Detective Jane Clementine Rizzoli is a homicide detective working for the Boston Police Department. Her identifying badge number is Victor 825.
Raised in the blue-collar Boston suburb of Revere, Massachusetts, Jane has fought long and hard to win the respect of her colleagues, but it's her relationship with her equally stubborn mother that sometimes proves to be her biggest headache.
As a child, she was slightly chubby, earning her the nickname "Rollie Pollie Rizzoli". She grew up with Joey Grant, who always made fun of her because he liked her. During high school, she got into a relationship with Casey Jones.
When Jane was 12, a man dressed as a clown kidnapped a boy off the streets of Boston on July 28, 1988, prompting Jane's mother to keep her and her brothers home from activities for months.
She graduated high school in 1994 and went to junior college where she played field hockey as an attacker. She applied to the fictional, prestigious college Boston Cambridge University. She was accepted and she wanted to go, but her family would not have been able to afford it. Not wanting her family to give away everything they had just so she could go to college, she decided to follow a career in law enforcement. Although this was her own decision, she sometimes still feels like she missed out when she decided not to go to college.
After training at Boston PD Academy, she worked her way up from being a beat patrolman to a detective, then becoming the youngest officer ever to be promoted to the rank of detective in BPD. She first worked as a detective in the vice unit, then later became the first female officer to work in the drug control unit, working undercover in DCU.
Her first partner at DCU was Rafael Martinez. At one point, one of their C.I.s, Yolanda, gets killed during one of the undercover busts they had sent her to. She and Rafael had a falling out and stopped talking even eight years after Martinez left to take an assignment with a federal task force. Although Jane publicly blames Martinez, Jane actually blames herself, as she, new and excited about having her own C.I., had sent the unprepared Yolanda undercover on the bust that led to her death.
Jane first met Dr. Maura Isles while working undercover for the drug unit. Since she was undercover as a hooker, she had no money on her when she came by the BPD's Division One Cafe, so Stanley wouldn't give her anything. Coincidentally, Maura was there and she tried to offer Jane some money, not knowing she was actually a cop. They exchange snarky remarks because of the misunderstanding of each other's character: Maura's babbling of facts and Jane's denying her help misinterpreted as rudeness.
She later moved to the homicide unit.
During her investigation of the serial killer Charles Hoyt, then more popularly known as "The Surgeon", she had a lead that could lead them directly to Hoyt. She tried to get Vince, then her partner, to go with him, but he refused, so she went alone. While trying to rescue one of his victims before it was too late, she was taken by surprise from behind and almost became a victim herself. Hoyt stabbed her palm with scalpels and pinned her to the ground, leaving permanent scars on her hands. As Hoyt was just making an incision on her face, Vince storms in and was able to intervene and save her life before Charles could rape her. Jane survived the brutal, near-death attack by Hoyt and had him put him behind bars, although she was still constantly haunted by him. Jane laters asks to be reassigned to a new partner, ashamed of moving behind her partner's back, and that Vince had now seen her so broken.
Jane is now partners with Barry Frost, a homicide detective who still squirms at the sight of blood. She is somehow protective of him, especially since the other officers, especially Korsak, tease him.
When she is sent to investigate a murder that displays a similar m.o. as the Surgeon, Jane becomes paranoid that Hoyt has returned for her. Desperate for information, they visit Hoyt, who continues to calmly taunt Jane. Hoyt tells Jane that he intends on finishing what he was planning on doing to her, and Jane confesses that she is still bothered by him. He then admits that he did indeed train an apprentice, and that he will come after her eventually. Later, they also find out that Hoyt has escaped custody by faking an appendicitis attack. When her friends and families' paranoia becomes worse than hers, she temporarily stays at Maura's apartment.
When they find another victim of the Apprentice, Jane plans a stakeout of the area, hoping to catch him. When Korsak wanders off into the woods, Jane goes looking for him and ends up tackling Gabriel Dean, the FBI Agent that both Jane and Maura have been trying to subtly impress. They also find Korsak on the ground, alive but scarred, attacked by the Apprentice just before they arrived.
When she starts being suspicious of another case Isles and Dean are working on, she decides to take matters into her own hands by confronting Dena about it. He and Senator Sam Conway later admit to her that they have suspicions that the apprentice was a Green Beret that worked for the CIA. With this new information, she asks them to look for anyone that may have been in contact with Hoyt during his combat medic training at Fort Stewart. This is how they find out about John Stark, a soldier who did a tour in Afghanistan and began his killings there during the war.
When her apartment is later trashed, she rushes over only to fall into the trap of "the Surgeon" and "his apprentice", John Stark. Although scared, she manages to fight them off, burning herself and half of Hoyt's face with a flare in the process. She uses their stun gun against them and ends up killing Stark. As she breaks free of her restrains, Hoyt reaches for the gun, only to be stopped by Jane who shoots his overlapped palms, leaving scars on his that match hers. Hoyt is again taken into custody.
Jane, although apparently allergic to dogs, also ends up taking in Jo Friday, the stray dog just rescued by Korsak before their stakeout.
Jane Rizzoli is honored in public as a hero, along with PFC Abigail "Abby" Sherman, after the shooting three months before. Jane, still not completely emotionally recovered, does not think of herself as a hero and was only convinced by Maura to even attend.
Upon her return, she is partnered with both Frost and Korsak, their new Sergeant, now as a threesome.
In "Remember Me", Angela and Jane's friends and family throw her a surprise party for her birthday. At first, she knew about it, and to distract her mother from the news that Hoyt had bothered Jane again, she asked Frankie to tell her that she wanted a "My Pretty Pony" themed party since it was being discontinued and it would make hunting for supplies hard for Angela. Later proven true, Angela just throws the party with pony designs in her apartment.
Meanwhile, Maura had been frantically trying to think of a good birthday present for Jane. She had considered a sleep coach, which Angela discouraged her of, and a hot-air balloon ride, which Jane made fun of. She later just asks Jane, and Jane kids around by saying that she wanted a thoroughbred horse which she will name Walter. She does, however, also tell Jane that she does not like her birthdays because she always ends up disappointed about how the day turns out.
This year's birthday was different for her though, since Jane's wish that Hoyt die is finally fulfilled when she stabs Hoyt with his scalpel after he attacks both Jane and Maura, in an attempt to have them die with him. Also, Maura gets her a Lamborghini Murciélago, a pair of racing shoes and gets her into racing school.
Jane's friendship with Maura is challenged after she shoots Paddy and leads him to his fall and to the verge of death. In "What Doesn't Kill You", both their prides keep the friends from completely apologizing to each other, and all their attempts at conversations lead to arguments. Meanwhile, she, Korsak and Frost are all under suspicion of being dirty cops working for Paddy Doyle because of their discretion with information regarding him, so the Internal Affairs Division investigate them. Later, after a heated argument with Maura in the morgue, the IAD officer, Captain John Connors, asks for her to be placed on leave, but Sean decides to demote her to evidence management department. This, however, turns out to be an assignment for Jane. Sean had placed Jane intentionally in evidence so that she could keep an eye on things and figure out who the dirty cops are.
While doing some digging, she finds a photo of Maura's mother, Hope, in Paddy's case files. Realizing that she had seen a familiar scene before, she compares it to the drawing Constance's had hung on a wall in Maura's house, so she asks Constance about it and learns that Paddy had drawn it for her while he was posing as a Harvard student.? When she finds out that the scene is set in the Boston Cemetery, she visits the grave in the photo and sees that it is the fake grave for baby Maura. She then sees Paddy's "book" of hits and men, so she is able to point out Wally, Connors, and Cliff as the dirty cops. Jane then cleverly tricks Connors into threatening her, tightening their case against Connors as he is caught with an empty gun pointed at her with other cops hiding around them. Sean brings her officially back to homicide. She then proceeds to show Maura her fake grave.
From an Italian American family, Jane, the eldest Rizzoli sibling, is brash, brilliant, and often prickly but also a confident and independent woman. She is the tomboy daughter of an overprotective mother. She is extremely competitive, especially with her little brother, Frankie, who is often caught in her shadow. Jane can tackle a perp like a linebacker. She rarely lets her guard down with anyone, except her best friend, Maura Isles. She mentioned in one episode that she played field hockey as an attacker in junior college. She is hopeless with men and allergic to dogs.
Jane Rizzoli is a very fit woman, given her regular exercise and jogging. As a child, she was slightly chubby, earning her the nickname "Roly-Poly Rizzoli". She was also called "frog face" by Joey. She, like her book counterpart, has dark, curly hair that has only gotten wilder over time.
Maura Isles is Rizzoli's best friend. Maura is a walking library, able to spout out facts, regardless of whether or not they are relevant to a case. This habit of Maura's annoys Jane to no end. As she is known around the force as "Queen of the Dead"; her ring tone on Jane's phone appropriately plays Chopin's "Funeral March". Maura is the complete opposite of Jane, though they are best friends. Jane is more of a tomboy, while Maura always looks like she is going to a fashion shoot rather than to the morgue or a crime scene. Though Maura is socially awkward and has trouble with men due to her brutal honesty and habit of revealing all their medical conditions, she isn't awkward around Jane. Jane doesn't let her guard down around anybody but Maura.
Korsak is Rizzoli's former/original partner and unofficial mentor. The two maintain a close bond after years of working together, but Korsak is clearly bothered that he is no longer partnered with Jane. He seems to care for her like a daughter and is nearly as protective of her as Angela is. It is revealed in the series pilot that he saved her life from Hoyt.
Frost is Rizzoli's second and new partner. He is very protective of Jane and stands by her like a loyal, tough partner, but in the first season doesn't get along with her former partner Korsak.
Gabriel Dean is an FBI agent often seen working with the Boston Homicide detectives and Medical Examiner's Office. He later becomes romantically involved with Detective Jane Rizzoli.
Casey was an old flame of Jane's from high school who reunited with her in season 2. A US Army officer assigned to Middle East, he returns to Boston but broke up with Jane due to his injuries caused by a bomb blast, which paralyzed him from waist below. He had a surgery and gets better. They had an unborn child together, Jane had a miscarriage.
Differences from the Novels
- Jane Rizzoli is described as being petite, unlike her fit and muscular TV counterpart.
- She met Detective Korsak during the events of "The Apprentice." He was a detective with the Newton Police Department. This is also the same book where Jane first meets Dr. Maura Isles, who had recently moved from San Francisco to replace the then retiring Dr. Tierney.
- At the end of the novel "The Surgeon," Detective Rizzoli is saved when the kidnapped Dr. Catherine Cordell takes Rizzoli's weapon to shoot Warren Hoyt, also known as The Surgeon. In the flashbacks in the show, Hoyt is shown to have been stopped by Korsak who shot him.
- Rizzoli's mother does not work at the police headquarters. She and Jane do not get along as well as their TV counterparts do. The same also goes for Rizzoli's relationships with her brothers, none of whom are on the police force.
- In the books, Jane marries Gabriel Dean and has a daughter with him.
- Jane is left-handed.
- Jane is afraid of witches.
- Jane's favorite food is bacon chocolate. ("Home Town Glory")
- Jane had a miscarriage in season 5.
- Jane's ring size is a 7.
- Jane has a Facebook page.
- Angela mentioned Jane's telephone number as (617) 555 30 ?? until Maura stopped her. (Seventeen Ain't So Sweet)
- ↑ Age 12 on 7/28/1988, means a birth-date between 7/29/1975 and 7/27/1976.