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I'll have to take you up on that, Dorsey
~ Richard to his stepson. "Take you up" is, in Stephen King's words, a metaphor for "beating the shit" out of someone
~ The headlines which appeared when evidence got out of Richard's beatings

Richard Macklin is one of the minor antagonists in Stephen King's novel IT. Richard Macklin is responsible for a fragment of the events in the novel, given that he regularly abuses his stepsons Dorsey and Eddie.

Richard is an aggressive bully, he has encouraged his wife Monica to lie about Dorsey and Eddie's beatings, saying that she will swear in the face of God (itself a major crime, given the lie) that she is innocent and that Richard never hurt the boys.


In the novel, Richard Macklin has just married Monica and is living with the two stepsons he has. He makes it clear he hates the boys and will do anything to abuse them. He physically beats them all the time, with anything he can find, even his fists. He has a special hammer which he uses for housework (It's filled with ballbearings, so it'll never recoil back, no matter how hard it's swung at something), which he orders the boys never to touch. Richard insists that Dorsey is an ignorant twerp and never obeys him by constantly climbing the ladder to see the hammer, despite Richard's alleged attempts to stop him. In reality, the truth is that Richard never cared for either of the boys.

Richard at one point exclaimed "You out of your mind, woman? You want the police involved?" to his wife, when she got worried about him. He was always drunk, and expressed beatings with an awful calm which proceeded them.

To make matters worse, the school staff knew about the child abuse, but did nothing, because Dorsey's teacher saw his broken hand and felt distraught, but she thought if she did something there'd be trouble, and she didn't want it. (It's implied to be the influence of IT that no adult gets involved in Derry town.) So, Richard was able to get more and more savage with his children, turning into a monster each day. Finally, he went too far when time when Dorsey touched the hammer. Richard got into a fit of rage, and picked up the hammer and bludgeoned Dorsey with it, and then at the end his son said "Daddy, stop, I love you" and Richard "eventually" stopped hitting him, but by then the damage had been done. He anonymously dumped Dorsey at the local hospital, but the boy died from his injuries very shortly after that.

Eddie hated his stepfather so much that he dreamed of pushing Richard in the canal and watching him drown, then shouting "That was for Dorsey you cock-sucking bastard, when you get down to Hell tell the Devil that the last thing you heard was me telling you to pick on someone your own size!"

Eddie was unfortunately killed and eaten by It, in the forms of both the zombielike undead corpse of Dorsey and then of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. However, his disappearance caused renewed police interest in the death of Dorsey (Which Richard had initially claimed was an accident caused by the boy falling off of a stepladder). Dorsey's body was exhumed, and a medical examination indicated that his wounds were more consistent with a severe beating with a blunt instrument than with a fall. As a result, Richard was arrested for Dorsey's murder. Macklin was at first suspected of also murdering some of the other children who were in fact killed by It, but as he had strong alibis for the times when each of those children died, he was only charged with the murder of Dorsey.

During a stern cross- examination in the trial, Richard Macklin broke down in tears and admitted he killed Dorsey. He quickly became so hysterical that the presiding judge in the case declared the court in recess. Macklin was sentenced to two to ten years in the state penitentiary for his stepson's murder. During his time in prison, he converted to Catholicism (Mainly because he was afraid of going to Hell when he died for all the horrific things he had done) and apparently demonstrated genuine remorse for having killed Dorsey, though he maintained that he had nothing to do with Eddie's disappearance. He vowed that he would spend the rest of his life trying his hardest to atone for his past crimes against God and his family.

Six years into his sentence, Richard Macklin was released on parole. Three years after that, he was found dead in his apartment from an apparent suicide. He was found with a note he had written which contained just two sentences: "I saw Eddie last night. He was dead."


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