He was a rogue and a rapist while blackmail and extortion were his favorite hobbies. Yet Jake McKinnon possessed a certain “something” – let’s call it the “It Factor” – and it led him to become not only one of the most beloved characters on Another World but one of the most complex male characters in all of soap opera history.
Jake McKinnon and gal-pal Vicky Carson, two Lassiter, Pennsylvania natives, arrived in Bay City with an audacious scheme. The two had chanced upon the fact that Vicky was a biological member of the old monied Love family, and they planned to bilk them out of not only Vicky’s rightful share of the estate but the $22 million that Marley – Vicky’s identical twin sister – stood to inherit.
To that end, Jake set about seducing the virginal young woman but in the course of his charade, he began to develop real feelings for his mark. The two love birds married and fled town to avoid the wrath of Marley’s grandfather Reginald.
The McKinnon union was marred with issues of trust and Marley’s frigidity and soon Jake sought comfort with another woman – devastating his bride. Marley abandoned him and returned home but Jake soon followed and tried desperately to woo her back.
Despondent and lonely, Jake did what had come naturally to him since he was a teenager: he turned to Vicky and they wound up making love. When Vicky became pregnant, she was unsure if Jake or Jamie Frame – her husband – was the father. Jake convinced Marley to reunite with him and battled Vicky for custody but a paternity test would reveal that Jamie was the biological parent.
Who Done It?
Devastated by the revelation and the disintegration of his marriage, Jake became a one-man wrecking ball. He schemed with Iris Wheeler to prove that Paulina Cantrell was not really Mackenzie Cory’s offspring and when he found corroborating evidence of her scheme, he blackmailed the con artist into his bed.
He also indulged in a tryst with his former mother-in-law Donna Love and tried to manipulate his way back into Marley’s good graces. When his ex-wife saw through his scheme, they argued and he forced himself on her.
Marley informed Vicky of the sexual assault and her sister stormed out to confront Jake – who was later found critically wounded from a gunshot. The bullet and subsequent operation left Jake comatose for five months. During his slumber, his subconscious tried to piece together the clues that would reveal his assailant. To that end, he fantasized about playing a round of poker with all the possible suspects.
Upon awakening, he discovered that Paulina had fired the gun but rather than turn her in, he blackmailed her into marriage (hoping to get his hand on the fortune she stood to gain following the revelation that she really was Mac Cory’s daughter).
Although it shouldn’t have worked, the McKinnon marriage wound up being a happy one – for a time – and the two stayed together even after the truth about the shooting came to light.
However, Jake became involved with a shady money lender and became heavily indebted. When the goon sent in Bunny Eberhardt to “persuade” Jake to pay up, a series of events led Jake to be presumed dead, develop amnesia, and adopt the only name he could remember as his new persona.
As Bunny Eberhardt, Jake managed to parley a small amount of cash into a fortune. He made his way back to Bay City and his memory was restored thanks to Matt Cory’s fist making contact with his face. But even with his newfound riches, Jake still lost Paulina, who had fallen in love with Joe Carlino.
As he was wont to do, Jake wormed his way back into Vicky’s good graces and the two eventually married. They were thrilled with the news that Vicky was pregnant with twins and the couple set about making plans to move to Oakdale – the setting of the CBS daytime drama As the World Turns.
Tragedy struck, however, and Vicky perished in a plane crash. Before passing, she managed to birth two healthy babies and Jake was able to reclaim them and start their lives anew.
He eventually opened his home and his heart to reformed criminal Molly Conlan and married her. Jake gained a precocious and trouble-prone step-daughter in the form of Abigail and the young woman would ultimately lead to his death.
Abigail became involved with a shady character named Nick Scudder who wound up being murdered by an obsessive woman named Mary – who coincidentally used to work for Jake and Molly as a nanny to the twins.
With her secret rumbled, Mary took Molly hostage and tried to ransom her for $1 million. A bull-headed Jake rushed to protect his wife and wound up being fatally wounded in the melee.