John Edward Stokes (b. 1966; d. Jan 2002) was a resident of Los Angeles, California, and a childhood friend of Arthur Delacroix. He attended The Brethren School for a time, as did Delacroix. He was in and out of foster homes as a youth. As a juvenile he had multiple arrests for petty theft, auto theft, burglary and drug possession.
He was taken in by Audrey and Donald Blaylock in January of 1980. On 4 May, 1980 he met Delacroix on the hillside at the end of Wonderland Avenue and killed him, apparently in order to get Delacroix's skateboard, but the exact circumstances of the killing are unknown. He then buried Delacroix in a shallow grave.
He was arrested for stealing a car in July of 1980, his second arrest for that offense, and was incarcerated at Sylmar Juvenile Hall from July to December. He never returned to the Blaylock's home. In 1997 he was convicted of an unspecified offense and sentenced to five years at Corcoran State Prison; he served 24 months, the remainder on parole.
He later worked at the Hollywood Washateria. In January of 2002, Harry Bosch, Jerry Edgar attempted to pick up Stokes to interview him about Delacroix. They were backed up by Julia Brasher, and her partner. At this time Stokes was not a suspect, but he ran and was involved in the incident in which Brasher shot herself (see note below). The District Attorney's Office decided not to charge Stokes and he was released. He hid out in the abandoned Hotel Usher on the 13th floor. A police team went to arrest him. After Edgar told the morning roll call that Stokes probably would not face any charges in the killing of Delacroix, Stokes was shot to death by Edgewood as relatiation for his part in the death of police officer Julia Brasher. Although there is no definitive evidence, it is likely that Edgewood put a gun in Stokes' hand after he was dead in order to justify the shooting.
Note: In the book City of Bones Brasher dies from her gunshot wound. However, in the Amazon series the incident was changed so that Brasher survives.