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Ripped From The Headlines / Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

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Backdoor Pilot

  • "Beyond Borders":
    • Joran van der Sloot is referenced directly multiple times, and shares the killer's background of being a Dutch citizen in the Caribbean.
    • Oddly, the killer's horrible childhood is much like the horrible childhood of Jesse Pomeroy, a 19th century, American, underage, budding serial killer.
    • The killer giving his victims water bottles laced with rohypnol to abduct them was inspired by Erika Messer imagining what if that happened to her in a vacation.

Season 1

  • "The Harmful One": Includes a passing reference to the 2014 murders of British backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, although the episode's case has nothing to do with it (other than also being in Thailand).
  • "Love Interrupted": The Ariel Castro kidnappings.
  • "De Los Inocentes": The Bruce Beresford-Redman case.
  • "Harvested": The Gurgaon Kidney Scandal. Also mentioned is New York City's Operation Bid Rig.
  • "The Ballad of Nick and Nat" deals with the reopening of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba.
  • "Citizens of the World": The kidnappings of Westerners by AQIM and the Tuareg conflict in Northern Mali.
  • "Denial": Probably the most loaded, with direct references to the Arab Spring, Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood, terrorism in the Sinai peninsula, the use of deadly tear gas by the Egyptian police and the issue of gay rights and homophobia in Egypt.
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  • "The Lonely Heart": Notably averted. Set in Paris, zero reference to Islamist terrorism.
  • "The Matchmaker": All about ISIS, down to featuring an unnamed expy of it. Most notably, the existence of ISIS's internet (female, western) propagandists and recruiters such as Colleen LaRose and the recruitment of Western teen brides like the Benthal Green girls and the Austrian girls.
  • "Whispering Death": Aokigahara forest and Hiroshi Maeue.
  • "Iqiniso": The ABC Murders and Vlakplaas.
  • "El Toro Bravo": The disappearance/murder of Denise Pikka Thiem.
  • "Paper Orphans": The Madeleine McCann case recycled in post-earthquake Haiti. Both events get a direct mention.


Season 2

  • "Lost Souls" is Jonestown moved to Al-Shabaab-infiltrated northern Tanzania.
  • "The Devil's Breath": The recent spike in the use of Scopolamine (one of whose common names is "Devil's Breath") by robbers and kidnappers in Colombia, and by Colombian gangs in other countries.
  • "Cinderella and the Dragon":
    • Like any other reference to Singapore in American media, the title and the general depiction of Singapore as a draconian police state harks back to Wired's 1993 opinion piece Disneyland with the Death Penalty and the caning of Michael P. Fay (which is explicitly referenced).
    • The reveal that the smuggling ring is trafficking endangered dragon fish (hence the title) rather than drugs is likely ripped from stories about crime arising from demand for this species in SE Asia, such as this.
  • "Il Mostro": In 2014, a Romanian prostitute was found "crucified" in Florence. The testimony of other prostitutes pointed to a man in his 50s or 60s being responsible, prompting press speculation about the possible return of the Monster of Florence, a serial killer active in the 1970s and 1980s who was never apprehended. Unlike in the episode, this turned to not be the case.
  • "Made In...": The spike of Islamist-motivated machete murders of foreigners and atheists in Bangladesh and the Savar building collapse.
  • "Pretty Like Me": South Koreans obsession with plastic surgery. Disasters like this, in particular.
  • "La Huesuda": Silvia Meraz and Adolfo Constanzo.
  • "Pankration": The Greek economic meltdown and the immigration crisis.
  • "Blowback": The war in Afghanistan, despite the country getting the No Celebrities Were Harmed treatment.
  • "Abominable": The 2015 Nepal earthquake and the accompanying Mount Everest avalanche.
  • "The Ripper of Riga":

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