Archie spent ten years as a Portland Police Detective, leading the Beauty Killer Task Force to try to apprehend a sadistic serial killer. He was obsessed with the case, spending his days and nights working on it instead of spending time with his wife and two children. Then, he invited a beautiful psychiatrist to assist in the investigation and began a torrid affair with her.
WOOPS! That was the Beauty Killer!
She drugged him, tied him up in a basement, and tortured him for ten days before letting him go and turning herself in. Archie spent a long time in the hospital before being sent home with a missing spleen, a heart-shaped scar on his chest, and a whoooole lot of painkillers.
Gretchen cut a plea bargain, avoiding the death penalty in exchange for confessing to more murders. But, she would only do it if she could give her confessions to Archie. He agreed – and when his wife demanded he choose between visiting Gretchen and staying married, he chose Gretchen.
No one knows where Gretchen comes from or what her childhood was like. The first known record of her is when she walked out of the woods into the town of St. Helens as a teenager. After killing her abusive foster father, she took off on a fifteen-year murder-spree and tour of the Pacific Northwest. She chose victims from all walks of life, tortured them in the most creative ways she could think of, and carved a heart on their chests before killing them. She also grew up from an awkward teen into a famously beautiful woman.
She walked into the office of the man in charge of catching her, told him she was a psychiatrist, and offered to help. She had an affair with him, tortured him, and then let him go and turned herself in. The papers called her “The Queen of Hearts” and “The Serial Killer Centerfold,” along with, of course “The Beauty Killer.” Everyone wanted to know who she was, but she refused to reveal anything to anyone – except for Detective Sheridan.
Susan is, allegedly, a journalist.
As part of a convoluted mindgame between Archie and Gretchen, Susan was invited to shadow Archie and write a series on the task force. The killer Archie was hunting at the moment turned out to be the teacher who’d abused her in high school. The killer kidnapped her onto a stolen boat, but Archie saved the day.
Then she just never left.
Susan is a Portland hipster, although she looks down on other Portland hipsters (which is the most hipster thing to do). She sports a bob that she dyes a different Manic Panic shade every book. She also sports a massive, ill-concealed crush on Archie Sheridan. Only after a year and a half has he started to show faint signs of returning the feeling. But that’s just what they call “slow burn,” right?
Henry claims to have been married and divorced at least seven times, though the number is uncertain and dependant on a number of technicalities. He has traveled around the world, often by motorcycle, done a variety of jobs, and for some reason landed at the Portland Police Department. He is Archie’s partner, best friend, and biggest enabler.
Henry is known for his intimidating stature, shaved head, and prodigious moustache – in short, his striking resemblance to a circus strongman. It doesn’t help that he dresses in black and leather. He enjoys Lynyrd Skynyrd, woodworking, and cats. He's expecting a baby with his partner Claire, another detective on the team. Also, he has a limp now due to an encounter with a venomous blue-ringed octopus.
If he sounds kinda gay to you, don't worry, he's domestic partners with a butch women who everybody assumes is a lesbian.