- “Look at me: I pay my taxes. I keep my name out of the paper, and I don't make waves. And in return I can do anything I want!”
- ―Russell Winters[src]
Russell Winters was an old and wealthy vampire who owned the investment firm Russell Winters Enterprises. A client of Wolfram & Hart, his vast wealth made him one of the most powerful men in Los Angeles, living among humans and using his connections and power to kill with impunity.
- “We do things a certain way here in LA.”
- ―Russell Winters[src]
Russell Winters was one of the most powerful individuals in Los Angeles. Enjoying tormenting his victims over a prolonged period, his latest victim was a young woman called Tina, killing her before moving on to his next target, Cordelia Chase, whom he had first seen in video footage of a party that Tina had attended. Cordelia, however, recognized him for what he truly was because of her previous experience with vampires in Sunnydale. Winters didn't deny it and still planned to feed on her. However, his attempt to feed on Cordelia was interrupted by the intervention of Angel—who had been sent by Allen Francis Doyle to protect Tina, only to fail when she ran away after discovering his vampire nature—who fought Winters off but was forced to flee with Cordelia after Winters' security guards' arrived.
Subsequently confronting Winters in his office, Angel was casually informed by Lindsey McDonald, Winters' lawyer, that Winters had and would never be convicted of any crime, and further harassment would result in Angel being "forced" into the "light of day". As Winters casually told Angel that he could do anything he wanted, unlike the "usual" vampires Angel confronted, prompting Angel to casually ask if Winters could fly. Before Winters could react or even come up with a good reply, Angel then kicked Winters' chair out of a window behind him, the sunlight causing Winters to turn to ash before his chair even reached the ground.
Powers and Abilities
- “He's the kind of guy that can get away with murder.”
Besides his vampiric abilities, Russell's advanced age had caused his vampire face to be far more deformed than that of common vampires, even sporting a greenish coloration, though he was still able to assume a human visage.
However, Winters' greatest power did not lie on his strength or age, but on his vast economic power. His wealth allowed him to surround himself with butlers and armed security guards and afford the services, not only of hired muscle, but also those of the law firm Wolfram & Hart, which were the only ones aware of his vampire status. The firm not only worked to ensure the success of Winters' enterprises, but also helped cover his killings, providing alibis, witnesses and scapegoats.
Personality and Traits
- “He likes pain. I mean he really does. He talks about it like it was a friend. And you don't leave him, he tells you when he's had enough.”
Beneath his handsome and mature appearance and his charming demeanor, Russell was a controlling and sadistic predator. According to Tina, he like and talks about pain like it was a friend. He enjoyed toying with his victims, particularly young aspiring actresses, harassing them and causing them to live in constant fear, breaking them to the point where they would have no option but to turn to him. Russell then would kill his targets once they ceased to amuse him. Despite being one of the more sadistic vampires, Russell genuinely regretted killing Tina, though the comments he made to Lindsey seem to indicate that he merely regretted killing her too soon.
Behind the Scenes
- He was portrayed by Vyto Ruginis.