John "Jack" McEvoy (b. 21 May 1961) is the son of Millie and Tom McEvoy, the surviving brother of Sarah and Sean McEvoy, the brother-in-law of Riley McEvoy, and an investigative reporter. He and Sean were identical twins. He is tall and lanky, with light brown hair and beard. He has a scar on his left cheek. He has worked as an investigative reporter for thirty years initially for the Rocky Mountain News, then later for the LA Times before moving to websites including The Velvet Coffin and Fair Warning. He has written two novels and two non-fiction books about the serial killers The Poet and The Scarecrow. Jack is divorced, having had a brief marriage to fellow journalist Keisha Russell. He has had an on and off relationship with criminal profiler Rachel Walling for many years.
He then took a job writing for the Rocky Mountain News, where he worked with Larry Bernard. In his spare time he also worked on two novels. One dealt with a writer who has a motorcycle accident and becomes paraplegic. By the mid-1990's his assignment at the Rocky was to do in-depth articles on murder victims in the region.
The Poet investigation
In February of 1995, he was notified of his brother's death by Denver detectives Harold Wexler and Ray St. Louis, and accompanied them to Boulder to inform Sean's widow. Sean had been investigating the murder of Theresa Lofton. Jack had wanted to do the story on the murder of Lofton, but instead the story was given to reporters Van Jackson and Laura Fitzgibbons. Jack took three weeks of personal time before returning to the Rocky to examine the Lofton case and write an article about Sean within the context of the larger issue of police suicide.
His research soon revealed the "suicide" of Chicago detective John Brooks, whose death bore startling similarities to Sean's, including an obsession with an unsolved case, psychological problems, and the use of Edgar Allan Poe quotes. Jack then convinced Detective Wexler that Sean's death had not been a suicide, and traveled to Chicago to meet with the Police Department to investigate Brooks' death in greater detail.
From Chicago, McEvoy flew to Washington, D.C. to visit the Law Enforcement Foundation where Michael Warren assisted him in securing access to the files of a research project on police suicide. From the files, he discovered a link between his brother, Brooks, and four other homicide detectives – Garland Petry, Clifford Beltran, Morris Kotite, and John McCafferty – all of whom had been found with Edgar Allan Poe quotes as suicide notes. He met and teamed up with FBI agent Rachel Walling. The two drove to Quantico where Jack met Robert Backus, Jr. who allowed Jack to be a observer on the Poet case. Jack and Rachel became romantically involved, which was against Bureau policy. The FBI began to focus on a suspect named William Gladden in Los Angeles. The FBI set up a stakeout to catch Gladden when he attempted to buy a camera. The setup went wrong, resulting in Jack being shot in the hand, while Gladden and an FBI agent were killed.
Jack gradually realized that Gladden did not fit the profile of the Poet, and he began to suspect Rachel, much to his chagrin. Jack revealed his suspicions to Backus who lured Jack to an abandoned house in the Hollywood Hills intending to kill him. Rachel came to Jack's rescue, shooting and wounding Backus (who escaped). Jack's relationship with Rachel could not survive the publicity that resulted from the case. Jack decided to stay in L.A. rather than going back to Denver.
Afterwards, Jack wrote a book describing his encounter with the Poet serial killer. His book provided both fame and money. He was interviewed on Larry King Live, and the National Enquirer also did an article about him, but without his cooperation. The book paid him enough to buy a house, a 2 bedroom craftsman bungalow on Curson Ave. near Sunset Blvd, and to help support his brother's widow and daughter.
Road to the LA Times
He wrote for the alternative weekly New Times LA and the pop-culture magazine Vanity Fair, including an article about a business that specialized in murder site cleanups, a series of articles about an attorney who worked out of his Lincoln Towncar, and an article on the January 2001 murder trial of film director David Storey. He was then hired by the Los Angeles Times and assigned to crime reporting. He was briefly married to another Times reporter, Keisha Russell. After the 2007 murder of criminal defense attorney Jerry Vincent, McEvoy approached Mickey Haller, who had inherited Vincent's caseload, to strike a deal with the lawyer.
The Scarecrow investigation
In May of 2009, he was laid off due to budget cutbacks, and was given two weeks to train his replacement, Angela Cook. The two began investigating the death of Denise Babbit and the arrest of Alonzo Winslow for the murder. After Cook discovered a nearly identical murder in Las Vegas two years previously, McEvoy was able to get Winslow released. This led to his appearance on CNN Newsroom. He also received interview requests from the NY Times, Katie Couric, and Craig Ferguson. McEvoy then flew to Nevada to meet with William Schifino, the defense attorney representing Brian Oglevy, and arranged an interview with the prisoner at Ely State Prison.
Soon after, McEvoy discovered that his cellphone service had been discontinued, his credit cards had been cancelled, his bank account had been emptied, and his email password had been changed. He called his assistant city editor to inform him of his location, then called FBI Agent Rachel Walling to request her help with his identity-theft. She refused to get involved, and McEvoy arrived at Ely State Prison to learn that his interview had been postponed until the following morning because of a death threat issued against Oglevy. McEvoy returned to the Hotel Nevada in Ely for the evening, and visited the gambling hall where he encountered a talkative stranger who followed McEvoy nearly back to his room. The stranger passed when they heard the voice of a woman in his hotel room, and McEvoy found Agent Walling waiting for him.
McEvoy and Walling took a federal helicopter back to Los Angeles when McEvoy told her that Cook had not reported for work and could not be contacted. The two returned to McEvoy's home, searched it, and found nothing. They subsequently had sex, and as they were dressing, McEvoy found the body of Angela Cook under his bed, murdered in a fashion similar to Denise Babbit and Sharon Oglevy. He and Walling called the LAPD and were interviewed for the next eight hours before being released. McEvoy returned to the Times office to learn that he could no longer cover the story, which had been turned over to Larry Bernard. McEvoy then gave Bernard a lengthy interview and brought him up to date on all of McEvoy's discoveries, but the conversation was interrupted when McEvoy received a phone call from Freddy Stone, taunting him with the details of Cook's death.
McEvoy and Walling believed that Stone and Declan McGinnis were the murderers. That changed when McEvoy discovered a connection between the name Bill Denslow and Stone's supervisor, Wesley Carver. As they pursued Carver, Stone attempted to abduct Walling but was stopped by McEvoy who then chased Stone to the top floor of the Mesa Verde Inn. They fought, and McEvoy threw Stone down the stairwell from the twelfth floor. McEvoy and Walling then went to Western Data Consultants to apprehend Carver. They saved the lives of two FBI agents (Mowry and Torres), and Walling shot Carver.
The Velvet Coffin
McEvoy was offered his old job back but he declined in order to work on two books and investigative work for The Velvet Coffin. McEvoy and Walling remained in a relationship as recently as 2014.
Jack began working for a new investigative website, fairwarning.org, which deals with consumer protection issues. He wrote a successful series of articles about safety in the automotive industry. He wrote an exposee about Arthur Hathaway, a career con artist who had started a school for others wishing to try criminal deception as a career.
Jack returned to death investigation after becoming a person of interest in the murder of Christina Portrero in 2020. He had been linked to Portrero as they had a one night stand a year prior to his death. Jack took it upon himself to look into the case and his investigation exposed the serial killer The Shrike.
McEvoy is named after Michael Connelly's mother, whose maiden name is Mary McEvoy.