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I am Theodore Roosevelt, the new commissioner of the NYPD. There is much corruption that surrounds me in the shadows of the justice system. I’ve vowed to be the light in the darkness, especially in this urgent time. A killer is running wild, committing murders that are only capable by a monster. We must find him.
— Commissioner Roosevelt [1]

Theodore Roosevelt is the newly appointed NYPD Police Commissioner who entrusts Dr Laszlo Kreizler and a trustworthy secret assembles the task of investigating some mysterious murders in 1896 New York City.

He is one of the main character, portrayed by Brian Geraghty.

Character OverviewEdit

"THEODORE ROOSEVELT is the recently appointed Police Commissioner for New York City. Brilliant, driven, ambitious but principled, he’s a crusading reformer, determined to clear up entrenched corruption in the police force he now leads. Having suffered profound tragedy with the loss of his first wife and mother on the same day, he is deeply appreciative of the many blessings in his life, including a lovely second wife and six beautiful children. Roosevelt is a tough taskmaster, a clever politician, a vibrant man, always in perpetual motion. He is outraged that the city’s immigrant children are being murdered and is determined to find the perpetrator."[2]

Background Edit

Roosevelt studied at Harvard, where he became a great friend of both John Moore and Laszlo Kreizler. One time Roosevelt managed to throw Laszlo on his heels and the German young man challenged Theodore to a duel in the gymnasium before all their classmates. Roosevelt chose fists and they both stripped to their waists. As soon as they saw Laszlo's injured arm looking like a broken wing held tight, the whole room fell silent and Theodore refused to fight since everyone in that room was bothered by his disadvantage, making Laszlo even angrier. This accident helped to consolidate their friendship, as Roosevelt did not pity him. [3]

After college, Roosevelt married Alice Hathaway Lee in 1880, but she died a few years later after giving birth to their first child, Alice. The death of his wife upset him and it was Kreizler who gave him comfort during the mourning. [4] Around this time, he moved to West, reaching in the Dakotas, where he "had the misfortune to look upon the corpses of several white men mutilated after an Indian massacre." [5]

In 1886 he married Edith Kermit Carow, with whom he had five children: Theodore Jr., Kermit, Ethel Carow, Archibald Bulloch "Archie", and Quentin. [6] In 1895 he became Chief of Police in New York, taking over after Thomas Byrnes retired and after the election of Lafayette Strong as mayor of New York City.

Appearance and Personality Edit

Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt is a man in his early forties with broad shoulders, an athletic built, light brown hair paired with a mustache of the same color, and green eyes. More often than not he wears a style of glasses known as pince-nez; specifically, the C-bridge type pince-nez. Wearing elegant but simple three-piece suits in various shades of gray and brown, Roosevelt has an authoritarian presence whenever he enters a room, especially if that room is his office and he is firmly behind his desk. Roosevelt is a born-leader, an idealist driven by a great sense of justice and compassion. He is, however, aware of the deep and rotten corruption creeping into social classes, becoming more and more treacherous as the social class becomes higher.

Story Edit

New York City, March 3rd, 1896. [7] The newly appointed Commissioner Roosevelt was on the Williamsburg Bridge with some subordinates, scouring the crime area where the body of a child dressed as a woman, horribly mutilated, had been found dead. There, he was joined by Captain Connor along with John Schuyler Moore, an illustrator for The New York Times who had entered the crime scene with a subterfuge. Having told the Captain that he was expected by Roosevelt, he had actually been sent by Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a known alienist wanting to know more about the case. Roosevelt was not exactly thrilled to have prying eyes on the crime scene, but he allowed the man to draw the murder in his notebook, provided he had the stomach to do it.

Meanwhile, Roosevelt questioned Connor about "The Boy on the Bridge," discovering that he was Giorgio Santorelli, an Italian immigrant who worked at the Paresis Hall, the brothel run by notorious gangsters Paul Kelly and Biff Ellison, under the nickname of "Gloria." Roosevelt ordered the two to be taken to the police station the following day, and when Captain Connor tried to advise not to antagonize the two gangsters, Roosevelt placed the subject in front of a choice; Bring the two men to the police station, or leave his badge on his desk on his way out. Moreover, the Commissioner, backed by Moore, scolded Connor for his foul language against the deceased boy because of his job, referring to him as a "degenerate it."

The following morning, Roosevelt received the unexpected visit of Dr. Kreizler, accompanied by John Moore. The Commissioner immediately set himself on the defensive, accusing Moore of ambushing him. With Moore and Miss Howard, Roosevelt's secretary, standing on the office door, Roosevelt and Kreizler began to discuss Santorelli murder. The alienist confessed that he had questioned – on his own authority, much to Roosevelt's annoyance – the suspect in the crime, a man named Henry Wolff, kept in custody at the Bellevue Hospital, and to consider him innocent of the crime. Roosevelt expressed doubts about his old friend's claims, but could not deny further when the doctor likened the Santorelli murder to an unresolved crime dating back three years; the murder of the Zweig twins, Benjamin and Sofia. Their bodies had been found on a roof water tank, and the child showed mutilations similar if not identical to those on Santorelli's corpse. Roosevelt was not prone to believe in the existence of a murderer butchering young boys over such a long period of time and for this reason, declared the meeting concluded.

Afterward, the Commissioners received Paul Kelly and Biff Ellison in his office, where the latter pointed out that the entire building – and his police officers – had been paid thanks to their businesses. Ellison was annoyed at being called with his partner to the police station as a couple of two-bit sneak thieves. In response, Roosevelt asked him if he had a pen, not being able to find any paperwork in the midst of his messy desk. Ellison stood looking at him, taken aback by the totally out of context question, while his partner Kelly handled a pen to the Commissioner. Paul Kelly stepped into the conversation, trying to mitigate the discussion and presented himself as Ellison and businessmen enjoying an understanding with the police over the years. Roosevelt responded angrily, saying that a child employed by their ill-famed brothel was dead, ordering the immediate closure of the Paresis Hall by six o'clock that same day.

In the following days, Roosevelt agreed to collaborate with Kreizler, and sent Detective Sergeants Marcus and Lucius Isaacson to the Kreizler Institute, so that the two could conduct an autopsy on the Zweig twins because the coroner's office was not safe from prying eyes. The two Detective Sergeants were frowned upon at the police station, both for their innovative investigative methods and for being Jews, but Roosevelt believed in their abilities, and that they would fit Kreizler's assembles. [8]

Roosevelt was attending disciplinary hearings throughout the afternoon, tasking Miss Sara Howard with reordering paperwork in his office at the police department.

In the evening, Roosevelt went to the Opera House, listlessly joining the socialite event. Sitting next to Mayor Strong, he could hardly hold back the boredom caused by the opera, as shrewdly pointed out by Dr. Laszlo Kreizler to John Moore. During the interlude, Roosevelt hoped to find a moment of relief but was approached by Kreizler, embarrassing the commissioner in front of the various distinguished members of New York society, such as Mayor Strong or J.P. Morgan. While Roosevelt absent-mindedly greeted other guests, Kreizler said he needed something from him. Because the examinations on the Zweig twins revealed serrations on the malar bone and supraorbital ridge of both eyes, it was a proof that someone had plucked their eyes out with a knife. Therefore, he needed to examine Santorelli's body since the coroner could take months, if ever. Roosevelt was quite contrary to such an eventuality since the police investigation was still ongoing. Kreizler disdainfully commented on the poor work done by the police officers during the investigation, suggesting for Lucius and Marcus Isaacson to perform the autopsy since they proved to be more than capable in their job. Suggesting to carry on a parallel investigation, Kreizler further suggested a liaison between him and Roosevelt. That being Sara Howard, for she could easily pass unnoticed at the police station. Roosevelt had no choice but to agree, albeit reluctantly. [9]

Memorable Quotes Edit

Commissioner Roosevelt (to Dr. Kreizler): "As usual, you've overstepped your bounds."
The Boy on the Bridge

Commissioner Roosevelt (to Dr. Kreizler): "If you don't succeed in stopping these murders, you'll soon find your head on a pike. And mine right alongside it.
Ascension

Gallery Edit


Notes Edit

  • Theodore Roosevelt is an in-universe depiction of Theodore Roosevelt Jr, who was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, and naturalist, who served as the 26th President of the United States.
  • Brian Geraghty has been tapped to co-star as Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt, replacing Sean Astin, who originally was cast in the role. “Unfortunately because of scheduling difficulties, Sean Astin will no longer play the role,” TNT said in a statement.[10] [11]
    • In a behind-the-scenes photo posted by Antonio Magro on Twitter, it's fair to say that Sean Astin resembles Roosevelt more closely in his old age, while Brian Geraghty fits the role of a younger Roosevelt, said to be in good shape due to his fondness of sports. [12]

Episode Appearance Edit

References Edit

  1. ‘The Alienist’: Theodore Roosevelt Promotional Quote on TNT Instagram account.
  2. Official Overview for Brian Geraghty's Theodore Roosevelt — TNT Pressroom
  3. Gina Gionfriddo & Cary Fukunaga (writers) & James Hawes (director); (February 12, 2018); "These Bloody Thoughts". Episode 4.The Alienist. TNT
  4. Hossein Amini (writer) & Jamie Payne (director); (March 19, 2018); "Requiem". Episode 9.The Alienist. TNT
  5. John Sayles (writer) & Paco Cabezas (director); (March 5, 2018); "Many Sainted Men". Episode 7.The Alienist. TNT
  6. Although Roosevelt's children are not explicitly mentioned in the series excluding Alice, they make their appearance in Caleb Carr's novel and briefly appeared in Castle in the Sky, see this image.
  7. E. Max Frye (writer) & James Hawes (director); (February 19, 2018); "Hildebrandt’s Starling". Episode 5.The Alienist. TNT
  8. Hossein Amini (writer) & Jakob Verbruggen (director); (January 22, 2018); "The Boy on the Bridge". Episode 1. The Alienist. TNT
  9. Hossein Amini & E. Max Frye (writers) & Jakob Verbruggen (director); (January 29, 2018); "A Fruitful Partnership". Episode 2.The Alienist. TNT
  10. ‘The Alienist’: Sean Astin Stars As Teddy Roosevelt In TNT Drama Series — Deadline.com
  11. ‘The Alienist’: Brian Geraghty Replaces Sean Astin In TNT Series — Deadline.com
  12. Antonio Magro revealing gangster roles on Twitter