Rust Cohle
Rust Cohle 2012
Name: Rustin Spencer Cohle
Alias(es): Nicknames:
Crash (by Iron Crusaders)
The Taxman
Status: Alive
Birthplace: Texas,
United States of America
Nationality: Flag of the United States American
Profession: Detective, Louisiana State Police

Bartender Outlaw Motorcyclist

Marital status: Divorced
Spouse(s): Ex-wife:
Claire Cohle
Significant other(s): Ex-girlfriend:
Laurie Spencer
Margaret Hart
Children: with Claire Cohle:
Sofia Cohle (d.)
Played by: Matthew McConaughey
Seasons: 1
First episode: "The Long Bright Dark"
Last episode: "Form and Void"
Appears in: 1 season, 8 episodes
"In the beginning, there was only dark. You ask me, the light's winning."
Rust Cohle to Martin Hart[src]

Rustin Spencer "Rust" Cohle is a Louisiana State homicide detective. Along with his partner, Martin Hart, he is one of the main characters in season 1 of True Detective.



Rust is a talented but troubled detective, dedicated to his work and renowned for his ability to get confessions from criminals. He carries an unusually large ledger which he uses to keep notes and sketches of crime scenes, earning him the nickname "The Tax Man" from his colleagues.

Rust is aloof; at one point his partner Martin Hart says that he "wasn't big on talking except when you wanted him to shut up." He seems to prefer living by himself and it doesn't appear that he has ever been able to sustain a relationship for longer than a few years. Rust is not prone to material desires and his apartment is bare, with only a simple bed and books on various sex crimes. He suffers from insomnia, which may partially be a consequence of his past drug use. Later in life we see him to be a degenerate alcoholic.

Rust shows disappointment and anger at Marty when he cheats on his wife. He visits Marty's house to "mow his lawn" when he is away. He enjoys eating dinner with Marty's family and talking with Marty's wife, Maggie Hart.

Early lifeEdit

Born in Texas, Rust and his family moved to Alaska when he was young, where he grew up. He went on to marry a woman named Claire. The two had a daughter, who was killed in a vehicular accident that led to Cohle's divorce and addiction to alcohol. Cole transferred from robbery to Narcotics, he became addicted to cocaine. At some point he shot a meth head with his nine millimeter handgun for injecting his infant daughter with crystal meth. The state attorney gave Cohle one way out of jail, basically be their deep undercover narco puppet or take prison time. Cohle went undercover for four years, and in February 1993 he killed three cartel members and was shot three times with a .25 caliber handgun. During his recovery, he was committed to a mental hospital in Texas. Upon his release, he was offered retirement with full pension, but he declined that offer in favor of transferring to a homicide division. His superiors then transferred him to Louisiana. In Louisiana, he lives alone and has no friends, living only for his work. He tries to remain sober, but he occasionally falls off the wagon because of the stress of his job and his grief for his daughter. Cohle is also prone to auditory and visual hallucinations.

The Yellow King case Edit

Louisiana 1995, a young lady is found under a tree naked and wearing only a blindfold and a "crown" of deer antlers, posed as if praying to the large solitary tree. A twig latticework, like a Cajun bird trap, is found with her body. The woman is identified as Dora Kelly Lange a former prostitute, Cohle is already convinced that this is not the killer's first victim.

Later YearsEdit

Cohle was partnered with Martin Hart in 1995. The two worked various cases, most prominently the Yellow King case, together until 2002, when Cohle had an affair with Martin's wife. The two had a falling out and wouldn't speak again until 2012.

The two reconnected due to Rust's continuing pursuit of the Yellow King case. The two eventually find their way to Errol Childress, a vile and big part of the case. Rust and Martin pursued Childress and were both wounded, but Rust managed to kill him with a shot to the head.

After healing up at the hospital, the two left, with Rust informing Martin of his near-death experiences and him feeling a connection to his dead daughter. Rust received a new faith in life and managed to be optimistic about the future.

Behind the ScenesEdit

Rust Cohle was portrayed by Matthew McConaughey in Season 1 of True Detective.


Season 1
"The Long Bright Dark" "Seeing Things" "The Locked Room" "Who Goes There" "The Secret Fate of All Life"
"Haunted Houses" "After You've Gone" "Form and Void"

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