The Wire

Beatrice Russell

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Beatrice "Beadie" Russell is a port police officer featured prominently in the second season, after she discovered thirteen corpses in a container on the Baltimore docks. Later, she is romantically involved with Jimmy McNulty.


Russell started working as a port authority officer because she needed the pay to support her two young children after her husband abandoned them. She found the job unchallenging and spent most of her time patrolling the docks and checking shipping manifests. She developed a friendly working relationship with many of the stevedores, including Frank Sobotka.

Season 2Edit

In season two, Russell notices a broken customs seal on a container while on patrol one afternoon and explores it, finding a hidden compartment filled with thirteen dead bodies. She is briefly the primary investigator until Officer Jimmy McNulty intervened (for his own reasons) to get the case reassigned to the city Homicide Unit. Russell is subsequently detailed to homicide to aid in the investigation. Initially she shows her lack of experience and street knowledge, but she develops some latent talent for police work in working alongside homicide detectives Bunk Moreland and Lester Freamon. Russell is motivated to investigate the deaths of the girls as she feels an empathy for them, particularly once she learns that they were sex trade workers.

Russell moves into Lieutenant Daniels' detail after he agrees to investigate the bodies, where she soon fends off an awkward advance from Herc. Her home life makes it difficult for her to work the long hours necessary for the investigation, but she perseveres. She connects with detective Kima Greggs when discussing the balance of a mother's responsibilities and the dangers inherent in their work, and enjoys flirting with McNulty both during work and while drinking after hours. McNulty gets back to her house one night, but is discomfited by the presence of family photos and children's toys, and leaves before anything sexual can happen.

Her familiarity with the people and organization of the port proves invaluable to the investigation. She taps an old boyfriend in Frank Sobotka's union named Maui to find out more about illegal activity in the port. Although Maui does not become an informant directly, his information turns the case towards cloning the ports computers to monitor container traffic.

When a suspicious Sobotka sends out a truck carrying normal goods to test the waters, Russell inadvertently tips the investigation's hand by having her colleagues in the port authority stop it. Frank later checks with other port officers who tell him she is still working with the detail, contrary to what she previously told him, and confirming his suspicions that he is being investigated. Despite these mis-steps, Russell gains the respect of the officers in the Sobotka detail. At the end of their investigation, when the focus shifts past Sobotka, Russell is entrusted with following Spiros Vondas to a key meeting with The Greek. She comes through, delivering the location of the meeting, and accidentally gets a photograph of the reclusive Greek.

Russell is able to convince Frank Sobotka to inform on The Greek, once a strong case is built against him. Her emotional offer of a deal has Frank ready to give up everything he knows in order to help his family. However, Frank is murdered before he can say anything official and the Sobotka case is forced to end prematurely. With several arrests made and the murder of the girls solved, Beadie returns to her work at the Port.

Season 3Edit

In Season three, McNulty is reminded of Russell and, feeling his life is missing something, he reinitiates their relationship and returns to beat police work.

Season 4Edit

By season four, the two are living together and he has overcome many of his personal demons (which he credits to her influence). Beadie's children Jack and Cary have come to know McNulty and always refer to him using his surname. Beadie herself has now dyed her hair blonde. At the end of the season McNulty returns to work in the Major Crimes Unit.

Season 5Edit

McNulty's work frustrates him and he returns to drinking and philandering. Russell becomes disillusioned with the relationship when McNulty fails to return home at night.[1] She confronts Bunk Moreland about McNulty's behaviour, ostensibly to see if it is worth waiting for him to change and does not get a satisfactory answer.[2] Despite leaving him briefly, the two are reconciled by the end of the season: she is last seen sitting with McNulty on her doorstep watching the moon, with her head on his shoulder.


Russell is played by Amy Ryan.


Season two appearances
Ebb Tide Collateral Damage Hot Shots Hard Cases Undertow
All Prologue Backwash Duck and Cover Stray Rounds Storm Warnings
Bad Dreams Port in a Storm
Season three appearances
Time After Time All Due Respect Dead Soldiers Amsterdam Straight and True
Homecoming Back Burners Moral Midgetry Slapstick Reformation
Middle Ground Mission Accomplished
Season four appearances
Boys of Summer Soft Eyes Home Rooms Refugees Alliances
Margin of Error Unto Others Corner Boys Know Your Place Misgivings
A New Day That's Got His Own Final Grades
Season five appearances
More with Less Unconfirmed Reports Not for Attribution Transitions React Quotes
The Dickensian Aspect Took Clarifications Late Editions –30–


  1. "More with Less". Joe Chappelle, Writ. David Simon (story and teleplay), Ed Burns (story). The Wire. HBO. 2008-01-06. No. 1, season 5.
  2. "Unconfirmed Reports". Ernest Dickerson, Writ. William F. Zorzi (story and teleplay), David Simon (story). The Wire. HBO. 2008-01-13. No. 2, season 5.

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