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John Wakefield is the legendary serial killer in the CBS' miniseries Harper's Island. He is the biological father of the series' main antagonist, Henry Dunn.
He was portrayed by Callum Keith Rennie.
Before the series
Before the events of the main series, Wakefield fathered a child with Sarah Mills—Henry Dunn. His wrath is directed at the fact that while Abby Mills got to live with her true mother after having been born with Sherriff Charlie Mills as her father, Henry was put up for adoption.
Wakefield used to be an avid fisherman on the island. He was arrested under false charges by Sheriff Mills (attempted murder of a police officer) and sentenced to 17 years in jail. He was let out early for "good behavior", and returned to the island, now completely insane.
In the infamous 2001 murders of Harper's Island, Wakefield killed six people—including Sarah—and wounded five. Sherriff Charlie Mills shot him (partially revenge for the death of Sarah, his wife), causing him to fall off a cliff. His body was never found, but Mills covered it up by putting another body in his grave. Several years later, he caught up with his son Henry in a back alleyway, and trained him to become a killer. Most of this information is not revealed until later episodes.
Wakefield stays in the shadows for most of the series, killing multiple members of the wedding party with the help of Henry, the groom and the one man no one would suspect. He develops a false "friendship" with Madison, who, being a nine year old, places her trust in him. His first victim is Marty Dunn, who falls halfway through a bridge before being swiftly cut in half by the killer.
In Episode 2, Kelly Seaver (the daughter of one of the victims of the 2001 murders) tries to convince Abby that Wakefield is alive and is stalking her. No one believes her, thinking she's insane. That night, Wakefield hangs Kelly and makes it look like a suicide. At the end of the episode, he burns Lucy Daramour alive after she falls into a pit trap set up by him.
Sherriff Mills continues to investigate the murders, and finds several pieces of evidence planted by Wakefield in Kelly's house. These include newspaper clippings of him with his face cut out. He also places a newspaper article in the house containing writing on it that taunts the Sherriff.
After Thomas Wellington is horrifically killed by a falling head spade in front of everyone, the group finally realizes that a killer is on the loose.
Wakefield finally kidnaps Madison midway through the series, and tells the group that if anyone tries to leave the island, she'll die. The members of the wedding party go after her, but unbeknownst to them, Henry is Wakefield's accomplice and working with him during the murders.
Meanwhile, Sherriff Mills is badly wounded by one of Cole Harkin's traps. Cole (who was badly scarred by the boat explosion in the 2001 massacre) takes the sherriff to his house and patches him up, but is suddenly shot and killed by arrows that Wakefield fired.
The wedding members finally discover that Madison has been hidden in Prohibition-era tunnels underneath the Cannery. Wakefield kidnaps and kills Beth to distract the survivors, and also tells Madison to lie that Sherriff Mills was her kidnapper if found. Abby finally discovers Madison, and the two escape, but the group is mislead by Madison's forced lie. While lying in a hospital bed, Mills is kidnapped by Wakefield, staged to make it look like as if the supposed "killer" "escaped". Disguised as the sherrif, he kills two state troopers who had been sent to the island to pick up the remaining members of the group.
Finally, he makes his presence known in "Snap", when he has Sherrif Mills rigged to a deathtrap that will break his neck if Wakefield starts his truck. Abby has just enough time to see her father die, before Wakefield reveals himself to her.
Over the course of the next episode, he kills Nikki Bolton, Shane Pierce, Patrick Lillis, Cal Vandeusen, and indirectly Chloe Carter as she commits suicide after watching her fiancé die before her eyes.
In the second-to-last episode, he is finally captured due to a plan formed by Sully and Danny, and placed in the police station. He converses with both Abby and Madison while in his cell. Henry secretly sneaks into the station and slips his father the keys to get free. After doing so, Wakefield kills Danny (who manages to put up a good fight before dying), and watches as Henry reveals his true identity to Trish before killing her.
In the finale, Wakefield aids Henry in killing Sully by distracting him while his son stabs the surprised victim in the back. He then fires his shotgun, misleading Abby and Jimmy into thinking that Sully is signalling them.
Henry and his father Wakefield face off against Abby and Jimmy in the church (although only Jimmy knows the truth about Henry). The confrontation culminates with Wakefield setting the church on fire. With Jimmy believed to be dead, he and his son advance on Abby (who does not yet know Henry's true nature). However, Henry gives his father a fatal surprise by stabbing him in the chest, revealing that his plan was to keep Abby alive. Wakefield exclaims, "Henry!" before dying. This lets Abby know that Henry was the killer.
- Harris Antonini
- Joshua Aiken
- Randall Martin
- Christopher Cullen
- Sarah Mills
- Kate Seaver
- Marty Dunn
- Kelly Seaver
- Lucy Daramour
- Andrew Cullen
- Deputy Garrett
- Cole Harkin
- Sparky Mackle
- Beth Barrington
- Brent Cyr
- Darryl Riggens
- Tyra Coulter
- Maggie Krell
- Sheriff Charlie Mills
- Nikki Bolton
- Shane Pierce
- Deputy Patrick Lillis
- Cal Vandeusen
- Danny Brooks