|Joe Darke||Image Gallery|
|Link to the template page|
|Occupation||Businessman ( - Feb. 2015) |
Mass murderer (Sept. 2014 - Feb. 2015)
|Names in other languages|
|Japanese* (romanization written with the given name first)||青影 丈 (Joe Aokage)|
|Reckoned birth year(s) (this is for age comparison purposes, and so may look odd; click on the question mark for details)?||1973-1974|
|Documented age range (as recorded in court record profiles and case files)||42* (Rise from the Ashes)|
|Status* (last known)||Deceased (2015)|
|Eye color||Unknown* (only appears in black and white flashbacks, but appear light in tone)|
|Hair color||Unknown* (only appears in black and white flashbacks, but appear light in tone)|
|Height* (from official guidebooks)||??? cm|
|Affiliates||Edward Jones (victim) |
Jason Knight (victim)
Edith Kirby (victim)
Rachael Moss (victim)
Jeb Bates (victim)
Damon Gant (interrogator)
Neil Marshall (interrogator and intended prosecutor for his case; deceased)
Ema Skye (hostage)
Miles Edgeworth (prosecutor in charge of his case)
|Debut episode||Rise from the Ashes (allusions)|
Joe Darke was a businessman who killed several people in 2015 in an incident known as the SL-9 Incident in police files. He was wrongfully convicted and executed for the murder of Neil Marshall — the only one of the victims that he did not kill — through fake evidence. The real killer was not arrested for Marshall's murder until two years later.
- Main article: SL-9 Incident
In 2015, the Criminal Affairs Department had a special team investigate the spree killings of Edward Jones, Jason Knight, Edith Kirby, Rachael Moss, and Jeb Bates. The team's working hypothesis was that, on his way home from work, Joe Darke had accidentally hit a man with his car, killing him. Events had then quickly spiralled out of control as Darke murdered a man who had witnessed the accident, followed by a lady who had witnessed this second crime, and then a child who had been walking by the crime scene at the time. A jogger had also stumbled across Darke as the latter was burying the bodies and was killed as well. However, this was all conjecture with no decisive evidence, until Darke turned himself in.
Criminal Affairs Deputy Chief Damon Gant and Prosecutor Neil Marshall interrogated Darke. However, during questioning a thunderstorm blew out the power, allowing the suspect to escape. He ran into the shared office of Gant and Detective Lana Skye, where he found Lana's younger sister, Ema. When Marshall arrived, Darke held Ema hostage and threatened to kill her. In the ensuing struggle, Marshall knocked Darke unconscious with his recently earned King of Prosecutors Trophy. When Darke woke up, Marshall was impaled on a suit of armor, and he was arrested for the murder.
- Main article: Rise from the Ashes
Joe Darke was put on trial, with Miles Edgeworth prosecuting his case. The trial ended with Darke being found guilty, sentenced to death, and executed. Soon afterward, however, detectives Jake Marshall (Neil's brother) and Angel Starr, who had worked on Darke's case, were demoted, and Gant and Lana were promoted to Chief of Police and Chief Prosecutor, respectively. This led to lingering questions and suspicion by Jake and Starr.
Two years later, Detective Bruce Goodman was murdered and Lana was put on trial for the deed. The truth behind Darke's conviction began to unravel as defense attorney Phoenix Wright and prosecutor Edgeworth argued in court. It turned out that Gant had murdered both Goodman and Neil. Partially motivated by the lack of decisive evidence that could convict Darke, Gant had murdered Neil and tampered with the crime scene to convince Lana that Ema had been responsible for the crime. Through this, he had been able to control both the police department and the prosecutor's office by blackmailing Lana. Two years after the murder, Jake had convinced Goodman to try to convince Gant to reopen the SL-9 case, causing the latter to murder him in a panic.
- The Japanese name "Aokage" means "pale shadow", likely in reference to his light hair and skin tone.
- The name "Darke" probably refers to Darke's frightening nature and the shadowy nature of the SL-9 Incident, making him a shadowy figure from the past.
- His initials are J.D., an abbreviation shared by "John Doe", a term used by detectives to describe an unknown person. The name "John Doe" would later be used as the cover name for Shelly de Killer.
- The French name "Sinister" also reflects the nature of the incident and of Darke himself.