The Wire

Bunk Moreland

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William "Bunk" Moreland is a veteran homicide detective.



Dressing most frequently in pinstriped suits and smoking cigars, Bunk is usually the very picture of a genial epicure. Originally from Edmondson High School in West Baltimore, he lives in Randallstown, MD, a predominantly black suburb of Baltimore, with his wife Nadine and their three children (one of whom aspires to be a Chief of Police as mentioned in Season 4).

Though he is known for making sarcastic remarks during an investigation, and for frequently being hungover at work, Bunk is one of the Homicide unit's veterans and best detectives. He was Jimmy McNulty's long-time partner in Homicide, and the two have remained friends and frequent drinking buddies after McNulty was transferred out. Unlike McNulty, he is loyal to the chain of command in the department and is never insubordinate, but he shares McNulty's penchant for infidelity and alcohol (Bunk is smart enough though not to get caught and develop legal issues unlike McNulty). Sometimes they drink competitively with the loser paying the bar tab.

Throughout the series, he is seen investigating deaths that are related in some way to Major Case unit cases, and keeps an eye on stick-up man Omar Little.

Season 1Edit

Bunk served as McNulty's lone ally in the homicide unit, keeping him apprised of the happenings there while chiding him for getting involved in the Barksdale case. He is also the primary investigator for the murder of William Gant, who had testified against D'Angelo Barksdale. Omar Little informed him that the shooter is a Barksdale soldier called Bird, and agreed to testify against him in court. Because of this, Bunk persuaded his colleague Detective Cole not to arrest Omar for the murder of Stinkum. When Omar was at the police department, Bunk discovered that they had gone to the same high school, beginning an on-going association between the two.

After one particularly heavy night of drinking, McNulty had to pick Bunk up from a random woman's house. Bunk had locked himself in her bathroom and burned his clothing so that his wife would be unable to find trace evidence of him having slept with another woman.

At Landsman's insistence, Bunk and McNulty reviewed the old Deirdre Kresson murder, which ultimately turned out to be related to the Barksdales, and was solved as part of the final arrests of D'Angelo Barksdale and Wee-Bey Brice.

Season 2Edit

Bunk was partnered with Lester Freamon in Homicide, and they were quickly recognised as the squad's best detectives. This reputation led Landsman to assign them the investigation into the deaths of fourteen Jane Does in a cargo container on the docks, a seemingly impossible case. They were detailed Officer Beadie Russell from the Port Authority, who initially found the bodies. The girls suffocated after the air pipe was deliberately closed off (other than one girl who was murdered and thrown overboard on the previous night).

Bunk and Freamon tracked down the ship which carried the package, and held the ship in port in Philadelphia to question the crew. None of the crew would admit to speaking English, and they let the ship go after learning that two crewman had jumped ship after Baltimore. Based on the few sparse facts they knew, Bunk and Freamon deduced (correctly) that the women were prostitutes being smuggled in from overseas to join a prostitute ring, that one of the girls was murdered by a sailor after refusing sex, and the rest were killed for witnessing the crime. The murderer is one of those who fled, so the investigation is at an impasse, and Bunk and Freamon came under heavy criticism from a frustrated Colonel Rawls for releasing the ship without getting statements.

Bunk also worried about the William Gant murder; state's attorney Ilene Nathan threatened to drop the charges if the police were unable to find the key witness, Omar Little. Bunk repeatedly reminded McNulty of this, and eventually McNulty was able to find Omar, with the help of Bubbles. Omar testified quite successfully, and Bird was locked away for a maximum term.

Later, Bunk and Russell returned to the port in Philadelphia and found video evidence implicating Sergei, whose testimony led to the solving of the Jane Doe murders, as well as aiding the Major Case unit's investigation into Frank Sobotka.

Season 3Edit

When the city deals with five homicides in one night, Bunk had to leave his son with McNulty at an Orioles game to investigate one of them. He quickly recognized the scene of Omar Little's drug robberies, and (wrongly) believes one of the victims to be an innocent taxpayer. He became incensed, and obsessed over her death, continuing to investigate it even after his superior officers Landsman, Colonel Raymond Foerster and Rawls ordered him to find the stolen weapon of Officer Kenneth Dozerman, who was nearly killed in a failed drug bust led by Sergeant Ellis Carver. They all considered the weapon's recovery to be a top priority, though he thought it was a frivolous use of his abilities.

Bunk met with Omar, confronting him about the "innocent" victim. Omar informed him that she was part of his crew, and states that he would never kill an innocent person. As Omar states no one will talk to Bunk about the murder and she died in the game, Bunk is able to guilt him about his negative influence on the world due to the collapse of their old West Baltimore neighborhood. Bunk sickenly states that predators like Omar are all that still exist in their old neighborhood which was once a community despite the hardships existent in the neighborhood.[1] As a way of assuaging this guilt, Omar found Dozerman's gun and returned it to Bunk.

Bunk was also one of the investigators of Stringer Bell's murder, during which Bunk used the acronym "BNBG" - Big Negro, Big Gun - to sum-up witness Andy Krawczyk's stereotypical description of the murderer. [2] Bunk realized Omar was the shooter but did not conclude the case. After the investigation, he told McNulty the city's homicide rate would probably reach 300 by new years noticing how McNulty had slowed down on his consumption of alcohol.

Season 4Edit

Bunk investigated the murder of Fruit, one of Marlo Stanfield's drug dealers. He was unable to find his main suspect, Curtis "Lex" Anderson, and it became clear that Lex was murdered, but no leads were forthcoming. At the same time, Bunk was surprised at McNulty's seemingly successful attempts to get his life back on track.

Omar Little contacted Bunk after Chris Partlow framed him for murdering an innocent woman in a convenience store robbery. Bunk initially ignored him, reasoning that Omar was guilty of several other unproven murders (including Stringer Bell), but Omar appealed to his sense of honor. He tracked down new evidence proving that Omar's witness Old Face Andre lied, leading to Omar's release. In exchange, Bunk extracted a promise from him to never kill again.

Freamon transferred back to Homicide, and the two were partnered again. Freamon managed to find Lex's body and, in the process, more than twenty other bodies, all of which are linked to Marlo Stanfield after Bunk gets key testimony from Lex's mother.

Favorite quotesEdit

Throughout the series the character of Bunk is known for the following statements:

  • "You happy now, bitch?" is a line repeated towards fellow officer Jimmy McNulty.
  • "BNBG", means an unknown shooter in the Baltimore Homicide Unit which stands for "Big Negro Big Gun."
  • "I'll be your partner, Lester.  Your life partner."

Bunk also has a tendency towards making unusual and humorous statements when he is heavily intoxicated:

  • "I'm just a humble motherfucker with a big-ass dick."



Season 1 appearances
"The Target" "The Detail" "The Buys" "Old Cases" "The Pager"
"The Wire" "One Arrest" "Lessons" "Game Day" "The Cost"
"The Hunt" "Cleaning Up" "Sentencing"
Season 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 appearances
"More with Less" "Unconfirmed Reports" "Not for Attribution" "Transitions" "React Quotes"
"The Dickensian Aspect" "Took" "Clarifications" "Late Editions" "–30–"


Bunk is based on a retired Baltimore City Police Detective named Rick Requer, a black officer who joined the force in 1964 as a Western District patrolman who eventually moved into the Homicide Division.[3]


  1. Bunk Chides Omar. You Tube (2004). Retrieved on 2006-08-09.
  2. Org Chart - The Law. HBO (2004). Retrieved on 2006-07-22.
  3. Simon, David [1991] (2006). "Post Mortem", Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, 4th, Owl Books, 641. ISBN 0-8050-8075-9. “Rick 'The Bunk' Requer left to man the department's retirement servies bureau, though his homicide incarnation lives on in Wendell Pierce's portrayal of the legendary Bunk Moreland on The Wire, right down to the ubiquitous cigar.” 

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