Katherine MacKenna’s Backstory
- Born into Boston’s original Irish mob, the Sullivan family, her parent’s christened her Angela. Angel for short.
- Angel’s dad, James, took over as head of the family before she was even walking. His nickname is Saint Sullivan, in part because of his ability to work miracles, coming out of even the bloodiest situation as though he had just been washed clean. Lily white clothing reflecting, to all appearances, a lily white conscience.
- Her mom, Kathleen, was a devout Irish-Catholic and was always morally conflicted about her husband’s business. In spite of that, she did adore her husband almost worshipfully, he could do no worong in her eyes. She was a passionate woman who would fly in the face of the devil himself in defense of her family.
- Angel spent her childhood surrounded by “family”. Her childhood home was their central hub with constantly swinging doors, Kathleen would have been scandalized if she knew the full extent of what her daughter learned from the eclectic people who were in and out of her home.
- The most frequent visitor was the Saint’s right-hand man, Billy Burke, and Billy usually brought his son along to provide entertainment for his boss’ daughter. Benjamin Burke was a year or two younger than Angel, but they could identify with each other more than with any of the kids at their Catholic school. and they quickly became inseperable, closer than siblings. The more inquisitive and headstrong of the two, Angel got Ben into some kind of trouble most days, but she never failed to pull him out of it again.
- When she was eighteen, a rival gang ordered a hit on her mother and herself wanting to seek revenge for casualties to their own side, and hoping to demoralize the Saint by taking from him the two people he held most dear. Having planned to abduct the two women at a time that they were always together after weekly Mass, they didn’t realize that they were operating on outdated information. At the time of the abduction, Angel was rebelliously denying the “mysticism” of the Catholic church by not attending, and in fact had not attended for a few months (causing her mother to repeat countless Hail Mary’s on her behalf). Her father’s enemies were only able to fulfill half of their mission, returning Kathleen’s head to him in a box only after weeks of gruesome videos documenting their treatment of her.
- Kathleen’s death only made James colder, and more viscious, in his reprisal. Angel and Benjamin were both heartbroken. Angel blamed her father, the attacks he ordered having precipitated the brutalization of his wife. Not only did she refuse to have any part in the war he was starting but she turned state evidence, resolved to put an end to the senseless violence once and for all. She tried to get Benjamin to leave with her, but he didn’t want to abandon his father, the only blood relation he had.
- The D.A. who would prosecute the case against the Sullivan family had Angel placed in Witness Protection. Given a new identity and relocated, Angel decided to embrace this oppurtunity for a completely new start along with her new name, Katherine MacKenna. Combining her knowledge of the criminal world with a fascination in science and an inquisitive mind, Kate found herself persuing the path to become a Medical Examiner.
- During her thirteen years of education, she spared little time for anything else. What time she did have was spent either arguing with the U.S. Marshall in charge of her protection (after moving her to the West Coast, as far away as he could get her from her father, she insisted on going to Johns Hopkins for med school, too close to Boston for his comfort) or in continued communication withD.A. Laura Davis (It was proving very difficult to build a solid case against Saint Sullivan or his men). After so many years stuck with each other, it was impossible for the three to avoid a certain familiarity with each other, whether the they like it or not, a level of trust is there.
- Kate was able to get a position as a field M.E. with the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office right out of school, Detroit not being the top choice of location for many as well educated. With the high crime rate in Detroit she is never lacking in work, usually inundated in bodies.
- Still too busy for much of a personal life, Kate has become close friends with Detective Liv Rajan. The two bonded over a difficult case and have frequently sought eachother’s counsel on both a professional and personal basis ever since, usually over drinks.
- Kate does still know how to get in touch with her old friend Ben, and has done so on a regular, if infrequent, basis. Always careful to contact him from public telephones and computers when she’s traveling. If he knows what her new name is, he didn’t learn it from her. Kate has never once mentioned his involvement in the Sullivan gang to D.A. Laura Davis, protective of him still she has never given up trying to talk him out of the life.