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These vicious home invasions are a sign of the times. As demographics change, so do crime rates. Now, we may not be able to slow the browning of America, but we can sure as hell take our city back. And if you elect me, I'll lead that charge.
~ One of Preston's racist campaign speeches.

Clark Preston is the secondary antagonist of the Criminal Minds episode "A Thin Line". He is a corrupt, racist businessman and politician who secretly orchestrates home invasions in order to blame them on minorities and stir up racist sentiment in hopes of being elected mayor of Los Angeles. To that end, he manipulates the episode's main antagonist, Trevor Mills, into committing the murders.

He was portrayed by Paul Johansson.

Biography

Preston is a real estate developer in the Inland Empire region of Los Angeles who is beginning a political career. A virulent racist, he attracts political support by playing on the fear of crime and blaming Black people and Hispanic immigrants for the rise of violence in the area, and bemoaning the "browning of America". Unbeknownst to his followers, however, Preston is causing the crime wave by manipulating his most avid supporters, Trevor Mills, into committing home invasions and murdering entire families, crimes that Preston then blames on minorities.

Preston financially supports Mills and his mother, Pamela, who is in a persistent vegetative state after being beaten and raped within an inch of her life by two burglars who broke into the Mills family home in 2002. The robbers, Ronnie Green and Carlos Jackson, had also murdered her husband and daughter, leaving Trevor alone. Preston pays all Pamela's medical bills, and manipulates Trevor into donating her monthly disability check to his campaign. Preston stokes Trevor's anger and resentment against Green and Jackson, who are Black and Hispanic, respectively, with his racist campaign speeches, and privately brainwashes him into believing that all nonwhites are like them.

"A Thin Line"

When the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) are called in to investigate Trevor's latest mass murder, agents Aaron Hotchner and Derek Morgan interview Preston regarding his racist campaign rhetoric, believing that it might be spurring on the killer. Preston disingenuously promises to tone it out down, while condescending to Morgan, who is Black, by saying he must have come up from a poor family in a bad neighborhood, and that he wished "they" were all like him.

After talking with Hotchner and Morgan, Preston visits Trevor and tells him not to commit any more home invasions for the time being. Mills is itching to kill more minorities, however, and commits another murderous home invasion the following night, this time leaving a witness. Panicked, he goes to Preston for help, but Preston tells him to stay away, and begins to wash his hands of his former protégé.

Meanwhile, BAU technical analyst Penelope Garcia researches Preston and Trevor's relationship, and finds out that Preston had bought the land encompassing Trevor's family home at a greatly reduced price shortly after his family was murdered. She also researches Preston's finances, and finds that he had written checks for two-hundred thousand dollars to Green and Jackson. With this information, the other BAU agents realize that Preston orchestrated the murder of the Mills family so could buy the land cheap, and is now using Trevor to commit the home invasions so he can make them a campaign issue.

When Trevor tries to kill Hillary Ross, Preston's main rival in the mayoral race, the BAU intercepts him, prompting Trevor to shoot agent Emily Prentiss in the arm. During the ensuing standoff, Morgan tells Trevor that Preston had his family murdered, but Trevor refuses to believe it. He tries to shoot Morgan, who is forced to return fire, killing him. The BAU then arrests Preston for orchestrating the murders, and is presumably imprisoned for life.

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Season 6
Ben Foster | Bill Thomas | Blake Wells | Brandon Stiles | Drew Jacobs | Greg Phinney | Hollis Walker Jr. | Ian Doyle | James Barrett | James Stanworth | James Thomas | Jane Gould | Jeremy Sayer | Kaman Scott | Lucy (Criminal Minds) | Michael Kosina | Prince of Darkness | Ray Donovan | Rhett Walden | Robert Bremmer | Shane Wyland | Shelley Chamberlain | Steve | Sydney Manning | The Butcher


Season 7
Bill Rogers | Caleb Rossmore | Chase Whitaker | Chloe Donaghy | Chris Shelton | Clark Preston | Colonel Ron Massey | Curtis Banks | Ben Bradstone | Donald and Linda Collins | Dylan Kohler | George Kelling | Harvey Morell | Herman Scobie | Ian Doyle | Izzy Rogers | James Heathridge | J.B. Allen | Jeffrey Collins | Jimmy Hall | Lachlan McDermott | Lieutenant Tawes | Luke Dolan | Malcolm Ford | Margaret Hallman | Matthew Downs | Mike Janeczko | Randy Slade | Robert Adams | Rodney Garrett | The Face Cards | The Piano Man | The Womb Raider | Travis James | Trevor Mills


Season 8
Adam Rain | Arthur Rykov | Bryan Hughes | Carl Buford | Carl Finster | Chad Mills | David Roy Turner | Diane Turner | Donnie Bidwell | Ellen Russell | Emma Kerrigan | Jason Nelson | John Nelson | Jonathan Ray Covey | Larry Feretich | Mark Jackson | Matt and Josh Moore | Paul Westin | Peter Harper | Phillip Connor | Raoul Whalen | Rodney Harris | Sera Morrison | Tess Mynock | The Replicator | The Silencer | Toby Whitewood | Tory Chapman | Willie Kestler


Season 9
Alan and Judith Anderson | Anton Harris | Carla Hines | Charles Johnson | Clifford Walsh | Colin Bramwell Daniel Milworth | Daria Samsen | David Wade Cunningham | Eddie Lee Wilcox | Eric Carcani | Ian Little | Jesse Gentry | Joe Bachner | John Nichols | Justin Mills | Leland Duncan | Mecklinburg Rapists | Nicole Jones | Owen McGregor | Owen McGregor's Partners | Ronald Underwood | Sheila Harrison | Sue Walsh | Tanner Johnson | The Doctor | Wallace Hines | Wayne Gulino | William Harding | Woodsman Killer


Season 10
Alex Zorgen | Allen Archer | Andrew Ford | Benton Farland | Brian Stiller | Chad Griffith | Claire Dunbar | Colin Dupley | Dale Shavers | Danny Stokes | Dinah Troy | Don Black | Donna Mangold | Donnie Mallick | Ellen Connell | Frank Cosgrove | Hayman Vasher | Jack Westbrook | James Burke | Jerry Tidwell | John David Bidwell | Jon Kanak | Justin Leu | Kyle Zorgen | Leo Jenkins | Marc Clifford | Miles Hendrick | Mr. Scratch | Patrick Butler | Patrick Jon Murphy | Peter Folkmore | Randall Jefferson Jones | Steven Parkett | The Mirror Man | Weeks


Season 11
Al Eisenmund | Andrew Meeks | Antonia Slade | Betty Wilson | Brian Cochran | Chazz Montolo | Claude Barlow | Dana Seavers | Eric Rawdon | Flora Martin | Giuseppe Montolo | Jacob DuFour | John Bradley | Johnson | Joseph Berzon | Lester Turner | Matthew Franks | Michael Thompson | Michael Peterson | Cat Adams | Mitchell Crossford | Mr. Scratch | Patrick Sorenson | Randy Jacobs | Robert Boles | Sam Burnett | Skull Tattoo Man | The Beantown Beheader | The Bomber | The Chemist | The Sniper | Tommy Larson | William Cochran | William Duke Mason | William Taylor


Season 12
Alan Crawford | Ben Davis | Bryce Jarvis | Cormac Burton | John David Bates | John Malone | Jonathan Rhodes | Kevin Decker | Kyle Ecklund | Lindsey Vaughn | Lionel Wilkins | Mark Tolson | Miss .45 | Mr. Scratch | Sara McLean | Stuart Barker | The Bone Crusher | The Crimson King | The Day/Night Killer | The Henson Twins | The Womb Raider | Zeke's Gang


Season 13
Asclepius | Caleb Sands | Cheryl Kaline | Desi Gutierrez | Gabriel Merza | Irene Jacobs | Jake Logan | Jess Carney | Josh Martin | Josh's Partners | Justin Franco | Kevin Peck | Kevon Winters | Lawrence Coleman | Lucky | Marcus Manning | Mark Henshaw | Mary Meadows | Melissa Miller | Michelle Gorman | Mr. Scratch | Mr. X | Sal Capilano | The Believers | The Central Park Ripper | The Messiah | The Neon Terror | Tony Capilano | William Lynch


Season 14
Arthur Brodie | Casey Allen Pinkner | Douglas Knight | Dustin Eisworth | Edward Addison | Eduardo Ramos | Elgin Family | Emmanuel Rask | Grace Lynch | Jacob Wallace | James and Marcus Wells | Jeremy Grant | Jordan Halloran | Mary Meadows | Roberta Lynch | Stephanie Carter | The Believers | The Chameleon | The Messiah | The Tall Man | Varnville Unsub | Wayne Hollis


Season 15
Beaumont Unsub | George Kyle Peters | Grace Lynch | Hayes Cullinan | Juliette Weaver | Louie's Gang | Louis Chaycon | Miss .45 | Sebastian Hurst | Shelby Mattson | The Chameleon


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