Jason McGuire was a seafaring man who came to Collinsport some time in the 1940’s. In 1949, he became close friends with a man named Paul Stoddard. Stoddard had the fortune of being married into the wealthy Collins family of Collinsport. Through Paul, Jason was able to cultivate a relationship with his wife, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard.
One evening, Paul and Elizabeth got into a fight and Elizabeth attacked him. Paul was severely injured, but Jason and he embarked upon a plan to make Elizabeth believe that she had in fact killed him. Jason helped Paul fake his own death and told Elizabeth that he buried Paul’s body in the basement of Collinwood. The experience was so traumatic for Elizabeth that she instantly became a recluse and refused to leave the estate. Paul and Jason left town to seek their fortunes elsewhere (201). Publicly, Elizabeth announced that Paul Stoddard had abandoned her and disappeared from Collinsport (which was in fact, the truth).
Return to Collinsport
Eighteen years later in 1967, Jason McGuire returned to Collinsport (193). He arrived at Collinwood and blackmailed Elizabeth into letting him move into the great house. He told Liz that unless she agreed to allow him to stay, he would go to the authorities with the truth about Paul Stoddard’s death (196). He contacted an old sea buddy of his, Willie Loomis and invited him to come and stay at the house with him (199).
Jason continued to blackmail Elizabeth and extorted vast sums of money from her. He also forced her into getting him into the family business, selling him Collins-owned property, and even a proposal of marriage (228, 249). By this point, the rest of the Collins family knew that Jason had some kind of hold over Elizabeth, but Liz refused to entertain the notion. She was willing to do whatever Jason wanted, so long as he never revealed her grave secret.
This changed however on the day of their proposed wedding. Elizabeth, unable to continue with this lifestyle any longer, openly confessed to killing Paul Stoddard (270). Jason then revealed that she never actually killed Paul. He showed them the trunk in the basement that allegedly contained Paul’s remains. It was empty.
Elizabeth’s brother, Roger Collins, incensed by the entire calamity, contacted the authorities. Jason fled from Collinwood, with the intention of leaving town for good, but he wasn’t going to leave empty-handed. He broke into the Old House hoping to find the same Collins family jewels that Willie Loomis coveted so many months ago. He went into the Old House cellar and discovered the coffin of Barnabas Collins. Willie tried to give Jason more jewels, but it wasn't enough to satisfy him. He also told him that Barnabas was a vampire and that he would kill him for intruding. Jason didn't believe him and opened the coffin, but Barnabas rose and strangled Jason (275). Barnabas later had Willie transfer Jason’s remains to the secret room in the Collins family mausoleum (276). Jason McGuire's murder was never discovered - as far as everyone else was concerned, Jason had fled town to avoid charges over Paul Stoddard's "death".
Its actually Elizabeth, against Roger's pleas, who contacts the sheriff.