On tonight’s episode of Criminal Minds, the BAU agents spend one hour giving a lecture on a serial killer they have been chasing for 20 years.
A Note-Worthy Case
Rossi (Joe Mantegna) arranges for the team to speak at a criminology class taught by a friend of his. The team explains the basics of profiling before introducing a case on the most prolific serial killer they have ever seen. The case stretches back 20 years and the UnSub has killed at least 40 people. The agents explain that this particular UnSub suffered years of physical and psychological abuse that plays an important part in his kills. The agents also explain that they study the victims to understand the UnSubs and the first victims were found in 1992.
We see a flashback of Rossi, circa 1992, as he began the case. The case then went cold until 1997 when two more victims were found. In a flashback to 1997, we see the first meeting between Rossi and Hotch (Thomas Gibson) as Hotch made some shrewd observations about the UnSub and the media dubbed him ‘the womb raider’ because he mutilated his victims’ genitals and reproductive organs. Unfortunately, the UnSub then went underground again until 2005.
A Big Break
Rossi retired during the years when the UnSub was underground, but the BAU kept growing and they brought Rossi back in when they found another victim in 2005. That was when they built a profile of the UnSub, but the media was quiet at the time, so the UnSub stayed off the radar until 2009. Rossi was back with the BAU by that point and they decided to use ‘targeted media strategy’ in hopes of throwing the UnSub off his game. The UnSub abducted his 2009 victim from a location where he grabbed one of his first victims, so Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) began investigating the area. She eventually found a police report about a rape and the team figured out that the UnSub was a product of his mother’s rape. The UnSub’s mother died shortly after child-birth so the UnSub, Thomas Yates, was raised by his grandmother, the object of Tommy’s rage.
The End Result
In 2009, the team tracked the UnSub down at a storage facility and managed to save the victim he was holding hostage. Tommy-the-UnSub was tried and sentenced to the death penalty. In 2010, Tommy contacted Rossi from prison, saying he wanted to make a deal. Tommy gave Rossi a list of 40 victims and the locations where they could be found. Tommy claimed he killed 101 people and he was willing to give Rossi their names if the death penalty was taken off the table. Rossi agreed to the deal and the UnSub agreed to give Rossi one name, per year, on Rossi’s birthday. That day is today and Rossi leaves the team to see Tommy and get the next name.
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(Image courtesy of CBS)