Everything Is Unilluminated
This journal is kept as part of a Law & Order RPG at lawandorder_siu For more information, check out that community. Because of the discrepancies in the Homicide and SVU canons, Munch’s history here is a mesh of the two. It is also (as of February 2008, the time of the revision of this biography) inclusive of two years of roleplay at lawandorder_siu.
Name: John Munch, Sergeant
Squad: Manhattan Special Victims Unit
Formerly: Baltimore Homicide
Background: Born and raised in New York City’s Lower East Side, John Munch is Jewish, but not active in his religion. He has a brother, Bernie, who owns a funeral parlor, and a cousin, Lee, who was once the accountant for the Waterfront bar that Munch and fellow Homicide detectives owned in Baltimore. His relationship with his brother is sporadic, and when his parents were alive, his relationship with them was tenuous, at best.
His father killed himself, and the last words that Munch told him were that he wished he was dead. He still lives with guilt over that.
As a teenager in the heady late 1960s, Munch dabbled in drugs and alcohol. Eventually, in his late teens/early 20s, he became a junkie. He lived on the streets at points and this only worsened things with his parents. He met the first (and perhaps only) love of his life, a coke-addicted woman named Arabel. It was a drug-fueled affair, with inflated highs and rock-bottom lows, but John truly believed he was in love with her. Over several years, she would come and go in his life. She was the woman he’d try to find in every other woman afterward. Their affair came to a halt when she overdosed during one of their binges.
This, coupled with the nature of his father’s death a year later, caused Munch to re-evaluate his life. He realized he needed to make something of himself or he’d end up dead as well. His 20s were nearly over and he had nothing to show for it. He sobered up and married his first wife, Gwen. She is perhaps the only other woman besides Arabel that he really, truly regrets not being able to make things work with. He was too newly sober and she too young for it to have worked.
The end of his marriage and the struggle to stay clean in the City that had broken his heart so many times caused John to relocate to Baltimore. Soon after moving there, he became a police officer with the Baltimore PD. It was the start of a long, still continuing police career that would take him from running papers as a uniform to the gritty streets of Baltimore, and back to New York City, which was no less grim than when he’d left it.
He put in his 20 years at Baltimore and moved back to New York. Not long after, he joined up with the Special Victims Unit, where he’s been since 1999.
Munch has been married four times, all ending with divorce. Each wife has been noted by others to be “beautiful, spoiled, and not matching Munch intellectually.” He does believe in love, despite his unfortunate romances, and is still looking for it. Currently, he’s trying the “casual dating” route.
Personality: Munch is an odd mix of street smarts and compassion. On the one hand, he uses personal experience to help others (such as in the case of Amy Solwey). He reaches out to unlikely people, such as Solwey, herself a suspect, and the drug-addicted woman who’d lost custody of her child. A lot of times, however, the personal interaction parts of cases are left to the more “sensitive” detectives, while Munch and his partner Fin are the ones doing the leg work—tracking down perps, etc.
Currently, as sergeant, Munch is the senior officer at the Special Victims Unit, often overseeing the squad in Captain Cragen’s absence. The other detectives that comprise the squad are currently: his partner, Fin Tutuola, Olivia Benson and Val Lanier.
Munch is an avid conspiracy theorist, often heard talking about “the black helicopters” and other ways the government is allegedly watching over people. He likes dogs but thinks that cats are “demonic fur balls.” In addition, he is a world-class smartass. Most of his sarcasm comes in the form of retorting to something his partner has said or something a perp has uttered.
Quirks/Weaknesses/Flaws: He is a germphobe and a hypochondriac, who has been known to call in sick with diseases he doesn’t actually have. He has a habit of picking the wrong women, marrying them and then divorcing them. He often dwells on his past and usually blames himself for the things that are wrong in his life. Also, he tends to often mask how he is really feeling with sarcasm or occasionally anger.