The Bourne Directory

"We are the sin eaters. It means that we take the moral excrement we find in this equation and we bury it down deep inside of us, so that the rest of our case can stay pure. That is the job. We are morally indefensible, and absolutely necessary."
―Eric Byer's philosophy[src]

Colonel Eric Byer (USAF, Ret.) is the Director of the National Research Assay Group, a clandestine research and development agency that is part of the Department of Defense. He previously served in the United States Air Force.

Byer is the main antagonist in the 2012 spin-off film The Bourne Legacy, the fourth installment of the cinematographic franchise. He was portrayed by actor Edward Norton.


He was responsible for monitoring and management of programs that developed black operations operatives for various government agencies. In the course of the events surrounding Jason Bourne's amnesia and its resultant exposure of Treadstone and Blackbriar (associated with the CIA), Byer discovered potentially damaging evidence, which could expose other in-development programs like Outcome and LARX (associated with the DoD and JSOC).

That evidence revealed key personnel involved with Treadstone and Blackbriar meeting in public which, if investigated by the press or Congress, could expose all of their developing programs. As a result, and as a way to insulate those developing programs, Byer decided to kill all Outcome agents as a firewall to prevent any possible investigations into Treadstone from revealing Outcome's top-secret genetic advances and the existence of those other secret programs. He successfully had every Outcome agent killed, including Outcome-3, but was unsuccessful in his attempts to have protagonist Aaron Cross (aka Outcome-5) and Dr. Marta Shearing similarly killed.




Byer and Cross in Somalia.

Little is know about Eric Byer's early life except that he is a former USAF colonel, now head of the National Research Assay Group. He and Aaron Cross worked together in Somalia some years before the events of the film.

The Bourne Legacy[]

Eric Byer

Byer with Turso and Mandy.

Eric Byer is first seen jogging in the rain, as Mark Turso informs him of Simon Ross's impending exposé and notifies him of the federal investigation into the Central Intelligence Agency's black operations. Tasked with containing the fallout from the exposure of the Treadstone and Blackbriar programs by Pamela Landy, he discovers a potentially scandalous video on the Internet showing a meeting between Treadstone and Outcome medical directors Albert Hirsch and Dan Hillcott.

To prevent the Senate investigators from learning about Outcome, Byer convenes with his team (composed of Arthur Ingram, Dita Mandy and Zev Vendel) to eliminate everyone associated with the program, seeing the sacrifice as acceptable to protect next-generation "beta programs", including the supersoldier program LARX.

He deploys a drone to eliminate Aaron Cross, an operative of Outcome assigned to Alaska for a training exercise, and Number 3, another agent. However, while Number 3 is vaporized by a missile fired from the drone, Cross manages to evade the drone and force-feeds his radio-frequency identification to a wolf which is then blown up by another missile fired by the drone, tricking Byer and his team into believing he is dead.

Byer meanwhile genetically brainwashes Donald Foite, a researcher of Sterisyn-Morlanta, a biogenetics company supporting Outcome, to kill all of his colleagues, although one of them, Marta Shearing, manages to survive before Foite turns his gun on himself after being cornered by guards. Byer then tracks down Cross and Shearing through the film, eventually sending LARX-3, a chemically engineered soldier, after the pair. However, even this fails when Marta Shearing kills LARX-3 by crashing his motorcycle.


  • Outcome, the program Byer heads, is jeopardized by the events of the first three Jason Bourne movies, even though Bourne never physically appears in this movie.