mostly since, as the name itself implies, he's a pragmatic, but ruthless gangster. Ghost Story reveals that he's the main supplier of resources for the Chicago Alliance in the fight against the Fomor.
  • Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: His modus operandi reduces the amount of collateral damage and civilian casualties in Chicago's criminal underworld. It's made explicitly clear by Marcone in "Even Hand" that this is done out of ruthless pragmatism, not any real sense of decency... though it's pretty clear that what happened to "Persephone" is a pretty big part of it.
    I am not a humanitarian. When I offer charity it is for tax purposes.
  • Nerves of Steel: One of the many things Harry notes about Marcone is that he is absolutely without fear.
  • Noble Demon: The man is corrupting scum. He will work his way through Pragmatic Villainy with a cold ruthlessness. However, he always honor his promises and debts, and he never harms children in his venture, at least not directly. He won't permit any drug dealing to them or them being pimped out to pedophiles, and will personally deal with the violators.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: This is how he and Harry view each other. Neither treat the other lightly or with anything but cautious respect. Take some of the rooms Marcone designed just to stop Harry (see There Is No Kill Like Overkill) and the man hires a Valkyrie who works for Odin as his security manager for the magical side.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Remained completely focused on the task at hand in the Raith Deeps, when Hendricks and even Harry became momentarily distracted. A moment of weakness occurs when he's relatively safe. He managed to see through Lara's charade at their first encounter, immediately realizing she was using her father as a pawn. In Cold Days, Thomas tells Harry that Marcone has become the second man to turn Lara down in a century (Harry being the first).
  • Not So Above It All: Can be very petty when he wants to, such as when he tries to make Dresden ask him "Pretty please with a cherry on top" for his aid in White Night.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: invoked A downplayed inversion is implied to be in place with regards to Harry. Marcone is described as having "salt and pepper" in his hair as early as Storm Front, where Word of God has said that Harry was roughly 25 or so.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: For Dresden. He is sure that one day he and Dresden would face each other one last time. And he is not certain that he would be the one left standing. Though unlike many examples of this trope, it's not so much that he wants to kill Harry himself (he doesn't, really), but he recognizes that given Harry's principles and his own position as The Don, they will eventually, inevitably, go up against one another.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: He's genuinely shocked and frightened when Harry gets the drop on him at the end of Death Masks. Additionally, he's absolutely furious when his loyal friend Hendricks performs a Heroic Sacrifice on his behalf and is killed by Ethniu in Battle Ground.
  • Papa Wolf: Summed up when Harry makes a probing threat against "Persephone" in Death Masks:
    Marcone: I'll kill you. If you so much as breathe in her direction, I'll kill you, Dresden. Myself.
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: Marcone always puts on an effective air of being professional and polite around Dresden, who for his part is as obnoxious and rude as he can to help remind himself that the man in front of him is a criminal who does not deserve his genuine respect or admiration.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • His way of dealing with Harry Dresden in Storm Front is to try and pay Harry to not work the case. He escalates the amount offered to a considerable amount: a week's pay for doing nothing. It is said this is his usual method of getting people out of his way.
    • Marcone's criminal operations are generally described as being "coolly efficient": His employees are usually well-paid with reasonable job security (see below under the folder for the Velvet Room to get an idea of him "championing" Unproblematic Prostitution), he keeps violence from rippling back onto the "civilian" population to a minimum, and he makes as positive an impact on the surrounding community as he can. Of course, he's still at the end of the day a ruthless criminal, as evidenced by him charging a protection racket to protect people from supernatural monsters along with partaking in numerous "vanilla" crimes (i.e., drug trafficking, "unproblematic" prostitution, insider trading, corporate espionage, kidnapping, arson, and et cetera).
  • Red Baron: Gentleman Johnny Marcone. It says something about the man that he makes the nickname "Gentleman" badass.
  • Rags to Riches: Mentions in Fool Moon, when a loup-garou is on the loose, that his parents were in no position to leave him much of anything, let alone the silver necessary to kill it.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • A subtle one in his first encounter with Harry. When he asks for Harry's normal hourly rate, to calculate how much taking it would cost to pay Harry to take the week off and do nothing involving the case, Marcone's initial calculation increases the total by several hundred dollars. Harry quickly corrects him to the proper lower estimate and Marcone acknowledges the error. He wonders just how much of an honest person Harry is and gets an answer.
    • He also got one by looking Harry in the eyes to engage in a soulgaze. Harry, not Marcone, was the one to look away first. They stared into each other's souls and Harry blinked.
  • Semper Fi: Formerly. In "Even Hand," Marcone references a "patriotically delusional youth." Later WoJs would confirm that Marcone served as a Sergeant in the Marines.
  • Shadow Archetype: Basically, he's what would happen if Harry Dresden's Fatal Flaw of being lustful for power over others was just slightly expanded upon.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He tends to wear silk suits "worth more than Harry's car". Then again, that's not saying much...
  • Silver Fox: Depicted as this in the comics
  • The Stoic: Marcone shows emotions in the same way that plate tectonics make the continents move - It's very hard to tell and only noticeable after keeping close observation for a long while. In Death Masks, the fact that he blinks once is implied by Harry to be a massive tell for him. Notably, "Even Hand" reveals that this trope is actually invoked on his part.
    Marcone: [narration] I am not made of stone, but I have found it is generally best to behave as if I am.
  • Super Mob Boss: A Badass Normal crime lord who deals with major powers in the supernatural community and manages to get himself made a freestanding lord in the Unseelie Accords. And then he picks up a certain denarius...
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: He is preparing for Harry finally coming after him, so he plans in spades to deal with him and any potential Death Curse Harry could strike him with. One room in his establishments is guarded by sigils painted in invisible ink, set to activate if a person of serious magical talent walks on them (like Harry), and will activate a cache of claymore mines. These mines are buried about one every square foot in a small room, but the walls are covered, and likely the ceiling as well. If each mine holds only 300 pieces of metal shrapnel, then even powerful monsters would be severely injured. A human wizard (like Harry) would likely be dead before he knew what hit him and thus unable to cast a death curse.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Harry mentions a lot in the earlier novels how Marcone looks more like an accomplished college football coach than the ruthlessly competent crime boss he actually is.
  • Token Good Teammate: Very relatively speaking. As the opposite numbers to the Knights of the Cross, the Knights of the Blackened Denarius are notorious for being amongst the most evil beings in existence, serving as exemplars of infernally-empowered mortal depravity. Marcone, meanwhile, is the same old Noble Demon Lesser of Two Evils who mostly serves as Dresden's ally (much to their mutual irritation), although it remains to be seen how long this will last.
  • Unreliable Narrator: He claims in "Even Hand" that his sole reason for making sure to keep organized crime as clean as possible is pragmatism, making himself look better than the alternative. In fact, as shown with the example of "Persephone", Marcone most certainly does have a "thing" about civilian casualties, and other actions from him (such as him letting civilians hide inside of the Brighter Future Society's castle during the Battle of Chicago) have implied that he sees himself ultimately as some twisted form of a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • The Unsmile: Described repeatedly as not so much smiling as "baring his teeth" or having his "teeth gleam," showing that he's giving a grin not out of genuine humor but out of smugness.
  • Vetinari Job Security: He's a crime lord who makes a profit off any vice trade you care to name, but he's infinitely better than any of the alternatives. Harry at one point tells him someday he won't be the lesser evil, but until then, it seems everyone is relieved Marcone's running the Outfit and keeping the collateral damage down.
  • Villain Ball: One of the few mistakes he has made in the series thus far is his not realizing Helen Beckett is the one who sold his location and information to the Denarians in Small Favor. To Helen's benefit, though, Torelli jumped at the part of being The Starscream and take advantage of Marcone's disappearance.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: He has green eyes, which suggest extreme materialism (being the color of worn dollar bills).
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: One of his standards. Not only would he never harm a child, but whenever a child is in danger, he puts their safety ahead of his own every time. He personally executes any criminals in the city who violate this rule.

     Nathan Hendricks 

Nathan Hendricks

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hendricks_downtown.png
"He might disapprove of killing, but he did it thoroughly."

Marcone's chief bodyguard/enforcer.


  • Amazon Chaser: Potentially, if his relationship with Gard, and momentary distraction caused by the sight of the Raith sisters mid-battle, is any indication.
  • Badass Normal: Joins Thomas in charging a line of undead uberghouls at the end of White Night. And survives.
  • The Bet: With Sigrun in "Aftermath". He guesses Murphy will realize Maria is one of Marcone's agents without being told. He got a twenty from her.
  • The Brute: He is strong, tough, and fearless, serving as Marcone's personal bodyguard. Unlike most brutes, he does have a very sharp mind underneath, but he only shows this in private moments or when things are dire. Otherwise, he is content to appear to be Dumb Muscle.
  • Cultured Badass: In addition to being a juggernaut of a man, Hendricks is quite well read.
  • Defiant to the End: His dying action is to spit at his killer Ethniu.
  • Evil Redhead: Morally ambiguous redhead, at least. With a crew cut.
  • Evil Virtues: He is a dillegent, intelligent, loyal man who will take a bullet for Marcone and put them in his enemies. Marcone trusts him enough to permit him to give Gard permission to talk about Marcone's secrets if the need arises. He is also working ernestly on his thesis in Philosophy.
  • Face of a Thug: Looks rather brutish and intimidating, but if left to his own devices would prefer non-violent solutions to problems. Sadly, bodyguarding a mob boss tends to involve a lot of violent solutions regardless, and though he finds it distasteful, he does it well if necessary.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Once a Marine, now Marcone's second in command.
  • Genius Bruiser: While Harry generally assumes that he's Dumb Muscle (and he plays the part). However, he actually has a degree in philosophy and is working on his thesis, and Marcone inwardly observes in Even Hand that if he objected to a plan of Marcone's it would probably take the form of a quote. In Small Favor, he helps decipher Nick's plans and is the first, after Harry, to point out that the Denarians are out of coins and will need to trade for more or sacrifice one of their number. The other people in the room are Knights who have faced Nicodemus and the Denarians before and a centuries old Valkyrie.
  • Gentle Giant: Downplayed, while Hendricks is not, by nature, a violent man, and while he does prefer peaceful solutions to problems when possible, he still shows no hesitation about loyally fighting and killing on Marcone's behalf.
    Marcone: (narration) He might disapprove of killing, but he did it thoroughly.
  • Hidden Depths: A former college football player, former USMC commissioned officer, well-read student of philosophy, who treats his probable girlfriend with great tenderness and has a sharp and analytical mind.
  • In-Series Nickname: Harry likes to call him "Cujo", after the famous fictional dog. It's not quite accurate to the novel, but the idea of Hendricks as a kind of vicious guard dog is pretty fitting.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Dresden assumes he's just Dumb Muscle because he speaks rarely and usually in monosyllables, but he does have a cultured mind beneath the facade. He is the second person, after Harry, in Small Favor to realize Nick is lacking Coins to turn either Marcone or Ivy. And the others in the room are Murphy, Michael, Sanya, and Sigrun.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Played with. Hendricks is not the brutal, uncaring thug Harry likes to type him as, and he prefers his boss to use peaceful solutions to problems, but his private morals don't stop him from loyally killing for a powerful crime lord.
  • Semper Fi: Formerly. Word of Jim says Hendricks served in the Marines as Marcone's Lieutenant. "Lieutenant" in this context implying Ensign Newbie rather than The Dragon.
  • Taking the Bullet: He leaps in front of a blow meant for Marcone from the Titan Ethniu.
  • The Dragon: Marcone explicitly refers to Hendricks as his second, and while the more supernaturally empowered and dangerous Gard serves as Marcone's security consultant, Hendricks is his primary bodyguard and enforcer.
  • The Quiet One: Rarely speaks in complete sentences when "on the clock". "Even Hand" shows him to be more talkative in private.
  • Technically a Smile/The Un-Smile: When he does "smile", it's described as the kind of smile that would make dogs burst into nervous howling.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Hendricks never does this himself, rather, everyone else does this to him. To the casual viewer, he looks like a big, dumb thug in a cheap suit. While he is a big thug, he is anything but stupid, and extremely competent. Marcone is well aware of this, which is the whole reason Hendricks is his right-hand man in the first place.
    Marcone: (narration) Looking at him, one would not think him capable of such a thing. But that is Hendricks, generally.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Marcone, and Marcone knows it. In Small Favor, Sigrun Gard is unable to give up information to Harry about Marcone's whereabouts, but Hendricks is able to authorize her to speak. That means John Marcone trusts him enough to believe that he'll never abuse that power to work against him, and John Marcone doesn't trust almost anyone that much. This loyalty leads to his death when he takes a fatal blow aimed for Marcone.
  • Warrior Poet: In "Even Hand", it's revealed Hendricks has a habit of quoting classic literature at Marcone whenever he disagrees with Marcone's decisions.
    Marcone: (narration) Hendricks looked at me sharply. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t have to. I already knew the tone of whatever he would say. Are there no prisons, perhaps. Or, No man is an island, entire of itself. It tolls for thee. On and on.
  • Weapon of Choice: Hendricks rarely goes into battle without toting some kind of heavy machinegun or shotgun. Harry comments that riot guns look like toys in his hands. In "Even Hand" he wields a simple and "crude-looking" broadsword.

     Sigrun Gard 

Sigrun Gard

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gard_downtown.png
The ax is not just for show.

A mercenary in the employ of Monoc Industries who is hired by Marcone as a security consultant. Gard is exceptionally skilled with ancient medieval weaponry and armor, often seen with a broadsword or large axe and a big steel shield. Which only fits, as she is one of the Valkyries.


  • Ace Pilot: Serves as Marcone's pilot, and is highly skilled at flying helicopters — enough so that she can fly one through nighttime sleet and snow as if it were a clear day, while the helicopter is damaged from gunfire.
  • An Axe to Grind: One of her usual weapons is a heavy battleaxe.
  • Amazonian Beauty: She is an attractive woman and as expected of someone who regularly does intense physical battles and is a Valkyrie to boot, she is ripped.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules:
    • The relationship between her and Hendricks, especially in Small Favor, is a bit more than professional...
    • "Even Hand" has her, in Marcone's words, "fussing" over Hendricks' wounds. Make of that what you will - certainly, the author supports it.
    • She also has a little bit of this reaction towards Harry in "Heorot", being rather impressed at how he handles himself in a brawl, then giving him a rather fiery kiss to rebut the 'Odin's virgin daughters' assumption he makes when he figures out that she's a Valkyrie.
  • Barrier Warrior: Although she's a force to be reckoned with in hand-to-hand combat, Gard's rune magic seems to be best suited to wards and barriers... and occasional, very nasty, traps.
  • Been There, Shaped History: She was at the battle of Trafalgar and removed the musket ball that killed Lord Horatio Nelson.
  • The Berserker/Screaming Warrior: She works herself into a rage when getting set to fight a grendelkin.
  • The Bet: With Hendricks in "Aftermath". He guesses Murphy will realize Maria is one of Marcone's agents without being told. He got a twenty from her.
  • Big Entrance: She has Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" ready to play when she is piloting Marcone's huey. She even blares it over the speakers when riding to the rescue in Small Favor.
  • Combat Medic: When the needs arises. In her words, she has seen more of combat wounds than any mortal hack with a bone saw.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Like her contracted boss, Gard toes the line between sympathetic and evil. Unlike her boss, who works on a mixture of Pragmatic Villainy and personal standards, Gard's more-dubious actions are the result of being from a very different culture and time. For instance, she notes that she suggested Marcone Shoot the Builder after constructing a safe house, just to make sure the secret was kept, and honestly believes that it's worse to save a hero about to bite it in a blaze of glory than to let them pass on in majesty. Five hundred or so years ago, she'd probably be genuine grade-A heroic. In modern times a ruthless hero at best.
  • Healing Factor: Listed as one of her supernatural powers in the RPG, though that's partly speculation on the part of the characters. In Small Favor, she goes from being disembowelled to fit enough to fly a helicopter through a storm in a matter of days.
  • Heroic Lineage: In "Heorot", the grendelkin repeatedly calls her a Geat. At the end of the story, she all-but confirms that, yes, she is family to that Geat.
  • Geometric Magic: Is often seen using runes for various effects.
  • Lady of War: While she has access to some serious magic, most of her combat seen in series has been her fighting on a physical level with magical items to augment her weapons. Her preferred set of weapons is a giant axe and Viking shield.
  • Made of Iron: She treats having her guts ripped out as a painful minor inconvenience.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling:
    • Being a valkyrie, she can sense when someone is about to die, and her gaze is drawn to the event, but that's not to say the sequence of events can't be changed. She remarked to Harry at one point that he was about to die in an alley at the hands of Li Xian in Dead Beat, but Marcone's order to rescue him is what saved Harry's life.
    • In the events of Small Favor, Harry notices that Michael catches Gard's attention from a helicopter, and Harry makes sure that Michael is the next one to board out of fear for Michael's life. In a later book, Uriel mentions that if Harry didn't make this decision, Harry would have died in that harness instead of Michael becoming crippled in it, and Michael would have died on the island.
  • Physical God: She's a Valkyrie — her real name is Sigrun.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: She works as security for a criminal syndicate for money and has no illusions about the nature of her job. When Dresden calls her a mercenary in Small Favour, then gets annoyed when she initially refuses his request for a sample to track Marcone with, she snarks that she's protecting her employer's interests... almost like she's a mercenary. When she punches out, however, she can be quite genuinely heroic, as in "Heorot", which takes place on her day off.
  • Really 700 Years Old: She's an immortal Valkyrie who was born in the heyday of Norse culture, centuries before.
  • She's Got Legs: Enough to make Murphy stare and be jealous.
  • Shock and Awe: Uses a bolt of living lightning as a booby trap, that utterly wrecks its target. Harry jokes it's enough to kill a dinosaur.
  • Situational Sword: The axe she uses in Even Hand is capable of deflecting magical attacks from a Fomor Lord a finite number of times. Though that's simply because she'd put a number of defensive runes on it, and they were one-shot spells. Presumably she re-inscribed them once she had some downtime.
  • The Stoic: Rarely does she break and show her true emotions.
  • Undying Loyalty: When she took Harry to see Odin, Harry saw she had this when without hesitation or command, knelt before Odin and stayed there until told to rise, and noted that it was not simply a matter of going through a formality.
  • Valkyries: Her older profession, and it shows when she sees a valiant warrior nearing a point he or she could die. Namely by her staring at them with a look.
  • Virgin Power: In the story "Heorot", Harry brings up the legend. Gard laughs it off, and she does clearly have a pretty close relationship with Hendricks. That said, earlier in the story, it was established that Grendelkin can only breed with virgins, and the creature boasted of having "two hungry mouths to feed" after it was through - though he could just have been referring to himself.
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Troubleshooters

     In General 
Marcone's heavy hitters. Their job description is, literally, to find trouble and shoot it.

     Mr. Childs 

Mr. Childs

Described by Murphy as Marcone's number-one killer, Childs is a dangerous man. He represents Marcone to the loose alliance of powers opposing the Fomor in Chicago, and is empowered to make deals and even trade Marcone's territory for favors when warranted.


     Maria 

Maria

A little woman who appeared to be terrified of Ray, an abusive man who was the superintendent of the property she lived in. She gave Murphy some information on an investigation after Murphy dealt with Ray. However, she ultimately turned out to be one of Marcone's troubleshooters who was in the process of dealing with unsanctioned drug-dealing operations in Chicago which were being supported by Ray.


  • Beneath Notice: She is one of Marcone's assassins but hides as the abused victim of her target.
  • Killing in Self-Defense: It is implied had Murphy not sent Ray packing, Maria would have killed him using this justification and played the role of abuse victim defending her life against a known abuser.
  • Manipulative Bitch: She thoroughly manipulates Murphy, just as Marcone wanted, into going to see Marcone without him offering an invitation.

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Velvet Room

     In General 
The original Velvet Room was a brothel owned by Bianca St. Claire, but Marcone acquires it after Dresden burned it down. The mob boss later reopened it as a high-end brothel under the guise of a health fitness club called Executive Priority Health.
  • High-Class Call Girl: Staffed by these.
  • The Oldest Profession: The workers at the Velvet Room are prostitutes in addition to fitness trainers.
  • Unproblematic Prostitution: Discussed in-text. When Dresden asks Murphy why nobody's shut the Velvet Room down, Murphy says that the prostitutes at the Velvet Room are all there by choice (no sex slaves), are not subjected to violence, are paid reasonable wages and benefits, and in general are treated well and can leave whenever they choose. As a result, the police won't use their limited resources to shut down the Velvet Room when there are prostitutes in genuinely abusive or dangerous situations those resources could be used to help instead.

     Helen Beckitt, aka Ms. Demeter 

Helen Beckitt, aka Ms. Demeter

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/helen_stormfront_5.png
For revenge on Marcone, she'd brave any fire.

First appeared in Storm Front as a distraught woman who lost her only daughter to mob violence. Broken from that act of violence, she wanted revenge and went up against Harry Dresden when she and her husband helped Victor Sells used magic to kill. After getting out of prison for drug dealing, Marcone offered her a job in compensation for her pain. She is now Marcone's girlfriend as well as the madame of the reborn Velvet Room, a high-end brothel in the guise of an expensive health club called Executive Priority Health.


  • Beneath Suspicion: Harry believes Marcone won't discover she is part of the leak which led the Denarians to his safe house, partially because Torelli is a much more overt option and tries a coup when Marcone is not around.
  • Broken Bird: The loss of her daughter is something she hasn't recovered from.
  • The Bus Came Back: She unexpectedly appears in White Night, out of prison and working for Marcone.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After the loss of her daughter, she and her husband push themselves into seeking revenge against Marcone.
  • Destructive Romance: Her feelings for Marcone, and vice versa are... complicated.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: So prevalent during Storm Front that they're even present while participating in an orgy.
  • Emotionless Girl: Claims to be this, but sheds a single tear when the Ordo support her against Harry's accusations.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • In Small Favor she sells Marcone out to the Denarians hoping to have the man killed once and for all.
    • At the end of Small Favor Harry notes he plans on making an alliance with her when he finally comes to take down Marcone for his villainy.
  • Meaningful Name: Her "Ms. Demeter" alias. Like the Goddess, her daughter is lost to her because of Marcone (Hades) and nothing she may try to do will bring her back.
  • Miss Kitty: Runs the Executive Priority gymnasium/brothel for Marcone.
  • Put on a Bus: Arrested and sent to prison in Storm Front.
  • Revenge Before Reason: In Storm Front she doesn't care who she had to destroy if it means Marcone is destroyed.
  • True Companions: Her friends with the Order. They accept her even after learning she is a criminal for leading a drug dealing business and helped kill people with magic. And when one of them is murdered in White Night Helen is visibly shaken despite claiming she isn't close to them.
  • You Killed My Father: Her daughter was killed during a hit aimed at Marcone. Though averted later when Harry learns her daughter is alive, but in a coma and cared for by Marcone. He won't reveal her to her mother, fearing the despair Helen would go through with finding her daughter alive but in such a state would be unbearable to the woman.

     Jessica Blanche 

Jessica Blanche

One of the prostitutes at the reborn Velvet Room, and a personal friend of the boss, Ms. Demeter.


  • Death by Sex: Killed by a White Court vampire who enthralled her, had sex with her, and drained her life force.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Killed by Madrigal, although he didn't actually know she was a prostitute.
  • Murder by Mistake: Madrigal thought she was part of the Ordo Lebes because she saw Jessica walking with her boss, Demeter, and already knew Demeter was part of the group. As it turned out, though, Blanche had nothing to do with the Ordo Lebes.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: One of two people that Vitto Malvora and Madrigal Raith kill in an effort to draw Dresden into the White Night case.

     Bonnie 

Bonnie

An employee who welcomes Dresden and Murphy to the Velvet Room when they visit it during the White Night case.


  • Interrogation by Vandalism: She gives in to this after Dresden threatens to start knocking down walls unless she lets him and Murphy into the club.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted as their another Bonnie,Harry's spirit daughter also called "The Parasite".
  • Right-Hand Hottie: She fills this role in White Night, a beautiful woman who acts as Marcone's and Demeter's deputy by fetching paperwork and escorting guests around, at least while Harry and Murphy are there.

     Billie 

Billie

An employee who welcomes Dresden and Thomas to the Velvet Room when they visit it during the Small Favor case.


  • Interrogation by Vandalism: She doesn't want to take Dresden and Thomas to Demeter, but when Thomas starts tying barbells into knots she gives in.

Other mobsters

     Modena 

Modena

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/modena_wildcard.png
Just another mafia bagman.

A thug who collects protection money for Marcone. Appears in the comic miniseries Wild Card.


     Hamilton Luther 

Hamilton Luther

One of Marcone's soldiers who retired and went straight. After he beats a White Court vampire to death for trying to assault a little girl, the White Court tries to have him jailed. Marcone arranges for Harry Dresden to learn about the case and save Luther.


  • Badass Normal: Let's say it again, shall we? He, a well-trained and savvy but otherwise vanilla mortal, who in his 50s, beat a White Court Vampire - Super Strength, Super Speed, potentially ageless and with a Healing Factor to boot - to death. With his bare hands and a bowling pin. Sure, White Court are more or less human when not drawing on their Hunger, but even still, that's seriously impressive. No wonder Dresden notes that even with the physical power of the Winter Knight (which, lest it be forgotten, has allowed him to go hand to hand with stronger breeds of vampire than the White Court), he wouldn't want to fight him.
  • The Brute: Previously a professional one for Marcone. Even retired, in his 50s, he beat a White Court vampire to death.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The man once worked for Marcone and has a rap sheet several miles long, but he doesn't stand idly by when a young girl is being stalked and attacked. He kills the monster assaulting the girl.
  • Papa Wolf: The reason for his killing the White Court noble? The monster is attacking a young girl.
  • Retired Badass: He defends and seeks to protect a young girl who was being stalked and threatened, and kills her stalker.
  • Taking the Heat: Did this for Marcone.
  • Undying Loyalty: He took the blame for one of Marcone's crimes, which Marcone couldn't get rid of with his connections, and went to jail for it in Marcone's place just before retiring from crime. Understandably, Marcone is quite greatful of it.

     Torelli 

Torelli

One of Marcone's sub-lieutenants who was involved in the drug-dealing side of his operation. Tries to take over after Marcone vanished during the Small Favor case, and fails.


  • Dirty Coward / Smug Snake: Talks big and threatens people when having minions at his side or a gun to the other's head. Reverse the situation, he runs to the hills.
  • Killed Offscreen: Killed by the hitman Stevie D sometime before the events of Changes.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: When he tries to intimidate Beckitt, he calls her a whore.
  • The Starscream: While its unknown how much was just the opportunity when Marcone vanishes in Small Favor and how much was premeditated, he still jumps to usurp control when Marcone and Hendricks are out of the picture.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He really did not think through his strategy for usurping Marcone's mob.
  • We Can Rule Together: Gives this offer to Harry. Harry being Harry, turns it into a joke.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Or would have one of his minions do it, anyways. Fortunately, Dresden is there to intervene.

     Eduardo Anthony "Bony Tony" Mendoza 

Eduardo Anthony "Bony Tony" Mendoza

A former carny who learned how to swallow an impressive variety of objects and who later used that talent as a smuggler of small but pricey items. His murder kicked off Dresden's investigations into the Kemmlerites around Chicago.


  • Friend in the Black Market: He was part of a smuggling ring that specialized in stealing valuable antiques and selling them to private collectors on the black market. He found the long lost Word of Kemmler and came to Marcone for a seller, and got arranged a deal with Grevane.
  • Killed Off for Real: Murdered by Grevane.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Though it isn't known at first, the simple fact he brought the Word of Kemmler to Chicago brought the major players in and dragged Harry into the mix. Finding out what he did with it took up the first two-thirds of the book.
  • Swallow the Key: How he transported his goods.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Through Marcone, Tony knew wizards were terrible with technology and took multiple steps to make sure he had the upper hand if Grevane decided not to play by the rules. Grevane acted even less rationally than Mendoza had expected and just killed him once they met up.

     Mr. Franklin 

Mr. Franklin

One of Marcone's hired guns.


     "Spike" 

"Spike"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spike_stormfront.png
Good at fighting people. Not so much at fighting werewolves.

One of Marcone's high-ranking hired guns.


     Tommy Tomm 

Tommy Tomm

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tommy_stormfront.png
Ouch.

Marcone's bodyguard, and another hired gun.


  • Bodyguarding a Badass: He's tough, but Marcone's in a whole different league.
  • Death by Sex: He dies while making love to Jennifer Stanton. This is because while the heart-ripping curse was only targeting Jennifer, the closeness and love they felt for each other in the throws of passion allowed the curse to affect him too.
  • Posthumous Character: He's already dead at the beginning of Storm Front.

     "Gimpy" Lawrence 

"Gimpy" Lawrence

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lawrence_stormfront.png
One of Marcone's thugs, but not for long.

Marcone's bodyguard. He ultimately betrays his employer for Victor Sells.


  • Alas, Poor Villain: Harry and Marcone think so. The readers, not so much.
  • Bad Liar: When Dresden calls him out on his dealings with Sells, he crumbles very quickly.
  • Killed Off for Real: Gunned down by Hendricks.
  • The Mole: Sells' man in Marcone's organization.
  • Mugging the Monster: He jumps Harry Dresden twice and gets the upper hand. However when Harry turns it into a fair fight it goes badly for him.

Legitimate businesspeople

     James Douglas Harding III 

James Douglas Harding III

Marcone's partner on the Northwest Passage Project.


Clients

     In General 
Marcone offers a service for Chicago-area residents: in exchange for monthly payments, he will place them under his protection and battle anyone—including supernatural powers, though not all his clients know that—who seek to do his clients harm.
  • Monster Protection Racket: Averted. The monsters are real and not summoned by Marcone. He just knows there are enough naturally-occuring monsters to make it worth most people's while to pay.

     Samuel Fogle 

Samuel Fogle

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fogle_downtown.png
His goods came cheap. So did his life.

A pawnbroker who pays for Marcone's protection, though it doesn't do him any good when the sewer sorcerer sends a golem at him.


     Laundromat owner 

Laundromat owner

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/laundromat_downtown.png
He paid for protection. He didn't get it.

Another small businessman who is one of Marcone's clients, and is killed by a sorcerer seeking to demonstrate his own power.


     Halligan 

Halligan

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/halligan_downtown.png
Most people never learn about the ancient tunnels beneath Chicago. Halligan isn't so lucky.

The third man attacked by the sewer sorcerer, and the first to be taken alive. He is held hostage by the sorcerer, who plans to infect him with a substance that will spawn more golems and then turn him free.


  • Bad Liar: He tries to convince the sorcerer he's on his side and won't run away. He's not very good at it, but fortunately the sorcerer is so deluded that he believes Halligan anyways.
  • The Corruption: Infected by a potion that starts creating more of the golem's slime out of his body.
  • Distressed Dude: His function in the plot is to be captured and need rescue.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: When the golem is starting to overwhelm the rescue party, he stands in front of it even though he's ill and has no weapons.

     Shop owner in Wild Card 

Wild Card shop owner

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/proprietor_wildcard.png
One of Marcone's many 'satisfied' customers.

Another shop owner paying protection money to Marcone. Appears in the story Wild Card.


  • Evil Pays Better: After Modena is gunned down, instead of calling the police, the shopkeeper calls Marcone. Marcone has the man rewarded for telling him instead of the proper authorities.


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