The BAU headed to Minnesota in Criminal Minds season 12 episode 5 to investigate a family that was killed, with the teenage daughter the only survivor. She was just the first, and while they did figure out that bullying was connected, it took the team a bit longer to correctly identify the UnSub.
Here’s what the BAU got wrong and then corrected in “The Anti-Terrorism Squad.”
Maybe the Murders Were Part of a Hitman Scenario or Mafia Retaliation Kill
The victims were shot execution-style, so it did have to be brought up, but fortunately, they moved on pretty quickly from those possibilities considering that didn’t seem likely in Winona, Minnesota. It did seem like a revenge killing though.
The BAU Considered Bridget’s Affair and Scott’s Addiction
Bridget could have cut things off and the guy went off the deep end, they thought, but when they spoke to Ron, who did have a history of getting into bar fights, he told them they had broken up and he had an alibi.
Scott had gotten hooked on Vicodin after a skiing accident, and they wondered if he got in over his head with his dealer. That didn’t go anywhere past that.
Could Amanda Be Involved?
The only survivor of the Bergstrom family murders was the 17-year-old daughter, who had broken curfew to go to a party. She had an alibi, so she couldn’t be the shooter, but they couldn’t rule out that she had something to do with it, especially since she was the beneficiary of the insurance policy of $100,000. People have been killed for less.
However, after Prentiss and JJ spoke to her, they ruled her out. She was devastated and while Ron suggested she was manipulative because she threatened to tell her father about the affair, all she was guilty of was wanting her parents together like any typical kid.
The BAU Thought the Bergstroms Were Just Surrogates
It could be that they weren’t specifically targeted, but instead, it was just about families in general. That meant the UnSub would strike again.
And he did, again, leaving the teenager alive. The difference this time was the UnSub knew that Matthew was hiding in his closet.
The Latest Murders Led to the Realization that the Survivors Were the Real Victims
The UnSub deliberately spared Amanda and Matthew, not out of compassion, but because he wanted them to feel the pain of losing their families. They were too focused on the murdered family members when they should have been focusing on the survivors. They were the real victims, the ones the UnSub wanted to hurt.
The BAU Profiled the UnSub as a Male in His Late 20s or Early 30s, Possibly Someone Who Was Bullied as an Adolescent
Bullying leaves lasting scars, so they thought they could be looking for someone who was bullied as a teenager and the survivors were his surrogate victimizers he turned into victims. He could be a teacher or staff member who saw himself as an avenger of those being bullied and was punishing bullies when no one else was.
The BAU Brought in the School Counselor for Questioning
Eric Bakken, the administrator in charge of bullying complaints, was bullied as a teenager and even was charged with assault after being provoked by a long-time bully. (The charges were dropped.) However, after talking to him, Rossi knew he wasn’t the UnSub because he didn’t have the rage.
The UnSub’s Next Victim and Overkill Led the BAU to Realize They Were Wrong About the Profile
The UnSub killed the bully this time, shooting him six times and bludgeoning him with a sports trophy, one of his victim’s “prizes.” His behavior read as juvenile, and they realized that the UnSub wasn’t an adult, but a child, a teenager who was being bullied.
The BAU Narrowed Down the Suspects to the Anti-Terror Squad
It was a bullying support group at the school. By the time they figured this out, however, Kyle, the UnSub and one of the group, had already taken the other five hostage after his friend realized what he was doing. He saw his friends turning on him as a betrayal, a sign that they weren’t grateful he was killing for them.
Prentiss Managed to Talk Kyle Down
He was doing what everyone who failed him had done to him: making everything worse. She knew he didn’t want to hurt his friends, the only ones who understood what it was like to be bullied, she told him, and he surrendered.
Criminal Minds season 12 airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS. Want more news? Like our Criminal Minds Facebook page.
(Images courtesy of CBS)