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I’m an artist formerly employed by The New York Times. A serial killer is haunting the streets of New York City, and I was recruited by an Alienist to capture these gruesome crime scenes. These horrific murders are bringing out the darkness in this city. Perhaps it’s bringing out the darkness in all of us.
— John Moore [2]

John Schuyler Moore is a newspaper illustrator who finds himself involved in his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler's investigation of some mysterious murders in 1896 New York City.

John Moore is a major character in ‘The Alienist’ portrayed by Luke Evans.

Official Description Edit

"JOHN MOORE is "handsome and indolent," according to his friend Sara Howard, and prone to melancholy as a result of a broken engagement and the loss of his younger brother. He is a society illustrator for the New York Times and a longtime friend and former Harvard classmate of the Alienist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt. To distract Moore from salving his emotional wounds with alcohol and prostitutes, Kreizler involves him in his investigation of the brutal murders of child prostitutes. While seeming to lack drive and a meaning to his professional pursuits, Moore’s social skills and charm make him an ideal accomplice to the more cerebral doctor’s methods and style." [3]

Character Overview Edit

John Schuyler Moore is a handsome man in his mid to late thirties with an athletic built, broad shoulders, light blue eyes, black graying hair, and fair complexion. A member of the upper middle class, John wears very elegant and refined clothes, accompanied by accessories such as hats, precious rings and tie-pins, silver pocket watch, and cufflinks. His suits are often in shades of blue, matching his eyes and complexion.

The external beauty, however, hides a profound inner sadness that has afflicted John's on a very intimate level, making John a slave to different vices – drinking and frequenting prostitutes regularly. According to his close friend, Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, John exploits vices to avoid facing his problems. When not drunk, John has proven to have a kind and caring soul, almost fragile facing of the macabre and horror of a deviant mind, summed to the uneasiness in finding out the squalid lives of the lower classes.

His sensitive soul is clearly visible in his artistic flair and in the creativity with which he manages to capture details in his portraits. In order to prove to himself and to his close friends to be a better person, John quitted drinking and visiting prostitutes with the result of having light tremors in his hand.

Biography Edit

The following contains plot details – read at your own risk.

Early Life

John Moore is the scion of one of the wealthy families of the upper echelons of the New York society, including Sara Howard's family. He studied at Harvard, along with Theodore Roosevelt and Laszlo Kreizler with whom he remained a close friend. [4] Following the death of his younger brother, he became increasingly restless and tormented, much to his father's disappointment that sent John to live with his grandmother, since he became a pariah among acquaintances and relatives. At some point, he got engaged to a wealthy woman named Julia Pratt, but the engagement was broken after she fell in love with another man, thus leaving John even more suffering and inclined to drink and seek for the company of prostitutes to alleviate his pain. [5]

At one point in his career, John portrayed Miss Howard for a fashion magazine where she was merely reduced to something beautiful to look at, described as having "especially rosy mouth" and "sparkling blue eyes." Sara, then, distanced herself from John because she was annoyed at having been objectified. [4]

Peeking into the Abyss

New York City, March 3rd, 1896. [6] John Moore found himself involved in the investigation of heinous murders to help his old friend, Dr. Laszlo Kreizler. The victims were all horribly mutilated young boy prostitutes. After renouncing to his evening with Flora at a brothel, Moore went to the crime scene on the underconstucrion Williamsburg Bridge, where he found hostility from both Captain Connor and Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt. There, Moore sketched the body of victim, a boy named Giorgio Santorelli on behalf of Kreizler. Dissatisfied with John's work, Kreizler decided to go to the Bellevue Hospital when Moore said a man had already been arrested for the crime. After the unsuccessful visit to the psychiatric ward to question Henry Wolff, the two men decided to directly consult Commissioner Roosevelt.

At the New York City Police Department, Moore met Miss Sara Howard, who was now working as a secretary to the commissioner at the department. After an impromptu and unsuccessful meeting with Roosevelt, Moore was then commissioned by Kreizler to ask Miss Howard to get the file of the investigation. The woman initially refused until she decided to help her old friend by meeting him that same night outside a brothel of which John was a regular customer.

After meeting Detective Sergeants Marcus and Lucius Isaacson at the Kreizler Institute, John and Laszlo chased a shadowy man in the streets of Manhattan, but could not catch him. Instead, they found traces of a severed tongue, probably belonging to the latest victim, young Giorgio.[4]

In addition to the investigations, John Moore also continued his work as a portraitist for wealthy clients, such as Charlotte Tinker. The sense of justice towards the young victim, however, won his interest and John was convinced by Sara Howard to continue a parallel investigation in Little Italy. The two friends went to visit the Santorelli family and tried to find some clues. They discovered that the family had been told to be silent by some corrupt policemen and a priest.

The investigations led to further murders with accentuated similarities, which were covered up by the police in recent years. The two friends updated Dr. Laszlo Kreizler with their discovery and decided to have dinner together after John and Laszlo spent an evening at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Although John did not particularly like the work, he accepted the alienist's invitation and, during the intermezzo, the two tried to convince Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt to grant them access to the files in a parallel investigation.

At Delmonico's, John and Kreizler met Miss Howard and detectives Isaacson, Lucius and Marcus. The dinner topic immediately turned to the heinous crimes and the two scientists briefed their colleagues about their recent discoveries. the Killer used a particular knife, an Arkansas Toothpick, and left a bloody fingerprint on a pocket watch of one of the victims, Benjamin Zweig. Moore found all this aberrant and didn't want Sara to get involved. After a brief argument with Kreizler who deemed him useless for their purposes, John decided to go to the Paresis Hall and investigate on Giorgio Santorelli on his own. The boy used to work at the brothel under the alias of “Gloria”. There, John was seduced by Sally, a young prostitute from whom he had tried to buy information, and drugged by the bartender, so that Paul Kelly and Captain Connor could decide what to do with him. Paul Kelly ordered some prostitutes to rape John, who was under the influence of a powerful narcotic. [7]

The next morning John had a hangover and had vague memories of the previous night. He woke up at the Kreizler Institute and suffered an altercation with his colleagues when they suggested that he had had sex with a boy. John, however, had important information about Gloria's demise but decided to return home.

Mrs. Moore was not very pleased with her nephew's drunkenness because she had arranged a tea with Abigail Bell and her daughter Caroline so that John could get to get acquainted with the latter during the date. John was easily irritated by the afternoon and drowned his sorrows in alcohol, including the memory of his dead brother after the subject was inadvertently raised during tea.

The following morning, John had an epiphany on the meaning of Sally's words. Giorgio Santorelli had been kidnapped, flown out of the window by a man with a “silver smile”. Laszlo was not very inclined to believe John's reasoning and so the two decided to look for Sally for more details, concluding that the killer secured his victims' trust before kidnapping and killing them.

In the middle of the night, John Moore and Miss Howard went with Kreizler's valet, Cyrus Montrose, to an abandoned Immigration Station to meet the rest of the team. A new crime had been committed and Commissioner Roosevelt had managed to gain a window of time before the news spread. The team then began to collect data and make assumptions but soon had to escape from the scene when hordes of journalists, onlookers and policemen came to the crime scene. In the escape, John lost his sketchbook.

Back at the Kreizler Institute, John and Sara argued with Kreizler when the latter made insinuations about their private lives and past traumas. On the carriage headed home, John apologized to Sara and revealed to her some details of Kreizler's past as well as of and his handmaid, Mary Palmer. [5]

John Moore and Marcus Isaacson visited the Golden Rule brothel to investigate the past of the latest victim, Ali ibn-Ghazi, also known as Fatima. Here they met Bernadette — whose real name was Joseph — another boy prostitute who revealed an important detail; Ali had made the acquaintance of a man who had promised to run away together to a Castle in the Sky. John was touched by the boy's naivety and wiped his face from make-up, warning him to stay away from any such man.

Headed to Kreizler's house with the intention of informing the alienist of the recent discovery, John discovered that he was at the park with Sara Howard. Enraged by jealousy, John decided to invite Mary Palmer to go to Edison's Projecting Kinetoscope. This seemingly romantic date then caused another heated argument between John and Laszlo after the latter found it out.

Moore decided to investigate again on his own and discovered by a dentist that the “silver smile” could be caused by the intake of mercurial salts, used to alleviate the symptoms of syphilis. This new discovery was immediately shared with Dr. Kreizler and the two friends went to an appointment with the rest of the team, only to discover that it was set up by the killer himself when Sara showed the rest of the group a letter addressed to Mrs. Santorelli, written by the murderer. [8]

Opening a Can of Worms

The team gathered at the Kreizler Institute to study the handwriting and the message of the letter, which was full of foul language and rantings. After Sara and Laszlo had a heated discussion about their divergent opinions about the identity and gender of the murderer, John followed Sara outside and asked her to marry him. The woman refused, taking the proposal as a joke.

The following day, John and Laszlo embarked on a train journey to Charlestown State Prison, Boston, Massachusetts, to interview Jesse Pomeroy. The man was a dangerous criminal and Kreizler had contributed during his trial to ensure his imprisonment. The alienist hoped to better understand the killer they were chasing through a conversation with Pomeroy, but with no avail.

On the return journey, John had a nightmare and dreamed of not being able to save Laszlo from drowning, transferring the mourning for his brother on his friend, of which he was unconsciously worried.

In the following days, John tried to overcome the desire to drink and to remain sober. Together with Kreizler, he discovered a new piece of mystery: the killer killed during the holy days of the Christian calendar. [6]

The team decided to plan a trap to be implemented on the upcoming Ascension Day. While the Isaacson brothers, Miss Howard and Dr. Kreizler finished the final preparations together with Kreizler's servants Cyrus and Stevie, John warned Joseph about the mysterious murderer after meeting the boy in a gelateria shop.

The night of the ambush came and ended in failure because the killer did not fall for the trap. The team actually intended to use Stevie Taggert as a bait, dressing him as one of the boy prostitutes.

The following afternoon, John and his grandmother attended a Gala and Secret Auction at the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty on Children. At the auction, John bought a typewriter and once at home, he revealed to Sara Howard his desire to become a journalist. [9] The team attempted a new ambush at The Slide brothel, but the killer managed to deflect the trap by sending the team on a false track and kidnapping another boy, Rosie, who had just befriended DS Marcus Isaacson that same night. [10]

The following day, John tried desperately to portray the killer by following Stevie's directions but as everyone was shaken by the recent failure, they couldn't think clearly. The autopsy conducted by Lucius on Rosie's mutilated body revealed an escalation in cruelty on the part of the killer who this time had even removed the heart, as well as genitals, intestines, eyes and hands.

These brutal mutilations led Dr. Kreizler and Moore to head to the Natural Sciences Museum to learn more about ritual mutilation and anthropophagy, or ritual cannibalism. Before leaving, however, John and Laszlo were approached by Paul Kelly outside the Police Department. The gangster warned them about some members of society who wanted to obstruct their investigation.

The two men were in fact kidnapped a few hours later and led secretly to the Manor of J.P. Morgan, a New York magnate. Bishop Potter and former chief police officer, Thomas Byrnes were also at the secret meeting. They threatened Laszlo to interrupt the investigation at once, but the vehemence with which Laszlo criticized the church and the police struck J.P. Morgan's interest. The man sent Byrnes and Potter away and proposed to Laszlo to help him, but the alienist refused. When John asked him for explanations on the way home, Laszlo revealed he wanted to be independent in his investigation.

During the evening, John met Sara and discovered that she had had a bad fight with Laszlo during the killer set up. John rushed to the Institute with the intention of asking his friend for explanations and the two ended up arguing as well due to Laszlo's presumption.

John ended up venting his frustration in a tavern, where he was attacked by Connor in a dark alley. [11]

Closer to the Darkness

Time was running out and the team separated in different cities for parallel investigations. John Moore and Dr. Kreizler made their way to Washington, DC, to investigate Native American crimes in which the victims had been brutally mutilated. The research led to Japheth Dury, a former soldier who went rogue and was hospitalised in a psychiatric ward at the St. Elizabeth's Hospital.

The two friends then went to Newton, Massachusetts, to talk to Japheth's brother, Adam Dury. They discovered that when Japheth was a child, he was brutally traumatized by his parents and raped by an older boy, George Beecham. John and Laszlo came to the conclusion that Japheth Beecham was the killer they were searching.

During the return journey, their carriage was attacked by a sniper and ended up in a crevasse. Both wounded, the two friends sought shelter and were able to put aside some recent misunderstandings. In fact, Laszlo revealed that he intended to ask Mary to marry him, while John was convinced that he was in love with Sara. [12]

At Mary Palmer's funeral, John recited Christina Rossetti's “When I am Dead My Dearest” and tried, in vain, to console an heartbroken Laszlo. The handmaid had been brutally killed by Captain Connor when he and his accomplices had raided Kreizler's house while Laszlo and John were on their journey to find out about Dury.

Although the alienist had decided to abandon the investigations, the team reconvened in a new headquarters and continued the investigations. With the approach of a new holy day, they were absolutely intent on stopping the killer. The team began to study all the documents and certificates until they found a certain John Beecham, enumerator. A quick visit to the census offices, and they managed to find his old address, along with the rotting corpses of some cats under the floorboards of the rented room. John took advantage of the recent discoveries to warn Joseph about the killer.

John, Sara and the Isaacson brothers were getting closer to rooting out the monster and after careful research in the slums, they managed to locate his current home. An old attic in an infamous neighbourhood where they found old photos of corpses belonging to Beecham's father — and that were used by the preacher to scare Japheth as a child — a map of the city with the points of the murders and some organs partially eaten or preserved in jars, including what Lucius identified as the calcified heart of John Beecham's mother in a heart-shaped box. [13]

John's fears became a harsh reality when he discovered that Joseph had been kidnapped. Irreparably, John took responsibility for what happened. Sara tried to comfort him and the two shared a kiss, but Sara rejected John's feelings once again.

Moore was pleased to know that Laszlo had decided to take part in the investigations again, so much so that he was immediately briefed of the recent discoveries and developments. In the evening, Moore and Kreizler head to the Metropolitan Opera House, using the soirée as a decoy for Thomas Byrnes and his henchmen. After using the fireworks used on stage as a diversion to escape from Byrnes's eyesight, the two friends headed to the Croton Reservoir where they found Joseph and had a violent struggle with John Beecham. Unfortunately, they were unable to make the man confess or capture him because Connor, who had followed them, shot him dead. Meanwhile, John had fainted following the fight with the killer, and briefed on the incident only later. He also discovered that Sara had killed Connor and the two friends met with Commissioner Roosevelt at the Kreizler Institute where Laszlo, Lucius and Marcus conducted an autopsy on the body of Beecham to discover, unsuccessfully, the source of his wickedness.

To celebrate the success of their fruitful partnership, the team dined at Delmonico's where John dedicated a short poem to his friends during the toast. While the rest of the group was immersed in cheerful conversations, Laszlo gave John the ring destined for Mary, so that he would propose to Sara to marry him. However, the two decided to remain friends even though Moore felt more than friendship for the woman. [14]

Memorable Quotes Edit

John Moore: "My God, Laszlo! Sometimes you can be as subtle as a blowtorch."
John Moore (to Dr. Kreizler): "I'm afraid once seen, those images will remain forever in my head."
The Boy on the Bridge

John Moore: "Gentlemen, there is a lady present!"
John Moore (to Dr. Kreizler about the killer):"Who?! You talk about him as if you know him."
John Moore: "You are not asking Sara to join this mad escapade of yours, are you? It will put her ­in a most compromised position. Look at the beasts that surround her on a daily basis."
Dr. Kreizler: "I believe she's up to the task."
John Moore: "She's not as strong as she'd like you to believe."
Dr. Kreizler: "John, please. Do not let your affection for Miss Howard get in the way of logic."
John Moore: "My affection?! My God. Do you never tire ­of the sound of your own voice?"
A Fruitful Partnership

John Moore (to his Grandmother): "I'm merely seeing myself through a rough patch."
John Moore (to Sara, about Kreizler): "Damn superiority. We're not free to ask questions, but he's free to go mucking around in our personal lives."
Silver Smile

John Moore (to Sara, jokingly): "I, John Schuyler Moore, take thee, Sara Howard, to be my wedded wife from this day forward for better for worse, for richer for poorer. And to give you lots of little children who will be as lazy as me and just as stubborn as yourself."
Hildebrandt’s Starling

Gallery Edit

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



Episode ScenesEdit


Notes Edit

  • Introducing John Moore, Luke Evans said:
    "When you meet John Moore, you immediately see he's a broken man. He's been brought on to sketch. And all of the sudden he's been confronted by this very sinister part of New York City. He can fluctuate from the echelons of society and also the underbelly of New York City. John has a very big heart that has been broken, is fragile." [15] [16]
  • Writer and executive producer E. Max Frye added:
    "I think he gives the audience access to the story that Kreizler doesn't, but there's something about the two of them that form a whole human being." [16]
  • In the novel, he is a reporter for The New York Times instead of a newspaper illustrator.
  • The original, and slightly different draft for John Moore's description read as follow:
    "Handsome, easy going, easily distracted, and prone to melancholy, John Moore is a society illustrator for the New York Times and a longtime friend of alienist Dr. Kreizler and police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt. While drowning his sorrows and lamenting the loss of a former lover, Kreizler summons him to the scene of a brutal crime. Always lacking drive and a meaning to his pursuits, he throws himself into assisting Kreizler's investigation into the grisly murders and comes to face some hard truths about himself." [17]

Episode AppearancesEdit

The Alienist

References Edit

  1. John Moore's birth date is approximately obtained from the birth date of Theodore Roosevelt, and from the newspaper article clippings on Dr. Laszlo Kreizler's childhood mentioned in "Ascension."
  2. ‘The Alienist’: John Moore's Promotional Quote on TNT Instagram account.
  3. Official Character Description for Luke Evans' John Moore — TNT drama Pressroom
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Hossein Amini (writer) & Jakob Verbruggen (director); (January 22, 2018); "The Boy on the Bridge". Episode 1. The Alienist. TNT
  5. 5.0 5.1 Gina Gionfriddo (writer) & Jakob Verbruggen (director); (February 5, 2018); "Silver Smile". Episode 3.The Alienist. TNT
  6. 6.0 6.1 E. Max Frye (writer) & James Hawes (director); (February 19, 2018); "Hildebrandt’s Starling". Episode 5.The Alienist. TNT
  7. Hossein Amini & E. Max Frye (writers) & Jakob Verbruggen (director); (January 29, 2018); "A Fruitful Partnership". Episode 2.The Alienist. TNT
  8. Gina Gionfriddo & Cary Fukunaga (writers) & James Hawes (director); (February 12, 2018); "These Bloody Thoughts". Episode 4.The Alienist. TNT
  9. This is a nod to the novel, where John Moore is actually a journalist and not an illustrator for the New York Times.
  10. E. Max Frye (writer) & Paco Cabezas (director); (February 26, 2018); "Ascension". Episode 6.The Alienist. TNT
  11. John Sayles (writer) & Paco Cabezas (director); (March 5, 2018); "Many Sainted Men". Episode 7.The Alienist. TNT
  12. John Sayles (writer) & David Petrarca (director); (March 12, 2018); "Psychopathia Sexualis". Episode 8.The Alienist. TNT
  13. Hossein Amini (writer) & Jamie Payne (director); (March 19, 2018); "Requiem". Episode 9.The Alienist. TNT
  14. Cary Fukunaga, John Sayles & Chase Palmer (writer) & Jamie Payne (director); (March 26, 2018); "Castle in the Sky". Episode 10.The Alienist. TNT
  15. It’s up to John Moore to capture the image of the killer. — @TheAlienist on Instagram
  16. 16.0 16.1 The Alienist Inside — Character Profiles
  17. Alternate Official Overview for Luke Evans' John Moore — TNT Pressroom
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