You really think I killed those kids because my mother never kissed my ugly face?
— Jesse Pomeroy to Dr. Kreizler[src]

Jesse Pomeroy is an inmate at Charlestown State Prison, sent there after a trial to which Dr. Laszlo Kreizler took part as one of the several medical experts.

Backstory Edit

Jesse Pomeroy was born in 1859 with a congenital clouding of the cornea. During his childhood, his father ran off and his mother found herself forced to raise the family. According to Jesse, his mother was repelled by his look, and she never kissed his face.

In 1874, Jesse Pomeroy was arrested for the murder and mutilation of a dozen of children. During the medical report carried out during the police investigation, Pomeroy was interviewed by Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, an alienist that came to the conclusion there was evidence to suggest he was driven to kill by something as simple as envy. Despite he was found guilty of the crimes, Jesse Pomeroy managed to escape the gallows and was sentenced to life in prison due to his young age at the time of the crimes and trial. [1]


Charlestown State Prison, Boston, Massachusetts. 1896. Jesse Pomeroy received a visit from Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and his associate, Mr. John Moore, after twenty-two years spent in solitary confinement. Chained to a lathe to restrict his movements in the solitary confinement cell, Pomeroy complained that he had to interrupt his dinner to receive the visit from the alienist. Pomeroy scoffed at Dr. Kreizler's assertions about how he had been lucky to escape the gallows. Jesse did not consider himself lucky at all, nor was he interested in listening to the theories that the alienist had made about him. In fact, Jesse challenged Kreizler's theory and said that if it was true that he murdered those children because he was envious, then why Kreizler wasn't cutting off arms from people?

For a moment, however, Pomeroy seemed to think and accept this theory as truthful. After all, he hated being stared at in the street as if he were a caged animal and he recalled his loveless childhood. Triggered by Kreizler's assumptions, Jesse assaulted the doctor with a knife that he kept hidden until then in the sleeve of his uniform. In a violent outburst, Jesse was determined to discredit Kreizler's theory. The murders weren't based on envy, but simply on Jesse's urge to kill. Jesse also stated that only he will know why he actually committed those crimes. Moore was able to draw the attention of Officer Lasky, who immediately entered the cell and began to beat Jesse with a truncheon after freeing Kreizler from Jesse's grip. As he was beaten, Jesse laughed. [1]

Appearance and Personality Edit

Jesse Pomeroy is a man in his thirties. He is of robust build, with shaved hair, and with a severe scar on his right temple. His right eye is also afflicted with congenital clouding of the cornea causing a "milky eye." Because of his appearance, Jesse was often subject to bullying and prejudice, causing first a strong insecurity and, later, a violent rage against anyone who dared to star at him making him feel as if he was an animal in a cage.

Modus OperandiEdit

Jesse Pomeroy pulled out the eyes of his young victims and flayed them. According to the evidence gathered by Dr. Kreizler, Jesse's murderous rage was driven by envy towards beautiful children. By Jesse's speech, it is clear that he had come to the exasperation of being stared, and indulged in his murderous instincts.

Memorable QuotesEdit

Jesse Pomeroy (to Dr. Kreizler): "I seen them little bastards, standing there, licking a piece of candy or eating a drop cake, starin' at me like I was some animal in a cage, only I wasn't in a cage."
Jesse Pomeroy (to Dr. Kreizler): "There wasn't anything keeping me from doing what I had to do. I know how I look. Yeah, my father. He couldn't stand the sight of me, and he runs off. My dear mother she never kissed my face. Not even once."
Jesse Pomeroy (to Dr. Kreizler): "What, you believe me, Doctor? You really think I killed those kids because my mother never kissed my ugly face? You got it figured out why I cut 'em up? Flayed their skin? You got it figured out why I cut them up? Pretty little eyes? Huh?"
Jesse Pomeroy (to Dr. Kreizler): "You'll never know! Only I'll know!"
Hildebrandt’s Starling


Photo by Kata Vermes and Jesse Giddings. [Courtesy of TNT Pressroom]


  • He's an in-universe depiction of Jesse Harding Pomeroy, Pomeroy was the youngest person in the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be convicted of murder in the first degree. He was found guilty by a jury trial held in the Supreme Judicial Court of Suffolk County in December 1874.

Episode Appearances Edit

The Alienist


  1. 1.0 1.1 E. Max Frye (writer) & James Hawes (director); (February 19, 2018); "Hildebrandt’s Starling". Episode 5.The Alienist. TNT