Criminal Minds is a very intense and disturbing TV show. If you've seen an episode or two, you know how messed up some of the cases can be.
After watching 12 seasons, there are some episodes and UnSubs that really stuck out to me and I find very memorable. For those who have never watched the show, an UnSub is the "unknown subject" and is the criminal that they are trying to find. Here are my favorite 10 UnSubs that the BAU has encountered from season 1 through season 12.
1. Sarah Jean
Sarah Jean and her husband Jacob are on death row and the BAU unit goes to review the cases and interview them one last time before they are executed. Jacob is responsible for the rape and death of 13 girls. Sarah Jean is in jail with him because they think she was somehow involved in the murders but she also confessed to the murder of their son Riley. As the episode continues, Gideon finds out that Riley is actually still alive and wants to save Sarah Jean from being executed since she is innocent.
However, she believes she is responsible for the death of those girls because of neglect towards her husband. She also does not want her son Riley to know who his real parents are, to protect him, and so she is content with dying. This really touched me because she is innocent and selfless but is thought to be this awful person. That is the love of a mother.
2. Tobias Hankel/Raphael
Tobias Hankel was abused as a child by his father who used the Bible as a method of teaching him a lesson. As a result of this constant abuse, Tobias ended up creating another personality known as Raphael, who would kill people who have sinned.
In this two-part episode, Tobias/Raphael tortures our beloved Spencer Reid and drugs him. As a result, Spencer struggles with addiction after he is rescued by the rest of the BAU team. This UnSub is such a critical point within the show because of the effects it has on Spencer. In addition, it was so intriguing to watch Tobias switch from his original self to Raphael and back and forth. It was very chilling to watch.
3. George Foyet (The Reaper)
George Foyet, also known as the Reaper is a scary and manipulative UnSub. His signature is killing couples in a car, which comes from a deep-seeded hatred for women. This UnSub was in multiple episodes throughout a few seasons. We learn that he killed many times in his youth, first killing his parents, and then again when he was a little older. However, he made a deal with a detective that he would stop killing if the detective stopped investigating the murders.
The detective listened, but when he is on his death bed, he tells agent Hotchner everything, and the the murders start up again. Talk about manipulation! Despite all of these murders, the most upsetting one is when he murders Hotchner's wife. It is such a memorable moment in the show and affects so many future events that it is hard not to recognize George Foyet as a very memorable UnSub.
4. Cat Adams
We are introduced to Cat Adams when she meets up with Spencer Reid to discuss murdering his "wife". When she realizes that he is a fake and works for the FBI it is a game of wits. For those of you who have watched the show, you all know that Spencer Reid is a genius and never loses. Cat Adams challenges that.
Even though she loses, she continues to mess with him from inside prison and is involved in several more episodes in the next season. She is a great adversary for Reid because she challenges him in ways that other UnSubs have not. Despite her twisted games, Reid always wins!
5. Adam Rain (The Puppetmaster)
This UnSub has a messed up story. When he was a kid his father was killed in a robbery. Years later after waking up from a coma from a car accident, Adam reverts back to a child-like state and goes back to the puppet theater that his father owned. There, he wants to put on a show of the experience he had losing his father, and so he kidnaps a man and a woman to then dislocate their joints. By doing this, he is turning them into marionettes, or puppets, to control them for the performance.
This is a very messed up scenario, but yet, you still feel some sympathy for him. He is in this delusion that the puppets are real and that they could have saved his father. This episode definitely furthers the creepiness of puppets.
6. Anita and Roger Roycewood
Everyone can feel for the anxiety that occurs when a parent loses their child in a public space. Anita and Roger Roycewood pretend to have lost their child, and while a parent gets distracted, abducts the child that was with that parent using children that they have abducted in the past!
It is messed up and terrifying. They end up killing the children when they are no longer needed by putting their bodies into the incinerator in the funeral home that they own. We don't really know why they do this, but it feeds into the fear that every parent has when their child goes missing.
7. Prince of Darkness
Ahh, leave it to Tim Curry to play one of the creepiest UnSubs on the show. The Prince of Darkness takes advantage of the power outages that occur in the Los Angeles area. During these times of darkness, he invades people's homes, specifically those of older couples, and kills the husband, then proceeds to rape the wife and leave her alive. With his awful stench and hideous face, it is a terrifying experience to watch.I can't even imagine the trauma that it causes to the women.
To make this two-part episode even more disturbing, he kidnaps the daughter of one of the detectives and uses her as a "partner in crime" to gain access to homes. He is scary, and not one to mess with.
Oh Wallace, where to begin. With a controlling and manipulating mother, and a broken heart, Wallace was bound for criminal activity. This guy is responsible for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, and keeps her head. In a very disturbing scene, he brings the head of his ex-girlfriend to the restaurant that he works at where he cuts off chunks of her face and puts it into salads to act as bacon that are being served.
This scene has haunted me and I can no longer eat bacon crumbles or really bacon in general. Of course, I watched this episode before I became a pescatarian, so this definitely helped removing pork from my diet.
9. William Rogers
This UnSub is disturbing in every way. He is a rapist who kidnaps this little girl, Hope, who is only 8 years old. He claims to have loved her as soon as he laid eyes on her, and so he abducts her. However, he prefers teenage girls, so he takes care of her until she reaches the ripe age of 13, at which point he starts to sexually abuse her for years. She becomes pregnant and he is thrilled but obviously she is not. Hope ends up killing herself while she is pregnant so that she no longer has to live with the abuse.
Bill becomes devastated and ends up joining a support group, which Garcia and the mother of Hope, Monica, are a part of. Bill ends up abducting Monica after one of the sessions to recreate what he had with Hope. This whole episode was very disturbing to watch and he was definitely a frustrating character to watch.
10. Mr. Scratch
Mr. Scratch is the UnSub that was haunting the BAU team for multiple seasons. He is a scary UnSub who alters people's minds by using a hallucinogenic drug that makes the person open to suggestion and see things that aren't really there. He messes with the BAU team multiple times like with Aaron Hotchner. Losing ones' ability to differentiate between reality and alternate reality is a scary feeling. I definitely would not want to encounter this guy.
Criminal Minds is such a great and disturbing show. I think we all have a fascination with murderers and psychopaths. But there are only a few psychopaths in the world. All the other criminals that the BAU deals with has gone through some traumatic experience and thus act out on the world. It is important to remember that they are people who are victims themselves. Be nice to people, love people, before it's too late.