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I swore I would show no mercy. And I won't.
―Daniel Holtz[src]

Daniel Holtz was a vampire hunter during the 18th century and an enemy of the vampires Angelus and Darla. According to Wolfram & Hart's records, he racked up an incidental body count of 378 vampires in the nine years he pursued them.[1]


The 18th century[]

Holtz was a vampire hunter from England who started slaying vampires from 1754. At one point, he lived in York, but Connor's references to "white cliffs" suggested he may originally be from the South-East of England rather than the North-East, either from Dover in Kent, or near the "Seven Sisters" in Sussex.[2] Holtz chased the vampires Angelus and Darla through much of Europe and North Africa.[3] In his nine years pursing them, Holtz killed a total of 378 vampires.[1]

In May 1764, Angelus and Darla gained entrance into Holtz's home and attacked his family, killing his wife along with their infant son, and siring his daughter, Sarah. Upon returning home, Holtz threw his undead daughter into direct sunlight and watched her burn into ashes.[4][5]

Holtz past

Holtz in 1767.

In 1765, Holtz tracked Angelus and Darla in Italy. The vampires fled to Arles, France but were eventually trapped inside a burning barn thanks to Holtz. Darla escaped on their only horse and left Angelus to fend for himself.[6]

In 1767 the vampire James burned down the villa of the Count de Leon, much to the anger of Angelus as this brought them to the attention of Holtz who tracked them in Marseilles, France. Despite a confrontation with the two vampires aided by a large group of men armed with crossbows and riding on horseback, Angelus attempted to save his own life by revealing the location of Darla and James' beau Elisabeth. Holtz preceded to have his men kill them, but both Angelus and James escaped with the former being only wounded from an arrow.[7]

Holtz angelus

Holtz has Angelus as captive.

In 1771 Holtz finally managed to trap Angelus in the sewers beneath Rome with the help of the excommunicated Archbishop Monseigneur Rivalli (who also performed his wedding ceremony with his wife Caroline) along with his order of inquisitors. Holtz tortured Angelus for hours; but eventually Darla arrived and broke him free. They left Holtz behind and chose not to kill him as they now considered him "like family." Following this incident, Holtz gave up his hunt and became a hermit.[3]

Holtz and sahjhan

Sahjhan introduces himself.

In 1773, the demon Sahjhan appeared before Holtz and offered him a chance at revenge, revealing to him it would be his only opportunity to avenge his family as he would die of old age otherwise. He only asked in return that Holtz gave him his word that when the time came, he would show no mercy. Holtz, even though hostile at first, accepted the offer on those terms.[5]

Los Angeles[]

Holtz wakes up

Holtz is revived by Sahjhan in modern-day Los Angeles.

Holtz was placed in a state of mystical suspended animation, and was reawakened in Los Angeles in the year 2001. Despite having been in suspension for over two hundred years, Holtz was immediately ready and willing to kill Angelus, with no need of physical recovery.[3] He was briefed by Sahjhan on navigating the city and how the world had changed in the last centuries, showing him important historical events on multiple televisions.[4]

Holtz angel

Holtz reunites with Angel only to find out he has a soul.

Holtz was also given a new army, this time a cadre of Grappler demons. However, a lot had changed in those 200 years: Darla was pregnant, Angelus now had a soul and was now known as Angel. With his new minions, Holtz took out a SWAT team hired by Wolfram & Hart at the Hyperion Hotel and held Angel at his mercy. Angel tried to tell Holtz he was good now but he wasn't convinced until Wolfram & Hart's Lilah Morgan intervened and explained it to him. Realizing this, Holtz thought it was more justly to kill him and end his eternal torment. Angel then escaped by setting off a grenade and blowing himself out of there.[5]

As Angel, Darla and his friends then vacated to the demon friendly bar Caritas, Holtz destroyed it by rolling an explosive barrel into the building, not provoking the no-violence spell as he was not presently causing any harm within the bar. He then proceeded into the flaming ruins armed with a crossbow after Angel. However, he stopped at the sight of Angel's newborn son Connor. Since his motives were not in the interest of justice but rather vengeance, Holtz spared Angel's life — unsatisfied with merely killing him — and began to target those Angel cared about in order to cause the vampire as much pain as he had caused him.[5]

Holtz poisoned his demon mercenaries for being soulless soldiers of fortune. Holtz wanted real warriors, people who believed in his cause and would be ready to die for it. His first recruit was a brash young vampire hunter, Justine, who had lost her twin sister to a vampire attack and had since fallen to drinking and wandering graveyards at nights hunting vampires. Holtz manipulated her thirst for vengeance, as well as that of many others, and built an army of like-minded individuals.[1]

Shortly after Connor's birth, Holtz arranged, with help from Aubrey Jenkins as part of his vendetta against Angel, for Gun and Fred to be ambushed by a vampire's nest — something the 18th century Holtz would have sought to eradicate immediately. This ambush failed, but he subsequently convinced Wesley, who believed a false prophecy that announced Angel would kill his own child, to kidnap Connor. Out of devotion to Holtz, Justine helped abduct the baby and slit Wesley's throat.[8]

Holtz and Justine planned on keeping Connor for themselves and raise him as their own at a small ranch in Utah, even renaming him as Steven Franklin Thomas Holtz. However, Lilah and Wolfram & Hart Special Operations Team, as well as Angel ambushed Holtz's truck. A tense four-way confrontation between Angel, Wolfram & Hart, Holtz, and Sahjhan ensued beneath a bridge at the edge of town. Since Angel would rather not have Connor in the possession of Wolfram & Hart nor killed, he reluctantly agreed to let Holtz take Connor because of Holtz threatened to kill Connor on purpose by breaking his neck if Angel tried to save Connor from him, and Holtz promised to look after the child as if he was his own son while keeping the identity of his true father a secret.[8]

Holtz quor'toth

Connor in his arms, he escapes into Quor'toth.

Sahjhan, who all along hoped Holtz would kill Angel as it could defeat a prophecy claiming Connor would grow up to kill him, threatened to swallow all of them into portal leading to Quor'toth Hell Dimension,"the darkest of the dark worlds," but at the last minute Holtz pushed Justine out of the way before he leaped into the hellish portal with Connor clutched in his arms.[8]

For 16 years Connor grew up in Quor'toth Hell Dimension, where time moved faster than on Earth. During his childhood and teenage years, Holtz acted as Connor's adoptive father, as well as trainer, teaching the boy to hunt demons and survive, as well as instilling a great hatred for Angel while making him believe Holtz was his true father and giving him the name he intended. Connor eventually found a way to return to Earth which was only months from their arrival to Quor'toth, and an elderly Holtz soon followed.[9]

Old man holtz

Holtz as an old man.

Back on Earth, Holtz was confronted by Angel and gave him the impression that he no longer wished for revenge and instead wanted Connor to live a healthy life with his biological father. However, this was simply the final phase of his scheme. Reunited with Justine, Holtz asked her to perform one final demonstration of her loyalty: to kill him in order to fulfill his revenge.[10]

Death and legacy[]

You promised. You said you'd do anything for me. Come on, Justine. I'm not asking you to follow me into hell. Just help send me there. Do it!
―Holtz persuades Justine to assist him in suicide as part of his final scheme.[src]
Holtz's death

Under his wishes, Justine kills Holtz.

Together, Holtz and Justine simulated a vampire attack by having the latter stab the former in the neck twice with an ice pick, in a manner resembling a vampire's bite. Connor arrived to find his adoptive father's corpse cradled by a saddened Justine. Just as Holtz intended, Connor blamed Angel for Holtz's death and, with Justine's help, abducted Angel, sealed him in a metal coffin, and sank the vampire to the bottom of the sea.[2]

For three months, Connor joined Angel Investigations under the pretext of helping them find Angel, though in reality, he was trying to ensure that they would never find him. However, Wesley kidnapped Justine and forced her to help him find Angel, informing Charles Gunn and Winifred Burkle of Connor's role in Angel's disappearance upon doing so. Upon returning to the Hyperion Hotel, Angel informed Connor of the truth behind Holtz's death and his scheme.[11]

Proceeding these events, Angel and Connor began to develop a more healthy relationship, but Connor's time in Quor'toth, along with Holtz's brutal training regimen and manipulations, had a significant impact on Connor's mental and emotional stability, with the ensuing Jasmine crisis driving him over the edge and causing him to nearly commit suicide. Connor admitted the truth to Angel why he angered towards him for letting Holtz ruined his life from the beginning the same day he was kidnapped. Connor grows much loathe on Holtz for bad influences on him, emotional abuses on him, misguided him, mantiplatived him, stealing his childhood. Angel made a deal with Wolfram & Hart to alter reality to give Connor a normal human life and family with no memory of Angel Investigations or Holtz.[12]

However, Connor ultimately regained his memories. With his new human life giving him the emotional support and stability he once lacked,[13] Connor fully reconciled with Angel, rendering Holtz's vengeance moot.[14]


Holtz talks about 'justice' and it's stirring, but what he wants is revenge. He's driven by it, blinded by it, and if you, me, or anyone else gets in his way, he'll kill for it.
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce[src]

Holtz was a man of God who originally hunted vampires as he believed it was God's will.[4] It was after the death of his family that Holtz's pursuit of Angelus and Darla was elevated on a personal level. Holtz appeared to put more value into passion and personal character rather than tactical advantage. He's self righteous. Favoring warriors willing to die for his cause over mindless brute strength and mercantile desire, Holtz killed the demons hired by Sahijan and recruited a number of human warriors while also putting Justine in a number of brutal tests such as having her endure a screwdriver being pierced into her hand and remain there. While appearing as some sort of savior, Holtz didn't seem to care much for his soldiers except for Justine.[10] Regardless of how far he was willing to go for his revenge, Holtz took offense at Justine deeming Angel's friends as evil as Angelus himself, preferring to view them as misguided and insisting that not everything was black and white.[15]

Despite Sahjian making efforts to update Holtz on the present, Holtz still remained largely unfamiliar with most modern applications and ideas, referring to a computer as a 'box', thinking a Styrofoam cup was made of cotton and informing Justine that her references to popular culture were lost to him.[4][8]

After seeing Angel hold his son in his arms, Holtz then believed killing him would not suffice his revenge and decided it would be better for Angel to live and suffer by taking away Connor to raise as his own, though civilly agreeing to look after Connor well at Angel's behest after Holtz purposely threatening to kill Connor by breaking his neck unless Angel unwilling reluctantly let Holtz kidnapped Connor. [5][8]He punished Connor for being his arch enemies's son. Spending 16 years in Quor'toth Hell Dimension with Connor, Holtz physical and emotional abuse on Connor, brainwashed and poison Connor's mind with his words. Always mantiplative and preying on Connor's emotional vulnerability, initially thriving on hate to keep him alive, but discovered that love was actually more powerful, and made his last wish to die on the sole attempt to mislead Connor over again into turning against Angel.[10] Right before his death, Holtz acknowledged how far he had fallen and told Justine just to send him to hell and not to follow him there. He may have wanted to be with the daughter he believed Angel and Darla had "sent there."[15]

Powers and abilities[]


Holtz fighting demons in Quor'toth.

Holtz was a human with no independent supernatural powers. However, he was an excellent fighter and was listed as the greatest non-supernatural vampire hunter in recorded history.[1]

Holtz was also an excellent manipulator and leader, rallying Justine Cooper and a small army of vampire hunters to his side, and raising Connor to hate his own father as he brainwashed Connor with his words while Holtz lies to Connor.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

  • He was portrayed by Keith Szarabajka.
  • The song Holtz hums to himself throughout the series is "Ar Hyd y Nos" (All Through the Night), a Welsh song that later became widely used as a lullaby in England.
  • The story of Angelus confronting a Yorkshire vampire hunter, forcing him to stake a family member, and an attempt at vengeance reaching Angel in the 21st century is similar to his story with Andrew Landry, who debuted in the Angel comics (issue Past Lives, Part Two) eight months before Holtz first appearance in the TV series.
  • In a way, Holtz also resembles Robin Wood from Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 7. Both have had family members who have been murdered by notorious vampires (the vampires in question — Angel and Spike — are related), and both seek revenge for the killings. Like Holtz, Robin found no solace in Spike's remorse or his ensoulment, only caring about getting his revenge; Robin, however, wanted to "kill the thing that killed [his] mother" and used the First Evil's hypnotic trigger to turn Spike into a bloodthirsty beast. Holtz, on the other hand, went after Angel, soul and all, and even stooped to kidnapping and brainwashing Angel's son for his revenge. Holtz's surname also means "wood." The major difference between the two is that Wood became an ally of the Scooby Gang, while Holtz's hatred led to his fall.
  • He's ones of Angel's arch enemy.