Jake grew up in Lassiter, Pennsylvania, with his parents, Ray and Alice McKinnon. Ray died when Jake was a teen, and his mother took off not long afterwards. If it hadn't been for Bridget and her charge Vicky, who was Jake's childhood best friend as well as his teenage lover, Jake probably would have just struck out on his own. Jake and Vicky came to Pine Valley to con her family, the Loves, out of a fortune. He was supposed to pretend to fall for her identical twin sister, Marley, but he ruined their plan by REALLY falling for her. Marley was the first love of his life, and the two wed as teenagers, leaving town shortly after. When Jake returned to town, his marriage to Marley was a mess because he was cheating on her. He wanted her back, but couldn't keep out of his former girlfriend's bed. He and Vicky spent one night together, and when she found out she was pregnant, Jake and Marley got back together to fight for custody. Despite having the same blood type as Jake, the baby turned out to belong to Jamie Frame's, and Marley and Jake grew apart.
Jake began working with Iris to prove that Paulina Cory wasn't really Mac's daughter. He thought he uncovered the proof he needed, and began blackmailing her (and sleeping with her). At the same time, he was romancing Marley. When Marley learned that he was two-timing her, she broke things off with him. Unable to accept that any woman would say no to him, Jake viciously raped her. When he was shot later that night, Marley stood trial. Donna later confessed, but it was really Paulina who had shot him. Jake blackmailed Paulina into marrying him, even though he refused to let go of Marley. Marley wanted nothing to do with Jake, but he kept pushing himself into her life, even making bets that he could get her back into his bed. His marriage to Paulina broke up, and Jake was torn between chasing after her and working on getting Marley back. Marley left town, and Jake wormed his way back into Paulina's life. They wed, but Jake put their marriage in jeopardy when he went along with Vicky's scam to pretend that her son, Kirkland, was a foundling that Paulina had discovered.
Jake managed to ruin his relationship with Paulina when he got in over his head with loan sharks and was presumed dead. Stricken with amnesia, he made himself a ton of cash as Bunny Eberhardt. He returned to Bay City, to find Paulina had moved on -- she was in love with private detective Joe Carlino. He did his best to break them up, but eventually had to accept that Paulina, like Marley, had moved on. From there Jake became fixated on his former girlfriend, Vicky, who was twice divorced and raising two young boys. He wanted to get more romantic, but Vicky wasn't ready to move on after her fiance Ryan's not-so-recent murder. He continued to try to get closer to her, and might have succeeded, if Bobby Reno (a mysterious carpenter) hadn't showed up on the door step looking at her through Ryan's eyes. She wasn't able to separate Bobby from Ryan, and because infatuated with the man.
Jake had almost given up all hope when Vicky learned the truth about Bobby -- his real name was Shane Roberts, and he was a convicted murder accused of killing his lover. Although Shane was cleared, the knowledge that Shane had lied to her not only about his past but about his wife (Lila Roberts) put a wedge between them. Although Shane did his best to get Vicky to be with him, she and Jake agreed to marry. Jake and Vicky were separated briefly after Shane and Michael died, because Jake learned that Vicky had lied to him that night, and had gone to the cabin with Shane. During this time, Marley returned to town, and was run down by her mother in the cemetary. After radical surgery that altered her face forever, Jake began spending more and more time with Marley, and Marley began to believe that Jake still felt about her the way he had when she had left Bay City a few years earlier.
Jake and Vicky reconciled, but their happiness didn't last long once Vicky disappeared after Grant Harrison was shot. For months Jake despaired over the loss of his wife, turning more and more to his former wife, Marley. He was shocked to discover that it was Marley who had kidnapped Vicky, believing that it would help her and Jake get back together. Jake is refusing to forgive and forget, bringing Marley's past up constantly, all the while ignoring his own substantial role in her break down. He has moved out of the house, but the sudden arrival of Sean McKinnon (who turns out to be the son Kevin Anderson fathered as a young teenager and never mentioned) may throw the two of them back together.
Jake's history continues in our As the World Turns section.