Katherine "Kate" Houghton Beckett is a detective of the NYPD at the 12th Precinct of the Homicide division and a former Federal government agent. Beckett is now the wife of Richard Castle. She is portrayed by Stana Katic.
Katherine Houghton Beckett was born to Jim and Johanna Beckett on November 17, 1979. She was raised in Manhattan.
Her grandfather was an amateur magician and frequently brought her to the famous Drake's Magic Shop after school in her early teens, resulting in her fascination of the art. She is also a comic book fan, having bought her first when she was 14 and envisioning herself as Elektra if she had a choice of what character to be. She was also raised by her father to be a baseball fan.
Beckett went to Stuyvesant High School, a public school in New York City reserved for highly gifted students. She then studied pre-law at Stanford, dreaming of becoming the first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, before transferring to New York University after her mother's death to pursue a career in law enforcement. Between her junior and senior year of college, she spent a semester studying in Kiev, Ukraine.
She hints to Castle many times about having a wild past and according to an old friend, Madison Queller. she was "the biggest scofflaw" in high school and was in relationships with a variety of men. She spent one summer while in high school modeling as opposed to waitressing, eventually earning enough money to buy a 1994 Harley Softail Motorcycle, which she still rides, although her father strongly disapproves of it and once even threatened to send her to a nunnery for. She also had a beauty queen, Debbie Winaker, for a roommate during her freshman year.
Jim and Johanna Beckett, Kate's parents
On January 9, 1999, when she was 19, her mother, Johanna, was stabbed to death while on her way to meet with Jim and Kate for dinner. The detective in charge of the investigation, Detective John Raglan. was apparently never able to find the killer and attributed her death to random gang violence. Kate, though, believes that there was more to her mother's murder than a random killing, thinking that the investigating detectives ignored every other evidence that could lead them to her mother's murderer.
Her father took Johanna's death hard and became an alcoholic. She was eventually able to help her father get through it, though. From then on, she has since worn her mother's wedding ring as a neck lace for "the life she lost" and her father's watch, an Omega Speedmaster Professional, a.k.a. "Moonwatch", for "the life she saved".
On the other hand, her mother's death inspired Beckett to become a
cop: to be a detective that actually looks for justice for the sake of the victims' families for the right reasons without 'pigeon-holing' crimes the way Detective Raglan did on her mother's case. Other than that, she also wanted a position in the force where she could investigate her mother's death further.
Richard Castle 's books and the fictional shows Nebula 9 and Temptation Lane also apparently had its share of helping Kate get through her mother's death.
Beckett's training officer after leaving the academy was Mike Royce. who according to Beckett was "the only one who understood the obsession that drove her." His stories and influence in her life later led to her falling in love with him.
After spending the first three years of her career as a cop drowning herself in studying her mother's file and coming up with nothing, she finally decided to put it behind her and just try to forget about it and avoid delving deeper into the case. According to Captain Montgomery, her main strength as a detective lies in her ability to empathise with the relatives of violent crimes, which she does better than anyone he knows.
At one point in her career, she teams up with FBI Agent Will Sorenson for a kidnapping case that did not end well. The two become romantically involved, but the relationship ends when Will pursues a career in Boston, a career move he chose over Kate.
In the pilot episode. Beckett leads the investigation into the murder of Allison Tisdale, which is staged in the style of a death scene described in the Richard Castle's novel Flowers For Your Grave . along with other murders based on Castle's fiction.
In episode 9. Beckett's past is further revealed when a former love interest (although, on her side, it seems to have been more of a "friends with benefits" deal), FBI Agent Will Sorenson. returns to New York and requests Beckett's assistance on a kidnapping case. It is revealed in the episode by Sorenson that Beckett once waited in line for an hour just to get one of Castle's books signed, and also how his novels helped her through her mother's death. In the first season finale, Beckett angrily refuses Castle's help in reopening her mother's murder investigation - having concluded, after conducting her own investigations upon joining the force, that focusing on her mother's death would destroy her life - stating that if Castle interferes, it will end his police collaboration with her. Despite this, Castle confronts Beckett at the end of the episode with evidence that her mother was targeted for murder.