Gerald Crane
Gerald Crane.png
Alias Dr. Crane


Family * Karen Crane † (wife)
Affiliation Aquinas High School (formerly)
Occupation Serial killer
Biology teacher (formerly)
Status Deceased
First "The Fearsome Dr. Crane"
Appeared in 3 episodes (see below)
Portrayed by Julian Sands
"We're all afraid. Every man and woman on the planet. We're all standing at the edge of the abyss, paralyzed by fear."
—Gerald Crane to Jonathan Crane[src]
"You think I'm afraid of you? You and your guns? I have no fear!"
—Gerald Crane's final words before his death.[src]

Doctor Gerald Crane was a biology professor, and the innovator of an anti-fear formula.


Death of his wife

Crane had suffered from a severe form of pyrophobia for most of his life, going so far as to not be able to be anywhere near it. One night, his house caught fire. The entire second floor was engulfed in flames. Gerald grabbed his son, Jonathan, and ran outside. He tried to go upstairs to save his wife, Karen, but his pyrophobia prevented him from doing so. He took his wife's body and crashed a car to make it seem that she died in a car crash, as opposed to having to tell everyone that he let his wife burn to death. It was then that he resolved to create a cure for fear.[1]

Curing himself of fear

One year later, he began masquerading as Todd, a member of the phobia support group run by Scottie Mullen, Gerald used the revelations of group members to stage their greatest terrors and kill them in that manner. He then quickly harvested the adrenal glands from their fresh corpses, in order to acquire the elevated levels of cortisol their utter panic had created. Gerald had an unnamed accomplice who helped him with some of his crimes but he would later be shot dead by detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock. This incident forced Gerald to involve his son Jonathan in his crimes.

Gerald then injected himself with the distilled cortisol so that he might face his own greatest fear - his failure to save his wife from death by burning. Not wanting his son to be afraid like him, Gerald injected his son, Jonathan Crane, with the fear toxin. While Jonathan struggled, Gerald (completely fearless due to the serum) faced down Gordon and Bullock but was gunned down. He died instantly from a bullet to the heart. [2]


Gerald's son, Jonathan Crane, still under the effects of his formula, is hospitalized and is plagued by visions of demonized scarecrows, beginning his destiny to become The Scarecrow.

His formula was somehow attained by Hugo Strange, and was used on Oswald Cobblepot to rehabilitate him at Arkham Asylum.[3]

A gang of outlaws paid the warden Reed to release Jonathan from Gotham Asylum so they could get him to replicate his father's toxin to use in their robberies, something which he accomplished. Jonathan was still hallucinating a monstrous Scarecrow years after his exposure to the toxin, and after being locked in a room by the gang with a scarecrow, his mind finally snapped and he donned the costume and identified himself as the Scarecrow rather than his real name.[4]

Viewing his father as a visionary and a good man regardless of his criminal deeds, Jonathan decided to use the toxin to force people to confront their fears. He also plotted to avenge Gerald's "murder" by getting revenge on the GCPD, which led to him gassing Jim Gordon with the fear toxin to force him to confront his greatest fear and get him to commit suicide, although the plot failed as Gordon managed to overcome it.[5]


"He was a pioneer! A genius! He taught me we can live our entire lives imprisoned by our fears...or we can embrace them."
Jonathan Crane about his father[src]

Gerald was a man who was dedicated to overcoming his fears and in these pursuits he was quite ruthless, becoming a serial killer who showed people their greatest terrors, then killed and harvested them. After his wife's death and his neglect to save her for being too afraid, Gerald became insane and racked with guilt, however, he did love his son Jonathan whom he wanted to overcome his own nightmares but after injecting him with a fear toxin, Jonathan was haunted by his worst fear, scarecrows.


Season 1

Season 2

Season 4


  • In the DC comics, Gerald first appeared in Year One: Batman/Scarecrow #2 but wasn't a villain and was absent from Jonathan's life. Jonathan as Scarecrow, later attempted to murder his father, however, he was stopped by Batman. In Batman Vol 2 #1 which was part of the New 52 reboot continuity Jonathan's father Dr. Crane was portrayed as a villain who experimented on his son and locked him in a small dark room. Mr. Crane suffered a heart attack and died, which left his son trapped inside the dark test chamber and wasn't discovered until days later by the cops when Dr. Crane's disappearance was reported. Either way, Gerald was a terrible father, whose actions led to his son becoming the scarecrow.
  • This is the first live-action incarnation of Gerald Crane and his first appearance outside of comics.


  1. Stephens, John (writer) & Behring, John (director) (February 2, 2015). "The Fearsome Dr. Crane". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 14. FOX.
  2. Woodruff, Ken (writer) & Copus, Nick (director) (February 9, 2015). "The Scarecrow". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 15. FOX.
  3. Behring, John (writer) & Harper, Jordan (director) (March 14, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: This Ball of Mud and Meanness". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 14. FOX.
  4. Stephens, John (writer) & Cannon, Danny (director) (September 21, 2017). "A Dark Knight: Pax Penguina". Gotham. Season 4. Episode 1. FOX.
  5. Cannon, Danny (writer) & Milito, Lous Shaw (director) (September 28, 2017). "A Dark Knight: The Fear Reaper". Gotham. Season 4. Episode 2. FOX.
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