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Vampire Executioners are individuals authorized to kill vampires pursuant to a warrant of execution. The job was invented after vampires became legal, and were shortly afterwards deemed too dangerous to keep in jails.


The first people to take the job were those who used to slay vampires back when they could all be killed on sight, and some of those new executioners were so trigger-happy that the government had to strip the vampire executioner credentials from some of them to hammer in the point that waiting for a warrant is really required. The message still didn't really go through until one of the vampire executioners went to jail for murder. He is still serving his sentence at the time of The Harlequin, five years later.

Most vampire executioners only kill vampires, but Anita Blake and a few others also investigate and battle other supernatural beings and even the humans who serve them. When licensing is introduced just prior to Bloody Bones there are plans for giving the vampire executioners a federal status, but also of expanding their mandate to other supernatural critters, which Anita sees as a potential problem. For the most part shapeshifters and other such creatures are handled by bounty hunters, who are not initially included in the plans for getting a federal status.[1]

Vampire executioners are initially very rare. In Bloody Bones Anita states that there are less than a dozen licensed vampire executioners in the United States. She can name eight of them, herself included, two of whom are retired.[1] In Blue Moon the number of active, licensed executioners is ten.[2]

As of Cerulean Sins all executioners who pass the requirements have received federal status. Bounty hunters aren't mentioned, but several people whom Anita has that far referred to as licensed bounty hunters like Bernardo Spotted-Horse[3] end up as federal marshals anyway, as does Otto Jefferies, whose credentials were given as 'a retired government worker' when Anita first met him. It's unclear if they simply got themselves licensed as vampire executioners as well, or if the requirements were changed during the lawmaking process to include anyone with credible experience in hunting supernatural creatures of any sort.

Later, when they start training new marshals in classroom, their numbers go up further, but the general competence goes down.

Most vampire executioners, bounty hunters, preternatural marshals, or others involved in hunting down the lawbreaking preternatural citizens, don't have psychic abilities. Anita, Larry Kirkland, Manny Rodriguez before his retirement, Denis-Luc St. John, a couple on the West Coast, and one on the East Coast are the only ones Anita is aware of at the time of Crimson Death. This seems counterintuitive as psychic abilities are often useful at the job, but when the business started people didn't trust psychics on the grounds of them being too close to being witches. A lot of the old-timers hunted witches too, and sometimes still do when they go rogue.[4].


  • Warrants are provided by DPEA (sometimes pronounced Dopa).

    Federal Marshal Badge

  • Once a warrant of execution is in effect and the hunt begins a vampire executioner is legally bound to keep their kit in sight, or secured by them, or with them watching, in an area out of sight of the general public.
  • Standard clause in the warrants:
    • "Marshals are allowed to use all force up to and including deadly, if they feel that they or a civilian are in imminent and life-threatening danger, It further allows any officer with the marshal, or acting in a backup capacity to use any and all force to protect the lives of the marshal and any civilians"
  • While hunting an executioner must wear a vest and helmet.

Federal Marshal Status[]

After the Brewster's Law is passed all vampire executioners with two or more years of experience on the job are grandfathered into federal status, after they qualify on a shooting range. As federal marshals they are permitted to enter any preternatural crime scene, or follow a vampire or other non-human crime suspect across state lines.

Non-Marshal Executioners[]

Manny Rodriguez has already retired from active hunting when Brewster's Law is passed and never gets grandfathered into a federal marshal or seeks to join them later. He is nevertheless still doing occasional morgue executions at the time of Dead Ice, which indicates that there is still some demand for non-marshal executioners.


As per law requirements, a vampire executioner must carry stakes and a mallet in his kit, even if they do not use them, as well as a amputation saw for easier decapitation needs, and things like garlic or rose petals to stuff into the mouth of a vampire during a morgue staking. The kit must also contain a vest and helmet, which he must use while on a hunt. The kit can also contain vials of holy water, and blessed crosses, and an assortment of firearms with silver ammo. Executioners have special "right" to use phosphorus grenades against vampires and lycanthropes.

Known Executioners[]

See Also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bloody Bones, chapter 05
  2. Blue Moon, chapter 05
  3. Obsidian Butterfly, chapter 35
  4. Crimson Death, chapter 19