Criminal Minds

Season 1 Episode 8

Natural Born Killer

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 16, 2005 on CBS

Episode Recap

Two men, Jimmy and Freddy, are leaving a bar in Baltimore. They argue with the bartender as they make their way towards the exit. At the door, a Baltimore cop stops and says 'hello' to Jimmy, who later turns out to be an undercover FBI agent and knows the cop. Jimmy acts as though he resents the cop because he is supposed to be an ex-con. The cop realizes he must be on assignment and plays along. Freddy asks Jimmy why he is friendly with cops, and Jimmy acts affronted, and tells him the cop arrested and sent him to jail at one point. It turns out Freddy is in league with the mob. Jimmy drops Freddy off at his aunt and uncle's house where Freddy invites him in for dinner. Jimmy declines the offer, and goes back to his apartment to call his supervisor and inform him of the encounter. He tells him that a cop recognized him and that he believes Freddy was suspicious. Later, one of the DeMarcos' neighbors goes over to tell Mrs. DeMarco to turn down her music because she couldn't sleep. As she knocks on the door, she discovers it is covered in blood. At the same time, Jimmy flies out the door scared out of his wits, and goes to call his supervisor for a pickup, which they schedule for 8 o'clock that evening. When the police arrive at the DeMarcos' house, the neighbor gives a description of the man she saw running from the house to a sketch artist.

The next morning, the BAU arrives at the crime scene. JJ gives a press conference to let the public know about the murders and shows the picture of the suspect saying he is between the ages of 25-40. As they go into the house, the scene of the double homicide of William and Helen DeMarco, Morgan reads the file to the rest of the team. He tells them the DeMarcos' neighbor had said she had gone over to tell them to turn down their music and a young man came running out the door "hopped up on those damn drugs," to which Gideon replies, "Eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable." Hotch remarks it sounds like a standard double homicide and asks why they were there. As they enter the bedroom, Morgan responds, "overkill." Helen DeMarco had been killed at the vanity with her throat slit ear to ear. Her blood had sprayed all over the vanity and the wall and ceiling. William DeMarco had been murdered in the shower, and had also been tortured before he was killed. The killer had burned and lacerated William before killing him. Reid points out this is not the way a person who tortures normally works. Usually a person who burns does not cut and vice versa. There were only two bodies found at the crime scene. Yet Gideon says there had been a third victim who had been dismembered in the bathtub. The rest of them agree because the level of the blood ring in the tub indicated that the person had lost his entire blood volume (which Reid says is 10.6 pints). They realize it must be Freddy Condor's body, which is missing because he was supposed to be living with his aunt and uncle. They notice his is the only body that is missing, and this must mean something to the killer.

"There is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else."

Hotch, Elle, and Reid are in the DeMarcos' living room discussing methods of torture. There are two categories of torture: functional and sadistic. Functional torture is just that, it serves a function for the person performing the act. The torturer could be looking for information about someone or something, and it is impersonal. Sadistic torture is not used for anything other than the pleasure of the person committing the act. It is supposed to cause a sexual release from the pleasure the torturer gets in evoking pain in their victim. The three agents conclude the unsub is either a professional or a pure psychopath.

Meanwhile, Gideon and Morgan are still in the bedroom discussing the murders. Morgan points out Helen DeMarco was the only one not tortured, just one clean laceration. Gideon tells him to call Garcia and have her look for any unsolved murders that involve the same level of torture and to look for murders in Maryland and in the surrounding states going back about 10 years.

Later that night, a homeless person is going through trash bins looking for food, and makes a very nasty discovery. He pulls out a small trash bag, and opens it to find the severed head of Freddy Condor. The team later finds out Freddy Condor's body parts had been found in people's trash bins going for about two blocks. They learn Condor had been a low-level gangster.

As the team reviews the unsub's profile, JJ enters the room and tells Gideon there a couple agents who felt they were invading their turf. Gideon goes out to talk to them as Hotch comes from the other end of the hall. Hotch introduces himself and then Gideon. The other agent in charge tells them the entire BAU team is well known. He introduces himself as Josh Kramer, head of the Organized Crime Unit in Baltimore. He thanks them for coming to Baltimore, and says since they now know the case involves organized crime his team will be taking over.

Hotch returns to his office, and Gideon goes back to the conference room, where Morgan, Elle, JJ, and Reid are waiting and had heard the conversation through the open door. Morgan asks, "So, are we just going to drop it? These guys don't know what they are dealing with." In way of a response, Gideon begins the profile: "The unsub is male, intelligent, organized, methodical, and has been killing for a long time." They decide the unsub is connected to Freddy Condor as more than just his murderer. Freddy Condor had worked in a junkyard for a man named Michael Russo, who is known to be involved in organized crime. Morgan says he'll grab Hotch and check Russo out.

They visit with Michael Russo and discuss Freddy Condor. He tells them Freddy never showed up for work that morning. Morgan informs him Freddy, along with his aunt and uncle, had been murdered the night before. Russo says it was too bad, and Morgan makes a remark about Russo not sounding upset (intimating that Russo was involved). Russo replies, "Listen, I don't speak smartass. If you've got something to say, then say it." Morgan tells him even if he wasn't involved with Condor's murder; he probably knew who it was. Russo tells him he was in the recycling business, and that's where the money is. He ends the conversation with, "If you're going to arrest me, then get a warrant and come back with the metal bracelets. Otherwise I have a business to run."

Reid goes to Garcia's office to look for any known criminals who matched the police sketch made from the DeMarcos' neighbor's description. He gets so focused as he looks over her shoulder that he doesn't realize how close he has leaned in towards her. She teases him by saying, "You're breathing on me." Reid snaps out of it and apologizes, and Garcia tries not to laugh. Elle joins them to find out what they have learned. Reid asks Garcia to go back to a Jimmy Baker's file as he tells Elle that it was interesting. He reads aloud, as Elle looks at the screen, Baker's record: 'convicted of attempted murder as a teenager and released when he was 21, arrested for armed robbery, petty theft, burglary, narcotic sales, and rape.' Elle pointed out the rape was the only sex crime in the record, and Reid says, "I told you it was interesting." When Garcia questions what they are talking about, Reid explains Baker had apparently started off with attempted murder and devolved to lesser crimes. Elle said it looked like a record someone just threw together just putting in whatever sounded good.

Hotch takes Morgan to Baker's address, and Hotch and Morgan go to his apartment and discover it is empty. Morgan realizes something is wrong - the dwelling is artificial as is the man's past. Meanwhile, Baker is nervously waiting on a street corner. Morgan finds a hidden compartment containing a loaded gun. He puts the pieces together and tells Hotch, "I did 18 months undercover and this place has all the makings of a crash pad." Agent Kramer show up at the corner for Baker, but Baker is not there. Agent Kramer goes to the BAU and shouts at Hotchner until Hotch makes it clear that they don't have him. Gideon enters and the men discuss Baker's disappearance. The agent explains how Baker ended up at Condor's place and then called for a pick-up. He says he's too experienced to run without a call and he tells them the target of the investigation is Michael Russo. He says if he didn't do it, Russo knows who did. Kramer asks if the man who took Baker has already killed him. He says he'll help any way he can if the BAU will help get Baker back to his family.

Baker is questioned by the unsub and denies everything. He's bloody and swollen. At the BAU, Garcia brings a box to the board where Morgan is looking at crime scene photos. She says they're going to need a bigger board. Garcia says she went back 15 years and there are over 100 unsolved murders. Morgan notes the torture is consistent. He's shocked at the kill rate. Garcia says he's a hit man, but Morgan thinks they're not all mob hits and that he's been hunting for years. He has no conscious. They have a serial killer with the perfect career. He thinks they can shake Russo because he has no idea with whom he's really dealing.

Morgan and Hotch visit Russo again, this time at a restaurant. They admit they don't think he ordered the hit on Freddy and show him some crime scene photos. They say he must have a problem in their organization. Hotch tells him his guy is freelancing and Russo can't control him. Morgan says if he's not a problem for Russo now, he will be. Russo says to let him deal with that. Morgan goes back and puts an arm around him, asking how his paranoid killer will feel about him when he learns he's been friendly with the FBI.

At the BAU, Gideon tells Elle and Reid about Hotch and Morgan shaking Russo's confidence. Reid asks if they just made Russo as paranoid as the hit man. Gideon tells them to stay on the surveillance team outside Russo's office. They watch from Garcia's office and Reid explains how the microphone uses the law of optics to pick up the sound from Russo's office. Russo tells "Vinny" to stop being paranoid.

Vinnie puts away some torture implements and then cuts Baker's arm. He says, cryptically, "They like the scent of blood." At the BAU, Reid points out there are 11 associates of Russo named Vincent. Elle asks about a particular one. Reid names another, Vincent Perotta, and Garcia hacks into his files. She reads his rap sheet. Reid reads that he scheduled a visit to an infirmary to get access to a boy who looked at him wrong." They realize this is probably their unsub.

At Russo's, Morgan, Gideon, Kramer and Hotch wait for the meeting with Vincent, but Vincent surprises Hotch and they fight. Vincent garrotes him, but Morgan comes to help. Vincent is tasered and he releases Hotch. Gideon loosens Hotch's tie as Hotch tries to get a breath. Kramer mentions a van around the corner with blood all over it, and Baker's jacket. Meanwhile, Baker is fading in and out of consciousness. Vincent is taking back to the BAU in chains and cuffed to a chair in the interrogation table. Kramer is worried interrogation will take too long, but Hotch doesn't plan to make him comfortable, in the usual technique, but to make him uncomfortable.

Garcia, Elle, Reid and Morgan go through the items from Vincent's van. Reid finds some tapes, and Morgan suggests he and Garcia go through them. Garcia enthusiastically says, "Movie night!" Gideon goes in to interrogate Vincent, beginning simply by asking if he was advised of his rights. Kramer, Morgan and Hotch watch. Kramer wants to turn the cameras off so he can make Vincent talk, but Hotch points out he was probably abused and he's learned to take the pain. Vincent realizes Gideon isn't Organized Crime and asks about Behavioral Analysis. Gideon tells Vincent he's a psychopath with paranoid personality disorder. He shows Vincent a picture of Baker and asks if he recognizes him. He asks about the other three crime photos, but Vincent makes a sarcastic remark. Hotch tells Kramer that Gideon is pushing his buttons. Gideon asks if murder is the only thing that will give him a sexual release. He turns the photo board over to show the hundred or so other victims. He says he believes Vincent is an extremely impotent man. Kramer bursts in and has to be hauled out. Vincent says, "Kramer is a federal agent? I knew it? Jason, is it still called 'paranoid' if I'm right?"

In her office, Garcia bets Reid $10 that the films show naked co-eds and a plumber. The joke is lost on Reid. She puts in the tape and they watch someone screaming. They put in another and are shocked by what they see. Reid says he'll be back and leaves. Gideon leaves the interrogation room and confronts Kramer. Kramer admits he told Baker to hang tough. Reid interrupts to say there's a chance Baker is being tortured and he thinks he knows how.

Baker comes to and sees rats entering the room he's tied up in. He cries in terror as they come toward him.

Hotch gives JJ some more photos of new victims from the videotapes. She asks if those are rats in the photos. Reid says the good news is that they seem to all be in the same location. They can't find a paper trail on the guy though. They wonder if Russo could be paying for him. Gideon thinks he has to have a weakness. Morgan thinks Freddie Condor was too easy to find, that Vincent went off script. Gideon explained that his behavior changed and Hotch realizes the difference was Mrs. DeMarco. She wasn't tortured.

Hotch takes over questioning Vincent. He tells Vincent about his abusive past, saying his father beat him every chance he got. Vincent says, "He smacked me around some. Didn't everybody's old man?" Hotch says no and Vincent remarks, "Well, maybe if yours had, you would have learned to fight." Reid and Garcia are waiting in the office and Garcia hears something, Reid realizes it's moving and getting closer: an airplane. Hotch keeps after Vincent telling him he was bullied and abused and became a bully and abuser. He asks about Vincent's mother. Morgan and Elle are still going through the contents of the van and Morgan comments about all the food, but no address, no paperwork, no registration. Elle realizes they can start with the pizza place that the pizza box came from. Hotch tells Vincent his mother knew and didn't do anything to help him. He says Vincent still loved her and he wondered why. Vincent tells him not to talk about his mother. Hotch goes on, saying he killed hundreds of people and only one woman. Vincent finally admits that his father was a bastard. Reid, Morgan, and Elle put the pizza box and the airplane together to find the location. Gideon tells them to look for Vincent's father. Garcia finds the address. Morgan, Elle, and Gideon raid of the house. They call out "clear" as they go through rooms in the house. Finally Baker is found in the basement with rats crawling all over him. Morgan and Kramer swat the rats away. Elle tells Kramer he's going to live. Hotch tells Vincent at the end when other agents come in to take him to booking: "You were just responding to what you learned Vincent. When you grow up in an environment like that, an extremely abusive and violent household. It's not surprising that some people grow up to become killers." When Vincent questions the end of the comment, Hotch replies, "And some people grow up to catch them."

Carl Jung said, "The healthy man does not torture others. Generally, it is the tortured who turn into torturers."