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Mal and Natara's first case together, the psychotic Maskmaker smothered his female victims with plaster to reveal their "true face"... Visible only in death.
|Real Name/Alias|| Eric Mills|
Brian Resler (birth name)
|Born||July 22, 1983|
|Died||December 16, 2010 (age 27; died by drowning after being shot with a flare gun by Natara Williams)|
|Victims|| Rebecca Resler|
Unknown female from 2009
|M.O.||Drugs them and cuts their face off, placing a mask on it|
|Appearances||Volume 1, 10 (delusion), 14, 15 (delusions)|
Eric Mills, born Brian Resler, was the former forensic scientist of the San Francisco Police Department. He was the main antagonist of Volume 1, known for being The Maskmaker. After his death in Volume 1, he was replaced by Kai Kalaba. The Maskmaker adorned a black robe with a white plaster mask.
Eric Mills was born in Marin County, as Brian Resler. He was a victim of systemic physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his older sister, Rebecca, which was seemingly disregarded by his parents, Susan and Michael Resler. As a young boy Eric (Brian) engaged in the trapping and torture of animals to the disgust of his sister. Her constant mistreatment of him fueled his hatred for her.
When they were on a family trip to Alcatraz, he murdered his own sister Rebecca Resler by throwing a rock at her. Rebecca fell over and drowned in the water surrounding Alcatraz. He was then incarcerated at the Millbrook Mental Institute from 1991 to 2006. There, Eric fell under the instruction of Genevieve Collins, who shaped him into a serial killer and facilitated his placement in the SFPD. During his time at the MMI, his legal name was changed from Brian Resler to Eric Mills to allow him to escape his past.
Eric was one of the many serial killers under the protection and financing of Genevieve Collins. She was responsible for cultivating his anger to make him The Maskmaker.
Eric was introduced as the forensic technician of the SFPD, which enabled him to rule himself out of murder cases, should his DNA be found in the crime scene. He murdered two prostitutes before extending his pool of possible victims to sociable young women with red hair, beginning with Sophie Patterson. He then killed Brittany Emerson out of impulse, leading to a possible mistake he covered by framing Dr. Rose—who he also killed.
An investigation of his property in V1C5 confirmed the suspicious incongruities in the theory that Rose was The Maskmaker when Mal and Natara deduced the truth of his relationship. When they revealed this, Eric kidnapped Amy Chen and then fled to Alcatraz; in the following chapter (which has a small chunk of non-canon endings, particularly only 1 or neither of the protagonists living), Eric was confronted, and was shot with a flare by Natara Williams, pushing him over the ledge and into the water.
It was commented by Mal that Eric's body was never found; this implied the writers intentionally did this to set up a potential return of Eric, but the series ended beforehand.
The older sister to Eric, Rebecca and Eric's relationship was characterized by emotional and physical abuse subjected by Rebecca—his murder career being entirely based on what he endured at the hands of her. He was the subject to various insults, including 'stain' and 'freak' and taunted him with a mask, one of the many elements that encouraged his anger as a sadist.
Overtime, he began defending himself, though the abuse continued. During his final vacation before being institutionalized, he killed her, her face covered in a fine layer of white sand. This again motivated his murder career, smothering females that had a similar hair color to hers with a mask.
Despite the fact that he was a serial killer, Eric seemed to have genuinely cared for his partner Amy Chen. In contrast, upon learning of the romantic feelings she harbored for him, he asked Natara to assure her that he preferred to keep his work life and private life separate. He thought that she was different, calling her sweet and saying he did not want her to get hurt. When Amy found out he was the Maskmaker, he took her to Alcatraz where he planned to kill her.
During Natara William's preliminary profile and later observations Eric is described as introverted, disciplined, focused, in his 20s-40s, physically intimidating, and later on as a sociopath, "ravenous", and obsessed with "his craft". The murder of his sister is was the crime that "defined" him. Eric saw himself as an artist, revealing the true faces of his victims.
- In the bonus episode The Masks We Wear, Eric was shown to have a very deep genuine care for Amy Chen, scaring Detective Ken Greene away from her and asking Genevieve Collins if he could ever be normal and settle down with someone he loved.
- He later appears in the Volume 14 Interlude in a flashback. He was one of the two killers that Genevieve wanted to send after her son Alex, but wasn't sent. If he was sent instead, then the first volume of Cause of Death, including Natara Williams coming to the SFPD in the first place, would either be drastically changed or have never happened.
- Symbolic as he was the first main antagonist, Eric has appeared in several pieces of content overtime:
- V2C8 (where Genevieve mentored him during a flashback scene to his kill of Sophie).
- V10C8 (he was one of the serial killers at the poker table Mal imagined himself playing at).
- A scene in the V14 Interlude
- The special "Life Lessons, Deadly Desires" has a flashback scene revealing his first post-Rebecca kill.
- He was parodied in a fictional film (Rise of the Maskmaker) that was briefly seen in V3.
- He was Kai's guide (imagined) in his near-death experience where he thinks about what the series would be like without him in the story "Holiday Stories: Past & Presents".