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Correctional Officer James "Jimmy" Wozniak is the main antagonist of the 2015 novel The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas.


Wozniak was a prison guard who worked at the prison that the condemned Wyatt Stokes was sentenced to after the Ohio River murders. Secretly the Ohio River Monster, Wozniak had murdered three prostitutes within the past two years; his mordus operandi was robbing and stripping women before leaving their lifeless bodies alongside I-70. Despite the fact that fragments of his uniform was found on two of his past victims, Stokes was convicted regardless.

Some week after Ariel's death, Tessa began to doubt that Stokes was truly the ORM; Callie's boyfriend, Nick, informs her that Ariel had secretly advertised herself on a dating website named Connect. Before her disappearance, she had met a man on the website who only went by the name "Captain." After some lengthy investigation, Tessa obtains information from Pam, a prostitute, who explains that a friend of hers was kidnapped and nearly killed by a man that she had met over Connect. That night, Tessa, Callie, and Ryan create a fake account to lure Captain. Sure enough, Callie received a private message from a user dubbed cpt818. Callie suggests that they meet each other at Target, and he takes the bait.

After failing to require the license plate number, Tessa realizes that Captain was the prison guard who had given her her father's belongings earlier. Once they learn that the killer and Jimmy Wozniak were one and the same, they attempt to convince the district attorney on their suspicions. Fearing that he would get caught, Wozniak kidnaps Callie, and takes her deep in the woods, fully intent on killing her and himself. Jay and his district arrive to the woods before he could fatally shoot Callie, and he opts to blow his own brains out stating that he wouldn't last in prison.

The case for the Ohio River Monster was eventually reopened once the missing jewelry of his victims was found after his house was thoroughly examined.


Wozniak was described as possessing "friendly eyes", inferring that he appeared affable at first to his victims. In reality, he was an increasingly destructive and psychopathic murderer who would rather commit suicide than spend the majority of his life on death row. Given that most of his victims were known prostitutes, it is highly possible that he is extremely provocative and resentful towards women, though this is only a guess. It is also heavily implied that James sabotaged the evidence which ultimately led to Stokes being sentenced to death. Having gotten away with his murders for ten years, he resorts to murdering Callie when he recognizes her as the girl from the fake account.

What's interesting in regards to Wozniak, when he contacts women through Connect, he openly states that he is uninterested in having sex with them. While he strips his victims as he murders them, there doesn't seem to be any indication of them being sexually assaulted. It is highly probable that he despises sexuality given his utter disdain and condescension towards the idea of violating women as he gruesomely kills them.


  • Marisa Perez (17)
  • Rae Felice (20)
  • Kristal Davis (19)
  • Ariel Kouchinsky

Items stolenEdit

  • Locket (Marisa's)
  • Wristwatch (Rae's)
  • Gold bracelet (Kristal's)
  • Bracelet (Ariel's; belonged to her dead mother)


  • He is apparently a fan of Cool Hand Luke, as evidenced by his username as well having the Captain as his avatar.
  • He was inspired from a few real life serial killers, one in particular being Robert Ben Rhoades, who is reputed to have tortured and killed more than 50 women.