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"When I was a kid, my dog, Poppy, running across the grass. When I hit her, I liked that feeling. That has not changed."

George "The Boston Reaper" Foyet: You think I'm afraid to die?
Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner: You're greedy and narcissistic. You want the recognition...the (Ted) Bundy.
Foyet: I wanna be bigger than Bundy.
Hotch: Well, you can't enjoy it if you're dead.
Foyet: If you know me so well then how come so many had to die to bring you here?
Hotch: That's your choice, not mine. You're the serial killer.
Foyet: That's right.
— "Omnivore"

The BAU has faced dozens, if not hundreds, of bad guys, both recurring and ones from only a single episode; serial killers, serial rapists and others. A select few are especially vile.

Unsubs are listed by the season where they first appeared.

Season 1
  • Jackson "Grandfather" Cally, from "The Tribe" is a chilling combination of extreme sociopathy, charisma, and bigotry. A cult leader native to Terra Mesa, a mostly-white New Mexico town known for tensions with a mostly-Apache town nearby, Cally preys on troubled teenagers interested in Native Americans, indoctrinating them into being willing to kill for him under the pretense of "helping" the Apache reclaim all their ancestral land; while keeping his true goal, attempting to foment a race war that would wipe the Apache out, a secret. He first sends his cult to a college dormitory built on former Apache land, having them massacre the residents in gruesome ways such as decapitation and impalement, mimicking Native American war rituals, in hopes the Apache would be blamed and the whites would retaliate. When the FBI rule out the Apache as suspects, Cally has his men decapitate the leader of a local racist group, his wife, and his two young children and impale their heads on pikes for the FBI to find. His final and most wicked gambit, however, is to dress up his men as members of the racist group and send them on a wholesale massacre of the Apache town's school. When foiled and caught by the FBI, Cally's only justification for his actions is that he hoped to show the world what "savage animal(s)" the Apache people "really" are.

Season 2

  • Carl Buford, from "Profiler, Profiled", is a pillar of the community in Cabrini-Green, where Derek Morgan grew up. Running a youth center, Buford is in truth a pedophile who grooms young boys by doing them favors to slowly build up their trust before giving them alcohol to lower their inhibitions and raping them, which was the fate of Derek Morgan himself as a young man. One victim is so traumatized that he later projects Carl onto other men later in life and brutally murders them while repeating the phrase Carl used for the boys while raping them. Carl has also murdered three boys to keep his secret, and when sentenced, he takes the name Mohammed Alam while joining a Muslim gang. When Morgan goes to see him for information, Carl takes a special delight in toying with him, mocking him over how "special" Derek was to him, while revealing he has molested at least 57 boys, even blaming Derek, telling him "you could have said no". Even his gang are revolted upon learning the truth of Buford's crimes, and he remains one of the most chillingly realistic depictions of a predatory sex offender on Criminal Minds.
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  • Charles Holcombe, from "Legacy", is a callous serial killer who is dedicated to wiping out the homeless, junkies, prostitutes, and vagrants, viewing them as subhuman filth that is worthless to society; he has over 60 victims to his name. Using a meat-packing plant he inherited from his late father, Holcombe re-outfitted it into a brutal maze-like Death Course where he forces his victims to play a sadistic game: escape before sundown or die horribly. What follows is his victims being put through horrible physical agony where they're forced to crawl through rooms filled with broken glass, endure being sprayed with gas, and run from hungry attack dogs. The whole time, Holcombe torments his victims with footage of him dissecting his previous victims alive to let them know what to expect if they fail. When his latest victim, a prostitute named Maggie, successfully completes the course, Holcombe reveals that he had no intention of ever letting her escape and knocks her out with a spray of gas before hauling her off to slaughter. Ruthlessly obsessed with his mission to the end, Holcombe's final moments before being gunned down are him attempting to finish off Maggie while screaming "Just let me do my job!"

Season 3

  • Floyd Feylinn Ferrell, from "Lucky", is a Satanist who believes in Satan solely because it allows him to indulge his murderous impulses. Murdering numerous women, Floyd wracks up a sizable body count of over a dozen, with the added sadistic twist of force-feeding pieces of them to his next victims and eating the rest himself. When he kidnaps a woman named Tracey Lambert, Floyd butchers her and feeds her to her own search party, something he maliciously reveals to a priest. Faking his mental issues, Floyd returns ten seasons later in season 13's "Lucky Strikes", where is held at a mental health facility for ten years, where he is finally granted supervised release and proceeds to manipulate a troubled young man into cannibalistic murders to eventually force his suicide and make him take responsibility for all of Floyd's past murders to free himself, even partaking of the flesh of said man's murders himself.

Season 4

  • Mason Turner, from the two-part season finale "To Hell..." "...And Back", proves to be among the nastiest unsubs the BAU has faced. Unable to hunt and kill his victims himself due to being paralyzed from the neck down, the sadistic and arrogant Mason manipulated his mentally handicapped and freakishly strong brother Lucas into becoming a killing machine. Mason has Lucas drive to Detroit to kidnap transients and haul them back to their pig farm in Canada, where Lucas brutally slaughters them by crushing their neck with a sledgehammer. Mason then guides Lucas through performing pointless, cruel experiments on their remains before discarding them by feeding them to the pigs. And all through the process, Lucas watches through a complex series of mirrors in order to satisfy his sadistic tendencies. Through this process Mason has claimed eighty-nine lives, and is only stopped from killing a ninetieth victim when the BAU raids his farm. In order to throw suspicions off himself, Mason tries to pin his crimes on Lucas, who he encourages the BAU to shoot on sight. Once he's exposed for the monster that he is, Mason is smug and completely unapologetic about his crimes, coldly stating that his victims were worthless trash that should be honored to be a part of something bigger than themselves. With a body count reached by only a few other unsubs, Mason Turner is proof that sometimes a Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse when it comes to justifying, or even explaining, cruelty.
  • The Boston Reaper, George Foyet, returns after retiring from a killing spree for which he was never caught, following the death of the original investigator. Killing again, the Reaper calls investigator Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner, agreeing to stop his killings with the addendum Hotch abandon the Reaper's case. His deal rejected, the Reaper massacres a bus full of people and kidnaps and threatens a journalist before being arrested by Hotch. Boasting that he kills for fame, the Reaper escapes from prison, stalking Hotch to his house and torturing him into a coma. Dropping Hotch off at a hospital, the Reaper leaves notes indicating he intends to target Hotch's ex-wife, Hayley and young son, Jake, next, mutilating then killing the officer assigned to protect them. Murdering Hayley, the Reaper calls Hotch to torment the powerless man over the phone as he closes in to kill Jake.

Season 5

  • Anita Roycewood, from "Mosley Lane", is a serial kidnapper and child murderer, who forces her submissive husband, Roger, and first kidnap victim, Charlie Hillridge, to help her abduct and imprison children. Keeping the children locked up in a hidden hallway, Anita renames them, dyes their hair, and is implied to sexually abuse them, using fear, beatings, and threats to the other children to keep them in line. When the children grow too old for her liking, or become uncontrollable, Anita knocks them out, in the case of Stephen Shepherd beating him savagely beforehand, places them in a cardboard box, and burns them alive in a crematorium, whistling jauntily the entire time. When the police catch onto her, Anita abandons Roger, and takes the three remaining children, Aimee Lynch, Mae Hall, and Charlie, to the crematorium, where she tries to force Charlie to help her burn the other two; she then intends to kill him. Guilty of some of the most callous crimes yet shown on the show, and viewing her victims as replaceable, Anita's reasons for doing what she does are never explored, leaving only an utterly hateful cipher for the cast and the audience to deal with.
  • Deputy Ronald Boyd, from "A Rite of Passage", kills undocumented immigrants because it allows him to assert a sense of power that he otherwise lacks. He lies in wait at border crossings, picks out a straggler, and then chases them through the desert on his ATV until they can no longer fight back, finishing them off with his machete. When the Hispanic sheriff, whom Boyd loathes for being new to town, starts looking into the missing persons, Boyd sends her progressively more aggressive "messages"—severed heads in boxes outside the sheriff's office; a severed head on a pole in her front yard—until he finally kills her for sticking her nose into his business, while ranting that his victims aren't really missing because "they ain't supposed to be here in the first place". Dismembering her corpse in order to pin the blame on drug kingpin Omar Morales, Boyd proceeds to murder Morales and most of his gang to cover his tracks; also because they're Hispanic. When his partner objects, Boyd shoots him and places the gun in the hands of the dead Morales. Taking offense to the idea that he sees himself as weak, and viewing himself as a total badass, Boyd, profiled as a "human predator" and with over 40 victims to his name, makes an average Dirty Cop look like an angel.

Season 6

  • Lee Mullens, aka "The Butcher", from "Remembrance of Things Past", is a sadistic serial killer who murdered 24 women. Mullens would kidnap these women to torture and sodomize with electrical equipment and sharp objects; he would stab his victims in non-fatal areas to maximize their pain while making them call their loved ones and force them to say that "they enjoy it". He would also manipulate his son, Colby Bachner, into knocking out his mother and making him watch as he kills her. This led to a vicious cycle of abuse on Mullens's part eventually turning Colby into an unwilling accomplice of Mullens's murders, kidnapping 3 women for Mullens to torture and kill.
  • Shane Wyland, from "Into the Woods", is a prolific killer and rapist of children. Put on parole after the sexual assault of a ten-year-old boy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Shane abandoned civilization in favor of the woods along the Appalachian Trail to make it easier for him to hunt children. After selecting a child, Shane would stalk them before abducting them and imprisoning them in an Abandoned Mine, where he would repeatedly molest them throughout the winter before finally killing them. Shane kidnaps a young boy named Robert, as well as his sister Ana, who Shane intends to kill. While holding them captive within a storage cell, Shane molests Robert. After Ana flees captivity, Shane takes Robert to the hotel of a fellow pedophile, Brandon Stiles, where he offers to allow Stiles an hour alone with Robert in exchange for painkillers to treat his leg injury.
  • Lucy, from the season finale "Supply and Demand", is the head of a Human Trafficking ring. She has her gang kidnap young men and women and pimp them out to various sexual deviants, staging live shows in which the victims are tortured, and even killed, by her men and/or clients. The victims are beaten, drugged, and otherwise mistreated to ensure compliance, and are kept caged in between visits from Lucy's clients. A psychological sadist, Lucy frequently has herself locked in the cages by her men, winning her victims' trust while pretending to be one of them; she later takes unholy glee in revealing that she is, in fact, the leader. Lucy scouts the victims out in the first place, visiting college campuses, while posing as a student, and then staging her own abduction alongside any students she has befriended. When Lucy discovers that Renee Matlin, one of her victims, is an undercover cop, she proceeds to play a game of Russian Roulette with her, then has the other woman savagely beaten, gloating the whole time. Interrupted by the police, Lucy manipulates Max, one of her associates, into being killed by them, planning to frame him for her crimes.

Season 7

  • Ben "Cy" Bradstone, from "Proof", has a mental disability, which makes him unique, but not even slightly sympathetic. Pretending to be far more handicapped than he is, Cy lures women out of the public eye, forces them into his shed, rapes them, and then stabs them to death. He first stabbed their eyes out, but later evolved to using sulfuric acid to burn away their senses. If they don't like the way he looks, he takes their eyes. If they spit when he kisses them, he takes their sense of taste. If they don't like his smell, he burns out their nostrils. His video journal—which strongly implies many more victims—reveals that he has been like this since he was a young boy, and he gloats that he brutalizes women for the same reason that he used to beat his dog: because it's fun. We eventually discover that he is targeting women who remind him of his sister-in-law, whom he attempted to molest when they were both teenagers. When his niece puts on a cheerleader costume that reminds him of her mother she becomes Cy’s final victim. After his arrest, his brother Matt, who has always been supportive of Cy, going so far as to offer to let him move in with him, demands to know why Cy did this; Cy laughs in his face, and tells him that he has always hated Matt and was planning to deafen and then kill him one day. A ragingly misogynistic psychopath who just happens to be handicapped, Cy is fully aware of how awful his actions are, as evidenced by this message he leaves for Matt:
    What I'm going to do to your daughter, you can see on this tape. But what I did to your wife? Now that's a video you should see.
  • Clark Preston, from "A Thin Line", is a greedy, crooked real estate developer and one of the show's most infamous proxy killers. He would hire criminals to commit crimes in neighborhoods so people would leave them and he could buy up their property at a much lower price, with him not even caring about who gets hurt in the process. During one of these raids, the Mills family had the father and daughter killed and the mother raped and beaten, leaving her in a coma. He later manipulates and recruits the survivor of the family, Trevor, into his mayoral campaign by brainwashing him with racist ideology as well as using him to help with his mayoral campaign, which he also uses to fuel his racist agenda. He has Trevor kill entire families of people, including young children and even a baby in one case, and would have him then kill drugged black and Hispanic people with the family’s gun and pin it on them in the hope of supporting his plans.
  • J.B. Allen, from "Foundation", is the sadistic, pedophilic owner of a construction company who targets little boys who he draws in by letting them play with his construction tools. Once he has a boy in his grasp, Allen continuously rapes and tortures his victim over the years before killing him. One of his victims who was lucky enough to escape, a boy named Angel Suarez, was covered in bite marks and was mentally destroyed by Allen's torture. When he finds another victim to replace Angel, a boy by the name of Billy Henderson, he subjects him to the same torture and attempts to bury him alive. His daughter repressed memories of Allen doing the same to another unnamed boy, and all the trophies he'd pawn off on her in the guise of gifts show that he had dozens of other victims.

Season 8

  • John Curtis serves as the Arch-Enemy of the BAU for the season. Originally a brilliant FBI Special Agent, Curtis, after an incident caused him to be demoted and transferred to Kansas, vowed vengeance on the people responsible. He would become the serial killer known as "The Replicator" where he would copy some of the season's most gruesome murders. These murders include sewing a man's mouth shut before leaving him to die of asphyxiation; sawing off the legs of two people, without the use of anesthesia; dislocating a woman's limbs making her a puppet; and using a hammer to smash a women's head to death. He also manipulated a man whose life was ruined by the BAU into becoming a killer—with 3 victims—only to abandon him once he had outlived his usefulness, driving the man to commit suicide. He later appears in person in "The Replicator", where he forces Erin Strauss, the woman who caused said incident, to drink poisonous wine, causing her to die slowly and painfully. His final plan would then come into motion where he would trap the BAU in one house where he'd set explosions to kill them all, completely uncaring if he is still in the same house. A narcissistic sociopath whose manages to darken an already grim show, John Curtis, who made up in cruelty what he lacked in body count, would do anything to see those he believed had wronged him suffer to the fullest.

Season 10

  • Alex Zorgen runs a Human Trafficking ring that sells women, regardless of age, to serial killers and other criminals online. In 1993, prior to creating this ring, he abducted a woman named Donna Goldhard, and kept her as a Sex Slave, repeatedly raping and torturing her for the next 22 years. From one of those rapes came a son, named Kyle. In the season premiere "X," Alex, along with his family, kidnaps a woman and uses his website to auction her off to a serial killer. As the season progresses, Alex has Kyle stalk the BAU's newest member, Kate Callahan, by posing as an attractive high school senior online to gain their trust of her niece Meg, and her friend, who are both 14 years old. He sends his wife and son to kidnap them in the season finale "The Hunt," but Kyle only catches Meg. Due to this, Alex murders Kyle, his own son, without showing any remorse and simply moves on with his plan to sell Meg online to a serial killer. He was later arrested by the BAU, but Meg had already been sold. When they ask him where Meg’s captor is keeping her, he refuses to cooperate and just taunts Kate about the things her captor is going to do to her. Having no regard for anyone, not even his own family, and only caring about selling women to his online human trafficking ring and making money out of it, Alex Zorgen is a sociopath in its worst form and among the worst the BAU had to face.
  • Hayman Vasher, from "A Thousand Suns" is an aerospace engineer who is a big admirer of Robert Oppenheimer, especially how he progressed from socially-awkward to world-renowned. For Vasher, who after being humiliated on a date dropped out of society, this involved building a device which can hack into airplanes and control them. As a "test", analogous to the Manhattan Project's Trinity test, Vasher makes a plane crash in a sparsely-populated area, resulting in over 150 deaths, including the woman who he had dated. As his Hiroshima, Vasher takes control of a plane with over 300 people and plans to crash it into a populated area. He agrees to let the plane land if the BAU calls off fighter jets which have scrambled to shoot the plane down if necessary, but once this happens, Vasher tries to crash the plane anyway, before he and his device are both shot. Vasher was also looking at other flights, meaning that there might have been still other crashes had he not been stopped. Driven only by his need for attention and enjoying "playing God or some other deity", Hayman Vasher, profiled as "a mass annihilator…who wants to eradicate life on a large scale", is one of only a few unsubs to successfully have a triple-digit body count.

Season 11

  • Mitchell Crossford, from "The Witness" is the son of an anti-government cult leader and later adopted this extreme ideology. When his half-brother Theo, with whom he was planning to launch terrorist attacks, started having an affair with a married woman, Crossford, enraged, plotted revenge. He acquired sarin gas from a disgraced chemist—who Mitchell then killed—and placed sarin on a bus the woman usually rode; she wasn't on the bus that day, but 10 other people were killed. While stalking his brother, Crossford saw Charlie, the woman's husband, murder Theo, and manipulated him into becoming his patsy, threatening to report the murder, while also threatening Charlie's 12-year-old daughter. While he may have planned even more attacks, his main goal was using Charlie to launch a larger sarin attack on the FBI building in Los Angeles. Over a thousand people were at risk, before the FBI successfully evacuated the building and sealed the garage where the sarin was placed.

Season 13

  • "The Messiah", Benjamin David Merva, born David James Merva, from the season finale "Believer" and the season 14 premiere "300", is possibly the most prolific serial killer ever faced by the BAU. Merva, aka "the Strangler", a survivor of the Liberty Ranch hostage crisis, eventually founded the Believers. The Believers kidnap people from all over the country—protector types according to the BAU—and Merva kills them, giving the hyoid bones to the Believers. Just as 300 angels protected the Garden of Eden, Merva aims to collect 300 hyoid bones. He has killed 299 people so far, and plans to make Spencer Reid the 300th victim.

Season 14

  • Eduardo Ramos, from "Luke", is a feared sicario notorious for killing at least 53 innocent men, women, and children, but not before he forced his victims to drink gallons of bleach until they die. Breaking out of prison, Ramos would kill the wife and children of DEA Agent Jeremy Grant, one of the people who arrested him. This act would cause Jeremy Grant to snap, leading Grant to kill seven people on his own, including Ramos himself, as well as Phil Brooks.

2017 Korean Series

  • Kim Yong-chul, aka the Reaper, is a black-hearted, self-proclaimed "devil" of a man seeking to inflict pain to all around him and cement himself in infamy. A serial killer who took a hiatus after 21 victims, including his own girlfriend, Yong-chul returns to continue his slaughter in the present, focusing on NCI leader Kang Ki-hyung as his Arch-Enemy. Killing several more men, women, and children, Yong-chul then murders Kang's wife and attempts the same to his child, before beginning to target friends and family of the entire NCI team. In his grandest scheme, Yong-chul traps 5 young teenagers in a room seemingly filling with gas, leaving a single oxygen mask in the hopes they will rip each other apart for it, and then murders the commissioner after failing to force him to murder an innocent woman in exchange for his daughter. The Reaper dies mocking Kang about his dead wife, and cements himself as the worst and most personal foe the NCI team ever faced.
  • Choi Ho-sung, from episode 5, is a former military officer known for abusing subordinates who returns from war intent on spreading an anthrax virus across the country. Experimenting on and killing 3 innocent men with the virus, Ho-sung murders his partner for trying to stop the killing, and then unleashes the virus in a park to infect 72 people, leading to many of their deaths. Ho-sung's grand plan is to flood Independence Hall with the virus and kill hundreds of people, including an entire school group, and when this is foiled, attempts to detonate a bomb filled with the virus in the middle of a city square, cackling with glee as he prepares to kill hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people in the name of "spreading chaos".
  • Jo Young-hoon, from episode 12, is a psychopathic murderer of over a dozen young women via torturing them to death with power tools and dismembering their bodies. Having forced them to dress as children and pose for pictures for him to keep as trophies, Young-hoon giddily drags out the suffering of his victims' families while bragging of his plans to go down in history as one of the worst killers in the country's history. Before capture, Young-hoon ordered his innocent wife to kill their child son, and then promptly framed her as his willing partner, simply to get her killed as well. Young-hoon dies while smugly revealing he has a half-dozen more victims than had been found, taking sick enjoyment from the idea that more people will suffer because of him.
  • Kim Jung-soo, from episode 14, is a pedophilic youth center worker, who sexually assaulted at least 6 young children at the center, keeping many of them under his thumb for years and continuing his abuse. When a young girl witnesses his crimes and tries to expose him, Jung-soo beats and strangles her to death, then bribes and blackmails a police detective into murdering two of Jung-soo's young victims to silence them. When confronted about his crimes, Jung-soo cowardly tries to shift blame to anyone but himself and pleads for a mercy he never showed any of his victims.
  • Kim Young-soon, from episode 18, is one of the only serial rapists the NCI team encounters, and easily the worst. Flying into a rage after his girlfriend, who he regularly abused and raped, left him, Young-soon brutally beat and raped several college girls, leading to one of them committing suicide. Continuing to rape and beat several more women, assaulting their boyfriends and even forcing a child to watch one of the rapes, Young-soon then kidnaps NCI member Ha Sun-woo and tries to rape her as well. Young-soon reveals that he chose all of his targets in an attempt to impregnate them so as to create more people like himself, who "see" women for the whores and degenerates they are.


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