Castle Wiki
William Bracken
Senator William Bracken
Vital Statistics
Title Senator
AKA The Dragon
Gender Male
Status Deceased
Occupation US Senator
Former ADA (1988-92)
Spouse(s) Sheila Bracken (wife)
Character Information
Appearances After The Storm
In the Belly of the Beast
Portrayed by Jack Coleman

United States Senator William H. Bracken, aka The Dragon, is the main antagonist of the Johanna Beckett arc of the Castle series. He is the one responsible for ordering the hit on Johanna Beckett.


He was the Assistant District Attorney of New York from 1988 to 1992, the time when Raglan, McCallister and Montgomery were kidnapping mobsters for ransom. He heard about the kidnappings due to his job, but he realized that he couldn't charge the mobsters, and that the officers involved would walk free because he had no evidence against them. Instead, he blackmailed the three officers out of their ransom money and used it to finance his political career, eventually rising to Senator and even becoming a possible candidate for a presidential campaign.

Years later, a lawyer named Johanna Beckett looked into the case of Joe Pulgatti, a mobster who had been locked up due to the kidnapping scheme. When Bracken found out, he had Johanna and her entire team murdered to keep his corruption concealed from the public. However, this ultimately put Bracken on a collision course with the person who would become his most dangerous enemy: Johanna's daughter Kate Beckett.

Kate started to close in on Bracken after she shot Dick Coonan (the person Bracken hired to kill Johanna), and Bracken tried to have Kate killed numerous times. But all his attempts on her life failed, and Beckett's team was eventually able to deduce his identity using files that recorded the transferring of the ransom money. Instead of going public and destroying his career and reputation, Beckett renewed the deal that both Montgomery and Smith had made with Bracken: she would keep the files secret, and in exchange, Bracken would leave her in peace. She then struck him with her gun, giving him a facial scar which she wanted to remind him of her every time he looked at it.

Later in the episode "Recoil", he came in contact with Beckett yet again when it turned out that he supposedly killed a victim, but later turned out an enemy of his did and was targeting him. This caused the NYPD to start a man hunt for his enemy. This left Beckett having conflicted feelings. Near the end of the episode, Beckett chose to stop the person who was going to have him killed, which turned out to be his driver Noah Charles who was working for Ben Moss. During this situation she actually saved his life. As a result of this action, he owes her a life debt and urges her to act upon it sometime, before turning the whole situation into an act of heroism for himself.

Bracken is briefly mentioned by Alexis and Castle in the episode The Squab and the Quail during a conversation about Beckett.

In the episode "In the Belly of the Beast", he is revealed to be in league with a drug cartel led by Vulcan Simmons. The cartel is funneling money into a superpac named Future Forward, which is raising money for Bracken's presidential campaign. During this episode, it is implied that he sent a hired contract killer, Elena Markov, to save Beckett from being killed by Harden, a member of the drug cartel (thereby satisfying his life debt to Beckett).

In the episode "Veritas", Beckett began shadowing Jason Marks, a man in Bracken's employ, as he was making a clandestine rendezvous. Unknown to her, Michael Smith was trying to turn Marks to prove that the funding for Bracken's campaign was corrupt. However, Bracken, having realized that Beckett had no leverage against him because of her surveillance, arranged for Vulcan Simmons to kill Marks. He later has Simmons killed when Beckett's team links him to the crime, knowing that Simmons would cut a deal and expose him. He did this by having his assassins steal her backup pistol and use it to frame Beckett for the murder.

Bracken later tracks down Beckett at a run-down hotel in which she and Castle were hiding to remind her that she should have left well enough alone. Beckett dared him to kill her himself but he refused, knowing he'd be implicating himself in her death. Thus, he leaves his assassins to dispose of her, making it seem like she committed suicide, but Beckett manages to overpower and kill them.

She later discovers a cassette recording made by Roy Montgomery of Bracken admitting to blackmail and murder. Because of this evidence, Bracken is finally arrested by Beckett publicly at his own press conference.

Known Accomplices/ Associates

  • Dick Coonan (Contract Killer/Deceased)
  • Johnny Vong (Accomplice of Dick Coonan/Living)
  • John Raglan (Crooked Cop/Deceased)
  • Hal Lockwood  (Hired Assassin/Deceased)
  • Fake cop 1 (Accomplice of Lockwood/Deceased)
  • Gary McCallister (Crooked Cop/Deceased)
  • Chuck Ryker (Crooked Corrections Officer/Deceased)
  • Roy Montgomery (Reformed Cop/Deceased)
  • Cole Maddox (Hired Assassin/Deceased)
  • Jordan Norris (Crooked Bookmaker/Living)
  • Bill Moss (Hired Lawyer/Living)
  • Orlando Costas (Accomplice of Maddox/Deceased)
  • Noah Charles (Driver/Living)
  • Ben Moss (Kingmaker/Living)
  • Elena Markov (Contract Killer/Living)
  • Vulcan Simmons (Drug trade Criminal/Deceased)
  • Mr. Jones (Drug Cartel Member/Living)
  • Harden (Drug Cartel member/Deceased)
  • Jason Marks (Political Consulant/Deceased)
  • Thomas (Hitman/Deceased)
  • Sergio (Hitman/Deceased)

Ordered Hits

The following were killed by hitmen hired by Bracken and were ordered by Bracken personally to be killed

  • Johanna Beckett (Stabbed once in the kidney and stabbed randomly to cover up the precision by Coonan)
  • Diane Cavanaugh (Stabbed once in the kidney and stabbed randomly to cover up the precision by Coonan)
  • Jennifer Stewart (Stabbed once in the kidney and stabbed randomly to cover up the precision by Coonan)
  • Scott Murray (Stabbed once in the kidney and stabbed randomly to cover up the precision by Coonan)
  • John Raglan (Shot with a .338 sniper rifle through the heart from long range by Lockwood)
  • Gary McCallister (Neck is slashed by Lockwood)
  • Laura Cambridge (Strangled to death from behind by Maddox?)
  • Robert McManus' son (Strangled to death and staged to look like a suicide?)
  • Alex Hooperman (Neck slashed by Markov)
  • Reese Spandau (Neck slashed by Markov)
  • Morgan Corday (Neck slashed by Markov)
  • John Killer (Neck slashed by Markov)
  • Two unnamed drug dealers (Necks slashed by Markov)
  • Harden (Neck is slashed by Markov)
  • Jason Kochler (Induced a heart attack)
  • Jason Marks (Shot twice in the chest by Vulcan Simmons)
  • Vulcan Simmons (Tortured and later shot five times in the chest)

Attempted Hits

The following were hits ordered by Bracken or potential collateral damage by his hit men that were unsuccessful.

Collateral Damage

The following were killed by hitmen hired by Bracken but were not targeted to die by Bracken personally

  • Jack Coonan (Stabbed once in the kidney and later stabbed randomly to cover up the precision by Coonan)
  • Jolene Granger (Tied up on the floor and strangled to death)
  • Chuck Ryker (Shot once in the head by Lockwood)
  • Roy Montgomery (Shot repeatedly by Lockwood)
  • Orlando Costas (Shot once in the head by Maddox)
  • Unnamed building supervisor (Neck broken by Maddox)
  • Unnamed cop (Neck is slashed by Markov)
  • Unnamed man (Tortured to death by Simmons)


  • Montgomery said in Knockout that Bracken blackmailed away the ransom money from the old mob scheme after Bob Armen was killed. But in After the Storm, Beckett says that Bracken was in on the scheme, meaning he'd done so before the scheme was shut down.
  • Bracken appears to have a military background, or at least military connections. The rifle that shot Kate Beckett was associated with special forces, and listed as lost in Afghanistan years ago. The money that was sent to pay off Chuck Ryker went through a series of untraceable banks in Dubai. Orlando Costas got the job to raid Montgomery's house through contacts in the military.
  • Bracken also has political connections, stemming from his position as a U.S. Senator. When Michael Smith received the package from Montgomery, it was sent via the U.S. Congress. The plot against NYC Mayor Robert Weldon seemed intended to prevent him from becoming Governor.
  • He also has tremendous amounts of money. Apparently starting with the money taken from the Raglan/McCallister/Montgomery kidnappings of the 90's, he has amassed a gigantic fortune, enabling him to spend millions on payoffs, constant surveillance of even minor players in the conspiracy, and hiring hit men.
  • His influence seems disproportionately high for a U.S. Senator. Senators are usually millionaires, not billionaires, and even the most powerful rarely have staff members numbering more than a couple dozen. His apparent ability to call on a cast of elite super-soldiers to perform even menial tasks is, at first blush, a mystery.
  • Michael Smith does shed some light on this seeming mystery; Bracken is a part of a larger political movement that's grooming him for the Presidency. This conspiracy isn't involved in the murder of Johanna Beckett, but does seek to protect its investment in Bracken's career. So, while Bracken might not command nearly as much influence as had been implied in previous episodes, he still can call on this influence through favors and alliances with third parties, such as Orantis Solutions.
  • It is later revealed that one of Bracken's patrons (and possible mentor) is Benjamin Moss, a former Presidential candidate, unofficial "kingmaker" and "American Way" super-PAC founder. Moss tried to have Bracken killed, after he would no longer accede to Moss' demands, and was later arrested by federal agents as a result. ("Recoil")