|Plot details follow, read at your own risk.|
- "I'm fighting a different kind of war. I fight for God now."
- ―Ira Hogeboom
Hogeboom was born in Oklahoma. His surname implies he is of Dutch origin. He and his father migrated to California to escape the hardships of the Dust Bowl, during which his mother and younger brother died from starvation. They moved to Los Angeles where his father worked as a stunt double for low budget movies. Ira trained and worked as a gas fitter but was drafted into military service due to the U.S.'s involvement in the Second World War, serving as member of the Sixth Marines under Lieutenant Cole Phelps and Sergeant Jack Kelso. Ira fought in the Okinawa Campaign, and due to his experiences as gas fitter and aptitude in mechanics plus his large stature, he was appropriately placed on flamethrower detail.
While raiding Japanese hideouts, Ira's company encountered a cave and was ordered by Phelps to torch it. Ira ran ahead and set the cave ablaze, however, they realized too late that the cave was actually a makeshift hospital for Japanese civilians. Upon seeing the agonized men, women and children, Ira became distraught and horrified by his actions. After the civilians were euthanized, Ira was carried out of the cave, but spent the rest of the war inactive due to battle fatigue. His father died in November 1945, so he came home to live on his father's property.
Events of L.A. Noire
- "You said the house would be empty. You said the house would be empty. How can I find peace?"
- ―Ira Hogeboom
After the war, Hogeboom returned home suffering from extreme post traumatic stress disorder, haunted by memories of the atrocity. At the recommendation of friend and fellow Marine, Courtney Sheldon, Hogeboom sought treatment from renowned psychiatrist Harlan Fontaine. Fontaine used psychotherapy and morphine, although Ira was still unable to come to terms with his trauma. Nonetheless, Ira was physically fit for work and secured a job as a bug sprayer for the Westlake Pest Control Agency and resided in a house on Rancho Rincon.
Ira's fragile mind combined with morphine and hypnotherapy made him susceptible to Fontaine's manipulations, who suggested to burn down certain houses as means of treatment, telling him that it would help confront his past. Ira did so by sabotaging the houses' water heaters. In actuality, Fontaine was exploiting Ira's broken mind and arsonist experiences for the benefits of the Suburban Redevelopment Fund.
However, despite Fontaine's and Monroe's planning, two of the houses were occupied, and Ira could hear the screams of the Morelli family. Guilt-ridden over their deaths, Ira was driven further into insanity and angered that Fontaine had used him, hence broke free of his control.
To absolve himself of guilt, Ira began to rationalize that death was a transformation into something better, a higher form of existence, allowing him to kill without remorse. Ira went to confront Fontaine and arrived in time to save Elsa Lichtmann from being murdered by Fontaine by strangling and breaking Fontaine's neck in retribution for his evil deeds. Ira then abducted the unconscious Elsa intending to take her to safety.
- "Don't cry Miss, Sergeant Kelso has come to help ease my way. I was proud to serve with you, Jack."
- ―Hogeboom's last words.
Donning his Marine uniform and armed with his flamethrower, Ira took Elsa to the River Tunnels, fending off Monroe's henchmen. Kelso and Phelps arrived to rescue Elsa, however Kelso's attempts to reason with Ira failed. Lamenting and acknowledging the tragic set of events, Ira allowed Phelps to take away Elsa. Ira saluted Jack as he performed a mercy kill, finally freeing him from insanity.
Throughout his time in Okinawa, Ira was a keen and upstanding Marine, though his actions in the atrocity reduced Ira to a broken shell of his former self. Fontaine diagnosed Ira as a paranoid schizophrenic with anti-social psychopathic tendencies. Ira's memories of the war haunted his sleeping and waking moments, unable to tell if he was still fighting in the war. As a result, he was unable to readjust to civilian life and was a constant danger to himself and to others.
Despite his overwhelming insanity, Ira also wanted to alleviate his pain and atone for his mistakes. It is likely that Ira developed his obsession with origami cranes due to the legend that making 1,000 grants a free wish, thus giving him a chance at redemption. He also hoped to secure a samurai sword, and bring it back with him after the Okinawa campaign. However, after being used by Fontaine, Ira could not let go of his Marine mentality. Haunted by death and sadness, Ira sought comfort in the idea that there is a better existence beyond death hence proclaimed to "fight for God", allowing him to fight and kill without guilt. Ira becomes a reluctant villain driven by his insanity. Though arguably, Ira achieved some amount of peace and redemption from helping Elsa, despite his tragic end.
- "The Driver's Seat" (Newspaper)
- "The Red Lipstick Murder" (Newspaper)
- "The Gas Man"
- "A Walk In Elysian Fields" (Intro & Newspaper)
- "A Polite Invitation"
- "A Different Kind Of War" (Killed)
- Hank Sawyer - Killed after setting fire to their house.
- Edwina Sawyer - Killed after setting fire to their house.
- Henry Sawyer - Killed after setting fire to their house.
- Jessica Sawyer - Killed after setting fire to their house.
- Mike Morelli - Killed after setting fire to their house.
- Mrs. Morelli - Killed after setting fire to their house.
- Unnamed Morelli Children - Killed after setting fire to their house.
- Harlan Fontaine - Strangled to death after breaking into his house for using him, and to rescue Elsa Lichtmann.
- Being from Oklahoma, he speaks with a strong southern accent and is referred to as "Okie Cowboy" on some occasions.
- Hogeboom is heard at the end of the second official trailer - his lines were not changed before the game's release.
- Hogeboom earned the nickname Tex. Oddly enough, the name "Tex" appears on the bodies of some of the Black Dahlia victims.
- Hogeboom smokes Calderón cigarettes.
- His name might be a reference to WWII veteran of Pima descent, Ira Hayes, which is also depicted in the 2006 film Flags of Our Fathers.
- When folding an Elysian Fields flyer during the opening cutscene of A Walk in Elysian Fields, Hogeboom appears to have dark skin. However, in all other appearances, he has white skin. This is most likely attributable to the lighting.
- Hogeboom may spawn in the river tunnels outside of the cutscene. His cursor is that of a friendly, thus shooting him fails the mission.
- Hogeboom is considerably taller than other NPCs.