It’s never easy to kill pure evil, a truism that Days of our Lives uber-villain Orpheus knows all too well.
Who Is Orpheus?
It was the accidental shooting of his wife, Rebecca, that spurred mild-mannered Milo Harp — an agent with the International Security Alliance (ISA) — into adopting the guise of international criminal Orpheus and targeting the man responsible for his misfortune — former partner Roman Brady.
For a time, Orpheus operated in the shadows, offering his services to whichever criminal faction would pay him the most money. He was heartened when word reached him that Roman had been shot and killed by Stefano DiMera but when he resurfaced — in actuality, it was an amnesiac John Black — Orpheus decided to finally exact revenge on him himself.
After aligning with Vaughn and Gillian Forrester, the corrupt head of the ISA and a double agent respectively, Orpheus abducted the object of “Roman’s” affection, Marlena Evans, and used her as a bargaining chip in an effort to force his rival into locating a cache of stolen treasury bonds.
Orpheus’s plans were stymied by the arrival of several of Roman’s fellow Salemites, chief among them Steve Johnson, Kayla Brady, Bo Brady and Hope Williams, who all converged in Stockholm in a bid to rescue Marlena.
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His back against the wall, Orpheus agreed to meet with “Roman” and hand Marlena over to him. At the rendezvouses point, a freed Marlena ran towards her lover but before she could reach him, Orpheus shot her in the back! Though he feared her dead, “Roman” realized that “Doc” had merely been hit by a tranquilizer dart – Orpheus’s little way of teaching “Roman” what it feels like to see the woman he loves murdered.
Next, Orpheus stealthily perused his prey back to Salem and quickly set up a base of operation. When Kayla cottoned on to his presence, Orpheus had her kidnapped and stashed away on his yacht — but she was eventually saved by Steve.
Realizing that he would soon be found out, Orpheus planted a bomb inside the house owned by “Roman” and Marlena and, once sure that “Roman” was at a safe distance and aware of the fact that his wife was home alone, he set off the charge.
While “Roman” mourned, Orpheus absconded with Marlena and spirited her away to a privately owned island where his son and daughter lived. With threats of harming “Roman” and the children they shared (Eric and Sami), Orpheus kept Marlena in line and forced her to play mother to his motherless children.
Not content with simply allowing “Roman” to mourn a deceased spouse, Orpheus instead sent him videotapes of Marlena living in her new home and challenged his rival into proving their veracity.
Taking the bait, “Roman” traveled to the villain’s hideaway and watched in horror as Marlena was bundled into an airplane that then exploded upon leaving the runway. A gun battle with Orpheus followed and “Roman” emerged the seeming victor.
But the rumors of Orpheus’s death were exaggerated it seems. He somehow managed to survive the bullet that pierced his chest and live on the lam for years. However, an attempt to plunder a bank vault resulted in imprisonment — apparently inside Salem’s local penitentiary.
Orpheus and His Second Reign of Terror
Initially content with his new surroundings, Orpheus was prodded into action when he laid eyes on Marlena for the first time in decades. After making the acquaintance of Clyde Weston and Xander Cook, Orpheus engineered an escape plan.
Using a transfer as cover, the trio managed to make a break for it and return to Salem proper. There, they kidnapped Kayla and Joey and held them for a $20 million ransom.
When the plan fell apart and the trio split up, Orpheus attempted to murder his enemies with a large number of strategically placed bombs. He also took John hostage and planned to execute him but was wounded in a subsequent confrontation with Steve.
Taken to the police station, Orpheus managed to liberate an officer’s gun and stage a suicide by ingesting poison. With everyone assuming him dead, Orpheus was able to kidnap Marlena and Kayla and place them inside a pair of wooden coffins, which he then set alight.
Steve and John managed to uncover the deception and locate the women. During the rescue mission, Orpheus was shot and presumably died from his injuries. Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.