When out on heists, Joe sometimes opts to use a jester's costume complete with a custom Jester's staff and mask. According to Joe, the costume serves both a theatrical and practical purpose.
Outside of his costume, Joe pretty much looks like an average guy and blends into the crowd. He uses this to his advantage when scouting locations, grifting, escaping or just trying to lay low.
Joe was born to a woman named Lisa Salvatore, in a small town in Northern Italy. Lisa, a single mother, died almost immediately after childbirth due to a combination of malnutrition and procedural complications. Before she died, she managed to name her son after the hospital - St Joseph's.
An infant Joe was brought to the local orphanage and raised by the local nuns. The nuns noticed that Joe was an exceptionally bright kid who had a knack for puzzles and mischief. He also seemed to like playing with the animals and had a gift for befriending them.
When Joe was about 8 years old, he was adopted by a foreign businessman who promised to give him a good home. The man would turn out to be the infamous Gentlemen Thief, William 'Willy' Kerrigan.
William became both a mentor and father figure to Joe and trained him to be his protege. Whilst raising Joe to be a gentlemen of the old school, William would teach Joe the fine art of grifting and heisting. William had strict rules about what could be stolen and what could not, and Joe would later learn that William's rules were mostly adapted from the unwritten code of thieves' honour.
(An example of one such rule instilled into young Joe was that works of art, statues and historical items were all considered priceless treasures due to their cultural value. Such treasure, once obtained, should not be sold for monetary gain but rather returned or donated to a worthy museum or other such establishment. Such treasure should only be stolen for the challenge or thrill of the theft.)
William was also a tinkerer and inspired a love in Joe for tinkering with odd gadgets and re-purposed magic tricks and pranks. William would often use these gadgets (such as his trademark cane which hid a smokescreen) in his escapades and Joe would adopt this technique in his own future endeavors.
When the time was right, Willy released Joe and told him to carve his own path. Joe spent a year travelling around Europe and pulling small heists while trying to find his own style and niche. Joe would eventually settle upon a Jester's costume, combining magic tricks, re-purposed pranks and grifting trickery in order to pull off audacious heists. Joe would adopt the moniker "Joe Kerr" a pun on the combination of his own first name and Willy's last name.
Joe returned to Italy to search for Willy and found him in the local cemetery of the town he had grown up in. Willy had apparently been hiding his cancer from Joe and finally surrendered to the illness a month after Joe had left on his journey of personal discovery.
After settling affairs and paying a final goodbye to Willy, Joe moved out of Italy and took his 'show on the road' to Denmark. Using Tivoli gardens as his base of operations, Joe would pull a string of heists in Scandinavia that would put him at odds with an up and coming Swedish detective.
Sometime during this game of cat and mouse, Joe would run into the only thief other than William whom he truly respected - Carmen Sandiego. Having heard a lot about Carmen through Willy's stories as well as the news, Joe was only too eager to join up with the Queen of Thieves and soon became VILE's resident Jester.
And the rest, they say, is history.
Joe has a warm but quirky personality. Joe is normally jovial in demeanor but his Italian temper can flare up to a degree if he is faced with a situation he deems serious or heinous.
He is a gentleman at all times and abhors the loss of human life. He generally despises all forms of crime that bring grievous hurt to others and always plans his crimes to avoid harming others as much as possible.
Joe wants to carry on Willy's legacy and pass on the thieves' code of honour to future generations of thieves; He feels that the best way to do it is to aid Carmen in 'the game'. He therefore hopes to ensure that the game is played the right way by future generations on both sides and that the 'fun' element is never lost.
Medium of Means
Joe's jester mask hides a gas mask and built in eye protectors. Joe's custom jester staff is a tribute to Willy's old cane and contains a couple shots of smokescreen.
Joe also sometimes carries a knife hidden in a strap on right leg. The knife is only to be used in an emergency and never to inflict harm on another person.
When in his Jester's costume, Joe elects to use a variety of souped up gag bombs and smoke grenades in addition to his antics of distraction and misdirection.
Out of costume, Joe prefers to use disguises and other tools of the grifting trade.
Joe is also known to sometimes tinker with small objects like Jack-in-the-boxes and playing cards and modify them to suit his heisting needs.
Joe is not fond of physical confrontation but is stronger and faster than his appearance would lead one to believe. He is not exceptionally athletic by any means but he is able to hold his own in a small fight if the need should ever arise.
Failure is only evident in the lack of trying - CS