Stottlemeyer was born around 1956 or 1957 (in Season 6, he claims to be 51 years old).
Not much is known about Stottlemeyer's early life or career in the police department (though there are some embarrassing shots of him wearing riot gear, rousting protestors at UC Berkeley during the 1970's, which later caused him to be booed off stage while asking for people within the college reunion to volunteer in help with a homicide investigation pertaining to Katherine Rutherford after pictures pertaining to the no-nukes ralley were displayed on the slideshow at the dinner party for the 25th college reunion.). Stottlemeyer was the youngest cop in the history of the department to make detective.
After Adrian Monk made detective, he went through three partners in two weeks, none of which could stand to work with him, before he was paired with Stottlemeyer. Somehow, the two men came to work well together, and even became close friends. Though he was the senior detective, Stottlemeyer realized early on that he'd never be as good as Monk: their very first case together was an apparent suicide that Monk proved to be a murder ("Eight people in the room, but nobody saw that.")
Since Monk had no ambition to be anything other than a detective, Stottlemeyer was eventually promoted past him, and was Monk's watch commander when Monk's wife, Trudy, was killed. As a result of Monk's nervous breakdown, Stottlemeyer was forced to suspend him from the department but because Monk was in such a bad place after the break down, Captain Stottlemeyer hired a personal nurse, Sharona Fleming.
A year after that, he also was afflicted with a similar Cold Case himself that deeply affected him: On December 2nd, 1998, a high school valedectorian named Darren Leveroni, was killed by a hit and run. This affected him in that he was unable to figure out who killed him, to which he admitted five years later when questioned if it was an unsolved case that it still is one while visiting his grave when attempting to exhume Miles Holling's corpse to investigate the cause of his death.
Four years later, he was ordered by the Mayor's office to bring Monk in as a consultant on the attempted shooting of mayoral candidate Warren St. Claire. At this time, he fiercely resented being ordered around by higher powers, and was also painfully aware that Monk was still the better detective. Frequently exasperated by Monk's phobias and quirks, and dismissive of his theories, Stottlemeyer nonetheless came around when Monk solved the case and helped him apprehend the culprit.
Inherent in Stottlemeyer's hostility was a certain degree of jealousy; he was only too aware that he was not nearly the detective that Monk was. But on the other hand, he also realizes that the reverse side of Monk's amazing ability is his obsessive-compulsive personality and phobia-filled life. As he says to Monk once, "I don't mind living in your shadow, Monk; you're a freak of nature."
A short time later, Stottlemeyer was asked to testify before the police review board considering Monk's reinstatement. Though he was fulsome in praising Monk's genius, he was asked, point-blank, whether he believed Monk was ready to return. His answer was no; Sharona Fleming called it jealousy and betrayal, but Stottlemeyer felt he was doing what was best for the department; for all Monk's ability, he was unreliable in a dangerous situation. This was a snub that Monk would not forget for a long time.
As time went on, however, Stottlemeyer learned to trust Monk's theories, and always backed him up when the time came to apprehend the culprit.
Despite their differences, Monk and the Captain still worked well together. Investigating the murder of Miles Holling, the world's oldest man, at a time when Stottlemeyer's marriage was falling apart, Monk took his old partner in, and their roles were, for once, reversed when Stottlemeyer solved the case, and Monk helped find the evidence to back him up.
Whatever tension existed between Stottlemeyer and Monk over a case, Stottlemeyer still regarded Monk as a friend, and could only admire his dedication to police work. This loyalty extended to putting his career on the line several times, and stepping on the toes of several persons in his or Monk's way:
- When Monk was presumed dead, Stottlemeyer was devastated, and insisted that Monk be buried with full departmental honors. When Randy informed him that, technically, a suspended officer was not entitled to such a funeral, Stottlemeyer angrily threatened to quit and, was not afraid to say he loved Adrian Monk (a moment later, after Monk was confirmed to be alive, Stottlemeyer ironically proclaimed: "I HATE THAT MAN!");
- Stottlemeyer, along with Randy and Sharona, accompanied Monk to Manhattan to track down Warrick Tennyson, the man responsible for killing Monk's wife, Trudy. When the NYPD attempted to stall them, Stottlemeyer went so far as to break into another captain's office to examine his records; when the captain said the detectives had to solve the murder of the Latvian ambassador before they could talk to Tennyson, Stottlemeyer angrily said that the only case he cared about was finding out why his friend's wife was killed;
- When Monk was attending a barbecue after apparently having gotten over most of his OCD traits, Stottlemeyer attempted to tell Monk his respect for him, summing it up as referring to Monk as "the man." However, Monk had already gone inside to get some supplies for the grill for Stottlemeyer as asked and thus couldn't hear it, and also had him unknowingly telling Disher this, causing a significant ego boost with the latter.
- When Monk had to go into hiding due to a gangster wanting to kill him, Stottlemeyer accompanied him to a "secret" FBI cabin in the woods.
- When Monk was faced with the possibility of never rejoining the force due to a four-year hiring freeze installed by the Police Commissioner, Stottlemeyer went as far as to threaten to quit the force if the commissioner didn't lift the hiring freeze.
- When Monk was framed for murder, Stottlemeyer plotted with him to fake Monk's death, allowing Monk to remain in hiding; had their scheme been exposed, Stottlemeyer would likely have lost everything, including his freedom – but he didn't hesitate, saying, "that's what friends are for."
Relationships and FamilyEdit
Stottlemeyer had at least one brother, whom he claimed served during the Vietnam War when interrogating a member of the Lightning Brigade, Ron Adash, regarding a kidnapping case.
At an unknown point, he was married to another woman, although they later had an annulment. Stottlemeyer later married his second wife, Karen, a documentary filmmaker, to which he was married to her for 20 years. Although it wasn't clear on when he married he indicated that they knew each other "Since they were kids" which was said when he found out about Karen getting hurt in the car accident. They separated frequently, though Leland never stopped loving her. A turning point for his relationship with Monk came when Karen was seriously injured in a car accident and put into a coma. Though she recovered, he had a brief taste of the pain and loss that Monk lived with every day, and became far more sympathetic to his attachment to his late wife. (At the end of the episode, Leland tells Monk "Don't ever lose that watch."). Apparently, Stottlemeyer was reluctant to admit publically that he and his wife were having marital problems. When Monk was hired by the Governor to investigate an assassination attempt, Monk asked Stottlemeyer a question that indicated he was having problems with his marriage; Stottlemeyer denied it only to ask Monk privately how he figured it out.
In 2006, Stottlemeyer was told by another officer that he was sleeping with Karen. Stottlemeyer punched that officer in a fit of rage, and had to attend anger management therapy. He ordered Karen tailed, and saw her meeting with a man. As it turned out, the man was a lawyer, and she was filing for a divorce.
A year later, he began dating realtor Linda Fusco. Their relationship bloomed, and Stottlemeyer was planning to propose to Linda during their trip to Hawaii, but on the eve of their departure, Monk regretfully proved that Linda had murdered her business partner. She was arrested, and Stottlemeyer later threw the engagement ring into the ocean (saying it was "nothing – just a rock.") Also, his brief relationship with Linda Fusco, and presumably his trying to find another fiance, caused him to have a falling out with one of his sons, exemplified when his son deliberately skipped school to go to a rock festival and did not wish to return with his dad.
Two years later, he met and fell in love with reporter T.K. Jensen. After dating for several months, they were married in a simple ceremony on the beach.
Background Information and NotesEdit
- Stottlemeyer drove a black 2002 Ford Crown Victoria issued by the SFPD. It has a red rotating light on the dash board. He now drives a 2007 Black Dodge Charger.
- Stottlemeyer is 5'11".
- When the first two letters of Disher's first and last name (Disher's original last name being Deakins), are paired with the first two letters of Leland Stottlemeyer's first and last names, the result is "Lestrade," the name of the police contact in many of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.
- In Mr. Monk and the Red-Headed Stranger, Stottlemeyer once broke his arm, claiming that he was in a motorcycle accident on the road, but in actuality had broken his arm from falling off the roof while shingling it.
- In a webisode, Stottlemeyer says that he has an older brother named Mark who was involved in him becoming a police officer.
- He is 51 in a sixth season episode.
- He plays the guitar.
- He does not like Port wine.
- He was the youngest officer in the history of the SFPD to make detective.
- In an interview on Season Two's special features, Ted Levine stated that, in his view of Stottlemeyer, he had been in the armed forces as a young man, and joined the police after his enlistment was up.
- In Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect, he tells Richard Babbage that he has a sister that he feels like killing sometimes.
- Stottlemeyer says that when he can't sleep, he goes to a specific bar, orders a shot, then watches the one goldfish in the fish tank in the back of that bar blow bubbles, drinks the shot, and then he can sleep, he claims that it always works for him.