Criminal Minds s03e15 Episode Script

A Higher Power

Well, they said That storm was coming, And they weren't kidding.
Oh How are we? Well, you know, it's hard.
Just one foot In front of the other.
Thanks.
It would have been Amy's birthday tomorrow.
Paul? Hmm.
He's been a rock.
But you know how he is.
His glass is always full.
I think he's home.
Well, the kids are With grandma tonight.
We have a night off.
Yeah.
God, we need it.
Thank you.
I appreciate the call, kate.
I- you know, i-i should go.
Yeah, ok.
Bye.
Paul! Paul, i think the lightning Blew out the house.
Paul.
Honey.
Paul.
Paul.
Paul.
Honey? Paul, open the door.
Honey.
Unlock the door! Paul! Aah Paul! Oh, my god! Agent jennifer jareau? A friend of mine Gave me your number, Said you might be able To help.
Ronnie baleman, Pittsburgh p.
d.
There's something Going on in my town.
Something's not right.
Got a case.
So, you've either decided We're taking the case, Or this bag is headed For another destination? I need a favor.
Of course.
I need some personal time, No more than a day.
Take all the time You need.
I need to talk to jack.
I've lost her, but i'm Not gonna lose him.
I need to try to Tell him What's going on.
I don't know How much he's going To understand, but All he needs to understand Is that you love him.
I'll join you When i can.
In the shadyside rec center Killed 14 children.
I remember that.
What does that Have to do with us? Well, Over the past 3 months, There's been 5 suicides.
All of them lost a child In the fire.
The last one Was paul baleman.
He was found electrocuted In his bathtub yesterday.
I received a request For our help.
Why do they need our help? They're suicides.
All of the suicides Were within 2 weeks Of each other.
It could be Some kind of pattern.
Detective ronnie baleman, Pittsburgh, p.
d.
Thinks that something's Going on.
Well, of course he does.
Why do you say that? He's related To that man, right? His brother.
A cop who doesn't Believe his brother Committed suicide.
Come on.
Next case.
Now, wait a second.
Within months? That's A serious spike.
Suicides don't Spike after A tragedy.
Quite the opposite, Actually.
Following world war i and ii, Right after kennedy was shot, And following 9/11, Suicides plummeted.
Within a society, External threats Usually create Group integrations.
J.
j.
: people come together.
Prentiss: so if there's Reason for doubt, Which there Obviously is, Don't those families Left behind Have a right to know? Yes, they do.
Ok, sure, They deserve to know, But let Somebody else tell them, Like social services.
Contact detective baleman.
Let him know we're coming.
"There is no refuge From confession but suicide, And suicide is confession.
" Daniel webster.
Hotch would never Have taken this case.
And i say, "case," In the loosest sense.
Profile the facts As they are without bias.
Isn't that what we do? What facts, Rossi? Look at us.
We don't have a single file.
Ok, let me help you out.
Jump right in anytime.
Fact one- There are no files, So it seems no case.
But what if there is? One fire, 14 deaths, All the suicides Are connected To the original fire.
And all exactly 2 weeks apart.
Come on.
Derek, You can't tell me That doesn't feel A lot like a pattern.
Prentiss: And a timeline.
Right? A lot of people lost Their kids in that fire.
That's a whole World of grief, And for a few Suicide's Their only way out.
Or someone decided it was.
And made it Look this way? What if they have? Then we're looking for One very smart unsub.
Who targets People in grief.
And that would Make them what? Someone who thinks They're putting them Out of their misery.
An angel of death.
Agent jareau? Hi.
I'm detective Ronnie baleman.
Hi.
Uh, this is S.
s.
a.
Rossi, S.
s.
a.
s morgan, prentiss, And dr.
Reid.
Thank you, all of you, For coming.
Well, your colleagues Don't look all that Happy to see us.
They didn't just Lose a brother.
I'd like to get started On all the files.
We're gonna build what we Call psychological autopsies To determine whether The victims killed themselves.
Everything's In those boxes.
We'd also like to take a look At your brother's house.
I'll take you there.
I think it's better If you stay here.
It's my case.
I- I brought you here.
Technically, There is no case.
And if there was, You wouldn't be on it.
We need to profile The scene without bias.
I could use your help With these files.
It looks like There's quite a few.
My brother kept A journal.
I found this on the desk In his bedroom.
Read the last page.
They're not the words Of a suicidal man.
You seem pretty sure That an unsub exists.
So are you.
You're here, Aren't you? He wasn't On antidepressants.
He wasn't depressed.
Do you mind if my colleagues Take a look upstairs? Ronnie kept it Exactly as it was Until you got here.
Tell me about the fire.
It's the annual Fall dance for the kids, And it's really popular.
It's hard To get tickets.
But the kids love it.
Do you personally know Any of the other families? Who lost children? And who recently Committed suicide as a result.
Just questions.
Ok? He knows Paul wouldn't do this.
What? Paul wouldn't do this.
Not after all We've been through.
He would not leave us.
Not like that.
Go ahead.
Put it up.
This is a physical Representation Of the 5 equivocal deaths.
Together with the profile Of each case, We'll build psychological Autopsies of each person.
And this will tell us If it was suicide Or murder.
Reid: uh, suicide, yes, Murder, no.
And you think it's A pretty good indicator.
Since its inception In 1958, It's proven to carry A 92% accuracy rate In cases that have Gone to trial.
Ok, so the door was locked From the inside.
The wife broke the door in.
But he could have Gotten out that window.
Well, it's a good It'd hurt, But you could do it.
So a toaster was thrown In the tub, right? Space heater.
Toaster, space heater.
Did the job.
Hey.
It's a 110 outlet With no g.
f.
i.
Go on.
Well, it's a 1930s house, But it's been remodeled With no ground fault Installation.
Yet there was a g.
f.
i.
Unit Installed in the kitchen.
I put 'em In all my properties, Especially the bathroom And the kitchen.
Any surge of electrical Current'll shut the power down At the source.
Properties? Yeah.
How many properties? Whoever threw the space heater In this tub Knew that there was no g.
f.
i.
Mm-hmm.
Come on.
Mrs.
Baleman, What did your husband Do for a living? He was a contractor.
Well, if these Autopsies prove They weren't suicides, Then i need to inform The media right away.
I would err On the side of caution.
What? People need to know.
And they will, as soon As we have absolute proof.
I think the town's been through Enough already, don't you? Also keep in mind that If these cases are related, This unsub's Probably already aware That we're onto him.
But the community Needs to know If there's A serial killer In its midst.
And they will, As soon as we have proof.
Even if the proof Means another body.
He's right, you know.
He's also personally Motivated, though, Which means he's likely To react irrationally.
If this turns out to be The work of a serial killer, The whole town will, too.
You know what i think, Jakey? Quarterback.
Yeah.
Maybe that's a little Too dangerous.
How about a kicker? Yeah, a kicker.
Ooh! Looks like We have a visitor.
Just a second! Mommy will Be right back.
Hey there.
Come on in.
Thank you very much.
Say hi, Jake.
Can you do That for mommy? Say, "hi.
" I've got your bag In the other room.
Ma'am, get back.
You ok? Yeah, i'm good.
Let's do this.
All right, You got a kid.
There's a bad guy In the house.
What do you do To protect your child? Fight.
Not a single defensive Wound on her body.
Well I don't suppose she climbed Up there of her own free will.
Unless she Committed suicide.
She's got a baby Crying for her In the other room.
Father found him In the highchair.
Not a scratch.
Remember, The unsub believes He's on some kind Of a mission.
The child is of no Importance to him.
You find A suicide note? Haven't found one yet.
So what are You thinking? In every case, there's no Evidence of a struggle.
Or breaking And entering.
I'm going to need You and emily to contact All of the families Affected by that fire And inform them What's going on.
They need to be Warned immediately.
So she Couldn't cope.
She snapped.
It happens.
It happens Every day.
No, not here it didn't.
Emily Right now that's Exactly what happened.
Paul baleman's house- That's what you'd expect From someone who Is deeply depressed, Deeply traumatized.
Yeah, i know.
I saw it.
Everything past orderly.
Everything present Disorderly.
The bookshelf, The glass cabinet All had order when their lives Had order, had meaning.
Everything about beth's home Says she moved on.
Then how did she get up There without a fight? Whew uh She was already dead.
Dead weight is a lot Heavier than alive.
Um Ok.
Well She can't believe He's gonna spare the baby If she does What she's told.
The question is How did he get in? Beth must have let him in.
I mean, she had to.
They all let him in.
So she fixes them drinks.
He drugs her.
That's gotta be it.
It's emily, The strange and great.
What can i do you for? Hey, uh, i'm looking For a drug That would temporarily Paralyze or subdue someone, Not kill them, But give full control.
Well, i always use Alcohol.
It's less Fuss, way cheaper.
Um, uh, look for something That wouldn't show up In a toxicology report.
Ok, got it.
Thank you.
Anything to tell us Whether these are suicides Or not? These are some samples From diedre nollard, The jumper.
See, we have An insurance form, A letter she wrote To her neighbor A month ago, A birthday card she wrote To her husband a week ago, And her suicide note Found on her body.
Suicide note matches, Right? It's definitely By her own hand, But she's professing Regret.
Look.
"uh, i'm sorry i let you down.
Please forgive me.
I disappointed you.
" and so on.
But the handwriting, The forensic analysis Is saying the exact Opposite.
What do you mean? Um well, you see How the handwriting Slants uphill? It's a clear sign Of optimism.
The same with how The spacing Is so consistent.
And these long t-bars- Those indicate An enthusiastic person.
Not someone who Would take a swan dive Off a 5-story walkup.
Look, even if we had Alerted the media- Now we'll never know.
Like i said, That's on me.
But, hey, Now we have the proof That these Aren't suicides.
Those notes, Were they coerced? If you were to force someone To write their own suicide note, These are words You generally wouldn't use.
I'll take that as a no.
And my brother's journal? I haven't ev- It's extensive.
I haven't- Another no.
Can we inform The media now? I have.
I need you all outside.
This is s.
s.
a.
Aaron Hotchner.
He's just arrived.
What have we got? Including extended families, Over 100 individuals Within the pittsburgh area Were affected by that fire.
So this unsub Is targeting grief, eh? Grief? An event.
A single event In this unsub's life Led him to end the life Of someone he believes Had to die.
From that moment on, He created his own sense Of morality- What is right And what is wrong- And he rationalizes What he did, That first kill Over and over again, By targeting people That he believes Can't be saved By anyone Other than himself.
He decides who lives And who dies, And this gives him An all-consuming Sense of power.
So they're not gonna stop Anytime soon.
Well, that's assuming There's someone To actually stop.
And if there is, He's convinced he's On a mission of mercy, And even after he's Caught, he'll maintain He did nothing wrong.
He.
White male, mid to late 30s, He's polite, forthcoming, Doesn't stand out.
And we believe his victims, These families, Are all letting him in.
My brother, His wife weren't Letting anyone in.
If anything, they were Closing themselves off.
Well, this unsub Has found a way in, One that's Very hard to trace.
In every case, There was no evidence Of a struggle, No attempt at escapes.
He finds A personal connection And uses it to buy time.
My officers Need to know this.
We've found That angels of mercy Are often people In the medical profession, As well as law enforcement.
Cops.
Prentiss: which is why We're meeting out here.
Now, we're only fishing.
We don't want to point A finger.
Point it.
I don't give a damn.
If that's What it's about, Let us figure out Where to point it.
I asked garcia to check into Emergency responders Who were on the scene Of the fire.
Good.
Prentiss? He's smart.
He knows All about these People's schedules, Their routines.
Look, if this unsub Does exist, This is a guy Who's all about control.
He chooses how they die, When they die.
He even positions them Exactly how he Wants them to die.
That makes him Hypervigilant, A guy who's always On the lookout, Risk-averse, unseen.
The only way to stop him Is to find out how He's managed to get into All of his victims' lives.
We find that out, We've got our killer.
We can start Bringing people in, Find the connection.
Man: i haven't had a drink.
It's been, uh, 3 weeks Some of you know I lost my son ben In the fire.
A few of you Have pushed me To go see his Little league games His old team.
He used to pitch.
But i gotta be honest, I just haven't Been up for that.
I drive by every day.
You know, maybe today.
Maybe not.
I don't know.
J.
j.
: thank you for coming.
Prentiss: we're so sorry About the loss of your son.
I'm sure you know About the suicides That have occurred In shadyside over The past 2 months.
We believe there's A serial killer Who is making it appear As though his victims Were committing suicide.
Oh, my god.
And he's targeting People That were affected By the fire.
Wh-what do you mean? I mean, wh-why would Someone do that? He believes He's an angel of mercy, That he's actually Helping his victims move on.
Do you, uh, believe We may know this person? Yes, we do.
We just buried Our daughter.
Yes, we know.
Whatever His motivations are, It's crucial we look into Every part of your life.
Oh, like he's done Or is doing, right? Um, can you think of Anyone who might want- Might want to kill us? They're just Doing their job.
He's a white male, Mid-30s.
He comes across As very concerned, Friendly, charming.
No.
I'm sorry.
If you need Our help For anything.
Thank you.
Did you see her With her son? What? She couldn't hold him.
She couldn't Look at him.
Man: nice throw, jim.
Mind if i sit here? Help yourself.
So you made it.
Yeah, i did.
Face what you fear the most.
Step 10-continue to take Personal inventory.
Go ahead, hot stuff.
Talk to me.
Hey, so, Prentiss was looking For some narcotics, My burning love hunk, And i scored humongously.
I ran every toxicological panel Known to man on the victims And came up with zilch, Which means he must be Knocking them out With a neuromuscular agent.
With a what? A paralytic.
Yeah, yeah.
Something like Succinylcholine Or vecuronium, one of those ones That would metabolize In the body so quickly, It wouldn't be detectable.
Plus, plus, also, And i called me up mr.
Coroner And said, "how would You do this?" And he says, "by injection.
" So i say, "hey, guy, Wouldn't that leave a mark?" And he's all, "hold up.
" And then he goes and looks At beth smoler's body And finds the mark.
A hole, Right in her hairline.
Ok, so you'd have to be In the medical profession To get ahold Of those drugs, right? Not necessarily.
You can get almost anything Online these days.
This drug leaves no trace? None.
Even if a coroner Was looking For something, The evidence was gone.
And beth smoler didn't See anything coming.
No, sir.
She completely saw it coming.
They all saw it coming.
Neuromuscular blockers Paralyze the muscles temporarily While you remain Very much awake.
He sedates them, Then quickly engineers Their suicide.
Well, if that's true, It means this unsub's Not looking for The glory of the kill.
No, but unfortunately For his victims, They're wide awake When he decides It's time for them To move on.
I know that feeling- When is it ever Going to end? The sadness, It just goes on and on, Every breathing moment.
And the pain, it- It overwhelms you.
And if you could end it You would.
That's why when you Looked at me, curtis, I knew in that moment What you wanted of me, What you wanted me to do.
I'm only sorry It took me this long.
But i'm here now.
You can let go, curtis.
I think we're ready now.
Yeah.
We're ready.
Barrel was placed Right there, Under the chin, He shoots, And the bullet Went up through The small and hard Palate of his mouth, And then it exited Out through his- Cranium.
Check The back of his head, His hairline.
There.
See it? Puncture wound.
Made by a- Needle.
He leave a note? All right, rossi, i'm in.
We got ourselves an unsub.
They all have The same type of tone.
It-it's uncanny.
And you're saying that they All wrote these willingly.
None of them are forced, But even here In curtis fackler's, He never says good-bye.
It's like they're Not meant for anybody, Not for a wife, Not for a kid.
Then who are they Writing them to? They're amends, To themselves, and i- I believe they're written As part of a program.
Program? Uh, the 5 stages of grief- In, uh, some self-help groups, They ask you to write down An amends to yourself.
Is that right? And all of these groups Are anonymous, right? Well, just to give you An idea of what we're Dealing with here, Just for alcoholic Support groups for tonight, Monday, there are 91 Around pittsburgh proper.
You gotta be kidding me.
That many? They have different meetings All day and night, Different locations, Different degrees Of participation, Of religiousness.
Ok, i've sent you A schedule of meetings For the major Grief staples- Alcohol, drugs, Depression, and loss- All within a 2-mile radius Of shadyside.
There are 11.
Can we get A list of names? Reid: no.
Why not? They're anonymous.
That's how He's been getting away with it.
Let's gather the troops.
We're gonna need all The people you can spare.
You got it.
Can you think of anybody Who sticks out? He's confident, earnest.
Mm-mmm.
Hell, i mean, We're addicts.
Everyone sticks out, No one sticks out, You know? We're just checking All the different Groups in the area.
This is a really Private group.
Honestly, i don't think I could help you.
And if i could, i wouldn't.
Even if it means That one of the members Of your group Might get killed? This person has A specific background, A tragic event.
He would have felt Compelled to tell his story And may have even told it Time and time again.
That's about He might have Brought up suicide.
There has been a lot Of suicide talk lately.
Anyone come to mind? You know, there was a guy Who talked about His brother's suicide.
It was pretty intense.
This guy stood up And told a story About his brother.
His family Was so poor They shared the same bedroom Till they were 15.
We heard The same story.
He's moving From group to group, Repeating it.
He said his name was peter And that his dad was a Professor at brassard, And we were just kids.
Slept in separate beds.
And my father, he'd be Coming up the stairway And we'd hear this- This creaking sound.
It was awful.
And then he would He would get in bed With james and Molest him.
The worst part of it Is that he pretended To be asleep When it happened.
If it's true, it could be What started our unsub On his mission of mercy.
It certainly Didn't end well, At least not for james, The older brother.
Then one night, i, uh- I came into our room, and Well, james Had slashed his wrists.
The sheets were covered In his blood.
It was-it was everywhere.
And then he looked me In the eye And i knew In that moment I knew that i just Had to let him go.
Ok, so we've got 2 names- James and peter.
And a university- Brassard.
Well, that'll make it Easier for you, garcia.
If the unsub's father Really taught at brassard, Chances are he's local.
Uh Reid? Angels of mercy, They repeat the same event Over and over again.
What are you getting at? Well, if as you said, The story's true, Then he's leaving One key piece Of information out, The event That started it all.
His brother didn't Kill himself.
Peter did.
The fire caused Such grief and suffering That it became the trigger.
And unable to stop himself, He targets someone He believes needs his help.
At first he keeps to Some kind of timeline, A few weeks, But the last He's devolving.
I got it.
It's from 1984.
It's brassard college University newspaper.
Garcia, they lived on campus? Yeah.
Says here james redding Was the youngest suicide In pennsylvanian history.
And his father Charles redding was A professor.
Creep.
Is there any possibility That while We've been talking, You've been Multitasking? What, track down His current address? Ha ha.
I love you, Penelope garcia.
Heh.
Get in line.
Clear! We're clear! Clear! Clear! We need to work fast.
There's meetings taking place All over the city.
At least With your guys and ours, His chances Are next to zero, right? He's got away with it This far.
Guys.
You might want To take a look at this.
He's crossed off the names Of beth smoler And curtis fackler, The last 2 victims.
It's a grid Of all the support groups.
Times, dates.
Got a list of names Of all those in the meetings.
They all have a type.
Alcoholic, narcotic, Depression, divorce.
Man, this guy Kept himself busy.
Hey.
Laurie ann morris.
We spoke to her And her husband.
Her name's not crossed off Like the others.
Hi.
My name is laurie ann.
All: hi, laurie ann.
She's not answering Her cell phone.
Husband's already Left work.
I'm calling his cell now.
Jonathan, hello.
This is agent emily prentiss From the f.
b.
i.
Is your wife laurie ann With you? Can you tell us Where she is right now? Got it.
Rough day? You don't have to Answer that.
Oh, tried to quit.
Can't quite Seem to do it.
Maybe now's Not the time.
Right.
You'll know when it is.
You have good intuition.
I can see that.
I'm late.
It was nice to meet you.
You, too.
Oh Excuse me, sir.
We're looking for either one Of these people.
Have either of you Seen them? You sure? All right, let's split up And, uh, search the building And the surrounding area.
This way, guys.
Let's go.
Laurie Ann Morris.
Have you seen her? Please, look close.
She was here.
Are you sure? Excuse me.
Have either of you Seen these people? Ok, thank you.
Triple-a? Expired.
I'll figure something out.
She was here A minute ago.
Where'd she go? Maybe the parking lot.
Was she alone? She was talking To some guy.
Thank you.
Parking lot? Other side Of the building.
How many exits Does it have? And west side.
All right, split up And cover each one.
Morgan, You come with us.
Where are you going? Please, it's no bother.
Where? Main street.
I'm just going To meet a friend.
Uh Hop in the back.
Do you know what kind Of car she has? It's a blue chevy.
Wait.
I can help you.
Help me how? With the pain of not even Being able to hold your son.
You think You can help me? Yes.
You just have to let go.
It's over there.
Is that what you did For all those people? Prentiss: laurie ann! Yes.
Yes, i did What they couldn't.
You think You can help me? Laurie ann! You think You can help me? Yes.
Laurie ann! Laurie ann! Put your hands Where i can see them! I'm going around! Show me your hands! Ok.
Don't move.
We've got help coming.
Do it now! You got me? Yeah.
I don't understand What's going on.
Here.
Ow! Ow! What's going on Is you just took Your last breath As a free man.
I've done nothing wrong.
Shut up.
Ow! Ow! Ow.
Uh Hey.
Hi.
You're gonna be ok.
Am i? Laurie ann A mother isn't supposed To outlive her children.
Yeah.
But she's gone.
Allie's dead.
Please.
I don't Care anymore.
But your son does.
Don't lose him as well.
I wanted to thank you For all you did And for believing me When no one else did.
Ron Thank you.
Paul's journal, I read it.
Ronnie, your brother paul Wasn't murdered.
In peter's apartment, Unlike all The other victims, Paul's name Was nowhere to be found.
I- i don't understand.
You said the psychological Autopsy was inconclusive.
Further analysis Of the journal concludes It was suicide.
I'm sorry.
You're wrong.
But like i said, Thanks for coming.
Prentiss: "the most Authentic thing about us "is our capacity To create, to overcome, "to endure, to transform, To love, and to be greater Than our suffering.
" Ben okri.
How'd it go with jack? I just told him That i wasn't going To be around as much.
How'd he take it? He gave me a hug, And he said that everything Was gonna be all right.
Smart kid.
Like his dad.
So tell me, Back at the house, When we found beth smoler.
I don't know.
Sometimes i just Wonder If we're actually Changing anything.
Do you know why I have 4 properties? Tell me.
If i'm not kicking down doors, I'm smashing down walls.
At the end of the day, They both make me feel Like i'm changing something.
For the better.
Good enough? Good enough.