"No, my strong suspicion is we get the world we deserve."
―Ray Velcoro.

Detective Raymond "Ray" Velcoro was a detective in the City of Vinci, Los Angeles County. He was a main character in the second season of True Detective. In the first episode of Season 2, the former L.A. Sheriff's Deputy is introduced as a corrupt Vinci Police Department detective who is struggling with his allegiance to his corrupt superiors and the mobster who owns him.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Life and Career[edit | edit source]

"I used to want to be an astronaut ... But astronauts don't even go on the Moon anymore."
―Ray on his recording for his son.

Ray Velcoro was born to Eddie Velcoro, a Los Angeles police officer, and an unknown mother. At a young age he dreamed of being an astronaut, a dream that didn't come to fruition. He walked the beat for 8 years as an officer of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department, during which he married Gena Brune.

Sometime prior to his transfer to the Vinci Police Department, Ray's wife was supposedly beaten and raped by a methamphetamine addict - one with ties to the mobster Frank Semyon. Semyon sold out the rapist to Velcoro, who was implied to have killed the man responsible. As a result, Velcoro owed Semyon more than he was able to afford, and became allegiant to him and his interests, serving in the role of an enforcer for him. Shortly after his wife's rape, his wife gave birth to their son Chad. Chad's true parentage is a subject of dispute between them; the incident as a whole was a dominant reason for his divorce from Gena.

Events in California[edit | edit source]

The Western Book of the Dead[edit | edit source]

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At the beginning of the season, Ray is a burned-out, unhinged detective with the Vinci Police Department; a broken man who abuses alcohol, drugs, and the sense of authority that comes with being a member of law enforcement. He is shown to be in poor health, likely caused by the way in which he lives. He works as a muscleman for Frank Semyon, beating up an investigative journalist who threatens to expose Semyon's mob dealings and, later, probing Ben Caspere's murder on his own behalf. Even when pursuing some legitimate investigative work, he is dragged down by his superiors in the Vinci PD, are just as corrupt as he.

Ray is introduced as investigating the disappearance of the enigmatic, sex-obsessed city manager Ben Caspere, as well as fighting a losing battle for custody of his son Chad, with which he is depicted as having a loving yet heavily strained relationship. One day, as Chad is being picked up from school by his stepfather Richard, Ray delivers a Coleman sleeping bag to his son prior to his upcoming camping trip (which he learns occurred a week before) and notices his son not wearing the LeBron James Nike tennis shoes he had bought for him. Ray vulgarly interrogates his son over the missing shoes, calling him a 'fat pussy' and threatening to spank him in front of the cheerleaders. He learns that his shoes were taken and cut up by a bully named Aspen Conroy.

Ray records an apology to his son with a Dictaphone, obtains Conroy's address and later that night - armed with brass knuckles - confronts the boy, grabbing him with one arm and brutally beating his father with with the other, calling the boy 'evil as fuck' and threatening extreme physical and sexual violence upon his mother and father if he bully anyone ever again. Ray drives away to a local bar to meet Frank as Mrs. Conroy comes out and tends to her family.

While passed out in a drunken haze, Ray receives a phone call informing him of the discovery of Caspere's body. He converges on the scene with California Highway Patrolman Paul Woodrugh and Ventura County Sheriff's Deputy Antigone Bezzerides as the sun rises.

Night Finds You[edit | edit source]

During Caspere's autopsy, he discovers that Caspere was mutilated and tortured with a 12-gauge shotgun and an eyedropper full of hydrochloric acid. Encouraged by his superiors to nudge the investigation into a favorable direction, he collaborates with Bezzerides and, later, is given information by Semyon. Entering a house used by Caspere at one point, he discovers a multitude of sex objects, a video camera, and a man wearing a bird mask who shoots him twice with a shotgun at point blank range.

Maybe Tomorrow[edit | edit source]

Unconscious, Ray envisions himself at a bar, watching a Conway Twitty impersonator perform Bette Midler's 'The Rose'. His father sits across from him in full police regalia; he cryptically narrates the circumstances of Ray's supposed death, after which Ray sees fatal wounds appear on his person.

Waking up with broken ribs and urine-soaked pants, Ray realizes the bullets were non-lethal riot shells. Police converge on the house, and Ray shares dialogue with Bezzerides before being taken away to be treated for his injuries. Later Ray meets with Frank and demands explanation who else knew about Ben's second house and wants to know what's the real connection between Frank and Ben before he get's shot by the real bullets. During a health examination, the doctor subtly reprimands Ray for his drinking, drug use, and poor eating habits, before asking him if he wants to live. Ray doesn't respond, and leaves.

Ray meets with his ailing father, a former LAPD officer. His father is visibly fatigued and has a variety of health problems, including insomnia; Ray gives him cannabis indica to help him sleep. Ray's father discusses the end of his career, and Ray fishes his father's badge (encased in a glass cube) out of the trash before he leaves.

Down Will Come[edit | edit source]

A visit to the commune run by Bezzerides's father reveals that Chessani, Caspere and Caspere's psychiatrist Dr. Pitlor have been in business for decades, prompting Velcoro to admit that the State investigation into Vinci is little more than a shakedown. Paul and Dixon follow up on a lead at a pawn shop where they uncover a prostitute named Irina selling a watch owned by Caspere. Velcoro approaches Semyon with this, which Semyon dismisses as unlikely as Stan was killed under similar circumstances and there is no connection to his death. Under pressure from Vinci PD to close the case, Velcoro, Bezzerides and Woodrugh lead a raid against Irina's pimp, Ledo Amarilla, but are ambushed when the building is found to be a methamphetamine lab. As Amarilla tries to escape, he crashes his SUV into a city bus during a demonstration against the rail project. He and his accomplices open fire on the crowd as the police move in, killing numerous people and policemen. Paul and Ani manage to kill two of Amarilla's henchmen and Ray and Woodrugh manage to gun down Amarilla. After the gunfight ends, Velcoro, Bezzerides and Woodrugh are left horrified at the mass civilian and police casualties.

Other Lives[edit | edit source]

To be added

Church in Ruins[edit | edit source]

To be added

Black Maps and Motel Rooms[edit | edit source]

To be added

Omega Station[edit | edit source]

After sending Bezzerides onto a ship bound for South America, Ray works with Frank to raid the secure location Osip was stashing his money. With their financial lives secured, Frank departs saying to Ray not to stop for anything and leave the country. Not wanting to leave without a word, Ray stops by Chad's school one last time to bid farewell. He sees Chad at a table with friends and his grandfather's badge on the table. Ray salutes Chad and leaves. When Ray returns to his car, he notices a tracker is under the car. With no choice, Ray takes the car and heads to the woods, telling Bezzerides he'll be there and she'll have to put a restraining order on him to keep him away from her. She says she won't have to. As Ray knows he won't make it, he records his last message to Chad on his phone, apologizing for every bad thing he did and telling Chad he can be better than him. Ray gets to the woods as the car runs out of gas and runs, leaving the money behind. Burris and his mercenaries are shortly behind and begin to taunt Velcoro and ask him where Bezzerides is at. Ray manages to kill some mercenaries and hold them off long enough for him to try and upload his voice recording to the cloud. In a last stand, Ray exposes himself and is gunned down to protect the ones he cares about; dying the way that was prophesied in Maybe Tomorrow. His voice recording is unable to upload and he dies being framed as a dirty cop with his father Eddie beside himself. Bezzerides manages to bring scant information about the conspiracy to the journalist Ray had assaulted previously and leaves with Jordan Semyon, Nails, and the son she and Ray had conceived after their tryst in "Black Maps and Motel Rooms."

Personality[edit | edit source]

Ray is an unhinged, burnt-out, vulgar, cruel, aggressive and short-tempered man who appears to live his life with regrets, but accepts who he is.

As a father figure, he appears to be supportive and wants his son to go far beyond he did, and be a better person than he could: proud, tough, strong, masculine. Nonetheless he is vulgar and aggressive to his son, as shown during his questioning towards what happened to his shoes. Ray displays a degenerative cycle of love and hate to his family, and harbors a hidden resentment towards most people he meets. An inebriated remnant with total disregard to personal health, he has lost his desire in women and with no sense of direction, he probably exists to carry out his duties as a member of law enforcement and watch his son grow up. He also appears to care less about his morality or view in public, cursing and swearing in public places and appearing unkempt and under the influence of intoxicants.

When not sagging into the booth of a local watering hole, Ray is shown to be a fairly competent and effective investigator despite his character flaws. He himself has a rather unflattering opinion of his own policework, referring to himself as 'not exactly Columbo'.

Memorable Quotes[edit | edit source]

"My strong suspicion is... we get the world we deserve."
―Ray Velcoro.
"I welcome judgment."
―Ray Velcoro
"You like bullying kids, Ass-pen? {...} You're twelve years old and already evil as fuck."
―Ray to Aspen, as Wit Conroy intervenes.
"You ever bully or hurt anybody again, I’ll come back and buttfuck your father with your mom’s headless corpse on this goddamn lawn."
―Ray to Aspen Conroy.
"12 years old, my ass. Fuck you."
―Ray to his son's bully as he leaves the scene.
"You pull off that e-cig. A lot of people do. I tried once, felt like it was smoking me. A real cigarette wouldn't make you feel like that. Maybe it's just a little too close to sucking a robot's dick."
―Ray to Ani in-car
"Well, just so you know, I support feminism. Mostly by having body image issues."
―Ray to Ani in-car

Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]

Ray Velcoro is portrayed by Colin Farrell in Season 2 of True Detective.

Episode Appearances[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Ray carries a dictaphone which he uses to send messages (and often apologies) to his son.
  • In Ep1, the opening shot of Ray being interviewed is a direct visual homage to Rust Cohle.
  • Ray keeps several books in his house, including a philosophical work by the German mystic Meister Eckhart, along with several airplane models he constructed with his son.
  • Ray drives a battleship-gray, late-model Dodge Charger. His license plate is 2DDT456.
  • It is speculated that Ray was abused by his father at a young age.
  • Ray has anger management issues, evident by the murder of his wife's rapist and the beating of his son's bully's father.
  • According to Elliot Bezzerides, Ray's green-and-black aura is the largest he had ever seen, and that he must have had hundreds of lives. This scheme of colors is representative of the heart and the lungs, growth, balance, something that leads to change, long-term unforgiveness (collected in a specific area of the body), pain from a past life, and unreleased grief. Dark green is also representative of jealousy, resentment, self-victimization, low self-esteem, habitual insecurity, misunderstanding of personal responsibility, and sensitivity to perceived criticism.
  • His dream at start of episode 3 is a reference to his death.
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