This page lists the notable UnSubs faced by the BAU during the course of Criminal Minds, listed per episode broadcast order. Seasons one through five.
Played by: Andrew Jackson (actor) & DJ Qualls
A duo of serial killers who target women in order to rape them, with a behavior so varied the BAU is forced to call Jason Gideon out of retirement to help with the case. With Vogel acting as the dominant force of the pair, and due to being in the very first episode, Vogel is the first UnSub of the week seen in Criminal Minds.
- Batman Gambit: The profile, while made with Slessman in mind when first proposed, is actually more fitting with Vogel in that he's not as intelligent as Slessman and likely rapes out of a feeling of impotence. Gideon uses this against him when he holds Heather Woodland at gunpoint, teasing him about his impotence and making Vogel angry enough to drop her and try to shoot him. While Vogel misses, Elle nails six rounds on him.
- Calling Card: Vogel leaves the belts he uses to strangle his victims on their necks when he dumps their bodies.
- Dumb Muscle: Vogel, as the dominant leader of the pair, relying on Slessman's cleverness to get himself out of incriminating situations and make his killings more satisfying.
- The Heavy: While Slessman is arguably the "brains" of the operation, Vogel is the one doing all the killing and is responsible for the deal between the two, so he's treated as the episode's primary UnSub with Slessman as his accomplice.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Vogel targets women due to his own impotence and raging misogyny.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Gideon profiles Timothy as a lousy shot due to his anger and lack of coordination, so the above Batman Gambit was done with the idea that Vogel would miss the shot even when he had the chance. Gideon was right.
- Killer Cop: Vogel is a correctional officer as well as a serial killer.
- Loony Fan: Slessman towards Gideon.
- Snuff Film: What they did with their victims, with the murders recorded so the videos would be sent to Slessman's computer for his enjoyment.
- Starter Villain: Vogel is the shows first Unsub.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Extreme Aggressor", the show's first episode.
- You Owe Me: The two killers met in the prison Vogel works at, and he uses the fact he kept Slessman out of trouble as a way to force him into helping with the murders.
Played by: Jennifer Hall
A college student from Tempe, Arizona, who is also a mentally-disturbed arsonist and budding serial killer obsessed with religious imagery, targeting people in her university with horrific, fiery explosions.
- Arc Number: 3. All of her arsons are done in a "trinity of threes", or in other words, events where the number 3 is present three times. As it turns out, the house fire that nearly killed her essentially locked her into thinking of the number, since even her house number was "333". Any instance where 3 is present in trios will cause her to attempt another controlled fire targeting a specific person, unreleated to her personally. Furthermore, her own OCD will make her do things in trios.
- Being Evil Sucks: Her disorder makes her believe that if she doesn't start a fire when a trinity of threes is present, something terrible will happen, hearkening back to the house fire that nearly killed her when she was still a teenager. As Hotch later sees when she almost kills her own classmates in an elevator, she takes no pleasure in doing this and actively regrets what she does, except she still feels there's no other choice but to do it.
- Crazy-Prepared: She's coherent enough to know to cut the water supply to the entire campus building she's targeting so the fires she causes won't be thwarted in time to save the victims.
- The Fundamentalist: As she was saved from her burning house, her mother later told the press that her being rescued was "a miracle", and the words stuck with Clara, worsening her OCD. Her fires are done through the religious belief that she must perform them during "trinities of threes" to appease Charon, the ferryman, lest something terrible happens.
- Playing with Fire: A serial arsonist who plans controlled-but-fiery explosions targeting specific people present during an event where a "trinity of threes" happens.
- Room Full of Crazy: Her apartment. The walls are covered in religious text related to fire and burning, along with candles placed everywhere.
- Rule of Three: Her arsons are motivated by this, twisting the trope into full-on obsession.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Hotch advises the team not to do this, since it's unlikely that Clara's compulsion will let her listen to reason long enough to not kill her classmates in an elevator, but he tries it anyway when he has her cornered. While it does buy some time, Gideon still has to rush in and shoot her in the leg (non-fatally) to make her stop before she can light up the gasoline she already poured on the students.
- Tragic Monster: She legitimately doesn't want to kill anyone, but her compulsion makes her firmly believe she has to.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Compulsion".
Played by: Kirk B.R. Woller
A stalker, serial killer and rapist responsible for a string of violent crimes against women in the San Diego area, posing them by gluing their eyes open.
- A God Am I: His desperate need for attention escalated into this as he started calling himself "Death" and demanding that he be noticed and given respect by the police.
- Attention Whore: He lived with a dominant female relative for most of his life (either his mother or his wife) and their presence made him feel diminished as a man and as a person, so he started killing out of a demented desire for attention from the police and the community. He's only successfully arrested after being promised media coverage as well.
- Batman Gambit: Gideon has him cornered when he tries to kill Shelly Hart at her home and tells him that, if he tries anything, he'll be shot on sight and the BAU will tell the media he was just a common burglar, but promises he'll get media attention if he surrenders willingly. He chooses the latter and is arrested.
- Calling Card: Stalking upper-middle-class Caucasian women as he worked on the phone lines just outside their homes, then cornering them at their homes alone, restraining them to their beds, raping and finally killing them by strangling with a length of wire. He'd then glue their eyes shut and pose the bodies so they'd be looking out their windows at the phone lines, destroy objects in their homes that represented their wealth, then clean up the crime scene. After the third victim wasn't tied to his previous crimes by police, he also took to writing snippets of the 16th-century ballad "The Great Messenger of Mortality or A Dialogue Betwixt Death and a Lady" on mirrors with lipstick, specifically the lyrics sung only by Death.
- The BAU actually talks about this in the profile; while the ballad lyrics and the glueing of their eyes is part of a signature and meant to be symbolic, they're very likely done precisely to BE a signature for the UnSub, since wanting the police's attention and to be recognized as a threat is what he craves.
- Eye Scream: After raping and killing his victims, Graney would glue their eyes wide open and pose them at their windows so they'd be looking at the phone lines he works with. The BAU discuss this in their profile as being a signature for the sake of having one to begin with, tying back to Graney's desire for attention.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Destroys what he perceives to be symbols of wealth from his victims' homes out of jealousy for their social status and due to feeling ignored by these people despite being a welcomed professional in their community.
- Meaningful Name: The media took to calling him "The Tommy Killer" after The Who's rock opera "Tommy", which features the lyrics "See me, feel me, touch me".
- Psychological Projection: Graney spent most of his life living with some sort of nagging, dominant female relative in a position of wealth that he felt emasculated by, projecting this person onto his victims, which is what fuels his need for violence and attention.
- Red Baron: The first time in the show when this trope is discussed and lampshaded, as the BAU informs the San Diego police that giving a serial killer a nickname strengthens their resolve and motivates them to continue their spree at much shorter intervals, especially if the UnSub is motivated by a need for attention to begin with.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: Not only does he feel emasculated, he feels diminished because of his status as an average-income phone line worker that no one pays attention to, and kills because he wants to be seen as Death incarnate.
- Stalker Without a Crush: Stalks his possible victims by working on the phone lines near their homes and taking note of their daily routines cautiously so he can choose an optimal time to attack them.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Plain Sight".
Played By: Matt Letscher
An FBI agent who grew up with a District Attorney's family, including his twin daughters. Obsessed and thinking they reciprocated his feelings for them, Shyer starts using his position to stalk them and try to get them to be with him.
- Break Them by Talking: Tries to pull this on the team over the phone, using his experience in the FBI to throw their weaknesses against them and make them comply to his demands... Except it's subverted in that he not only makes broad assumptions about the team (he does identify Hotch's marital issues but implies it's an ego problem, which goes way off the mark), his threats and supposed "expert speech" come across more like inane ramblings. As shown during the call, the entire group is either completely baffled at his remarks or shrugging him off as delusional (Morgan is flat-out laughing at it).
- Dirty Coward: He has to stun Morgan with a taser when his back is turned in order to get close to a protected Cheryl, and when Elle easily overpowers him after a brief fight, he caves in fast when she makes him tell her where Patricia is. It probably helps that Elle was holding him at gunpoint with her sharp heel right on his crotch.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: The unassuming federal agent seen trying to comfort Evan Davenport as he's breaking down over his daughter's kidnapping? He's the UnSub.
- Entitled to Have You: Suffers from a disorder known as "erotomania", which is known for causing people to assume another person is infatuated with them because of subtle, ambiguous gestures (like a smile or a glance). Shyer's history with the Davenports led him to believe Patricia and Cheryl were in love with him but "just didn't know it yet", causing him to plot their kidnapping. This mentality is also why he shot and killed Patricia's fiancée Jordan, unable to accept the idea of her marrying another man.
- Evil Counterpart: He's an FBI agent like the members of the BAU, except he's also a demented stalker who uses his position and training to follow his targets while remaining undetected, even killing one of their loved ones in cold blood.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: He kept himself well-hidden the entire time through a voice changer and pretending to be just another agent helping with the investigation, but his pathetic "breaking speech" — which does at least use some basics of profiling — is what clues the team in that he's an FBI agent.
- Stalker with a Crush: Completely obsessed with Patricia and Cheryl Davenport, and is willing to both kill and abuse his authority to get to them.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Broken Mirror".
Played by: Timothy Omundson
A budding narcissistic and paranoid long-distance serial killer with a hero-homicide complex, sniping his victims near-fatally in order to save them later as an ER doctor.
- Batman Gambit: How he dies, courtesy of Hotch playing to Dowd's nacissism during the hostage taking to convince him to let Hotch kick Reid for "having to babysit him", which was only so he could take Hotch's concealed gun in his ankle and pass his firearm qualification exam.
- Boom, Headshot!: Kills Officer McCarty with a bullet to the head after thinking he was trying to copy him. This is also how he dies, thanks to Reid and Hotch's quick and calm thinking.
- Cold Sniper: His modus operandi, but it's downplayed in that his intention is to shoot his victims non-fatally in order to save them later at the hospital he works at.
- Combat Medic: Served as an US Army Ranger before being discharged for dishonorable conduct, then later as a member of the Arlington Police Department that was fired for lying about his army discharge during the application process.
- Engineered Heroics: Suffers from Hero Syndrome, meaning he engineers a sniping scenario in order to save the people shot later in the emergency room.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Dowd's M.O. is later used in Season 15 by Louis Chaycon, and his apartment is used as a trap for Luke Alvez and Matt Simmons by Chaycon's gang.
- Hostage Situation: Because he suspects that the FBI is onto him at the hospital, he beats Reid down with his rifle then takes the people at the reception area hostage, including Hotch and Reid themselves. It ends when Dowd dies to a bullet to the head.
- It's All About Me: A narcissist who feels his talents aren't being appreciated. It's hinted that this is what led to his dishonorable discharge from the Army, and it's a definite factor for his Hero Syndrome.
- Jerkass: He's profiled as one by the team and what little we see of him seems to confirm it.
- That One Case: Reid reveals in Season 10 that Dowd's case stuck with him for the longest time, making him think of the possibility that he wouldn't have needed to be shot if they could've helped him earlier. Reid also mentions that he put the subject to rest when he remembered all the people he's hurt.
- Serial Killer: Downplayed. While the BAU refers to him as a "long-distance serial killer" due to his M.O., he barely qualifies as a "serial" killer since he only ever killed two people. Otherwise, his plan is always to keep his victims alive so he can save them later and take the credit.
- Villain of the Week: Of "L.D.S.K.".
Played by: Patrick Kilpatrick
A mafia hitman who operated as a misandrist serial killer on the side, with a body count of over a hundred. After murdering his first female victim, Vinny become highly agitated, and left behind evidence for the first time in his career, leading to his arrest at the hands of the BAU. Profiled as possessing co-morbid antisocial and paranoid personality disorders, Vinny is a sadistic thug and an emotionally stunted man whose ability to interact with the world around him has been virtually destroyed by his abusive father.
- Abusive Dad: He and his mother were the victims of his violently abusive father.
- Axe-Crazy: Violently and dangerously unhinged, with diagnoses of both antisocial and paranoid personality disorders.
- The Brute: His position in Michael Russo's mafia. He's not trusted with any real authority, but no one other than Michael can give him orders, and he's brought in when they need someone horrifically killed.
- Cop Killer: There are several police officers on the wall of photos displaying his victims. He also tries to kill Jimmy, an undercover FBI agent, though he's prevented from doing so just in time.
- Creepy Monotone: Most of his dialogue is issued in the same flat monotone.
- Does Not Like Men: A rare male example. Vinny sees his father in most other adult men, and tries to kill him again and again.
- The Dreaded: Everyone in his mafia gang, including his own boss, are scared of this guy, and even the BAU seem intimidated as they start investigating the case and start piecing together what they are up against.
- Eaten Alive: His favorite torture involves leaving the poor victim to suffer this from a swarm of rats.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Loved his mother and becomes extremely distressed when Hotch begins talking about her.
- Evil Counterpart: Invoked by Hotch when he brings up their mutual abuse at the hands of their fathers. Vinny seems to recognize it as well, though he doesn't vocalize it.
- Freudian Excuse: He's a victim of his father, whose relentless abuse of both Vinny and his mother reinforced and exaggerated the boy's antisocial tendencies and gave him paranoid personality disorder on top of it, as he could never know when the next blow was coming. Killing his father was the final moment in Perotta's development into the dead-eyed killing machine he is in the present day, and it's made clear, though never outright stated, that he continues to see his father's face over-top of those of the men he kills.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: He's modeled on Richard "Iceman" Kuklinski, a Mafia hitman who moonlighted as a serial killer and whose fractured psyche was very much a product of his abusive father, and like Vincent was diagnosed with co-morbid Paranoid and Anti-Social Personality Disorder.
- Hitman with a Heart: It's well-hidden, but when he's put in a position where he has to break his unspoken rules and kill a woman, he kills her painlessly. This then triggers his devolution, as he fails to cope with what he's done and starts screwing up.
- Hunting "Accident": How he likely killed his father.
- Lack of Empathy: Outside of his mother, Vinny's incapable of empathy for anyone.
- The Mafia: Works for Baltimore Mafia boss Michael Russo.
- One-Steve Limit: Subverted. There are ten other Vincent's in Russo's mob.
- The Paranoiac: Profiled as possessing paranoid personality disorder, Vinny sees the entire world as being out to get him, and distrusts everyone in his life.
- Patricide: Heavily suggested to have killed his father in the "hunting accident" that claimed Frank Perotta's life.
- Professional Killer: Vinny's a professional hitman with a permanent mob contract. Not that this stops him from killing on the side.
- Psycho for Hire: An unusually literal example. Vinny's a sadistic psychopath who has found employment as a mob hitman.
- Psycho Knife Nut: His weapons of choice are knives, both for murder and torture.
- Sadist: One of the few non-sexual sadists on the show, Vinny derives emotional, but not sexual, release from torturing and killing men.
- The Sociopath: The first "pure psychopath" to appear on the show.
- The Stoic: Vincent has almost no facial expression and rarely raises his voice. Only Hotch mentioning his mother is able to break through.
- Torture Technician: A highly effective torturer with saw-toothed knives and fire alike. His crime scenes are identifiable from the marks his torture leaves on the bones.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Natural Born Killer".
- Would Not Hit a Girl: Vinny targets men both as an assassin and as a serial killer. The first time he violates this rule, it sends him into a nervous breakdown.
- You Dirty Rat!: Feeds his victims to rats while they are still alive.
Played by: Chris Bauer, Jeff Kober (Leo)
A schizophrenic physicist who takes a group of people on-board a passenger train hostage. With Elle also being in the car, the BAU is forced to think of a solution to pacify him and get the hostages out.
- Cop Killer: Shoots a security guard on-board the train with his own gun, then uses said gun to hold the passengers hostage.
- Gollum Made Me Do It: Ted's schizophrenic character Leo is the one who continuously pushes him to threaten the passengers in the train car and feeds his paranoid delusions. Reid, taken hostage a little later, pushes Ted against Leo in order to help him fight off the "voices in his head" long enough for Elle to subdue him and one of the passengers to shoot him non-fatally.
- Hearing Voices: His disorder makes him hear voices that push him into being paranoid and aggressive, with Leo in particular being the loudest. Reid points out that he has to resist them, Leo especially, if he wants to have peace again.
- Hostage Situation: The entire episode revolves around Ted holding people at a train car hostage because he thinks they're agents spying on him.
- Mad Scientist: He never uses science for evil, but he's an accomplished physicist who happens to suffer from schizophrenia.
- Morality Pet: Dr. Linda Deaton, his psychiatrist who is also on board. She repeatedly tries to calm Ted down and get him to listen to reason, but he either vaguely compromises or flat-out refuses her requests.
- My God, What Have I Done?: At the very end, when the shot he took to the stomach implicitly snaps him out of his delusions long enough for him to realize the damage he's caused.
- The Schizophrenia Conspiracy: His schizophrenia makes Ted believe the government is keeping tabs on him through microchips implanted on his body, and that every person in the train car are agents sent to spy on him.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: Occasionally the audience is allowed to see Ted's imaginary influencer Leo right beside him, repeatedly feeding his paranoid delusions and telling him to hurt the hostages.
- Trauma Button: He snaps when the train is forced to stop due to a suicidal jumper, and he also sees Elle reading FBI files at her seat.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Derailed".
Played by: Will Rothhaar
The son of McAllister's local sheriff, Cory is a key witness in the BAU's investigation of the murders of a high school jock and his girlfriend that were set-up to look cult-related... except he killed them himself after they came too close to something he and some friends called "their thing".
- Ambiguous Situation: His motive for killing Adam Lloyd is never talked about in detail, with nothing outright stating it had anything to do with the hiker's body that Cory and other teens found in the woods. All that's known is that Adam was his intended target and Cherish, Adam's girlfriend, was killed as collateral damage, although Morgan accusing Cory of killing Adam to get to Cherish seems to press a sort of Berserk Button for him, as he gets very defensive about it.
- Batman Gambit: Cory holds Reid at gunpoint when Morgan starts making it clear he's not buying his act, only for both of them to start throwing out theories as to why he killed Adam Lloyd and Cherish Hanson, Morgan flat-out accusing him of killing a rival jock so he could have his girlfriend. Enraged, Cory tries shooting him only for Reid to knock the gun out of his hand and Morgan to tackle him to the ground, knocking him out cold with a single punch. This lets them arrest him and send him off to his ashamed, distraught father.
- Cop/Criminal Family: Son of McAllister sheriff John Bridges, and secretly a budding psychopath with violent tendencies. The sheriff doesn't know his son is the killer, and both are helping the BAU's investigation closely. To say John is saddened by his son being a murderer is an understatement.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: The episode builds up Mike Zizzo and his "Lords of Destruction" group as the culprits of Adam and Cherish's murders, when it's also rather clear something is amiss as Cory is very eager to help with the investigation. Indeed, the sheriff's son, the pretty-faced high school jock is the real killer.
- Framing the Guilty Party: "Guilty" is heavily pushing it, but Cory framed his killings on the local group of "satanists" because he knew the town would immediately latch onto the idea due to the "Satanic panic" mentality.
- Hollywood Satanism: Invoked. Mike Zizzo's group, the "Lords of Destruction", are self-proclaimed satanists who gather in a dingy shack to rock and roll all night and have crazy parties because it bothers the residents, wanting to stand out from them as individuals. Cory uses their outward satanic style to frame them as actual cultists, which sets the BAU on them and lets him try to pick them apart. With Zizzo telling the team what Satanism actually entails and Morgan not being fooled by Bridges' eagerness, it doesn't work as well as he had hoped.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: A group of teens find a hiker's body decomposing in the woods and, instead of reporting it to the police, they gathered around on occasion to watch it decompose. Cory took it even further by actually murdering a couple from his high school that got too close, then staging the scene to blame it on the local "satanists" to deflect suspicion, but the worst part is that the episode doesn't ever say if Cory really did kill them because they got too close, only that Adam Lloyd was his actual victim and his girlfriend Cherish Hanson was collateral.
- Villain of the Week: Of "The Popular Kids".
Played by: Michael Massee & Jeannetta Arnette
A husband-and-wife duo currently on death row and awaiting their execution, as Dawes is a prolific and sadistic serial killer responsible for at least 18 known teenage female victims. However, at the eve of their deaths, Gideon suspects that Dawes' wife may not be guilty of her crimes.
- Calling Card: Dawes had his victims trapped in his personal workshop before killing and dismembering them with his carpentry tools, burying the bodies underneath the floor. When it got too full, he started burying them under locations he was hired to work at. He also supposedly got Sarah Jean to lure the victims to him, but that was a lie he created to worsen the charges against her.
- Clear My Name: Gideon profiles Sarah Jean as being innocent of her supposed crimes and dedicates the remainder of the episode to try and help her avoid her execution so she won't die alongside her murderous husband, which is Dawes' goal. He succeeds, but she chooses death regardless.
- Face Death with Dignity: A case where the trope is given both a villainous and a heroic example:
- Dawes' ultimate plan is to die with the satisfaction of knowing his wife will be killed soon after him for the supposed murder of their own son, so he's chillingly calm and smug as he waits for his demise. Hotch then slaps Riley's (now Byron Sheffield) photo on the viewing glass, guaranteeing Dawes is killed with an angered scowl and the knowledge that he failed.
- Sarah Jean waits for her own death because she's fully convinced it's inevitable and has long since accepted it, especially after confessing to her son's murder herself. In the end, despite Gideon managing to prove her innocence, she insists on going forward with it because she doesn't want her son to know where he came from, always keeping his safety as her main priority.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: As a special farewell gift for Dawes, the BAU manages to find his and Sarah's son very much alive after she did, in fact, give him away to the Sheffields so he wouldn't die. Hotch waits until right before the lethal injection is given so he can gladly slap Riley/Byron's picture on the glass.Hotch: Riley. You LOSE.Dawes: NO...!
- Pædo Hunt: Dawes was an ephebophilic and hebephilic serial killer who felt gratification from killing teenage girls, and has been sentenced to death because of it.
- Together in Death: Dawes' final plan is to get both himself and Sarah executed for his murders, as well as the supposed murder of their own son Riley, which she confessed to. In the end this is somewhat foiled, with Riley revealed to be alive and Sarah Jean's innocence proven, except she willingly chooses death regardless because she doesn't want her son to know who his parents were, his safety her top priority.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Riding the Lightning".
Played by: Chad Allen (Cally), Skyler Shaye (Ingrid Grieson)
A cult of violent, psychotic racists seeking to start an all-out race war at an Apache reserve in New Mexico, targeting people in the area and killing them through gross imitations of Native-American rituals.
- Calling Card: Stabbing their victims before killing them in imitations of Native-American rituals, or rather, mockeries of them using only the most basic knowledge of their tribes, including skinning the victims alive and impaling them on spikes.
- Faux Affably Evil: Cally speaks with a soft, affable tone of voice even when he's directly insulting sheriff Blackwolf and his heritage while bragging about the atrocities he's committed and plans to do further.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: The BAU directly compares Cally and his tribe to Charles Manson and his "family", with both having a similar motivation of violent racism and cult mentality as a front for their sadism and cruelty for the sake of cruelty.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Cally leads his cult with fancy words and delivery, but never did he actually kill anyone himself, leaving all the dirty work for his own "tribe" to do.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Again, the BAU compared them to Charles Manson. The only real difference between Cally and Manson were the racial groups they targeted (Manson targeted the African-American population of California, Cally targets the Native-Americans residing in New Mexico).
- Smug Snake: Cally's default expression is a smug, self-aggrandizing grin, even as he's talking about killing more people due to being "superior" to them.
- Villain of the Week: Of "The Tribe".
- Would Hurt a Child: Cally's final plan is an all-out attack at the local middle school where Blackwolf sometimes teaches at, fully planning on executing the children and teachers that attend it. The BAU does manage to evacuate the premises in time before completely taking down the cult members.
Played by: Ethan Phillips
A schizophrenic vigilante and serial-turned-spree killer who goes after criminals in New York City who have been acquitted of their felonies in court.
- Asshole Victim: Maybe; Marvin's targets are all people who have been acquitted of serious criminal charges (a cab driver accused of spousal abuse, a priest accused of child molestation, etc), but the episode leaves a strong hint that his condition is making him assume the victims were indeed guilty without question when there is the strong possibility that they were truly innocent of their charges.
- Calling Card: Shooting his targets once with a pistol to immobilize them before stabbing them through the ear with a knife until the handle was touching the skull, at which point he'd break it off and leave the blade inside. He also alternated which ear he'd stab through with each kill (left, then right, then left, and so on), and targeted people he'd seen in court during his day job who also claimed they were themselves victims in some way. Finally, the victims were blindfolded post-mortem to resemble the statue of Lady Justice seen in courtrooms.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: Out of all the possible people who could start this kind of spree, only the BAU aren't shocked to find out the quiet court stenographer is the one responsible.
- Murder by Mistake: He's successfully talked out of killing Ted Elmore by Gideon and is even willing to surrender, except Hotch perceives him lowering his weapon as Marvin going for the quick draw, causing him to shoot him fatally.
- Start of Darkness: His parents were killed by a burglar two years prior to the episode, and his mental disorder made him feel guilty for letting them die and want to rectify his mistake.
- Vigilante Execution: He's even called "The Vigilante" by the public, which tears the perception of his killings down the middle: half agrees with his methods and show support, while the other accuses him of being just another murderer.
- Villain of the Week: Of "A Real Rain".
Played by: Katheryn Winnick
A delusional serial-turned-spree killer and stalker of actress Lila Archer, killing anyone she perceives as a threat towards her or their "relationship".
- Batman Gambit: By Reid, who tells Maggie that Lila loves him now and causes her to throw a fit, enough for him to disarm and restrain Maggie.
- The Calls Are Coming from Inside the House: She calls Lila from her own bedroom when the team finally figures out the stalker's identity, since Lila herself gave her a copy of the house keys.
- Cop Killer: Attempted, but her drive-by shooting only hurts officer Owen Kim's shoulder and misses Morgan entirely.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: As it turns out, the production assistant just minding her business in the background who occasionally talks to Lila during her recording sessions is a crazy stalker thinking she's fully authorized to have Lila for herself.
- Entitled to Have You: Suffers from erotomania, meaning she's fully convinced Lila Archer is in love with her, which to Maggie somehow means she's the single reason as to why Lila is famous to begin with. At the stand-off in Lila's house, she even flat-out says she "created" her (see quote above).
- Hostage Situation: Eventually, she gets desperate enough to invade Lila's house and hold her at gunpoint to make her profess her "love" to Maggie.
- Kick the Dog: Kills people in Lila's life that she perceives as a threat to their "relationship", but all she's doing is hurting her target by killing people she cares about, like her manager, otherwise causing her guilt.
- Mask of Sanity: When working as Lila's production assistant. She's so unassuming that it's absolutely jarring to see her act so unhinged the next time she's seen in full.
- Psycho Lesbian: Kills to "protect" Lila.
- Stalker with a Crush: She's been obsessed with Lila since they met in college, developing an attraction towards her due to an implied erotomania case. Maggie has been around Lila ever since, even working under her as a production assistant in her projects, which she only used to search out possible threats to Lila's career and kill them. That being said, the team does make the (correct) assumption that Maggie will lash out violently if Lila rejects her directly.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Somebody's Watching".
- Villainous Breakdown: The stand-off at Lila's house, where hearing Lila reject her makes her snap into a tantrum-throwing rage and, after Reid disarms her, she flat-out begs him to shoot her dead in her desperation.
Played by: Alejandro Patiño
A serial rapist and abductor-turned-serial killer targeting elderly women in a small town in Mexico. The BAU is called in by an officer who attended one of Gideon's seminars when the targets start showing up stabbed at their homes.
- Calling Card: One of the few UnSubs to change his signature and modus operandi through his shifting phases:
- As a rapist, Vargas targeted women from the town and, approaching them in cross-dress, held a knife to their backs and forced them into the desert, where he'd blind and rape them. Once he was done, he'd kiss their necks and ask "how did I do" as if seeking their approval;
- After his humiliation at Millagro's hands, he changed from rapist to serial killer by targeting his victims' family homes, approaching the homes still dressed as a woman and pretending to be a nurse or social worker before storming in, overpowering the mothers and stabbing them in the face, chest and genitals using a knife from their kitchen. Afterwards, he'd steal a piece of jewlery from the daughters' room and gift them to his mother's corpse at home.
- Creepy Crossdresser: Dresses as a woman in plus-sized clothing, using it to approach his victims both as a rapist and as a serial killer. While it's a convenient disguise in the latter case, it's speculated that he did it for other purposes that aren't elaborated upon.
- Creepy Souvenir: Takes pieces of jewlery from the homes he invades, belonging to his former rape victims. They're gifts to his dead, decayed mother.
- Minor Major Character: The episode-centric UnSub of the week, yet we rarely ever see Vargas until the end, when he's already been killed. Instead, the plot focuses more on the aftermath of his actions and the themes of "machismo" in Mexican society, regarding their treatment of homosexuality, cross-dressing and rape allegations.
- No Kill like Overkill: Cornered, beaten to a bloody mess by his rape victims when they also find out his identity, then castrated by them for good measure, dying from the resulting blood loss.
- Parental Incest: Heavily implied to harbor an incestuous love for his mother. He even keeps her corpse on the couch of his living room and showers her with gifts he takes from his previous rape victims, essentially acting like a Mexican version of Norman Bates in that regard.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: When the BAU finally identifies him and starts the manhunt, his previous rape victims (whose mothers he murdered) corner him at his next target's house and attack him together, beating him to a bloody pulp before castrating him with a knife. Millagros Cruz, the one leading the charge, even tells the BAU: "He pretended to be a woman. Now he doesn't have to pretend."
- Self-Made Orphan: Implied to have killed his own mother sometime in the past, despite also possibly harboring some incestuous love towards her. He at least kept the corpse in his house to still gift her things he took from the homes he invaded.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Machismo".
Played by: Andy Comeau
A hebephile serial killer, rapist and stalker who uses many disguises in order to lure in women and drown them in different bodies of water. The BAU is called in to help with his arrest due to his shifting identities and increasingly-volatile mental state.
- Captive Date: He stages romantic dinners with his victims, then tortures and drowns them.
- Freudian Excuse: His mother cheated on his father, and his father was too spineless to call her out on it.
- Making a Splash: He kills his victims by drowning.
- Master of Disguise: He's the only UnSub whose identity is known by the BAU in advance, but the local authorities need help catching them because he keeps changing his appearance.
- Matricide: The B.A.U. conclude his mother was his first victim.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Gregory was clearly based on infamously successful real life serial killer Ted Bundy. Their MO is practically identical, charming and convincing attractive young women into following them to secluded areas and then killing them. Gregory's use of the "cripple carrying groceries " disguise was directly lifted from Bundy. Also, much like Bundy, he devolves from using elaborate plans to plain snatching women, which made it possible to catch him. While Gregory devolves after a couple of days, Bundy took years to devolve).
- Suicide by Cop: The B.A.U. theorise this is how he intends to end up. When finally confronted, he chooses to try and finish off his last victim and gets shot by Morgan.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Charm and Harm".
- Villainous Breakdown: He starts out luring his victims with a ruse and staging romantic dinners with them, but eventually devolves to simply abducting and killing them immediately as the BAU closes in on him. With his last victim, he didn't even bother with a fantasy, simply trying to kill before he got caught.
- Wicked Cultured: As seen when he discusses the qualities of fine Scotch whiskey over a gourmet steak dinner with one of his victims.
Played by: Ray Baker & Navid Negahban
Bruno Hawks is the CIA Deputy Director of Operations, who has requested Gideon's help with finding a mole hidden in the unit he works for. Problem is, Hawks is himself the mole and a budding serial killer, working with diplomatic envoy and terrorist Hassan Nadir to earn money off his operations.
- Ambiguous Situation: Hawks is arrested while boasting that he'll be out of prison in no time flat because of his money and how much he knows. At the end of the episode, Gideon reads that Hawks suffered a "car accident", making it ambiguous whether the accident was legitimate, the CIA had him killed and made it look like an accident for the press, or Hawks was right and they took him into hiding for his information.
- Broken Pedestal: Gideon did military service with Hawks in the past, and the two are close enough that the latter specifically asked for the former's help with finding the "mole" in his unit (and reluctantly let him call the rest of the BAU). Unfortunately, Gideon has to later confront the fact that his old contact is an unrepentant killer completely full of himself.
- CIA Evil, FBI Good: Subverted; the other CIA agents suspected of being the mole end up either dead or having faked allegiance with Bruno in order to trick him into confessing, and at no point they're portrayed as being evil or less competent than the FBI. Until the news of the "car accident" at the end, which does make things complicated...
- Diplomatic Immunity: Nadir tries to use this when he's cornered, claiming he's protected by immunity as an envoy. Morgan pointedly tells him that the shipping container he's standing in hasn't gone through customs and is therefore not counted as US soil, much to his horror.
- Domestic Abuse: Nadir's wife Aaliyah was repeatedly abused by him, both physically and sexually, and she used the CIA's Witness Protection program to go into hiding with her two children. Turns out that part of the reason why Gideon was summoned was so he could analyze the last conversation agent John Summers had with him to find out where Aaliyah was hidden, supposedly due to CIA interests, but really just so Hawks could tell Nadir of her location so he could finish her off.
- The Dragon: Nadir is this for Hawks, giving him a cut of the profit from his terrorist operations while getting his CIA contact help to find out his wife's whereabouts so he can kill her for leaving his abusive grasp.
- He Knows Too Much: Hawks orders Nadir dead to a supposed "helper" because he doesn't want to be incriminated, only to fall right into the trap set for him. Unfortunately, he also gleefully boasts to Gideon he'll never be truly arrested because of the level of information he gathered working with Nadir and will be out of prison in no time. Depending on how one interprets the news of his "car accident", he either knew enough that it was too dangerous to let him go or he might've had a point...
- The Mole: The premise of the episode is that there is a mole within the CIA helping a known terrorist faction, and the BAU is called in to help uncover them. As it turns out, the head of the department and the person who called them to begin with is said mole.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Secrets and Lies".
Played by: David Pevsner
A pedophile who's captured a young boy named Dustin Powers from his home in New Jersey back in 1999. The boy now grown up to 6 years old and Earlson tired of him, he's set him up to be auctioned off for other pedophiles while keeping him in captivity. Agent Katherine Cole, the head of the FBI's Crimes Against Children unit, enlists the BAU to help finally catch him and save the young boy.
- Arch-Enemy: To Agent Katherine Cole, knowing her from when she nearly caught him once in the past. Even when he's finally in custody, he grins through the interrogation room glass at her, knowing she's watching.
- Cardboard Prison: Played literally but also a subversion; Dustin is kept in a tight, cramped "bedroom" surrounded by cardboard on the floor and walls with a mounted camera watching and filming him for the other pedos in Earlson's bidding ring, but the cardboard is actually covering brick walls. Earlson even breaks Dustin out with a sledgehammer when the time comes to carry him off to be sold.
- It's Personal: For Katherine Cole, who's even encountered Earlson once before. She's been on Dustin Powers' case ever since his kidnapping, and she summons the BAU to help by realizing she can rely on her old department to profile her target and get her closer to him.
- Meaningful Name: The episode's title, "P911", is internet slang used in chat rooms that means "parent emergency", signaling to the other members that a parent is present in the conversation. The slang would often be exploited by pedophiles who frequented these sites.
- Pædo Hunt: The premise of the episode, with Agent Cole calling the BAU to help catch a wanted pedophile and save his captive before he's auctioned off to other criminals through his personal network. It even gets the BAU to arrest two of them, as the biggest auctioneer in the bidding chat room was a local school principal they use to track down Earlson.
- Vehicular Kidnapping: When the time comes to ferry off Powers to his buyer, Earlson traps him in a suitcase in his car's trunk. The BAU sees right through it when they arrest him.
- Villain of the Week: Of "P911".
Played by: Jason Wiles
A bank robber in Los Angeles who forces his hostages to strip down to their underwear, except his drug addiction and unchecked mental issues are causing him to devolve and become an increasingly unstable spree killer.
- Calling Card: As his moniker indicates, he forced the hostages at his robberies to strip down to their underwear before locking the clothes in the bank vault and running away with the money.
- Death of a Child: He shoots a teenage boy dead at the restaurant robbery because the kid refused to take off his clothes when Sheppard demanded it. This serves to make the case hurt extra for Hotch, who's going through family drama involving his son by the time of the episode.
- Freudian Excuse: His mother, Karen, was a painkiller addict who abused Caleb and his sister when they were children, possibly sexually, to the point said sister killed herself. Already snapped, he spent a little over 12 years in and out of juvie and jail for various crimes, until the last prison he was sent to started a program with psychodramas which he was presumably enrolled into, while his inmate friends taught him how to rob banks.
- It's Personal: Sheppard's case quickly became this for Hotch when he learned that a child died to the UnSub's growing drug-induced rage and that he's taken a backyard birthday party hostage, so much so that he doesn't give him one iota of a chance to surrender when they corner him; Hotch point-blank shoots him in the chest to make him release the kid he's threatening, violently makes him look at the people he endangered, then warns the paramedic to not give him sedatives for the gunshot wound's pain he's feeling because of the teenager he killed earlier.Hotch: "Look at these people...! LOOK at them! They're CHILDREN...! They're CHILDREN, for God's sake!"
- Psychological Projection: At the birthday party he invades, he tries to force the birthday boy to use his gun to shoot his own mother dead as Sheppard projects his abusive mother onto her. He's thankfully stopped before anything happens.
- Shameful Strip: Sheppard's "Stripping Bandit" nickname was given by the press because of his habit of making hostages strip down to their underwear, as a way of preventing them from chasing after him out in the open or fighting back while exposed. As his mind deteriorates, the stripping became a part of his routine to the point that a teenage boy refusing to do so gets the kid riddled with bullets.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Psychodrama".
- Would Hurt a Child: Shot a teenage boy dead for refusing to strip like he commanded him to, then took a whole neighborhood birthday party hostage so he could make the birthday boy shoot his own mother dead with Sheppard's gun while under the psycho's knife.
Played by: Jason London
A serial rapist who once targeted young women at religious schools, but has now regained activity and changed his type of victim. This case would become the end of Elle Greenaway's career in the BAU.
- Asshole Victim: An unrepentant rapist and one-time proxy killer shot by Elle Greenaway in her rage.
- Crazy-Prepared: He always has a convincing excuse when cornered or under questioning. Even the way he stalks and eventually rapes his victims is one that prevents him from leaving too much evidence behind, meaning that anything found that can be used against him would be circumstantial at best.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: His M.O., posing as the "good man" for women he thinks want to have sex with him before forcing himself onto them.
- Smug Snake: Utterly confident in his methods, to the point he quickly loses the fear after seeing Elle waiting for him at the alley and immediately starts calling her "pretty" and bragging about his rapes to her. He ends up shot for it.
- That One Case: The case that led to Elle Greenaway's growing insubordination and anger that got her removed from the BAU after she kills Lee in cold blood, outside of her jurisdiction, and acts completely unrepentant about it, even if she did have plenty of reasons to do so.
- Vigilante Execution: Elle corners him in an alley at night and, after confirming he is indeed a creepy, sadistic rapist, she fires three rounds at him without hesitating, acting completely out of her jurisdiction in the process.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Aftermath".
Played by: Cameron Monaghan
A child psychopath and serial killer born in Ozona, Texas, responsible for a string of child murders.
- Anti-Climax: His defeat, though not in a disappointing way. Since he's a small 12-year-old, Gideon simply runs up to him, holds him up and tosses his bat away before he can kill Tracy Belle with it.
- Batter Up!: His preferred weapon is an aluminum baseball bat.
- Enfant Terrible: The youngest serial killer in the show's history, at age 12.
- For the Evulz: When Gideon asks him why he killed the other children, Jeffrey's only response is a cold "because I wanted to".
- Green-Eyed Monster: With his mother gone and his father rarely at home, Jeffrey grew resentful of other children because his father would interact with them more than him, due to his job as a child counselor. This was what led Jeffrey to begin killing in order to vent out his frustrations.
- Missing Mom: She abandoned him and his father when he was still a toddler.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: His killing method, using a bat. It becomes this trope further when his third victim was beaten repeatedly, post-mortem, indicating he was devolving further into maniacal rage.
- Picky Eater: Refuses to eat vegetables in his meals. The team discovering this at his house, plus his allergy to dairy, is what clues them in that the UnSub is a child.
- Villain of the Week: Of "The Boogeyman".
- Would Hurt a Child: Would hurt other children, since he's killed three and attempted to kill a fourth one.
Played by: Jamie Elman
A spree killer and serial bomber from Seattle targeting centers of automated technology, as well as people responsible for its advancements. As it turns out, he's theming his murders off a science-fiction novel he has a particular interest in, as well as its writer.
- All for Nothing: Structured an entire bombing spree to get the attention of Ursula Kent, "Empty Planet"'s writer, thinking himself the child she put up for adoption in the past... Except the child was a girl, rendering his entire scheme pointless.
- Calling Card: His bombs have at least one component engraved with the image of a robot pierced by an arrowhead. It's Ursula Kent's necklace pendant, which she used as reference for the symbol of the rebels in her book.
- Evil Luddite: Part of his disassociation. Thinking "Empty Planet" is a prophecy saying that machines will take over humanity in the future, he joined a Luddite group of vandals responsible for several minor and localized attacks on places where technology is abundant, like cybercafes. Eventually he became so unhinged that he upgraded to full terrorism by targeting actual people responsible for technological advancements.
- Gene Hunting: Developed the certainty that he's the actual son of Ursula Kent, matching the timeline of her child being put up for adoption with his own adoption around the same period. Thinking that her novel is a prophecy of some kind, he uses it as a basis for his attacks in the hopes she'll take notice and recognize him as her child. Except, as Ursula herself says when he finally gets alone with her at the end, the child she had to give up on was a girl.
- Loony Fan: Of Empty Planet's writer, Ursula Kent, due to believing she wrote an actual prophecy of the future, as well as thinking she's his biological mother. She isn't.
- Mad Bomber: His M.O. is to target places associated with the development of automated technology, as well as people responsible for research into the field, and plant remotely-detonated explosives near them so he can cause concentrated damage onto the specific targets. This is in direct reference to the main protagonist of "Empty Planet" becoming a rebel leader against the machine apocalypse and fighting by exploding their robot factories.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: His M.O., anti-technological agenda and demands for his manifesto to be published are clearly inspired by the Unabomber.
- Taking the Bullet: Despite not being his mother, Ursula ends up taking a sniper bullet to protect Kenneth during the final stand-off, the shock allowing the BAU to arrest him.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Empty Planet" (the episode, not the in-series book).
Played by: Scott Michael Morgan & Jason O'Mara
A duo of serial killers operating in St. Louis, completely independent of each other yet aware of the other's presence. The BAU is called in when their feud escalates to the point they're now openly competing with each other for the media's attention.
- Batman Gambit: The BAU employs two types of these in order to arrest both killers:
- For the Mill Creek Killer, the plan is to use a female body in his usual dumping sites to lure him back through his necrophiliac urges. It fails the first time when they use one of his victims he didn't get a chance with, since he caught on to the plan and sent a decoy, but it works the second time when they communicate with him using his code messages with the Hollow Man;
- The BAU uses the Hollow Man's need to be noticed against him by writing him off as nonexistent in the news after they catch the Mill Creek Killer first. Enraged, he predictably breaks into the police station and demands to see his rival while holding an officer at gunpoint, but is easily subdued and arrested.
- Big Bad Ensemble: The premise of their episode, two serial killers operating simultaneously yet independently. Although it is established that they have learned how to contact one another via newspaper ads, their methods and motives are very different and they have barely even begun to collaborate before both are caught.
- Faux Affably Evil: The Mill Creek Killer, as part of his profile states he's able to put up an approachable face and demeanor in order to get his victims away from friends or family members.
- Foil: To each other. The Mill Creek Killer is motivated by his own urges and acts on impulse, yet is able to maintain a friendly facade and still think logically enough to trick the authorities when they're onto him, as well as operating off a need to demonstrate power and control over his chosen female victims. The Hollow Man, on the other hand, is motivated by fame and wants to be the focus of the news, having much fewer social skills and merely shooting his victims (prostitutes) at random, being a person working a menial job that makes him feel small and ignorable.
- I Love the Dead: The Mill Creek Killer is a compulsive necrophiliac, dressing up his dead victims before having sex with their bodies, a fact he's very much ashamed of and tries to hide at any cost. He even begs Gideon to not reveal it to the press when he's arrested.
- Meaningful Name: The Mill Creek Killer strikes in off-road trails and secluded locations, Mill Creek in particular. The Hollow Man uses hollow-pointed Magnum bullets to shoot his victims and is overall a pathetic and "empty" person.
- Moral Myopia: The Mill Creek Killer is mortified at the threat of his necrophilia being publicly exposed, so much so that he freely and casually confesses to abducting and killing his victims as if it wasn't a big deal but begs Gideon not to tell anyone that he revisited the bodies.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: The Mill Creek Killer is loosely based on Ted Bundy, being a charming and handsome predator who targets woman, hides their bodies in wooded areas, and has necrophiliac tendencies that drive him to revisit the bodies; The Hollow Man meanwhile is basically Son of Sam without the paranoid schizophrenia, a random city-based spree shooter with a taste for infamy.
- No Name Given: We never learn their real names, only the titles the media gave the two.
- Public Secret Message: The two talked using newspaper ads and using the codenames "Sunny" and "Holden", in reference to the novel The Catcher in the Rye.
- Rule of Symbolism: The two killers are competing for attention from the press and the local police force, so the episode limits the audience's knowledge of the two by only ever using their titles and never talking in length about their pasts, precisely to deny them what they want.
- Serial Killer: Of prostitutes and middle-class Caucasian women respectively.
- Slave to PR: The Hollow Man kills so he will be noticed by the media and given the attention he feels he deserves, and is pissed when his rival continuously takes it all to himself.
- Villains of the Week: Of "The Last Word".
- Villainous Breakdown: When one of his intended victims flees and gets the attention of several people in her panic, the Mill Creek Killer flees in a rage, and the BAU speculate that had he not been caught afterwards, he wouldn't even bother trying to act friendly and would just start taking women at random.
- The Hollow Man has been going through one ever since his rival, someone he once admired, started getting more media coverage, changing his murders so they'd happen right after his. The BAU also induces this on him in order to make him come to them, which results in his arrest.
Played by: Anthony Azizi
A high-ranking member of a terrorist organization known as the Militant Islamic Society. Arrested and kept as a ghost inmate at Guantanamo Bay, the BAU is called in to interrogate him after a police raid finds their paraphernalia at a house, with Abaza taking special interest in Gideon in particular.
- Batman Gambit: One of the series' best examples of this trope. Essentially, the MIS "bases" the DEA and SWAT keep finding are all one big Red Herring, with Abaza using every opportunity to belittle Gideon and the BAU for their attempts at stopping their plan while the former continues to talk to him about their beliefs and points of view, even allowing Abaza his prayer times. Since the cell has no clock, he has to rely on Gideon for the correct time... And it turns out Gideon was playing Abaza like a fiddle, giving him the incorrect times and making him think the attack had already happened, when in reality they gave him each bit of news a little earlier than the actual event, tricking Abaza into revealing the MIS' main scheme (an anthrax attack at a shopping center in Virginia) at just the right time for it to be stopped.
- The Fundamentalist: Studied the Quran since childhood and had it memorized at age 9, growing up to become an Islamic cleric. Once he shifted to terrorism, he started using his faith as a justification for his violent, hateful actions, with Gideon pointedly telling him that Islamism doesn't condone terrorism.
- The Heavy: Abaza is the episode's single named representative for the Militant Islamic Society as a whole, with the focus of the narrative being Gideon's interrogation of him up until the point he finally gets him to admit what their final attack will be.
- Holier Than Thou: Has basically not a single line of dialogue that isn't dripping with barely-restrained contempt for the United States, its citizens and their beliefs in capitalism and consumer culture. In Abaza's mind, murdering 4 billion people is entirely justified simply because they aren't as "enlightened" as he and his terrorist friends are, and spends the majority of his screen time belittling Gideon and acting like the BAU are fools who can barely comprehend him and his reasoning.
- Meaningful Name: His name in the Society, "Jind Allah", translates literally as "soldier of God".
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Firmly believes in this as a motive for his actions. In his eyes, the United States are the evil overlords who need to be killed, and will gladly target billions of innocents for slaughter if it means getting his point across.
- Plague Master: The MIS' plan involves unleashing a strain of anthrax on a public location with high civilian traffic, with their actual target being a shopping mall in McNally, Virginia.
- Start of Darkness: His son was killed by an air strike in Cairo back in 1999. While the Egyptian government blamed the Hezbollah, a conspiracy theorist Abaza met on the streets said it was a joint attack from the United States and Israel that went astray, leading him to become a sworn enemy of the US and join terrorist groups like al-Qaeda.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Lessons Learned".
- Villainous Breakdown: When he realizes Gideon fooled him with the prayer times and set him up to reveal the MIS' plan in enough time to stop it, Abaza is left pacing devastated in his cell on the verge of tears.
Played by: Thomas Crawford
A "house cleaner"-type serial-turned-spree killer and vigilante targeting prostitutes out of a demented belief he's helping to clean the streets.
- Carved Mark: Carved the words "HELP" and "FAILURE" on two of his victims, which led the BAU to think it was Nathan Harris asking for help with his psychosis and the authorities' failure to catch him. In reality, it was Weems' way to ask for help with continuing his spree and berating politicians for not getting prostitutes off the streets.
- Disposable Sex Worker: Played with. Not only does he target prostitutes out of a personal belief he's doing something good, he himself firmly believes this trope is in effect, calling them "low women" and other horrible terms before killing them, with the episode employing this trope precisely to show how terrible the mindset is.
- The Fundamentalist: Shown typing evangelistic-like passages in his laptop on occasion, indicating a feeling of moral supremacy or minor religious fanaticism. In his twisted viewpoint, prostitutes are the scum of the earth and he's doing the world a favor by killing them.
- Minor Major Character: Despite being the episode's UnSub, he doesn't get a lot of focus unless it's to show him killing. Instead, the plot focuses on the BAU's attempts to help out Nathan Harris, a young man trying to stop himself from giving into his own psychopathic urges, with the team believing he's the killer they're looking for.
- Psycho Knife Nut: Stabs and slices at his victims with a knife, also using it to carve messages on their bodies.
- Red Herring: His M.O., the messages he left behind and his acting area all make it seem that Nathan Harris is the UnSub and is trying to stop himself from killing again, except they do find out later that the messages left behind are actually egotistical statements and the pattern doesn't fit with Harris either way.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Sex, Birth, Death".
Played by: David Ramsay
A serial killer responsible for a string of murders in a mostly-white neighborhood of New York, disguising his kills as hate crimes committed by supremacist groups.
- Bait-and-Switch: Twice; Ally Hadley, his final intended victim, manages to escape him briefly into the street and get the attention of an officer, only for Wakeland to catch up and almost manage to fool the officer into leaving by claiming she's his cousin who got high off something. This is when the BAU arrives and arrests him on the spot.
- Calling Card: Luring women into the abandoned A&L Studio lot to record their singing under the pretense of being a producer, then drugging them with a GHB-laced water bottle before beating and stabbing them to death. Dumping the bodies in wooded areas, he'd then paint swastikas on their bodies and/or belongings to frame white supremacists for the murders.
- Creepy Souvenir: He records his victims' singing at his studio for posterity, presumably as a way of remembering and reliving his kills.
- Framing the Guilty Party: He paints racist symbols on the bodies of his victims to frame the local hate groups and throw the police off his trail, since most of his victims are African-American like him.
- Musical Assassin: A realistic version of the trope; Wakeland is a failed musician who lures women into a recording studio by saying he's a music producer looking for the next big star, only to kill his targets after recording them.
- Scary Black Man: His public persona averts this because he plays up the charisma to easily lure women of the community he lives in into following him to their deaths, upon which he reveals himself as this trope as he beats and stabs them to death.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Fear and Loathing".
Played by: Holt McCallany
A veteran who participated in the Somali Civil War of 1993, but came back as an utterly broken man. Suffering from PTSD, he's devolved into a delusional spree killer reliving the events of the war in his mind and attacking people he perceives as enemy soldiers or intruders.
- Accidental Child-Killer Backstory: A variant. Woodridge never fully recovered after realizing the enemy combatant he'd killed was a Child Soldier. His killing spree ends when he sees a boy in the street whom he hallucinates is the dead soldier. When he rushes toward the child to try and "save" him, Woodridge is shot and killed by a police sniper who thought he was attacking.
- Anti-Villain: He's a traumatized, broken shell of a man who suffered the horrors of war, and is killing only because his PTSD has made him think he's still in combat trying to survive.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For a given definition of "evil", but his wife Dana knows of his fractured mental state and tried her best to get him to seek help. His former war buddy Max Weston also insisted on it, despite Roy's insistence that he was fine, and it's only with Max himself stepping in to try and convince Roy that his "extraction" was coming that the BAU manages to even get close to him.
- Everyone Has Standards: Even in his delusions, he won't allow another child to get hurt or suffer loss. His assault on Edward Ramos stopped the second he took notice of the store owner's daughter pleading for him to not hurt her daddy. He also dies after perceiving a random young boy in a bicycle as an innocent bystander in the war and ends up shot while "protecting" him.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies after running towards a boy on a bike with the intent to shield him from "enemy fire", with the SWAT team shooting him after perceiving his action as an assault.
- Neck Snap: His primary killing method when he doesn't resort to a desperate No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. This is also how he killed the child soldier in Somalia that tried to kill his friend Weston.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Of the Somali Civil War. His killing of a child soldier in particular stuck to him years later, and he's haunted by that boy's image in his flashbacks. The experience in general is also why he one day snaps and goes out on a rampage, believing he's still on the battlefield waiting for his extraction.
- Trauma Button: Loud noises, in particular construction equipments like jackhammers and building implosion charges, the latter of which was the trigger for his spree during the episode.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Distress".
Played by: Simone Kessell
A serial killer from New Orleans who eviscerates her male victims after luring them away from public locations. The case was previously investigated by William LaMontagne, Sr., but his son took over after his father's death during Hurricane Katrina, calling in the BAU to help unravel his father's last message.
- Battleaxe Nurse: She was a medical student before the incident at Jones, then later used her medical expertise to properly slice at her victims.
- The Big Easy: Her area of activity is always around the French Quarter. She only averted it once when she had to move to Texas during the hurricane.
- Broken Bird: Her experiences with men utterly destroyed Sarah's mental state.
- Does Not Like Men: She was raped and her claims were dismissed by the police right afterwards, so she doesn't have much reason to like them. William Sr. was the only man she ever felt fondness for, since he argued against the dismissal and was the only detective who seemed interested in taking Sarah's allegations to court.
- Freudian Excuse: She was raped, but her claims were dismissed by the police, with a certain detective discouraging Sarah with the pretense that it wouldn't hold up in court (that and he was friends with one of the rapists).
- If It's You, It's Okay: The only man she ever held any sort of respect for was Will's father, the only cop who tried to fight for her rape case in the past. Whenever she sent her taunting letters to the police, she was always addressing William Sr. specifically, and it utterly wrecks her when she finally learns of his death.
- Jack the Ripoff: Literally, since her entire M.O. is fashioned around the Trope Namer himself, her latest string of murders in the episode mimicking the Ripper's known victims and their deaths, except she's a woman who eviscerates promiscuous men.
- Rape as Backstory: And as her stresser. It's also implied she was molested by her father or a father figure as a child.
- Samus Is a Girl: Part of The Reveal, with the BAU deducing from her letters to the police, along with her choice of target and how she can just lure them away from crowds, that the UnSub is a Gender Flip version of Jack the Ripper.
- Suicide by Cop: Challenges the BAU to do it when she's cornered. Will talks her out of it.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Jones".
- Villainous Breakdown: With a victim under her on a motel bed, already severely wounded, Will steps in and tells Sarah he's the son of the man who previously tried to catch her and reveals he died during Katrina. Learning that the only man who tried to do right by her is long dead (meaning her letters, sent precisely to keep his interest on the case, never reached him), she breaks down crying and clings to Will in despair.
Played by: Sean O'Bryan
A serial arsonist who enjoys watching families trapped by the fires he starts slowly burn to death.
- Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Subverted: He is implied to have joined the Earth Defense Force in the belief they were a group of these, but the BAU conclude he has no interest in their cause and only joined to find potential victims amongst those the group names and shames online.
- Fat Bastard: He's quite stout and is a murderous arsonist.
- Fatal Flaw: His narcissism and need for recognition. It allows Evan Abbey to lure Stiles into a fatal trap.
- Green-Eyed Monster: His motivation for his killings; he targets those who he considers to have better lives than his own.
- Karmic Death: Dies trapped in a burning building like his victims.
- Kill It with Fire: His method of killing.
- Nightmare Fetishist: He enjoys watching those trapped by the fires he starts slowly burn to death, even using a fireproof suit and oxygen tank to allow him to stay inside the burning building as long as possible.
- Oh, Crap!: His reaction to Evan Abby's Pre-Mortem One-Liner.Stiles: Seriously, how do you plan to escape?!Evan Abby: [pulls out a lighter] I don't.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Lashes out after Evan Abbey unwittingly insults him, killing a random bystander with a Molotov Cocktail on impulse. Gideon explicitly remarks that, compared to the preparation and planning of his previous attacks, Stiles acted like a child throwing a tantrum.
- The Sociopath: What the BAU profile him as.
- Villainous Breakdown: After Evan Abbey disbands the Earth Defence Force and unwittingly insults Stiles in the process, Stiles has a particularly nasty one in his car that ends with him killing an innocent bystander with a molotov cocktail.
- He has another one when he realises Abby has trapped him in a building rigged to go up in flames and is perfectly willing to die to ensure Stiles doesn't escape.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Ashes and Dust".
- Would Hit a Girl: Has killed numerous women in his arson attacks.
- Would Hurt a Child: Has no compunction about killing children.
Played by: Dimitri Diatchenko and Olga Sosnovska
Lyov Lysowsky is a rogue Russian mobster and international criminal who kidnaps and tortures Russian immigrants in Baltimore. His recent victim, the father of his girlfriend Natalya, gets US Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss to summon Emily and the BAU to try and save him before he's killed, without knowing that the captive's daughter is complicit in the plan.
- Antagonistic Offspring: Lyov is estranged from his father due to him being a full-fledged Russian mobster himself, which requires him to cut off all family ties. All the time he's kidnapped and tortured immigrants, it was his father Arseny paying the money to release them, until he finally decided enough was enough and took matters into his own hands.
- Zigzagged with Natalya, who supports her boyfriend's plan of being given ransom to release her father, but is hesitant when the time comes to actually kill him despite Lysowsky's insistence. At the very least, in the end, she does end up not seeing him die.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Two lovers working together to torture the girl's father so they'll be given ransom money.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Lyov has a high-risk captive and is torturing him for money so he and his girlfriend can leave the country, but the BAU doesn't even deal with him directly. His father, a full-fledged mafia leader, point-blank tells Gideon the mob has its own way to handle things and has the two lovers killed and quartered.
- The Mafiya: Arseny Lysowsky is a Russian mobster who has been in and out of jail back in his home country, but moved legally to Baltimore to live quietly. That being said, his son Lyov went rogue and started killing Russian immigrants in the region so he could leech off the ransom money to get he and his girlfriend out of the US, as well as doing it out of hatred for his father supposedly abandoning him, even using torture methods known to the Russian mafia. Even though the BAU is summoned to help find his captive, Arseny deals with the problem in his own way and pointedly tells them their presence is unnecessary.
- Offing the Offspring: After finally having enough of his son's sadistic tendencies and attempt to escape the consequences, Arseny orders his men to get into Lyov's hideout. Both he and Natalya are killed and cut to pieces in the aftermath.
- Outlaw Couple: Lyov is a rogue mobster torturing people for ransom, but Natalya herself has a clean record save for dating him, except she's known of it for a long time and is hoping the money can be used to get them out of the country.
- Police Are Useless: While the BAU does investigate the case and Lyov threatens them to stay away by sending his captive's ear to them in the mail, they're ultimately not the ones who deal with the case in any way; Lyov's father gets sick of his son's behavior and orders his subordinates to kill him and Natalya.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Honor Among Thieves".
Played by: Jim Parrack and Jake Richardson
A duo of thrill-killer brothers who hunt down human prey for sport.
- Alas, Poor Villain: The conclusion of "Open Season" sees Paul getting shot fatally for refusing to let the target who wounded his brother go and mumbling Johnny's name as he dies; Johnny, who has Gideon staying with him and gently trying to keep him calm, hears the gunshots and breaks down crying just before dying himself.
- The Archer: The compound bow is their weapon — requires precision for an efficient kill.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: A hunting supply shopkeeper casually reflects that their late uncle, who taught them to hunt humans, was "a quiet man". She also claims that Johnny is a Shrinking Violet, and that she thought it was kind of endearing.
- Death by Irony/Hoist by His Own Petard: Paul's the better hunter of the two of them and insists that they shouldn't go for easy kills either of two occasions during the episode that they have their victims cornered. They end up keeping them alive long enough for their main target to turn the tables on them and hunt them back.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Profiled as having an "us against them" mentality, and were practically each other's only company growing up. They're obviously close, and behavior by each of them when the other is in danger is what gets them caught.
- The Family That Slays Together: They were raised by and picked up human-hunting from their uncle, and kept on as Siblings in Crime after he passed away.
- Giggling Villain: Mostly Johnny. Murder clearly tickles them pink.
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: What happens when their latest victim decides to fight back. She fatally injures Johnny and stabs Paul In the Back, slowing him down enough for the B.A.U. to arrive.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Their modus operandi.
- Ironic Echo: "He's all I have." First said to the B.A.U. by the father of one of their victims; later said by Johnny while he's begging the team not to kill his brother.
- Oh, Crap!: Johnny's reaction to Bobbi getting close enough to exact some Extreme Mêlée Revenge on him with a knife.
- Please, Don't Leave Me: A wounded Johnny clings to Paul and tells him "no" before Paul leaves him by a campfire to try finishing off their target regardless.
- Suicide by Cop: The team surround Paul with their guns pointed when he finally has Bobbi cornered, ordering him to drop his bow. He pauses for just a moment — and then tries to take the shot anyway. Since they would've opened fire on him even if he'd hit her, it comes off as this with a side of Taking You with Me.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Open Season".
Played by: Tahmus Rounds
An obsessive "housecleaner" who views himself on a mission to "clear" the streets of the homeless, Holcombe uses his old meatpacking plant as a maze and killing centre, running the victims through his labyrinth before killing and dismembering them.
- Ax-Crazy: He's killed dozens of people, definitely making him this.
- Bad Boss: Treats his only underling like dirt and Hotch very clearly gets across that the punishment for getting caught will be something even he can't imagine.
- Believing Their Own Lies: He seems to sincerely believe he's doing something noble by sadistically killing the poor rather than just acting out his sick fantasies.
- The Butcher: He has inherited a meatpacking plant from his late father and uses it to torture and eventually dismember his victims.
- Death Course: The way he has modified the meatpacking plant his family owned. His maze includes such disturbing features as gas vents and vicious dogs to keep victims moving, identical rooms and dead ends to keep victims confused, a room with the floor covered with broken glass, and a room with parts of his previous victims suspended by chains from the ceiling.
- Deconstruction: Of the Jigsaw-esque vigilante. His maze is designed to be inescapable, meaning that he has no intention to "redeem" his victims, not that he cares if they have committed crimes or are just social outcasts. Holcombe is just a classist, sociopathic sadist who rationalizes his urges as an improvement to society.
- Evil Counterpart: To Detective McGee. Both suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, have lost their own fathers and focus on street people. The difference being that Cal was a kind person who genuinely cared about the poor under his supervision and attributes that attitude to his father who taught him to be a more caring police officer rather than just a disciplinarian while Charles detests the poor and his father mainly just kept him in line and his death left Charles free to indulge all his worst impulses.
- The Faceless: His face is always hidden behind a surgical mask, and isn't shown until after the police guns him down to stop him from killing his latest victim.
- For the Evulz: It's pretty clear his main motivation for his actions is just pure sadism, however much he'd like to claim or believe otherwise.
- Hate Sink: Most killers on the show have some sympathetic backstory or redeeming traits but Holcombe is nothing more than a vile, abusive sadist who kills for pleasure and due to his hatred of people he sees as beneath him.
- Hope Spot: He offered his victims a way out, only to knock them down with gas if they managed to reach the exit.
- Jerkass: Is profiled as one and it helps turn his Only Friend against him. The interactions we see with the woman he's kidnapped show such an assessment was completely accurate.
- Judge, Jury, and ExecutionerMaggie: I don't have any diseases. I just went to the clinic. I'm clean.Charles: You don't even know the meaning of the word. You've been judged and sentenced to death.
- Kill the Poor: His victims are homeless people, prostitutes and junkies.
- Knight Templar: Believes he's doing the world a favor by eliminating "undesirables". Hes so dedicated to his job he was willing to die for it.
- Light Is Not Good: He wears a white uniform that makes one of his victims briefly mistake him for a doctor before realizing that they are in a slaughterhouse.
- Malevolent Masked Man: He hides behind protective glasses and a surgical mask for most of the episode.
- Missing White Woman Syndrome: Nobody seems to notice his kidnappings since nobody notices his victims in the first place. Lampshaded by Hotch, as these exchanges illustrate:Hotch: What do you think happened to them, Captain?Capt. Wright: I told you, I don't think anything happened to them.Hotch: Oh, that's right. You think they all got houses and jobs.Hotch: What if they were cheerleaders?Capt. Wright: Excuse me?Hotch: Or teachers, or mothers? How did you put it, "Can bums even be missing?" Well, sir, they can. They can be hurt, they can be scared, and they can be killed.
- Narcissist: To the point of sending a letter to Detective McGee accusing him of stealing credit for Charles' work.
- No Social Skills: A very negative variation. Charles' social skills are profiled as having declined as he devolves to the point where he can no longer interact with society in any meaningful way.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: His "favor" to the world is just a rationalization for his sadism and his hatred of the poor and homeless.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He absolutely detests the poor, the homeless and drug addicts and his comments to the women he kidnaps and his hatred of prostitutes imply some intense misogyny as well.
- Psycho Knife Nut: A sadistic Politically Incorrect Villain who dismembers his victims with surgical knives.
- Psychopathic Manchild: He's clearly not very mature as evidenced by his petty sadism and outsized ego. It's stated that his father was the only one keeping him in line beforehand and his death now leaves Charles to do as he pleases with the family business and fortune.
- Rich Bastard: He comes from a very wealthy family and is rotten to the core, using his fortune to indulge his worst desires.
- Sadist: He prolongs his victims' physical and psychological suffering as much as he can and enjoys subjecting them to horrific fates.
- Sanity Slippage: It's doubtful he was ever sane but his father's death and the subsequent loss of any boundaries have pushed him well over the edge.
- Serial Killer: Of the homeless.
- Shout-Out: In the opening scene, he's whistling "Johanna". Also, there are a lot of references to the Saw saga.
- Small Name, Big Ego: His comments show that he thinks he's doing a valuable service for the world and deserves praise for it rather than just indulging his sadism.
- Smug Snake: His voice always drips with contempt.Charles: But you will beg, whore. They all do.
- Torture Technician: Via his maze.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Inspired by H. H. Holmes, a serial killer in 1890s Chicago who built a fake hotel riddled with booby traps to torture and kill unwitting guests and staff. He is also compared by Reid and Morgan to Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire ripper with Reid quoting Sutcliffie's famous line about his motive as an insight into Holcombe.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Legacy".
- You Have Failed Me: Invoked by Hotch who gets Charles' only underling, Stephen, to give him up by saying Stephen's punishment for getting caught will be something even he can't imagine. It's what convinces him to work with the BAU.
Played by: Vince Grant & Shelly Cole
A security guard for a college campus in Flagstaff, Arizona, Tubbs is a spree killer targeting the female students and killing them in the dead of night. While the BAU arrests him after establishing a profile, someone else dies to the killer's methods while he's still being held under questioning, an incident that would lead to Hotch's suspension and Gideon's permanent leave.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Tubbs is the episode's definitive UnSub, but the copycat that emerges later on has nothing to do with his spree and is someone he didn't even know beforehand acting completely on their own.
- Calling Card: The Campus Killer's victims were subdued with a taser and stabbed a single time in the heart afterwards. Because the details of his method were never publically released, Begley used a rock to knock Alisa Daylon down and stabbed her with far more hesitation, which is how the BAU is able to identify the murderer as a copycat.
- Death Seeker: Anna is a mentally-sick young woman with a history of self-mutilation, either resulting in or stemming from repeated bullying coming from her dorm colleagues. The reason she imitates Tubbs' killing method on a new victim to get him released is so he'll kill her next, much to his disgust. According to her, she never had it in her to do it herself.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Tubbs truly misses his daughter.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Tubbs kills brunette women who remind him of his ex-wife who he assaulted in the past, causing her to leave him and take their daughter along. Said assault was a result of his sociopathic sense of entitlement.
- It's Personal: Despite the impact the case has on both Hotch and Gideon, Prentiss and J.J. are placed under a special kind of pressure to catch the killer, especially after the emergence of the copycat makes a student lash out at the two after her friend dies to Begley.
- Loners Are Freaks: A student named Helen claims during a talk with Prentiss and J.J. that Anna rarely leaves her room out of fear of being bullied, supposedly for her already-existing tendency to cut her own wrists. She only started to become more "lively" after learning Tubbs was arrested as the Campus Killer, and that's only because she wanted him to kill her.
- Loony Fan: Begley is a student with some kind of mental disorder that makes her fixate on the Campus Killer murders after years of bullying from her peers, collecting newspaper clippings of the murders and smearing her own blood on them. She also desperately wants Tubbs to be released so she can willingly give herself over to him as a victim.
- My Greatest Failure: While Hotch and the rest of the BAU fought against Strauss' accusations that they allowed the UnSub and his copycat to get killed to the best of their abilities, Gideon takes the incident personally after losing pretty much everything to Breitkopf not long before the episode and resigns from the BAU altogether.
- Taking You with Me: When Begley finally gets to plead for Tubbs to kill her in private, he calls her a "bitch" and dismisses her coldly, thinking the situation is a setup to get him to confess to the crimes from before. As he tries to leave, she stabs him in the stomach and then does the same to herself. The BAU does try to intervene and save them, but by that point it's too late. All of this in spite of the fact Begley told her "idol" directly that she never had the strength to kill herself before.
- That One Case: While the Campus Killer case isn't particularly devastating to the BAU itself, it came right after the Frank Breitkopf arc, with the team under heavy scrutiny from Section Chief Strauss. With the UnSub and his copycat both dead and the higher powers claiming it could all have been easily prevented, Hotch is suspended and Gideon leaves the BAU in shame, finally broken from so much death around him.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Doubt".
Played by: Eddie Cibrian
A misogynistic abductor and serial killer, terminally ill due to a brain tumor. He kidnaps married women and forces them to act as surrogate mothers to his son David, who he uses as bait to lure them in.
- Abusive Parents: Literally and metaphorically slaps his son around while forcing him to draw women in for him to torture and later kill. He also engages in psychological abuse by trying to convince his son he's doing something good for him despite treating him like garbage.
- And Show It to You: Rips his victims' hearts out, then keeps them in jars as trophies.
- Calling Card: Extracts the hearts of his still-living victims with a hammer and chisel.
- Domestic Abuse: Inflicts this on his victims as he forces them to act as surrogate mothers for his son, abusing them because he sees them as replacements for his ex-wife.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Joe's abuse and killing spree stuck with David for years after his arrest and death in prison, with the boy constantly afraid that he would one day end up like his father. Come Season 14 and his shadow stays large over the adult David's head when he's directed by another party to start killing like his father did.
- He-Man Woman Hater: After his wife left him and David to their luck when she learned of Joe's brain tumor, he became a raging misogynist who sees all women as liars, using his killing spree to show "power" where he feels he lacked it.
- Killed Offscreen: Died sometime between Seasons 3 and 14 due to his brain tumor.
- Smug Snake: Sees himself as inherently superior to women just because he still kept his son under his care, despite said "care" involving slapping him around and using him as bait. He also brags that he'll die long before he's charged with all the murders as he's arrested by the BAU, even telling them his son lured his final attempted victim in all by himself. As it turns out, he was indeed charged and pronounced guilty before the tumor killed him, dying as a disgraced, convicted murderer.
- Villain of the Week: Of "In Name and Blood".
Played by: Michael O'Keefe
A psychiatrist who is also a serial killer that uses his patients' deepest fears to torture and kill them.
- Abusive Parents: His mother.
- Affably Evil: He's very calm, collected and charming when he mercilessly kills his patients.
- Awesome by Analysis: Believe it or not, he manages to profile Hotch the first time he sees him. Being a professional psychologist probably helped.Stanley Howard: I think your greatest fear is that you can't save everyone.
- Catchphrase: "Is it worse than you thought?"
- Control Freak: He likes to use his patients' fears as a form of torture.
- Driven to Suicide: Rather than be arrested, he falls to his death in front of Hotch and Morgan. He may have also been trying to play off Hotch's fear of not saving everyone to mess with his head.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Subverted. He didn't even attend his mother's funeral. He had his own motivations, however.
- Foreshadowing: He noticed Hotch's Samaritan Syndrome, which became prominent during the Reaper story arc.
- For Science!: How he tries to rationalize his murders when facing Hotch.
- Freudian Excuse: He had an abusive mother who used his fear of the dark to terrorize him.
- I Know What You Fear: Since he specializes in patients suffering from an anxiety, he knows how to kill his patients by using that fear. He attempts to pull this on Hotch by getting inside his head.
- Ironic Echo: He repeats his Catchphrase (this time in an affirmative way, referring to himself) before facing his worst fear, which is the loss of control.
- Mind Rape: His modus operandi.
- Psycho Psychologist: He's a therapist.
- Serial Killer: Of his patients, via their fears.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Scared to Death".
Played by: William Lee Scott & Francis Capra
A pair of former foster children who grew up under rough conditions, becoming family-annihilating serial killers targeting families whose parents they perceived as being abusive towards their children, in a reflection of how they were raised.
- Abusive Parents: Under foster care by Mr. and Mrs. Manwaring, the two were repeatedly put under abuse and torture, both physical and psychological. In the present, the two now target and kill entire families where abuse is present, or even perceived by the two at first glance, all in a bid to go right back to the Manwarings and kill them for what they did to the two.
- Asshole Victim: Zig-zagged. The two target families where perceived abuse is happening, with the Laybourne parents actually shown abusing their daughter. But any "legitimacy" is immediately discarded when the two also kill the children afterwards.
- Failure Gambit: From the UnSubs this time. When Gary holds foster siblings Tyler and Sara at gunpoint in a donut shop, knowing they're the current adopted children of the Manwaring couple and living the same hell he and Ervin went through, he secretly gives Tyler his gun and surrenders without a fight. As it turns out, he knew he'd be arrested sooner or later, but convinced Tyler to take the gun and kill the couple in his stead. Morgan and Prentiss arrive at the nick of time, but Tyler didn't go through with it, instead shooting up the house and the framed pictures, calling them "lies".
- Family of Choice: The two aren't related by blood, but were adopted as siblings. They still see each other as brothers regardless.
- Foil: Gary is the dominant leader of the pair, a vengeful, aggressive type who uses his good looks to play the helpless cat lover in order to get inside family homes, harboring a much more deep-seated hatred for broken families than Ervin, so much so that he kills the parents of the target families through brutal, drawn-out ways to deliberately make them suffer. Ervin, on the other hand, is an angel-of-death killer who focuses more on the children of the families and kills them painlessly through lethal injections so they won't suffer, seeing the possibility of them going through foster care as a Fate Worse than Death because of his own history with the Manwarings, having far less social skills than Gary and leaving the planning to him.
- Freudian Excuse: Both went through hell under the Manwaring household, repeatedly abused by the couple to the point the two grew up mentally unstable, becoming serial killers in the process that target families where similar abuse is seen.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Mr. and Mrs. Manwaring, the abusive foster parents who took Gary and Ervin in when they were kids and made their childhoods into a living hell. In the present, the two are essentially rehearsing for when they can finally go right around and kill them in revenge. Due to Tyler refusing to take revenge in Gary's place, Morgan promises him the two will face prison and he'll never see them again.
- Mercy Kill: Ervin is an "angel of death"-type serial killer who kills the children of the targeted families by euthanizing them with lethal doses of pentobarbital from the pound he works at. In his mind, it's far "safer" for the kids to die painlessly than to go through the foster care system and suffer what he and Gary did.
- No Name Given: Gary's last name is never revealed.
- Shadow Archetype: Gary ends up being this for Tyler, the current oldest child adopted by the Manwarings. Gary's childhood under them was awful and he grew up a psychopath who takes great enjoyment from killing abusive parents. Knowing Tyler is now living the same hell, he encourages the kid to take revenge against the Manwaring couple by shooting them when Gary gives himself up for arrest, confident it will happen. It doesn't, with Tyler only shooting the pictures on the house walls and calling them "lies" to Morgan, who promises him he'll never have to go back to that house.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Children Of The Dark".
Played by: Emmanuel Xuereb & Suzanne Cryer
A couple responsible for the kidnapping and attempted murder of their niece, young Katie Jacobs, with Richard being a closet pedophile who's been molesting her and Susan staging Katie's kidnapping at a local mall in Virginia.
- Abusive Parents: The team profiles Richard through the usual pedophile signs, one of which is the fact that, upon taking notice of a possible victim, a pedophile who's living a married life will neglect their own kids in favor of the new target. Jeremy, Richard and Susan's son, is indeed ignored by his father, with the added insult to injury of his mother making him cover for their lies as well.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: The episode is a mystery plot where Katie Jacobs has been kidnapped in a large shopping mall and the team needs to find out who did it, with the girl's own uncle and aunt revealed as her abuser and kidnapper respectively.
- I Reject Your Reality: Susan knew for a long time that her husband Richard was a pedophile, yet blamed his victim, her young niece, for her family life falling apart. Kidnapping Katie was basically a huge delusional gamble on her part, thinking that somehow removing her niece from the equation would make Richard love her again.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The two are a rare case in the show where an UnSub is not a prolific killer, psychopathic mastermind or even a murderer, but "merely" twisted individuals with a very unhealthy relationship choosing to vent that frustration on their family over irrational decisions. Their sole victim also thankfully ends up surviving the episode.
- Pædo Hunt: When questioning the family and learning about their history, including Richard and Susan's son Jeremy, Richard is outed as a pedophile who's been sexually abusing his own niece long before the episode's events, to the point the poor girl's self-esteem has plummeted and she's become withdrawn without her parents knowing why, since Susan is determined to put up a front that their marriage is still perfect and wants to kill Katie out of a delusional belief it will make Richard stop.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Seven Seconds".
- Villainous Breakdown: Enforced by the BAU on Susan, with Prentiss essentially blasting her during interrogation with all the signs and evidence, then charging her with covering for her pedophile husband while her own niece was slowly dying from asthma somewhere in the mall, giving her a HUGE reality shock to make her confess where Katie is. Susan's facade finally crumbles but she doesn't confess. Fortunately, though, the police manage to get to Katie just then in the nick of time.
Played by: Andrew Kavovit
A budding serial killer, rapist and stalker from Dallas who puts up missing person posters of his female targets before cornering and kidnapping them. The case is investigated alongside David Rossi, who stepped out of retirement to rejoin the BAU after Gideon's departure.
- Berserk Button: Because he wants to stand out and be noticed, he doesn't take kindly to being vilified or diminished, something Rossi exploits through the media by saying the masks represent the UnSub's impotence, all in a bid to make him call them directly, which he does.
- Calling Card: Besides leaving the "Have You Seen Me" posters with his target's face on their homes, Poole would leave more posters on the interior of the homes post-abduction, along with a numbered white mask indicating the number of people he'd abducted until that point.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: Implied to be part of his motive, with the profile stating that the UnSub is "exceedingly average" and hard to pick apart in a crowd, wanting to do so through his murders in order to catch the attention of someone he desires. Sure enough, Poole is a mousey office worker for a company named Techco, targeting the ladies from his workplace.
- Seeking the Missing Finding the Dead: Hangs "Missing" posters of his intended victims at their homes sometime before abducting them. He only managed to kill one victim, however, with Enid White being rescued at his home.
- Serial Killer: Averted. He only killed one person, with his second victim being found alive.
- Stalker with a Crush: Subverted. Stalks women who resemble each other and the woman he really wants.
- Taking You with Me: Cornered at his company's lobby, Poole vainly tries to shoot at Morgan just as he's exiting an elevator, only for Rossi to kill him faster than he can pull the trigger.
- Villain of the Week: Of "About Face".
Played by: Michael Cudlitz & Kaj-Erik Eriksen
A dominant-submissive duo of psychopaths in Montana. Goehring was a sadistic and narcissistic serial killer, rapist and abductor of women who he saw himself as entitled to having, having his partner Henry scout for new targets he could take. But with Goehring's death during a stand-off with police, Henry is stepping up as a budding serial killer alone, except not as himself.
- Creepy Souvenir: Goehring had Frost record his abuse sessions with their victims in tapes which he kept for posterity as trophies.
- Dark Messiah: Goehring developed a Messianic complex later down the line, believing himself fully entitled to land, women and slaves.
- Driven to Suicide: The reason Goehring blows himself up is due to equal parts desperation at being chased by the police and that he would rather see the afterlife where everyone he has murdered will serve him than go to prison.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Along with being an Entitled Bastard, Goehring was a violent misogynist who believed women exist to serve him and his "Kingdom", using a set of standards that included having his victims be "serfs" that would tend to his every need and whim under threat of death at his hands.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Goehring had a scar on his left cheek from a bar brawl that got him dishonorably discharged from the US Army in 1989. As Frost descends further into madness and trying to replicate him, he slashes himself across the left cheek deliberately to try and invoke the same image.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Goehring kills himself at the beginning of the episode after a police chase, but his influence and legacy are felt all throughout the plot as his former partner tries to step up to his position.
- I Just Want to Be You: Frost's dependence on Goehring as a leader was so strong that he's essentially given up on his own identity after his death, changing his appearance and even his name to match his partner's in a desperate bid to try and become him, even to the point of scarring his own face to try and replicate Goehring's own scar across the left cheek.
- In the Back: Frost is put down with a sniper shot to the back after threatening to shoot Hotch with an assault rifle while holding a woman hostage in a hill.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Identity".
Played by: Frankie Muniz
A comic book artist by day who seemingly becomes a murderous vigilante straight out of his own comics at night.
- Anti-Villain: Jonny is one of the few unubs that even the team can't help but feel sorry for. He's largely a victim, and his only real crime is being forced into Sanity Slippage and going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the assholes who raped and killed his pregnant fiance.
- Badass Longcoat: His "True Night" comic book character wears a hooded coat that conceals his face, and he wears one himself when commiting his crimes.
- Creator Breakdown: In-universe.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Played with. Sure, True Night is a murderer, but his victims were worse criminals than him.
- Darkness Equals Death: Attacks his victims in the dead of night.
- Dual Wielding: Is seen dual wielding scimitars in his delusions. In truth, he used two machetes.
- Ironic Echo: "You're not gonna wanna miss this".
- '90s Anti-Hero: Played with. He has a backstory that wouldn't be out of place in a superhero comic, and in his delusions he sees himself as a badass figure brutally slaying monsters. However, when he's not in his delusions the UnSub is portrayed as a broken, pitiful man who is barely in touch with reality. He even forgets his own murders.
- No Kill like Overkill: His victims were hacked to bits. In particular, Glen Hill was gutted, dismembered and then beheaded.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Pretty much his MO when it comes to dealing with the people who nearly killed him and murdered his girlfriend For the Evulz.
- Power Born of Madness: His unexpected strength and extremely high tolerance to pain come from a severe psychotic break.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: What motivates his killings. A gang proceeded to brutally rape and kill his pregnant fiance while forcing him to watch, then gutted him and left him for dead. Surviving this left him with severe PTSD that culminated in a psychotic break, leading to him having dissociated nights where he proceeded to slaughter every single member of the gang.
- Sympathetic Murderer: All his victims were gang criminals who had raped and killed his pregnant girlfriend and gutted him.
- Tragic Keepsake: Keeps a cell phone whose voicemail contains the answering message from his fiance before she was murdered. It's the one thing they let him keep after he's put into a mental asylum for his crimes. That way he can hear her voice again.
- Vigilante Man: Goes after gang members.
- Villain of the Week: Of "True Night".
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Even the team feel sorry for him.
Played by: Riley Smith (Phillips), Curtiss Frislee (Taylor Coleman) & Daniel Levey (Douglas Silverman, uncredited)
A trio of kidnappers and rapists who took two teenage girls hostage. Led by psychopath Ryan Phillips, he eventually kills the first one and keeps the second girl alive as a hostage, unaware of just who she is and who she's related to.
- Big Bad Wannabe: A variation. Phillips and his gang are the episode-centric UnSubs without question, but the girl they have under their custody has a retired hitman for a father; once he learns of their identities, he quickly incapacitates Taylor at his home before coming for Ryan and killing him at his daughter's request, making the psychotic leader of the gang beg for his life beforehand for good measure.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Ryan tortured Katie for hours through beating and cutting, before finally strangling her to death with a belt.
- Eviler than Thou: The trio raped a teenage girl with her friend nearby, then their leader killed her and disfigured her body. Phillips kept Lindsey alive as a possible bargaining chip and threatened her repeatedly afterwards, unaware that her father Jack is a former hitman with more than enough expertise under his belt to make even Ryan, an unhinged psychopath himself, beg for mercy before blowing his head off with a shotgun.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Lindsey Vaughn sure thinks so, after witnessing them rape her friend Katie Owen before Ryan killed her, then disfigured and dumped her body afterwards. When her father shows up to kill Ryan, she starts goading him on.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Douglas got cold feet about the whole thing after Ryan killed Katie Owen, arguing against him and trying to leave. He was then promptly stabbed repeatedly by Ryan, managing to survive long enough to start a call with the authorities before succumbing to his wounds.
- Sole Survivor: Of the three, Taylor is the only one who escapes with his life after Jack corners and brutalizes him enough to make him tell where Ryan is keeping Lindsey hostage. While he's never seen again, the BAU is told he was found and rescued by paramedics, so it's safe to assume he was arrested afterwards.
- Start of Darkness: For Lindsey Vaughn, who started following in her father's footsteps after the events of the episode and eventually joined a darknet of hitmen, becoming an enemy of the BAU years later.
- That One Case: Reid tried to reason with Jack Vaughn as he held a shotgun to Ryan Phillips' head, pleading with him to stop the Cycle of Revenge and not do this in front of his daughter, even as Lindsey herself gladly asked him to kill her captor to avenge Katie. With Jack graphically killing him in front of Reid and not facing charges afterwards due to witness protection, this plus the trauma that Reid already endured at the hands of Tobias Hankel in the previous season made him slowly start craving dilaluid again, and would eventually lead to Lindsey herself becoming a very dangerous UnSub seeking to ruin Spencer's life.
- Villain of the Week: Of "3rd Life".
Played by: Christopher Allen Nelson
A misogynistic killer and rapist who hid all shreds of evidence that could incriminate him in a self-storage facility, hoping that its auctioning would cause a media frenzy and draw attention to his killings.
- Break the Haughty: His preferred victims are women with influential, high-paying jobs, but since he's a misogynist who expects women to be submissive, he's the only one who sees these women as "haughty", and is trying to break them for that reason. Otherwise, no evidence is given that any of his victims were any more stuck up than their male counterparts. The only one who comes close is Agent Morris, who is egotistical and trying to use his case to gain personal fame, but he gets arrested before he can follow through on her.
- Creepy Crossdresser: Acts out "rehearsal fantasies", wherein he wears the clothes of his victims while listening to recordings of their torture and pleasuring himself, so he can relive their pain while preparing to take his next victim.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: During his rehearsal fantasies.
- Electric Torture: The method he eventually chose when he started killing.
- Evil Counterpart: To Agent Morris. Both of them are using his crimes to make names for themselves and become famous.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Is motivated by his hatred of women, to the point that he's completely unable to interact normally with them, even referring to one of his victims as "it" and a "bleeder" (referring to menstration).
- Narcissist: He intentionally stopped paying the rent on his storage unit so the authorities would find his writings because he not only wanted them to know he existed (he'd been killing for six years straight without anyone noticing), he wanted them to be able to chart his entire killing spree from beginning to end. The attention his case attracts feeds his ego and allows him to relive his murders in a new way.
- Serial Killer: of women.
- Torture Technician: Wrote extensively about the various torture methods he fantasized about using.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Limelight".
Played by: Matthew J. Cates & E.J. Callahan
A mentally handicapped man who believes himself to be a small child, Joe followed a little girl home from a carnival one night and, during a confrontation with her parents, murdered them with an axe. Joe's father, Landon, upon discovering what his son had done, cleaned up after him and got rid of the evidence, before hustling Joe, and the carnival they both work at, out of town. The case, one of Rossi's earliest, haunts him to the modern day, and is the cause of his return to the BAU.
- Accidental Murder: Joe had no intention of committing murder, or even of breaking and entering. When Richard Galen hit him with an axe though, Joe defended himself and killed both Richard and his wife, Diana.
- The Atoner: Every year, when the carnival passes through Indianapolis, Joe, at his father's insistence, purchases presents for the children of the couple he murdered, in an effort to make up for his actions.
- The Berserker: Joe's normally placid, but if struck, can respond with sudden and extreme violence, as he did with the Galens.
- Circus of Fear: Downplayed. There's nothing malicious about Landon's carnival as a whole, but it does serve as a hiding place for Joe, who is guilty of two counts of murder and a host of other lesser crimes.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Joe doesn't realize he isn't a little boy, and has a history of accidentally hurting people because of his size.
- Expecting Someone Taller: With the killing of the Galen parents having haunted Rossi as That One Case for two decades, the lack of evidence of and brutality of the crime has caused Rossi to build up the killer as some exceptionally evil and cunning figure. He's shocked when he finds out the killing was committed by a mentally handicapped man who got away with it mostly through dumb luck (and the fact that, since he wasn't really a serial killer, he wouldn't implicate himself by committing other murders).
- Family Business: Landon owns a carnival which he employs Joe at.
- The Family That Slays Together: Joe's incapable of following the law, and Landon can't bear the thought of his son going to prison. Over the last two decades Joe has committed numerous crimes, ranging from petty thefts, vandalism, and break-ins to double homicide, and Landon has always covered for him as an accomplice after the fact.
- Fat Bastard: Joe's an overweight axe murderer.
- Friend to All Children: Played for tragedy. Joe's desire to play with "other children" is what repeatedly gets him into trouble with the law and results in a horrific double homicide.
- Guilt-Ridden Accomplice: Landon, who cleans up after Joe's various petty crimes and break-ins, and who on the night he killed the Galens, destroyed all the evidence. While willing to do anything to protect his son, Landon is eaten up with guilt about it, and forces Joe to give the Galens' children a present every year.
- Hurricane of Excuses: Landon has a laundry list of excuses for why he's done nothing about Joe's behaviour. Most of them come back to the (admittedly correct) notion that his son didn't mean any harm.
- Insanity Defense: It's made clear Joe will not be going to prison, but will likely plead to some combination of diminished capacity and/or unfitness to stand trial. Given his severe mental impairment, this is the entirely correct thing for him to do, and it's expected he will be institutionalized.
- Mental Handicap, Moral Deficiency: Joe is intellectually disabled and has no real concept of right and wrong and can easily turn violent when enraged.
- Monster Clown: Joe likes to dress as a clown and is the only one employed at the carnival.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Joe just wants to play with the "other kids" but since he's a huge adult, he often ends up causing trouble, which in one case, escalated to murder.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Joe's not malicious, but he reacts to things like a four year old, and given his enormous size, it makes him very dangerous.
- Stout Strength: Joe's heftily built and strong enough to cut two people to ribbons with an axe in a matter of minutes.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Joe had no intention of harming anyone; indeed, courtesy of his mental state, he likely cannot form the requisite intent to harm anyone ever.
- That One Case: The original one for Rossi, who is still investigating it twenty-one years later. In a more realistic take on the trope than many, the reason Rossi's been unable to capture Joe and Landon is that they aren't from the area and had no intention of hurting anyone in the first place.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Damaged".
Played by: Scott Michael Campbell
An "angel of death"-type serial-turned-spree killer targeting a small community in Pittsburgh, staging his victims' murders to make them look like suicides.
- And I Must Scream: Redding uses an unknown substance to fully paralyze his victims and make them unresponsive as he kills them and stages their deaths.
- Calling Card: Unseen at first, but all of the people dead in the staged suicides have a tiny needle puncture mark on their hairlines, just out of place and small enough that it can't be seen by the police on first glance or by the coroner, mostly because they wouldn't even think the victims were paralyzed.
- Didn't Think This Through: His victims were all people who were devastated by the loss of their children, but still found it in themselves to keep on living (no matter how much he thinks that wasn't the case)... until he holds Laurie Ann Morris at gunpoint in her car, who is legitimately suffering, even being warned by the BAU the UnSub might try to get to her. Hearing Peter trying to "empathize" with her... she rams her car against a dumpster, which doesn't kill them but knocks Peter off balance long enough to be arrested.
- Dramatic Irony: The death that causes Officer Baleman to call the BAU to investigate the case, his own brother's, was the only genuine suicide in the entire episode.
- False Friend: He worms his way into self-help groups for grieving parents still recovering from the death of their children in a recent fire that burned down the Shadyside Recreational Center and, through the group therapy sessions, befriends said parents to the point he can get personal with them just enough to find a way to kill them afterwards.
- Mercy Kill: What Redding assumes he's doing, a trait common to some angel-of-death serial killers. He fully believes he's releasing his victims from suffering by killing them and making it seem like they did it to themselves, essentially thinking he's euthanising them from a pained life.
- Never My Fault: The BAU profiles Redding as someone who thinks his cause is fair and just, citing that even when he's finally arrested, the UnSub will claim he didn't do anything wrong, which is exactly what Redding does when he's taken into custody.
- Never Suicide: Redding's M.O., immobilizing and killing his victims in ways that make it look like they were Driven to Suicide with no obvious evidence tracing back to him. He started with his own brother, slitting his wrists and making it look like he killed himself after repeated abuse from their father, and just kept the mentality hidden until the recent fire at the local recreational center, causing him to target the parents of the kids who died in it. In the true essence of this trope, the police officer whose brother supposedly electrocuted himself in his bath calls his death into question and calls the BAU to look into it (although ironically that death was an actual suicide).
- Out-of-Character Alert: What gets Ronnie Baleman to investigate the recent string of "suicides" and call the BAU for help, since his brother was devastated by his child's loss but showed no suicidal tendencies in spite of it, a common trait among the victims. Except Paul Baleman's death was a real suicide, his journal just hadn't been found by that point.
- Taking You with Me: When he tries to kill Laurie Ann in her car, she's so beaten down by her grief at that point that hearing the killer try so pathetically to "empathise" with her sets her off to the point she rams her own car against a dumpster, giving Redding the metaphorical "screw you" by trying to kill him along with herself. It doesn't work, but the crash disorients Redding and lets the BAU take him in.
- Villain of the Week: Of "A Higher Power".
Played by: Cody Kasch
A young man from Texas born into a dysfunctional family, mercilessly bullied by some classmates who filmed him masturbating as a sadistic "initiation" when Owen tried out for the wrestling team. After meeting a girl named Jordan who also came from a broken home, Owen snapped somewhere down the line and became an "injustice collector" spree killer, hunting down his aggressors and the town who did nothing to help him, plotting to get himself and Jordan away from it.
- Abusive Parents: His father resented him since he had had to leave the Marines to take care of his son.
- Adults Are Useless: Given everything that he went through in his life, Owen was basically a time bomb. As Reid pointed out, if the police or school authorities had actually taken advantage of the many chance they had to intervene, he probably wouldn't have gone on his spree. The cop he angrily yells this to tries to disagree but he clearly knows Reid is right.
- Bully Hunter: Kills his own bullies as well as adults who facilitated said abuse. He does the same for his girlfriend.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Three of his victims were the guys who had filmed him when he masturbated in the shower room as initiation and posted it on the schools social network from which it presumably reached the Internet.
- Kick the Dog: When he stabbed Ike Stratman, though it was to avoid being discovered, and he clearly showed remorse.
- Missing Mom: She died in a drunk driving accident.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Before the killings started, at least.
- Morality Pet: Has one in Jordan Norris. When she's finally exposed to all the deaths he's caused, she abandons him.
- No Kill like Overkill: His father and Kyle Borden (the guy who had taken advantage of Jordan, Owen's girlfriend with slower learning abilities) were shot in the face at a point-blank range. The team actually profile this when he shoots his already dead father in the face, ignoring the other cop who is still alive.
- "Not So Different" Remark: Reid identifies with him because they both went through hell at high school.
- Suicide by Cop: Attempted after Jordan is finally shown the brutalities he's done, abandoning him in the process and causing him to feel he has nothing left. Reid manages to talk him out of it, despite the high risk.
- Sympathetic Murderer: A bullied, abused kid, abandoned by the town he lived in and by his own family.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Elephant's Memory".
- Who's Laughing Now?: Guns down the boys who videotaped him masturbating.
Played by: Michael Graziadei
A damaged serial-turned-spree killer targeting homosexual men in Miami while having a crisis regarding his own sexual preferences.
- Abusive Parents: His father, David, was a strict, religious prison guard who regularly beat up Steven in his teenage years when he started showing preference for men, all in a bid to "protect him from himself". Even as he's being arrested, Steven begs the BAU to tell his father that he didn't do anything sexual with his victims, still afraid of his reprimand years later.
- Calling Card: Befriending homosexual men, usually tourists, so he could pick up on their accents and voice inflections before killing them with a choke hold learned from his father's prison guard occupation. He'd then steal their car and hotel room keys so he could grab anything he could use to assume his victims' identity.
- Cure Your Gays: Portrayed as a realistic and brutal Deconstruction of the trope with how the episode shows his mental state being utterly ruined by an abusive father with this mentality.
- Freudian Excuse: Beat up regularly by his own father in his youth when he started showing attraction towards men at an early age, ending up with a terribly-low self-esteem and a vicious desire to "punish" other gay men.
- Greater-Scope Villain: David Fitzgerald, Steven's father, who is still around when the BAU investigate the case. Hotch catches on quickly that he's the main reason for his son's killing spree.
- I Just Want to Be You: A general example, in that Steven wants to be literally anyone but himself, all because of what his father's abuse did to his psyche. The quote above is something he angrily tells Morgan when he's interrogated and asked about himself.
- Morality Pet: His sister Sarah, who didn't approve of her father's abuse of Steven and tried to help him, even giving him the tickets to Miami to get Steven away from David. It's only when Morgan mentions to Steven that Sarah misses him and wants him to get help that he surrenders peacefully.
- Tragic Villain: He kills other gay men only because he's been completely broken by his abusive father's anti-gay mentality and the beatings he gave Steven to drill it into his brain.
- Villain of the Week: Of "In Heat".
Played by: Scott Lowell
A delusional stalker chasing after a woman named Keri Derzmond, whom he's obsessively fallen in love with despite her protests. The BAU is quickly summoned to Maryland to help her before he does anything to her.
- Batman Gambit: From both the UnSub and his victim:
- Hicks uses several distractions to worsen Keri and her husband's paranoia, including briefly stealing her dog and paying a stranger to walk it, so she'd eventually get alone just long enough for him to kidnap her;
- The above is countered by what the BAU instructs Keri to do in a worst-case scenario, which is to play along with her stalker's delusion and get them out in the open in some capacity for the two to be found. It works excellently, with Hicks finally being arrested.
- Crazy-Prepared: Hicks developed an entire plan hinging on Keri and Ryan's growing paranoia of him that involved stealing her pet dog and paying a stranger to walk it near her home, all to get her alone for just enough time to kidnap her. And it works, if thankfully for an hour or so.
- Entitled to Have You: Hinted at being a dangerous erotomaniac who thinks Keri belongs to him, and will react badly to rejection. The episode thankfully never shows what he'd do to her husband if given the opportunity.
- Not Good with Rejection: The profile states he's been rejected several times before in his life, and finding the one object of desire he's willing to "fight" for will prompt a violent response if Keri openly rejects him while under his grasp.
- Stalker Shrine: His van is decorated completely with photos he took of Keri at several different moments. She gets to see it when he kidnaps her at gunpoint.
- Stalker with a Crush: He's fallen in love with Keri ever since meeting her as part of his job as a tech support worker, having accidentally touched her hand during the job. Hicks has since followed her everywhere, even into Maryland, where he's been keeping tabs of all her actions and patterns to find the perfect opportunity to be with her despite both her and her husband Ryan's objections... which he'll gladly use as justification for killing her if he senses she's trying to push him away.
- Villain of the Week: Of "The Crossing".
Played by: Eric Lange
A serial killer from Virginia who recently woke up from a coma with focal retrograde amnesia, not remembering who he is and what he's done. The BAU, acting as key witnesses in his trial, keep him under watch as his past starts coming back to him.
- Calling Card: Killed brunette, female joggers in the woods via strangulation with his belt, buried them in shallow graves with their bodies facing down as a reference to certain Native-American rituals, then took a piece of jewelry from the bodies to send as gifts to his birth mother Nina Moore.
- Deranged Park Ranger: Used to work as a Forest Service employee for the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is also how he got access to his victims later.
- Freudian Excuse: Tried to reconnect with his birth mother, Nina Genesee (later Moore) after learning of his heritage, but she denied it for personal reasons. The lack of affection and the denial of a connection with his past caused Brian to snap later down the line.
- Identity Amnesia: The premise of the episode; Matloff fell off a small building's roof while running from the BAU, which caused him to forget his name and his crimes, leaving him an utterly confused man who's standing trial for deaths he doesn't remember causing, and might actually be developing a new sense of self as his memories come back to him.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: An episode where the team is fully aware of who the UnSub is and even attend his trial as key witnesses, except he's suffering from amnesia and doesn't remember what he did, with the possibility that he might start killing again once he remembers. Except he turns himself in with a new outlook in life.
- Must Make Amends: As an amnesiac, he is aware that he commited some sort of heinous crime but isn't sure himself, with the ambiguity present that he might be acting the part of remorseful convict to lessen his sentence. Except he really did start feeling remorse and, with Hotch's prompting, turns himself in so he can serve his sentence.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Tabula Rasa".
- What You Are in the Dark: Having recovered his memories, Matloff escapes police custody and flees to Blue Ridge once again, to the spot where he buried his first victim, with the BAU assuming he's gone there to relive his kill and start a new spree. Surprisingly, he instead turns himself in and confesses to all of his crimes, the amnesia having given him a blank slate to rethink his life with and letting him feel remorse for his actions.
Played by: Luke Perry (Cyrus), Jenna Boyd (Jessica Evanson), Colby French (Christopher Cole)
An ephebophilic statutory rapist and the original leader of the Separatarian Sect cult in La Plata County, Colorado. Prentiss and Reid were sent into his compound as an undercover operation against the cult, but a failed police raid led to the two being taken hostage inside the building, and the BAU needing to find a way to deal with Cyrus while saving as many lives as possible.
- Berserk Button: Lying to him in any capacity, or simply disrespecting his "authority", earns a violent response from Cyrus, as poor Prentiss can attest.
- Cold Sniper: When shooting at the police surrounding the ranch, Cyrus uses a carbine rifle.
- Control Freak: He usurped control of an entire community from the previous leader to transform it into a cult where he's the figurehead and completely allowed to rape whichever underage girl he desires. Any perceived challenge to his authority earns a violent beating.
- Cult: The founder of the original cell of the Separatarian Sect, which would later return to once again attack the BAU in a more direct manner.
- The Dragon: Christopher Cole, Cyrus' personal lieutenant in the cult. The two are killed at the ranch's main chapel when the BAU manages to infiltrate.
- Enfante Terrible: Hinted at having been a psychopath from birth, with former Libertarian leader Leo Kane pointedly telling the BAU that he was "unusually intelligent" for a child. At 17 years old, he had already racked up counts of statutory rape that got him expelled from the community until he came back and forced his way to the top.
- Freudian Excuse: Averted; being born into a radical Libertarian community didn't result in Mulgrew becoming any worse than he was already born as. Even the former leader tells the BAU there was something wrong with him since childhood.
- Greater-Scope Villain: While Cyrus and the Separatarian Sect are both dealt with in this episode, their shadow would loom large over the BAU in the future when Benjamin Merva picked up the cult's pieces and founded "The Believers" with the intent to kill people under the pretense of religious grandeur.
- Hostage Situation: The entire episode, with an unwelcome slip of the tongue to the media outing the police raid at the Separatarian compound and resulting in a massive hostage crisis involving unwilling cultist civilians and law enforcement members, Prentiss and Reid also caught up in the mess after their undercover sting was also revealed.
- Meaningful Rename: Changed from Charles Mulgrew to Benjamin Cyrus when he became a cult leader, so he could give himself an air of "holiness".
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Cyrus ends up learning about an FBI agent among the cult members from an intrusive news report he catches on TV, done by the state Attorney General for cheap political brownie points that quickly earns Hotch's ire. The only good part of it is that it thankfully doesn't reveal that there are actually two agents, giving Reid some time to think of a way out.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Apparently punishes anyone who doesn't follow his commands this way. This is best shown when Prentiss outs herself as an FBI agent to protect Reid, as he just starts beating down on her repeatedly until he's convinced to stop.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He founded the cult to essentially rape as many underage girls as he wanted, even making one of them his wife through a combination of charisma and Stockholm Syndrome.
- Ripped from the Headlines: The episode draws inspiration from the official government reports surrounding the event known as the "Waco Siege", with Cyrus taking a similar position to real-life cult leader David Koresh.
- Secret Test of Character: Cyrus tells his followers all gathered to drink some wine before revealing that he poisoned it. This was actually a ploy to see which of them would react emotionally to the reveal, with the people who showed fear and panic being the ones unwilling to actually follow him to the death, which he thankfully releases along with their children.
- Shotgun Wedding: Forced quite a few underage girls in his community to have sex with him, with 15-year-old Jessica Evanson actually becoming his bride and regular abuse victim until she willingly joined his "cause".
- Stockholm Syndrome: Jessica Evanson was eventually willing to follow her "husband" and his commands to the latter, much to the horror of her mother who managed to escape the place beforehand. It was Kathy who called in the BAU to help her daughter out of the cult, but it was sadly too late: Jessica is the one who blows herself up along with the ranch after Cyrus is gunned down, doing so in a fit of rage against the police.
- Taking You with Me: His final plan is to trick the police and the FBI into storming his ranch so he can blow the entire place up with bombs he's set up. While the BAU manages to kill Cyrus before he carries it out, his underage wife Jessica takes it upon herself to press the detonator, killing both herself and the remaining cult members while the law enforcement personnel escape successfully.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Minimal Loss".
- Would Hurt a Child: Was expelled from Leo Kane's community in his youth after he was outed as a statutory rapist.
Played by: Wil Wheaton
A misogynistic serial killer and rapist who traps couples in a fake motel he owns in order to torture and kill them, then disposing of the bodies by making it look like they died in car accidents.
- Ax-Crazy: His form of rape is essentially torture and domination, purely depending on violence to feel any excitement.
- Batter Up!: Kills and sodomizes his victims with a baseball bat.
- Calling Card: Taking his females victims' underwear and staging car accidents in order to dispose of their bodies.
- Crazy-Prepared: He takes every precaution to ensure his crimes won't be tracked back to him, such as only accepting cash from the couples checking into his motel, using condoms to rape his victims so there would be no DNA traces on them, and using fake names and convincing acting to trick would-be investigators.
- Collector of the Strange: He keeps his female victims' underwear in his office as sickening trophies.
- Composite Character: Has the backstory of owning a business passed down from his father that he uses as a torture trap like Charles Holcombe combined with the misogyny and violence towards women of Jeremy Andrus.
- Death by Irony: As he runs from the BAU, Floyd gets run over by a passing car on the highway, killing him on the spot.
- Forced to Watch: Ties the couple's male to a chair and makes them watch him raping the woman while constantly mocking their inability to stop him.
- Freudian Excuse: His father's second wife was a prostitute who tortured Floyd psychologically when he was still young, which developed into his underwear fetish and sexual sadism years later.
- Hell Hotel: He sets up a calm roadside motel for couples to stop at, except it's a trap to torture them psychologically (through loud noises, planting a previous victim's underwear on the room or peeping on them) and later rape and kill them.
- He-Man Woman Hater: His torture targets the women of the couples who check into his motel first and foremost, making sure they get the most punishment.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Ian Corbin, his latest male victim, manages to free himself and attack Floyd long enough for his partner Abby to make a run for it. He's prevented from a full sacrifice when the BAU storms the room in the nick of time, forcing Floyd to run.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Part of his M.O., disposing of the bodies in cars parked at blind curves in the highway so trucks would inevitably hit them and make it look like a car accident.
- Rule of Symbolism: Discussed by Prentiss, as she surmises that Hansen leaving his female victims without their underwear on cars to get a truck slammed onto them was essentially a final act of rape towards them.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Paradise".
Played by: Andre Royo
A robber and serial-turned-spree killer that roams Central Valley through the railroads, killing home owners and staying overnight in their properties.
- Addled Addict: He's had numerous run-ins with police over drug problems, and his addiction is now so severe that he'll even get high off cleaning products from the homes he pillages.
- Driven by Envy: Growing up a migrant worker with his half-brother, he was jealous of the home owners they saw through their travels, having a profound desire for a comfortable home and bed of his own.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite being part of why he snapped, Armando still holds his half-brother Ruben Garcia in high regard, pawning off the items he steals from the houses he invades so he can send the money to his brother through the notice boards on worker camps he's passing by. The feeling is also very much returned, especially since Ruben pleads for the BAU not to kill Armando, and is devastated when he learns that they were forced to.
- Hobos: Due to his poor upbringing, Armando travels across California by hitching a ride on cargo trains. This is also how the BAU is able to identify the UnSub as a vagrant as well as his route, by noticing that the targeted households are all next to the tracks.
- Non-Indicative Name: He's labeled the "Highway 99 Killer" by the press because they wrongly believe he's travelling through it to get to his victims, when he's actually hitching a ride through the train tracks of Central Valley.
- Silent Antagonist: Has no spoken lines in the entire episode, although he's heard yelling and grunting during the showdown at the train lot.
- Traintop Battle: Fittingly, the last confrontation with Armando is at a rail yard where he fights off the BAU while climbing on top of a moving train car. He almost makes Morgan fall off in the pursuit before Hotch shoots Armando dead while on top another car.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Catching Out".
Played by: Melinda Page Hamilton
A delusional abductor and budding serial killer responsible for the disappearance of a young boy. The BAU is summoned in when the Bridges family's child is the next one taken and they're threatened through the phone by Claire using a voice changer.
- Freudian Excuse: It's not elaborated upon, but Claire seems to have suffered from psychosis very early on in life (to the point she attacked a former co-worker by biting her ear off), being forced to take medication for it. When she became pregnant with an unknown man's child, she stopped taking her meds as to not harm the baby, which eventually got Social Services to take the kid away from her and deem her unfit to be a parent a mere week after giving birth. The grief made what little control she had disappear for good.
- Hostage Situation: Subverted; When the BAU corners Bates at her home, they find her in the back near a big fire with a bundle on her arms, assuming it's Michael Bridges. But when they find Michael alive and unharmed in her home, the bundle is revealed to be just a bunch of toys she throws into the flames.
- Insane Equals Violent: She suffers from severe psychosis. Off her meds and deprived of her child, she believes he's dead and starts kidnapping other children so she can kill them eventually.
- It's Personal: Downplayed, but the case stirs up some nightmares for Reid, reopening some old wounds and memories about his childhood neighbor Riley Jenkins' kidnapping.
- Kick the Dog: She called the Bridges parents after taking their young son not to make demands out of them, but to rub it in their faces that they'd never see their kid again and that they failed as parents.
- Mama Bear: A psychotic one who wants to have her kid back, but projects him on other parents and takes their own children away as a result.
- Psychological Projection: She believes her child being taken away by social services means he's dead, and started projecting her own perceived failure as a mother onto other parents, using it as an excuse to kidnap their young kids. She killed Ethan Hayes because of this trope as well, manifesting what she assumes to be how her own son "died".
- Something Only They Would Say: A variation; The BAU initially profiled the kidnapper as a male due to the voice changer used in the phone calls with the Bridges parents, but the lack of bragging, repeated projection from the UnSub onto the parents and the focus on caregiving for the child is what gives away that the kidnapper is a woman.
- Even further, she implicates herself as a former mental patient by using specific terminology related only to mental institutions - her calls lasted only three minutes because that was "the rule", and she repeatedly says "locked up" instead of "arrested".
- Villain of the Week: Of "The Instincts".
Played by: Andrew Harlander
A budding serial rapist and stalker from Las Vegas who was responsible for the murder of young Riley Jenkins, Spencer Reid's childhood neighbor, before targeting him next. With Reid having recurring nightmares involving Riley and his childhood home during Claire Bates' case (see above), he and some of the BAU try to track down Michaels and Reid's father to know what happened, discovering a connection.
- Framing the Guilty Party: Accidental, but Michaels' body was buried near the Barker Ranch, which tricked law enforcement into believing he was another victim of the Manson family, which is why his name isn't brought up until much later.
- It's Personal: The investigation of his case comes from how involved he was in Spencer's childhood, having targeted him after killing his neighbor Riley Jenkins. Throughout "The Instincts", Reid has recurring nightmares involving Riley, Michaels and his own father William, leading to him questioning his mother as she might have been involved herself, suspecting that his father is the one who killed Jenkins. As it turns out, the Reids only helped burn the real killer's clothes to prevent their friend, Jenkins' father, from being arrested after killing Michaels in retaliation. Spencer just happened to catch his parents getting rid of the evidence and his photographic memory never let him forget it.
- Minor Major Character: He's not as important to the episode as Reid's search and growing distrust for his estranged father, who he thinks is involved in his childhood neighbor's death, if not outright the killer. It's only later when William tells his son about Michaels.
- Pædo Hunt: A neighborhood pedophile responsible for indecent exposure incidents before raping and murdering young Spencer's neighbor. But as it turns out, he has already been "hunted", killed by Riley's father and dumped in the desert.
- Posthumous Character: Michaels has been dead for years after killing Jenkins, and the investigation of the boy's death is what leads to BAU to learn that he was killed by the boy's father in revenge. Reid's father, who he thought was the one who killed Riley, only helped burn his clothes so the Reids wouldn't be charged as accessories. As a result, Michaels himself only appears via flashback.
- Psycho Knife Nut: When he killed Riley Jenkins, Michaels stabbed him in the chest nine times.
- Vigilante Execution: Riley Jenkins' father, Lou, beat Michaels to death with an aluminum baseball bat after finding out he killed his son.
- Villain of the Week: The true culprit of "Memoriam".
Played by: Jason Alexander
A serial killer and abductor who, under the name "Paul Rothschild", wants revenge on Rossi for exposing his brother William as a psychopath and sending him to death row. Fancying himself a genius and artist, he kidnapped a group of 5 people (a woman, her daughter and three other children) and trapped them in a giant contraption in order to lure in the BAU.
- Awesome by Analysis: Deliberately plays on this, hoping that the team will figure out his pattern without him giving too obvious hints or clues, so that they will walk into his trap and, further, so that he can get Off on a Technicality when Rossi doesn't have any evidence that doesn't sound like a Bat Deduction.
- Batman Gambit: Draws attention to his own crimes and goads Rossi into staying behind to interview him in order to trick the rest of the team into walking into his Death Trap, while only giving very vague clues to this end so that they have to get themselves killed by their own work and he can reasonably plead coincidence and lack of evidence. He's Out-Gambitted by Rossi who realizes what's going on and pulls one of his own to get an Engineered Public Confession.
- Breaking Speech: A whole episode of these, mostly directed at either Rossi or Reid.
- Criminal Mind Games: Spends the majority of his time in questioning playing these with Rossi and Reid regarding the kidnapped victims. Except Rossi is also playing one back at him.
- Dirty Coward: Always attacks his victims from behind, both because he's a pretty small guy and because women (particularly Caucasian women with black hair) intimidate him. Rossi calls him out on it after he attacks him too; Rossi knew he would do it and knew he would wait for Rossi's back to be turned.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Murders several women just because they reminded him of the fiancée who dumped him years ago. And he plans on killing the entire team to get back at Rossi... for exposing his brother as a Serial Killer.
- Engineered Public Confession: Rossi makes him think that he killed the BAU team so that he would confess doing it, with Garcia recording it.
- Evil Genius: Stands out as an UnSub due to his ability to invent machinery deliberately designed to mess with his victims and supposedly kill them.
- Exact Words: Kidnaps a teacher and four students, and then tells the BAU that in 9 hours 5 people will be dead. The exact wording is used twice. First when he claims that the traps will kill someone every 2 hours, pointing out that he didn't say they'd all die at once at the ninth hour mark. The second is when it's revealed the 5 man BAU team are the targets, as he never said the 5 hostages would die.
- Faux Affably Evil: Speaks softly and politely to Rossi about how he will break him.
- First-Name Basis: With Rossi, to boast himself up as a genius while showing no fear towards the trained, veteran FBI agent.
- The Fettered: The team realizes he didn't kill the teacher and kids, even when it looked like he actually started to, because that would have messed up his "perfect" murder pattern.
- Insufferable Genius: He's clearly smart and incredibly full of himself. But he isn't quite as smart as he thinks.
- In the Blood: Firmly believes this. Rossi calls it "junk science" and thinks he's just looking for excuses.
- It's Personal: Blames Rossi for ruining his life...for capturing his Serial Killer older brother.
- Loners Are Freaks: Mentioned as being a non-teaching professor, to the point where nobody on campus seems to know who he is. Justified in that everyone who he had been on normal terms with didn't want to know him after his brother was exposed as a homicidal maniac.
- Misplaced Retribution: David Rossi exposed Henry Grace's brother as a serial killer, resulting in Grace's fiancée leaving him and him becoming ostracized by everyone around him. Grace doesn't hold any hatred for his brother for committing crimes that tarnished their family's reputation.
- Off on a Technicality: Subverted. When he realizes he has lost he tries to pull this off, since he disposed of all his bodies with sulphuric acid and, despite drawing attention to his own killings, the BAU had to simply guesstimate who they thought he might have killed by themselves, while the family he kidnapped never saw him and the team only saved them thanks to highly esoteric and very well hidden clues he left, that border on a Bat Deduction enough that he could plead lack of evidence. But circumstantial evidence along with his Engineered Public Confession are enough to put him away.
- Revenge by Proxy: Wants to kill the rest of the team in order to hurt Rossi.
- Revenge Myopia: Grace's hatred of Rossi is based on the fact that Rossi exposed his brother as a serial killer, resulting in Grace becoming a pariah. This is why he murdered seven women and attempted to do the same to Rossi's friends.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Rossi gives him a nasty one resulting in a breakdown.
- Smug Snake: Absolutely narcissistic, to the point of seeing himself as Rossi's intellectual superior. He isn't.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: After his Trauma Conga Line below, he snapped and decided that if society wanted to treat him like a Serial Killer, then that's exactly what he'd become. And he'd make them regret it.
- Trauma Conga Line: His brother turned out to be a notorious Serial Killer, leading to his fiancée dumping him and everyone he knows distancing themselves from him and his family, nearly ruining his career in the process, while the man who caught said brother went on to become a wealthy and bestselling non-fiction writer and he had nothing.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Masterpiece".
Played by: Gabriel Olds, Curt Roland (young)
A violent misogynistic "lonely hearts" serial killer with a hatred towards "independent" women, gained after attending the "pick-up classes" of a notorious narcissist.
- Best Served Cold: After gaining his confidence boost from Paul Thomas' classes, his first new victim was Vanessa Holden, the girl responsible for his trauma.
- Calling Card: Guts women with a knife before forcing them to clean up the blood they spilled, then killing them with a throat slit. After he started killing his targets at their homes, he'd clean up the blood from each kill and leave the supplies (bleach, ammonia and a trash bag) on the floor in a triangular pattern.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Despite using his mother's job as a maid to berate his victims, he loves her deeply and snapped even further after she became bedridden. When the BAU arrests him, they find his mother in her room with a dialysis machine, needing to be changed.
- Freudian Excuse: As a child and already having voyeuristic tendencies, he was caught almost naked in the closet with his mother's employer's daughter, who gladly threw him under the bus to avoid punishment while gleefully watching him get physically abused in front of his own mother, the maid. The incident made him develop a strong hatred of women and a need to demoralize them.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Developed a massive hatred of women because of his trauma, growing into a serial killer who used to gut and kill prostitutes before Paul Thomas' pick-up classes made Parker gain enough confidence to start attacking higher-profile targets at their homes. He also projects his mother's job onto them and demoralizes them as the "help" by making them "clean" to make them obey him under threat of death, before killing them anyway. Best seen with Austin, with his rage so large that he screams at her face to clean his home.
- Honey Trap: After taking the "Viper"'s pick-up lessons, he started using his good looks to charm women into letting him into their homes so he could torture and kill them.
- Psychological Projection: Parker forces the women he targets to "clean" as a nod to his mother's former job as a maid under an abusive houseowner who beat him up in front of her. It's his way to take down "independent" women and make them suffer what he wanted said woman to go through.
- Spanner in the Works: On the receiving end thanks to bartender lady Austin, who was tipped off by Reid about the UnSub's tendency to pick up women and interrupted his attempt with another girl named Brandi. While this does result in Austin getting kidnapped and briefly abused herself, the BAU is quick to find his apartment and arrest him before he could attack her.
- Villain of the Week: Of "52 Pickup".
Played by: David St Pierre (uncredited)
An unnamed serial killer from Phoenix who snapped after losing one time too many in an underground fight club and took to showing his superiority by cornering and killing authority figures, police officers in particular.
- Asshole Victim: The Giant Mook he shot for humiliating him in their underground fight club, as well as the gang member he shot offscreen. Becomes this himself when the leader of said member's gang interferes with his arrest and shoots him in return.
- Combat Pragmatist: Because he's had his ass thoroughly kicked every time he faced off against someone in a fair fight, he tries to draw people into ambushes and (at least in his first couple of kills, before he "upgrades" to hunting down cops) brings a Hand Cannon to a fist fight.
- David vs. Goliath: Was always an unsuccessful "David" in his fights. So he became a Combat Pragmatist and decided to just shoot his opponents from then on.
- Cop Killer: Has "graduated" from killing street thugs to this, wanting to become The Dreaded.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": We only learn his fight-club nickname: "Animal".
- Freudian Excuse: Had Abusive Parents and a Big Brother Bully, then only got humiliated further when trying to take it out on his fellow fight-club members.
- Silent Antagonist: Doesn't have a single line in the episode for some reason.
- The Napoleon: Grew up bullied and unable to stop it due to his size, which continued into adulthood, until deciding enough was enough.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Brothers in Arms".
- Weak, but Skilled: Can't win a fistfight to save his life, but is a skilled marksman who can even bypass bulletproof vests.
Played by: Mitch Pileggi
A budding thrill killer who targets people in traffic and shoots them with a custom shotgun from his driver-side window. Due to his ridiculously average appearance and upbringing, plus feeling emasculated by his wife and children, he took to killing as a means of receiving any slightest satisfaction he can find... Except it turns out he's far more broken and delusional than he seems.
- Bald of Evil: Mitch Pileggi is bald. Hill is a Serial Killer. It's just fitting.
- Dead All Along: His family.
- Foreshadowing: Throughout the episode it is offhandedly commented how the other workers have not seen his wife in some time despite her being at home. The Reveal shows that they have been dead since he started this persona and has been hallucinating them.
- Going Postal: Subverted. It looks like he's about to when his much-younger supervisor asks him about some overdue paperwork, but he decides against it when the supervisor says he actually likes him as a person, and is just worried that the higher-ups will look for any excuse to fire him due to cutbacks.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: As Norman tries to perfect his "Road Warrior" persona, he takes to wearing a leather jacket and sunglases.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Suffers from a masculine identity crisis, feels particularly unappreciated at work and at home which led him to create the Road Warrior persona.
- My God, What Have I Done?: The man breaks down when he finally remembers that he killed his family earlier.
- Pater Familicide: Killed his entire family, and then starts hallucinating that they are still alive.
- The Perfectionist: Played for Horror. As described by Hotch, Norman puts a lot of time and effort into perfecting his "Road Warrior" persona to "get it just right" in an attempt at getting the same high he felt with his first victim, but the fact he'll never feel that good again just means he's going to kill a lot of people.
- The Reveal: He killed his family before the BAU got the case, and he's been hallucinating that they're still alive ever since.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: The whole theme of the episode, since he's described as being very unassuming and unable to really stand out, either at work or in his social life. It's also a contributing factor as to why he snapped to begin with.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Especially when they've been sawed off and modified so the action can be cycled against the car door.
- Shout-Out: The nickname the media gives Norman is "The Road Warrior", and sure enough, as Norman tries to perfect his methods he starts to wear a leather jacket and sunglasses that make him look like Mad Max or The Terminator.
- Sympathetic Murderer: He witnessed his youngest daughter die, fell into depression and suffered a psychotic break, believing that everyone hated him and blamed him for his baby daughter's death. Early on, he killed his wife and remaining daughters in their sleep and hallucinated that they were still there and were merely upset with him.
- Villainous Breakdown: After getting arrested and realizing his family has been dead the whole time, he breaks down sobbing in Derek's grip.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Normal".
Played by: Michael Boatman (William Harris) & George Newbern (Steven Baleman)
A pair of ephebophilic abductors, serial rapists and killers who share an "intimate" relationship based on their predatory behavior towards teenage girls, starting a mutual friendship and trust where they would secret kidnap, rape and kill their victims away from their families' eyes. The BAU manages to arrest Harris and tries to interrogate him into a confession while his partner Steven becomes increasingly desperate.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Both of them put up the facade of amicable neighbors whose families are as close as they are, when in reality they're dangerous serial rapists hiding their crimes from their loved ones. Harris shows this better through calm, detached smugness during his interrogation, while Steven plays the part of sweet and caring neighbor towards Andrea until she starts following him.
- Broken Pedestal: As a special brand of Laser-Guided Karma, too; Harris is forced to give the police the location where his and Steven's victims were kept (an abandoned warehouse) when the latter kidnaps his daughter Andrea. As the two get angrier at each other over their situation, Andrea puts two and two together and is horrified to learn her father really did rape those girls in Georgia, angrily hitting him and saying she hates him as he and his partner are both taken into custody. Poor Andrea is left sobbing in Prentiss' arms before reuniting with her equally-distraught mother.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Their one rule was "no family allowed", because the two men seemed to genuinely love their wives and, in Harris' case, his daughter Andrea. But this trope is also how the two come undone, since Baleman ends up kidnapping Andrea when she starts getting too close for comfort, and her being taken is what finally pushes Harris to cooperate so he can save her, ending with both of them arrested and their families ruined.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: The premise of the episode; the UnSubs are a pair of sexual predators who met during a block party one time and hit it off through their own coded messages to each other that confirmed they were alike in their depraved desires. The BAU's focus through the episode is to convince Harris to rat out his partner before a girl they kidnapped is killed. When she's found dead, the conflict then becomes saving Andrea Harris when Baleman kidnaps her, forcing Harris into breaking their relationship apart to save her.
- Smug Snake: Harris faced rape accusations once before moving to Sarasota, so he acts completely detached when the BAU takes him in for Missy DeWald's disappearance, not breaking at all and even rubbing it in their faces when she is found dead while he's still in lock-up (since the police assumed it was only one rapist)... But then his daughter vanishes.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Soul Mates".
Played by: Andrew Divoff (father), Cynthia Gibb ("Sylvia"), Slade Pearce (son)
A murderous family of Romani people travelling the United States in search of a bride for their young son, kidnapping young girls and murdering their families in a vicious cycle.
- Bittersweet Ending: The BAU successfully arrests the focal couple and sends the son to rehabilitation, rescuing the kidnapped girl they had with them. However, they were only one cell of the entire clan, which is still roaming the world and carrying out their ritual exactly the same way, so it's unknown if the BAU will ever manage to find and arrest all of them.
- Demonic Possession: They release their first kidnapped girl when she starts suffering from seizures, which they think is a demonic corruption. While they leave her on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere, she's found and rescued.
- The Family That Slays Together: The father and the now-brainwashed mother raise their male son to follow in their footsteps and kidnap young girls so they can be forced into joining them in a vicious generational cycle.
- Holier Than Thou: They firmly believe in their tradition and berate the BAU for not understanding them with a condescending attitude, even when they're completely brought down. Possibly because they only took down one of their groups.
- Magical Romani: Severely downplayed, with their only ritual besides the kidnappings and murders being the throwing of colored glass shards at their kidnapping and temporary resting sites, since they believe it brings them good luck.
- Roguish Romani: A variation; the family isn't a group of tricksters or thieves, they're serial killers and child abductors.
- Stockholm Syndrome: The mother, "Sylvia", is revealed to be a previous kidnapping victim who was made to have this by her "suitor". The family enforces this throughout each generation to make sure the mother is always a willing participant in their crimes.
- That Man Is Dead: "Sylvia" is actually named Kathy Gray, and she was a previous kidnapped girl who was brainwashed into joining the family.
- Trauma Button: "Sylvia" only breaks her sanctimonious attitude when the BAU starts using her real name of Kathy Gray, which due to her own kidnapping and the death of her parents, triggers her memories and makes her have a small breakdown that gives them the location of the father and the second kidnapped girl.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Bloodline".
- Wham Line: After arresting the father and the son, the mother pulls the child close to her cell bars and whispers something in Romani to him. The BAU listens and translate it as "don't tell them about your brothers". Cue a Wham Shot reveal of another segment of the family about to carry out an abduction. They only stopped one tiny segment of the entire family.
Played by: Sam Littlefield, Owen Sholar (child)
A disturbed necrophilic collector-type serial killer and abductor who kidnaps women and forces them into the role of a nanny he had in his childhood who died before his eyes. The case is also "investigated" by a supposed psychic whom Rossi holds very little respect for.
- Calling Card: In periods of three months, Gless abducted women who physically resembled his childhood nanny Abigail Hansen (blondes in their mid twenties with blue eyes), changed their appearance by cutting their hair and giving them jewelry taken directly from Hansen's corpse, then forced them to act out like her through brainwashing them with drugs and imprisonment. Once they were sufficiently subdued, he'd kill them by removing their blood while simultaneously embalming their bodies, after which he'd have sex with their corpses. When they decayed enough, he'd dispose of the bodies with a proper burial at a nearby park.
- Creepy Souvenir: He dug up his nanny's rotted corpse to take her jewels so he could have his victims use them. He also stores the victims' bodies for as long as he can before needing to dispose of them.
- Freudian Excuse: His nanny, Abby Hansen, died from myocarditis while watching over Gless, his parents away on a cruise vacation at the time. His only company being her dead body, it wasn't until three days later when his parents returned and found out that their son was having the dead body hug him for comfort.
- I Love the Dead: A necrophile in love with the memory of his nanny, who died while watching him in his childhood. After killing his victims, he'd embalm their bodies and then proceed to have sex with them.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The presence of Stanley Usher, a psychic who's volunteered to help with the investigation, makes things a little hazy when his predictions start coming across as somewhat accurate in revealing the whereabouts of Gless or his victims (although he did indicate another necrophile as a suspect who was unrelated to the case). The BAU finds and arrests Gless without any obvious indication that Usher's last "vision" was correct, until Rossi notices that Gless' hideout is near a billboard with a "rocky shore" in it.
- Meaningful Name: Along with Stanley Usher, Roderick's name is a decomposite of Roderick Usher, a character from Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: He suffers from delirious visions of his nanny. When the BAU is taking him away, Roderick sees Abby rise up from where Brooke Lombardini is and smile at him, making him call out for her in despair.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Cold Comfort".
Played by: Johnny Lewis
A budding serial killer and rapist, starting out as a copycat of famous historical murderers in order to find a signature he likes. He comes under the BAU's sights after murdering Zoe Hawkes, a criminology student and a fan of Rossi's.
- Cradling Your Kill: His signature is to gently kiss his victims on the forehead post-mortem.
- Disposable Sex Worker: His sixth victim was a prostitute who had her throat slashed.
- Disposable Vagrant: His twelfth and final victim was homeless woman who was strangled with a garrote.
- Evil Counterpart: For Zoe Hawkes. Both are young criminology students with extreme knowledge of serial killers and avid fans of David Rossi. Unlike Zoe, Eric chose to become a serial killer rather than catching them.
- Faux Affably Evil: Is calm and polite to Rossi and Zoe Hawkes, before strangling her to death with her own scarf.
- For the Evulz: "I'll be honest with you if you're honest with me. 'Cause the one thing that you always ask is the one I don't understand: why. I've no idea why."
- It's Personal: Rossi feels responsible for the murder of Zoe Hawkes, Eric's tenth victim, who attended to Rossi's book tour in Cleveland, and was motivated by him to investigate the mysterious and apparently unconnected local murders. It didn't end well for her.
- Jack the Ripoff: Part of his "budding" phase as a murderer, since he was trying to find a signature of his own.
- Kill the Cutie: Kills young and sweet aspiring criminologist Zoe Hawkes.
- Lack of Empathy: He even says as much when interviewed, claiming he doesn't understand why he's like this but not seeming to really care about it either.
- Loony Fan: He also reads Rossi's books on criminology, except he uses the information to fashion himself as a proper serial killer. At the end of the episode, he's clearly happy to talk about all of his psychopathic thought processes with his favorite author.
- Oh, Crap!: When learning that the bodies of his first four victims were found.
- Serial Killer: Budding into one, and trying to see what signature better suits him.
- That One Case: Not as bad as some other examples, but this was one of many who did a number on Rossi by making him feel directly responsible for a victim's death at the hands of the UnSub, especially because all Zoe wanted was to be acknowledged... But unfortunately, so did Eric.
- The Sociopath: Profiled as one, especially in regards to his lack of social skills.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Zoe's Reprise".
- Villain Respect: Much like Zoe, Eric admires Rossi and his work.
Played by: Brianna Brown
A serial poisoner-turned-spree killer who poses as a high-class call girl in order to seduce and murder corrupt executives.
- Abusive Parents: Of the neglectful and violent variety, with her father Andrew refusing to even pay child support.
- Black Bra and Panties: In the opening shot of the episode.
- Brains and Bondage: She's a learned woman and at least one of her victims had been consensually bonded before being poisoned.
- Broken Bird: With her family constantly abusing her and her father in particular cheating on his wife with call girl after call girl, using his money only to fulfull his own selfish desires, Megan was left a mere shell of a woman who, despite her intelligence, devoted her entire life to revenge against men like her father.
- Daddy's Girl: Averted. Her father is an abusive and violent man, who nevertheless tries to use this trope to get what he wants from her. He fails.
- Dating Catwoman: Her interaction with Hotch implies she sees herself this way. Her reaction to Trent claiming that the FBI was in the pocket of the Execs she was exposing with her murders made her feel like Hotch was no better than the people she was trying to hurt. Though her mind changed when Hotch stayed with her when she died.
- Dominatrix: Some of her clients wanted her to play this role.
- Driven to Suicide: After a final aggressive move from her father, coupled with him trying to silence the case and keep it from getting public to preserve his own reputation. Except she gives Hotch her client list and she at least dies with the promise that her father and his team will be exposed as corrupt, which is what Hotch does.
- Eat the Rich: Only hunts Corrupt Corporate Executives.
- Femme Fatale: Of the vigilante variety.
- First-Name Basis: Assumes one with Hotch, openly calling him Aaron. Much to the surprise of the team.
- Freudian Excuse: Her father was himself a rich businessman who often took in call girls.
- High-Class Call Girl: Though not for money. She wanted to punish the men on her list.
- Kick the Dog: When she shot Trent Rabner, a childless widower who had always been faithful to his wife until the end. Though it was more due to her disgust at his arrogance that he seemed to believe that they had the FBI under their thumb.
- Ms. Fanservice: Invoked as part of her M.O.
- Parental Abandonment: Her father couldn't even be bothered to pay for her care, instead using his money on hedonistic pleasures and abusing his position to silence any scandals against him.
- Stay with Me Until I Die: She asks this to Hotch after poisoning herself.
- Sympathetic Murderer: With only one exception (Trent Rabner, who she killed only because she was devolving), all her victims were jerks.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Pleasure is my Business".
- Worthy Opponent: Has the highest respect for Hotch (though she wishes they weren't opponents), for how he was faithful to his wife and is trying to be present in his son's life. She even wonders "How could your wife have ever left you?".
Played by: Carmen Argenziano
A Vatican priest who performs exorcisms as he crusades through the world, but is actually a serial killer and poisoner disguising his vengeful murders as holy missions.
- Dead Partner: He lost his former colleague in Galicia, Father Del Toro, to a heart attack that was rumored to actually have been a murder case. He therefore targets the people he thinks are responsible for it.
- Diplomatic Immunity: The BAU figures out who he is much earlier than usual, but they're still prevented from arresting him because he's protected by the Italian government as a diplomatic envoy from both Italy and the Vatican, meaning the FBI can't lay a finger on him. They only manage to arrest him when Hotch contacts the Vatican itself to have them revoke his immunity by showing them evidence of his murders.
- Faceless Mooks: He has two helpers with him that restrain his victims so he can perform his exorcisms. While not seen often in the episode, it's safe to say they were likely extradited along with him.
- Hollywood Exorcism: Deliberate, as he's not truly exorcising his victims, just killing them in revenge for his friend's death.
- It's Personal: For Prentiss, who lost two of her close associates in Galicia to Silvano's "crusade" and is herself very critical of Christianity because of her childhood in Europe. She almost loses another friend had Hotch not decided to intervene at her and Rossi's insistence.
- Master Poisoner: Uses an unnamed toxin to induce heart attacks on his "exorcisms", which is mixed into his holy water. He unsuccessfully tries to use it on Prentiss when she arrests him by splashing it at her.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: He claims he's on a mission from God to purge evil from people's souls and that their deaths are due to the large quantity of it, but it's all just an excuse for him to kill as he pleases while he's protected by his diplomatic immunity. The fact that he's killing people he perceives as responsible for the death of his partner only makes it more hypocritical of him.
- Sinister Minister: A priest licensed by the Vatican to perform exorcisms in his crusade... except he's actually killing people he holds responsible for the death of a friend, entirely out of personal belief and completely unrepentant about it.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Demonology".
Played by: Tommy Dewey, Drew James (teenager)
A vengeful and delusional serial arsonist and killer targeting the small town of Royal, Indiana, burning the place down while searching for his sister Tina and looking to be together with her.
- BrotherSister Incest: The citizens of Royal accused Tommy of this when his "love map" became warped by only having his sister Tina in his life at that point. When he comes back to set the town on fire for wronging him, his end goal is to escape with Tina and actually have an incestuous relationship with her, much to her horror.
- Hostage Situation: He forces Tina to go with him to the community center where the Spring Formal happened years ago and tells her what he did and that he wants to be in a relationship with her, to which Tina naturally reacts with shock and horror. The BAU and the police bursting in, he drops gasoline on their feet and holds up a match, threatening to burn himself and Tina.
- Playing with Fire: Tommy and Tina's parents both died in a house fire that affected the former way more than the latter, and the emotional unbalance eventually downgraded into a fascination with fire after he became a pariah in Royal. When he came back, he practiced setting his fires until finally starting his spree with public locations he had access to. When the BAU corners him, his endgame is to be Together in Death with Tina by setting them both ablaze.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: All of Royal's citizenship ganged up on Tommy after he started showing warped emotional affection towards his sister because of his trauma, thinking their relationship was becoming incestuous, leading to a gang assaulting him during the town's Spring Formal ball. This caused his grandparents to send him to a boarding school and cut his ties with Tina to keep him away from the town, but the damage was done; Wheeler had already planned to go back to Royal and start setting fires to make the town regret their treatment of him. Even Garcia, not unlike how Reid called out the people of West Bune for abandoning Owen Savage, blasts the police force of Royal for refusing to look into the assault or not giving Tommy actual therapy, which could have prevented the 36 deaths he's caused in the episode.
- It's also strongly implied that while Tina becoming his only supportive figure messed up Tommy's "love map" to a degree, the feelings only truly became incestuous after the abuse he suffered at the citizens' hands made him truly believe that they were.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: When he and Tina are at the community center, Tommy starts hallucinating the Spring Formal dance he was attacked at, which is shown to the viewer.
- Tragic Villain: He's a mentally disturbed young man bullied by the citizens of the small town he lived in, something which only worsened his condition. It's clear by the time he's arrested that he's really far gone into his thoughts and obsessions and needs to be institutionalized.
- Villain of the Week: Of "House on Fire".
- Villainous Breakdown: When Tina rejects his advances, he starts hallucinating the Spring Formal at the community center and becomes increasingly agitated, to the point he threatens to burn himself and her together when the BAU barges in to get her out.
Played by: Jackson Rathbone
A delusional serial killer and rapist who somehow manages to kill men way bigger and stronger than himself. He suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder, and his other self Amanda is the one who performs the killings, triggered whenever Adam is attacked or harassed.
- Asshole Victims: His preferred victims were jerkasses who reminded him of his stepfather. At least one cheated on his girlfriend with no remorse and they all tended to treat women badly. One even shoved him to the ground when Adam tried to stand up for a girl he was bothering.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Adam is, on his own, a pretty nice and likable guy. But when he snaps, he goes into full berserker rage.
- Freudian Excuse: Was abused physically and sexually by his stepfather when he was a boy. The trauma of the abuse spawned a Split Personality who only comes out when Adam is harassed or bullied by dominant men. Unfortunately for him, he has no clue about any of this.
- Knight Templar Big Brother:Amanda eventually buried Adam in an attempt to keep him from harm.
- More Deadly Than the Male: It's Amanda doing the raping and killing, Adam doesn't know anything about it.
- Pretty Boy: Notice that it plays an important role in his murders.
- Serial Killer: Of men who fit the "alpha" mold, ie strong and toxically-masculine.
- Southern Belle: Amanda is a decidedly mauvaise example.
- Split-Personality Takeover: To protect Adam from any more danger, Amanda suppresses his presence. Chances are that he will never come back and Amanda will be his replacement.
- Sympathetic Murderer: He doesn't even know he murders people and Amanda does it because that's her idea of protecting him.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Conflicted".
Played by: Kendall Ryan Sanders
A 9-year-old boy who murdered his younger sibling in cold blood over a petty accident. While his parents defend it as a child getting carried away, they're unaware that their son is something far more sinister.
- Ax-Crazy: Danny possesses a murderous Hair-Trigger Temper, to the point where he murdered his brother for breaking his toys and murdered a puppy the family brought home because he felt like it.
- Big Brother Bully: Implied in dialogue, but he was already a terrible brother to the younger Kyle, if his cold dismissal of his death and referring to him as a "baby" is any indication.
- Cain and Abel: Killed his seven-year-old brother, Kyle, for the horrible crime of breaking his model plane.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Choked Kyle to death by shoving his model airplane's parts down his throat.
- Enfante Terrible: At nine years old, he's both the youngest sociopath and the youngest UnSub in general presented in the series by far.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Has an absolutely explosive temper, at one point becoming enraged over his inability to open a bag of chips. It's also what led him to kill his own younger brother.
- Kick the Dog: Once murdered a puppy his family brought home. For no reason.
- Lack of Empathy: Danny has far more attachment to his model planes than he does to his dog, his brother, or even his parents. He's also incapable of real emotion in general, though he can fake it when it's convenient to him.
- Manipulative Bastard: Fooled his parents into believing he was sorry as a way to avoid punishment.
- Oh, Crap!: When his dad comes with the sheriff, he immediately fakes regretting his actions. Given how cold he was when his mom asked him why he killed his brother, it's clear he just didn't want to get arrested.
- The Resenter: Resented Kyle for being a "baby", but really it was just because he existed.
- The Sociopath: Described by Prentiss as a "textbook sociopath."
- Villain of the Week: Of "A Shade of Grey".
Played by: Alex O'Loughlin
A prollific-yet-traumatized serial killer who watched his mother be killed by his father as a child. Reliving the event on loop in his mind and through his recording of it, he ended up killing the mother of a blind young boy named Stanley, who he befriended through a mentoring program. Although Stanley helped Vincent "see" and stopped his crimes for a long time, Vincent went back into an active state after hearing that Stanley's foster mom planned to move to California with him.
- Affably Evil: Especially towards his Morality Pet Stanley.
- Chronic Villainy: His disorder compels him to keep recreating the murder he witnessed his father commit.
- Freudian Excuse: His modus operandi is similar to the way his mother was killed.
- Morality Pet: Found one in Stan, to the point the boy was single-handedly responsible for stopping his murder spree for a good year.
- Mugging the Monster: A group of gang bangers try to rob him, and their leader gets stabbed to death as a result.
- Nerd Glasses: He wears these and has a camera installed on them.
- Parental Substitute: Perceived this way by Stan. Even after Vincent confesses to killing his mother.Stanley: I wish you were my dad.
- Power Born of Madness: While devolving, he has an extremely high tolerance to pain.
- Quiet Cry for Help: At some point during one of his murders, he writes out a message asking for help. Because of his OCD, he might feel like he's stuck in a neverending loop and he wants to stop, but he can't.
- Redemption Equals Death: His last murders showed hints of remorse, and right before dying he told Stanley that he had helped him "to see".
- Serial Killer: His MO involves killing blonde women. That's because his mother was a blonde and she was murdered by his father.
- Sympathetic Murderer: One of the rare cases in which the victims were not assholes.
- Terrified of Germs: As a result of OCD.
- Troubled, but Cute: One of his victims describes him as "weird but cute".
- Villain of the Week: Of "The Big Wheel".
- Worst Aid: He treats a bullet wound by stuffing a piece of sandwich in it and sealing it with duct tape.
Played by: David Dean Bottrell
A spree killer and homegrown terrorist targeting Annapolis, using a homemade strain of anthrax to kill massive amounts of people which also ends up putting Reid's life in danger.
- Batman Gambit: When the BAU corner him in a subway station near Fort Detrick (his old workplace), General Witworth steps in and stops the arrest on the grounds that he wants to enlist Brown as a consultant on making the vaccine against this new strain, thus giving him the validation he seeks. But in the distraction, Morgan moves in and arrests Brown, revealing the whole thing to be a setup by Hotch to make him lower his guard.
- Cassandra Truth: He's concerned that the country is wide open to another outbreak, but thinks the government is ignoring him. This is subverted the second he starts causing anthrax outbreaks to prove his point.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: His primary motivation, feeling invalidated and ignored by the government when he tried to tell them about how "vulnerable" America was to another anthrax attack, even writing a thesis about it that was passed over as radical. This is such a big part of his motives, in fact, that it downplays any signs of Brown being Properly Paranoid when his outbreak targets were all locations he associated with personal rejection.
- Find the Cure: His weaponized strain of anthrax, still present in Dr. Nichols' lab building, contaminates Reid when he investigates the place with Morgan, putting his life on the line and giving them a time limit to get the cure out of Brown before they lose Reid to the disease. As it turns out, he hid the cure in his asthma inhaler.
- It's All About Me: Brown claims that his attacks are meant to show the government how vulnerable America is to another anthrax attack. However, the places he targets all happen to be associated with the rejections he has had in his life (the bookstore that fired him, the place where his marriage proposal to his girlfriend was rejected, etc). He even demands they name the strain of anthrax he created after him, showing that his actions are driven by nothing more than his need for validation.
- A Million is a Statistic: He was denied a civilian position of study in Fort Detrick because he failed his psyche evaluation by repeatedly answering that it was entirely appropriate to sacrifice a few for the sake of the many. In his mind, it's totally fine to kill nameless innocents in a "small" or "localized" quantity if it means protecting the population as a whole.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: No matter how many times he claims he's doing it for the sake of the USA, his methodology speaks otherwise, since he caused outbreaks in public locations specifically related to himself and his repeated rejection at the hands of authority figures, with the first location being the bookstore he was fired from.
- The Paranoiac: Firmly believes the United States are completely vulnerable to another mass outbreak just like the "Amerithrax" attacks post-9/11, but feels his concerns are being ignored by the government.
- Plague Master: He worked under his superior, Dr. Nichols, to create a variant of anthrax that acts twice as fast as the original, and has essentially used a bunch of public locations in Annapolis as his own testing grounds.
- There Is Another: The team's profile initially applied to Dr. Lawrence Nichols, an anti-WMD expert at Fort Detrick with his own opinions regarding anthrax outbreaks, but it's only after they find him dead in his contaminated laboratory that they discover they're looking for his far-more-paranoid apprentice.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Amplification".
Played by: Lawrence Pressman & Tom Ohmer
Terminally ill and on the verge of dying, Judge Boyd Schuller hired hitman Tony Mecacci, one he himself saw sent to jail, to hunt down and kill a number of criminals who got away with murder.
- Affably Evil: Mecacci.
- Anti-Villain: Boyd, who saw several criminals walk away scot-free in his career, and snapped after being told he was dying.
- Asshole Victim: Mecacci. And all the victims that had got away before.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Tony may be a hitman, but even he is disgusted by his victims's actions.
- Hanging Judge: Schuller. He could have been it even before his wife's death, if you consider that the victims on his list were supposed to be the worst criminals that had got away when he was in charge.
- I Lied: Schuller claims that the man who killed his wife was the last person on the list, but during his Perp Walk he admits he lied and is gunned down by Mecacci, revealing himself to be the last person on the list.
- Karma Houdini: Played with. Schuller dies, but he accomplishes everything he set out to do, and goes out the way he wanted to, making him arguably this — though he himself believes his terminal cancer diagnosis was actually an in-advance punishment. Mecacci, meanwhile, is one of the countable-on-one-hand number of UnSubs to elude the FBI completely... but in literally the last couple seconds of the episode, he's gunned down by the surrogate son of a mob boss he recently murdered to conceal his identity.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Mecacci.
- Knight Templar: Schuller.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Mecacci is killed with two gunshots (the same modus operandi he used with his victims).
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Mecacci was given a list of people who were tried in Boyd's trials in the past but got away with felonies and murders.
- Poetic Serial Killer: Victims were mutilated and/or tortured in ways that reflected their crimes.
- Professional Killer: Mecacci.
- Start of Darkness: For Schuller, it was his wife's death.
- Sympathetic Murderer: A rare case (for this series) in which each one of his victims had it coming.
- Thanatos Gambit: Schuller had been diagnosed with a terminal cancer, and put his own name as the last one on the list.
- To Be Lawful or Good: Schuller's choice, even if radical.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Reckoner".
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Schuller really believes he's acting for justice.
- Wicked Cultured: Tony Mecacci adopted his alias "Bosola" after a character of the same name in the play The Duchess of Malfi.
Played by: Travis Aaron Wade (J. Turner), Clayne Crawford (C. Vincent) & Blake Shields (J.R. Baker)
A group of three thrill and spree killers who vandalize and kill as their own twisted idea of fun. Their unnamed leader is Turner, who acts as the "alpha".
- Bald of Evil: Baker.
- Beard of Evil: All three have lightly-shaved goatees.
- Body in a Breadbox: Their first victim, one of their richer employers, was stuffed into the wall of his own apartment that they remodeled.
- For the Evulz: The BAU profiles the trio as seeking confrontation and violence just for the "fun" of it, since they feel disenfranchised and like they have nothing to life for anyway besides creating chaos and acting like they're owed attention.
- Last-Name Basis: To fit with the fact they're unassuming to the public at large, their first names are never revealed.
- Rage-Breaking Point: The Washington police force, the lead detective in particular, repeatedly tell the BAU to either capture the trio or let them handle it their own way. Unfortunately for the BAU, they're so extremely pissed off after the plan with the rioters fails that the main group correctly predicts that the police will eventually give the UnSubs exactly what they want and kill them in a staged stand-off. Their jobs done, Hotch feels the only thing left to do is walk out.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: The three are contract construction workers who blend in with the crowd precisely because they look so common otherwise. It's also part of why they kill people for laughs.
- Sole Survivor: Baker, who's arrested at their hideout after the other two leave when they see the cops arrive.
- Suicide by Cop: The BAU's profile states their spree will continue to the point that this is how they're going to die, willingly leaving themselves open to the angry police force wanting their heads. Only Baker avoids this by staying behind at their hideout when the two escape to initiate a "stand-off" precisely so this will happen.
- Snuff Film: They record their home invasions and brutal murder sprees so they can edit it later to make it more "radical", even adding a hard rock song as background music.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Hopeless".
Played by: Todd Giebenhain
A serial-turned-spree killer from Oklahoma City who is dubbed an "enucleator", removing the eyes of his victims post-mortem as souvenirs.
- Calling Card: Killing his victims in traps like a hunter, then removing their eyes post-mortem with the utmost care to make sure they'd stay intact.
- Creepy Souvenir: Removes his victims' eyes to use in his taxidermy animals.
- Eye Motifs: His entire thing is eyes, being obsessed with them since childhood and now targeting random victims to use their eyeballs for his taxidermy pieces. He even creepily compliments JJ on hers when he's under police custody.
- Eye Scream: He's obsessed with eyes, having a mother who died of a degenerative eye disease and a father who worked in taxidermy who taught him how to properly remove an animal's eyes for the process. As a spree killer, he targets people out in the open and removes their eyeballs post-mortem to use on his taxidermy subjects.
- Freudian Excuse: His mother died early in his childhood from retinitis pigmentosa, and while his father was not abusive, he did think hunting and taxidermizing were the best ways to help raise his son, unaware that he was getting in trouble frequently and almost seriously hurt a kid at school by trying to gouge his eyes out.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Corners people out in the open with traps like animals before killing them, something taken from his hunting lessons given by his father.
- Taxidermy Is Creepy: Can't get any creepier than a deranged taxidermist who hunts down people to use their eyes for his subjects.
- Taxidermy Terror: He uses his victims' eyes to give an air of "authenticity" to the animals in his shop, trying to raise their value to keep the family business afloat, as well as satisfying his fascination with them.
- Villain of the Week: Of "The Eyes Have It".
Played by: Inbar Lavi & Eddie Jemison
A schizophrenic "vampirist"-type serial killer with an obsession for goth singer Paul "Dante" Davies, killing his fans and draining their blood out of a belief she's sacrificing them for her idol. Her spree is actually being encouraged by Dante's manager Ray, who sees this as a golden opportunity to boost sales of his client's latest album.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Gina is the episode's UnSub, but as soon as she's revealed to be so, it's clear that she's way too disorganized to be acting by herself. Sure enough, she's being guided by her idol's manager as a ploy to increase his album sales.
- Bloodlust: As a "vampirist" serial killer, Gina kills her victims and then drains them of their blood for comsumption, even storing the rest in jars for later use since she's compulsively obsessed with it. She's even rendered harmless during the final confrontation after a strike to the back of Campion's head makes him bleed, making her take notice immediately.
- Calling Card: Gina killed her victims through asphyxiation, took them to her home and drained/consumed their blood by causing puncture marks on their necks with an industrial scratch awl, storing the remaining blood in jars. Starting with Tara Ferris, she started writing "The Liar" (the name of Dante's then-latest album) with blood on the bodies before disposing of them near highways.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The profile states that a "vampirist" will often be someone young with No Social Skills living with a relative they're helping to take care of. Gina was indeed helping to take care of her sickly grandmother, but she's implied to have passed away before the events of the episode... not that Gina's schizophrenia allowed her to notice.
- Goth: Dante himself, as well as the vast majority of his fans, including Gina. The problem is that she takes the subculture's vampire motifs way too far, to say the least.
- The Heavy: Gina is the episode's UnSub who does all the killing. Campion is merely the mastermind who's guiding her hand.
- Loony Fan: Gina is a mentally-disturbed fan of singer Paul Davies, better known as the goth musician "Dante", whom she worships as a vampire god. Before the episode's events, she posted several disturbing messages on Dante's fan forums, promising to kill for him.
- The Sociopath: Campion, who sees absolutely no problem with manipulating a mentally-disturbed Dante fangirl to kill other fans as a way of getting his client's latest album to rise up in sales numbers.
- Smooth-Talking Talent Agent: Ray Campion is Dante's manager, shown to be the usual sleazy type the trope is often portrayed as... Except he is a sociopath who's perfectly willing to use people's lives for his client's benefit. The BAU even realizes there might be a second party involved when they see that Dante's involvement with the case (and being a key suspect) is causing his latest album's sales to skyrocket.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: Campion knocks out JJ when she arrives at Gina's house alone to investigate her, even trying to convince Gina to kill her right then and there, actually thinking this will somehow throw the BAU off their trail.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Gina is shown as this to an extent, being a mentally-ill young lady devoted to taking care of her sickly grandma and even being hesitant to continue killing despite Campion's insistence.
- Villain of the Week: Of "The Performer".
Played by: Kristina Klebe
A traumatized Bosnian-Muslim whose family was killed during the Srebenica massacre, Miranda has become a family annihilator who feels a psychological compulsion to recreate the mental image she has of their mass grave using the bodies of military families. The BAU is forced to interview previous UnSub Karl Arnold once he starts receiving clippings of Miranda's murders.
- Ax-Crazy: Due to her fractured psyche, she has a tendency to lapse into homicidal rages and goes on a violent killing spree, becoming downright animalistic when facing Morgan.
- Berserk Button: Any sound that she can associate with combat will send her into a violent psychological break. The sound of military jets overhead has an especially bad effect on her.
- The Berserker: By the time she encounters Morgan in a fistfight Miranda's a raging lunatic with little ability to control her actions and overwhelming physical strength.
- Blood from the Mouth: After she's been fatally shot by Morgan.
- Child Soldier: Whether she actually served in one of the Bosnian militias is unclear, but Miranda clearly had to learn to kill in order to survive her teenage years.
- Dark Action Girl: Physically overpowers Morgan during their fight, forcing him to shoot her with her own gun in order to survive.
- Expy: Of Season 2's Roy Woodridge. Roy was an American veteran who killed whenever he was reminded of the time he was shot down over Somalia, Miranda a Bosnian veteran who kills every time she's reminded of Srebenica.
- Freudian Excuse: A shellshocked Bosnian war veteran who is driven to murder every time she flashes back to her days as a victim of genocide.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Unable to shake her off or reach his own gun, Morgan turns her own weapon around and causes her to shoot herself.
- Language Barrier: Miranda speaks almost no English and spends most of her time gibbering to herself in the Bosnian variant of Serbo-Croatian.
- The Mentally Disturbed: In addition to her antisocial personality disorder, Miranda suffers from a severely fractured psyche and kills whenever something causes her to flashback to her childhood in Bosnia.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: She's not exactly an enormous woman, yet is able to physically manhandle Morgan.
- Parental Abandonment: Twice over. Her birth family died in the 1980s and her adoptive family were killed in Srebenica.
- Power Born of Madness: A more mundane example than most. Miranda's immense physical strength and high pain tolerance stem from her fractured psychological state.
- Psychopathic Manchild: In her head Miranda's trapped in Bosnia as a teenage girl trying to survive the genocide.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: As Rossi remarks, a psychopath growing up in the midst of the Yugoslav Civil War was never going to end well.
- The Sociopath: Referred to as a "psychopath" by the team, though she's got other problems as well.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Miranda may be a psychopath but she's also a survivor of genocide who only kills when she feels threatened or otherwise flashes back to her victimization.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Outfoxed".
Played by: Wes Brown
A dangerous and delusional misogynistic serial killer and stalker in Tennessee who kills women after forcing them to act out his spousal revenge fantasies. The BAU is forced to handle the case without Hotch, as he's on leave after finally dealing with The Reaper.
- Calling Card: Invading the homes of well-to-do Caucasian and brunette women in high professional positions after stalking them through his job as a valet, Belser would leave a rose petal at their doorstep before forcing the women to comply with a romantic fantasy he planned out that involved dinner and sex. He'd then stab them mercilessly when they inevitably broke the fantasy, most often by resisting his advances.
- Cuckold: His snapping point, having his fiancée cheat on him with his best man at their wedding day, and the pricey event causing Belser to fall further into debt.
- He-Man Woman Hater: A violent misogynist who targets wealthy women and beats them down to make them comply to his sick revenge fantasies, projecting his ex-fiancée onto them. Belser deliberately approaches them in ways that demean them and make them "lesser" in his eyes so he can beat and kill the resistance out of them, with Erika Silverman only lasting slightly longer because she didn't resist him as much at first, trying to stay alive.
- It's Personal: Downplayed, but Prentiss takes the pains of the victims to herself as the case goes on, sickened that the women spent their last moments in pain. She even spits Belser's mania to make them "comply" onto his face as she arrests him.
- Psycho Knife Nut: Belser's favorite killing method is to brutally stab the targeted women to death, even making it extra brutal when they resist his advances and break the fantasy he sets up.
- Psychological Projection: Kills women who remind him of his ex-fiancée Rose Smith, who cheated on him at the wedding day with the best man. His revenge fantasies are all about doing what he always wanted to do with her as retaliation.
- Start of Darkness: Graduated from a wealthy secondary school in 2003 at the same time his parents died, causing him to lose his inheritance in the stock market. In 2009, he was set to marry a wealthy magazine publisher named Rose Smith but she was caught sleeping with the best man, and the pricey wedding being called off meant he was launched even further into debt. Enraged, Belser started venting out his rage by killing women who resembled Smith.
- Villain of the Week: Of "The Slave of Duty".
Played by: Lee Tergesen
A bank robber-turned-serial killer and abductor from Lockport, New York. The BAU had already successfully apprehended him after making a profile, but a car crash allows him to escape and pick up from where he left off, an elaborate revenge scheme against officer Joe Muller, who helped put Schrader away in the past.
- Abusive Parents: The BAU initially caught him after he kidnapped his own daughter Jenny. Turns out, while he didn't ever plan to hurt her, Jenny was just another pawn in his big picture.
- Best Served Cold: After Muller sent him to jail, Schrader spent his entire time there acting on good behavior while secretly plotting an entire revenge scheme against him and the people responsible for putting him in lock-up, waiting patiently until he was released to carry it out.
- Crazy-Prepared: His revenge plan against Joe Muller accounted for several possible setbacks, up to and including the likelihood of being recaptured, all from having his family as hostages to motivate him into complying. Even his death was deliberate, as a final "screw you" to Muller since he took the information of their location with him to the grave, which thankfully the BAU averts by finding and saving them.
- I Have Your Wife: How he forced Joe Muller into becoming his unwilling accomplice, by kidnapping his wife and children and taking them to his former accomplice's drug den, although he of course never told Joe of their location. The information was the only thing he needed to keep Muller obedient, and him dying to the BAU makes the poor cop almost snap at them, thinking he's lost them forever until they find the drug den they were being kept at.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Unlike several other UnSubs in the show, the BAU apprehends Schrader right at the beginning of the episode. Unfortunately, he planned his escape in case he was caught and the episode is about recapturing him as he continues his revenge spree against Joe Muller and the other people responsible for his first arrest.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: The BAU initially profiled Schrader as sloppy and non-intelligent because of him kidnapping his daughter. Turns out he's actually The Unfettered and one of the very few UnSubs to play even the BAU for fools in his scheme, as he's actually scarily intelligent. Right before the crash that frees him, he even accurately quotes historian Thomas Fuller to Prentiss just to tease her that they're not done with him yet. Even his DEATH was all according to his plan.
- Revenge: Targets the people who were somehow responsible for his very first arrest, including his former partner Dan Otey (who ratted him out) and drug dealer Stacy Ryan (who was ambivalent about taking part in the plan).
- Sadist: An utter bastard of a man who plotted an entire scheme to get back at the people responsible for his arrest, especially the undercover cop responsible for the operation, by kidnapping the man's family and keeping the location a secret unless he obeyed. He even offers Muller some chances to kill him just to further flaunt the power he has over him, since he knows he can't do it.
- Suicide by Cop: Surrounded by the police and the BAU again, Schrader taunts them before deliberately getting himself shot so he'd take the location of Joe Muller's family with him, as a form of insurance that they'd never be found (it doesn't stick).
- Villain of the Week: Of "Retaliation".
Played by: Jennifer Hasty
A collector-type serial killer who kidnaps specific women and paralyzes them using sedatives to make them resemble a set of dolls she used to play with. But it's revealed that she never meant to kill anyone.
- Abusive Parents: Her father used to molest her as a child. To keep her from telling what he had done, he coached her on what to say, making her undergo electroshock therapy if she ever got the story wrong, which permanently warped her mind.
- Accidental Murder: She doesn't want her victims to die. Instead, she does her best to keep them alive, even if the state of paralysis in which they are inevitably leads to their death.
- And I Must Scream: She uses injections to paralyze her victims so she can dress them up and have tea parties with them.
- Anti-Villain: She's not even trying to kill her victims, she just wants her dolls back, because they were the closest things she had to friends as a child due to the abuse she suffered from her father.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Her dolls are a blonde, a redhead, and an African-American girl.
- Collector of the Strange: Living dolls.
- Freudian Excuse: Her father sexually abused her when she was young and subjected her to electroshock therapy to keep her from telling anyone about what he did. As a result, she's very childlike and is socially withdrawn.
- Insanity Defense: It's clear from the episode that she will be sent to an institution rather than prison due to a combination of diminished capacity and the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father.
- Living Doll Collector: A more human one than most examples, all things considering.
- Loners Are Freaks: Samantha doesn't seem to have any friends.
- Missing Mom: Her mother's death was where her troubles all started.
- No Social Skills: Part of her profile. She's skilled enough to lure her next victim into her van, but generally she behaves in a clumsy and paranoid way.
- Please, Don't Leave Me: When one of her "dolls" attempts to escape, Samantha begs for her not to leave.
- Psychopathic Womanchild: The way she acts and moves puts you in the mind of a five-year-old. She even has tea parties with her "dolls". Also, when one of her victims dies, she leaves the body in places crowded by children, like parks or carnivals.
- Replacement Goldfish: Her human dolls are a replacement for the dolls that she had from a contest years ago.
- Serial Killer: Subverted. Her intention isn't to kill anyone, but to replace lost possessions. The deaths are a result of her constantly sedating the women and being unaware of any medical conditions they may have.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Because of her father's abuse, she maintains a childlike mindset and is quite troubled. Not only that, but the women she kidnaps aren't Asshole Victims and only die because of the injections she's constantly feeding them.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: Fitting with her ongoing fascination with feminine trappings, Samantha is an expert seamstress.
- Villain of the Week: Of "The Uncanny Valley".
Played by: John Pyper-Ferguson
A fire department EMT who is secretly a psychopath with a hero complex, masterminding an online "game" encouraging teenagers in Wyoming to choke themselves so he can save them later. The BAU is called in when his scheme gets four students killed, with his own son Chris becoming a suspect.
- Abusive Parents: Once his wife died in the hospital after enduring his poisoning for too long, he turned his attention to his son Chris, choking him into unconsciousness and then ressucitating him, something he kept going for years. Even worse, when Garcia shuts down his website just when he's rounding up more victims, he becomes so enraged that he just flat-out tries to choke Chris, either to death or to once again get the satisfaction he craves.
- Batman Gambit: From his son Chris, who slips several clues to the BAU during his interrogation with Garcia, as well as secretly passing over his earring to her, which proves to be another clue to where Will would conduct his final operation - the local graveyard where his wife is buried - which ends up getting the BAU there just in time to save Chris.
- Engineered Heroics: His Münchausen-by-proxy makes him use other people as scapegoats for attention, which eventually led him to create the "Choking Game" so he could trick suggestible teenagers into choking themselves so he could save them in the ER.
- Münchausen Syndrome: By proxy, having used his wife Cynthia for it by repeatedly poisoning her and having her sent to the ICU until she finally died from it. This caused him to start using his son Chris for his needs by choking him, later creating the "Choking Game" site so more teens would do it to themselves so he could save them later through his job as an EMT.
- Non-Action Big Bad: He's a proxy killer whose only direct victim up until that point was his own wife, and only because he overdid it on his poisoning. He only tries to kill someone again at the very end, when his plan is foiled and he starts taking out his frustration on his own son.
- Til Murder Do Us Part: His wife Cynthia died after a long, long time of being his plaything, being repeatedly poisoned so she'd be saved at the ICU.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Risky Business".
Played by: Victor Webster
A con artist whose stress over his multiple schemes caused him to devolve into a spree killer seeking to erase his tracks for good. Russell Goldman, an FBI agent from the San Diego White Collar Crimes division, asks the BAU for help with catching Hodges due to his multiple identities.
- Con Man: A professional con artist who scams women out of their money and romances them with different names for each to ensure they're none the wiser. Even his longtime wife is ultimately another con he just happened to fall for and have a son with, and it's strongly implied "Bill Hodges" might not even be his real name. All that being said, he devolves into a spree killer because of the stress around keeping his identity secret, as well as needing to balance all his double lives without raising suspicion, which is quickly becoming too much for him.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He seems to have genuinely fallen in love with Rebecca and cares greatly for his son J.D., and learning about Brooke Sanchez having gotten pregnant suddenly makes him hesitant to do anything else with her.
- Expy: He's a con man version of Mark Gregory from Season 1 with a slightly more sympathetic affinity for his victims, except he's still a rapidly-devolving killer whose urges are starting to break him.
- I Have Many Names: Uses several names for his cons and has been using them for years beforehand, including examples like Randy Summerland, Vince Forrester, and many many others. Even "William Hodges" might not be his real name.
- In Love with the Mark: He romanced Rebecca as part of his con, but ended up genuinely falling in love with her, as well as having a son with her afterwards.
- Murder by Mistake: Agent Goldman shoots Hodges dead when he sees him reaching for his pocket, assuming he had a gun when he was really pulling out his phone. The episode does leave it ambiguous over whether or not Hodges actually wanted this due to his deteriorating mental state.
- Secret Other Family: He's a con man who's been with several different women in the past, having several affairs with the intent of scamming money off unaware women, but ended up losing his footing when he had a son with one of his "clients", Rebecca, who he eventually married. Then he learns that another woman he conned, Brooke Sanchez, is also pregnant with his child, and the added stress starts getting to him even more than before.
- Start of Darkness: Started killing after finding out one of his scam victims, Carla Marshall, had tracked down his "business" and found out about his scheme, murdering her out of desperation before it quickly became part of him.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Parasite".
- Villainous Breakdown: Going through the process by the time the episode begins, as his multiple lives and the stress of having to keep the lie going for so long are getting to him and causing him to feel desperate at losing control of his cons. The moment he feels he will lose it, he kills the victim closest to him to keep them quiet, and it's strongly implied that while he draws the line at women he's had children with, he's still struggling with himself to not kill Rebecca, Brooke or his son J.D. when he sees them all together.
Played by: Nate Mooney, Randon Davitt (child)
A serial-turned-spree killer from Providence, Rhode Island, killing in high-traffic public locations with no victim preference whatsoever.
- Abusive Parents: William O'Brien was a sociopathic arsonist who repeatedly abused Connor and then killed his mother in a staged house fire so he could have her life insurance. His abuse is so great that Connor snapped from the mere fact his father was granted a reduced sentence.
- Asshole Victim: His own father at the very end of the episode after Connor is sent to the same jail as William. Given that the latter is the key reason for Connor's suffering and current psychopathic mindset, not to mention an unrepentant sociopath, it's no wonder the other inmates don't even try to stop him from shanking him.
- Batman Gambit: The BAU sets up a press conference stating his last victim actually survived the attack and is recovering at the local hospital, urging a candlelight vigil to show respect. Enraged, Connor predictably shows up to attack the vigil and is arrested before anything happens.
- Freudian Excuse: Repeatedly abused by his father in his childhood, then watched him kill his mother in a staged house fire, later testifying against him in court and successfully getting him a life sentence. Hearing that it was reduced and William was given the possibility of parole caused Connor to finally snap.
- Greater-Scope Villain: William "Billy" O'Brien, Connor's father, whose abuse and killing of his mother were both key factors in his son's current psychopathy issues. He's a better fit for this trope due to still being alive by the time Connor begins his spree... at least until they meet in prison.
- Lethal Chef: Subverted. He works as a fry cook at a small diner, but it doesn't factor into his modus operandi. All it does is give him a good disguise as an unassuming bystander.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: He seeks power and attention through his killings, but is capable of avoiding detection because he blends in perfectly with the crowd as an unassuming bystander. After all, who would suspect the menial fry cook at the local diner?
- Rule of Symbolism: Discussed. Connor himself is called an "arsonist" by the BAU despite the fact that, as they say in the profile, he will never cause an actual fire. The "arsonist" qualification comes from his mindset, which is the same as a serial arsonist, "damaging" public locations through his killings with the memory of the deaths so all the power and attention falls onto him as the originator, the victims being random since he doesn't see them as anything but tools, no different than gasoline and a match. It becomes even more ironic when it turns out his own father is a convicted serial arsonist.
- Self-Made Orphan: Not with his mother, which was his father's doing, but Connor takes revenge on his old man years later after being arrested for the episode's murders, violently stabbing his father in jail in revenge while the other inmates in line watch and do nothing.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Public Enemy".
- Villainous Breakdown: Driven to one by the BAU after they make a press conference announcing his latest victim survived his attack and is recovering. It was a ploy to get him to come back to try an assault on the candlelight vigil after he didn't receive the power and attention he craves.
Played by: Beth Grant & Bud Cort
A married couple of serial killers and child abductors who take children into their home in order to abuse them, then burn them alive when they become too old or "unruly".
- Driven to Suicide: Roger hangs himself when he is exposed.
- Evil Matriarch: Anita, despite the children not being hers.
- Faux Affably Evil: They often pretend to be polite and friendly while actually being cold-hearted monsters.
- Flat Character: Their motives aren't known, unlike most UnSubs'. Semi-justified, though — this episode focuses more on the victims and their families.
- Guilt-Ridden Accomplice: Roger seems to show slight traits of this, but the interpretation is left open and is very debatable.
- Hate Sink: Anita is easily one of the most despicable criminals of the whole series. She's one of the worst child molesters ever portrayed, repeatedly harms her victims through both physical and psychological violence, and treats her own husband and accomplice as nothing more than a pawn to discard once the BAU zeroes in on them. Her lack of backstory also means that she is given no Freudian Excuse, not that there could be a way to justify her actions.
- I Shall Taunt You: Anita tries to do this to Charlie. Bad idea. See below.
- Kill It with Fire: Anita burns the children alive in a crematorium.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: AnitaAnita: Come on, you gotta be kid... BANG!
- Lady Macbeth: Anita, who is the dominant half of the pair to whom Roger responds.
- Murder by Cremation: When the children they've abducted grow out of control, Anita sedates them and burns them in her family's crematorium.
- Outlaw Couple: Though Roger just seems to be a passive participant.
- Serial Killer: Anita, who performs the actual murders. Roger just helps her bury them.
- The Sociopath: While not profiled as one, Anita sure acts like it. She remorselessly hurts kids (and indirectly their families) for years, dominates her hostages (and implicitly Roger) into submission, acts Faux Affably Evil all along, and fearlessly mocks Charlie when he holds her at gunpoint (unfortunately for her, Charlie's serious).
- Unholy Matrimony: A married couple that has been kidnapping children for years. They even use their family activity to cover up their crimes.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Mosley Lane".
- Would Hurt a Child: Probably the worst case so far.
Played by: Jason Brooks
A serial killer and family annihilator who abducts homeless people and family members and forces them to fight to the death against each other before killing the loser himself. The case is given a joint investigation by both the BAU and its "Red Cell" unit, led by Sam Cooper.
- Ax-Crazy: An utterly sadistic, psychotic bastard who makes people fight for his enjoyment and both physically and mentally tortures families into doing the same, projecting his own failures as a father and husband onto them.
- Calling Card: After abducting a father and teenage daughter, he'd send a video of himself killing his first homeless man execution-style to the respective mother so she wouldn't file a missing persons report on the lost family members.
- Driven to Suicide: Played with. He does jump from a great height while escaping the FBI and SWAT teams, but it was an attempt to pull a Taking You with Me on whoever came to check on him after he landed on some construction equipment. It fails when Red Cell member Mick Rawson shoots him dead before Bell can shoot Prentiss.
- Freudian Excuse: Downplayed. He already suffered from unspecified mental disorders in the past, but what truly caused him to snap was the loss of his daughter to social services after his wife's death and him being deemed an unfit parent because of said disorders. His daughter's death while he was in prison made him turn to boxing to work out his anger, except it consumed him and became an obsession.
- Godzilla Threshold: Bell's case puts the BAU in cooperation with Sam Cooper's Red Cell team, which is said to act outside of FBI standard procedure in order to catch their UnSubs. Strauss herself is against the idea but admits it might be necessary.
- Involuntary Battle to the Death: His M.O., forcing vagrants and fathers to fight each other to the death in his ring, killing the losers afterwards (including the daughter should the father lose).
- Psychological Projection: His family abductions all target fathers and their brunette teenage daughters, representing both himself and his daughter who he believes he failed to protect in the past.
- Villain of the Week: Of "The Fight".
Played by: Mike Doyle
A serial-turned-spree killer cop who patrols the Mexican border in Terlingua on a custom ATV, targeting illegal immigrants attempting to make the crossing. He then starts using his victims' heads as omens towards a recently-reassigned sheriff from New York who's interfering with his spree.
- Berserk Button: As the team profile says, the UnSub is an adult male who kills to demonstrate superiority, when in reality his methods are cowardly and he himself is a weakling. Unfortunately, they're unknowingly telling this right to the killer's face in the briefing, and he doesn't take kindly to being called a coward or a weakling.
- Cop Killer: Murders sheriff Eva Ruiz in retaliation for her sudden arrival in his territory, which interrupted his spree. He also murders a second officer that was with him when he shot down the Lugo Cartel, in a pointless attempt to frame the criminals for the cop's death.
- Control Freak: The decapitated heads of his victims started appearing on Eva Ruiz' doorstep because she was investigating his murders and closing in on him, making him feel a loss of control. When he has her alone, he even admonishes her for taking control of the operation (see quote above).
- Creepy Monotone: Not too noticeable when he's still working as an officer. But after the mask falls, he never changes his voice in any way other than this trope, even when taunting the BAU over the radio.
- Dirty Coward: How the team profiles him, as a weakling who needs to show power by hunting people like they're animals. No matter how much Boyd himself disagrees, everything he does from that point onwards is an indication of this; he only managed to finally kill Eva by luring her out alone, he only managed to shoot down the Lugo Cartel by catching them off guard, and not only did he try to escape the BAU, he only managed to put up a fight by mounting on his ATV and, yet again, trying to sidewind them first before attempting a hasty escape.
- Disappeared Dad: He died in an unspecified accident when Boyd was still a child.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Subverted in that it's possible he honestly thought he wasn't going to die, but when the team ambushes him at his hideout, he comes out shooting with his ATV as if he's pulling a "death-or-glory" move, only to end up shot down himself.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: He's right there on-screen for most of the episode as one of the "sheriffs of the day" helping the FBI in their operation, even listening in on the profile (which basically means the BAU called him a coward and a weakling to his face), but for the first half he merely comes across as a passively-racist tight-ass who still wants justice to be done... Until he lures Eva Ruiz to his hideout alone.
- Evil Cripple: Downplayed, his leg was injured during an ATV incident when he was 18, but it doesn't stop him from walking just fine. It still contributed to his need of showing power.
- Framing the Guilty Party: Planned to evade detection by framing his string of murders on the local drug cartel, who were also known for maiming bodies as warnings to would-be investigators. He later tries this again after gunning them down and killing the cop that was with him, but it turns out the BAU had already caught on by that time.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: His M.O., using illegal immigrants as prey.
- Karmic Death: Guns down illegal immigrants using a machine gun, and he's gunned down by one as well.
- Killer Cop: Spree-killer cop, at that.
- More Dakka: His personal ATV has a mounted machine gun, which he uses as his go-to murder weapon against his targets. A machine gun is also what finally kills him.
- One-Man Army: When he guns down the Lugo Cartel all by himself with nothing but a shotgun. Except fitting his weakness, he only managed to do it by catching them off-guard.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: While it's unknown what caused him to become a psychopath, racism is definitely a factor in his cruelty. He hunts down Mexican immigrants like animals precisely for the sport and to feel superior to them and, during his day job, he scoffs at the idea of treating the ones living in the town as anything more than a nuisance.
- Smug Snake: Even after being found out, he's confident he can evade detection due to his knowledge of the border territory, taunting Hotch on the radio when they try to locate him. His "final move", driving his ATV to try and gun down the BAU, was done on an arrogant belief he would actually escape them.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Even at his most desperate, he still taunts the team with a calm tone.
- Villainous Breakdown: Subtle, but it started when Eva Ruiz arrived and took control of the investigation, causing him to send the decapitated heads of his victims to the precinct to try and intimidate her. When that didn't work, he devolved into luring her out to his hideout and utterly gutting her body open (like the Lugo Cartel said they did, in another attempt to frame them). He then devolves further by flat-out gunning down the cartel and yet again trying to blame them for the death of the cop that was with him (which he himself killed), only to learn that the BAU is already on his tail. It culminates with him trying to gun them down.
- Villain of the Week: Of "A Rite of Passage".
Played by: Mark L. Young
A disturbed teenage spree killer from Franklin, Alaska, suffering from severe abandonment issues which led him to start killing people planning on leaving town like his best friend Joshua once did.
- Abusive Parents: His father, who regularly beat both him and his wife. Hotch makes damn sure he gets what he deserves as well, since this time he can't hide his abuse from the FBI.
- Berserk Button: Kills people he hears are about to leave Franklin in one way or another, stemming from his own deep-seethed abandonment issues.
- Calling Card: Once his crimes escalated, he took to gutting his victims and taking one of their organs, possibly for consumption.
- Cold Sniper: How he started before his confidence made him shift from guns and arrows to a knife. In a bit of Dramatic Irony, Joshua brings a hunting rifle to try and kill Owen when they corner him at the docks.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: During the stand-off at the docks, he's visibly confused that the BAU wants him alive so he'll get treatment for his mental issues. At the very least, he consents easily when it's over.
- Evil Former Friend: Towards Joshua due to his own psychopathic mental state, which in the present makes him kill Carol Beardsley, Joshua's mother for "sending him away" from Owen. Unfortunately, Joshua gets so consumed by the desire for revenge that he also chooses to forfeit his friendship with Owen completely to try and kill him.
- Freudian Excuse: His father is a violent abuser who forced both Owen and his mother to cover for him anytime police showed up on their doorstep. His mother also constantly kept Owen from just leaving his awful home life out of fear his psychopathic tendencies would get worse if he was left unsupervised.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: He stalks and kills his victims using hunting techniques taught to him by Joshua in their childhood.
- Kick the Dog: Kills Joshua's mother Carol for "sending him away" as the quote above alludes to.
- Psycho Knife Nut: Guts his victims with a hunting knife.
- Save the Villain: The BAU has to stop the hunting residents of Franklin, Joshua himself included, from gunning down Owen at the docks so Owen will get the help he needs. While the others back down when they're cornered, Joshua doesn't and has to be shot (non-fatally) in the arm before he kills Owen.
- Start of Darkness: His abuse was already bad on its own, but when his only friend Joshua had to leave town for college, Owen finally snapped.
- Teens Are Monsters: He's only 16 years old, yet he guts people like fishes if they try to leave the town.
- Villain of the Week: Of "Exit Wounds".
Played by: Reece Rios
A serial killer, stalker and hacker from Boise, Idaho who uses his knowledge of fiber optic connection to plant cameras in women's homes and kill them in the middle of the night, streaming the videos online for people to watch.
- Attention Whore: The BAU profiles Johnson as this on top of his narcissism, using the internet to achieve a level of "immortality" he desperately craves through the people that actually watch his videos online.
- Calling Card: Targeting Caucasian women in their late 20s to early 30s and choking them to death while they sleep, streaming his murders to a personalized chat room for his followers to see by using a camera setup on his body. He then takes their bodies to a walk-in freezer on loan from one of his watchers and stores them there for safekeeping.
- Choke Holds: Strangulates his victims so he won't damage their faces.
- Collector of the Strange: The bodies of his victims, simply because of their facial symmetry matching his own, in a twisted form of narcissistic admiration. He even uses a walk-in freezer to preserve them.
- Crazy-Prepared: He uses proxy servers to hide his IP address and streaming locations, as well as using a ski mask and gloves to not leave forensic evidence behind. He also has the foresight to hack into and deactivate the target homes' security systems. Too bad for him that while he's a skilled hacker, the BAU has Penelope Garcia.
- The Dragon: Austin Chapman, owner of a small shop in Boise and a closet voyeur who met Johnson one day after finding his videos online. He let him use his store's freezer unit to store the dead bodies and later stream his attempted murder of Lucy Masters, but the BAU make sure he's arrested as well.
- Freudian Excuse: Averted. No reasoning is given as to why he's so invested in killing, he's "merely" a narcissistic psychopath.
- The Ghost: His online followers, of which only Austin Chapman is revealed. The BAU does inform that they've arrested two others in the Boise area, but it's left unclear if they managed to track down the others.
- It's All About Me: Johnson is a narcissist who targets Caucasian women whose facial symmetry resembles his own, and wants to be immortalized online through his killing videos.
- It's Personal: Garcia is essentially Forced to Watch Johnson kill Alison Kittridge when she manages to briefly track down his streaming location. She then becomes especially dedicated to stopping him, and delivers a personalized, direct message to him when she shuts down his streaming of Lucy Masters' attempted murder:
- Smug Snake: The FBI's attention to his case makes him ecstatic, to the point he promises his audience that the next kill will be "special" by directly livestreaming from the walk-in freezer where the other victims are kept. When he's arrested, he smugly tells Prentiss and Morgan they'll never "understand" him the way his "followers" do.
- Snuff Film: Snuff streaming, but same principle; he livestreams his killings to a personal chat room where he has followers who see him do it, fellow psychopaths and disturbed people like himself.
- Villain of the Week: Of "The Internet is Forever".
- Villainous Breakdown: When Garcia forcibly shuts down his livestream of Lucy Masters' attempted killing, he screams in anger and thrashes his streaming set-up, removing his mask before trying to strangle Lucy with even more force. He's thankfully arrested before he can do it.