A BKA detective who thinks Tenma is responsible for the murders.
Heinrich Runge was born in Germany some time in the 1960s when the country was still separated as a result of the Cold War. Not much is revealed about his own past but it is shown that he rose up through the ranks of the BKA and eventually became a lead detective in the homicide division. He attributes his success as a detective through the small things he is able to pick up from people and also has an amazing memory. When talking to people, he fiddles his fingers on his right hand and to some, it looks like he is fidgeting. In truth, he is inputting data into his brain so he can recall it easily for an investigation. Runge demonstrates this with Doctor Kenzo Tenma when he meets with him a few years after the murder of the hospital chief and Lunge can remember information easily.
He also has a wife and a daughter who are seen every now and then during the series. Due to the fact that he is caught up in the heat of his work at all times, both of them become estranged. They both leave him as his wife explains she was having an affair and his daughter was pregnant, stating that he probably didn't notice because he wasn't paying attention.
As odd as Runge can act, he is an amazing detective and can lay intricate traps for criminals in order to arrest them properly. He rarely admits he is wrong and because of this, he claims that Tenma is responsible for murders all across Germany for quite some time.
Heinrich Runge was created by Naoki Urasawa for the manga Monster as a detective to try and find the truth in the murders. Since Johan Liebert was already the primary antagonist, Runge's creation can also be considered to be an equal antagonist for Tenma. However, unlike Johan, Runge is still good detective but harsh on those he in inspecting. Some people also attribute Runge's creation to be based off the character Javert from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.
In the beginning of the series, Runge comes off as an arrogant detective who claims he is right no matter what the circumstances are. He is extremely dedicated to his line of work at the expense of his family who leaves him to pursue their own happiness. This doesn't phase him in the slightest as he continues investigating murders that spring all across Germany. At one point, his forceful nature pushes one man to commit suicide and yet he takes no real blame for it. He is so obsessed with being right that he assumes that Johan Liebert is a story Tenma made up to avoid capture. However, after being aided by Tenma and finding out that Johan is in fact a real person, he stops chasing Tenma and starts looking for leads that can tell where exactly Johan came from and who he is. Runge is also seen communicating with his daughter more, wanting to build their relationship again after the birth of his grandson. At first, he neglects to see her to work on his investigation but after he discovers the truth about Johan, he works again to get to know his own daughter better.
Major Story Arcs
Initial Investigation of Tenma
Detective Runge first appears as he is looking into the murders of Dr. Heinemann, Dr. Oppenheim, and Dr. Boyer at Eisler Memorial Hospital. He discovers that all three men were poisoned by a candy that they ingested that contained a muscle relaxer and a poison in them. He initially questions Dr. Tenma on these murders since he not only had the most to gain from their deaths but he also may have wanted revenge for the three men ruining his career as a medical professional. However, Tenma has a solid alibi on what he was doing and everything so he was ruled out by the investigators at the BKA. Runge remained suspicious but moved on.
Nine years later, Runge and Tenma cross paths again when a wanted fugitive known as Adolf Junkers was hit by a truck and is admitted to Tenma's hospital. When the two men meet again for the first time, Tenma acts confused on the identity of Runge as Runge explains perfectly how and when they first met nine years ago. Runge goes to question Junkers since he is the primary suspect in a string of murders that have been taking place all across Germany of middle-aged couples. Junkers does not reply to Runge but instead tells Tenma in a panic that the "Monster" is coming. Later that night, Junkers flees his hospital room as Tenma chases him and witnesses Johna killing him. When questioned by the police later on, Tenma explains the story about Johan but Runge doesn't believe a thing. There is no evidence to link Tenma to the death of Junkers, so he is let go to the annoyance of Runge.
Later on, Tenma goes after Anna Liebert, the sister of Johan, who he believes is in danger. After rescuing Anna, several people turn up dead including a gardener, Anna's foster parents, a journalist, and two fake police officers. Runge investigates, believing Tenma to be behind it, but turns up nothing. He does get a break through when a tie he found at the crime scene is identified by Eva Heinemann, who does this to spite Tenma. Runge nows has a reason and evidence to pursue the doctor to arrest him for his crimes.
After getting the clearance to pursue Tenma to charge him with several murders, Runge begins investigating different leads. One lead takes him to a war veteran who taught Tenma how to use a gun properly and other methods of combat. However, the veteran gives Runge nothing to go by after all the help Tenma gave him. He also looks at past associates of Tenma's in order to arrest him. He tries to convince Dr. Rudy Gillen to set Tenma up due to a past rivalry between the two but Gillen changes his mind at the last minute.
During these different investigations though, Runge suffers some personal set backs as his wife leaves him after stating she had an affair. His daughter also leaves home since she is pregnant and can not stand to be around her father. Both claim he is always so focused with work that he never pays attention to them. Runge also is reprimanded by his superiors for driving a suspect in a murder case to suicide after several accusations. Nevertheless, he is adamant on getting Tenma into custody.
After some cold leads, Runge gives false information to a news reporter to call Tenma out to investigate a murder that may have been committed by Johan. After nothing comes up that proves that Johan was there, Runge chases Tenma but is wounded by the real criminal who committed the murder. Tenma refuses to leave Runge and treats his wounds so he could survive long enough for paramedics to arrive. Instead of being grateful that Tenma saved his life, he finds a new determination to catch the criminal. He later arranges to meet with some of Tenma's old college friends who are in Germany, as a result deliberately missing a meeting he set up with his daughter to meet his grandson. Through this meeting, we find that Tenma was researching a book entitled "The Monster Without A Name" that may be linked to Johan.