Every week, millions of viewers tune into “Criminal Minds” to watch a team of FBI profilers of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) analyze the minds of deranged, dangerous and disturbed criminals in an effort to stop them in their tracks. While each episode depicts unsettling crimes and unsavory criminals, there are three episodes that feature a combination of both that are especially creepy.
Please note: While this article contains information about the creepiest parts of the episodes,it also includes spoilers!
This episode of “Criminal Minds” seems reminiscent of the movie “Saw” and plays to the deep-seeded, almost unimaginable fears of viewers. The opening scene immediately delivers a can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it moment by showing a bloodied old man, strapped onto a gurney, who looks petrified as a man wheels him down the hallway of a meat packing plant. In a blood spattered room, the man puts black thick-rimmed glasses on his victim, grabs an instrument and the scene goes dark. Later we see blood and water flowing on the floor toward a drain, carrying with it those same black rimmed glasses.
The rest of the show focuses on Maggie, a woman the unsub picked up on the street and promised money to in exchange for a date. One especially cringe-worthy scene is when Maggie, who wakes up disoriented and barefoot in a dark room, takes a running start to open a chained door, busts through and lands face-down onto a floor covered with broken glass. At one point, using a projector, the unsub shows Maggie the death of the old man and, via an intercom, tells her it’s her future if she cannot find her way out by sunrise. The profile given by the team states that the unsub is someone who believes he is “cleaning house” and doing a service to society by killing prostitutes, the homeless and others he deems a nuisance. The unsub, who watches Maggie on a surveillance system, continuously puts psychological and physical obstacles in her way including gas, an angry Doberman, and a room that has body parts hanging from hooks while the old man’s head rests on a table. After falling down stairs, she grabs her sneakers the unsub laid out and as she pushes aside several other pairs of shoes and starts to crawl toward an open door that leads toward the sunrise outside, the door shuts. Maggie passes out and wakes up to find herself bloody, strapped to a gurney, and being wheeled down a hallway by a whistling man. In the room, the team comes through just in time to kill him before he kills her.
In 1988, when board members at Hazelwood Hospital for the Criminally Insane are discussing the fate of a 17 year old who legally has to leave when he turns 18, one member states “Our hands are tied” to which a doctor responds “It’s not your hands I’m worried about.” A present day scene shortly after shows the team discussing the photos of Abby Kelton, a teenager found murdered in an area of Florida called “Alligator Alley”. The unsub slit her throat, chopped off her fingers and carved an inverted pentagram into her chest and, as if that weren’t disturbing enough, alligators ate her body from the waist down. The team believes they are dealing with a satanic criminal. Flash to a scene of the released patient, who is in a brick room that is covered with red hand prints and text, an inverted pentagram and eerie reproductions of Francisco Goya’s “Black Paintings.” Music plays from a record player as he fiddles with several fingers in a Ziploc bag. To add an even more creepy and nauseating twist, the medical examiner reveals to the team that, while still alive, the victim’s fingers were chopped off and she was forced to eat them.
The next victim, teenager Tracey Lambert, goes missing from a public bathroom in a state park and, while volunteers search for her in a wooded area, one of the female volunteers gets kidnapped. Shortly after, Morgan discovers a dead woman sitting in a church pew, who is later identified as a prostitute that went missing nine months ago. The medical examiner determines she was frozen after death and the team believes the unsub is eating his victims. They discover the unsub is Floyd Feylinn Ferell, who was admitted to the institution after biting a chunk of flesh out of his 9 month old sister. In his basement they find three rooms; the first one is a freezer room that contains frozen dead women, the second contains the missing, but alive volunteer and in the third, they find Floyd sitting at an alter in the aforementioned brick room. Above the alter, Rossi finds a book filled with recipes such as “Kobe Girl Steak.” Floyd tells Morgan that some have a smiley face next to them while others, the ones that didn’t taste right, have a frowny face. He also states that skinny women take drugs and taste funny. Floyd insists on only telling Father Marks where Tracey is. When Floyd tells Morgan and Father Marks that he feels abandoned by God, Father Marks says “You are not alone. God is in all of us.” to which Floyd responds “So is Tracey Lambert.” The team discovers that Floyd was serving food to the volunteers that were searching the woods for Tracey and, in there, were apparently the remains of the missing girl.
To Hell…and Back– Part One
A “Criminal Minds” episode that is in two parts, the first starts with Sgt William Hightower, an Iraq war veteran driving into a border crossing guard post and claims to have killed ten transients. While talking to those that live and work on the streets, the team discovers that many have gone missing. They also learn that Hightower was keeping an eye on the transients and wasn’t the unsub but instead, drove into the post to get the attention of the FBI because the police wouldn’t pay attention to his reports of the missing. During an interview, he reveals his sister lives on the streets and he’s been searching for her. In a scene that starts off the creepiness, a large farmer opens a barn, grabs a hammer and a tied up man from a table, brings him outside and, while bending him over a banister, bashes him in the head. Another scene shows the farmer use a large syringe to remove a substance from the neck of another unconscious male strapped to a table. There is an odd focus on the pigs, from the farmer butchering one to eating another.
The team believes the unsub to be a sexual sadist who is possibly performing medical experiments on his victims. After investigating, the team finds cars that lead them to a potential unsub, Dr. Mason Turner. In the next scene, while a farmer bends a woman named Kelly over a rail and marks her neck, he stops short of bashing her head with a hammer when he hears the team pull onto the property and, instead, hides her in an underground room. While searching the property, they come across a paraplegic man, who turns out to be Mason, that’s hooked up to medical equipment. Next to the pig pen, Prentis and Morgan spot a container with a bloody handprint on it and inside find 89 bloody pairs of shoes. While questioning Mason, he reveals his brother Lucas is responsible for the murders and for his paralyzed condition. Mason tells Rossi that Lucas has a violent temper and that they need to find the girl quickly because “he’s going to tear her to pieces.” While searching the farm, they find and give Hightower his dog tags that he had given his sister before she disappeared.
Because of the drawings that Reid finds in Lucas’s sleeping area, he believes that Lucas may have Autusm or moderate mental retardation and may not understand the crimes he’s committed. The team discovers that the pair were doing medical testing on the victims in an effort to fix Mason’s body. Meanwhile, Kelly does her best to convince Lucas that they’re friends. He allows her to go to the bathroom outside and while he steps away to give her privacy, she uses his cell phone to call for help, which allows Garcia to trace the call. He catches her and drags her back underground. As the team searches the area, Lucas cries and tells her how he’s a bad man and pushed Mason off the roof, which caused his paralysis. When she hears the team yell for her, she responds and in an act of sympathy, tells Lucas he’s not bad and to not make sudden movements. As Hotch pulls her away and leads her out, she motions for him not to move suddenly. Lucas panics and charges the officers, who shoot him while Morgan screams “No!” behind them. At the same time, Hightower grabs an unattended gun and shoots and kills Mason. At the end, a masked gunman breaks into Hotch’s home and shoots him point blank.
This episode of “Criminal Minds” has some reminiscent details of the “Pig Farm Killer” Robert William Pickton who killed women that were drug addicts or prostitutes from the “Low Track” in Vancouver, Canada. After bringing them back to his pig farm, he allegedly killed his victims and fed them to his pigs. He may have also combined the flesh with ground pork and gave it to friends. He was charged with twenty-seven counts of first degree murder and was convicted on six counts of second degree murder. He has yet to stand trial for twenty more murders.
If you haven’t yet watched these grotesque and creepy episodes of “Criminal Minds,” you may want to do so when you’re not planning on eating for a few more hours. In some cases, the imagery alone is enough to turn your stomach so you can imagine how some of the more graphic scenes will make you feel. Expect a high creepiness factor and, while you may be tempted to watch with the lights on, turn them off if you want even more chills down your spine. After all, it is just a television show and nothing similar happens in real life…right?
“To Hell…and Back” Part 1 – Season 4 Episode 25 of “Criminal Minds”
“Lucky” – Season 3 Episode 8 of “Criminal Minds”
“Legacy” – Season 2 Episode 22 of “Criminal Minds”