John "Ace" Merrill is the primary antagonist in The Body.
His nephew Ace says something spooky happened to his uncle before that fire-something like on The Twilight Zone. Of course, Ace wasn’t even around when his uncle bit the dust; he was finishing a four-year stretch in Shawshank Prison for breaking and entering in the nighttime. (People always knew Ace Merrill would come to a bad end; when he was in school he was one of the worst bullies this town has ever seen, and there must have been a hundred kids who crossed to the far side of the street when they saw Ace comin toward em with the buckles and zippers on his motorcycle jacket jingling and the cleats on his engineer boots clockin along the sidewalk.)
John Merrill - Ace's grandfather? great uncle? - is mentioned in the description of Ruth McCausland.
Ruth, the only child of John and Holly Merrill, had inherited a fairish sum of money and a fine old house in Haven Village when her father died in 1962.
- Book II / Chapter 5 / Section 1
“We’re going to Castle Rock. It’s a small town just south and west of Lewiston-Auburn.”
Castle Rock. That made me feel strange. Once upon a time I had been on pretty good terms with Castle Rock. But that was before Ace Merrill messed me up.