‘Breaking Bad’: The Most Prolific Killer Wasn’t Walter White or Gus Fring — it Was Jane’s Dad, Donald Margolis

Though it wasn’t very gory, Breaking Bad was an undeniably violent show with plenty of murders. From Gus Fring getting blown up with a pipe bomb rigged to a wheelchair to Walter White taking down an entire compound of white supremacists using a machine gun hidden in the trunk of a car, a lot of characters died on the show.

Most of the main characters have blood on their hands. Even the most moral of the drug dealers, Jesse Pinkman, pulled the trigger that killed Gale Boetticher. But when it comes to the Breaking Bad character who killed the most people on the show, it wasn’t Heisenberg or Gus Fring or Mike. It was Jane’s dad, Donald Margolis.

Donald Margolis played by John De Lancie
Donald Margolis played by John De Lancie |Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Who was Donald Margolis on ‘Breaking Bad’?

Back in season 2, Jesse rents a duplex next door to Jane Margolis, a recovering addict. The two strike up a relationship and eventually start using drugs together. But Jane’s father, Donald Margolis (John De Lancie), is the landlord of the building and loves his daughter deeply. He can’t stand to see his daughter falling back on old habits and attacks Jesse.

Later, Donald goes to a bar and starts talking to a stranger there — only we realize it’s Walter White, Jesse’s partner in crime. Their conversation convinces Walt to go to Jesse’s house to forcibly stop him from using drugs. While there, Walt witnesses Jane choking on her own vomit in her sleep and decides to let her die rather than help her.

He does this to get rid of her as an influence on Jesse so they can go back to cooking meth together.

Jesse Pinkman, Jane Margolis, and Walter White
Jesse Pinkman, Jane Margolis, and Walter White | Lewis Jacobs/AMC

Jane’s father Donald causes 167 people to die

Donald is an air traffic controller by profession. After his daughter’s death, he’s understandably distraught but goes to work anyway. While there he has a panic attack and makes a serious mistake, causing a 737 plane to collide with another plane in the air. News reports confirm that all 167 passengers on Wayfarer 515 died.

Walt knows that he indirectly caused the plane crash by letting Jane die, but ultimately it was Donald’s decision to go back to work so quickly after the traumatic event. Because of his decision, he caused more deaths on the show than Walter White and Gus Fring combined.

In season 3, we learn that Donald gets rushed to the hospital because of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but we don’t find out if he ultimately lives or dies.

Who killed more people, Gus or Walt?

Gus Fring and Walter White
Gus Fring and Walter White | Ursula Coyote/AMC

The Breaking Bad Wiki page attributes 201 deaths to Walter White, but they count the plane crash victims as being his fault, which is a bit of a stretch. Without the casualties of Wayfarer 515 included, Walt was responsible for the direct or indirect killing of 34 people.

Meanwhile, Gus Fring’s total murder tally is 27. It’s no surprise that Walt killed more people — he’s the one who eventually took down Gus with that wheelchair bomb. But as Mike so wisely said, “Just because you shot Jesse James, don’t make you Jesse James.”

Walt was never as cunning or controlled as Gus and eventually, his meth empire fell apart too.