Russell Thomas Beck
Witness to a murder by Philip Stroh
The illegitimate child of teenage parents, Rusty lived with his mother in Los Angeles, and until recently, never knew his father. When he was 15, his mother took him to the zoo where she abandoned him and left LA with her boyfriend. Rusty became homeless and started to prostitute himself to survive, working the streets of Hollywood.
Life with Sharon RaydorEdit
After he came to the attention of the LAPD, he was placed in protective housing with Sharon Raydor. After some time, the LAPD located his mother, Sharon Beck, in Reno, Nevada. Major Crimes provided a bus ticket, but she only got as far as Bakersfield before getting off the bus and leaving with an unknown man.
He is later united with his biological father, Daniel Dunn, but when he turns abusive towards Rusty, the team comes together to force him to give up his parental rights to Rusty for good or face criminal charges for child abuse. Rusty is then reassured that he has a family in the team even if they are not biologically related to him.
In season 3 he comes to the realization that he is gay which the team takes without issue, causing him great relief.
He also has a strong relationship with Louie Provenza, whom Rusty actually consulted before coming out to the rest of the team.
During his investigations for his blog, Identity, he met a man TJ Shaw who started out as a source but became a good friend. Its suggested that TJ is interested in Rusty and that Rusty may be interested in TJ as well, but Rusty claims not to be looking for a relationship with TJ who's gay, but so closeted that he hasn't come out to his family who he lives and works with. Their relationship outside of the investigation quickly crumbles and they have went their separate ways when the investigation concluded.
After the Alice Herrera trial, Rusty and Alice's brother Gustavo Wallace have grown a close relationship, but Rusty is not comfortable calling it anything else other that a good friendship but he still cares about Gus very much.
In Present Tense, Rusty and Gus had a fight after Gus held his hand in public. This made Gus storm off in anger and they both returned to their homes. Rusty eventually understands his point of view on the subject and drives across town to slip a apology note under his door.
Gus is moved by this gesture and comes to visit Rusty late at night after asking him if he is still awake. He states that the note proves that Rusty is a great guy and they agree together not to go too fast forward in their relationship. After this, they leave together to get some food.
What's In a Name?Edit
Rusty later started to go to college and became interested in journalism. After failing to get a story that will get him on the school newspaper in "A Rose is a Rose", at the suggestion of Buzz, Rusty starts investigating the case of Alice Herrera, an unidentified homeless victim who was the focus of "Jane Doe 38" and part of the reason he chose to let Raydor adopt him. Rusty started working on identifying the girl and started an online blog called Identity that he posts his findings to.
According to Raydor, Rusty's work is professional-grade and she is clearly proud of his efforts. After Rusty interviews Alice's killer, Greg "Slider" Rasenick, in "Sorry I Missed You", he nearly ends up part of her trial due to Slider claiming that Raydor sent Rusty to circumvent the justice system, but Judge Grove decided that Rusty was simply acting as a journalist and dismissed the subpoena. He also allowed Rusty to continue his work and advised Raydor to let him work without her looking over his shoulder all the time.
Rusty's efforts to identify Alice have hit a big break: after breaking Alice's voicemail with TJ's help, he found one from a man who clearly knew Alice, that her name wasn't really Alice and was the one she had run from Las Vegas to get away from. However, he couldn't leave any other messages afterwards as her voicemail box was full.
After playing the messages to Andrea Hobbs, Rusty deleted a few of Alice's old messages and left a new greeting message asking for anyone looking for Alice to call him back. Soon afterwards, the man left a message, identifying himself as Gustavo Wallace and showing worry about Alice and her little sister Paloma. Rusty believes that this man knows Alice well, doesn't watch Identity and doesn't know she's dead. Given Gustavo's knowledge of Alice, its possible he's the break Rusty's looking for, but he's determined to find out more about the man before he sets up a meeting with him to be safe.
Even after learning that Gustavo, who claims to be Alice's older brother, has a criminal record, Rusty still intends to meet with him because it would mean that he could solve the mystery he has been working on.
With a positive identification provided by Gus Wallace, the mystery of Alice Herrera's true identity was solved. Her real name was Mariana Wallace.
The Other Side of the CoinEdit
After getting the permission to run a story on Slider and interview him, he visits Slider who was unaware that Rusty was coming to visit him and still feels that he screwed him over the last time they met. Slider insists on being innocent and that the system screwed him over.
After many interviews with Slider, Slider asks Rusty if he will be at his trial and he says yes because it's a part of his story. Slider also asks if he can wave at Rusty and would he wave back because he is the only person who cares about him and that he doesn't have anyone else who would come to the trial for him. These news leave Rusty visibly stunned.
Slider is put on trial for Mariana's murder with Justine Pittman, Mariana's brother Gus and Andy Flynn testifying against him. Slider waves at Rusty at the trial and he waves back even though he is caught in a moral dilemma when Gus is flown in for the trial and Gus will believe he is there for Mariana, while Slider will believe he is there for him and the fact that Rusty hasn't told Gus about his story on Slider.
After all of the testimonies in the trial, the jury returns with the verdict after only a day of deliberation. Slider is found guilty of all charges which include attempted murder, murder in the first degree with special circumstances, witness tampering and witness intimidation. Slider's attorney, Bobby Munroe, subpoenas Rusty to testify on Slider's behalf about his childhood, inability to read and disconnected view of reality in hopes of making the jury see Slider as a person and spare him from the death penalty. Rusty's relationship with Slider shocks and angers Gus who thought that Rusty was at the trial for his sister.
Rusty testifies to Slider's past, including that he believes Slider has a learning disorder like dyslexia. However, while Rusty agreed that the system failed Slider, he also didn't see it as an excuse for Mariana's murder, telling everyone that himself and Mariana both lived on the streets at fifteen like Slider, but neither turned to drugs or murder. When Bobby Munroe keeps referring to Slider as the victim, Rusty tells everyone that when he hears "the victim" mentioned in the case, he thinks of Mariana Wallace, not Slider.
Rusty's testimony causes Gus to look into his story on Slider and it helps him understand the relationship between Slider and Rusty and apologizes for his initial outburst.
The jury decides to sentence Slider to death and Judge Grove ultimately upholds the sentence.
On his final entry in The Other Side of the Coin, Rusty states that Slider will likely exhaust his appeals and then be executed for Mariana's murder. However, as the state hasn't executed anyone since 2006, Slider could spend twenty years on death row before execution.
The Long ShadowEdit
In Season 5, Rusty starts a new story, titled The Long Shadow, in which he works with Buzz Watson to solve a cold homicide case. The victims in that case were Jay Watson and Steven Watson, Buzz' father and uncle.
|Major Crimes Characters|
|Sharon Raydor • Louie Provenza • Andy Flynn • Michael Tao • Julio Sanchez • Amy Sykes • Rusty Beck • Fritz Howard • Russell Taylor • Buzz Watson • Dr. Fernando Morales|