"Days of Our Lives"
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There are a few good sources for this information.

Soap Central: http://www.soapcentral.com/days/whoswho/index.php#profiles (scroll to the bottom to find a list of characters)

Soap Opera Fan Days Page: http://www.soapoperafan.com/days/characters/index.html

Here are some resources for fans who want to know what's coming up on Days and some of the behind the scenes information:

Soap Opera Fan Days of Our Lives page: http://www.soapoperafan.com/days/index.html

Days Cafe: http://www.dayscafe.com/

Soap Central: http://www.soapcentral.com/days/index.php

iTunes sells Days episodes for $9.99 for 20 episodes. You can download individual episodes for only $1.99 each, and episodes for purchase go back about the last eight months.

NBC.com has about two weeks worthof episodes available online: http://www.nbc.com/Days_of_our_Lives/video/categories/season-44/1137083/ as does Hulu.com http://www.hulu.com/days-of-our-lives. Both of these options are only available to users in the United States.

Global TV in Canada also has episodes available to watch online at http://www.globaltv.com/globaltv/video/index.html

You can also watch episodes online at http://www.days.nu/ however the site is in Swedish.

You Tube has many users whose channels are devoted to Days of Our Lives. They include FrancoMendez.

This is the result of a popular phenomenon in the soap world refered to as Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome, or SORAS.

SORAS is when an infant or child character in a soap opera is aged very quickly by the writers to accomodate new storylines. This is done by recasting the role after the character has been absent for a period of time (it may be weeks, months or even years). The term was coined by Soap Opera Weekly founding editor in chief Mimi Torchin in the early 1990s.

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap_Opera_Rapid_Aging_Syndrome

If we had to wait for characters to age in real time, Jennifer would just be 29 and Hope just 32, making it highly impossible for Hope to have Shawn, a child in his mid-20s, therefore stalling the progress of the show and its subsequent generations.

To get caught up on this storyline, check out this site: http://salemstalk.webs.com/

The victims: Abe Carver, Jack Deveraux, Maggie Horton, Caroline Brady, Victor Kiriakis*, Cassie Brady, Roman Brady, Tony DiMera, Doug Williams, Alice Horton

* Victor Kiriakis was murdered by Jan Spears. Later it turned out this was a set up and part of this storyline as well.

The "killer" was Marlena Evans. Under mind-control by Tony**, Marlena thought she was killing all of these people. However, she was merely pretending to kill them while they were shot with a dart to render them dead-like, and they were then transported to an island called Melaswen (New Salem), where other long-lost/dead Salemites were also found, such as Billie Reed and Colin Murphy.

**In a recent retcon of the character, Andre DiMera, Tony's cousin, had actually been impersonating Tony all these years and Tony was stranded on a desert island. All actions/crimes committed by Tony from the time Andre died in the quicksand in 1985 until the summer of 2007, were actually committed by Andre.

The location of the fictitious town of Salem has never been revealed in the show's history. Whenever a car's license plate is shown on the show it says "The Friendly State" on it. The characters all root for Chicago teams (the Cubs, the Bulls, the Bears, etc.) and made frequent references to day trips to Chicago, however, strongly implying Illinois, Indiana, or a nearby state..

Steve Johnson and Bo Brady were in the merchant marines together and were best friends until they got into a fight over Britta Englund, a woman they'd both fallen in love with. During the fight, Bo knifed out Steve's eye. Years later, Steve underwent surgery to repair the scar under his eye and had a glass eye inserted. Steve, now patchless with bleached-blond hair, used his new look to go undercover to infiltrate a shady revival camp. A few years later, Steve got into a fight with one of Victor Kiriakis' henchmen, and his eye socket was damaged beyond repair and Steve had to wear the patch again.

Stephen Nichols (Steve Johnson) often complained how his eyesight would be affected whilst wearing the patch, so the patchless Steve storyline was created to assist Stephen. However, irate fans complained that they preferred Steve with the patch, so the writers created the incident with Victor's henchman as a way to give him back the patch and apease the fans.

Philip Kiriakis and Mimi Lockhart signed away their parental rights to the baby with the assumption that Lauren, the surrogate, would terminate the pregnancy. Meanwhile, without their knowledge, Bonnie Lockhart, Mimi's mother, was paying Lauren to keep the baby so that Bonnie could raise it when it was born. Bonnie figured that being half-Kiriakis, the baby would net her a lot of money in the future from Victor, Philip's father. Bonnie soon went to prison for an unrelated crime and therefore could not pay Lauren.

When Hogan Sheffer came on as head writer, this storyline was dropped for several months. Eventually, it picked up again. Lauren began calling Philip, leaving harrassing messages for him about his child. Philip was confused as he obviously did not think he had a child and did not know who this woman was calling him. With help from his sister, Billie, Philip eventually tracked down Lauren and put the pieces together that she, in fact, did not terminate the pregnancy. Lauren had ditched the baby, whom she called Tyler, at Salem University Hospital and skipped town, forcing Philip and Billie, and later Belle and Philip, to chase her to several cities all over the US. Eventually Philip, Shawn and Belle tracked down Lauren but in an unfortunate accident, she fell down a flight of stairs at the hospital and died, never able to tell Philip where Tyler was.

Meanwhile, an infant baby boy was abandoned at the hospital and was placed in the care of Steve and Kayla Johnson. They named the boy Pocket and took care of him until he became ill due to poisoning. Steve and Kayla were suspects and Pocket was taken away from them and placed in a new foster family. It turned out that Pocket actually had a rare congenital disease that was causing his illness, and Steve and Kayla were cleared of any wrongdoing.

By this time Philip had figured out that Pocket was in fact Tyler and wanted to fight Steve and Kayla for his son. He was adamant that he be given the child but since he had signed away his parental rights, his case was limited. Belle and Philip had a talk and Belle told Philip that he was using Tyler to replace what he lost with Claire, and that Tyler would be better off with the new foster family who loved him and could take good care of him. When Philip saw Tyler/Pocket with the new foster family, he decided to give up his fight for his son. Steve and Kayla also gave up Pocket, even though they had grown to love him. Tyler/Pocket is now living with the foster family.

The boy twin is John Roman DiMera, known as Johnny. His father is EJ.

The girl twin is Alice Caroline Horton, known as Allie. Her father is Lucas.

Stefano has nine children. They are:

Tony DiMera - Tony is the son of Daphne DiMera and Enrico, with whom she had an affair while married to Stefano. Although Tony did not learn this until he was an adult, and Stefano still considers him to be his son. Tony was killed in an accident when he fell at the pier while arguing with Philip Kiriakis (April 2009).

Renee Dumonde - Renee is the daughter of Lee Dumonde, who had an affair with Stefano. Renee was killed by the Salem Slasher (Andre DiMera) in 1984.

Megan Hathaway - Megan was the result of an affair between Stefano and and unknown woman. Megan tried to break up Bo and Hope as she was one of Bo's ex-girlfriends. Megan was murdered by Larry Welch in 1985.

Peter Blake and Kristen Blake - Both were adopted by Stefano from their mother, Rachel Blake, the lady in white. Last we saw of Peter, he was in prison. Last we saw of Kristen she was trapped in a harem on an island. In October 2012, Kristen returned to Salem at the request of her adopted father to help reunite the shattered DiMera family. As of May 2015, Kristen is presumed dead after a fight with Marlena which resulted in Kristen falling out a window to a cliff/water below in Italy. Her body has not been found.

Lexie Carver - Lexie was the daughter of Celeste Perrault and Stefano. Lexie was married to Abe Carver, had a son Theo and was Chief of Staff at the hospital. She died in spring 2012 of a brain tumour.

Benjy Hawk DiMera - Benjy's mother, Ellen Hawk, had an affair with Stefano. Benjy was murdered by Andre DiMera, who stole his liver to give to Stefano.

EJ Wells/Elvis Junior DiMera - Stefano artificially inseminated Susan Banks with his sperm to create a baby for Kristen and John Black. Stefano dressed up as Elvis Presley to fool Susan during the insemination. Susan was a big Elvis Presley fan, and believing her child was fathered by Elvis himself, called the baby Little Elvis. EJ was killed by a thug of Clyde Weston's in November 2014. Shortly after his death, he was injected with a mystery serum by his sister, Kristen.

Chad Peterson-Woods/Chad DiMera - Will Horton's schoolmate has recently been revealed to be Stefano's son. His mother Madeline Peterson-Woods worked as a prostitute for Stefano before becoming a judge. Madeline was killed falling down a flight of stairs and Chad's assumed birth father, D.A. Woods, has disowned Chad.

Kate has six children. They are:

Austin Reed - son with Curtis Reed.

Bille Reed - daughter with Curtis Reed.

Lucas Horton - son with Bill Horton.

Rex Brady - son with Roman Brady - twin of Cassie.

Cassie Brady - daughter with Roman Brady - twin of Rex.

Philip Kiriakis - son with Victor Kiriakis.

Roman has five children. They are:

Carrie Brady Reed - daughter with Anna DiMera

Sami Brady - daughter with Marlena Evans - twin of Eric.

Eric Brady - son with Marlena Evans - twin of Sami.

Rex Brady - son with Kate Roberts - twin of Cassie.

Cassie Brady - daughter with Kate Roberts - twin of Rex.

EJ's mother is Susan Banks Crumb. Stefano artificially inseminated Susan Banks with his sperm to create a baby for Kristen and John Black. Stefano dressed up as Elvis Presley to fool Susan during the insemination. Susan was a big Elvis Presley fan, and believing her child was fathered by Elvis himself, called the baby Little Elvis. Kristen tried to pass off the baby as her own, naming him John Jr. Once her secret was discovered, Susan was reunited with Little Elvis. Soon she met a British man named Edmund Crumb. They fell in love and got married. In order to keep Little Elvis safe from Stefano, the couple fled to England to hide out.

Once EJ returned to Salem, he revealed that he was primarily raised by his father, Stefano. He has seldom referred to his mother, Susan, and one time was hostile in his reference of her. He's mentioned visiting Edmund in England a few times. It has never been explained what happened to Susan or where she currently is, or how it came to be that he was raised by Stefano.

Shortly before EJ's death in 2014, Susan returned to Salem for a brief visit with her son.

They are all related through Victor Kiriakis.

Victor's biological son is Bo Brady, Shawn's father. Victor is Shawn's grandfather.

Victor's late daughter, Isabella Toscano Black, was Brady's mother. Victor is also Brady's grandfather.

Victor's other son is Philip, whose mother is Kate Roberts.

Therefore, Philip is Shawn and Brady's uncle, and Shawn and Brady are cousins.

The story was really dumb and makes no sense. The question is, why has Stefano had it out for the Bradys for the last 20 years?

Technically, it started with Roman busting up Stefano's crime ring roughly 20 years ago, but it's since been retconned (retroactive continuity) that Stefano already had a beef with the Bradys for some reason unknown to them and Roman taking Stefano done for his illegal dealings was just the latest thing a Brady's done to piss him off.

It began in the summer of 2007, when Sami Brady and Lucas Horton were on their honeymoon, helping to build houses in New Orleans. They were working on a renovation of a building they discovered was Maison Blanche, Stefano's former residence in New Orleans where a lot of bad stuff went down in the mid-1990s. In taking down a wall, they found a box with a letter in it, written in Italian. The only word they could make out was Dimera.

Once back in Salem, they showed it to Bo and Hope Brady, John Black and Marlena Evans. Doug and Julie Williams just happened to return to Salem, and Julie could understand Italian a bit through her wordly travels. She read that it was a letter from Santo Dimera to his son Stefano, on Santo's deathbed. He was telling him that he had been in love with this woman and that the Bradys took her from him and that Stefano must make them pay. He then told Stefano that they could be found in America, in the town of Salem. The group learned the woman's name was Colleen. Caroline Brady heard this and noted that she had come across the name Colleen while going through some of her husband Shawn Brady's old things. She asked him about it, but he became upset and refused to talk about it.

Shortly thereafter, Anna Brady Dimera, Roman Brady's ex-wife and Carrie Brady Reed's mother, and Tony DiMera's ex-wife, came back to Salem and with her; she brought some letters that she had found with some of Tony's things. She was going to take them back to Tony, but thought they Bradys might want to read them, as it had something to do with them. Around this time a photo Colleen Brady was found, but she was the spitting image of Sami. It was then shown that Stefano's father, Santo, was the spitting image of EJ (with a cheesy mustache; and we'd learn much later, a bad Italian accent).

The letters Anna had were from Colleen to Santo; somewhere down the line, Tony had come into possession of them. They decided in order to get the whole story; they would need to find the letters Santo wrote Colleen. Rather than see if they could find them elsewhere first, they assumed that Stefano would probably have them in his possession. Bo and Hope went to the DiMera mansion and, with a little help from Steve Johnson, Hope snuck in and snooped around (the living room) and just so happened to find the letters under the sofa under the cushion of a chair.

Now, for whatever reason, both letters were in Italian. Never mind that Colleen came from humble beginnings and where she would have learned Italian (as she apparently did in the first place) is anyone's guess. So they had to get the letters translated. Even though Julie translated the very first letter, suddenly they had to have someone at the University translate them. Then all the vets (Bo and Hope, Doug and Julie, John and Marlena) spent the entire summer, sitting around "reading" the letters. That's it. No other story for them. Despite the fact that for years, the entire feud with Stefano involved all of them being kidnapped, brainwashed and tortured.

The letters were correspondence between Santo and Colleen. One incredibly stupid point however, is the fact that the correspondence amounted to Santo and Colleen going into vivid detail about events the other was present for (in some cases, was the only other person present) And since at the end of it, she was believed to have died, obviously the letters didn't come years later in retrospect.

It all started in Ireland (where the whole thing took place). Colleen was a young novice (a nun in training); she had yet to take her vows. Santo was a business man/trader from Italy and got caught in the middle of a bar brawl and was injured. He was taken to the church and Colleen was called upon for her medical training (....?). It was (apparently) love at first sight for them, after which the two kept finding excuses to see each other. Colleen was much more coy and reluctant to admit anything of the sort, since she was a novice and it would be improper; especially since Santo admitted had a wife and in fact had a young son, Stefano, roughly the same age as her brother Shawn. Stefano came with Santo and Santo had him play with Shawn, using the boys as an excuse to see Colleen and get her to see him outside the church. Santo was far more forward with his feelings towards Colleen, always pushing her to take things one more step (meeting without a chaperone, meeting without her wearing her novice habit, meeting without the pretense of the boys playing). At one point he told her his wife was dead, which Stefano would later reveal to Shawn not to be true; nor was it true that she was sick, which was what Santo told Colleen during one of their initial meetings.

Eventually Santo convinced Colleen to sleep with him and then proposed marriage. They were set to be married and spend their life in America; Colleen had even told the Priest at her church that she was leaving. Shawn felt the need to stop her and told their father what Stefano told him about Santo's wife. Their "Da" found Colleen and Santo and he revealed that Santo's wife was still alive, devastating Colleen. She ran off and next we saw her, she was in a full habit, about to take her vows. Santo came to the church and stood at the back to watch. Colleen turned to see him and suddenly ran off. Later, they found her clothes at the edge of a cliff, which everyone assumed meant she threw herself off, even though they never found a body. Young Shawn became consumed with guilt, and vowed never to speak of this horrible orrurance every again. For this, Santo blamed 10-year-old Shawn and on his deathbed, asked his son to make Shawn and his family pay for his loss.

None of this really explains Stefano's actions over the years, especially the extent of the elaborate plots he's cooked up. He has yet to actually be responsible for a single Brady's death. He's even gone to the trouble of healing his supposed enemies when they're dying, seeing to their recovery and in case, genetically engineered a pair of super smart, "perfect specimen", fraternal twins that were Bradys! Nor does this explain the fact that he's been just about equally obsessed with the Hortons and all the family of friends of those two families, nor his penchant for brainwashing people.

But on the other hand, Hogan Sheffer's a hack, that couldn't write his way out of a paper bag, so we're lucky the story was even remotely coherent.

Colleen Brady was Shawn Brady Sr.'s older sister. She was a novice in Galway, Ireland over 50 years ago who had fallen in love with a visiting Italian businessman, Santo DiMera. Santo claimed his wife was dead and that he was left to raise his son, Stefano, alone. Over the months, Colleen and Santo fell in love through as series of love letters and stolen moments, eventually consumating their scandalous affair. Meanwhile, young Shawn and Stefano became playmates, and Stefano revealed one day that his mother was, in fact, alive and well and living in Italy. Upset, Shawn told the truth, that Santo was married, and in her shame, Colleen ran off, never to been seen again. Her clothes were found on the edge of a cliff, and it was believed she had jumped to her death. Shawn was riddled with guilt and blamed himself ever since for Colleen's death.

Fastforward to present-day Salem, and the truth about Colleen is finally revealed, as is the "origin" of the vendetta the DiMeras had against the Brady family. Santo, on his deathbed, blamed young Shawn for Colleen's death and urged his son Stefano to vow revenge on the Bradys in his name, for taking Colleen away from him. Through all this investigating, the Bradys are brought back to Ireland and learn that, in fact, Colleen Brady is alive and had been living in hiding from the DiMeras. When the Salemites meet Colleen on her deathbed in Ireland, she tells of how she fled and faked her death because she was pregnant with Santo's child. She could not return to the church in her condition, nor could she shame her family, so she travelled to South America and had a baby boy she named Ryan Brady. She was poor and could not afford to raise Ryan on her own, so he was sent to live in an orphanage, and she visited him on weekends. This arrangement lasted for a few years until the head of the orphanage died and Ryan ended up being adopted (to the Alamain family). Heartbroken, Colleen spent years trying to track down her son whilst hiding from Stefano and Santo. She also kept tabs on the Brady family in Salem. Eventually, she learned that John Black was in fact her son Ryan; he is half Brady, half DiMera. Colleen died in the arms of her son, John.

Recently, it was revealed that John Black, Belle's father, is the love child of Colleen Brady and Santo DiMera. However, this does not mean that Shawn and Belle are cousins because Shawn is not a Brady by blood. Shawn's father is Bo Brady. When Bo was an adult, it was revealed that his mother Caroline had an affair with Victor Kiriakis. While Roman, Kimberly and Kayla were fathered by Shawn Brady Sr., Bo was not, therefore Belle and Shawn are not related to each other, although they do share many relatives in common.

In December 2007, Chloe Lane returned to Salem from Austria, without Brady Black, to attend the Salem High reunion with Belle, Shawn and Philip. After her short stay seems to turn into an extended one, she confided in Philip that Brady has gone missing and she is a prime suspect in his disappearance according to the Vienna authories. Chloe and Brady had been having problems in their marriage and often fought loudly, disturbing neighbours. On the night Brady disappeared, he was dragged out of their apartment and blood was left on the scene, causing police to suspect Chloe had done something to him. She maintained her innocence the entire time.

Meanwhile, theories ran rampant as to what had happened to Brady. With John (Brady's father) being dead, Marlena (Brady's stepmother) assumed control on behalf of the family to find out where Brady was and had gotten Roman and the police involved in the investigation. Victor Kiriakis, Brady's grandfather, was also conducting an independent search to Brady's whereabouts. Everyone had thought that Brady was kidnapped by the DiMeras or had been killed. The storyline was backburnered from February 2008 until May 2008, when Nicole Walker Kiriakis came back to town. She discovered Victor's dirty little secret - that he had arranged for Brady's kidnapping. Brady had fallen in with the wrong crowd/Chloe's friends in Vienna, and had become addicted to drugs. Victor learned this and blamed Chloe for Brady's addiction. Victor staged the kidnapping to trap Chloe, but had really taken Brady to a rehab facility. Everyone was furious with Victor, but relieved to learn Brady was ok and getting treatment. Shortly after, Brady filed for divorce from Chloe since he too blamed her for his downward spiral. Note - Brady was never seen on the show during this time.

Update: As of November 2008, Brady is back in Salem. He returned to visit his father, John, who is ill and experiencing memory issues. He also returned to make ammends for those he hurt while he was on drugs. Brady and Chloe patched things up and he is now involved in keeping Nicole's miscarriage a secret while Chloe is engaged to Lucas but having an affair with Daniel Jonas.

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