Criminal Minds s08e11 Episode Script

Perennials

Blessed are the leaves of the forest and the air that we breathe.
Each day help me realize the oneness that nurtures, strengthens, and invigorates.
Allow me to honor you each morning as you honor all of your creatures.
Accept these humble offerings and give me the strength to-- Who are you? Where did you come from? It's been a long time, Patty.
I bet you didn't think I'd track you down.
My name isn't P-- what are you talking about? No.
No.
Wait.
What are you doing? Lay down on your stomach.
Please.
I'm only-- Your stomach.
Don't do this.
I'm just a humble servant.
Shh What is it you call yourself now? Floressa? No, you're making a mistake.
Yes, okay, I changed my name to Floressa when I came here.
But before then I wasn't Patty.
I was Nina.
I was Nina Skinner from Joplin-- Bite that.
Bite down.
There.
I always wondered what Spencer Reid's grocery list looked like.
It's actually Rieman's hypothesis.
Which is? It's a mathematical conjecture from the 19th century that states that the Riemann zeta function zeroes all lie on the critical line.
Yeah, I get it.
I noodle it from time to time.
It sort of helps me unwind, you know? Well, since were on the subject of unwinding, how'd your date go? Uh, had to cancel at the last minute.
Oh? You did or she did? Um, sort of both did.
Butit's fine.
I talked to her this morning and things are good.
Round table's about to start.
We should probably get going.
What have we got? Nothing good.
Okay, anyone who's wandered through a museum in Italy knows that a chisel and a hammer in the right hands can be a beautiful thing.
But Michelangelo this is not, my friends.
Okay, Floressa, aka Nina Skinner, was found yesterday, murdered on the grounds of Church of the First Dawn, in Alabama.
Two days earlier, Charlie Clayton was taken from his home in Gulfport, Mississippi, he was brought to the woods, he was also murdered.
Chisels to the brain.
And a lot of creepy-crawlers.
Forensics? Mm-mmm.
Neither crime scene yielded much results because of too many bugs and critters.
The choice and placement of the chisel is very specific.
Maybe the unsub symbolically is destroying the thoughts and memories of the victims.
It looks like they were facedown when the chisel went in.
Remorse? Could be the killer knew the victims, didn't want to see their faces when he was killing them.
Was their a connection between Clayton and Floressa? Nothing's been found yet.
So right now, method of execution and regional proximity are the only two things linking them.
It could be a spree killer on the move.
A spree killer who's careful and meticulous and covers his tracks.
We've got a mobile unsub with a significant head start.
We can't afford to be playing catch-up.
Wheels up in 30.
"I have never yet heard of a murderer who was not afraid of a ghost.
" John Philpot Curran.
These first two victims couldn't be more different.
Ethnicity, gender, age, social and economic background.
Both were born and raised in the deep south.
But that's it.
Garcia, you said that the last victim, Floressa, changed her name? Yeah.
Her name was Nina Skinner and she changed it when she joined Church of the First Dawn 6 years ago.
What do we know about this church? Is it a legitimate religion? Ah, it's more like religious adjacent.
It appears to be a hodgepodge of a bunch of different religious beliefs plucked from here and there.
And Floressa lived on the grounds of the church? Yes.
She and 15 other women.
It sounds like a convent.
You know, it sort of is.
The residents had to take the same kinds of vows as nuns--celibacy, poverty, days spent in quiet contemplation.
I would not be a good candidate for admission, in other words.
Garcia, did the compound allow outsiders? Not usually, but it appears that once or twice a year they do let in non-members for like a week-long retreat.
Are these non-members men and women? Apparently so.
Garcia, compile a list of guests for these retreats for the last year, please.
Will do.
It says here that the first victim, Charlie Clayton, was a Seventh Day Adventist.
Could this be someone harboring a grudge against religion? Or the opposite.
Both victims gravitated toward non-mainstream faiths.
This could be a zealot wanting to punish those who deviate from strict orthodox beliefs.
Blake, you and Reid go see the medical examiner.
Morgan and Rossi, drive to Mississippi and see what you can find out about the first victim.
JJ and I will go to the compound and see where Floressa was killed.
How long have you been head of the church? I founded it.
And Floressa joined Yes.
How much contact would she have had with the outside world? None.
The women who are custodians of the faith turn themselves over to it completely.
And the people you allow for the week-long retreats, would Floressa have interacted with them? No.
Guests are housed in a separate area.
We provide them a quiet space for contemplation.
Did this man ever go to any of your retreats? No.
I've never seen him before.
This is where it happened.
I still can't believe it.
Is there any sort of screening process before you accept a resident studying the faith like Floressa? I don't understand.
Like a background check? The killer may have known her before she came here.
And if she'd had a troubled past, she might have seen this as a refuge.
Floressa was a woman of deep and sincere faith.
There was no need for us to investigate her previous life.
If a holy sanctuary isn't immune from a horrible act like this, what is? Uh, let me guess.
She don't know nothin' about nothin'.
Practically a direct quote.
How did you know that? Oh, it's a busy enough street.
Broad daylight.
House is fully exposed.
Either this unsub is really, really good, or this is the worst neighborhood watch program.
I already told the regular police I didn't see anything.
Well, that's a shame.
Oh, by the way, we couldn't help but notice all of these, uh, empty jars.
I find 'em in the garbage cans and turn 'em in for money.
Sanitized? Huh? My third wife, she always said I was part bloodhound.
All of those jars, they smell of Disinfectant.
I can vouch for the bloodhound part.
He sniffed out your mailbox.
Converted whiskey jars hold their scent.
As do converted moonshine jugs.
Only thing is, making moonshine is against the law, so maybe my friend's nose here is wrong this time.
Well, a weird guy came over when I was out front and started talking to me, that's all.
Asked about Charlie.
Asking what? Just wanted to make sure that is where he lived.
Kept calling him Taylor, though.
Taylor? So maybe Charlie wasn't who he was looking for.
Oh, it was.
This guy described Charlie to a "T".
The guy you talked to, you remember what he looked like? Sure.
Heh.
You might have the nose, but I got the eyes.
In my line of work, you'd best not forget a face.
Put on another shirt.
We're going for a ride.
Chisel severed the brain stem.
Clean, quick, right on the money.
Death was instantaneous.
Were there any drugs in her system? Nope.
Tox screen was clean.
Hmm.
Yet she seemed totally compliant.
To control her, the unsub must have been armed.
Any evidence of torture or sexual abuse? None.
Except for the chisel in her head, the victim was in tip-top shape.
Did find some wood residue in the teeth, back molars, both sides of the mouth.
Killer might have somehow used the stick as a gag? It says here there was excessive insect infestation? Sure was.
And the wrong kind and in the wrong place.
What do you mean? The victim was only dead a few hours.
There should have been adult flies and unhatched eggs, maybe.
Certainly not third-instar larvae.
And the maggots were all over the place.
Flies don't lay their eggs around the food source, they squirt 'em out right there in the blood and guts.
And icing on the cake-- I found a composite of animal hair mixed in with the larvae-- turns out to be skunk.
Were these inconsistencies present in the first victim, the one from Mississippi? Don't know about the animal hair, but yeah.
Gulfport M.
E.
found the exact same thing at his crime scene-- the mass insect infestation not consistent with the early stage of decomposition.
This unsub is bringing fly larvae to the crime scene with him.
Our unsub is skilled at avoiding detection.
A man in this environment would have stood out.
Have Garcia check for male maintenance workers, any city employees that might have access to this part of the compound.
What have you got, Morgan? Hey, we found a neighbor who not only saw the unsub, but he spoke with him, too.
The day of the murder? Yeah.
Unsub was trying to make sure of Charlie Clayton's address, but kept referring to the victim as Taylor.
Neighbor give enough of a description to get a sketch? Yeah, I got it right here in my hands.
It's a damn good one, too.
I'll text it right over.
Top that off for you? Need a menu? No.
But thanks for asking, Carol.
You've got the wrong gal.
I'm Brianna.
I don't think so.
Recognize me yet? I made it easy for you.
So just coffee, then? The sign up there says I get a free dessert if it's my birthday.
Uh-huh.
And today happens to be your birthday? Yes, ma'am.
Well, I'm gonna need some I.
D.
to verify that.
I have no reason to lie to you, Carol.
Especially about the day a person was born.
It's the most important day there is.
You of all people should realize that.
Molly's not gonna like that you did that.
It shut the guy up, didn't it? Seriously, how come all the weirdoes always sit in my section instead of yours? Oh, I don't know.
Maybe you have that special something.
Yeah, right? Next job I get is gonna be at a fire lookout station way up in the mountains.
No dealing with the public at all.
A dead skunk? No.
Why? Skunk hair was found in the larvae at Floressa's crime scene.
Thought maybe there was one laying around nearby.
I would have sniffed it out had there been one.
Here's the police sketch.
This guy's brazen.
Chatting with the neighbor about the person he's on his way to murder.
He's too calm to be on a spree.
Something else is motivating him.
Okay, great.
Thanks.
Two for two.
Gulfport M.
E.
also found animal hair on the first victim's larvae-- raccoon--and Charlie Clayton had wood residue in his teeth just like Floressa.
- Russell Smith.
- Who? A serial killer who was active in this part of the country from 1967 to 1987.
I remember.
Smith was a sexual sadist who murdered 8 prostitutes before being killed in a police shootout.
And he had his victims bite down on a block of wood before he killed them.
- Good night, Chris.
- Good night, Brianna.
Oh, my God.
Bite down--hard.
Uhh! A chisel right in the skull.
you think you've seen it all.
The rest of the team should be here within the hour.
Sheriff Mitchell, Agent Rossi.
We're getting you folks set up over at the county sheriff's office.
Thank you.
You the one that found her? Yes, sir.
I was making my rounds about 4:00 in the morning.
I've never seen anything like it.
The blood.
Bugs all over the place.
Doors and windows open when you discovered the body? No, sir.
I checked.
Found this in the car.
Bite marks.
The co-worker's ready for you.
Yeah, that's him.
You know who he is? No, not yet.
There was a cut on his jaw, though.
He had a bandage, but it was bloody.
Fresh blood, like it had just happened.
When he left, did he get into a car or I didn't see him go.
I just thought he was like, you know, homeless guy or something, he wanted free food.
He asked for food? Yeah.
He said it was his birthday.
He got really weird and intense when Brianna asked him for his I.
D.
How so? Well, he went on and on about how nobody would ever lie about the day they were born.
I mean, Brianna gave him the pie anyway.
Did this man at any point refer to Brianna by another name? Yeah.
I completely forgot about that.
He called her Carol.
Okay.
Well, we appreciate all your help, Ms.
Carson.
If you can remember anything else, please, give us a call.
So the unsub recognizes his victims, but he calls them by a different name.
What's that about? The guy's schizophrenic, maybe.
No, the killings are too organized and methodical.
These people are probably surrogates.
Garcia can't find any late-blooming Russell Smith wannabes out there.
At least nobody on law enforcement radar.
You know, using a stick as a gag maybe have simply been a convenience at the first two crime scenes.
The unsub was in the forest and they were handy.
But he specifically brought a stick with him to the most recent crime scene.
It's a ritual that mirrors Russell Smith's very closely.
Also, there's something strange about the fly larvae that was found in the car.
You mean besides the fact that there was fly larvae in the car.
Well, that, and it was laid by Lucilia mexicana flies.
Meaning what? It's a species unique to the southwestern United States and the dry desert climates of Latin America.
There's no way it would be found along the Gulf Coast unless it was brought here.
I think I know what's going on.
Enlighten us.
DNA from the maggot stomach crop at both crime scenes revealed not only skunk and raccoon meat, but traces of engine oil.
I think this unsub is seeding his victims with aged maggots reared on animal remains.
Road kill.
Can I help you? I'm looking for Ted.
Sorry.
You must have the wrong house.
Kyle.
Are you okay? You must be Ted's wife.
Oh, my God! No.
Stop right there.
So far, the unsub's not trying hard to hide anything from us.
What if December 11th actually is his birthday, like he told the waitress? The unsub's in his mid- to late 20s.
It means he was born between 1987 and 1992.
Reid, get Garcia on it.
Tell her to narrow the search to those with a criminal background who live in the southwestern United States, someone with a history of vandalizing churches or religious shrines and someone who's also worked with or is at least familiar with insects.
Who are you? How do you know Ted? You mean your husband? We've known each other for years and years.
And years.
How old are you? Where is he? My husband is dead.
What? He died of--of cancer.
You're lying.
I'm not.
I live here alone now.
I rent rooms to college students to help with expenses.
I'm going to give you one last chance to tell the truth.
And I mean it better be the truth.
When did he die? Uh--um-- it was a long time ago.
I need to know exactly when.
It was May 12, 1999.
Morning or night? What? Morning or night? Night.
It was night.
What difference does it make? Where? At home? No, at the hospital.
Which one? Um Tell me which hospital! Escambia Memorial! Do you have any idea how many people are born on earth every day? I did not like the answer to that question.
My point-- even if narrowed way, way down, none of these fit the profile of our unsub.
If December 11th really is his birthday, he's kept his nose clean so far.
The unsub told Brianna that there was no more important day in one's life than the day you were born.
It has to somehow be part of his methodology.
How about the birthdays of Russell Smith's earlier victims, the 8 prostitutes? You could be right.
Anniversary kills.
Selecting victims who share the same birthdays as those who went before.
What is it, Hotch? The new wound on the unsub's jaw-- it wasn't there when he spoke to the neighbor in Gulfport, and there's no evidence that any of the victims put up resistance.
Well, it could be an accident.
Accidents do happen.
Or it was an interim victim we don't know about yet who did fight back.
Garcia, can you find a file photo of Russell Smith? Yeah.
Uh-oh.
I'm sending these pictures to your monitors right now.
Our unsub's wound was self-inflicted.
He's not trying to emulate Russell Smith.
He's trying to turn himself into Russell Smith.
You've all been given copies of the sketch of the suspect.
They need to be distributed to all law enforcement officials in the tri-state area.
All of the unsub's kills so far have been in different cities and different states.
We don't have to worry about flushing him out.
He's operating in the open with confidence bordering on arrogance.
We don't know why, but he's been leaving large amounts of insects behind at his crime scenes.
Normally, that would be a forensic countermeasure, artificially accelerating infestation of the corpse.
Or symbolically to degrade and humiliate the victims.
But these larvae are serving some other purpose to the unsub.
It's like an obsession.
They are an essential component to his kills.
We believe he's slowly turning himself into the image of Russell Smith, an Alabama serial killer who's been dead for nearly 25 years.
The unsub recently cut himself on the jaw to replicate a similar scar on Smith.
And he may continue to alter his appearance.
Russell Smith had several distinctive scorpion tattoos.
Parlors in the region should be notified to be on the lookout for customers requesting these tattoos.
Curiously, the unsub seems to know precisely who he's looking for, but he refers to his victims by a different name.
Which means he's either delusional or he's using these victims as substitutes for someone else.
Surrogates.
The larvae he's depositing at the crime scenes are indigenous to the southwestern United States.
So be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles with either Arizona, Nevada, or New Mexico license plates.
Russell Smith preyed exclusively on prostitutes and killed infrequently.
But this unsub is killing at a rate of one victim every other day, and he's targeting ordinary citizens.
No one is safe.
Through all the birthdays, no match between old and new victims.
It looks like we've been going down the wrong road.
It may have been the right road in the wrong direction.
Garcia, what do the initials T.
L.
stand for? T.
L.
that would be Taylor Lynn.
The unsub kept calling Clayton Taylor and Brianna Carol.
When did Smith kill Carol Hansen? I need an exact date.
Killed? That would be March 28, 1979.
That's it.
The murder date of the original victim matches the birthdate of the new one.
Garcia? I'm all over it.
Okay.
Taylor Lynn Grover, killed February 5, 1985.
Were any of Smith's original victims killed the day Floressa was born? Yes.
Patty Johnson.
She was Smith's first victim.
She was murdered on October 9, 1967.
What do you want to bet our killer thought Floressa was named Patty? So this unsub thinks his new victims are Smith's old victims.
Garcia, what about locations? Where did Patty Johnson, Taylor Lynn Grover, and Carol Hansen die? Okay.
Okay.
Hold on.
Give me a sec.
They were all murdered in Alabama.
In order-- Mobile, Birmingham, Gadsden.
And where were Floressa, Clayton, and Brianna born? Also in order-- Mobile, Birmingham and, oh, my God, Gadsden.
Exact same places, exact same dates.
That's it.
Patty, Taylor, and Carol were all killed only to be born to live again.
This is about reincarnation.
What are you going to do to me? So, this killer believes that Smith's victims didn't really die, but hopped into a newborn life and kept on living.
Exactly.
Reincarnated as Floressa, Charlie Clayton, and Brianna.
So what's he doing now, killing them all over again? That's how it looks.
Buthe believes in reincarnation, right? Who's to say that these new victims haven't just jumped into somebody else's body, the way he believes they did the first time? Well, maybe in his mind they already have.
See, a fundamental tenet of reincarnation is that you can come back in any life form, not just human.
That would explain the larvae.
This unsub is introducing a newly hatched life form next to the victims as he kills them.
It's a new life form waiting right there, ready to receive the spirit of the one that just died.
He thinks that the people he's killing get reincarnated as flies? He's making sure they don't come back in human form again.
Ensuring that this death ends the cycle.
If he believes it about the victims, he must believe it about himself.
Garcia, can you find out exactly where and when Russell Smith died, and then see who was born in the same place at the same time? Russell Smith died January 19, 1988.
Tuscaloosa.
Shot.
Taken to Hobson Regional Medical Center.
Willie Kestler.
Born exact same day, exact same hospital.
Do you have an address for Kestler? It isit's not local.
Uh, 3088 Lakehawk Street, Apartment 5, Chandler, Arizona.
I'm sending it to you now.
You got a photo? That's our guy.
Does Kestler have a vehicle? Mm-hmm.
He's the registered owner of a Ford Bronco, Arizona license plate MAQ3586.
Sheriff, put out an APB to all law enforcement within a 200-mile radius.
I'm on it.
Thanks, Garcia.
How come you're doing this? It's that voice in your head.
The one you can't figure out.
I don't have a voice in my head.
You do.
Maybe it's not as loud for you as it was for me.
For a long time I didn't understand.
It was like There was me Then there was another me.
Then a few years ago, right before he died, my grandpa told me something that made it all clear.
It was about what happened to me the day I was born.
I was supposed to be born two weeks before.
But I wouldn't come.
And then when I did things got all tangled up inside.
They had to rip my mama open to get me out.
But that was okay.
I had to wait to be born for a reason.
There was a man who got shot that very day.
A killer.
Russell Smith.
You can't explain things like this.
It just happens.
It happened to me.
It could happen to you.
My mama died when I was 5 years old and I had to go live with that bastard.
Old man used to smack me around all the time.
No reason.
Just mean.
My grandpa always said I had the devil inside me.
The soul of a killer.
That's crazy.
No.
It wasn't crazy at all.
After I heard that story, it all made sense.
The voice in my head.
The two mes.
There was only ever one real me all the time.
Russell Smith.
That's who I am.
That's who I've always been.
What have you got, Garcia? Chandler P.
D.
says Kestler's apartment is empty, but they found stacks and stacks of books about reincarnation.
All right.
Do the math with each of Smith's other 5 victims.
Find out who was born the same place at the same time that each was murdered.
That's who Kestler will be going after next.
Yes, sir.
But this is gonna take a while.
Please put on your hat of patience.
Yeah.
Hurry.
We need to take a ride now.
Don't hurt me.
Please.
It's not that I want to.
Maybe I am Russell Smith.
But it didn't mean I had to be a killer again.
What are you talking about? I mean, the whole point of reincarnation is that you're supposed to come back and be better than you were before.
Work on your karma.
What I'm doing now, it's self-defense.
One of you found out where I was, and you tried to come and cut off my brakes and kill me.
So I had to find you.
All 8 of you.
And then I'll be done.
Oh, let me go.
I promise I won't tell anybody.
You're gonna scream your head off, aren't you? As soon as we open the door, you're gonna make a run for it.
No.
I don't believe you.
No Maybe we should just do this right here.
No.
No, don't.
No Bad, bad news.
What is it? There are 22 possible people our unsub could be going after, and they are scattered everywhere.
I mean everywhere.
Nova Scotia to Hawaii to Pennsylvania-- Any in the Pensacola area? No.
There's a Ted Sissler, who was born the same day in the same place as one of the older victims from Pensacola, but he died 13 years ago.
Well, that's good, then, right? One less person he's gonna want to hunt down and kill.
No, that's bad.
Sheriff, check to see if any 13-year-olds went missing in the last 24 hours, and if Ted Sissler has any family in the area, put them into protective custody immediately.
So, Kestler has no criminal record, but he has been on the Chandler P.
D.
radar recently.
Why? he was injured in a solo car crash.
Claims someone cut his brake lines and he wanted the police to figure out who did it.
And? Investigation turned up no evidence of foul play.
But the police said Kestler was obsessed over it.
He kept showing up for weeks saying someone was after him.
Well, that must have been the trigger.
Reincarnation cuts both ways.
Kestler thought Smith's old victims were coming back to get him.
He's a psychopath.
Aidan Donahue, Parents said he never came home from school today.
Kestler's car was spotted at a downtown motel.
Let's go.
Come here.
No.
No, no Aidan, it's all right.
We're the FBI.
We're the good guys.
Are you okay? The man that was here, where did he go? I don't know.
He justtook off.
Did he say where he was going? No.
Only that this wasn't over.
He was gonna come back.
Here? He was gonna come back here to this room? No.
The guy was crazy.
He said he was coming back in 20 years.
He'd come back and get me in 20 years.
I think I know where he's going.
Can I help you? Yes.
I'm looking for the delivery rooms.
Is your wife having a baby? Yes.
Patient's name? Just tell me where they are.
Sir, only family members are allowed back in the delivery area.
Now.
Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to leave.
Attention.
All hospital personnel and visitors immediately proceed to the nearest exit in an orderly fashion.
Repeat--leave the building immediately.
Do not interfere with law enforcement.
It's gonna be okay.
Just breathe.
Ohh! Only authorized personnel may transport patients.
Repeat--only authorized personnel may transport patients.
Ohh! You can't be in here.
The baby.
Where is it? Get out.
Get out.
Put the baby down and drop your weapon.
Willie Kestler, it's over.
There's nowhere to run.
Ohh! No! Agent down.
Get a doctor in here.
No.
No.
No.
No "The doctrine of the immortality of the soul has more threat than comfort.
" Mason Cooley.
When did you get back? No one told me you got back and I've been worried like crazy.
Because they said you were shot, with bullets.
I'm fine.
I can't believe you were shot with bu-- I got shot in my bulletproof vest, baby girl.
It's just a couple bruises.
I'm okay.
Why don't they make better vests? That's not bulletproof.
It's like when you fall in the pool and your watch stops working.
That's water-resistant, not waterproof.
They should-- I'm just fine.
See? It's just a couple bruises.
How--how long do you have to be taped up like this? I don't know.
A couple days, maybe.
Oh.
Okay.
Are you relaxed now? Yeah.
I'm relaxed.
Hey, if you need someone to help you, you know, put new bindings on, rewrap or wrap, unwrap-- Hey, you guys--oh! We hey.
I hope I'm not interrupting anything.
Hotch needs us at the round table.
Why? We just landed.
He said it's important.
It was nothing.
I wasn't doing anything.
Yesterday while we were in Florida, a body was found in the desert outside Las Cruces, New Mexico.
A man had his leg amputated and replaced with the leg of someone else.
And, as you know, last month a body was found in Dallas with its mouth sewn shut, like the silencer.
What looked then to be a possible one-time copycat now has to be examined in a different light.
Someone's out there mimicking the crimes we've solved.
That's how it looks.
This is now an active case, which we'll be investigating along with our other cases.