|AKA||The Triple Killer|
|Cause of death||Shot by Javier Esposito|
|Kelly Nieman † (girlfriend)|
|Parents||Gretchen Cutler (raised by)|
"Kick the Ballistics" (mentioned)
|Portrayed by||Michael Mosley|
Jerry Tyson aka The Triple Killer, or "3XK", is a serial killer with a signature of strangling three blonde women in a week before going into hiding in a month and killing again. When identified in Season Three, he was formidable adversary of Richard Castle, Kate Beckett, and the NYPD as a whole all the way to his downfall in Season Seven.
Apparently, as a child, Jerry Tyson was raised by a single mother: a beautiful blonde who later didn't want him and eventually died of a drug overdose. With his father dead as well, Jerry was raised under the care of his father's girlfriend, Gretchen Cutler, before he was put into the system at the age of nine. Bitter at being sent into uncaring foster care, he ends up becoming a serial killer by killing women who look like his biological mother and especially Gretchen as a way of 'getting back at her'.
Despite this, however, Jerry still loves his mother (or mother-figure) and, as an homage to her, leaves his victims looking peaceful. Although this is merely speculation by Richard Castle and not confirmed by Jerry himself, he does not deny it either. It was noted on his FBI profile, though, that he did have a dysfunctional relationship with his mother.
Jerry began his killing spree in 2006 by claiming six lives. He learns the habits of his victims and gains their trust through different disguises, such as a security guard or cable repairman, to gain access to their apartments. Captain Montgomery was on the original task force to capture him. Castle studied Tyson's original crime spree for his novel When It Comes to Slaughter.
On May 21, 2006, a week after his sixth murder, Linda Russo called the Triple Killer tip line and left an anonymous message to report seeing a creepy cable repairman who wasn't carrying the right tools. Given that Linda was working for a cable company, she realized he was in disguise. With this, Jerry realized that Linda made him and that she saw his face, so he arranged for himself to get caught on a minor drug charge to throw suspicion off himself.
While imprisoned, he met a fellow sociopath named Marcus Gates and they spent the next four years as cellmates exchanging stories. Jerry later made a deal with Marcus so that he will be completely free of suspicion: when Marcus is released, he will pretend to be the Triple Killer by using Jerry's M.O., and in return, Jerry will pay for the heart operation of Marcus's foster brother, Paul McCradle.
After the arrangement is made, Marcus begins his killing spree by first killing the one person that can identify Jerry as a person of interest: Linda Russo. Since she would have recognized the real triple killer, Jerry arranges for Marcus to change his M.O. on Linda by killing her outside, contrary to his usual apartment killings. This is to make the investigators believe that he killed Linda outside since, if she recognized Jerry, Linda would not have let him into her apartment.
Marcus' next killing is one that follows in Jerry's footsteps perfectly, and even leaves a small piece of evidence to get the police interested in him. Kate Beckett eventually goes to question Jerry in prison, unaware that he is the real Triple Killer, to ask where Marcus would hang out. Jerry tells them that Marcus liked to hang out at a bar.
The team assembles there and Marcus comes out. They arrest him and bring him in for questioning at the station. Beckett starts to interview Marcus, but he is very calm and unconcerned with everything she is asking. She shows pictures of the victims and he denies knowing any of them. Beckett tells Marcus that they are searching his home and he should tell her if they are going to find anything suspicious. Marcus replies that he will wait until they can prove it with a warrant. However, they do not have enough to hold him, and Marcus walks right out the front door, telling the team to watch over their loved ones.
Back in prison, Jerry rolls on Marcus and makes a deal: they get him out of prison. Kevin Ryan sits with Jerry, who, still playing the wimp, asks why they can't arrest Marcus already before mentioning that Marcus has a partner. This leads the team to find out that Paul McCardle is the partner. They track down Donna, Jerry's girlfriend, and Javier Esposito finds Marcus trying to kill her in her apartment. He arrests him and asks how Marcus is going to get out of this one.
At the station, Marcus confesses to all eight murders, when he actually only killed two, in exchange for Paul getting full immunity. Later, Castle and Ryan go to where Jerry is staying and tell him about Marcus' confession and his arrest. Castle picks up on Jerry's reaction when he reacts coldly about his girlfriend being okay, and eventually realizes that he's the real killer. But before he and Ryan can react, Jerry knocks them out, ties them both up and steals Ryan's gun.
While antagonizing Jerry, Castle declares that he has figured out Jerry's motivations, for his murders come from deep-seated matricidal issues due to his extremely neglectful late mother. Hearing this, Jerry declares that he even knows that Castle's motivations for what he does is because he is drawn to and possibly fascinated by the concept of death. Jerry then decides to make his escape and leaves Castle and Ryan for the police to find after he taunts Castle that his future victims are going to be his fault. ("3XK")
Sometime after disappearing, Jerry gave Det. Ryan's stolen gun to Philip Lee, an enemy who he made during his four years in prison, knowing that the ballistic will be an instant hit on police computers, and trusting that this will take the cops off on a wild goose chase since they will (and do) assume that it is 3XK still using the gun. He likewise "let slip" his plans to Philip, on the assumption that Philip would try to cut a deal and pass the info on to the cops, but this is a bluff which the poker-playing Castle sees coming, and Philip's offer of information is declined and he gets no deal. Captain Gates states that they will "track down Jerry Tyson like the animal he is, and haul him into custody". ("Kick the Ballistics")
Jerry returns in the fifth season, seemingly to get revenge on Castle for ruining his four-year plan to vanish and continue killing. It is mentioned that he has had Castle under surveillance, even going as far as being able to enter his loft with no trace to obtain fingerprints. Jerry planted Castle's fingerprints at the murder scene of Tessa Horton using latex fingers and placed a deleted file in his hard drive that perfectly describes the murder. He also staged a look-alike contest to hire someone to impersonate Castle in a jewelry store to be caught on surveillance. The diamond earring purchased at the store was later found in the victim's apartment. The final stroke was planting the exact tools used in restraining and killing Tessa in Castle's loft.
Jerry was able to infiltrate the precinct to reveal himself to a detained Castle without being caught on surveillance. He states that he has people waiting for Castle in prison, assigned to kill him when he arrives. Castle later escapes as a fugitive and with Beckett and the team's help, was able to find proof of 3XK's involvement. As Beckett and Castle drive back to the precinct, they are attacked by Jerry on the bridge. While he holds Beckett at gunpoint, urging Castle to reveal himself and watch as he kills her, Castle manages to shoot Jerry several times and the latter ends up falling off the bridge to his apparent death. The body cannot be found the next morning. Castle deduces that 3XK's entire plan was to have Castle seemingly kill him on the bridge and then disappear, free to kill again. ("Probable Cause")
In the sixth season episode "Disciple", a murderer is killing victims that have a frightening resemblance to the members of the NYPD family. It is later revealed that the victims have been altered, both medically by Dr. Kelly Nieman, and through the help of speech therapy to alter the male victim's accent, in order to look and sound like Lanie Parish and Esposito. As expected, this affects the whole team, mainly Lanie and Esposito, the episode's flow bearing a striking resemblance to season 5's "Probable Cause".
As Castle begins to theorize the possibility of 3XK being a part of this, he and Beckett go to get the records only to find the files of every 3XK murder and profile removed, taken out by "Esposito" three days ago, and the medical results, tissues, samples and other such items removed by "Lanie". Because an infiltration of the NYPD is a serious issue, as well as the fact that 3XK might actually be alive, contrary to the NYPD records, Gates instructs Beckett not to make it official that 3XK is back until she has solid evidence to save the precinct from the embarrassment of stuffing up twice.
It is not until the end of the episode when, after recovering a USB embedded in a pen from Nieman's office, that a song "We'll Meet Again" message begin to play through Castle's laptop, ending any doubts to Beckett and Castle that Jerry is in fact back.
Working with Nieman in "Resurrection" and "Reckoning", Jerry returns, with Nieman now helping him 'cultivate' victims who will explicitly resemble his mother when she was younger, allowing him to complete his main 'goal' of killing Gretchen over and over again.
Despite their certainty that they have found Jerry, the team are unable to prove his identity, with Jerry claiming to be a truck driver who just happened to have plastic surgery to look like himself. While he and Nieman are being interrogated, one of their associates, Amy Barrett, kidnaps Beckett and the squad rushes to save her, Jerry constantly playing with them such as capturing a prostitute with a slight similarity to Beckett so that she can be killed just as the team finds her.
With Nieman preparing to give Beckett unwilling plastic surgery so that she will be killed wearing Nieman's face, Jerry captures Castle after he finds a new lead as to Beckett's whereabouts. However, Castle reveals that his abduction was a set-up: he knew that the only way to find Jerry and Beckett was to let Jerry kidnap him. Rather than going rogue as Jerry predicted, Castle had an earpiece the whole time connecting him to Esposito, who was waiting outside with a sniper rifle.
After Castle orders Esposito to take the shot, Jerry turns to the window, but is too late as Esposito shoots him in the abdomen. In his final moments, Jerry tries to shoot Castle, but dies before he can. Castle and Ryan are able to use his cellphone to find Nieman's number and track her down, arriving in time to find that Beckett had saved herself and killed Nieman.
Method of Killing
Jerry would obsessively stalk and kill beautiful, young blonde women who resemble his dead mother. It's heavily implied he stalks the women using obvious and discreet ruses, however it fits his routine, along with the fact that he has a cornucopia of cash and resources he uses in his main crimes and other contingency plans, by himself and his slew of criminal accomplices and contacts he would come across and even strike rapports with in various ways.
Within a week, Jerry would follow the women he picked out and break into their apartments, killing them by ligature strangulation; out of a conflicting repentance and as a serene homage, he lays them in coffin positions when they're dead, on their backs with their hands folded over their lower bodies, showing them in a light that presents them at peace. Three women would be killed in the span of each week, likely due to self-scrutinizing planning, hence the nicknames for the killings. Jerry would be satisfied enough after that cycle to disappear for a month, making more plans and covering his tracks enough to kill again. Linda Russo, however, was choked to death in an alleyway.
Linda caught Jerry at the scene of Melanie Sherman, thus leaving her a witness to be disposed of. Jerry accepted a light jail sentence on a drug charge for an alibi, all to create a new scheme where he'd get the police's attention, get a sanctioned release, and take the chance to escape. Jerry would be in hiding using his resources and contacts, even creating chaos like other murders, ordered or collateral, and leaving false trails as a diverting taunt at the authorities, to keep him from being caught and continue killing women resembling his mother. He would find ways to infiltrate his opponents' lives and quarters, and he'd even leave evidence and glaring self-incriminations behind as additional tactics. Jerry would have his accomplices do the same, utilizing them also to leave taunts behind, like "Better luck next time." and the Vera Lynn classic song "We'll Meet Again" in a thumb drive in the pen used to write the note. They would also be alibis for his aliases, like Mike Boudreax. Jerry also has no problem or quarrel with breaking into official establishments like prisons for taunts or evidence lockers to steal the evidence.
Jerry would extend and adapt his crimes to the point of using other criminals as proxies for crimes he needed or wanted carried out. He manipulated cellmate Marcus Gates to work as a proxy and kill Linda Russo and Marcus' foster brother, Paul McCardle, to disguise as Jerry on cameras as his alibi, with Jerry promising to pay for Paul's operation if the plan succeeded. Two other women, Kim Foster and Jerry's girlfriend Donna Gallagher, were next to die to hide why Russo was murdered and to maybe throw suspicion off Marcus if he killed her in time to feign grief. However, Donna was saved when Marcus was caught in the act and gave a confession for all the crimes, according to plan. Jerry pretended Marcus was the dominant one and "submitted" throughout, being a witness long enough to get a supervised prison release for an escape. Philip Lee was the next proxy, but as a setup to get rid of a foe and to lead the NYPD off Jerry's trail when Lee used a weapon he stole. Carl Matthews, a fellow at large serial killer, was employed to terrorize and distract the team with his signature MO of hangings by fishing line of lookalikes of Javier Esposito and Lanie Parish, the two likely also utilized to steal the 3XK evidence. Lanie was drugged at a bar earlier to find a tattoo on her hip so her look-alike would be more uncanny, and the two doppelgangers also imitated mannerisms like speech and even wearing the same scents, getting the resources discreetly to do so. Amy Barrett, who fits Tyson's victim type, would be employed in Beckett's abduction and standing guard at the hideout, again using her as a diversion for the kidnapping merely by her looks.
Jerry eventually officially started targeting the team as a whole, after knocking out Kevin Ryan, taking his gun, which was Lee's future weapon, and holding Richard Castle hostage briefly, making him not tip off Martha Rodgers to avoid suspicion for an escape. The tipoff was made regardless, but Jerry escaped regardless as well. In an elaborate frame-up, Castle was tied to the strangulation of Tessa Horton, who was hung from her ceiling in a crucified position when her roommate was away, with an alchemical symbol cut into her forehead. Fake fingerprints and a file describing the murder in Castle's computer trash bin further pointed in the direction of the cover-up. When the trail led to Jerry's hideout with all the evidence of the incrimination, he got into a shootout with Beckett and Castle to pretend being shot to death on a bridge and fall into the water to officially begin killing again in the usual ritual while never being suspected. The doppelgangers of Lanie and Esposito were not only to attack and distract the team, but to announce a return and warn of more crimes later. After restarting his usual killings by murdering Susan Watts in an alley, girlfriend Kelly Nieman reappeared, as did Jerry under an alias, sticking out the lies all the way to getting away scot-free. Nieman was crafting more women for Jerry to kill back in the 3XK MO. But while Amy seemed like a new target, she instead sedated Beckett in a public area and wheeled her off in a wheelchair. The chase lead to Sydney Novak, a prostitute dressed and facially similar to Beckett, who was killed a rigged shotgun trap while tied and gagged to a chair, with a fake recording of Beckett's voice, all to break and divert Castle and the team further. While Jerry stayed at a personal cabin in the woods, Barrett on guard, Nieman had Beckett in a makeshift lab, ready to switch faces with her by her own designed procedures before Jerry strangled her to disguise Nieman for good. Castle was held hostage in the cabin as leverage in the standoff. Jerry, however, was shot by Esposito through Castle exploiting his complexity, and Beckett overpowered and stabbed Nieman, killing them both.
More victims are presumed after further investigation into Jerry and from collages of news stories and other evidence at his house, revealing Jerry far more prolific than the police thought, death toll rising as high as at least twenty-six victims.
(All of the people who Tyson was in league with who assisted his disappearing act and had killed his victims for him)
- Marcus Gates (first proxy)
- Paul McCardle (foster brother of Gates)
- Philip Lee (former enemy of Tyson)
- Carl Matthews (second proxy)
- Kelly Nieman (Tyson's girlfriend)
- Amy Barrett (patient of Nieman)
(All of his victims were strangled in their own apartment.)
- Possibly twenty-six unnamed victims
- Rachel Gold
- Sara Townsend
- Emma Kuener
- Lauren Brackett
- Sheri Ort
- Melanie Sherman
- Kevin Ryan (Assaulted and knocked unconscious; stole his gun and gave it to Philip Lee)
- Richard Castle (Held at gunpoint and attempted to kill on several ocassions; later nearly framed for Tessa Horton's murder)
- Tessa Horton (Atypical MO; not a blonde, and she was hung from the ceiling and her head carved with an alchemical symbol. This was part of a complex attempt to frame Castle for the murder.)
- Susan Watts (manually strangled in an alley)
- Sydney Novak (Atypical MO; not a blonde, and she was rigged to a remote-controlled shotgun which later shot and killed her after the police arrived. She was selected because of her facial similarities to Beckett.)
- Kate Beckett (Attempted to kill while being held hostage; Tyson was shot by Esposito before he could)
Victims by Proxy
The following were either targeted by Marcus Gates or Carl Matthews on Tyson's orders, targeted by Tyson with the help of accomplices Kelly Nieman and Amy Barrett, or killed because of circumstances caused by Tyson
- Linda Russo (Strangled by Marcus in an alleyway)
- Kim Foster (Strangled by Marcus in her own apartment)
- Donna Gallager (Marcus attempted to strangle in her own apartment; was rescued)
- Jane Herzfeld (Shot to death by Philip Lee with the gun given to him by Tyson)
- Pamela Hodges (Hanged with fishing line by Carl; killed because of her facial similarities to Lanie Parish)
- Daniel Santos (Hanged with fishing line Carl; killed because of his facial similarities to Javier Esposito)
- Kate Beckett (sedated and abducted by Amy Barrett; held hostage and attempted to have Kelly Nieman cut off her face; she saved herself)
- Was Jerry's father's girlfriend who kept Jerry until he was 9