|“||My biggest secret is you.||”|
Life of theft
This man had the Sight and had been in a life of crime since he was young, both in theft and peddling information to the Downworld. At one point in his teenage years, he opened a booth at the Shadow Market in Los Angeles. Initially dismissed, he was soon accepted into the fold for his determination and uncanny knack for gathering information. For most of his life, his business revolved around being a reliable informant, giving away whispers and rumors to anyone who asked—at a price.
When he was seventeen, during which he was going by the name Jack, he met a girl named Rosemary in Los Angeles. He brought her into his life, and she was more than happy to join him, to be introduced to the Downworld. Once, Rosemary noticed a group about to ambush him at the Shadow Market, warned him, and helped fend them off. Jack declared his love for her that night.
Some time after, Rosemary informed him that she was living because she was in danger. She told him the truth about her heritage—that she was a part-faerie Shadowhunter in danger from both groups. Jack refused to let her go alone and went on the run with her.
The couple moved constantly, to various places including Berlin, Tokyo, Rio, and Reykjavik, and established new identities—with new names and new faces—and connections to the Downworld every time, both for Jack's business and for their safety. At most, if not all Shadow Markets they went to, Jack continued to develop a reputation as a savvy but untrustworthy man. Meanwhile, in an effort to protect her, Jack decided to lead others to believe that he was in fact the lost part-faerie Herondale they were looking for.
Later, Rosemary learned that a Silent Brother was on their tail. To deceive the man, Jack let word reach the Silent Brother, specifically through a warlock, that the lost Herondale was the man in the Paris Shadow Market in possession of a Herondale pendant. When he confronted the Silent Brother just moments before his and Rosemary's planned separation in 1989, he was attacked by a Halphas demon and realized that Brother Zachariah truly meant to protect the lost Herondale. At this, he asked to leave, promising Zachariah that the lost Herondale would be waiting for him at the Pont des Arts at dawn.
At the Pont des Arts, Jack bid Rosemary goodbye, reluctant to leave his wife, though Rosemary reassured him that it was necessary. Jack took a potion that transformed his appearance, physically aging him. Jack then returned to Los Angeles and assumed a new name, with plans to rendezvous with Rosemary at their "old place"—a seedy bar—at the local Shadow Market once the trail on them has gone cold.
Jack and Rosemary eventually had a son together. Not wanting to let Kit live a life on the run or a sheltered one in fear like she did, Rosemary forced Johnny to keep it a secret from him and insisted on living separately from them to save them from those hunting her. Though he as against it, he had little choice. The couple lived apart, Johnny raised Kit alone and only met with Rosemary at least once a month. When Christopher was three, Rosemary felt that the fey had caught up to her and cut ties with them completely for their safety, though with the mutual promise that if it were ever to become safe for them, they would reunite their family.
Johnny's main goal in life became to hide and keep his son, Kit, safe and hidden—particularly from the Nephilim, seemingly not too concerned about the fey because of the distance his wife had already placed between them and the fact that no one else knew that she had a child. As an extra measure for protection, Johnny provided his services to the anonymous Guardian in return for money and the warlock's help in installing wards around his house. With his connections, he was able to constantly hide his and Kit's identities, barely using their real names and even having his name legally changed several times.
At one point, Johnny involved himself in sorcery. Additionally, because he was not selective when it came to whom he had business with, he had connections with most species and dealt even with faeries. In light of the Cold Peace, this put Rook on the Clave's watch list and outside their protection; officially, no Shadowhunter should be in business with him.
- Rook: "Don't judge. We who cannot wield the magic of Heaven must use what comes to hand."
- Julian: "The sigils of Hell? There's some middle ground between Hell and Heaven, surely."
- Rook: "There's all the world. It's a messy place, Shadowhunter, and we don't all get to keep our hands clean."
- ―Johnny and Julian about the ethics of his magic use, Lady Midnight
One of his many regular customers was Emma Carstairs, a Shadowhunter. Emma often employed his services to aid in her investigation into her parents' mysterious deaths. He gave her information and potential leads and, in August 2012, he was instructed by the Guardian to tell Emma to look into the mundanes and faeries killed and left in the same manner as Emma's parents five years prior.
Once, the Guardian gave Johnny a batch of Atropa belladonna to distill. He kept the leftovers, and when the Centurion Diego Rosales came to his stall, he gave him arrows laced with the poisonous compound, knowing that the plant was illegal and could get him in trouble, simply because Downworlders and Market-goers generally disliked Centurions. The arrows later fatally injured Julian Blackthorn, angering Emma.
When Emma and Julian later came to him asking about the Followers and the Lottery, Rook kept up the lies and told them bits about what to expect after the draw. They were interrupted by a noise Kit, whom Johnny hid in the basement as he always did when entertaining clients, made and found him being attacked by Julian's brother Ty. Wanting to keep the Shadowhunters as far from Kit as possible, Johnny furiously sent them away and refused to do any further business with them. He was eventually forced to tell Emma the truth when she threatened to send the Silent Brothers after him.
Rook was killed by Mantid demons in their home when the protection provided by Malcolm wore off, allowing the demons to come through. Kit was saved by Emma, as well as Tessa Gray and Jem Carstairs who managed to track them down, and was left in the care of the Blackthorn family at the Los Angeles Institute.
In his original form, he had dark hair and brown eyes.
- The Wicked Ones (as Jack Crow)
- The Land I Lost (alluded to)
- A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
- Through Blood, Through Fire
- Lady Midnight (first appearance)
- Lord of Shadows (mentioned only)