- "Trust no one, now GO! Run as far away as you can!"
- — James Earl Cash, after freeing a member of his family.
James Earl Cash was freed from death row and in return must participate in a snuff film, directed by Lionel Starkweather.
It would appear that Starkweather chose his candidate well, as Cash displays no outward emotion or regret while butchering his pursuers and is no stranger to violence. Cash is shown to be very capable of making sure his enemies are dead, and his executions are nothing short of brutal. He is also quite comfortable with firearms and basic gun combat.
PersonalityEditCash remains rather emotionless and completely fearless throughout most of the storyline, however he does display some sympathy for his kidnapped family members during one scene, and is visibly angered when he sees them killed. James Earl Cash is an extraordinarily dangerous individual, capable of inflicting fatal injuries using the most simple objects, such as plastic bags. He helped the female journalist by escorting her safely to her apartment, before telling her to get out of the city while she can, showing that he's good enough to allow an innocent person who has witnessed him commit multiple-murders escape unharmed. This could be simply because James has a strong sense of vengeance within him, so he would do anything to ruin Starkweather, as James said to the journalist; "You're my backup if I don't make it." It could also be because James was more a "good criminal" than a "bad" one, trying his best to kill people that want to kill him, like cops and gangsters instead of innocents. It also seems that he rarely curses, as he just tells either the Journalist or the Tramp to "shut up" or to "shift his/her ass" rather than using more strong words, albeit he isn't heard speaking much throughout the story.
If we compare Leo/Danny with Cash, we can see that Cash is not exactly insane or suffering from what would appear to be Dissociative Identity Disorder (even though that's not it, it's just that Danny has some implant that puts Leo's personality in his mind). Unlike Danny/Leo who is a psychopath, Cash personality is of a hardened and "ruthless criminal," which is the reason why he can easily kill the hunters without any remorse and to preserve his own life. Also, unlike Leo/Danny, he does his killings in a brutal way, not in a sadistic path. Usually, it seems that Cash's victims die before he has finished beating them, meaning they do not feel the pain of his more brutal attacks, whereas Danny/Leo kill in a more wild and uncontrolled style, meaning their victims suffer many attacks before actually succumbing. Unlike Cash, however, Danny is somewhat remorseful and even vomits when he kills someone (at least in the first two levels), although he's actually controlled by Leo. Leo is a completely sadistic murderer, in which before killing someone, he tortures them. This can be easily seen in the Dentist Environment Execution, Gruesome Barbed Wire Execution, and all the Pliers Executions.
Life until 2003Edit
Sometime before 1992, James Cash was wanted by the San Andreas Police Department, which is likely what caused him to abandon his family. It is indicated that he was part of an organized crime ring, assumed to be either an enforcer or a hitman, due to the fact that only murder would get him the death penalty. Indeed, Cash was already a proficient and highly experienced killer before the events of the game. During his career as a criminal, Cash has been evading the law for a decade, until the year 2000 when he was finally caught in Carcer City, and locked away in Darkwoods Penitentiary. Cash was then sentenced to death, the execution being three years later.
Events of ManhuntEditThe day of the execution, Cash is given the lethal injection and everyone believes he is dead. However, he wakes up inside a closed down Coffee and Donuts store in Carcer Mark to find he was only sedated due to the works of Lionel Starkweather, who had bribed the prison officials.
Cash is then forced to participate in one of Starkweather's snuff films in exchange for his freedom. Cash has no trouble in killing a gang called the Hoods as he plows through town killing them in brutal ways until he thinks its over, but is ambushed by the Cerberus, who work for Starkweather and taken to another location.
He is then dropped by the Cerberus at Denton's Junkyard, where he must kill a gang of white supremacists called the Skinz. Cash kills them all as he makes his way through the location, ambushes a Skin on the toilet, uses a crane to clear the path ahead and makes his way to the exit. He is once again picked up by the Cerberus and driven to the next location.
Next, Cash must face a gang of war veterans known as the Wardogs at the Carcer City Zoo, until he learns they have his family hostage. He manages to save at least one member (depends on the player) and kills all the Wardogs at the location.
Now Cash arrives at the mall, because Starkweather has arranged a "screening" for him. He must find a tape and a video camera in the Carcer City Mall, while shooting at a gang called the Innocentz. Once all the gang members are dead, Cash watches the tape which turns out to be footage of his remaining family members getting killed by an Innocentz member with a Machete. Now Cash is back out on the streets and is teamed up with a hobo. Starkweather instructs him to escort the Tramp to the cemetary, while killing more Innocentz on the way. Then he must clear out the remaining Innocentz at the Carcer Chem Factory and on his way out, he makes a run for it but is caught again by the Cerberus.Cash is now taken back to Darkwoods Penitentiary to face his former fellow inmates who have taken over the asylum and called themselves the Smileys. Cash makes his way through the asylum killing all the Smileys, until coming across the White Rabbit, who Cash is told to follow. The rabbit leads Cash into many traps, where he is attacked by Smilieys, until he enters one room filled with heavily armed Smilieys which is the point where Starkweather had planned for Cash to die, thus betraying him. However, Cash manages to stay alive and kills the remaining Smilieys, some of the Cerberus and the White Rabbit as he escapes.
Now Cash is on the run from Starkweather, who sends Ramirez out to catch him which he does but decides to toy with him first. Cash is placed in a fenced-out yard outside the Wardogs Apartment for the Wardogs to hunt him down. Cash kills them and enters the apartment building, killing all the Wardogs and Ramirez in the process.
Then Cash is picked up by the Journalist and Cash helps her reach her apartment to get her evidence to bring down Starkweather, while killing the CCPD along the way who are following orders by Gary Schaffer, who was paid off by Starkweather. Then they separate and Cash heads for Starkweather’s Estate via the subway, making it all the way to the Stockyard Train Yard where he is recaptured by the Cerberus.Cash is then locked up in the garage at Starkweather's place, but breaks free and kills the Cerberus, including the Cerberus Leader, and makes his way up to Starkweather's office. On the way he runs into Piggsy and must kill him. After Piggsy and the remaining Cerberus are dead, Cash finally kills Starkweather.
The police soon show up and discover Starkweather and his snuff film ring, but Cash is no where to be found.
It is unknown where Cash went after killing Starkweather.
Notable Murders CommittedEdit
- White Rabbit (Killed to gain hold of the key to escape Darkwoods Penitentiary)
- Ramirez (Killed attempting to kill Cash)
- Cerberus Leader (Killed to gain hold of the elevator key to reach Starkweather)
- Piggsy (Killed for attempting to kill Cash)
- Lionel Starkweather (Killed for forcing Cash to kill gang members, ordering the brutal deaths of his family members, and later trying to kill him)
Before the release of Manhunt, there were several screenshot of Cash before his appearance was redesigned. In the beta, Cash wore a brown tank vest and looked slightly different, but his basic concept remained the same. Three beta Cash models can be seen hanging from crosses at Starkweather's Estate and many beta Cash heads on spikes can be found around the garden.
- Rockstar named James Earl Cash after the real life criminal, James Earl Ray, who was known for assassinating Martin Luther King Jr.
- Cash appears to be very strong, because when picking up the body of a dead hunter in the game, Cash will pick up the body and will just use his right arm to carry it and can walk without any struggle, but he can't run if he's carrying a body.
- He also shares his first two names with a former American president, Jimmy Carter.
- Cash action figures can be found in Zero's RC Shop in San Fierro in GTA San Andreas.
- At the police station in both Las Venturas and San Fierro, there are wanted posters for Cash and a few Hoods gang members.
- Cash will become bloody if he is hit with any type of weapon.
- The Beta version of Cash looks like the pre-release screenshots of Max Payne, for Max Payne 3.
- Cash's appearance was likely based off of Mickey Knox from the movie Natural Born Killers during the prison break scene. Mickey Knox was in fact based off of a real serial killer named Charles Starkweather (similar to the main antagonist of Manhunt, Lionel Starkweather).