Brian O'Neal (a.k.a Butch, a.k.a Dhestroyer, a.k.a. Cop) is introduced in Dark Lover (Book 1) as a human, 36-year old homicide detective for Caldwell Police Department with a penchant for booze, sex, and fighting.

Butch was raised by a family of Irish immigrants from Boston. He has a step-father and five step-siblings.

In a surprising plot twist, it is revealed in Lover Revealed (Book 4) that Butch is actually part-vampire (exact percentage unknown), but he never knew his lineage while growing up. To date, his vampire sire's name remains unrevealed in the text, but it is known through a blood trace that Butch is a descendant of Wrath II, son of Wrath I. In Lover Unleashed (Book 10), it is further revealed that Butch is somehow related to Dr. Manuel "Manny" Manello, although to date the exact relation remains undetermined in the text as well (they may be half-brothers or cousins or uncle/nephew).

As of Lover Revealed (Book 4), Butch is now a fully-fledged vampire (physically converted through a blood ritual), has been indoctrinated into the Black Dagger Brotherhood warrior, and is mated to Marissa. He also has an unusual magical link to The Omega (as a result of The Omega capturing Butch and attempting to turn Butch into a puppet for his uses), and as such, has a unique ability among the warriors: he can turn Lessers into dust by 'inhaling' them, and then with Vishous' help, can purge their tainted essences from his body. In denying the return of Lesser essence to The Omega (as usually happens when Lesser die), Butch thus diminishes some of The Omega's strength. When this talent is researched, it is revealed that Butch is the Dhestroyer of the vampire prophecy foretold in its ancient texts. Supposedly, he is meant to bring about the end of The Omega, perhaps through the very magic The Omega unwittingly gave him when he attempted to turn Butch for his diabolical purposes.

Butch's mating story is told in Lover Revealed (Book 4).

Quick Facts

  • Butch's Black Dagger warrior name is 'Dhestroyer'.
  • As a vampire, Butch stands at 6'8" tall - only 1" shorter than Wrath II. He is the second tallest in the Brotherhood.
  • Butch is mated to Marissa of the glymera.
  • To date in the novel text, Butch has no children.
  • Butch's father was a vampire of some degree (unsure as to his name or what percentage vampire/human he was).
  • Butch is somehow related to Dr. Manuel "Manny" Manello (possible half-brothers, cousins, or uncle/nephew).
  • Butch is somehow related in his direct lineage to Wrath II.
  • Butch is the only known successful vampire conversion (turned from human to vampire).
  • Butch's pinky is broken on his right hand. The vampire transition did not fix this flaw.
  • Butch is a serious Red Sox fan.
  • Butch likes Lagavulin Scotch.
  • Butch dresses very GQ style - expensive clothing (Hermes, etc.)
  • Butch commendeered V's Cadillac SUV to drive. To date, he still hasn't bought his own vehicle.


While married, Butch's mother had an affair with a vampire and Butch was conceived from that union. He was raised human alongside his five half-siblings with no knowledge of his vampire heritage (he never manifested any vampire traits while growing up). However, his step-father suspected Butch was not his (it is never entirely clear in the novel text whether the man had actual proof of the affair or not, but it is clear he knew Butch was not his biologic son). Mr. O'Neal also seemed to suspect or know that the reason his wife drifted away from him was because of the affair. Consequently, he blamed Butch for all of it, and emotionally and physically mistreated Butch his entire life. Butch spent most of his youth being beaten and berated by his step-father.

When Butch was twelve-years-old, he was the last person to see his fifteen-year-old half-sister, Janie, alive before she got unwisely into a car with some boys. Later, she was found dead behind his school--beaten, raped, and strangled. Butch has marked the years since the incident occurred with tally mark tattoos on his lower back, feeling partially responsible for what happened.

After Janie's death, Butch's father stopped hitting him, suddenly afraid of his 'son'. He believed that Butch intentionally lured Janie into that car, knowing she'd be killed, in revenge for the years of beatings. In order to protect his remaining children, Mr. O'Neal stopped hitting Butch and instead, kept warily away from the boy. Consequently, Butch's half-siblings weren't sure who was responsible for Janie's death either, and they noted their father's fear of Butch, so they kept Butch at an emotional distance, too. As a result, Butch was further isolated from the concept of 'family'. This created an unfulfilled longing in him to belong somewhere and to someone who would really love him.

Butch's desire to be considered useful and to protect those who could not protect themselves (like his sister, Janie) led him into a career in law enforcement. Unfortunately, Butch also had a terribly bruised and battered sense of self-worth that ate away at him from the shadowy corners of his mind. This led to a vicious cycle of self-destructive behaviour (meant to undermine all the good he was doing, to prove everyone was right about him -- that he was not worth love or respect): he began drinking in his teens and became a Scotch swilling alcoholic as an adult, he sometimes snorted cocaine, and within a short period of time after joining the force, he became jaded and devoid of motivation. He was known to rough-up suspects and relied upon his fists to handle most problems. He lived life wantonly, taking pleasures where he could, often having casual sexual encounters with women and taking no precautions to safeguard his health. Ultimately, his reckless behaviour caused the Caldwell Police Department to let him go.

It was around this time that he became involved with the Black Dagger Brotherhood, quite by accident.

Butch had known Elizabeth "Beth" Randall from work (as a reporter, she often interacted with members of the police force), and had become attracted to her (it was un-reciprocated interest, though). While pursuing a relationship with her, he stumbled upon Wrath II, who was guarding her as a favour to Darius, her late father. That accidental entanglement would change the course of Butch's life forever, and set him on a path towards his ultimate destiny: becoming a Black Dagger warrior in the war against the Lessers, becoming a mated hellren to a good, upstanding and loving female, and finding the family he'd always wanted and needed.

Romance with Marissa

Butch meets Marissa in Dark Lover and instantly falls in love with her, despite initially believing that she is a prostitute pretending to be a virgin. However, at this time, Marissa is engaged to Wrath II, and so shies away from Butch, despite the fact she is secretly drawn to him. Luckily, by the end of the novel, her engagement to Wrath II has been annulled as a consequence of Wrath's mating Elizabeth "Beth" Randall. Marissa is set aside (which, in the glymera, is a fault assigned to the female and carries with it a type of dishonour and disgrace), which allows her and Butch to pursue a romantic relationship.

Over the course of the next two books, Butch's interest in Marissa is a side-story. During that time, they meet several times, and they begin to have a physical relationship that is slow to build. Marissa's brother, Havers, is completely against it, however, and conspires to keep them apart by bullying his sister into remembering her 'shameful status' as a set-aside female by the race's King. Despite his best efforts, however, Marissa and Butch can't seem to let each other go.

Over the course of their relationship, Butch starts displaying typical male vampire bonding traits, such as disproportionate aggression in regards to his female, a lack of sexual desire for any other than woman, and producing a pheromone (a mating scent marker that smells like 'dark spices') whenever he is around Marissa.

By Lover Revealed, when Vishous notes these strange behaviours, it occurs to him that Butch may have vampire ancestry. He approaches Butch about doing an 'ancestor regression', the exact science/magic of which is not explained in the novel text, but whose end-result would allow Vishous to know if Butch has any vampire lineage in his DNA. When it turns out Butch does, in fact, have a connection to the line of Wrath II, the brothers offer him a chance to undergo a vampire conversion -- that is, draining him of almost all his human blood and replacing it with vampire blood. He agrees to the conversion, and miraculously survives the change, undergoing a typical male vampire transition at the end of it. When Butch awakens from the extremely painful process, he finds his body has grown in size and strength, that he has fangs and craves blood, that the sun burns him, and that his interest in Marissa has become that of a fully bonded vampire male's need for his mate.

Foreign Translations

Butch's name in other languages:

  • Butuchu - Japanese