DirtyHarry Wiki

Charlie mccoy

Status: Deceased

Cause of death: Shot in the chest and the head by Officer Davis.

Weapon: .357 Magnum Colt Python

Charlie McCoy was a motorcycle cop in the San Fransisco Police Dept and the tritagonist in Magnum Force. He is a friend of Harry's and a fellow Marine veteran (and presumably a veteran of the Korean War, much like his actor Mitch Ryan and Harry's actor Clint Eastwood, who were both real-life veterans of the conflict).

He is a troubled and mentally ill man. His wife made him leave and he started becoming suicidal. Even going as far as to play russian roulette with his .357 Magnum. At one point he goes on a rant about wanting to execute criminals. Harry begins to suspect he is the cop killing the criminals in the city, when it was really the rookies. It is possible that Charlie was the cop responsible for the killing of the pimp as the voice is that of an older man and the close up of his face bears more than a passing resemblance to Charlie. Officer McCoy could have been involved with the death squad or felt motivated to emulate their vigilante activities. Eventually Charlie accidentally crashed his motorcycle into a passing pedestrian car, it is likely he was drunk on the job. After that he enters the same building that criminal Lou Guzman resided. Unfortunately for McCoy, he ends up getting killed by Officer Davis for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Ironically, Davis came to McCoy's funeral and said he felt "responsible" for his death.

McCoy was played by Mitch Ryan, who has appeared in movies such as Lethal Weapon and Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers.


  • It is possible McCoy was affiliated or had a friendship with the rookie cops, most notably Officer Grimes as a picture of McCoy was next to his television at the beginning of the movie. However, the identity of the cop in the apartment is not certain. There are a number of black and white photographs on the wall, service medals in a frame, police marksmanship and motorcycling trophies. Taking into consideration that Grimes was a rookie cop, it is unlikely that these could be his trophies, whereas Charlie was a military veteran and a police officer with ten years of service. Although the rookie cops were also in the military prior to being in the police force and they have shown to have years of experience. Lieutenant Briggs comment to Callaghan that there were 'plenty more where they came from' , suggests that there could have been more cops working in the death squad. Not to mention he gives Officer Davis a happy expression moments before he is killed by him. However that may only be because he had bumped into a fellow police officer. Another possibility is that McCoy was the cop leaving the apartment but was just going on duty, not to kill Ricca.
  • McCoy's weapon of choice was the .357 Magnum much like the four rookie cops.
  • McCoy is the possible red herring for this movie.