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Ullman hires Jack as caretaker, even though he knows it will likely result in disaster. He only hires Jack because Al Shockley tells him to. He's not a big player in the story, that we can see, but he's important because he starts off the chills and thrills. In the first chapter of the novel, titled "Job Interview" we learn that the winter 1970-71 caretaker Delbert Grady murdered his wife and two daughters and then committed suicide, right here at the Overlook.