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|“||You said you would go away!||„|
|~ Ben talking to his hallucinations.|
Ben Foster is the main antagonist of the Criminal Minds episode "With Friends Like These...". He is an arsonist, thief, and spree killer who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and commits his crimes at the behest of his hallucinations.
He was portrayed by Bug Hall.
Ben suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, and has frequent hallucinations of people who do not really exist telling him to set fires. Ben's illness first manifested itself when he was ten, and his abusive, fanatically religious mother believed that her son is possessed by the Devil and took him to a church for an exorcism. Ben befriended Matt, Tony, and Yolanda, the church volunteers who performed the exorcism, but his hallucinations soon returned and told him to set the church on fire, killing all three of them. He was arrested and tried for arson and manslaughter in juvenile court, but was acquitted.
As an adult in his twenties, Ben moved to Portland, Oregon. At this point, his sanity had deteriorated even further thanks to his chronic insomnia, and he hallucinated that Matt, Tony, and Yolanda were telling him to commit robberies and start more fires. After he set his apartment on fire, he realized that he needed help, and began taking medications for schizophrenia and insomnia.
On March 25, 2011, Ben went to a night club, and his hallucinations tell him to kill the DJ, Jay Johnson. He obeys, and kills Johnson by stabbing and bludgeoning him to death.
"With Friends Like These..."
Ben goes grocery shopping and tries to talk to another customer, Karen Heywood, who ignores him. His hallucinations tell him to follow her to her house and kill her. Afterward, he tells them that he does not want to kill anymore, but they nevertheless make him kill another man later that night. Meanwhile, the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) begins investigating Ben's murders, and theorize that they are the work of someone with schizophrenia.
Ben wants to stop killing, so he goes to a church and asks a priest to perform an exorcism on him. The priest gently rebuffs him, however, and he leaves the church. He boards a bus, and his hallucinations promise to leave him alone if he follows a female passenger home and kill her. He does so, and spends the night sleeping beside her dead body.
Meanwhile, the BAU investigates the woman's murder. Agent Spencer Reid, whose mother also suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, realizes that the killer is triggered by insomnia. Technical analyst Penelope Garcia cross-checks young people living in the area with those arrested for arson and prescribed medication for insomnia, eventually finding Ben and learning about the fire.
When they arrive at Ben's house to arrest him, Ben panics and flees into a neighboring house, where he takes two children hostage. His hallucinations tell him to kill they children, but Ben refuses. BAU agents Reid and Derek Morgan try to talk him down, but Ben hallucinates that Reid is telling him to stab him; when he charges at Reid, Morgan shoots him in the arm, incapacitating him.
Ben is institutionalized and given electroconvulsive therapy to treat his hallucinations. He us relieved at first, but his hallucinations eventually come back, telling him they have always been with them. he then recalls the first time he ever saw them, and realizes that it was before the fire.