Why General Hospital's Sonny Killed A.J. Quartermaine

On "General Hospital," Alan James "A.J." Quartermaine, Jr. was a tortured soul. As an adult, the character was first played by Gerald Hopkins, then Billy Warlock portrayed him from 1997 to 2003, and again in 2005. But the actor that will be most associated with A.J. is Sean Kanan, who took on the character after Hopkins departed in 1991. Kanan played A.J. until 1997 before returning in 2012 and remaining in the role until the character's death in 2014.

Although Monica Quartermaine (Leslie Charleson) was his mother, A.J.'s paternity was in question when he was born. Rick Webber (Chris Robinson) believed he was the father due to an affair with Monica, but her husband, Alan Quartermaine (Stuart Damon), ultimately turned out to be his biological dad. A.J. subsequently suffered from alcohol addiction and was also known for sleeping around with several different women.

His drinking would get A.J. into all kinds of trouble, especially since he often drove while intoxicated. In 1995, after a fight with his family, A.J. got into his convertible, and his brother, Jason Quartermaine (Steve Burton), jumped into the vehicle to try and stop him. Unfortunately, A.J. crashed and Jason suffered brain damage that caused permanent memory loss. Jason Quartermaine eventually changed his name to Jason Morgan and became a mafia enforcer for Michael "Sonny" Corinthos (Maurice Benard). A.J., on the other hand, continued to spiral out of control. 

A.J. was his own worst enemy

Carly Benson (then Sarah Brown) and A.J. Quartermaine had a one-night stand which resulted in her falling pregnant. Carly felt A.J. was too volatile to be a father, but because he was blackout drunk, he didn't actually remember their tryst. Carly then claimed that Dr. Tony Jones (Brad Maule) was the dad, but when he demanded custody of the baby, she changed her story and pretended that it was really Jason. 

Although Jason agreed to participate in the ruse, because Carly had postpartum depression after the baby was born, he was left to raise it himself. Jason named the child Michael, after Sonny Corinthos, and Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough) helped him care for the little boy. After a while, Robin felt that it was unfair to keep A.J. from his son, and revealed the truth about Michael's paternity

Carly didn't want to lose her child, so she agreed to marry A.J. While Carly continued to see Jason on the side, she mistakenly thought he was having an affair with Elizabeth Webber (Rebecca Herbst), so she went to talk to Sonny about it. After a fierce argument, they slept together. Carly got pregnant, and A.J. assumed that Jason was the baby daddy. When Sonny found out, he went to the Quartermaine mansion to claim the child as his. Carly was later confronted by A.J. and during their argument, she fell down the stairs which caused a miscarriage. 

Sonny wouldn't let A.J. explain himself

A furious Sonny had his men capture A.J. and hang him from a meat hook until he signed over his parental rights. Sonny then adopted the baby, giving him the full name of Michael Corinthos III. The animosity between Sonny and A.J. continued to grow over the years. A fashionista named Kate Howard arrived in Port Charles and she turned out to be Sonny's childhood girlfriend, Connie Falconeri (first Megan Ward, then Kelly Sullivan). 

Kate had no idea that she and Connie had become split personalities, and that Connie was a real troublemaker. Meanwhile, A.J. had become CEO of the family company ELQ, but because Connie published a story in Crimson magazine revealing that certain Quartermaine family members weren't actually Quartermaines at all, A.J. lost his job. In anger, he strangled Connie until Sonny stopped him.

When Connie was later found dead, her last act was to write the letters "A.J." in blood. Everyone assumed he killed her, but there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute. The night Connie died, A.J. had another drunken blackout and wasn't sure whether he'd murdered her until his memories eventually returned and A.J. realized that Ava Jerome (Maura West) had actually done it. He confronted Ava and choked her, but Sonny came in, wouldn't listen to A.J.'s pleas to explain the situation, and shot him right then and there. On his deathbed, A.J. told Carly that Sonny had shot him, and she kept his secret.