Orville Tanner

Portrayed by None
Name Orville Tanner
First appearance Red John's Friends (mentioned)
Status Deceased
Last appearance Red Sky in the Morning
Profession Unknown, maybe farmer
Family Dumar Tanner/Sheriff Ted Hardy (son; deceased)
Orville[1] Tanner was Red John's sidekick in the early days of his career as a serial killer and the first of Red John's known followers. He was caught by the police, and when he was tried for the 1998 murder of a young woman (which turned out to be the third in the line of RJK's victims), Tanner claimed that he was only a look-out and that the real killer was a man who went by the name of Red John.

However no one believed him. He was sentenced and sent to Lompoc Prison where he shared the cell with Jared Renfrew . During his stint in jail, Tanner likely spilled the beans about Red John's identity as well as his M.O to his cellmate Jared Renfrew, which includes the exact depiction of the murder of Jane's family which never went public. As a result, Renfrew used the info as a leverage for Jane to help him to prove his innocence for a murder he was framed. It should be noted that Tanner was jailed in late 90's and Jane's family was murdered sometimes in 2003. This implies somehow Red John stayed in contact with Tanner. At some point before going to jail, Tanner had a son, Dumar, who later started going by the alias "Ted Hardy" and started working as a sheriff. Dumar wrote to his father every week until he died and was apparently also closely associated with Red John.


  1. In the DVD subtitles, it's spelled "Orval Tanner"