John P. McCafferty was a homicide detective with the Baltimore Police Department, the partner of Daniel Bledsoe, and the husband of Susan McCafferty.

His last investigation was the abduction and murder of teacher Polly Amherst. Before he could solve her murder, however, he was himself murdered by the serial killer known as the Poet in such a way that his death appeared to be a suicide, with the words "the fever called living is conquered at last" left as his supposed note. His murder was the first in the series that was recognized as the work of the Poet.

McCafferty's wife found his body and contacted Bledsoe, who found the note in McCafferty's pocket, which he destroyed. Believing that McCfferty had committed suicide, Bledsoe then fired another round into McCafferty's leg to stage the scene as a breaking-and-entering-turned-homicide before instructing Susan to call 911 and leaving the scene.

Bledsoe was later fired for tampering with the scene.


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